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The Violence of Self

There are few places on the web for discussion about the Teachings. It is more than literary discussion, or personal opinion. It is the meaning for all of us. Why here is there so often a prevalence of frivolous commentary? Why is there a preference for an entertainment?

Having gone through an educational and social system, and been dominated by all kinds of propaganda and authority, the state of self is too smart or too childish. There seems to be an utter inability to understand straightforward self reflection. Apparently there is no interest in observing what we are thinking and doing.

There is a marked preference for reaction, using clever or demeaning words in a rebellious stance. There is no interest in actually observing conflict and communing together. The person maintains their view point is valid and important, neglecting any understanding of self and the violent conflict in human life.

The conventional self is an authority. As it is, unobserved, I am that authority, and have all kinds of skills which repeat that authority. I can make it entertaining, or clever, and keep up a distraction, not actually giving any serious approach to the violence of self.

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You forgot to mention two importants things: dishonesty and insincerity.


" Sincerity can never be simple; sincerity is the breeding ground of the will, and will cannot uncover the ways of the self. Self-knowledge is not the product of will; self-knowledge comes into being through awareness of the moment-by moment responses to the movement of life. Will shuts off these spontaneous responses, which alone reveal the structure of the self. Will is the very essence of desire; and to the understanding of desire, will becomes a hindrance. Will in any form, whether of the upper mind or of the deep-rooted desires, can never be passive; and it is only in passivity, in alert silence, that truth can be. Conflict is always between desires, at whatever level the desires may be placed. The strengthening of one desire in opposition to the others only breeds further resistance, and this resistance is will. Understanding can never come through resistance. What is important is to understand desire, and not to overcome one desire by another.
"The desire to achieve, to gain is the basis of sincerity; and this urge, however, superficial or deep, makes for conformity, which is the beginning of fear. Fear limits self-knowledge to the experienced, and so there is no possibility of transcending the experienced. Thus limited, self-knowledge only cultivates wider and deeper self-consciousness, the “me” becoming more and more at different levels and at different periods; so conflict and pain continue. You may deliberately forget or lose yourself in some activity, in cultivating a garden or an ideology, in whipping up in a whole people the raging fervour for war; but you are now the country, the idea, the activity, the god. The greater the identification, the more your conflict and pain are covered over, and so the everlasting struggle to be identified with something. This desire to be one with a chosen object brings the conflict of sincerity, which utterly denies simplicity. You may put ashes on your head, or wear a simple cloth, or wander as a beggar; but this is not simplicity.
“Simplicity and sincerity can never be companions. He who is identified with something, at whatever level, may be sincere, but he is not simple. The will to be is the very antithesis of simplicity. Simplicity comes into being with freedom from the acquisitive drive of the desire to achieve. Achievement is identification, and identification is will. Simplicity is the alert, passive awareness in which the experiencer is not recording the experience. Self-analysis prevents this negative awareness; in analysis there is always a motive – to be free, to understand, to gain – and this desire only emphasizes self-consciousness. Likewise, introspective conclusions arrest self-knowledge.”
K, Commentaries on Living, Series I - Chapter 34 - ‘Sincerity’

Will per se is the very source of all evil - which is perpetuated by so many in this world.

Honesty is very important; however there are always 2 kinds of lies of the dishonest person, and the lies of omission are the worst, which unfortunately leads to the worst kind of misunderstandings. The dishonest person is fundamentally lacking in transparency; and because of that, one never knows what is really going on in them, what they are thinking, who they are. Trying to establish a relationship with such a person is doomed from the start.

I didn’t remember this chapter of the commentaries, and I have some difficulty now at understanding what he really meant. K used words in his own way, and very often he used them wrongly. I’ve collected some contraddictions in his speeches, which do not invalidate his teaching but it must warn us not to cling to words. For instance untill 1948 - if my memory is not wrong - in his talks he used to talk about “creative thinking”, then after that date he asserted categorically: “thought can never be creative”.

I see the same contraddiction here, becasue in my view simplicity and sincerity belong to the same plane. A lier is never simple. I can try a guess: perhaps what he meant here was just the conventional, religious sincerity, based on unjustified moral rules.

Also I cannot understad the difference you make between sincerity and dishonesty, to me they are the same thing. If you tell me a lie you are being dishonest with me, because you are tring to deceive me, to get something from me through deceit. And it’s also a form of violence.
So would you be so kind to explain to me what is for you the difference between the two?

Can anyone explain

What is sincerity?

