The Book of Life

The Brain Produces the Mind

September 22nd ~ …What is the mind?  When I put that question, please don’t wait for a reply from me.  Look at your own mind; observe the ways of your own thought.  What I describe is only an indication; it is not he reality.  The reality you must experience for yourself.  The word, the description, the symbol, is not the actual thing.  The word door is obviously not the door.  The word love is not the feeling, the extraordinary quality that the word indicates.  So do not let us confuse the word, the name, the symbol, with the fact.  If you merely remain on the verbal level and discuss what the mind is, you are lost, for then you will never feel the quality of this astonishing thing called the mind.

So , what is the mind?  Obviously, the mind is our total awareness or consciousness; it is the total way of our existence, the whole process of our thinking.  The mind is the result of the brain.  The brain produces the mind,  Without the brain  there is no mind, but the mind is separate from the brain.  It is the child of the brain. If the brain is limited, damaged, the mind is also damaged.  The brain, which records every sensation, every feeling of pleasure or pain, the brain with all its tissues, with all its responses, creates what we call the mind, although the mind is independent of the brain.

You don’t have to to accept this.  You can experiment with this and see for yourself.

The idea or exercise to observe the mind in order to understand the mind has been quite interesting.  In a recent post, K says the seed will be planted.  That is what it feels like with this idea to observe the mind.  That it is possible to do so.  The word is not the thing is getting clearer for me.  That it is only an indication.   The metaphor that the mind is the child of the brain is fascinating.  That it is separate from the brain.

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The Anchored Mind

September 23rd ~ We carry on like machines with our tiresome daily routine.  How eagerly the mind accepts a pattern of existence, and how tenaciously it clings to it!  As by a driven nail, the mind is held together by idea, and around the idea it lives and has its being.  The mind is never free, pliable, for it is always anchored; it moves within the radius, narrow or wide, of its own center.  From its center it dare not wander; and when it does, it is lost in fear.  Fear is not of the unknown, but of the loss of the known.  The unknown does not incite fear, but dependence on the known does.  Fear is always with desire, the desire for the more or for the less.  The mind, with its incessant weaving of patterns, is the maker of time; and with time there is fear, hope, and death.

This comment isn’t really related to this particular piece by K but possibly another of his.  We say we don’t have the energy f for spiritual or religious work but we do for other activities.  Why is that?  The other activities require energy.  Is it conditioning?  I found it difficult to work a cleaning gig since cleaning is not something I do much of, although I am seeing more and more the benefits of it.   Looking for gigs on Craigslist.  Yeah, I have the energy for it, at least now.  Preparing for my WordPress Meetup for Thursday?  Not so much.  This is discussed somewhat in Zen & Creative Management.  Keeping the books up-to-date.  This is a lot like keeping the garage clean.   Oh, I will get to that later.  But it is just as important as any other task.  

This idea of center is another interesting piece.  Center and periphery.  More to come…

The Book of Life

The Mind Is the Result of Time

September 24th ~ The mind is being influenced all the time to think along a certain time.  It used to be that only the organized religions were after your mind, but now governments have largely taken over that job.  They want to shape and control your mind.  On the surface the mind can resist their control…Superficially you have some say in the matter, but below the surface, in the deep unconscious, there is the whole weight of time, of tradition, urging you in a particular direction.  The conscious mind may to some extent control and guide itself, but in the unconscious your ambitions, your unsolved problems, your compulsions, superstitions, fears, are waiting, throbbing, urging…

This whole field of the mind is the result of time; it is the result of conflicts and adjustments, of a whole series of acceptances without full comprehension.  Therefore, we live in a state of contradiction; our life is a process of endless struggle.  We are unhappy, and we want to be happy.  Being violent, we practice the ideal of nonviolence.  So there is a conflict going on–the mind is a battlefield.  We want to be secure, knowing inwardly, deeply, that there is no such thing as security at all.  The truth is that we do not want to face the fact that there is no security; therefore, we are always pursuing security, with the resultant fear of not being secure.  

