There is a new instrument which is the mind, which is intelligence

You can see if below sounds logical.
The insight is not thought, so there must be freedom from thought to observe, that being choiceless awareness. In the choiceless awareness if anything arises it can be seen, if feeling arises it can be seen, if reaction arises it can be seen, ‘thought’ can be seen, anything outside can be perceived. The choiceless awareness being without division, without conflict, without separation as thinker and thought, observer and observed image. The thinker, observer being choice, becoming, thought.

‘Thought’ can be seen without thought. The observation being not thought, thinker, observer.

This can seem as catch 22 as thought does not know anything beyond itself. But what is beyond thought, observation which is not thought can observe ‘thought’.
We normally are unable to observe because of thought, thinker. If that drops then the awareness can observe thought, conditioning

So we have to discover an awareness which is choiceless, which has nothing to do with thinker. The thinker being thought, so an awareness which is beyond thought but can look at thought

Yes, this sounds reasonable.

Yes, this also seems coherent and logical: observation is not itself made up of thought, and so it can observe thought.

I think we can agree that observation/choiceless awareness is not itself composed of thought, and so can observe/be aware of the reactions of thought (as feeling, emotion, thinking, etc).

However, the issue is perhaps the notion of insight that you mention at the beginning:

If insight is not made of thought, then why is observation/awareness that is “free from thought” not itself already insight?

That is, insight is not made of thought, but neither is awareness/observation made of thought - so they seem to be the same at that level. This seems to suggest that ‘ordinary’ observation/awareness is already insight (of a kind)?

And yet insight is supposed to completely wipe out the conditioning created by thought - whereas this is not the case in ‘ordinary’ observation/awareness. That is, although ‘ordinary’ observation/awareness can (and does) dissolve local conditioning factors, it apparently leaves the rest in tact. And while ‘ordinary’ observation/awareness requires a (relative) freedom from thought and self-centredness, it does not completely end thought or self-centredness. Only insight can do that.

So what is the difference (between insight and ‘ordinary’ observation/awareness)? The degree of intensity of observation/awareness? The degree to which observation/awareness can be global, complete, whole?

I reckon degree or intensity has something to do with it - although to speak of degrees of “awareness” would probably be incorrect - awareness is either pure (as in its the noticing and dissolving of the self) or it is merely recognition.

Someone (somewhere else) asked why ordinary awareness with its momentary freedom from the self was not enough. If it was, we could agree with the idea (sometimes proposed by Dogen) that meditation/zazen is enlightenment ie. the moment to moment allowance of attention to dissolve this present, subjective experience is freedom from the known.

I think ordinary moment to moment liberation is insufficient because of its ordinariness. It is not hard hitting enough to unhinge me. eg. I was worrying about my grandma, I noticed this uncomfortable experiencing, and let go, freed myself, I happen to be a pretty cool balanced kinda guy.

I’m more familiar with the language of ‘path’ and ‘view’ in the context of Dzogchen. Madhyamaka takes so many different forms that it is difficult to generalise? For sure, in Gelugpa (Tsongkhapa) Madhyamaka they believe in a more gradual path of liberation - which distinguishes them from more subitist approaches found in (some) Chan/Zen and Dzogchen.

The question remains though how the starting point of an inner inquiry (‘freedom at the beginning’) relates to the fruition or flowering of the inquiry (‘freedom at the end’)?

If the ‘freedom at the beginning’ involves a temporal succession of gradual psychic improvements, it is essentially a process of cause and effect. So how does the ‘freedom at the end’ (i.e. insight) - which is free from cause and effect - relate to the ‘freedom at the beginning’?

K sometimes told the Chan story about the student who was chastised by his teacher for thinking that by constantly ‘practising’ awareness he could find illumination: the teacher began rubbing two rocks together, saying that he was attempting to create a mirror.

This is, I take it, because insight is sudden, not gradual. Insight is not ‘caused’ by any intention to be free. Insight is total perception of the whole (psychic) situation, not a partial uncovering.

But a path is gradual, it involves conscious intentions and motives (i.e. ‘wanting to be free’), and it is always partial.

So the two processes seem to be radically unrelated to each other. This is the conundrum.

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While K would reject the idea of a person claiming to be ‘already enlightened’, there is, it is fair to say, something about the freedom at the beginning and at the end which is related. So-called ‘ordinary’ observation/awareness, in as much as it is free from thought, may already be the seed of insight/awakening. But to mistake ‘ordinary’ observation/awareness for total insight would be completely mistaken (because the conditioning will still be present).

If we want to look at traditional methods of creating high intensity moments of psychological death, what about the Rinzai way of Koans & Kensho?

The view/insight and path ‘conundrum’ is so fascinating and central to what we’re all doing in here the forum that it deserves its own thread, ja? (Experiments too!) How about we start one? Should the thread invite participants to explore view/insight and path and leave it at that? Or should the thread frame the investigation in Krishnamurtian terms by beginning with a quote? The former’s advantage is that the exploration is wide open. The Krishnamurti-centric approach has the advantage of hewing close to Krishnamurti (and we are in a Krishnamurti forum). ?

Once there was an enlightened master who spent an hour every day answering questions. But on the last day of the month, he wanted to spend 1 session asking 1 question to his audience.