In few words, such that we can participate in discussion.

With all due respect, is this a fair evaluation of what goes on here? Wouldn’t it be best when making assessments like this to be specific and provide evidence supporting your conclusions?

oh boy,

I’m sure everyone understands what hypocrisy is - you know, when someone says something which sounds so sincere, and then you find out when they publish their private papers, that they really believed something else entirely. Anyone can speak out of their conditioning, with great sincerity. So, I’m saying that sincerity is always conditioned.

Take Trump, the worst example, not that anyone here is like Trump, thank god! And his followers. Especially the followers. Listening to them in interviews, one hears so much sincerity. They actually believed what Trump advanced, because it suited their lifestyle, their prior beliefs. Trump played into their belief system, and garnered their support. They still give him money. Mind-boggling, eh?

A small child could easily see the lies, but why not them? Or they could see the lies and chose to brush them aside, right? Is it not that the perception of a small child is simple? And, the reasons for which the followers of Trump are in no way simple - the reasons they hold onto their sincere beliefs is that those very beliefs are not simple - they all have an agenda, whatever it is - white supremacy and the financial advantages they would garner with that belief, etc. etc. In other words, simplicity implies no motive. When one tries to juxtapose the simplicity of awareness of ‘what is’ actually happening outward with that of the beliefs of a sincere person, one has a recipe for disaster, in other words, conflict. The two aspects are completely incompatible.

I like the etymologist, Watkins’, explanation of the word sincere, “of one growth”, because that implies something psychological which has evolved from one belief. Simplicity is not something that grows! One can grow physically - plants grow, etc., but all psychological growth is an expansion of the “I”, which is antithetical to simplicity itself.

If that’s the case, then wouldn’t it make more sense to work within that reality than to make it conform to what-should-be? If you really want communion, you’ll find a way to commune. But if what you really want is to reinforce your certainty that you know what’s best, carry on.

Why does self focus on something, and think this is what it has to attack? Don’t we call this violence?

There is the individual brain which is what is used for daily life. But here we are looking psychologically, as it were, at all of the human condition and thinking about the terrible state of affairs. Isn’t that clear? Why use defensively, argumentatively, any of the examples, anecdotes, about the mundane way of life for some individual way of thinking? Is it some kind of pride or patriotism? Doesn’t this show a fear and a need for protection? Here we are looking at deeper aspects of a fragmented life and we are using the word self.

I read the whole chapter and things are quite clear now. What K said referred to the man he had met, who was an obstinate man who exesrcised will to reach his purposes.
This shows the danger of separating a portion of K’s discourse from the rest. Without reading the whole chapter we get a false impression of what K meant.

Just few more sentences will give us the clue:

“He spoke at lenght of God, of his morning and evening prayers, of his fasts, his vows, his burning desires.”

“Obstinacy of purpose and absence of pliability were shown in the way he held his body. He was obviously driven by an extraordinary powerful will,”

"He broke his estabilished habits only by sancion of the will. Without will, he said, there could be no virtue;

So, all that comes before the discourse of sincerity and constitutes the ground for the following considerations. The central theme, the core of what he meant is not sincerity, but the exercise of will to reach virtue. All virtue, which of course includes sincerity. In that case sincerity was a product of will, but not in all cases.

He continues afterwads:
“The desire to achieve, to gain is the basis of sincerity;”

If I say to you: “I love you”, and it’s a true statement, it comes directly from the heart and there is no will involved. While if I say to you: “I love you” and I am lying, that is a product of thought and will, and it’s far more complicate than the sincere statement. Just the opposite of what K seemed to say in the quotation you posted, and that happens when you quote something out of its context.

We are all conditioned, so all our statements here can be conditioned. I may think to have attained a whole and so holy state (alone= all one, if you prefer), and I think to be sincere in telling it to the other here, and yet that could only be an image I’ve built of myself, and as K said: if you have a self image you are going to be hurt.

Real sincerity is not thinking to be saying what is true, that’s too naive, but accepting the discussion with other people and see together, without psychological resistence, if what I’m saying is really true. So real sincerity is connected with honesty which goes always hand in hand with our availability to doubt about ourselves (and not only of others) and to face an objective test. A person who hides himself/herself and refuses to display openly what may lies behind his/her assertions is not honest, and shows fear that his/her carefully built image/illusion can be unmasked.

