What Does It Mean to Be Responsible?

by Clive Elwell

 

“To change society you must break away from it. You must cease to be what society is: acquisitive,ambitious, envious, power-seeking, and so on” {1}

 

In the previous forum, references were made to J Krishnamurti, and I will quote him in this article.  These words of his neatly sum up the essence of my previous article:

“It seems to me that the real problem is the mind itself, and not the problems which the mind has created and tries to solve.”  {2}

 

“We think the crisis is outside of us; it is in us.  The crisis is in our consciousness.”  {3}

 

* * * * * *

I want to emphasise again that I really mean what I say in my ‘bio’. I am not any authority, I am not speaking from any fixed knowledge. I am genuinely inquiring, learning as I go along – and what perhaps is even more important, unlearning.

* * * * * *

I want to ask, are not people all over the world fundamentally ‘the same’?  Now I know from the previous essay and discussion “What is the real problem?”, that some readers object to this. I know some feel that a select few are the real problem in the world, and if everybody was like ‘us’ the world would be a better place. Reading your posts, I have been musing over this, and I investigate the concerns in Addendum A below, “We are the World”, so as not to interrupt the flow of this essay.

All human beings, rich or poor, suffer. Everyone feels anxiety and uncertainty. They are in conflict, perhaps at a national level, perhaps at their work place, perhaps in their family – and certainly in themselves. We all feel fear, sometimes loneliness. In our own way, little way or big way, we are ambitious. We all have desires, we all seek pleasure . . . .  I don’t have to continue the list. Can anyone deny this, that we have all this, and more, in common?

But what about the differences? Yes, there are differences – in degree. Seems to me these are differences in conditioning. The basic structure of the human mind, although the same all over the world, is ‘modified’ by how it is conditioned, the influences, the experiences, it receives,We may be less brutal, more tolerant, more modest in our desires, perhaps we can afford to be more affectionate because we have some physical security. If we have fought our way to the top, we may be more insensitive. And so on. But the basic structure, in terms of fear, pleasure, desire, suffering, is universal.

Yes, there are definite differences in the consequences of our actions. If we are rich and powerful, we can do more damage to the environment, trample on people more, Whereas the ordinary person can only trample on his family, or the people in the office below him.

But ultimately, is there any difference? Because all these actions, stemming from the self, damage, corrupt, the human mind.. Great or small, they impact on the human mind, from which subsequent behaviour takes place.  They reinforce the structure referred to above. They add to the on-going deterioration in the human mind – not the individual mind, but the human mind in general. If I am violent – at any level whatsoever – I am adding violence to the human mind, the mind which is common to us all. If I am not violent, I am not adding to it (I may even be diminishing it). We create the world. If I am nationalistic, I help create a world that is divided by nationalism.

* * * * * *

For a more detailed examination of this common human mind, I invite you to read  Addendum B below. Or you can skip it.

* * * * * *

So, like it or not, we are responsible for the world  (that is, the world of human affairs). Responsible because, in Krishnamurti’s words, we are the world.

And we can no longer use the old excuses:

“What one person does doesn’t matter”

“It’s the rich and powerful that are doing all the damage”

“Nothing can make any difference”

“We’re doomed anyway”

When one sees that one is contributing to the human mind, (that one IS it, in fact), then something very very important emerges – that one can do something about it.  Everything one does, thinks, how one acts, matters enormously. As Professor David Bohm put it:

“The real crisis is not these events which are confronting us, like wars and crime and drugs and economic chaos and pollution; it’s really in thought which is making it – all the time.  Each person can do something about that thought, because he’s in it.  But one of the troubles we get into is to say, “It’s they who are thinking all that, and I am thinking right.”    {5}

 

* * * * * *

The world is in chaos because we think we are individuals.

I will repeat that, because it bursts into the mind like some fireball – the world is in chaos because we think we are individuals.

Thinking we are individuals, we act as individuals – meaning we act for ourselves. Meaning we act in separation, we act selfishly. And where there is separation, there must be conflict.

Thinking we are individuals – under the illusion that we are individuals – we  all seek individual security. That security may be economic, political, emotional, seeking security in ideas, in a nation, in a relationship, in a religious belief, etc. But in all cases it is  security for ourselves. And such occupation must separate us from others. It must put us in competition with others.  We are educated to do this, in fact – our entire educational system is based on competition. We are raised to think of ourselves as individuals. The whole structure of society is based on the notion of individuality.

This is a recipe for disaster – the disaster that is unfolding in front of our eyes. And because it is non fact, the basis of our life is illusion. A life based on illusion must have tremendous complications, to say the least. It must be in disorder. And where each so-called individual is in disorder, society must be in disorder.

This disorder is now reaching a head. We are at crisis point. WE MUST see through this illusion of individuality, which causes all this separation and conflict. That is the only challenge really. This is the “right action” that I originally inquired about.

Without individual identity, there can be no identification with anything – there is no ‘my country’, ‘my race’, ‘my group’, ‘my tradition’, ‘my prejudice’.  And then, would there be any conflict at all? Would we not work together to urgently resolve all crises? But with these divisions, no crisis can ever be solved – surely that is clear? Look at the negotiations between nations over CO2 emission reduction – endless argument over who is responsible. Look at the state of all politics.

* * * * * *

We are faced with two options. Either we see ourselves as individuals, or we see that we are the world. Actions flowing those two states are enormously different. From the former, action will always be fragmentary, inadequate, only adding to human separation, adding to the problem, bringing us sooner or later to utter destruction, extinction.

But when one realises profoundly that ‘‘you are the world and the world is you”, what happens?

Only then can we live fully responsibly. Not the limited responsibility of my group, my ideology, my commitment, because I see that limited responsibility is irresponsibility.

The simple meaning of responsibility is caring. Caring for everything.

* * * * * *

To finish this essay I will return to the words of Krishnamurti. He said something that may be absolutely crucial if the destructive spiral of human beings is to be halted, and a fundamental revolution to take place in society.

He said: if just a few people changed fundamentally, that would change the world.

Now frankly this is something that I cannot directly see for myself, although I have often pondered it. It suggests that one person changing can have a disproportionate effect on the whole of human consciousness. It seems to me, if it is true, then it represents the only ‘hope’ (I use that word very reluctantly, I am not suggesting that we live in vain hope) for mankind.

Can we be one of those “few people”, or do we wait for others to change?

 

* * * * * * * * * * *

Addendum A: We are the World

 

When I read of the atrocities that seem to go on every day – people in Africa hacking others to pieces with machetes:  people being tortured so that the torturers can demand ransom money from relatives:  people, including children, being burnt to death because of different so-called ‘religious’ beliefs . . . . the list is endless, and hardly bears talking of . . . .  then one tends to think “ I would not be capable of that, surely?”. Perhaps not.

We stand aghast at stories of people burning down rain forest, bribing public officials so they can trample on environmental protection laws with impunity, treating their factory workers as almost slaves.  Addicting children to drugs, pushing junk food, alcohol, cigarettes, on the public, knowing it destroys their health . . . . Surely this indicates there is a definite ‘us’ and ‘them’, a clear distinction, two sorts of human beings?

Are there those who hurt other human beings, and those who do not?

When I read posts on various forums, (including this one), I see there are those who have no compunction about putting others down, insulting others, mocking what others write, being disdainful, dismissive. Consciously or unconsciously, they are willing to hurt others. No doubt they have their rationalisations, a feeling of rightness . . . . but then, no doubt, so do the people I first described.

