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The Right Question

You cannot perceive if you do not ask the right question - and a right question has no answer, because it needs no answer. It is wrong questions that invariably have answers.
Bombay, India | 1st Public Talk 23rd December 1959

If perceiving what-is entails asking the right question, the mind identified by its beliefs, values, and self-esteem can not perceive what-is because it is not a freely inquiring mind. It is a mind that is bound by its fabricated identity and imagined reality, and cannot ask a question that threatens or undermines these illusions. It is a mind that is not interested in what-is because it is committed to what-should-be. For all intents and purposes it is a blind mind, stumbling and lurching through life, experiencing only what it knows, what it expects, what it recognizes.

But can the blind mind can be aware of itself as it goes about its self-deception, or is self-awareness impossible for such a mind? Self-awareness is always possible, but for the blind mind it isn’t permitted for fear of losing its way; for fear of realizing it is lost, and of its own accord

Society is put together by thought. It is an ersatz reality based on social mores and conditioning. It is the collective mind. So what question would society ask that would undermine itself? Because to do so could be dangerous.

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Its not like we don’t know what were doing. It’s not like we don’t have a conscience. This puzzle is what we might assume is what to examine, but we are not talking about life as a concept, we are looking at ourselves. What we do is manipulate thought to our own purposes. Or to put it another way, we selectively follow thought to our own ends. We make it conceptual to bypass looking directly, immediately at ourselves. Look at oneself, and you see where you are, what you are doing, and what you are thinking. See there is thought occupying the mind. Not, what is the content of my thoughts, not what are the ins and outs of my ideas, but carefully, attentively, see this movement of thought for oneself. Questions will be obviously caught up in thought. Then you can see the fundamental nature of questioning is not in the field of thought.

But if thought doesn’t articulate the question, the right question can’t be asked.

So its always the right question, or maybe the wrong question, and you choose, right.

I don’t know what you mean by this.

According to K, the right question is rhetorical.

Rhetoric exploits the truth.

What is true today may not be true tomorrow and yesterday’s truth is dogma, but if you can see the truth from moment to moment then you cannot be exploited.

Please explain how “rhetoric exploits the truth”.

Did I say that? Oh dear. Well, it’s just empty rhetoric. Ignore it.

Hopefully this is using the word rhetorical to mean : having the desired effect.

As in asking a question that reveals a situation.

A rhetorical question is one that needs no answer.


Asking a question can come from the questioning, and this is not knowing, not a process. Or it can come from knowledge, and there are categories of the known derived from a process of thought.

Doesn’t make it rhetorical though. Rhetoric is entirely dependent on the use of words and phrases. There may be an element of truth in what is said but that is incidental as what is important is the way that these words and phrases are used to create an effect.

So - it’s not a genuine question that is mooted simply to move a conversation in a particular direction.

So - the “house is burning”…but you are going to get to the bottom of the ‘true’ meaning of the word, ‘rhetorical’?.. Are you serious?

K “Don’t think this is imagination, or some flight of fancy, or some desired mystical experience; it is not. It is as actual as the bee on that flower or the little girl on her bicycle or the man going up a ladder to paint the house–the whole conflict of the mind in its separation has come to an end. You look without the look of the observer, you look without the value of the word and the measurement of yesterday. The look of love is different from the look of thought. The one leads in a direction where thought cannot follow, and the other leads to separation, conflict, and sorrow. From this sorrow, you cannot go to the other. The distance between the two is made by thought, and thought cannot by any stride reach the other.”

" Life begins where thought ends."

I was trying to get to the bottom of whether K would use a verbal ‘trick’ and it seemed a short course in semantics was necessary.

Am I serious? As I said, society is an ersatz reality based on social mores and conditioning. Kinfonet is a society of course - albeit in miniature - and every time I forget that someone such as yourself comes along with their moral judgement and quotations from sacred texts and reminds me.

You’re welcome…:innocent:

Unfortunately I am the most correct, even when discussing Mickey Mouse

Isn’t it a ‘right’ question to ask, how can I never be hurt psychologically again? Important not only for myself but important, because if I can be hurt, I will hurt others? K addressed this in a short video someone put up in another thread. He addressed it very forcefully. Not with a method but with a change in relation to oneself as an insult is received? A total awareness or ‘attention’ brought to that moment. It occurred to me that this also applies to psychological thinking in general as thought serves up one image after another, that they have to be met with this awareness…or contain this awareness / attention in themselves?

That is how I understand the process of “emptying” the ‘contents of consciousness’. ‘Time’ is a factor in the process of accumulation but can’t be a factor in dying psychologically.