Wrong Turn?

Did mankind take a ‘wrong turn’ is the subject of this talk between Krishnamurti and David Bohm.

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Apparently so! :blush:

Perhaps when people started to mistake their partial insights for a total insight?

More seriously speaking…

Two possible starting points:

Perhaps the wrong turn began when we began to try to become something that we are not. We moved away from our actual condition (our ‘what is’) and projected another condition (our ‘what should be’) in the future (or in the past).

We stepped out of (or evaded) our present actuality.


Perhaps our wrong turn began when we started to mistake our thoughts for reality. We gave more currency to the images and symbols in our minds than to the actual world of perception. We mistook the word for the thing, the description for the described.

What do you feel?

Perhaps the ‘mistake’ of admitting ‘technical’ time (the outer time necessary to get something done) into the mind. Whereas thought/thinking was necessary to do what needed to be done in the outer world, that this same thinking could also address and solve psychological issues, questions?

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In the audio discussion, Krishnamurti asks at one point whether the ‘wrong turn’ began because the brain couldn’t hold the vast energy of the universe, and so narrowed it down instead into the small psychological ‘me’.

Humans were small nomadic groups of hunter-gatherers before we invented civilization. We went from being migratory animals to being stationary farmers. The theory is that we underwent this change because the human brain had evolved to be able to think analytically about what they were doing and how, in a projected future, they could have an abundance of food without migrating. Why the human brain evolved as it did is unknown. Some say it was our omnivorous diet, especially certain kinds of mushrooms. Speculation aside, there’s no doubt that every living thing on the planet would be better off had we remained migratory apes who lived in the moment instead of becoming future-obsessed past-driven naked apes unable to refrain from thinking when no thought is required.

As a species that underwent a radical change we have wreaked havoc, but what matters now is whether there is anything we can do or refrain from doing to correct this error and turn away from this “wrong turn”. It seems to me that if thinking has brought about so much madness and harm, if one could cease to think for as long as it takes to awaken to what being human actually is, it might be the end of this ongoing error, this wrong turn.

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It seems that the hyper-development of the new-cortex (in homo sapiens) created new opportunities for humanity outwardly - to plan, to communicate, to get things done, to ‘become’ physically.

But also new challenges inwardly which we didn’t deal with intelligently:

We created images of the external world - such as spirits, gods, symbols - and then mistook them for actually existing things. And more subtly, we mistook the incessant movement of images (and thoughts) inwardly for an actually existing ‘self’, which then required its own psychological ‘becoming’.

Yes, quite! Although, given the development of the neo-cortex, this probably would have been impossible anyway. Thinking, thought, was always a challenge humanity would eventually have to face.

The mystery is why ‘intelligence’ wasn’t able to respond adequately to the challenge that thinking initially presented (to the early humans). Intelligent people (in K’s sense of the word) were (and are) few and far between - so the vast majority of our ancestors continued to develop culturally and technologically in psychological darkness. The result being where we are today.

Yes. Can there be an insight into the nature of thought, so that psychological thought (psychological ‘becoming’) ends? An insight of homo sapiens into the conditioning of its own brain…

That’s part of what this question of a ‘wrong turn’ opens up.

An indication that psychological thought is present is any conflict or problem…any search etc. These all have to “be dissolved immediately”. Otherwise thought/time grinds on. The same challenges that thought/time is so successful at facing and solving in the outer world is misplaced in the psyche because it is an avoidance of ‘what is’. An avoidance in that it attempts to change , suppress, prolong, bring about something other than what is, etc all in an illusory future time that does not exist in the psyche. This movement of thought is itself conflict. Whereas the mind could be silent, it is in almost constant turmoil by the misplaced presence of thought/time.

So who or what is the ‘dissolver’? I can’t get rid of an unwanted song repeating over and over in the brain…how does the “immediate dissolution” process that is mentioned come about?

Do you actually know this, or just assume it’s true because K said it?

So who or what is the ‘dissolver’?

You go from a belief to a question, wasting energy and generating confusion. Why not keep it simple and admit that you don’t know if conflicts and problems can be dissolved immediately?

It’s true, it just happened.

May I just have a moment with my lawyer?

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Haha !! Dan vs Inquiry the Spanish Inquisition . Come on Inquiry, calm down :slight_smile:

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Fine. Now is it possible to immediately dissolve that confusion in yourself. Or will you be occupied with it? With what I wrote? With what I know and don’t know? Can you dissolve it immediately?

That’s what it seems must be done. So who or what is the dissolver? It
Is understood that any problem, question in the mind must be dissolved immediately or thought will bring itself/time in to solve or answer it.

That is the wrong direction.

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I suspect that if thought stopped and silence and emptiness prevailed, confusion would dissolve, but thought doesn’t stop…

That’s what it seems must be done.

Yes, but I can’t do it…can you?

any problem, question in the mind must be dissolved immediately or thought will bring itself/time in to solve or answer it. That is the wrong direction.

Why must “any problem, question in the mind be dissolved immediately”? Where do you get this idea? Problems take time and energy to solve, and questions lead to inquiry, all of which take time.

We’re considering psychological problems not technical. Technical problems take time of course and the ‘wrong turn’ may have been the bringing of that time process into the mind. If it works in the outer why not in the inner? It may have seemed logical. But in the mind there is only ‘now’. A different “time” not the time of the outer.

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Yes the brain has been conditioned to ‘abide’ the conflict that is caused by the presence of thought/time. Addressing psychological ‘problems’ with thought with the goal of solving them is what we’re calling ‘becoming’.
K is calling that ‘method’ , the wrong direction. He is saying the problem cannot be given to thought/time but must be dissolved “immediately”. The brain must be free of psychological ‘problems’ (aka the past).

You’re accepting what K said when it isn’t self-evidently or obviously true. Why is it that psychological problems can’t be solved like practical problems? Give an example of a psychological problem and why it can’t be solved by examining it.

The mind, the cognitive faculty, or “thought”, if you prefer, involves memory, so how can the mind be "only now’? I would say that complete attention, being here now, is the silence, the suspension, of mental activity, i.e., the mind.