This idea of an internal struggle going on is interesting and important, don’t you think?  Here we are struggling daily with decisions.  We are just trying to get by.  Outwardly, we struggle.  Yet, this struggle goes on inside and we ignore it.  It causes a lot of stress, dis-ease.  Just sitting with it would go a long way it helping deal with it.  Yet , we are encouraged to act.  To do.  But to be is the answer.  Just being with what is, just being with this struggle.  It takes a lot of energy.  Ever been around someone not used to listening to spiritual ideas?  They often get quite sleepy.  It takes endurance.  To just be.  Instead of “Just Do It”, it should be:  “Just Be It” or “Just Be.”

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Living Is the Greatest Revolution

September 25th ~ Mind is held in a pattern; its very existence is the frame within which it works and moves.  The pattern is of the past or the future, it is despair and hope, confusion and Utopia, the what has been and the what should be.  With this we are all familiar.  You want to break the old pattern and substitute a “new” one, the new being the modified old…you want to produce a new world.  It is impossible.  You may deceive yourself and others, but unless the old pattern is broken completely there cannot be a radical transformation.  You may play around with it, but you are not the hope of the world.  The breaking of the pattern, both the old and the so-called new, is of the utmost importance if order is to come out of this chaos.  That is why it is essential to understand the ways of the mind…

Is it possible for the mind to be without a pattern, to be free of this backward and forward swing of desire?  It is definitely possible.  Such action is living in the now.  To live is to be without hope, without the care of tomorrow; it is not hopelessness or in-difference.  But we are not living, we are always pursuing death, the past or the future.  Living is the greatest revolution.  Living has no pattern, but death has: the past or the future, the what has been or the Utopia.  You are living for the Utopia, and so you are inviting death and not life.

Eckhart Tolle is a fan of Krishnamurti.  That is not bad company.  Maybe the fact that K is talking here about living in the now reminded me of Tolle’s book “The Power of Now.”

The other thing is opposites.  When you pursue Utopia, you have death or the hell realm.  You pursue happiness, you invite suffering or sadness.  You can’t have one without the other.  K talks about pleasure and pain going together.  You pursue pleasure and you invite pain.  When success is experienced in business, not far behind is that feeling in your gut that this won’t fill that emptiness in your heart.  I learned that early on.  It motivated me to search for more meaning.  

Here I am.  Here we are…

The Book of Life

Inward Revolution

September 26th ~ What is true can only be found from moment to moment, it is not a continuity, but the mind which wants to discover it, being itself the product of time, can only function in the field of time; therefore it is incapable of finding what is true.

To know the mind, the mind must know itself, for there is no “I” apart from the mind.  There are no qualities separate from the mind, just as the qualities of the diamond are not separate from the diamond itself.  To understand the mind you cannot interpret it according to somebody else’s idea, but you must observe how your own total mind works.  When you know the whole process of it–how it reasons, its desires, motives, ambitions, pursuits, its envy, greed, and fear–then the mind can go beyond itself, and when it does there is the discovery of something totally new.  That quality of newness gives an extraordinary passion, a tremendous enthusiasm that brings about a deep inward revolution: and it is this inward revolution which alone can transform the world, not any political or economic system.  

Knowing the mind is an interesting endeavor, at least it has been for me.  Krishnamurti has said understanding the mind as opposed to knowing it.  Seeing the mind in action.  When I first became interested in psychology, the mind seemed like a far-away place, and dangerous to get to know to closely.  One could go crazy, I thought.  It seems like a lot of people felt that way.  A supervisor once told me there is a fine line between sanity and insanity.   However, the mind responds well to being observed.

