The Core of the Teachings :: Truth is a pathless land

What is learnt through observation obviously depends on the quality of the mind that is doing the learning. If the mind is conditioned and biassed by concepts already established in the mind, then such learning will be limited. If the mind is empty of concepts, and so unconditioned in this regard, then such learning may be unlimited.

This is touched on in the second paragraph in the complete statement:

His perception of life is shaped by the concepts already established in his mind… The uniqueness of man does not lie in the superficial but in complete freedom from the content of his consciousness

I agree and that’s why I ended the passage with wondering if the unlimited-learning realm is where Krishnamurti lived. It’s definitely not where I (we) live, though we might visit from time to time!

Krishnamurti spoke often of an image-free “I am nothing” self, his version of the true self. Though people who are interacting may not be consciouisly aware of that nothing-self, it is always present, and is a key aspect of the interaction. Explain what you mean?

If we are interested in trying to understand Krishnamurti’s statement on the core of the teachings, is it helpful, is it necessary, to introduce assumptions, concepts and topics - such as the “true self” - which are alien to his work?

This is an assumption you are making, but that Krishnamurti doesn’t make.

As already mentioned, in the second paragraph of the full statement Krishnamurti says that

The uniqueness of man does not lie in the superficial but in complete freedom from the content of his consciousness

This ‘uniqueness of man’ - which I suppose one could gloss as being the ‘true self’ of man, although there is no reason to gloss it this way - is not “always present”, because it only comes into being when there is complete freedom from the psychological contents of the mind. I.e. when there is complete freedom from what we ordinarily call ‘self’, ‘me’, etc.

As Krishnamurti says in the fifth and final paragraph,

When there is negation of all those things that thought has brought about psychologically, only then is there love, which is compassion and intelligence

So to say that compassion and intelligence are “always there” is not an assumption that Krishnamurti makes. Rather, it is in the negation of what we think is the positive, that the true positive (if such a thing exists) can come into being. This is Krishnamurti’s approach.

Well it’s hard to know whether Krishnamurti did or did not espouse the notion of a true “I am nothing” self. You are saying one thing and my AI friends are saying something a bit different. Either way, it’s nuanced. (I did say my scheme was a model to make a point: There is a ‘tribe’ of different entities behind a simple interaction.) But it’s no biggie and I’d be happy to let it go.

Considering that Krishnamurti never talked about an “I am nothing self”, I think we can dispense with the idea that he did.

In any case, he doesn’t talk about any such thing in his core of the teachings statement (which is what we’re supposed to be looking at here), so I see no reason to introduce the concept.

As we will see when we look at the second paragraph, Krishnamurti rejects the notion of personal uniqueness or individuality:

The individuality is the name, the form and superficial culture he acquires from tradition and environment. The uniqueness of man does not lie in the superficial but in complete freedom from the content of his consciousness, which is common to all humanity. So he is not an individual.

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Anyone have anything to add about the mirror of relationship before we move on to understanding the mind’s contents?

“Self-knowledge is not according to any formula. You may go to a psychologist or a psychoanalyst to find out about yourself, but that is not self-knowledge. Self-knowledge comes into being when we are aware of ourselves in relationship, which shows what we are from moment to moment. Relationship is a mirror in which to see ourselves as we actually are. But most of us are incapable of looking at ourselves as we are in relationship, because we immediately begin to condemn or justify what we see. We judge, we evaluate, we compare, we deny or accept, but we never observe actually what is, and for most people this seems to be the most difficult thing to do; yet this alone is the beginning of self- knowledge. If one is able to see oneself as one is in this extraordinary mirror of relationship which does not distort, if one can just look into this mirror with full attention and see actually what is, be aware of it without condemnation, without judgment, without evaluation—and one does this when there is earnest interest—then one will find that the mind is capable of freeing itself from all conditioning; and it is only then that the mind is free to discover that which lies beyond the field of thought.”

JK, “The Book of Life”.

My understanding: The mirroring process can communicate both accurate and inaccurate information about the self, depending on the clarity/distortion of the minds involved.

Thank you, rickScott, for your response. My understanding of JK’s quote is that if I remain living in a “cave”, if I keep myself from interacting with people in any way for whatever reason, I will never get to know myself fully.