What we see in the forums is a reflection of the whole world. And in fact wherever  we look, we see that same reflection. That includes, of course, looking into ourselves. To quote a phrase Krishnamurti used: “We are the world”. And of course, the world is us. Which was a major theme of my first article – although  I freely admit that I doubt if I myself understand the totality, the full meaning, of this statement.

Paul Chefurka from the previous discussion thread, put it beautifully:

“That feeling of wanting more – a second helping, a raise, a slightly better car, a bit more recognition and approval by your fellows – is on exactly the same spectrum as the behaviour of Sears COE Edward Lampert. It is different not in kind, but simply in degree. It’s the cultural threshold that determines the label.

Is there then a clear distinction, two different sorts of consciousness? It will be argued that the consequences of the earlier examples are far more serious than the latter. In some ways this might be true. But – it is the same intention. It is to boost one’s own ego, in various ways, at the expense of others. So I ask – and this is the big question – do not all these actions stem from the same consciousness?

For a more detailed examination of this ‘common human consciousness’, see Addentum B following. Or you can skip it.

* * * * * *

Addendum B: The Common Human Consciousness  (CHC)

The word ‘consciousness’, as in ‘human consciousness’, is used in a variety of ways. I think I caused confusion in my last article by its use. The way I am using it is: it is the collection of all experiences, memories, knowledge, that mankind has accumulated since he began. It might be called ‘mind’. Or more specifically, the man-made mind. It is from this that our everyday sense of existence is formed. It is this ‘reservoir’ that makes thought possible, without it we would have no language, we would be unable to think at all.

Put simply, it is the past.

It is generally seen as lot of individual consciousnesses, but actually, I suggest, it is not. Consciousness is common to us all. I will call this the  The Common Human Consciousness  (CHC)

And in the CHC lies the collective human sorrow and confusion.

Is there not only one human mind? I know this is terribly hard to accept, (not asking you to accept it in fact). It may sound terribly esoteric. But in fact if one examines the notion, it is perfectly rational. It is the idea of individual minds that does not stand up to scrutiny. There is scientific evidence for it, especially for group consciousness in animals (ants and bees are the more obvious examples) {6}. Many people also have an intuitive feel for it, at least at times. As a matter of fact, if one observes the mind carefully, one can SEE thought arising from this CHC

By the way, I am not claiming that there is no other consciousness beyond this limited consciousness of knowledge, this man-made mind. But this is how I have used the term. And the CHC is not a fixed thing. We are adding to it all the time, moderating it, for better or worse. More importantly, our own inquiry may have a profound impact on it.

* * * * * *

It comes to me that this CHC consists of a series of programs, as in a computer. Or they could be called patterns. What we are, at any given time, is the expression of one or more of these programs. Or it may be there are layers of programs. We move from one program to another, (there are programs associated with each age group for example, with each nation, with belief systems, etc etc), Programs may be modified, several programs may be integrated into a ‘new’ one, but there is fundamentally nothing new in the CHC. It can never be truly creative.

{1}  J Krishnamurti “Commentaries on Living 111” p 82

{2} J Krishnamurti 6th talk in New Delhi 31/10/1956

{3} Conversation between J Krishnamurti and Jonas Salk in Ojai, California, March 1983

{4} This “difference in conditioning” may shed light on the issue of native people, raised in the previous commentary, how they live in relative harmony.

{5} Professor David Bohm in his book “On Dialogue” 1996.

Prof Bohm had a lot to say on this issue of ‘thought being the problem’. See for example:

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/d/david_bohm.html

{6} See for example the work of Rupert Sheldrake.  I would be interested to hear of more research in this area that anyone knows of.

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Comments 116

  • “Is there then a clear distinction, two different sorts of consciousness?”

    It has no parts, no space-time-causation constraints.

    “do not all these actions stem from the same consciousness?”

    Nothing stems from consciousess. Consciousness reveals what would be otherwise unmanifest.

    “One who is a knower of the truth, although he is engaged in seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving, sleeping, breathing, talking, evacuating, accepting objects and blinking the eyes, realizes that all his sense-functions are interacting with the respective sense-objects. Therefore, he thinks, “I am not doing anything.”” – Bhagavad Gita, 5:8-9

    “it is the collection of all experiences, memories, knowledge, that mankind has accumulated since he began
    the man-made mind.”

    Tne collection constitutes the mind, which is an insentient epiphenomenon of the structure and function of the brain. Consciousness reveals it as sunlight reveals the trees, mountains, streams, flowers, leaves, etc.

    “Consciousness is common to us all. I will call this the The Common Human Consciousness”

    Consciousness is not common to us all or to anyone; if anything, all are common to Consciousness. Consciousness is each and every sentient being: not “in” each and every sentient being, but “each and every sentient being”. Each sentient being is Consciousness. One’s possessions are not oneself. The body, the mind, the thoughts, the sense of “I”, all are one’s possessions, and therefore not oneself. It is the Conscious Awareness that is not a possession, but is the very nature of the Self.

    “And in the CHC lies the collective human sorrow and confusion.”

    Consciousness is of the nature of the Void, Sunyata, The Boundless Void, Ain Sof. It is immutable, not negatable In the three domains of time. It reveals suffering and confusion as sunlight reveals a sewer or a garbage dump, but is unaffected by them.

    “group consciousness in animals”

    The universe is in consciousness, not the other way around.

    “one can SEE thought arising from this CHC”

    Nothing arises from consciousness. All that is apparent is revealed by consciousness, but arises from the physical world in accordance with its laws.

    “And the CHC is not a fixed thing. We are adding to it all the time, moderating it, for better or worse. More importantly, our own inquiry may have a profound impact on it.”

    Consciousness is neither added to nor subtracted from.

    “CHC consists of a series of programs, as in a computer.”

    Consciousness has no parts, nor is it a part of anything.

  • Clive,

    California is a leading state in many good ways over the years, but has there been a change inside Californians?

    They are having the worst drought in 1200 years, yet:

    Officials have implored Californians to cut down on water usage, but recent data show residents saved less water in February than in any other month since the state started tracking water conservation. Southern California residents actually used more water than average that month.”

    (Choose Your Trances Carefully – 5).

  • Clive,

    I read all your essay and you bring up some challenging ideas and explanations that are helpful.

    Eastern cognition is good for Western cognition, and vice versa.

    We in the West use metaphor in some similar ways, but we have a unique way of using metaphor in some circumstances.

    Take the “Germanwings Airbus A320, Flight 4U 9525” as a “metaphor, epitome, simile, analogy” etc. for an example.

    This airliner mass-murder-suicide event is like the mass-murder-suicide that is taking place within current world civilization.

    The first similarity is that these realities are nearly impossible for the majority to comprehend and therefore find credible, even though notable historians have discovered the evidence:

    “In other words, a society does not ever die ‘from natural causes’, but always dies from suicide or murder — and nearly always from the former, as this chapter has shown.”

    (A Study of History, by Arnold J. Toynbee). Psychologists have been puzzled by this phenomenon …”

    (Inside Job and/or Conspiracy?).

    Now analyze responsibility in that group as a microcosm of society, of civilization.

    There are those who control things and those who do not.

    Those who influence and those who do not.

    There are those who did not want to die, and those who did.