The Book of Life

There Is Only Consciousness

September 27th ~ There is in fact only one state, not two states such as the conscious and unconscious; there is only a state of being, which is consciousness, though you may divide it as the conscious and the unconscious.  But that consciousness is always of the past, never of the present; you are conscious only of things that are over. 
You are conscious of what I am trying to convey the second afterwards, are you not?  You understand it a moment later.  You are never conscious or aware of the now.  Watch your own hearts and minds and you will see that consciousness is functioning between the past and the future and that the present is merely a passage of the past to the future…

If you watch your own mind at work, you will see that the movement to the past and to the future is a process in which the present is not.  Either the past is a means of escape from the present, which may be unpleasant, or the future is a hope away from the present.  So the mind is occupied with the past or with the future and sloughs off the present…It either condemns and rejects the fact or accepts and identifies itself with the fact.  Such a mind is obviously not capable of seeing any fact as a fact.  That is, our state of consciousness, which is conditioned by the past and our thought, is the conditioned response to the challenge of a fact; the more you respond according to the conditioning of belief, of the past, the more there is strengthening of the past.  

That strengthening of the past is obviously the continuity of itself, which it calls the future.  So that is the state of our mind, of our consciousness–a pendulum swinging back and forwards between the past and the future.

I recently attended a Dream Yoga and he mentioned the dream state and awakened state are both experiences where it is like “a dream.”  The difference is that in dreams, there is no concepts or thought.  I think this is why it is hard to remember our dreams.  But awakened state is still a dream, but with concepts.  

I was always frustrated with observing my thought since I was always a step behind.  Krishnamurti is saying this is always the case.  

The Book of Life

Beyond Time

September 28th ~ The conditioned mind, surely, is incapable of finding out what lies beyond time.  That is, sirs, the mind as we know it is conditioned by the past.  The past, moving through the present to the future, conditions the mind; and this conditioned mind, being in conflict, in trouble, being fearful, uncertain, seeks something beyond the frontiers of time.  That is what we are all doing in various ways, is it not?  But how can a mind that is the result of time ever find that which is timeless?  

The house of your beliefs, of your properties, of yoru attachments and comforting ways of thinking is constantly being broken into.  But the mind goes on seeking security, so there is a conflict between what you want and what life’s process demands of you.  This is what is happening to every one of us…

I do not know if this problem interests you at all.   Everyday existence, with all its troubles, seems to be sufficient for most of us.  Our only concern is to find an immediate answer to our various problems.  But sooner or later the immediate answers are found to be unsatisfactory because no problem has an answer apart from the problem itself.  But if I can understand the problem, all the intricacies of it, then the problem no longer exists.

This idea that no problem has an answer apart from itself.    In a video titled “What is Guilt”,  which convinced me to watch it over 30-40 times, he questions the problem itself.  We are conditioned in problems.  Our brain is conditioned in problems, Krishnamurti says.  He asks if we can see this conditioning.  It is hard to not to look back at our schooling and not see the repetitive nature of our education to where it becomes a habit.  So we are conditioned to solve and look for problems.  If we can see this, we can begin to see that our solution lies in the problem itself.

In the foreword of Zen & Creative Management, Albert Low mentions Karl Marx who said that every system carries within it the seeds of its own destruction. … Things are not separate.

The Book of Life

The Religious Mind Includes the Scientific Mind

A religious mind is free of all authority.  And it is extremely difficult to be free from authority–not only the authority imposed by another but also the authority of the experience that one has gathered, which is of the past, which is tradition.  And the religious mind has no beliefs; it has no dogmas; it moves from fact to fact, and therefore the religious mind is the scientific mind.  But the scientific mind is not the religious mind.  The religious mind includes the scientific, but the mind that is trained in the knowledge of science is not a religious mind.

A religious mind is concerned with the totality–not with a particular function, but with the total functioning of human existence.  The brain is concerned with a particular function; it specializes.  It functions in specialization as a scientist, a doctor, an engineer, a musician, an artist, a writer.  It is the specialized, narrowed-down techniques that create division, not only inwardly but outwardly.  The scientist is probably regarded as the most important man required by society just now, as is the doctor.  So function becomes all-important; and with it goes status, status being prestige.  So where there is specialization there must be contradiction and a narrowing-down, and that is the function of the brain.

