Whose Brain?

I think I have a brain, but it is the brain that creates and recreates I, so who has what? The brain has the habit of believing I exist and “have” the brain, but maybe a better way to think about what’s actually happening is to acknowledge that the brain either doesn’t know it is creating, recreating, and sustaining I constantly, or it knows what it’s doing and sees nothing wrong with it.

I suspect that it’s the former; that the brain doesn’t know what it’s doing because it’s conditioned to deprive itself of silence by being perpetually noisy. It is conditioned to maintain a stream of consciousness instead of having occasional thoughts about what does or does not need to be done at this moment.

Is there anything the brain can do at this moment to address the question of why thought operates constantly when it only needs to operate occasionally? It seems to me that the only way the brain can adequately address this question is to be able to discern the difference between necessary and unnecessary thought, because without this ability it doesn’t dare stop thinking lest it lose its place in the thought created world it inhabits.

All the brain has to do to be free of its enslavement to thought is to stop thinking, but after thousands of years of being a stream of consciousness and knowing nothing but streaming, it doesn’t know how to stop and be nothing. So can the brain learn how to be nothing, or can it only be a stream of consciousness that precludes silence until/unless the stream dries up?

Is that what thought just did? Thought is clever, silence is not. For thought, silence is boring.

1 Like

What good is “clever” when there is no light, no silence, no emptiness, no clarity, nothing but thought?

No thought is no boredom.

I’m seeing thought in a new way this morning: as a ‘translator of beauty’? Insight happens in a flash, timeless, and thought translates it in time, in symbols…Thought is not the insight, it is a representation of it. Mozart said an entire symphony appeared to him in an instant. Thought’s job was to represent that ‘beauty’ in symbols on a staff for the musicians to read and to play on their instruments in an effort to bring that insight down to ‘earth’. To recreate it for us who had not ‘heard’ it? 'Music is a translation of the beauty the artist has seen/felt? I’ve heard the term ‘objective art’ as different from ‘subjective art’. I’m thinking of K’s ‘art’ as objective in this way; of thought trying as accurately as possible to put into words the beauty that was seen and in that form having a deeper resonance with the listener / reader than only intellectual…But ‘the description is not, is never the described’.

Thought the servant, not the master? The worker bee, not the queen. In most of us humans thought tries desperately to be the master, the queen, the boss of all!

Doesn’t ‘try’, IS the ‘master’. Wrong turn somewhere along the line? Brain filled with the past can’t or rarely resonates with the ‘beauty’?

1 Like

Why do so many here attribute thought with emotions, motives, and intention? Why isn’t it clear that thought is, as Krishnamurti said, “mechanical”, the mental mechanism the brain, confused and conflicted by its streaming psychological content, is confined to?

The individual streams of consciousness each of us endure and depend on, cause and sustain confusion and conflict. This constant streaming is the antithesis of the silence and emptiness that dispel confusion and conflict for good.

This much we know because it’s the ongoing, undeniable, ever-present truth about who/what we are. Each one of us is our own streaming consciousness, our own content constantly reminding and moderating our illusory sense of self.

I think thought (mine, anyway) senses, rightly or wrongly, when its dominance is being threatened by the presence of ___________ (no-thought). Usually it kicks into high gear and does whatever it has to do (whatever works!) to regain control. Thought is like a good loyal friend, brilliant, imaginative, creative, who is also a worst enemy, pigheaded, terrified of the new, destructive. Order, chaos, kindness, ugliness all rolled up inna powerful and dangerous gestalt. Caveat cogitator!

Emotions, motives, and intention are (for the most part) inventions of thought. Without thought they would not exist or at least not as we understand them to exist. It’s not surprising when exploring thought these terms would be used. The potential snag is when we grant thought agency to emote, intend, prefer, judge. Emotion, intention, judgement all happen, they all involve thought, but thought is not some mysterious entity that is doing these things consciously and independently. Why do we tend to use these terms when talking about thought, it’s a kind of habit/tradition established over the years here, it feels right within the context of the forum.

Thought can incite feelings by reminding one of the last time one felt this or that. But feeling something you’ve never felt before is an experience you’re totally unfamiliar with, and it isn’t incited by thought. Most of our emotions are so familiar we react to them with pleasure or pain, boredom or excitement. But under the influence of an emotion you’ve never known leaves you with nothing but wonder.

So I would say that emotions are primal and thought is a mechanism that came later in our evolution.

Makes sense and sounds plausible. Assuming animals (our forebears) experience primitive emotions, it’s most likely these emotions have little to do with thought. But either way for humans in 2024 emotion, feeling, thought are intimately intertwined.

To say the least…

And at some point ceased to be just a ‘tool’ of survival and projected an image, a ‘thinker’ apart from itself, independent of itself…for whatever reason…because it could? And inadvertently created psychological time?

Blaming thought for our conditioning is a conspiracy theory: Oh no! Our tools are plotting against us…and succeeding!

Do you really think thought is a being with its own agenda?

The illusion of the thinker is inevitable when there’s no silence to debunk it. It’s for lack of silence that we don’t see what we’re doing and why, and it’s our choice not be silent, but to be a constant stream of consciousness rather than nothing but awareness.

Our desire to be something and our fear of being nothing is what drives the whole mechanism.

Do you really think you exist?

We all think we exist as we imagine ourselves and others because without silence and emptiness we can’t see we’re doing this. And this means we can’t help believing whatever we choose to believe about anything and everything.

We’re believers by choice. Thought doesn’t make us do it. We, the conditioned brain, does it by maintaining a constant stream of psychological thought instead of allowing for silence.

So ask yourself why you’d rather believe thought is plotting against you instead of acknowledging that thought is the mechanism we use to be believers, choosers, rather than being nothing but choiceless awareness.

By asking the question,: Can thought be quiet when it isn’t necessary? Not for a result, not for an experience but realizing simply that the continuous movement of thinking is a wastage of energy. I turn off the flame when I’m through cooking, not for any result but because it would be senseless to leave it on when there’s no need of it…same with this habitual movement of thought/thinking. K framed the question as “Can the rhythm of thought come to an end?” I don’t think that it’s the word structure that is important but the question: can thought be quiet when it is not needed? Its habitual movement is entrenched in the brain, it is a ‘reflex’. Can there be awareness that it is moving and can it be still? Not ‘for ever’ but now in this moment, the only ‘moment’ there is?

It is not only a waste of energy, but has the effect of preventing the silence, the mental stillness needed to be see clearly what’s actually happening.