    Those who discuss climate change and the demise of civilization need to remember that it is a murder-suicide context.

    It is not a high school field trip to smell flowers and declare the beauty within.

  • hehe – hey Robin – Clives giant brain fart almost suckered you into a TL:DR comment 🙂

  • My father was Irish, born on St. Patrick’s Day.
    He loved stories way in excess.
    He couldn’t tell the truth to save his life.
    He found joy in the telling of the story, not the story itself.
    Just like you guys make up a bunch of stuff obsessing over meaning.
    Any artist will tell, meaning is meaningless, experience is what counts.
    My advice to you is to experience life meaningfully, not make up a bunch of bullocks to explain it to yourself.

  • The proposition that since we all bear some responsibility for the world situation therefore we are all equally responsible for the world situation is a false proposition. The idea that someone who uses their position and power to order the death of thousands is on the same level as one who occasionally says an unkind word to another is ludicrous if examined. This kind of thinking clouds the simple truth and is crazy-making if accepted. The elites love it if their victims can be conned into this kind of nonsense.

    It is interesting that the author of this essay uses Krishnamurti’s teachings to bolster his ideas. K would doubtless have censured him for doing this, since he K maintained that he was not a “teacher” and based a lot of his charisma on criticizing the very concept of anyone being a teacher. And yet K was a master at playing the very role that he condemned in others. This is known as the performative contradiction: one does the very thing she/he is strongly attacking.
    Reminds me of the preacher Kierkegaard spoke of who needed before delivering his speech condemning strong drink to have a few belts in order to give a good performance.

    Before swallowing everything K put forward, it would be good to consult the excellent biographies of this complex character. His false pretensions of sexual chastity were stock in trade of his masterful shtick. He played it like a classic sexual tease. Women couldn’t wait to be the one to seduce the supposedly aloof K, who they rightly suspected of having a fiery passionate side in spite of his brave denials.

    I will add that in spite of all that I learned about him and his teachings later on, my first relationship to K was that of a fascinated follower trying desperately to be the “non-follower’ that he seemingly endorsed. And I learned valuable lessons from him, many of which were about myself, and my tendencies for followership. Like many charismatic folks I fell in with subsequently K had some precious truths to impart along with his false coins….

    Clive – Please don’t take my thoughts to be an “attack” on you or your ideas and beliefs. Some of what you shared rang true to me. And I respect anyone drawn to this site by their concern for our dire predicament.

  • Pompous literary superstar, Joe Campbell, delivers the ageless mentalistic wisdom to Bill Moyers; “It’s the psyche!”

    Critical investigative journalist Moyers nods & nods in deep approval of Joe’s profound Jungian analysis.

    Shid Man, now you know both the problem & the answer.

    Yeah, & individualism too.

    An “idea” that “bursts into the mind,” & takes over our minds/psyches thereby making us selfish assholes, who only want to consume stuff/shid & watch television to see what we want.

    THEN; after “bursting in” & making us selfish individualists it bursts further & makes us buy airline tickets to Switzerland for skiing or Prague for art history & perusal of the medieval architecture?

    It’s the goddam psyche alright.

    Does anybody know what the mysterious all causal psyche is?

    Psyche & consciousness – don’t forget the mysterious consciousness.

    Fock.

  • Michael Parenti on new age mythology, mind sets, changing consciousness(es), changing underwear, changing the whole fucking world in one big swoop, & individualism, etc.

    PARENTI is at his very best here.

    http://www.autodidactproject.org/other/newagemp.html

  • Dave Cohen over at his blog Decline of the Empire says this about Guy in answer to cuntageous asking him where McPherson is wrong:

    http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2015/04/this-guy-is-working-on-it-but-cant-quite-get-there.html#comments

    OK, cuntagious

    I will explain some things to you.

    McPherson has no grasp whatsoever of what the science is telling us. He distorts the actual science all the time.

    http://fractalplanet.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/how-guy-mcpherson-gets-it-wrong/

    http://planet3.org/2014/03/13/mcphersons-evidence-that-doom-doom-doom/

    And McPherson distorts the science because he has an agenda.

    Now, it is true that the long view of the human future basically reflects what McPherson thinks will happen in the short term (NTE), but that does not excuse his distortions of what current science tells us.

    The important thing– and this is where you are going to be totally confused — is that McPherson is basically running a Doomer cult where he is the charismatic Big Man. He’s the Chief! This is pretty normal behavior as far as humans go, so there’s nothing special going on there.

    If you go over to his website Nature Bats Last, you will notice that everything revolves around Guy, or his acolytes, people like that Carolyn Baker woman.

    Edge of Extinction: The World of Should?

    You of course do not have the cognitive competence or life experience required to understand what you are looking at — basically McPherson has created a cult of personality (his) around which people have gathered, and this is no surprise in the sense that humans are social animals who are drawn (for unknown reasons) to this social group or that one.

    You might consider events like Jonestown at this point.

    http://history1900s.about.com/od/1970s/p/jonestown.htm

    I’m not predicting that kind of thing is going to happen with McPherson and his followers — he is a minor league cult leader –but the human dynamic at NBL is very, very similar to what happened at Jonestown and in various other tragic situations.

    Everybody, figuratively speaking, is drinking McPherson’s kool-aid. And doesn’t that describe the Human Condition generally?

    Now, it is clear, even if you read my Flatland essays, that you did not even begin to understand them. Don’t give up. As you become more experienced on the Earth, you may gain greater insight.

    I take my consolation from the fact that there are indeed people who understand what I’m talking about, some of whom made comments on this post.

    — Dave

    From past experience it isn’t possible to refute anything Mr. Cohen says on his blog – he just kicks you off like JMG used to do. Did you ever notice that the people accusing others of doing something (like creating a cult of personality/having an agenda) are simply projecting their own behavior? He relies on Johnson’s bullshit that (we already hashed out here long ago) to build his case about “distortion of science.” Cohen’s [nobody is more intelligent/knows more about life than me] approach is disappointing because he does have some good essays. Guess i won’t bother reading him any more either.

  • mike k

    Another very insightful comment from you.

    Thanks for sharing the bit about you having “learned valuable lessons….and about my tendencies for followership”.
    I think that’s one of the most valuable lessons anybody can learn.

    I have to read every comment of yours now.

  • Air distance from São Paulo – to New York, NY = 7,681 km or 4761 miles.
    Round trip for one = 9522 miles
    … for two = 19,044 miles
    Carbon cost at 2 pounds of CO2 per passenger mile = 38,000 lbs (rounded)
    38,000 lbs = 16 TONS OF CO2.

    Infrastructural determinism?

    Responsible for what?

  • Great piece from a thirsty man in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

    I am writing by candle light. The aching in my hand and the irregular handwriting reminds me that it’s been a long time since I wrote on paper and not a keyboard. The power cut has already lasted more than eight hours and I fear that the combination of events and outcome of what we are going through might be a foreshadowing of what’s soon to come around the world.

    It started with an irony, that may well be the perfect metaphor: the largest city in a country that holds 20 percent of Earth’s fresh water supply ends up without any. A combination of climate change, years of deforestation, privatization and a badly managed and corrupt political system have come together in a perfect storm to throw my city into one of its darkest crises ever. We now face a reality of four days without water and two with. We might as well call it what it is: a total collapse.

