← Back to Kinfonet

Wanting and Having

“Whereas if you begin to enquire, find out, go into it very, very carefully, then you might find it is possible, entirely, urgently possible to live without any kind of pressure. Therefore when there is no pressure there is freedom .Public Talk 1 Ojai, California, USA - 01 April 1978

You want something because you believe you’ll be happier and better off with it than without it. So, you apply yourself, and with skill and perseverance you succeed in getting what you want, and you’re proud and pleased and gratified.

But after awhile you become increasingly aware of how much of your time and energy it costs to have what you wanted so much, and you find yourself wanting to get rid of it. You realize that all the time and energy you spent wanting it, getting it, and having it, you want to get back because it really wasn’t worth it. Now, you think, you’ve learned your lesson and you’re wary of wanting and the cost of having, and you start thinking about freedom. Now you know that your time and energy is all you can really have, so you sell and give away all but the basic necessities.

Now you’re free, unencumbered, liberated from what possessed you and required constant attention. You bask in the luxury of your loss of attachments. You feel weightless, unbound, knowing that not knowing what’s next is freedom from the known. You’d rather live with uncertainty than with a false sense of security. Every day is a new day because it requires so little of you, leaving so much to explore and discover.

But eventually, you find that unless you avoid people and further simplify your life, you get bogged down in the swamp of things and relationships, and more of your time and energy is sapped until you’re back where you were: wanting. Will becoming a recluse, a hermit, be the solution? Or will that, too, prove to be only a modification of your situation? Probably, and anyway, that kind of austerity is too extreme.

So what are you to do? You’ve tasted freedom and you’ve found that it turns bitter with time. Freedom, it seems, is a momentary thing that can’t be bought or earned, strived for or invited. And freedom may even be possible with possesions and relationships because freedom is above and beyond everything you know - including your precious time and energy. But you can’t want freedom because you are time itself, the very antithesis of freedom.

1 Like

I realize that the first part of your post is hypothetical, and paints a nice picture of someone trying to “attain” freedom, but here is something that popped in my head:

“not knowing what’s next” is still an idea, part of psychological time. Put another way, it is also a feeling of excitement that thought attaches to.

Yes, it also seems to me that desire, or wanting, is a huge “roadblock” to seeing the nature of psychological time. Wanting to “end” wanting, is also part of wanting. So, is it possible to see the whole nature of desire, of wanting? I’m sure there is a multitude of quotes on this. Would this be a good place to start a dialogue?

It might be possible to act in daily life alongside freedom, but this deviates from the topic at hand. Also, as I’ve seen in myself, it seems to be merely speculation. As long as expectations are the motivation behind our actions, thoughts might only be speculation. So, let’s find a quote about desire to begin with.

Is it not a fact? I can’t tell the future. I really don’t know what’s going to happen in the next hour, even though I’m pretty sure my expectations won’t be thwarted.

Good Evening!

In the context of the situation, it seems like such a person is excited to finally be “liberated from what possessed [them] and required constant attention.” Relaxing in the comfort of being “without” attachments, they then say that not having any attachments to the world is freedom from the known. Yet, such a person then is transferring their attachment to another “set” of ideas.

Not knowing, being uncertain is an absolute fact. As K pointed out somewhere, the brain demands certainty, yet we seek to find it, build it with ideas. (sorry for not finding a direct quote, let me know if you want me to!).

“I’m pretty sure my expectations won’t be thwarted.” As far as I can tell, when it comes to things such as: “I’m going to go for a run, watch tv, eat dinner, relax, then go to bed.” Such things are fairly certain, barring some major accident. What is your take on our apparent need for security?

Physical yes, psychological, a mistake.

What he said was, “The brain must have complete security”,

I came across that watching a video of a small group he spoke to in Malibu in the seventies. I was (and still am) puzzled by that one, and I brought it up here earlier.

The brain does not like the feeling of not being safe and in control - it needs to come to conclusions and act upon them as if its survival depends on it.
And this works great - but it means a constant anxiety. An existence based on self defense.

That’s your interpretation. No one has come up with what exactly K meant when he said this. No one in the group he was speaking to asked what he meant.

And since he’s gone, that’s why we have to do it ourself. How do you know that what Douglas or someone else opined isn’t ‘exactly’ what K ‘meant’?

I recall K saying this that the brain must have this sense of security in order to function. But there is no such thing as psychological security…the only true security is in ‘being nothing’. That’s obvious isn’t it?

No. I don’t know about “being nothing”. Did K say that, or are you referring to being nobody? Do you see the difference? Every human being is something, but a selfless human is “nobody” in terms of status, achievement, character, etc.

We know K said that the brain must have complete security, but was he referring to the organ, or using “brain” in some other way? It seems to me one can only speculate, draw a conclusion, or be honestly uncertain.

Yes. What you are is “nothing,( not-a-thing)”

What he meant by “nothing” is that your social status and self-image are imagined, not actual. Others admire or despise you according to custom, convention, whim, or rumor, and you can imagine yourself, but actually you are a human identified by the contents of consciousness.

Only you can know who/what you are by being here now, i.e., in a meditative state of mind wherein no thought, feeling, or impulse escapes notice.

That is your opinion of what he ‘meant’, mine is quite different. For me he is pointing at what we are in ‘essence’ , which is beyond the ‘material’. That in essence we are " not-a thing and one with all living things, with all creation. There is difference but no division. All this about wanting to be something, to be someone, is all for me part of the brain’s conditioning, based on fear. It is the reason the brain has not evolved psychologically while in the practical realm , technological, biological, medical, communication , etc, the brain’s potential seems limitless. K has said the brain has “infinite potential” but its “conditioning” has stifled the psychological side.

He brings it out here: Reading the book of mankind, 821218
(link is at Reading the Book at one Glance, post #9/11

The very content of consciousness is the division between “material” and “essence”. Therefore, consciousness itself is an idea. It’s a “concept or mental impression” (from the definition of idea). For me, that is the fact of “The observer is the observed”.

That’s an interesting interpretation, but I don’t know of anything K ever said to support that notion.

For me, it’s implied in so many things he has said. In the video I referenced, he says that the mind is separate from the brain. the brain having infinite potential displayed in practical aspects but stunted on the psychological side due to its ‘conditioning’. The ‘mind’ is the mind of the universe, the cosmos…but when the brain is free from conditioning, mind and brain are one.

Have you ever come across this quote from Terrence Stamp’s interview with K:

K: “What you are…what you actually are, is being. Being is not the mind thinking. Thinking is a movement, a motion. Being is the silence that precedes the motion. You cannot see it; you cannot grasp it because you are it. The feeling that you are. The unadorned naked awareness that is always there, rarely heeded, is what you always have been, always will be. Cannot not be. You can’t look for it, because it is what is looking. It is like space, you can’t see it but everything is in it. Everything is it. So I say to you, be aware when you are unaware, let its presence warm you, fill you. Be present in the Presence.”

Private talk with T.Stamp Ojai ca. 1986

2 Likes

Is this a verifiable Krishnamurti quote? It sounds suspiciously unlike him.

1 Like

It was on the old kinfonet website and is included in Mr. Stamp’s autobiography. Perhaps someone who knows Mr Stamp could verify it for us. He strikes me as being quite serious and until something else comes to light, I take it to be an honest representation of what K said to him.

Mr. Stamp’s honest representation could be a far cry from a verbatim quote.

Well that can be said of all of us…hopefully someone out there can add something.

1 Like