The Image of Knowledge

The image of knowledge.
I have an ability called thinking. It is using knowledge and it is creating an image of knowledge. From this perspective I can think about what people say and write, I can formulate an understanding, and conduct myself in society. The image is what I conform to.
This process gives me the capacity to comprehend words, ideas, and concepts, and to think about it all in a field of thought. It is an internal, mental, process in association with the external, with things, with people, etc. I try to live in society with all its problems, and the image of knowledge is that there is a resolution in using more knowledge, memory, intellect, words and ideas.
The thinker can take an idea, a concept and develop a strategy, projecting an outcome consistent with the thinking. The image supports the revised thinking and implies there is an achievement, that this is a solution, and this is the appropriate action. It is an invention; an extension of the knowledge, re-applying parts of the existing way of thinking. It is a new image, and it is this newness, this transformation, which has technical, superficial, appeal.
The thinker continues with the image of knowledge, revising knowledge, creating levels of knowledge, with a belief there is a change, and not seeing, none of this is a fundamental change in nature of the thinker.

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Seems all true to me Peter that thought no matter how brilliant, can’t bring about a fundamental change in itself. It is a great tool of calculations, measurement, image-making, survival…K. Stressed at different times, the arduous excercise of following one’s thoughts and the awareness of the “interval” between each frame of thought. Have you had occasion to try this? There seems to be an ‘art’ to it. Hence his word: “arduous”? I recall having tried this excercise years ago when I first heard him speak about it, and giving up on it almost immediately. Now it seems to me to be extremely important for a complete understanding of the thinking process.

I think that many of us realize that this is not a fundamental change. We’re caught up in it none the less. So we project the image of a future…a better future. But this obviously is only in thought.

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Usually I am looking at the whole and the parts, at the same time. I see the room, and the chairs, TV, etc. I see the garden, and the shrubbery, the birds, etc. I see the image as parts and as a whole. When we come to think about it, talk about it, it is all parts, making up a whole. We think in a fragmented way. Our verbal response is to say there is this and that, and even think of the whole as another part of a larger whole; e.g., a garden is a small part of the planet Earth. When we do get a glimpse of the whole, it is a momentary experience, associated with the thing seen, and we don’t understand there is the whole to see, but for the way of thinking. Intellectually we are selecting parts and working along with these in a developing story. Our verbal response is to say I am thinking about this and that, some part, some idea, and think the whole is something to attain though our own effort.
When I watch carefully, as in contemplation, aware of thought, there is the whole movement, free from parts, and there is no intellectual activity. Watching the whole movement, there is no thinking of any association with images, no thinking this is my input, nor is there an indication of ability, to do or not to do.

Hi Thomas,

Do you think Krishnamurti was saying to throw out all images, judgments, thoughts and emotions about possible futures? Or was he saying to put all that in order, put all that in its right place?

Well, for sure we need to make practical plans for the future. If I don’t go to the supermarket and shop, I will run out of food in the future.

Right, and we’ve felt what it’s like to be hungry, or we know that lack of food is dangerous. So, there are certain outcomes that we want and don’t want, and for good reason I would say. And so where does this go wrong? I’m asking myself this also. Is it the projection of what it might feel like to be hungry in the future? The emotional responses to feeling hungry projected? The physical feeling in our stomachs projected? We’re saying the planning and logistics around getting food, that’s ok, right? But is that it?

When I plan for future fulfillment…fulfillment in the ‘psychological’ or ‘spiritual’ sense. I have ambition to be a great musician or artist…or to be rich…in the future. Or I will understand …achieve enlightenment…in the future. But in the meantime I want my beer and my football. I want to achieve…for ‘me’…for my fulfillment and pleasure. I think that’s what K is pointing to

Is K.’s statement regarding “conclusion” applicable here? We want to look at a situation in ourselves and in the world. It has to be approached as if for the first time, right? There has to be insight to come face to face with whatever it is. Insight is the tool to discover the ‘new’. Thought cannot discover the new but once seen it can act on it? Is that correct? The important point as I see it here is that ‘insight’ is terminated if ‘thought ‘ draws a ‘conclusion’…so l generally have that backwards, my conditioning is to ‘see’ and then ‘conclude’ with the importance being put on my personal, individual conclusions rather than on the ‘light’ of universal insight and intelligence?

Are you sure? Could it be that thought creates “I”, which speaks for thought, as if I is doing the thinking?

Why does thought personify itself? Is it inevitable? Can thought operate without personalizing itself, identified only by how clearly or confusedly it functions?

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Right, that seems to be getting closer to it. I think it’s worth digging into a little bit more though. Maybe you’re a musician and you want to improve your skill. And why not? :smiley: You hit a bad note in your practice and it doesn’t feel good, and that feeling motivates you to fix your playing. Or you hit a bad note, you get frustrated, and you criticize your ability, and get envious about better musicians, and go off on an internal dialogue about how you’ll never be a great artist, and what is the point of any of it, and then you remember what Krishnamurti has said, and you also question whether you can ever be enlightened with all this negative thinking going on.

To talk about self improvement when the there is pandemic, war, violence, greed, is madness. That’s not to imply there is something wrong or right with your activities, it is pointing to the way the mind is distracted from self knowledge.

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Why does thought personify itself? Is it inevitable? Can thought operate without personalizing itself, identified only by how clearly or confusedly it functions?

This is the ability called thinking. I am not separate.

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True @Peter, but the global mind is not going to stop and observe that madness even though it somehow senses that it is there (both inside and outside). Yet when one observes that mind closely it seems that there is a part of it that still thinks that it could act and do something to stop this madness and improve humanity … without realizing that any attempt that she can make will also be part of that same madness.

Now, does this mean that everything is lost?

Here I leave the question in case someone wants to pick up the baton and continue.

Depends - are we trying to avoid dramatic change, or challenge the status quo?
Tell me first how to play ball. First plant the goalposts, that I may struggle valiantly thereafter.

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When the house is burning - and your house is actually burning - you don’t discuss how to put the fire out, you are not concerned with who set the house on fire, but you actually do something, you act. And when you act you have energy you have tremendous energy. But when you theorize, discuss intellectually, then action is not possible.” – K. (Public Talk 5 New Delhi, India [03.Dec’1967])

I have heard that the best bet in this case is to abandon all hope, give up the struggle, do not try to gather your belongings, accept the situation and leave calmly and in an orderly fashion.
Once outside, no point clinging to the past. The house is gone, just enjoy the spectacle of flames.


The “goalposts” are as I see it, this space between the thoughts. The ‘game’ is to get there effortlessly and remain as long as possible before being carried away by one thought or another …no need for valor…that’s just another thought?

Nice try but I’m afraid it doesn’t work. It seems you have forgotten that “when the house is burning” that does not necessarily mean that the whole house is burning. It may just be a curtain or a piece of furniture or a fireplace. But I see that you would still let any of those objects continue to burn until the fire set the whole world on fire. Why, if I may ask?

I am not sure what is the best word; Contemplation, meditation, awareness? Actually the word is not the point. It is this quiet feeling, a stillness, of the mind, not concerned about anything, psychologically. I am alert, able to respond physically, but there is a quiet mind. It is not sentimental, emotional, reactionary, fearful, none of that. Quietness is perhaps also not the best word. It is a feeling of mindful, integrated, sensitivity, where there is no separateness. This is what is meant by the words contemplation, meditation, and awareness. It is where there is no division, inner or outer. It is not mulling over thoughts and ideas, it is not speculating or hypothesising.