    Imagine a megacity like São Paulo as schools are forced to close, hospitals run out of resources, diseases spread, businesses shut down, the economy nose dives. Imagine the riots, the looting … what the police force, infamously known as one of the most violent in the world, will do as this dystopian scenario engulfs us. One of the great modern, rising capital cities of the world suddenly falls apart.

    We brought this on ourselves. We buried our rivers under concrete, we polluted the reservoirs, chopped down trees, erased the local biome to grow sugar cane, soy and corn to fuel our vehicles, feed our appetites, our extravagant lifestyles.

    I read the IPCC reports warning us of catastrophe. I watched the documentaries exposing corporations’ hidden agendas … the YouTube videos showing polluted oceans, overfishing, extracting, fracking and burning. I knew all this. And how markets march “forward” no matter what. How leaders pose for group shots with those golden pledges they never deliver … and how we, the People, march demanding change.

    This is personal … it’s about everything I love. And you have no idea how terrifying it is. It’s the kind of fear that you have no control over, that makes you grind your teeth at night while you sleep. There’s no language to describe this feeling of dread. No way to fix it. No time to fix it. This is the future that science warned us about. The new normal. And the truth is, I never realized it could happen so fast and that my friends, family and I would be forced to live through it, suffer like this.

    The battery on my phone is almost dead. The power has been out for 16 hours now. Still no water.

    I scroll the photos I took last month on our trip to NYC.
    My wife comes to me and in a low voice asks what we are going to do. “I don’t know,” I reply.

    What will 22 million people do in the dark?

    — Pedro Inoue

    ———-

    Responsibility?

    “I scroll the photos I took last month on our trip to NYC.”

  • Gerald: round trip miles for everyone in the plane is the same 9522. It’s the plane that’s spewing the CO2. By your reasoning no one should be driving, flying or even walking or breathing. While we’re on the way out, it won’t make a difference, since the biosphere is already reacting from the centuries of putting CO2 into the air by all our actions. Any one action in particular is irrelevant to the outcome, but they all contribute.
    Just sayin’.

  • Apologies for bypassing the post….
    Guy, here is a guy who in 1858 warned of the possibility of NTHE !

    J Spotswood Wilson.

    http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/rd/abcb82f5-6760-4a6c-a655-eff605fac935

    I don’t have the archive but was just reading of it in:

    Grove, R. ‘The Origins of Environmentalism.’ Nature 345 (1990), pp.11-14.

    The relevant quote in Grove but quoting Wilson:

    “in the usual course of geological changes, slowly approaching a state in which it will be impossible for man to continue as an inhabitant….as inferior races preceded man and enjoyed existence before the earth had arrived at a state suitable to his constitution, it is more probable that others will succeed him when conditions necessary for his existence have passed away.” p14

    Wilson was describing changes in the atmosphere of Oxygen and Carbonic Acid, but he was pretty close.

    😉

  • Bruce (boss) sang, “Nobody knows where love goes, but when it’s gone, it’s gone, gone, gone.”
    Question: When we are gone, is love gone or does it STILL remain?
    Over many decades I have loved and continue to love. That love always changes with time. Well, sometimes it disappeared completely. Where did it go? Many have written about love. Really what is it?
    It can’t be “this”, because “this” becomes “that”.

  • Based on my studies in psychology, no, we are not at all alike in our fear and anxiety, not by a long shot. Sociopaths don’t experience anxiety or fear or empathy or conscience, and a few other things, including any sense of responsibility.

    There are three recognized states of “consciousness” within science, and they are 1) waking consciousness, and that is all waking consciousness including hallucinations and delusional thinking; 2) dream states; and 3) non-dreaming sleep.

    The popular use of consciousness to represent the content or the focus of awareness, rather than state of awareness, is beyond confusing for me. I’m not sure it’s even meaningful. If I experience a specific emotion that my friend does not, I’m not sure our “consciousness” is different, but our feelings may be. Using “consciousness” to explain differences in awareness has become similar to using the word “evolution” to describe all change that occurs. I don’t think all change that occurs is “evolution,” and having different inner experiences doesn’t mean the people have different “consciousness,” but it might actually mean that the people are different.

  • Gerald Spezio;

    Not sure about some of your comments (my dementia is thick and progressing) but Michael Parenti is a giant in my eyes until proven otherwise (might turn out that it is not too difficult).

    So, Jung was a typical race hater (note #41)? Good punch Mr. Parenti! Many Whiteys are right there with him, especially in the South. (the slaughter here will be almost 100%, in the near, near future – then, there will be no problems in duh South.). That should make MR. Cecil and MR. Jung happy)

  • Gerald Spezio:

    Got to give you some applause because Michael Parenti is one of the best.

  • Clive,

    Read your article with great interest. I love the WE essence of our global societies in your writing, as in WE are responsible for the status quo of our species. But then I think of some religious aficionados dictating to the rest just how to live our lives, and then this causes me to rebel against the WE perception. If religious, political and economic agendas fill the great labyrinths of human minds, what is the main ingredient which can be found in each of our chosen conditions?

    Perhaps the one word which is missing in your article is the word ‘Survival’. Without the on-going and never-ending quest for survival, nothing matters, with the notable exception of course of religious tenets which would advocate that trips to heaven with brides galore if all things on Earth are done according to the rules are just rewards for being what is prescribed.

    Survival has always trumped everything else, and so all that happens in the human world, or for any other species for that matter, is the basic need to survive. As simplistic as the concept might be in the greater realm of things, WE want to survive, at least those who have not voluntarily chosen to do otherwise. And so the concept that you have raised with respect to BEING the change we want to see in the world, as Gandhi advocated, will always play second fiddle to just being around to do it. And that brings home some of the basic rules of survival in the nature of things, as in a survival of the fittest context. For some, that means hoarding as much as we can. For others, that perception is relatively more modest but still trumps all else.

    We left the jungles behind thousands of years ago, but the mentality of the jungle has never left, and can never leave. You must be a little selfish, otherwise you will not be.

  • Gerald,
    Thanks for the beautiful words from Pedro Inoue. They could fit in the description of every square inch of our only possible home, the Earth. Basically, if we take care of each other, it will take care of us, still.

  • Clive Baby; You gots me aworryin bout the goddamn sick twisted preverted ideas just “bursting into MY mind like some fireball” & makin me preverted so’s I cain’t git me no caufee or burgers & leads me a life of excellence with lotsa love & hot sex before I goes more crazier than I am allreddy from the old ideas that done bursted in from I dunno whayah.

    I’m worried too bout the mad dog polices burstin & takin my stash & whackin my pee pee cause I needs my shid for sleepin more better & real hot sex.

    Besides I dint make no chaos shid with myself as a goddam individual at least not that I am knowin that I dun such(ness) as in psycallogie or Krishna. Jesus, maybe?

    What’s your credit score, Bro?

  • Guy, that Cohen guy says that you are a real perverted egomaniac individualist intent on making us all bummed out big time about the sling & arrows about to rammed up out butts, as in Freud & Jung.

    The sumbitch is probably part of THE massive big bucks Zionist cabal & sinister plot designed to take over our Guv by buying all the Presidents, Senators, reps, & even the Supremes.

    They plan to use our military to destroy, maim & kill off Israel’s perverted Muslim antiSemetic enemies because Gawd loves Jewish people best.

    Then when everybody is knocked off, they plan to take ALL the Palestinians land.