The analogy I immediately come up with in comparing the religious mind and the scientific mind is absolute and relative mind.  The scientific mind breaks problems into smaller problems.  Nature doesn’t do this.  There are dilemmas in nature and there are only better that others answers, not a perfect match.  In Zen & Creative Management, Albert Low talks about how technology breaks things into smaller problems.  Again, nature doesn’t do that.  In reality, we face dilemmas.  The way to deal with this is Meditation.  He describes a term un reculer pour mieux sauter.”  It’s french for a kind of “recoiling.”  Nature does this when it hits a dead end.  Like a root hitting a large rock.  It backs up and find a new way, often better than before.  Meditation helps us do this.   It gives us some distance from our emotions and problems and we see a new way to deal with things.

Nature makes use of what may be called “un reculer pour mieux sauter,” a recoiling, in order to leap that much better. When nature’s evolutionary drive has reached a cul-de-sac, it withdraws and breaks out from a new point in a new direction. I am suggesting that Zazen is a discipline that uses un reculer pour mieux sauter; this approach provides greater facility in dealing with those organizational cul-de-sacs that are both frustrations and opportunities. Zazen seems to be as old as mankind; what is new today is its availability to the West, and specifically, its availability for dealing with the complex, multifaceted problems encountered in organizations. “

               ~ Albert Low

The Book of Life

A Mind with Problems Is Not a Serious Mind

September 29th ~ One of the principal questions that one has to put to oneself is this: How far or to what depth can the mind  penetrate into itself?  That is the quality of seriousness because it implies awareness of the whole structure of one’s own psychological being, with its urges, its compulsions, its desire to fulfill, and its frustrations, its miseries, strains, and anxieties, its struggles, sorrows, and the innumerable problems that it has.  The mind that perpetually has problems is not a serious mind at all, but the mind that understands each problem as it arises and dissolves it immediately so that it is not carried over to the next day–such a mind is serious…

What are most of us interested in?  If we have money, we turn to so-called spiritual things, or to intellectual amusements, or we discuss art, or take up a painting to express ourselves.  If we have no money, our time is taken up day after day with earning it, and we are caught in that misery, in the endless routine and boredom of it.  Most of us are trained to function mechanically in some job, year in and year out.  We have responsibilities, a wife and children to provide for, and caught up in this mad world we try to be serious, we try to become religious; we go to church, we join this religious organization or that–or perhaps we hear about these meetings and because we have holidays we turn up here.  But none of that will bring about this extraordinary transformation of the mind.

One  thing I notice in doing what I call ‘Krishnamurt’ing’ is that I hit a wall where I feel stuck and can’t go any farther.  But this doesn’t mean nothing happens.  I notice that what bothered me before bothers me less.  But, can we go farther?  Is this what K is referring to about “this extraordinary transformation of the mind?”  He has said it takes a tremendous amount of energy.   Can we dissolve our problems immediately?

The Book of Life

Time Provides No Solution

October 1st ~ All religions have maintained that time is necessary, the psychological time we are talking about.  Heaven is very far away, and one can only come to it through the gradual process of evolution, through suppression, through growth, or through identification with an object, with something superior.  Our question is whether it is possible to be free of fear immediately.  Otherwise fear breeds disorder; psychological time invariably does breed extraordinary disorder within one.

I am questioning the whole idea of evolution, not of the physical being, but of thought, which has identified itself with a particular form of existence in time.  The brain has obviously evolved to come to this present stage, and it may evolve still further, expand still more.  But as a human being, I have lived for forty or fifty in a world made up of all kinds of theories, conflicts, and concepts; in a society in which greed, envy, and who is in sorrow, there is no significance in looking to time for a solution, in evolving slowly for the next two million years as a human being.  Constituted as we are, is it possible to be free from fear and from psychological time?  Physical time must exit; you can’t get away from that.  The question is whether psychological time can bring not only order within the individual but also social order.  We are part of society; we are not separate.  Where there is order in a human being, there will inevitably be social order outwardly.

How life would be different if we would look at this psychological time as important as it is.  We would be doing a whole lot less and just being.  We would create a lot less problems.  Just being with what is rather than running away from it or indulging.  Psychological time is becoming more clear.  Compared with chronological time.  Changing emotionally over time makes no sense when we look at how time and thought are fear.  Can we change right now?