The Tyranny of Thought

“If we’re not as good to others as we are to ourselves, what good are we?”

Thought can only do so much, and when it’s employed to do more than it actually can, it is forced to do what it can only pretend to do. When thought is employed by will to play the role of intelligence, thought does what it’s told because it’s a tool, a beast of burden.

Yet we think of thought as the problem, the culprit, the thing that has reduced us to robots following and leading. We blame thought for the tyranny we practice by using thought to craft our image and carve out our place in the world; this world of thought-driven robots who have only our will-to-win to blame.

But to win what? In this case, redemption. That is, if I can see clearly and understand what I’ve been doing all along, I don’t have to do it anymore. I’m released from who I’ve been when I realize what I’ve been doing, and that can’t happen until thought is returned to its place…until I relinquish my right to abuse thought.

I liked today’s K quote which really brought home the idea that there is no thinker, that thinks the thoughts.

Thoughts arise - usually as Kinfonauts we say : from conditoning, or the past - but really we don’t know where from - thoughts arise and have tremendous power.

I think that you (@inquiry) like to insist that it is an unavoidable, omnipotence.

Are you successfully avoiding it? If so, is your avoidance satisfactory? If so, what is your interest in K’s teaching?

Sorry - I didn’t mean to imply anything like that - it was meant as an invitation to explore.

But yes, I do feel that it is possible not to take myself seriously - to see that a lot of my thoughts are laughably useless and baseless - and to drop them immediately and move on to whatever else happens to be happening - this seems like a necessary ability for some semblance of sanity.

Of course, we can’t take ourselves seriously if no one else does. Unless one stands out, excels in some way, that one can’t be taken seriously, even by itself. Nevertheless, that nobody/nothing takes itself deadly seriously, even if it can laugh at its more amusing mistakes. But can it be horrified by its deadly behavior, its blind obedience, its squalid servility and mindless conformity?

This doesn’t seem to be the case, nor do I see the point of this case being made.

Sure - memories of past suffering do arise, and the accompanying feelings or guilt and regret - but again, what’s the point of this rabbit hole? Have you got a point to make/explore - or are you expressing your emotions?

The point is that we can’t face what is actually happening, and we plead guilty of distorting perception to conform to our notions, and we talk about the urgency of quitting what we’re doing/not doing. But there is no urgency. It’s all talk. Why? Because all we can do is find better ways to talk about what we can’t do.


1 Like

So says Krishnamurti, but do we really know that? Don’t we feel like thinkers, the thinkers of thoughts?

Of course. That’s the reason we had to be told to look into it.

I think there is some degree of urgency in each of us. Urgency in the sense of passion and energy. If not, why would we resurrect the same topics over and over?

Urgency in the sense of watching your house burning down and doing whatever it takes to put the fire out … that kind of urgency is probably not as abundant, here or elsewhere.

The house is not really on fire? Not everyone suffers deeply.
We regard fire as part of the way of all things. The house is burning, sad, but that’s how it goes.
We don’t want to or can’t see the fire? We wear blinders to minimize unpleasantness.
We see the fire, but can’t be bothered to act on it? Hey it’s not my problem, where’s the remote?
We see the fire, but don’t believe it can be put out? It’s a done deal, best to move on.

I feel that cereal should be eaten with milk and only at breakfast time.

Do you feel like you are thinking the thoughts? In what way? Do you decide what and when to think? Do you agree with all the thoughts that arise?
Maybe we feel that we are the thinker of thoughts because both arise in this body? Because we are familiar with the ideas that keep arising, we identify with them, are ashamed of some of them etc?

What links us to the thought process, apart from familiarity?

1 Like

As I’ve said previously, and as you know, there is deliberate thinking and there is the stream of consciousness thought that goes on, like it or not. This stream of thought can be harnessed and employed by the intention to solve problems and to pursue various projects. Sometimes intention is driven by fear. Sometimes arrogance, sometimes confusion, and so on. But it’s always the same driving force that uses thought to achieve its intentions, and that force we call “will”.

Maybe we feel that we are the thinker of thoughts because both arise in this body?

Maybe we don’t experience ourselves as will, the underlying intentional force that employs thought for its purposes, and deplores thought for moving randomly, freely, obsessively, and incessantly.

Thought is like a beast of burden that can be harnessed and put to whatever use will has for it, and is otherwise ruminating as it grazes in the field of the known.

And what has this looking revealed? What do we know now that we didn’t when we felt like “the thinkers of thoughts”? Are we any different from what we were then? Has anything changed? Are we more illuminated for it, or do we just feel we are better off for it?

When you thought about how to express yourself in your reply, were you not the thinker of thoughts? Were you not employing thought to serve your purpose?

We may be putting up a last-ditch defense against what we know is maniacal determination.

If you take it seriously, you’ll experiment with it to see if it’s actually so or not. Then maybe you can answer all those questions for yourself. What would it matter what I say, you’d only believe it or not. Experiment with it , is there a thinker without thought? Find out if it’s true or not.

We know, intellectually, that there is no thinker without thought, but we don’t know why thought persists when we’re not employing it, and that’s what we need to find out because, without silence, we are nothing but thought.

Sure, revisiting the same topics o’er and o’er might be the result of obsession, mania, desperation. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of that were true for most people who keep circling around Krishnamurti’s views. But I wouldn’t blithely reduce this to a diagnosis of dysfunction. (Not at all accusing you of doing this.) I believe Truth wants each of us to grok it.

Isn’t the human condition conflict and confusion? Isn’t that dysfunction?

I believe Truth wants each of us to grok it.

Why believe anything? To believe is to close the mind to the unknown by rejecting what may be true in favor of what one wants to be true.

It’s one view of the human condition. There are many other views, each part of the puzzle.

I believe we all have our belief systems. I used to deny mine, then realized at some point it’s with me almost all the time. And I made peace with it, even came to enjoy it, as I might enjoy a good story.