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Krishnamurti: (You have) to find (Truth) through:

understanding of the contents of your mind.

What did he mean by ‘contents of your mind’? Everything that arises in consciousness? Thoughts, memories, feelings, emotions, voices, images, habits, patterns, fruits of conditioning?

And what did he mean by ‘understand’ the contents? Observe them without bias? Without analysis? Or perhaps with a non-divisive analysis? Look for patterns and distortions, the fruit of conditioning? Distinguish the real from the unreal?

If relationship is a mirror, all I (the brain’s psychological content) can see is its reaction to the reflection, and almost invariably, the reaction is a distorted reflection. This is because psychological content is a fixed, dead body of so-called knowledge, which means that it is almost always at odds with actuality.

Why doesn’t the brain see this? It may be that more energy is going to thought than to awareness of what thought is doing; that the brain is conditioned to be more tactical than sensible.

This emphasis on self-preservation is reflected in society as a whole when it is more concerned with its military’s ability to deter and deflect enemies than it is with the health and well-being of the tax-payers its military depends on.

Here is my description of a possibility—keeping in mind that the description is not the described. A memory, an image, knowledge, as a physical thing that resides in the brain, is part of what is generally considered to be the concretely real, but when representations of memory, of images, or of knowledge is taken up by the mind during the thinking process, those representations are obviously not real, they are mere representations that have been given a temporary artificial life. Therefore, for there to be true relationship, in JK’s terms, these representations, which are not real, must not interfere during my interactions with anything, that is, the brain must remain quiet during the interaction; and if in my conditioning I am watching myself with attention while I am in interaction with others, then I can see in that interaction the interference of my conditioning.

Yes. This is my understanding of it.

Yes. This is my understanding of it.


Krishnamurti: He has to find (Truth) through:

  1. the mirror of relationship,
  2. understanding of the contents of your mind,
  3. observation rather than intellectual analysis or introspective dissection.

Okay, we’ve looked at 1 and 2. Onto 3:

Observation rather than intellectual analysis or introspective dissection

I think it’s clear what Krishnamurti meant by observation: conditioning- and bias-free attention to what arises. But the other things are trickier.

In his talks and writings, Krishnamurti often engaged in what appears to be intellectualizing, analysis, introspection, and dissection. For example, I asked an AI about the Core article text, and it wrote:

Intellectualizing: The text does engage in intellectualizing, as it explores complex concepts and ideas related to human consciousness, freedom, and the nature of thought. It offers a philosophical perspective on these subjects, which requires a certain level of intellectual engagement to fully understand and appreciate.

Analysis: The text also engages in analysis, breaking down the various components of human consciousness, thought, and existence in order to better understand their relationships and impacts on our lives. It examines the concepts of images, freedom, and time in relation to our thinking and behavior.

Introspection: While not explicitly engaging in personal introspection, the text does encourage readers to examine their own minds and the contents of their consciousness. It invites readers to consider the nature of their thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions in order to gain insight into their own lives and experiences.

Dissection: The text engages in dissection in the sense that it methodically examines the various components of human consciousness, thought, and existence. It attempts to break down these complex concepts into more digestible parts to facilitate understanding and insight.

Did Krishnamurti speak of the uselessness of intellectual analysis and introspective dissection for finding Truth, yet use them himself in his writings and talks?

Thank you Rick for your contribution to this question. ‘Truth versus Reality’ is a clear addition on the 1975 dialogues between Bohm and Krishnamurti from which 4 of them are only available on audio on yuotube.

Can we agree that Truth is not subject to movement?
Clearly, though, its interpretation is subject to movement in the sense given to it by Krishnamurti and Bohm. Hence no path.
Truth belongs to no one, neither person nor institution can claim it.
It stands completely independently on its own. .

Wim, howdy. :slight_smile: I don’t see how 1 and 2 lead logically (and necessarily) to 3. Are you saying that (Krishnamurti said that) truth cannot be approached subjectively?

Krishnamurti said we come to truth via observation, not introspective dissection or intellectual analysis. But his talks and writings often engage in introspective dissection, intellectual analysis.

What shall we do with this apparent contradiction?