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What did Krishnamurti mean by "what-is"?

Does his use of “what-is” refer to what is actual, regardless of our conditioned response to it, or to our conditioned response to what is actual?

If Krishnamurti perceived directly what actually is, his response to it was not determined by his conditioning. We, however, do not perceive directly; our response is conditioned. So, when he spoke of what-is, was he speaking of what direct perception revealed, or of our inability to perceive directly?

When I hear a word, read a word, what comes to mind? Isn’t there a response which is verbal, conceptual? That is, not only is there the particular image, but there is its connection with other images, and automatically there are all the issues within the way of thinking. This is not something we take the time to look at, but have a habit of thinking about all the issues. I might ask a question, but don’t know a precise answer, because the different ways of looking at it verbally, are very complex. This complexity of mind and the way of thinking, is something to carefully observe. I don’t have a clear answer to my question, because the mind is not clear. It is not the clarity of the words, it is a clarity of mind. The mind can not get clear through clarification of words, ideas, concepts, etc.


“We, however, do not perceive directly, our response is conditioned”.
I am having this limitation in my psychological structure. I think, Krishnamurti was speaking about direct perception when he referred to “What is?”, which is out of the box for most of us.:slight_smile:

I think cavemen who lived in jungles have more perception than most of us who relies on language. :grinning:

**Hello Inquiry - Here are K’s own words: K: We are using the word, ‘what is’, in the sense what is actually happening, both outwardly and inwardly. - Mind Without Measure

So, ‘what is’ would include ‘whatever’ is actually occurring, including the brain analyzing what appears to be occurring. If ‘observation without the word’ is actually occurring, that would be an aspect of what is. And, if an analytical interpretation of life is occurring, that would be ‘what is’, when that’s actually occurring. And fortunately, whatever may be occurring could be revealed in a choiceless awareness of whatever is actually occurring. Does it seem any different to your observation?

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Does anyone have any thoughts on what he meant by this last sentence from a discussion in Urgency of Change? (bold mine)

"Any movement from what I am strengthens what I am. So change is no movement at all. Change is the denial of change, and now only can I put the question: is there change at all? This question can only be put when all movement of thought has come to an end, for thought must be denied for the beauty of non-change. In the total negation of all movement of thought away from what is is the ending of what is."

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**Hello Dan - I would suggest, upon looking at what K seems to be pointing to in your quote, is that he’s using the words ‘what is’ differently here, then, “what is actually occurring now.” In your quote, he’s suggesting that the thinking mind is no longer creating psychological images of an observer, or an image of an observed (the image or idea of “what is.”) There’s simply observation & response, and no psychological projection going on. If there’s no movement of thought “away,” that means there’s no “psychological storytelling” going on in the brain.


In other words, you can’t address the question…

If “what-is” refers to both actuality and our distorted, chosen view of actuality, it refers to everything and nothing in particular, so why use the phrase at all? It goes without saying that everything happening at this moment is what-is. It’s like what some fools used to say, “It is what it is”, as if it needed to be said.

Maybe, but why add this:
In the total negation of all movement of thought away from what is is the ending of what is.

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**Why have a word for tree or dog or human? To differentiate one aspect of the whole from another aspect. It’s just a label pointing to some sort of appearance. All is possible in the awareness of what is, pure observation or analysis as well. The labels are just pointers for use in communication.

**Well, that’s what I attempted to point to, there is no “what is” if there’s no thought. The word is never the thing. Manifestation IS occurring, but the words ‘what is’ are just a pointer. What is, in your quote, is just thought, words, a pointer to what K was ‘pointing to’. With ‘no thought’ there’s only ‘what appears to actually be manifesting.’ There’s just observation, no me ‘naming’ it ‘what is’. K used the words ‘what is’ to point to ‘actuality’, but with no thought, there’s no label, just observation of the actual, without the word. How’s that look?

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A “word for a tree or dog or human” is specific. The words refer to things. If “what-is” refers to everything, it goes without saying.

Not to one’s conditioned response to actuality? Earlier, you said that what-is refers to both.

If “what-is” can end, it can’t be actuality. It can only be the conditioned mind…at least in this instance.

To find out what K meant by “what-is”, one must find K’s every use of the phrase because no one here seems to have a clue as to what it refers to.

The point is, the verbal approach is a mistake.

This forum is nothing without “the verbal approach”. Why do you participate?

Don’t be silly. We are looking at the way the mind works.

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Yes, we observe “the way the mind works” and talk about it here, but when a question is raised, you say “the verbal approach is a mistake”.

Krishnamurti used “the verbal approach” to transmit his observations about the way the mind works, and here we are doing the same, but you’re saying this is a mistake.

There are responses to questions, using language , communicating together, and it is up to us to take care and get the communication without making it limited to the words, ideas, and concepts, we have, stuck in the conditioning. That’s all I can say, so I am out.

Can you do that here where we are limited to “words, ideas, and concepts” to work with?