P. S.
I had to edit the text becasue I had used the word “confrontation” for discussion, thinking it had the same meaning of the italian word “confronto” which is a discussion where people express their ideas, points of views, comparing them with those ones of the others, and see if they can pass the test of an objective examination. Objective in the sense that it’s not based on our single subjective assessment, but by the collective contribution. We have a saying in Italy: four eyes see better than two.

Why do we think testing the other will make things clearer? The self has all of thought to play with and to make what it pleases. What is there to uncover but more thought. Isn’t this the strategy of an insecure self? This is what we have been doing all along. Building up self with thought, and using the architecture of thought to support our way of thinking. Then we have formed groups and civilizations based on the insecure self searching for a verification of this organization, and the consensus in thought is what we think is a truth.

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In bringing up ‘being nothing’, in another thread, someone I think equated that as “delusional”. That’s understandable but in pondering “the brain is trapped in a network of words”, it becomes clearer that the delusion may simply be ‘thought’ itself. Thought’s invention of the ‘thinker’ or ‘me’. That I take myself to be thought , separate and ‘feel ‘ that I am the thinker…that may be what is delusional. Operating in a ‘world of words’…so “thought / time must have a stop”, no?

It seems to me that hypocrisy is when someone is trying to be virtuous using will, just like the man K referred to in the commentaries on living. It’s easy to spot this hypocrisy in the case of the traditional religions where people follow the moral precepts in order to go to heaven, not so easy, as it goes, to spot it in K circles where people non only imitate K, and pretend to have understood him, but struggle with all their power not to let their true emotions come out. Look around and you will see a lot of people trying to be virtuous the krishnamurti way.

K. said: “No control” and we here are all controlling ourselves, not to use the wrong terms, not to let our ego manifest (which is the quintessence of hypocrisy), pretending to listen to the other while we are only interested in advertising our ideas and in showing off our smart understanding of the teachings. We are controlling ourselves, striving to be virtuous, just like that man, in order to get the freedom K spoke about. We don’t see how infantile all that is!

To speak about K in a forum like this, leads to all kinds of hypocrisy and dishonesty unless one has the necessary humility to doubt of what we are saying and let our ideas be examined at the light of the sun.

Hypocrisy is pointing the finger to someone who is not controlling himself and in doing so he is really authentic, true, giving the possibility to see his own ego in action, and ignoring the snaky contortions one do to look virtuous Krishnamurti style, ignoring the infantile games we play with ourselves and with the others. This is dishonesty and insincerity, and this forum is filled of their stink.

You have to be patient with me and the way I articulate my discourse because I’m far from mastering English, and so often I use the wrong expressions. Test maybe it’s not the proper word, but I could not find a better one (edited).

First: why you never reply to someone clicking the button below his post? So that one receives a notification of your reply. I remember you doing this last year, and I remember I remarked that to you. But it seems you have the policy not to reply to things you don’t want to. Did you ever came to your mind that this could be perceived as Hypocrisy? It it may be hypocrisy. You know, I think one should always call a spade a spade. Perhaps I’m calling spade what spade is not, OK, we all can make mistakes, I’m not afraid of making mistakes because I’ve learned that often it is the only way to learn, and the function of a forum is just that to verify if that is really a spade. That is what a call a test.

Peter, we all need to test our ideas and understanding otherwise there is no other way to find out if we are caught in a illusion. You are a supporter or “staying alone”. I’ve already explained what that expression means to me in the context of K’s teaching, and that explanation of mine produced a clash with Charlie which was in line with you. Sorry but I believe in being direct. So to test our ideas, thoughts, pseudo intuitions, supposed illuminations, self- righteousness, supposed understanding is not only an act of honesty towards the other, but a real and only way we have to find truth. It is said that Buddha touched the ground after he attained illumination in order to check whether it was real or it was only a dream. A lot of people here don’t want to make this test because they are afraid to let go their dreams. Staying alone, it is necessary but not sufficient. Staying alone may bring to illusion, to conceit, to hypocrisy. So a test is needed, much needed.

Now let me tackle another important issue: in forums usually the gudelines say: don’t be personal. You are very good in doing that Peter. I like to do exactly the opposite. I may be wrong and you may be right, very good let’s talk about it, or you prefer the hush-hush?

To answer directly to a person here, is first of all an act of politeness (I hear someone uttering: how dare you talk about politness!). If you are in a room and are talking to a person, don’t you look him/her in the eye? No? Perhaps nobody has taught that is not polite? Or in your country you have a different form of politeness? So repling to a person here and not clicking that little button is like not looking someone in the eye.