    So don’t you worry none because what comes around and/or goes up & down can hit your arse like a fireball from Pluto – unless or except if you change your preverted consciousness.

    It’s all just more “troubles & griefs & sufferins,” as my Mama toldt me when I was growin up & watching lots of television.

  • Gerald Spezio – I’m counting six comments here from you today, and at least four from yesterday. please try to do what everyone else here is doing, and respect the two post a day rule. thank you.

  • shep, I need lots of applause & strokes because I am a preverted individualist consumed by the bursting-in preverted ideas/concepts from Hell & beyond. & that is just what is making me crazier & crazier every day now.

    I didn’t used to be so preverted & obsessed with terrible shitstorms on the horizon & ugly suffering & death until the crazy preverted ideas took over my mind w/o no warning even.

    Like McPherson, James Hansen, Natalia Shakhova, Schopenhauer, Philbrick played by Richard Carlson, & Colorado Bob …

    We be “following our bliss.” as individuals just like Dick Cheney, before it’s too late, Man.

  • Clive,

    You said, “the world is in chaos because we think we are individuals.

    This is indeed a crucial insight. It echoes Charles Eisenstein’s key theme in his book “The Ascent of Humanity”, the idea that Separation is a root cause of the world’s predicament. It’s the classic dualistic self/other split that separates us from everything and everyone else in the world. That split makes it possible for anyone who is so afflicted to view the contents of the universe including other people and all of life as insensate, external resources.

    Most people who are acculturated by a post-Enlightenment western worldview suffer from this affliction to some degree. This view not only makes possible the heedlessness, selfishness and greed that we all bemoan, but as you have pointed out so clearly it blocks us from full participation in, and responsibility for, the flow of life itself.

    The obvious psychological and physical damage caused by acting out this view is one of the reasons that Eastern non-dualism is so attractive to the small but burgeoning “ecological consciousness” movement.

    Buddhist ideas like dependent co-arising and Thich Nhat Hanh’s formulation of it as “interbeing” (“All is One”) are a good first step in this direction. Seeing through the illusion of the Self, which is the cornerstone of Advaita is the next step, the one that makes interbeing personal and tangible. Realizing the illusion of the Self also carries the enormous gift of setting consciousness free from its physicalist straitjacket. It goes without saying that few people are even familiar with these rudimentary esoterica, let alone practice them.

    Even when one does practice these modes of awareness, it’s inevitable that the constant cultural bombardment of individualism will trigger relapses. For example, if one’s social and financial payoff is dependent on acting in accordance with the Western mythology of the individual, it can be difficult to maintain even an occasional fragmentary contact with one’s true self. The dissonance that results can be profoundly debilitating, as I well know.

    Still, I think it is deeply beneficial to act out of that unity consciousness. It may not make a damn bit of difference to the unfolding of climate change, but it does matter to the flow of life in which we are simultaneously acting, being acted upon, and the actions themselves. this shift in perspective allows us to participate in that flow to the benefit of all and everything. It is also part of the discharge of responsibility that completes our relationship with the universe in which we live.

    My examination of the influence of non-equilibrium thermodynamics on human social behavior has shown me how deeply human beings are embedded in the universe. This apparently extends down to our mental processes being shaped by the same principles that govern the physical processes of the universe. It also hints none too gently at dimly perceived teleological possibilities…

    Some (few) people see the value of this worldview intuitively, instantly recognizing interbeing as a (or even the) key principle underlying the fabric of this apparent reality. Others (many, many others) ask what the point of such mental masturbation might be, because the physical trajectory of the world is now so firmly entrenched – yet another consequence of the thermodynamic view of behaviour.

    Still others, and I am one, grok both positions. This unfortunate situation can give rise to surprisingly acrimonious debates between the cerebral hemispheres regarding who gets to drive the bus this week. I would give anything to ask David Bohm how he handled that dilemma.

  • mo, crazy ideas keep bursting in like fire balls making me a selfish individualist narcissist prick just like Jung, Freud, Dick Cheney, Victoria Nuland, Pope Urban-the-second, & Clive Baby done said, for Chrissake.

    It’s the spontaneous generation of ideas, as in in maggots.

    Trouble is these ideas/voices of late are too freakin crazy, even for me.

    I doan have no hope left, especially after the gruesome bummer piece put up at Robert Scribbler.

    Memba; Love, love, love.

  • “Question: When we are gone, is love gone or does it STILL remain?”

    Physics has long maintained that information cannot be lost. What if this applies to the subtle information that love represents? This would mean that every loving thought, feeling, or action will continue to exist in a plane or dimension inclusive of all such loving information. (For some of the latest speculations as to whether info may be lost permanently on entering a black hole:
    http://news.discovery.com/space/could-lasers-solve-the-black-hole-information-paradox-140325.htm

    My further speculation about a subtle Dimension of Love is that not only might we get help from that source to remedy the severe love deficit we are experiencing on Earth, but perhaps the powerful clouds of Love existing in that dimension may have self-organized to give birth to beings and a world-space made of that subtle love-energy – much in the way that cosmology finds that the primal energy soup of our material universe self-organized into nebulae, and eventually stars, planets, and us….

  • Just BURST IN from Climate Reanalyzer making me plenty ascared & more crazy.

    If you ain’t crazy, you ain’t paying attention, maybe?

    Arctic temperature anomaly for April 2015; 20 degrees C above baseline average Baseline 1979 – 2000.

    http://cci-reanalyzer.org/Forecasts/

  • More crazy bummer ideas bursting in.

    Record Low Start to Arctic Melt Season

    The impacts to sea ice have been nothing short of unprecedented for early season melt.

    In the extent measure we find that for the past month running we have been at or near new record lows. Over recent days, consistent with the strong surge of polar heat amplification, extent values have again plummeted past previous record low values.

    Dropping by more than 50,000 square kilometers for each day in the April 6-8 time frame, the melt rate is exceedingly steep for this time of year.

    With April 8 achieving a new record low extent of 14,073,000 square kilometers — 95,000 square kilometers below the previous record low of 14,168,000 set in 2006.

    GO TO SCRIBBLER’S SITE FOR A KNOCKOUT/KILLER GRAPHIC.

  • @ Robin Datta

    Hi Robin

    The consciousness or mind that I was describing is the human mind, the man-made mind, the residue of all mankind’s knowledge, experience. It sounds to me – I could be wrong – that the consciousness that you are referring to is the consciousness that has not been created by man, the cosmic consciousness to give it a name. It is not this cosmic consciousness that has created all our problems, but the man-made one. I did say in the article say I was not denying the existence of ‘another consciousness’.

    This man-made conciousness is in essence the self, the ego. Perhaps ultimately cosmic consciousness cannot be divided, but this one we have created tries to separates itself from everything – that seems to be its ‘nature’. Seems to me as long as we are immersed in it we are going to destroy ourselves, and a great deal more, so it is this that must be understood. In fact I suggest the immersion, which is the everyday life of the vast majority, prevents contact with the cosmic consciousness – and it is there that the intelligence and love lie, which may be the only solution to our problems.

    Clive

  • @mike k

    thanks for response

    you imply love is information. Is everything information? What about dark energy or dark matter? We don’t even know what these things are

  • Clive, why doesn’t the cosmic consciousness burst in like a fireball?

    Why is the man-made fugged up consciousness type always winning out over the cosmic all loving type in your bursting in like a fireball theory ?