One day, he asked the following question:
“What is the sound of the applause of a one-handed person?”

A few bright minds in the audience soon came up with many different answers, which he always waved away with a negative head nod. As time passed, things got quieter and quieter and occasionally another profound description came up but his head nod remained denial after ten minutes it was quiet and still everyone kept waiting for his response which he usually gave at the end of the session.

After the session, he apologised for his apparently silly question:
‘I did not realize that so many attendees apparently knew the answer,’

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Self-knowledge is a succession of partial insights that negate false notions and misunderstandings, and it’s necessary for sanity, mental health, putting one’s house in order. It may be that total insight is not possible without this foundation.

I don’t know, what I feel is choiceless awareness is moment to moment. Thinker is dormant at the moment. When it is dormant, there is choiceless awareness and choiceless awareness is more about action in life (not activity of mind). It is participating in life through action and there is no sense of psychological conflict or separation. It is also not seeking.
For me it’s more about right or correct action in daily life, but I feel pain will always be there, feelings will always be there, conditioning will be there. In my inquiry I am inquiring into ending of subject, not object. If experiencer is absent, then pain will not turn into suffering, sorrow, self pity or blaming. My inquiry is more in that direction.

K seemed to stress the importance of understanding and insight. I believe he enjoyed taking complex machines apart and putting them back together again. In doing this, he no doubt gained understanding and insight into how these machines worked. He seemed to have the ability to “take apart”, through close observation, complex processes which occured within himself such as envy, anger, fear etc. Through understanding, he gained insight into thought and its relationship to the self. This discovery seemed to allow him to come into contact with something that lies beyond thought.

I’m not sure I’ve addressed the Catch 22 question but the above is my understanding of discovery through understanding and insight.


Yes, I understand what you are saying here Adeen. After all, the awareness that exists in our daily life is more important than anything else.

But it nevertheless still raises the question, for me, about whether the self - the psychological conditioning that constitutes the self (and generates suffering) - can end completely in the way K indicated, rather than be simply dormant. And this, according to K, requires insight. This is why I feel it is worth asking this question.

As Dan was saying earlier on, perhaps this insight is simply a deepening or intensification (Dan didn’t use these words) of our everyday awareness and observation? A single movement (though apparently very few persons ever complete this movement).

Yes. Maybe it is a mistake to only consider the ‘total insight’ that K often talked about, because this becomes abstract for us?

What is an insight? Isn’t it a quick perception of the way something works; seeing the whole of it at one glance?

As you say, K had a very practical interest in car engines, cameras, and watches, etc. He loved to see how they worked, how they are put together. Having taken a machine apart and examined the various aspects of it, it takes a sudden insight to see how everything works so that one can safely put it back together.

So when we say we understand something (and really mean it) this implies that we have had an insight into it.

So maybe we need to have small yet significant insights into our thinking and feeling before the ‘total insight’ that K talks about becomes even relevant? - Probably.

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Yes. Having “small yet significant insights into our thinking and feeling” is what K called “self-knowledge”.

Thought is a mechanical process (like an internal combustion engine or a watch) that can incite feelings, and feelings can influence thought, so if the brain has little of no knowledge of how this mechanism operates, one is confused, confounded, and misled.

I’m still unsure what the proposed model is exactly :

is it that all the small insights into how we function, collated together can eventually provide a complete picture of the self - this complete picture thus solving the problem of being deluded/enslaved by an incomplete understanding of the self?

Or is it more like each insight into specific problems of self-centredness, aggregated over time, ends up continually fragilising the structure, so that it eventually topples under its own weight?

The more you learn about anything, the less you need to believe about it or pretend to know, and since thought is a mechanical process, the brain (if it’s interested) can learn how thought operates and how ignorance of its operation creates confusion, delusion, self-deception, etc.

I don’t how “complete” the brain’s knowledge of thought’s operation can be, but what does it matter? If the brain is interested in how thought operates, it attends to it.

Or is it more like each insight into specific problems of self-centredness, aggregated over time, ends up continually fragilising the structure, so that it eventually topples under its own weight?

Again, what does it matter how things end up? If you’re finding out, discovering, understanding, are you doing it for its own sake, or for the big pay-off?

In the other thread on division and discussion between Krishnamurti and David Böhm in Ending of Time Dialogue 7, K says something on the lines that a mind that sees that there is no division is the dispelling of darkness or self. That being insight.

A mind that has seen there is no division, has ended conflict, self being division or conflict, self being the same as the illusory process that creates thinker separate from thought, observer separate from observed psychological image.

What I interpret it to be is that when all conflict has ended, self has ended. Conflict being division created by self.

If there is still conflict in us after hearing K saying there is no division, then we could explore why we hold on to divisions

K being a light tells us that there is no division, which ends conflict in us as self. Light dispelling darkness.

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If you are saying that K’s pronouncement that “there is no division” ends conflict in us as self, you are profoundly delusional. This discussion forum is for the purpose of understanding K’s teaching - not for declaring the man was a god.

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If you read / listen to that part of the dialogue with Bohm, that was my impression of ‘how’ he said it: there is no division so let’s stop acting as if there is!