You might say that: it is not “Krishamurty style”, because it involves one ego talking to another ego. If that is the motive, you are only conforming to a pattern, following a guideline of virtue. You are behaving like that man in the commentaries, the one charlie posted here.

Then finally: if you think that it’s better not to address someone directly, franky, personally because it may leads to a clash, to a conflic, then again you are only controlling yourself Peter, and that is hypocrisy.

I much prefer to have a sane, healty (hey @charleycannuck, now you know what I mean with healthy debate) confrontantion that lets the real things come out. Speaking impersonally leads to abstractions, and no one learn anything from astractions. Life is relationship, personal relationship, so you are eluding life and the possibility to see things in the immediate. That is not what K meant, that is only escaping reality.


I like K’s understanding of sincerity rather than the views of someone who is just expressing his or her own opinion of what sincerity means to them. I say that very strongly because once upon a time, there was a Charley who was an idealist. But I died to that entire layer of consciousness, and it left the body, which was incredibly interesting, by the way. Thank god! So, just to say that this is a K site, and I understand how dangerous it is to keep and justify one’s conditioning as it is part of the darkness that is spreading and increasing exponentially across the globe.

“Now, those who are a little more serious, more earnest, not sincere - because, sincerity is the way of self-deception, and therefore is out of the question - must find out how one, being aware of this extraordinary total process of self-centred activity, can go beyond.”
K, Collected Works Vol. 06, The Origin of Conflict, Madras, 12th Public Talk and Q&A Meeting, 10th Feb. 1952

"One can be sincere in one’s belief or in one’s concept, but that sincerity breeds conflict; and where there is conflict there is no honesty.”
K, The Whole Movement of Life is Learning

“The desire to be consistent gives a peculiar strength and satisfaction, for in sincerity there is security. But sincerity is not simplicity, and without simplicity there can be no understanding. To be consistent to a well-thought-out pattern of conduct gratifies the urge for achievement, and in its success there is comfort and security. The setting up of an ideal and the constant approximation to it cultivates resistance, and adaptability is within the limits of the pattern. Consistency offers safety and certainty, and that is why we cling to it with desperation.”
K, Commentaries on Living, Series I, Ch. 43, ‘Consistency’

“Question: I have always tried to be sincere to my ideals, but you say they are destructive. What have you to offer in their stead?
“Krishnamurti: There are several things involved in this problem: sincerity, ideals, and if there are no ideals, whether there is something to put in their place. Let us go into the problem slowly and look at it.
“What do we mean by sincerity? To be sincere to something. If I have an ideal, I try to live according to that ideal; and if I live as much as I can according to that ideal which I have set for myself, I am considered a sincere person. Now, the ideal is the creation of my mind in seeking its own security, is it not? Please follow this, don’t resist it. You will go on with your ideals, you will go on with your particular pattern of action, unfortunately, so you don’t have to resist what is being said; but you can at least listen to find out.
“You have an ideal because it gives you comfort. It may be a difficult ideal for you to live up to but the very struggle to live up to that ideal gives you satisfaction, it gives you a sense of conformity, a sense of well-being, a sense of respectability. In essence, the ideal gives you security, and that is why you project these ideals. If I am violent, I do not like that state of violence, so I project the ideal of non-violence and pursue it. “The ideal and the pursuance of that ideal give me security, a sense of well-being. I am being sincere to my own desire, I am being sincere to what I want; and such a man, who is pursuing what he wants, you call noble.
“So, ideals are destructive because they are separative; they are the projection of our own desires; they bring about a conflict between what I am, which is the actuality, and what I should be. The ideal creates a duality between what I am and what I should be, and this struggle between what I am and what I should be is called living according to the ideal.”
K, New York, 2nd Public Talk. 23rd May 1954

“To become aware of ignorance is the beginning of candor, of honesty. To be unaware of ignorance breeds obstinacy and credulity. Without being aware of ignorance, to try to become honest only leads to further confusion. Without self-knowledge mere sincerity is narrowness and gullibility.”
K, Ojai 6th Public Talk, 18th June, 1944

Sincere - a man who wants to sell you something is very sincere, a man who is rather demented and does not know that he is somewhat unbalanced, he is very sincere. And a man who believes very strongly in certain conclusions, in certain beliefs, in god and so on, he is also very sincere.”
K, Public Talk 3 Ojai, 14 Apr. 1979

