Time and Timelessness

Krishnamurti equated thought with time. Why? What does thought have to do with time, other than it takes time to think? Does time exist apart from thought? Can we tell one from the other? Or is one what the other needs to exist?

We know, by memory of experience, and from all the credible evidence reported by reliable sources, that time has transpired for a very long time, and is transpiring now. But does that mean our memory and our knowledge of what has happened is time? Or does it mean that we are making time out of what thoughts we have to work with?

Life is an ongoing process with more things developing and decomposing than we can ever know of. That fact leaves an impression in the mind, and that impression is what we call “time”. If you think not, what do you think time is?

What happens when we question our measurement and the instrument we employ to take our measurement?

The self is concerned with growth and becoming.
Being me implies, having been who I was, how that affects my present identity (emotional, intellectual, etc) and what may be gained and lost in order to become my futur self. It is a lot of desire and aversion, riding on the energy of confusion.
This is a quick description of Pyschological Time - I am Psychological time.

Timelessness is what is when there is no becoming, no desire for progress (when there is no self basically) - it is mentioned in order to lure the confused self away from itself. It is like a pretty flower. Like enlightenment, awakening, etc…

Or an ugly business…depending on what time you’re there.

I don’t know what timelessness is, but apparently Krishnamurti did, and he didn’t mind saying so. What could he have been talking about? Without time, there’s nothing, so he didn’t mean literal timelessness.

He had to have meant a way of experiencing time that is radically different from thinking I know what time is.

If you don’t want to be there - its not timelessness : its forever. And if you really want to stay there - its already gone

Correct - clocks are still ticking

Timelessness is fleeting and forever never stops, and we want both. We’re dualistic, a two-headed hydra seeking wholeness

Psychological time is dependent on thought. I find it easier to think of it that way - psychological time is thought. It is remembering the past, and imagining various futures. It is the anxiety, jealousy, frustration, hope, pleasure, pride and amusement that we remember and project into the future.

K typically liked to point out how things are connected, how they are the same, but here he divides thought into the technical and the psychological. This seems to be a critical part of his teaching, and it might be worth going into exactly where that dividing line lies.

Emotions tend to get a bad rap here, but without negative emotions like fear we would surely die, and without positive emotions what would motivate us to explore and interact with others and the world around us? And so really we want to understand what is the right place for emotions. I’m not claiming to have all the answers, but probably we don’t want to experience only negative emotions all the time. That doesn’t sound too healthy :slight_smile:. But what about negative emotions some of the time? Does that conflict with our image of enlightenment? As the Buddha pointed out, life is suffering.

Well, I’ve drifted off topic a bit, but I hope the chain of thought is clear enough.

Howdy Eye,

Your take on Psy Time sounds legit to me.
However, after reading your judgement and comparisons regarding emotions and enlightenment - I am reminded that thought and the self are intricately entangled - that is why thought is always full of fear and hope and conclusions based on confusion. That is why, even if we come up with the most intricate, reasonable models of reality (aka what we believe) - they cannot lead us to truth, clarity or freedom of intelligence. At best, if constructed properly, they may offer some hope that total dependance on fear/desire/pleasure/anger/guilt etc is not inevitable.

Regarding the Buddha and enlightenment - my take is that even Buddhas have to remember to meditate regularly, because even if they have seen the ending of self (aka awakening) - the self has a tendancy to continuosly arise.

Hi MacDougDoug,

Do you mean the bit where I question whether negative emotion all the time is a good state to be in? That bit doesn’t sound legit? I have made a judgement there?

Let’s say, anything subjected to the law of cause and effect implies or could be equated with time, meaning, when it (thought/feeling/action) is indulged with, it’s not completed until it’s effect is also unfolded sequentially, i.e. the separation of which we quantify as time. This conditionality is what gives the effect as chronological time, felt also subjectively apart from it’s objective measurement as time by clock. Psychological time is when the actor/thinker/feeler has a sense of being in control on the ‘effect or consequence’ of their respective functions. And timelessness, might be subjectively experienced when all thought/feeling/action/mind are progressively and completely silenced.

Judgement is the main function of the self, ie. is it good or bad?
We are all making assumptions and coming to conclusions all the time - all based on past assumptions and conclusions - all in order to determine if we should jump or not.

All these assumptions and conclusions - those of the present and those of the past upon which they are based, are false. Because they are made through the filter of the self.

Please don’t take it personally, all of us do it - in fact, I find your comments sane and reasonable.


This I don’t follow. I could no more wish you a broken leg or terminal illness, than I could chronic negative emotion. I mean given the choice between any of those, and being able to enjoy a relaxing walk in a park, what would you opt for? I wonder if you’re giving a different meaning to good/bad than this.

Right, we all do it, but I wonder if maybe we disagree on where things go wrong.

Us humans have evolved to survive - good is what keeps me alive, bad is the opposite. We have not evolved to see reality as it - the hypothesis is that the human brain is capable not only of surviving, but also capable of seeing clearly. That we are not just puppets of fear, prejudice, desire, pleasure etc but that we are also capable of psychological ease, freedom of intelligence.

OK. I still don’t see how what I have said so far is false, or made through the filter of the self. Certainly, I have compared different possible outcomes and made a judgement about them. But is this not comparison and judgement in their right place? Is this not seeing things clearly?

You are being pretty reasonable and logical. (apart from the claim that you are not speaking as yourself - surely we are all stating our opinions from our point of view?) And clear, seeing as I can understand you.

But I don’t think the question is whether we are reasonable and logical beings - but rather whether psychological freedom is possible - is there any other way of seeing apart from through the prism of our fears, desires and beliefs?

Sounds reasonable but Krishnamurti was quite categorical in his emphatic rejection of negative emotions. “End it!” he said. Could I explore this further with you in a private message because it would lead into the Buddha’s teaching and away from this topic?

I meant emotions have tended to get a bad rap on this forum. But that’s only a couple of posters really.

What you write about Krishnamurti’s position on this matter seems an oversimplification. Do you have any quotes in mind?

You are welcome to PM me, as are all forum members. As K’s and the Buddha’s messages are so related, why not post your thoughts here though? If the discussion is drifting too far from the original topic, you could start a new topic. I imagine many would find the theme of interest.

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I am giving opinions that’s true, and they are based on past feelings of some kind of physical or mental pain/pleasure. But so, for example, are the motivations behind building a house. Even the technical aspects are remembered and projected in some way. But what I mean is that the feeling of security is involved as a motivating factor, and quite rightly I would say. It would be strange if shelter from the outdoors, didn’t give us a feeling of security.

I am not denying that my/our thinking/emotions can go badly wrong. Often they are self-defeating and in conflict with each other, both in space and over time. Perhaps, for example, we want to do well in our job, but don’t enjoy superficial social events and are reluctant to attend the yearly office party. Or we might focus on short-term pleasure and as a result destroy our long-term well-being.

Time and Timelessness
When I am at the beach, quietly, looking and watching the waves rolling in, there is a timelessness. It is not my waves, not my input, and it is a quality of the natural world. I am standing there not going anywhere, not analyzing, not thinking about what comes next, or what i have to do. Then I am aware there is thought, memory, verbal activity, which is not this timelessness. Do I then realise the mental activity is a movement of thought separate to actuality? This movement of thought, words, ideas, belief, is what creates a construction called time. I can think of a past, present and a future.

Yes, so what matters is what Krishnamurti meant by “timelessness”. And the only way to find out, of course, is to lose one’s conditioned notion of time…if only for the time it takes to realize the difference between what we’ve always thought of as time, and what it clearly has never been.

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Whatever takes time, my idea of doing something, is not timelessness, and I will never come to it.

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