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The incomprehensible

For many years a hobby of mine has been studying a foreign language. Unfortunately it seems I am not very good at languages. I can refer to basic notes and construct simple sentences, in fact copying patterns, and this has shown to me I have no comprehension of the workings of grammar. On reflection, I wonder what then is my use of my native language? It seems, doesn’t it, in everyday life, I am thinking and informed, going about my life. Yet in practice I have poor language comprehension. The thoughts are not with any understanding of what I am thinking. Put it another way, the thoughts are not an application for my direction, it is language in concert with my actions, complying with the direction I am experiencing. That is, the thoughts are not fundamentally the motive, there is a deeper activity, like desire, pleasure, deeper than thought. Then I might ask, other than just words, what is this deeper activity? Or is it simply an incomprehensible movement?

Habit? Does this address both the use of native and difficulty of the new?

Incomprehensibility, not knowing, at a loss, something like that, even guessing doesn’t happen.


I admit that I find it difficult to understand some of what you say. At the same time, I feel that I understand what you mean by “the thoughts are not with any understanding of what I am thinking”. I could be altogether mistaken.

To me, the problem here is not poor language comprehension. It is not a question of finding or putting together the right words, explanations or analyses. As I see it, it is not language that is not understood. The challenge, if I may call it that, is not to find the “right” language which can perfectly express what I’m feeling. Words can be used as pointers — but words cannot “produce” clarity or understanding where there is confusion and darkness.

If I can’t find the words to express the source of my confusion, is it that I don’t see “the source” or process of the confusion? If so, then the only thing to do is remain silent and observe my confusion. I can observe the circumstances which trigger confusion, and the fears, hopes, desires, thoughts, and so on, that are related to it. Isn’t this what reveals the “deeper activity”, the activity at the deeper levels of consciousness, beyond superficial thought, to which one does not normally pay attention? We are normally unaware of the movements at the deeper levels. As I see it, we have been conditioned to think it inconsequential.

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Unless these deeper levels are plumbed by the brain’s need to know itself, we splash around in the shallows.

Or, possibly, there is nothing deeper than speculative imagination. Maybe this is why after hundreds and thousands of years, we are still seeking this “deeper” meaning to our lives.

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Deeper activity manifests itself as anxiety, dissatisfaction, desire, boredom, fear, depression, jealousy, anger, and so on, as I see it. One might try to repress, ignore or deny the manifestations or speculate about their meaning, but they are not imagined. Isn’t one aware of these deep undercurrents of consciousness? Doesn’t attention reveal the causes which give rise to these undercurrents? Where there is NO disturbance such as anxiety, fear, dissatisfaction, and so on, one does not seek meaning, as I see it.

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Deeper as in what we are unaware of - as opposed to deeper as in more important and complexe.

Say I am about to do something quietly, reflectively, sitting, listening, watching, contemplatively. For an instant I can’t think what this involves, what things I may need, what is required, what to do, and so I am perplexed. This distress puts me off, and I don’t go ahead. I prefer to follow along with my active sense of engagement and participation. This is the materialistic, mechanical, nature of the mind. The mind turns to sentiment, emotion, familiarity, nostalgia, etc. Superficially, language is limited to making these material connections. It has no inkling of what is a different communication.

Does acting quietly - without the endless noise of thought - require preparation, skill, technique or effort? Can I learn how to be inwardly quiet through thinking? Can thought attain quietness? As I see it, it can’t. Memory, thought, desire, reasoning, repetition, effort, concepts, concentration, association, imagery, and so on, cannot make the mind quiet — these ARE the noise. So there can be no “how” for making the mind quiet. There’s nothing to remember in order to be inwardly quiet.

The usual intellectual activities that fill my days do give me some measure of reward, comfort, pleasure, and an occasional sense of purpose and competency. But those rewards don’t deeply satisfy me and those usual activities are exhausting. So I hunger for quiet.

And beyond these personal considerations, there is the world to consider - its brutality, inequities, injustices, greed, corruption, selfishness, wars, starvation, tears and suffering. Doesn’t my inner noise contribute to that chaos? As I see it, it does. So to observe quietly without effort or motive is not inconsequential or petty; it actually matters tremendously. And that significance is not put together by thought.

To see all this - the personal and “the world” - makes the mind quiet, doesn’t it? In the moment all this is seen, the mind is quiet.

I don’t know if I’m making any sense.

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Rings a bell with me - to paraphrase by responding to this :

I’d say it requires the experience of self constantly arising. Or the habit of remembering that we have a habit of getting lost in our noise.

K talks about this. It is seen and it is negated. But what is negation? Sitting quietly in a room, watching, listening, thoughts arise. It is intellectual brain activity; memory. There is no actual relationship with the listening and watching. This artificialness is noted. Then the quality of the quiet, effortlessness, is clear. This quality of sitting effortlessly has a wider nature, embracing all of the environment with no self center. So I can see the memories, emotions, are an attachment. Completely experiencing this attachment is a negation. It is not a process of comprehension. It is not a process of working through language and sorting out meaning, nor extending skill with words, explanations, descriptions, etc…


So, seeing the hunger, the desire, the want for quiet, and then putting that desire aside, negating that desire, denying that hunger, then there is quiet.

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The manifestations of pleasure/pain/fearangerfright that you mention are “what is”, the surface and the reasons for the constant historical search for deeper meaning.

;0) Ha ha, if we are unaware how can we suggest something is deeper? Can’t we only deal effectively with what we are “aware” of? You know, what we have, what is, etc…

Quite right - I was just pointing out that there are at least 2 different ways to use the word “Deep” - which was probably adding to the confusion and divergence of opinion.

I don’t disagree with you, RPS. But these deeper manifestations are not speculation, are they.

Yes. It doesn’t depend on memory, but the mind knows from experience that in a moment of crisis, it drops its default mode of divided attention (self/other) and is completely, undividedly attentive. This is why many people engage in dangerous, life threatening activities. They don’t feel alive until they are forced by the peril they put themselves in to be of one mind, completely attentive to what they must do to survive their addiction to adrenalin.

The mind is completely attentive when there’s a crisis, whether it’s self-induced or not. But the crisis Krishnamurti was talking about is the human condition; the mind divided, confused, and conflicted by its beliefs, and the effect this condition has on every living thing.

When you’re hungry for food you don’t put the desire aside, negate the desire and starve, so why negate the desire for quiet?


Obviously, one was talking about psychological urges.

Try it, experiment, and find out - and discover whether or not it is true for oneself. The negation of any particular psychological urge/hunger/desire (etc.) can lead to a momentary quietness. By using the word “quiet”, this doesn’t mean silence. It was @Huguette who asked the question, so why don’t you ask her? It all comes down to seeing the fact of understanding “who one is”, as well as seeing what is happening in the world, i.e. “I am the world and the world is me”. The negation of the “I” leads to silence. In silence, there is only observation.

One observes so many in our society caught in the grips of depression, anxiety, insomnia, etc. With quietness, sleep happens more easily, naturally, like a small happy child who lays down their head, and falls asleep immediately. In general, most adults use sex as a means to have a momentary release from the noise going on in the brain, le petit mort :). People caught in the grips of their never-ending thought can also use psychiatric means, i.e. medication. Also, the business world offers a plethora of products, teas, herbs, etc. And then there is the self-help industry all too willing to offer advice.

Of course, some people like having thought operating all or most of the time. It is considered “normal”. They keep busy, accumulate knowledge, money, power, etc.; and, of course, are the source of all mischief on the planet. So, this is why the planet is in the mess it’s in.

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