“Surely, there is a difference between sincerity and earnestness. One can be faithful to an idea; to a hope, to a doctrine, to a particular system; but, merely copying, pursuing an idea, or conforming oneself to a particular doctrine - all of which may be called ‘sincerity’ - will surely not help us to clear up the confusion in ourselves, and so the confusion about us. … To understand ourselves, there need be no particular system, no particular idea. One is sincere, only in regard to a thing, to a particular attitude, to a particular belief, but such sincerity cannot help us; because, we can be sincere and yet be confused, foolish, and ignorant. Sincerity is a hindrance, when it is mere copying, trying to follow a particular ideal; but, earnestness is quite a different thing. To be earnest is essential - not in the pursuit of anything, but in the understanding of the process of ourselves. In the understanding of the process of ourselves, there need be no belief, no doctrine no particular philosophy. On the contrary, if we have a philosophy a doctrine, it will become an impediment to the understanding of ourselves. … And, in the understanding of our various conditionings, sincerity is not necessary - but, it is essential to be earnest, which is quite different.”
K, Unpublished Q & A Meetings & Public Talks, Paris, 5th Public Talk, 7th May 1950

“Now, to understand that, we have to go into the problem of sincerity. Simplicity is not sincerity. One who is sincere can never be simple; because, the one who is trying to be sincere, has always the desire to fashion or to approximate himself to an idea. And, one needs extraordinary simplicity to understand oneself, the simplicity which comes, when there is no desire to attain, to achieve, to gain something; and, the moment, we desire to gain something through self-knowledge, there is self-consciousness, in which we get caught - which is a fact.”
K, Ojai, 13th Public Talk, 27th August 1949, Q 29

Can we examine this statement of yours? Can someone else like me dare put his nose into your intimate feelings? The moment one share these feelings in a forum, it’s granted that the other can discuss them and doubt them, is it not? Or you stated that sentence and the only thing we are allowed to do is to accept it in devoted silence?

So, how do you know that YOU, not Charlie please, are no more an idealist? Could it be that you abandoned one ideal and substituted it with another, i. e. the “goal” set by K?
There is only one way to find out and it happens in relationship. If someone question your “ideal” (which you may call with a different name) you feel hurt, or outraged, don’t you? I don’t want to talk anymore with that hideous person because he has questioned what I consider sacred and true.

You are stating it clearly here in your post:

That means you are here to listen only to yourself Charlie. (or to the people who agree with you)

And I’m really sorry to say what I’m going to say, because I know that it will hurt you, but it’s you who started the theme of hypocrisy, behaving like Peter, not wanting to talk with me anymore, and yet making insinuations without addressing me. Is that honesty Charlie? You are very good in quoting K., even out of context, and in manipulating his words, but you are not good at seeing yourself, and in this way you fall into ridiculous mannerisms like that of not using the “I” pronoun and saying “charlie says” instead. Is not that an ideal? Is not that an imitation of K? Is not that hypocrisy?

If I am wrong, if my vision is distorted (which can always happen) then you should be able to explain why it’s not like that. But if you don’t answer to my questions as you did, even in our first conversation, than one has all the motivies to think that you are short of arguments.


I have been in meditation for @25 years, I am old now, and I am using the “I” here as a social convenience, all feelings have disappeared because of all the work that I have done. Believe me, or not, I don’t care. I have never debated with anyone in my entire life, and have no interest whatsoever in learning how to do that - i.e. going back in time and picking up conditioning just to please someone’s ego. I remain anchored in the truths that I have discovered.

Dying to a layer of consciousness is very interesting indeed. It is then one realizes afterwards, that this solar system is a closed system, and that anything you do on the planet while one has one’s conditioning comes with a price - karma. In other words, in the very dying, one must take responsibility for anything one has done while having that conditioning. Presently, Charley is karma-free. Off to buy a cellphone. Apparently, will need one so as download the app that certifies that I am fully vaccinated, so as to access certain things in B.C. Oh well. Sign of the times. Charley is not the only one on this site who speaks in third person. There is also a kinfonet dialogue member who does that as well. And I have exchanged posts on this site with that person.

This is a site which offers many people - from differing backgrounds, who are at differing points in their “journey” of self-exploration - an opportunity to post. Insinuating that everyone is at the same level, or should be at the same level is both disrespectful and dishonest.

OK, Charlie, now I know all the story, thank you for the exaustive explanation.
It confirms that my vision of this place was correct, and it confirms everything I wrote in my last thread.

On my part the discussion is over, and I expect that you won’t return on the topic. I wish you a fine career as a distinguished guru.

By the way: you didn’t click on that button this time too, is that the way you gurus act?