    Even if the cosmic type finally burst in, what would keep the preverted man-made type from bursting back in.

    Does your theory have a bursting out as well as bursting in, like equilibrium in econ. or Yin & Yang or the reciprocating universe?

    Many theologians blame all this fugged up man made consciousness staying in power & control on the devil(s).

    Joe Campbell called it the Demiurge.

  • mo Says:
    April 10th, 2015 at 10:12 am
    “Jeff S. – there was an unclosed italics tag in there, plus some oddball quote tags that might have been interfering with how you were trying to format the post. tried to clean it up as you had intended it, and deleted the extra posts.

    but Jeff, you may want to just try your post again. I am confused as to what you were doing there, as “the jungle” comment was from Jean, and it looks like you are directly attributing it to mike k, and then commenting back to Jean. none of that makes any sense. if you want to try again with a different post, I will delete the above.”

    I totally understand your confusion, as i said my post got mangled. I’d appreciate it if you deleted the one above, thanks.

    mike k Says:
    April 10th, 2015 at 5:38 am
    “The proposition that since we all bear some responsibility for the world situation therefore we are all equally responsible for the world situation is a false proposition. The idea that someone who uses their position and power to order the death of thousands is on the same level as one who occasionally says an unkind word to another is ludicrous if examined. This kind of thinking clouds the simple truth and is crazy-making if accepted. The elites love it if their victims can be conned into this kind of nonsense.

    It is interesting that the author of this essay uses Krishnamurti’s teachings to bolster his ideas. K would doubtless have censured him for doing this, since he K maintained that he was not a “teacher” and based a lot of his charisma on criticizing the very concept of anyone being a teacher. And yet K was a master at playing the very role that he condemned in others. This is known as the performative contradiction: one does the very thing she/he is strongly attacking.
    Reminds me of the preacher Kierkegaard spoke of who needed before delivering his speech condemning strong drink to have a few belts in order to give a good performance. We left the jungles behind thousands of years ago, but the mentality of the jungle has never left, and can never leave. You must be a little selfish, otherwise you will not be.”

    Excellent, i was beginning to think that everyone was buying into Clive’s New Age nonsense.

    Jean Turcot Says:
    April 10th, 2015 at 9:14 am
    “We left the jungles behind thousands of years ago, but the mentality of the jungle has never left, and can never leave. You must be a little selfish, otherwise you will not be.”

    People living in “the jungle” lived as cooperative hunters-gatherers, generally in good balance with their environment. This is the case with rainforest societies investigated by anthropologists in recent years. The mentality of the jungle has left, replaced by a mindset born of fixed settlements which eventually devolved into today’s very urban capitalist dog-eat-dog mentality. This is akin to people saying of someone that he or she went “apeshit” when in fact this individual went hypermodern human. Typical unscientific crap from Jean Turcot.

  • @ Dredd

    Yes, that Germanwings incident can well be seen as a metaphor. One that I suspect we will see a lot more of, as the human mind continues, or accelerates, in its deterioration, its disintegration, its corruption. In fact that corruption can be seen wherever one looks, every aspect of society, every manifestation of the mind. Hmm, even in all the fragmentation one feels a touch of the basic holistic nature of the cosmos.

    Could one say that we are commuting suicide all the time, as we cut ourselves off from life? And from this state of isolation, we kill – call it murder or suicide.

    Back to that Germanwings incident, it will be interesting (sorry if that sounds cold-blooded) to see if there are repeat performances, as the possibility has ‘entered human consciousness’. Just as the Columbine high school massacre became some sort of precedent.

    Yes, Dredd, we are discussing deeply serious things here. I often ask myself just to what extent I can take things in, how deeply one can apprehend the depth of it, the horror, the enormity of it all.

  • (Clive) “…the immersion, which is the everyday life of the vast majority, prevents contact with the cosmic consciousness – and it is there that the intelligence and love lie, which may be the only solution to our problems.”

    I have to second you on that one, Clive. How to move a crucial number of us beyond this world-destroying ordinary consciousness is the key problem we are facing. The first step towards that is to gather some small groups dedicated to discovering/birthing a process that can accomplish this essential goal. We are facing a major planetary initiation ordeal. The only way beyond this is to find a way to make real love the basis for everything we do. Any other path will embody the seeds of it’s own failure.

    Thanks for your clear expression of this truth, Clive.

  • @ mike k

    You wrote:
    ”It is interesting that the author of this essay uses Krishnamurti’s teachings to bolster his ideas. K would doubtless have censured him for doing this, since he K maintained that he was not a “teacher” and based a lot of his charisma on criticizing the very concept of anyone being a teacher”

    You have a valid point Mike. K constantly talked of the dangers of accepting any authority in psychological matters. He maintained that the term “spiritual authority” was a contradiction in terms. So just to quote his words is not a claim that they prove anything, and it may be a mistake to do so. I certainly deliberated long and hard about using K’s words.

    Of course to subtly use someone’s words and not to acknowledge it can also be considered reprehensible!

    You also wrote, Mike:
    “And yet K was a master at playing the very role that he condemned in others. This is known as the performative contradiction: one does the very thing she/he is strongly attacking.”

    Such a thing would also be called hypocrisy, and my studies of K have never suggested that to me. But I feel this is not the space for a detailed discussion about the person of Krishnamurti. Our words must stand or fall on their own merit, or lack of it.

    And you wrote:
    “Clive – Please don’t take my thoughts to be an “attack” on you or your ideas and beliefs”

    I am asking myself most seriously if I have any “beliefs”. It does not feel so here, certainly there is nothing that cannot be challenged, questioned. One even has to periodically question if the world really IS in such a dire condition as one observes, especially as just about everyone around me appears not to acknowledge such things.

    What is important is not what one might believe, not ideas or opinions, (and yes, the mind does have a strong tendency to conclude and accumulate) but what one actually observes. This observation applies equally to the world around one, and the ‘inner world’. And even one’s observations must be questioned, examined to see if one is interpreting according to one’s prejudices. To put it another way, the observer must be observed also.

    Clive

  • @ Gerald Spezio 
    “It’s the goddam psyche alright.
    Does anybody know what the mysterious all causal psyche is?”

    Wonderful question Gerald! And how odd that such a thing is so rarely asked, considering the impact, the consequences of that psyche!

    Let me try my two pennies worth 🙂

    First of all, the psyche, the self, is a concept. It is a construction of thought. It is the centre from which thought acts, albeit an imaginary centre.

    Thought, being itself impermanent, has created – and keeps on creating – an idea of the permanent. That idea being the psyche, the self.

    Getting a bit speculative now, but I would say all the psychological movements – fear, pleasure, desire, etc, had their origins in actual, physical, responses. Which were necessary. Fear is an essential physical response to danger, for example. But these things became internalised, by thought, became psychological movements, which are not only unnecessary but illusionary and dangerous. The physical body became internalised as the psychological self.

    What do you say?

  • Robert Callaghan,
    I think you meant ‘A bunch of bollocks.’ When you see a mob of bullocks,you will know the difference. Maybe it was a typo.
    I don’t really mind. Gave me a chuckle.
    Everything now is hot air.

  • @ Robert Callaghan 

    “Just like you guys make up a bunch of stuff obsessing over meaning.
    Any artist will tell, meaning is meaningless, experience is what counts.
    My advice to you is to experience life meaningfully, not make up a bunch of bullocks to explain it to yourself.”

