The man, the sweater and the yarn

In a far off land, in a different time, a man wanted to knit a sweater. The only yarn available though, was not the same yarn we know. This yarn came in a tangled form. Any attempt to untangle the yarn lead to further tangles. This was the nature of the yarn. Any interaction with the yarn resulted in more tangles.
What is the man to do? When he understands the nature of the yarn, he naturally stops trying to untangle it, but with it also goes away his desire to knit the sweater. I’m the man, I’m also the yarn, all representing the mind. The man is synonymous with ‘I’, my self concept. The yarn is the part of my mind I have separated into a different entity (my thoughts). The desire to knit a sweater represents all my ambitions, desires, actions towards goals.
This is my current perception of the JK’s teachings as they relate to my life. I’d appreciate feedback from people who have either moved past this phase/understood things differently or who disagree.

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Hello, the questions that come up are :

Why is it impossible to untangle the yarn?

or maybe:
what has this understanding provoked?

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Mind if I have a go at it?

“A man wanted to knit a sweater. The only yarn available, though, came in a tangled form, and any attempt to untangle the yarn just made it more tangled.”

“I’ve untangled yarn many times”, said the man. “Why does this yarn confound me? Why does my every attempt to untangle it tangle it even more? It’s as if this yarn exists to be more tangled and it knows that humans can’t resist trying to untangle it”, the man concluded.

So what is the man to do, wanting a sweater but having no conventional yarn to make one? Will he revert to wearing animal hides? Go on a quest to find conventional yarn? Or will he find he is less interested in his comfort than in finding out what happens to this tangled yarn when no attempt is made to untangle it?

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Very interesting analogy. If you see yourself in this situation, work on changing your own perception of yourself, focus your purpose on a new project, maybe follow Peter Joseph.
I see the Zeitgeist Movement doing a great job building on many ideas Krishnamurti had.
It sure will take all of our mental, intellectual and emotional abilities to take us into the post-capitalist stage of our social evolution … I wish you much success!
Franto Hruz / Toronto, Ont. Canada

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I think the other comment in this thread really put the answer to your question beautifully. (Inquiry’s comment)

I love the last few lines of your reply. “Will he revert back to wearing animal hides or find out what happens…” it’s insightful. But I don’t know if "I’ve untangled yarn many times” fits because yarn here represents the mind/thinking universal to humans so, it hasn’t truly ever been untangled by any of us (except maybe those who broke free from the stream of this consciousness)

Thank you!! I’ll check them out for sure, I’d also like if you have any more recommendations cause I’ve been looking to read/discover more

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I was actually interested in you and your situation.
But no worries - some other time maybe.

Ohh, my bad. I meant, for the question: what understanding has it provoked, their answer put my perspective into words.
But the question “Why is it important to untangle the yarn” is a little difficult to answer. I guess tangles here represent conflict, and the very nature of the yarn is to be in conflict (synonymous to the nature of our mind being divisive).

Are you saying that you have concluded that your very nature is conflict, and that this conclusion leaves you at a loss?

In my version of the sweater story the yarn’s continued existence depends on becoming too tangled to be of any use or value to anyone but itself, a status which it sustains by attempting to untangle itself. The more convinced it is that it can untangle itself, the more convinced it is that conviction is a better way to live than never knowing what one really knows until one acts or reacts.

When or if the yarn makes no attempt to untangle itself, it may lanquish and deteriorate for lack of stimulation, and may even disintegrate. We just don’t know because we’re always trying to untangle ourselves, free ourselves from conviction because its good to get out sometimes. We are tangled, knotted versions of humanity…all wrapped up in ourselves.

By choosing belief over having no choice; believing rather than being, we have chosen to face facts by choosing what to make of them. We have granted ourselves the magisterial ability to determine what is true rather than to live without that ability and live within a wider, deeper, more complex world than we can imagine.


I am actually amazed, so few are actually using more structured tools to examine the quality of their thought processes to apply a bit more critical analysis and discover how to raise the level of rationality and insight into what may actually give their mental capacity a bit of a lift towards a better grasp and understanding of the very difference between their own subjective and objective reality as imposed on the human condition by the many facets and dimensions of nature.
Maybe a review of dialectical materialism or philosophy of nature would be beneficial to broaden the perspective?
I am really curious what some of you think of Peter Joseph and how he has been building on Krishnamurti’s ideas?

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What structured tools are you referring to? could you give a brief description of how they function?

By the way are you familiar with questions regarding the use of methods as a means of self improvement? Like for example can I trust my own judgement? my judgement of what is better , of what is a good method?

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Quite a few structured tools are part of applied and social psychology. They can also be found in many scientific concepts like reason, causality and logic.
Yes, you are making a very good point here!
How can I even try to learn to ask better questions without first having a mental framework to advance my limited understanding of value and purpose in a more general, holistic and social context?