We are the world?

The statement ‘We are the world’ can be posed, in a slightly weaker form, as the question:

Is the consciousness of another similar to one’s own consciousness?

‘They’ - other human beings - feel and think and laugh and hate and have affection and suffer; and I also feel and think and laugh and hate and have affection and suffer. So we are not very different in that respect.

Other human beings, no matter how removed from us - whether geographically, or in terms of education, culture, temperament - share more or less the same contents of consciousness. I don’t think this is debatable.

However, to take the next step, which is to see or feel that one’s consciousness is the same as another’s consciousness, is not yet clear to me.

We can readily perceive the similarities in our different consciousnesses, but to say they are essentially the same human consciousness is one step further.

In general, what prevents us from seeing, from feeling, our common kinship with the rest of humanity?

Obviously, it is ‘I’, ‘me’ and ‘mine’.

This is expressed - at the level of society - as all the mental images we have built in ourselves as “a fence of security—religious, political, personal” (Krishnamurti). This seems to be primarily what divides us and keeps us separate.

Krishnamurti has said

When you observe the world, you see that all human beings go through,

more or less the same forms of

suffering, anxiety, insecurity [etc] …

So is there a difference,

apart from labels,

apart from culture,

between me,

as an [American, Russian, English, French, Indian, Chinese; Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, etc]

and you? …

The psyche is the content of its own consciousness.

And that consciousness is shared by all human beings.

(Chapter 7, ‘Consciousness is shared by all human beings’, from the book Where Can Peace Be Found?)

However, my question is: what do people feel or think is the step missing between

  1. seeing and feeling the obviously shared similarities between human beings (with respect to our shared contents of consciousness), and

  2. having a perception of the essential sharedness or sameness of our common human consciousness?

What is the step that is missing here?

The dissolution of one’s self image.
That is the coveted wall between us.
The divider.
With that dissolved, intelligence, compassion, love may be possible.

Yes, perhaps. The reason I ask the question is because from the late 1970s onwards Krishnamurti usually begins his series of talks by directly addressing our shared human consciousness; and certainly, going by his language at least, he seems to have felt that the sharedness - even sameness - of our consciousness is something obvious, out in the open, clear. Is it so clear though?

So probably the reason we do not see this is because we filter everything through our self-image, our self-interest, our self-centredness (as pointed out in the OP). But is this the missing step? The dissolution of the ‘me’?

The first step is the last step?

The thread’s title is:

We are the world?

But the way you set it up is (imo) more like:

We are the world.
Why don’t we get that fully?

That seems more like exploring a path from A to B rather than exploring pathlessly. I sense an agenda, rather than a free exploration. Am I wrong?

Seeing clearly that I am living the only experience available to me: the human experience.

Seeing clearly that I have no choice in what I am and how I suffer. Thus being able to forgive everyone else.

When we talk of a silent brain, we are talking about the absence of self/ego, aren’t we?

Is it the only one available? Or is the ending of the self/ego the ‘real’ human experience? Where one actually IS the world? And the floundering in the darkness of division is similar to a chrysalis in a cocoon? Thought piled on thought is only more thought…our disease?

It sounds to me Rick that there is more of an agenda to your question than to my own! :wink:

The thread title could have been simply ‘We are the world’ (full stop). But because it isn’t completely clear to me what that statement means - which I explain in the OP - I added a question mark (‘?’) at the end.

If there is a path from A to B, an agenda, etc, then I can only say these issues were not at the forefront of my mind when I posed the question.

All I can say - as has already been stated - is that it is clear to me that the contents of human consciousness are similar. No-one will dispute this (unless they have an agenda of their own!).

But what I don’t quite see is how or why this ‘similar’ becomes same; or what is the difference between the two?

From what I hear Krishnamurti saying, he is implying both of these things together - namely that the similarity of our consciousness is also, at the same time, evidence for the sameness of our consciousness.

I don’t intuitively grasp what this means, or whether I have missed a step somewhere in my listening to K, which is why I ask the question. That’s all.

I hear what you are saying Dan, but perhaps you are running ahead of the conversation a little?

When K said ‘You are the world’ it was usually in the context of the contents of one’s consciousness - fear, hate, aggression, suffering, loneliness, etc - being shared by all human beings.

You are taking the natural next step, which is - the ending of the contents of consciousness so that there is only a space, a dimension of silence, compassion, intelligence, love.

But I am asking about the step that comes before: is it the case that while the contents of my consciousness are similar to another’s, is it equally true to say that they are the same?

Maybe you could elaborate on this a little bit Douglas?

You are saying that we have no choice in what we are right now. Our consciousness is ‘what is’.

We cannot alter our consciousness by a deliberate act of will or determination - so all we can do is be negatively aware (passively aware) of the fact of our conditioning, our consciousness, without choice, without escape.

Are you suggesting that there is also a perception that this is the case for everyone else in the world?


Not just ‘I’ am what I am (without choice), but everyone else is what they are without choice too.

Is this what you are suggesting?

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I think both of our agendas come into play. How could they not, we think and behave largely as we have been trained to think and behave. The important thing is: Are we aware of that, do we see it?

I would say yes. The ‘contents’ may differ but our problem may be contents per say? Your psychological thought may be different than mine but its very presence divides us as it occupies the brain. You can’t be you and be the world. I can’t be me and be the world.

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Rick, you have brought in the word “agenda”. I’m not sure what you mean by this?

Apparently though it is more important to you than the question I posed at the beginning of the thread.

Is the question I asked lacking logical coherence? Do you have a simple answer to it already, or do you simply feel it has no merit?

I don’t understand your reaction.

I would say it’s a comprehensive understanding of psychological content because no matter how much it differs between brains, all psychological content serves the same purpose: separation.

The ‘purpose’ being to keep the brain from emptiness, stillness, silence?

Yes, the presence of psychological content divides us, but if I can’t see past the difference between your content and mine, I can’t see psychological content for what it is, and the seeing is the doing.

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I think there’s a subtle but really important difference between 1) trying to understand better something that Krishnamurti said, and 2) trying to strengthen Krishnamurti’s authority power. The title you gave the thread made me think you might be going for 2 (as explained above). If you are going for 1, all is well.

Rather than diverting the momentum of the thread, if you still want to talk about this, let’s do it privately?

Wait… what?

How is asking the question I asked about shoring up “Krishnamurti’s authority power”?

I am lost.


The purpose is, as I said, separation, and this need for separation comes with choosing to believe what is true instead of choicelessly facing it every moment.