    Clive: Wondering why the experiencing of living has to be regarded as separate from the movement to communicate with one’s fellow human beings?

    And, some people are not merely looking for explanations and descriptions, but are seriously, desperately, asking if there can be a transformation in mankind, before he destroys himself and much of life on earth.

  • Gerald – “Trouble is these ideas/voices of late are too freakin crazy, even for me.”

    I understand, I really do. we all do. but if you don’t figure it out soon I’m going to have to drop my own cosmic fireball right on your head. chill, man, and at least start combining this stream of “consciousness” into one longer post. (P.S. – I mean it).

    Jeff S. – “as i said my post got mangled.”

    thought so. all gone.

    (smell that smoke? that’s what’s coming your way, Gerald, if you don’t take me seriously… :0)

  • @ Gerald Spezio

    Thanks for posting that piece by Pedro Inhoue, Gerald. Sometimes descriptions really hit home. Sobering. Yes, although I wrote the article, I have drawn no conclusions, and still pondering on this issue of responsibility. Which means literally, the ability to respond.
    Clive

  • @ oldgrowthforest

    OGF “Based on my studies in psychology, no, we are not at all alike in our fear and anxiety”

    Clive: clearly the specific things we are frighted/anxious of might differ, according to conditioning, but the basic movements of fear etc – are they not universal?

    OGF “Sociopaths don’t experience anxiety or fear or empathy or conscience, and a few other things, including any sense of responsibility.”

    Clive: I would not include a sense of responsibility as being in the basic human psychological structure, which is fear, sorrow, desire, ambition, pleasure … I’m wondering about empathy and conscience as well. Not drawing any conclusions, but human behaviour seems mostly characterised by the absence of these qualities. But interesting to read what you say about sociopaths not experiencing fear. Can you give me any references for that?

    But my god, are we not all anti-social, pursuing our own ambitions and fulfilment?

    With regards your other comments: I have read that the nature of consciousness is not a subject that many scientists want to commit themselves on at all.

    Would you agree with this use of the word consciousness: consciousness is its content? And the implication that there is no consciousness apart from its content?

  • We can’t help what we are because as Guy has stated “We were all born into captivity”. We are just organisms with brains that are programmed a certain way. This took place as soon as we were born. We were taught to see, to hear, to speak, to listen, to think, to do everything we are doing. We live by the programs in our head. Nothing is new because everything has been handed down to us. This is true with every culture. How do we think outside of what has been taught to us? Even listening to Krishnamurti is programming your brain. He was just someone else talking. Somehow humans need something to believe to secure our identity. What is our identity? We don’t know, no one really knows anything, it’s just all a figment of our imagination…don’t you think?

  • Gerald! I got youz covered, dude! Cause youz IS the cosmic fireball! Youz goin’ to meet yo MAKER, and when youz meets it – it’ll be youz! But youz gottsa make interface here and NOW, baby, or how will youz all meet up later, after the last shoe hits the floor? Just don’t flunk spiritual kindergarten, my man, that’s all that’s to it. Be pure! Youz already know what’s RIGHT! So, as long as you stop throwing shit at the cosmic consciousness, like a silly monkey, you should be OK!

  • **Would you agree with this use of the word consciousness: consciousness is its content? And the implication that there is no consciousness apart from its content?**

    Why do you want to know?

    Chop wood. Carry water. Ask again in 10,000 years.

  • As the end gets closer, I wonder if an effort will be made to keep up with all the dead bodies lying around. I’ve tried to figure out a way to bury myself while committing suicide, but I’m not that mechanically minded. Or, should I settle for simple suicide at the bottom of a self made grave? I could leave a sign tied to my shovel saying, “If YOU COVER ME UP, YOU MAY HAVE THE CAN OF BEANS UNDER THE GERANIUM TO THE LEFT”.

  • @Clive – I am sure you are aware of the many scandals in the history of Asian spiritual teachers in the west. I have had personal connection with several folks involved with these gurus. One of the spiritual friends I studied with had Swami Rama as a house guest for a considerable period. Rama did not bother to seduce his female students, he simply raped them. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the transcendental meditation movement had a secret love nest for his concubines, and in addition funneled millions of movement money solicited for idealistic projects to his relatives. It must be said that I studied under Maharishi in Switzerland and still practice his method of meditation. Much of his philosophy and the scientific work validating meditation benefits I consider to be a first rate contribution to publicizing the value of meditation practice. I also learned valuable lessons from Krishnamurti which are still an important part of my understanding. An important lesson I have learned on my path is not to reject things of value just because the giver is imperfect in some respects. One of Rumi’s verses:

    Do not regard my outward form

    But take, take what is in my hand!

    Of course there is great controversy about Krishnamurti’s behavior among his devotees. This article from Tricycle aims to be a fair presentation of that:

    http://www.tricycle.com/the-shadow-side-krishnamurti

    And about Maharishi: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Wants_to_Fly

    I would recommend any serious seeker of truth to see this film. It is very well done and totally convincing in it’s authenticity. And in spite of the protagonist (director) coming to a rather sweeping cynicism, I still feel M. brought many valuable gifts to the world’s quest for a true spirituality.

  • @ Jean Turcot

    You are right, the desire to survive, to continue to live, is a basic movement in all living creatures.

    So how odd, that mankind, with his huge, complex brain, his amazing technical abilities, is singularly failing, about to fail, to do just that.

    Why is that, it is natural to ask.

    I suggest that the desire to survive PSYCHOLOGIICALLY has become stronger than the movement of physical survival. I think I touched upon that in my last essay. To put it simply, people are willing to die for their beliefs. And to kill, of course.

    This is, of course, insane.

    Jean: “We left the jungles behind thousands of years ago, but the mentality of the jungle has never left”.

    Clive: yes, indeed. We still function from our animal instincts.

    Jean: “ You must be a little selfish, otherwise you will not be”

    Clive: Well, this is an open question for me. When the self ceases to operate, it leaves an open space, it leaves room for something else to function. If that something is intelligence, then will that not take care of our needs in this world? If that is possible, at least. The time may come when it is not possible. But if it is not possible, then at least we can die with intelligence

  • @ Paul Chefurka

    Paul: “Still, I think it is deeply beneficial to act out of that unity consciousness. It may not make a damn bit of difference to the unfolding of climate change, but it does matter to the flow of life in which we are simultaneously acting, being acted upon, and the actions themselves. this shift in perspective allows us to participate in that flow to the benefit of all and everything. It is also part of the discharge of responsibility that completes our relationship with the universe in which we live. ”

    Clive: Eloquently put Paul, and your words, and what is behind them, bring tears.

    Yes, there seems very little chance that this tsunami of destruction in Mankind can be diverted. But that was never the motive for writing, or for discussing, or for any action. We must act because our action is simply the right thing to do.

    Thanks

  • @ Gerald

    “Clive, why doesn’t the cosmic consciousness burst in like a fireball?”

    Clive: I don’t know Gerald, you had better ask it.

    But perhaps because there is still some movement of thought that thinks it has answers.

    G: “Why is the man-made fugged up consciousness type always winning out over the cosmic all loving type in your bursting in like a fireball theory ?

    C: I was not talking about a theory but what felt like an insight. But I would rephrase your question: Why does man-made consciousness apparently dominate?

