Change is everywhere in nature, and if I participate of nature, i.e., in the material sense, then I am subject to change also; and if I have changed on the outside, why can I not change in the inside, psychologically? After all, there must be a difference between the mentality of a boy (girl) and that of a man (woman), a difference ordinarily referred to as maturity. So, perhaps I have changed psychologically or perhaps I have not, I do not know, I wonder if that is something that can be known and how can it help to know it? And how can I know if living with the belief or the hope that anyone may undergo transformation is to live a trivial life or not?
If the brain / body isn’t the real source of the ego then it makes me wonder what is. It also makes me wonder about other aspects of what he said: he talked about an energy which causes a mutation in the brain cells and also about the conditioning of millenia. If the ego survives physical death, then how is that conditioning transmitted? Presumably something different from the organism or genes.
K did talk about “the stream” as being the source of the self, but he never really said what the stream is. Is it an acutal thing located in space and time? I don’t think he was using some kind of metaphor. He also said one at least one occasion that when you die the contents of your consciousness just go back into the stream. That clearly implies that whoever you are, good or bad, almost enlightened or completely unenlightened, everyone ends up in exactly the same streamlike state when they die. That seems ridiculous to me.
How does this sound : the conditioning of millenia can mean the conditioning of the human brain that occurs over millenia through evolution.
We have a brain that has arrived at its present state through a long process of evolution - the same goes for the rest of our body.
Psychologically the state of our brain continues to be conditioned in the shorter term over our lifetime through experience (aka culture/environment)
The process of self (the feeling of being a central all important entity) continues to exist in human brains despite the death of particular human individuals - we pass on our genetic biological conditioning through sexual reproduction (we have babies that are juvenile copies of humans with the same conditioning) and the psychological/cultural conditioning of those little humans continues through the cutural environment/society that also remains when individual humans die.
Am I at least making sense? do you understand the model I’m describing and does it address the issue for you?
My individual brain is not the source of ego - in the sense that my brain did not originally, independantly create the ego - the process that creates the ego was already present in this brain of mine (my brain is the typical human brain) due to evolution.
But it is the processes in this brain (in my skull) that is making me feel like a me.
As for the mutation (in the brain) that arises from insight/awakening thats another story.
This is the naturalistic account of the ego, conditioning, etc., but I don’t think it’s consistent with the idea that physical death is a triviality. If K was right when he said that, then genes, brain cells and physical conditioning can’t be the real source of the self, it seems to me. The self must continue in some other way or death is the least trivial thing there is.
The way it seems to me is that we have a brain that is able to form a psychological image of itself. An ‘entity’ , a ‘me’ formed early in life that is then added to and subtracted from. It is me as ‘thinker’, observer, experience-er. K comes along and says it’s a “trick” of the thinking process. There is no you / me apart from the body / brain, it’s an illusion, a trick of thought. Bodies come and go in the stream of life and this ego / self image forming persists in each new life and occupies the brain. Occupied by this illusion of being an ‘individual’ , the brain is denied according to him, its possibility to connect with, resonate with, a “Universal Mind”…This connection is important, significant, the “blossoming” of the human being. Perhaps it’s in this sense that he said, the physical body’s death is “trivial”?
He and Bohm agreed that with this ‘connection’ made, the brain could “participate in the Immensity “.
I think Dan mentioned in the OP that the context for this remark of K’s (about death being a “trivial” matter) was a conversation between he and Bohm in which they were discussing a universal mind - or ‘Mind’ with a capital ‘M’, as Dan says:
In the conversation they were saying that when there is no longer any sense of egotism in any form, no longer any psychological movement of thought, the brain can have contact with that timeless, immeasurable ‘Mind’. It is for that brain that death is a triviality - obviously. Because for that brain there is only the universal ‘Mind’ and nothing else.
But for us who have not finished with our psychological conditioning, with the self, death is far from trivial, because we fear it means annihilation.
K was often asked what happens to the consciousness of people who die without having ended thought/the self. He said that the content of consciousness - i.e. fear, pleasure, sorrow, etc - will continue on in the brains of other people as they are born. But this stream of consciousness is not personal. It is not a continuation of the individual, of a particular ego or person. There is no everlasting ego.
How this continuous stream of consciousness works itself out at the level of genes and neurones I have no idea. But K consistently taught that all thought is a material process taking place in the brain, and that what we call ‘I’ or ‘me’ (the self, ego) is a creation of this thought process. If the brain did not habitually identify itself with particular contents of memory, there would be no sense of self or ego.
Also from this point of view of an ‘empty’ brain being a prerequisite for this ‘attuning’ to take place, there can be no attachment to any psychological authority in whatever form?
(We still obey the traffic cop.)
Ah, the original post doesn’t say that the quote is the context of one who has contacted the timeless mind, but I see that Dan kind of refers to it in some of his other posts. In that case physical death surely is trivial.
But if the self ends with physical death, is there any point in the whole enlightenment business? Why not just wait until physical death and then disappear into the “universal mind”? If the self does end with physical death, doesn’t that mean all human beings enlightened or not, good or evil, end up in the same state? Obviously this is crazy speculation, but what’s the point in reading Krishnamurti, or The Buddha, or anything, if the self just disappears with the body?
immediate reaction : I’m not quite getting it. The self does continue (as highlighted by the naturalistic/demonstrable account we seem to both grasp)
So does your above statement imply : self continues (somehow) therefore death is not trivial?
I see from James’s post that Dan was quoting K in the context of one who had realised the universal mind, as K had presumably.
But as I said in my reply to James, if the self does just disappear with physical death, I can’t see the point of religion, Krishnamurti, Buddhism, etc. If we all just disappear into the universal mind, why bother with all of this?
If we all just disappear into the universal mind, why bother with all of this?
The only problem would be from the point of view of responsibilty or compassion - just because I (Mr. macdougdoug) will eventually stop making mischief - all the suffering and conflict I have helped engender will continue in my descendants and in the society I have helped to maintain.
The thing is that human society (based on the selfish fears of its individual citizens) is currently one of the most powerful players affecting the state of this planet and the life on it. Just like for example the cyanobacteria or the volcanos and the asteroids in the past greatly affected life on this planet back then - their legacy is still in action today.
Starting from the big bang billions of years ago, the ensuing causes and conditions have slowly led up to this particular point where thinking agents in the form of social animals (with all that implies for cooperation within a system) have appeared on the scene.
What we are inquiring into is to the potential of this brain in its relation to the universal Mind who’s actions are playing out before our eyes. Will humanity be a trivial blip that dissapears like asteroids from the past, leaving a legacy void of any self-conscious intelligent action? Or would fulfilling a potential for responsibility and compassion be a really, really amazing transformation of what is?
Are we just trivially appearing and dissapearing or is there potential for love?
It is true that we don’t care, we are asking whether care is possible.
But if the self ends with physical death, is there any point in the whole enlightenment business?
Self / ego, as I understand it is the ‘obstacle’ to a transformation or ‘enlightenment’. It is the “darkness”. It has to be dissipated or dissolved… the alive brain in order to have this connection with Mind has to be empty, quiet, silent etc , which cannot happen while self / psychological thought reigns? The dead brain may be one with the All but it cannot, in K and Bohm’s word, “participate” in what K calls the “Immensity”…that ‘participation’ can only happen while the brain is alive.
And only insight, awareness, understanding, into the brain’s situation vis a vis the Self’s ‘occupation’ of it, can “put one’s house in order “ and bring about the necessary silence for the brain to have this possibility of a resonance with Mind before its own physical death?