    I can think of many answers, but non of them satisfy me.
    We give so little energy to these fundamental questions.
    Everything seems against us being serious – family, friends, the newspapers, the miasma of entertainment, the difficulty of eating properly, of having sufficient leisure to reflect …..
    There is a HUGE MOMENTUM of the old patterns.
    Our own fear.
    Thought. Thinking the answers lie in the field of the known.
    Our conditioning, our education, our up-bringing.
    The idea that time will solve our problems.

    G: Even if the cosmic type finally burst in, what would keep the preverted man-made type from bursting back in.

    C; There are no guarantees in this life. But once one has seen a danger, actually seen it, one does not return to it.

  • @ Mike K

    “How to move a crucial number of us beyond this world-destroying ordinary consciousness is the key problem we are facing. The first step towards ….. etc”

    Clive: Now you’re talking! Instantly the energy changes from defeatism to actually inquiring. And that energy is its own action.

    Going for a walk, will get back to you.5

  • Clive, I’m not clear on what you mean concerning the “basic movements of fear.” I meant what I wrote ~ not everyone experiences anxiety and fear the same at all, and it is common among sociopaths that they lack anxiety and fear, and do not learn from suffering. They make the same mistakes over and over, even when they fail spectacularly and experience consequences that cause tremendous suffering and anxiety for ordinary people.

    You are discussing a few subjects using many terms for which there are generally understood definitions, and making up your own facts around them, it appears, like how everyone feels fear and anxiety pretty much the same, it’s just the causes or subjects of our anxiety that change. That is not true and it is well understood in psychology. People have very different levels of anxiety and fearfulness. Anxiety and anxiety disorders are crippling for some people, and it runs in families. Martha Stout discusses the lack of both anxiety and the inability to learn from suffering that is common among sociopaths in her book “The Sociopath Next Door,” but there is a lot of information about this subject out there. If you look up the DSM criteria for antisocial personality disorder, one of the key behaviors is “reckless disregard for safety of self and others.”

    People are only “reckless” and dismissing of the “safety of self and others” when they don’t feel anxiety or fear.

    You wrote, “I would not include a sense of responsibility as being in the basic human psychological structure, which is fear, sorrow, desire, ambition, pleasure … I’m wondering about empathy and conscience as well.”

    I’m not sure what you base the above criteria on, but a sense of responsibility is also one of the fundamental human behaviors/psychological indicators that are addressed in the DSM in connection with diagnostic criteria for some disorders, and antisocial personality disorder is one of them.

    In addition, there has been some work done among psychiatrists, psychologists and anthropologists to determine categories for basic human emotions and while there some small differences, in general there is much more agreement than argument. The generally recognized human emotions are fear, disgust, anger, joy, grief and surprise. I don’t think that desire, ambition and pleasure actually separate things.

    “But interesting to read what you say about sociopaths not experiencing fear. Can you give me any references for that?” I did. But a rudimentary familiarity with studies on these topics would appear to be helpful.

    “But my god, are we not all anti-social, pursuing our own ambitions and fulfilment?” Uh, no. There are wide differences in people, and while I agree that the majority are selfish and short-sighted, NO, we are not all alike on almost every level, not in intelligence, not in empathy, not in conscience, not in innate talent, opportunities, psychological makeup, etc., etc.

    And as for empathy, numerous studies indicate that it is innate, and is displayed in preverbal babies as young as eight months, and the experience of empathy can be seen in neuronal activity in the human brain when people subjected to testing during PET scans. The brains of sociopaths and psychopaths do not register empathy like other people’s do. They lack the hardware. Theirs doesn’t work. And that IS an absence.

    “With regards your other comments: I have read that the nature of consciousness is not a subject that many scientists want to commit themselves on at all.” Again, I’m not sure what you mean. Many scientists commit quite easily and expound upon their views on theories of consciousness.

    What is true is that most scientists are not neurophysiologists or psychologists or psychiatrists, and are no more competent to discuss the science of consciousness than any other person. It rarely stops them, however, from thinking they know more about it than they do, or from committing to a materialistic view of consciousness as being biologically based.

    What is true is that no one has yet been able to prove that consciousness is limited to biology, and the weight of the scientific evidence certainly indicates this, however, not all. There is very ample statistical evidence that a number of psi abilities very much do exist and are not bound by any material limitations we are aware of, including telepathy, precognition, and remote viewing. There is other evidence that the consciousness is not bound by materiality, however, it is not evidence that can be reproduced in a laboratory, therefore it is not considered evidence within the mainstream academic and scientific communities, but plenty of people throughout every era, every culture in the world, have reported precognitive dreams and other phenomena that were witnessed and documented by multiple individuals, such as Abraham Lincoln’s famous precognitive dream concerning his own death shortly before he was assassinated. But because these are not reproducible events, they are considered “anecdotal.” That’s unfortunate, I think, because I think that limiting all Truth and Reality to laboratory science doesn’t work. But hey, what do I know, right?

    “Would you agree with this use of the word consciousness: consciousness is its content? And the implication that there is no consciousness apart from its content?”

    No. My consciousness is not the object or focus of my consciousness, at least not on this level of reality. Maybe on another level of reality that is true, but not on Earth, I don’t think. Just because words can make a potentially meaningful sentence doesn’t mean they provide an accurate model of reality. When we make up sentences with abstractions as our subjects, as our object, as our verb and/or adjective, then ANY well structured and stated idea can appear to make sense while being total nonsense.

    Now that, I do believe, is a widespread human problem, that things that appear to make sense are indistinguishable from reality for a lot of people. As Satish recently coined, No Wonder We Are Going Extinct.

  • Kirk Hamilton Says:
    April 10th, 2015 at 6:34

    Way too funny. The drug companies will be selling anti depressants like skittles. I like the way Chief Dan George in the movie Little Big Man decided to end his life. “Today is a good day to die.” Except the rain woke him up.

  • @ Teresa

    “Even listening to Krishnamurti is programming your brain”
    .
    Clive: That depends on how you listen. There is nothing in K words that is intended to condition, he was not doing any sort of propaganda. He was just pointing out how things are. So whether we get conditioned or not by his words depends on how we listen. I would say, in fact, that is the key to the whole issue of freedom, how we listen, how we look.

    It is certainly true that we, the brain, is conditioned. It is full of various influences, and our actions, although we may delude ourselves otherwise, are never free. But is there not another factor here? Are we not capable of observing what is happening in ourselves? Can we not observe the whole process of conditioning – not try to do something about it, because anything we try to do will just continue the conditioning,

    in this observation, this ‘choiceless awareness’ as K described it, is there not freedom? But HOW we observe is everything. One has to go deeply into the question of whether the observer is different from what he observes (psychologically). But everything lies in the act of looking, listening.

    Teresa: “Somehow humans need something to believe to secure our identity. What is our identity? We don’t know, no one really knows anything, it’s just all a figment of our imagination…don’t you think?”

  • “It is not this cosmic consciousness that has created all our problems, but the man-made one.”

    The meat robot, the body-mind complex, has no sentience, and is not capable of creating it. It can perform all functions expected of it, as can a wind-up doll. But it has no more sentience than the wind-up doll. Any sentience is from Consciousness. Consciousness is not cosmic. It is not constrained by cosmicness. A flower garden may look buautiful in the sunshine, but absent light on a pitch-dark night, its beauty is not manifest.

    “This man-made conciousness”

    The meat robot is insentient, and is not capable of creating sentience. It may and does create self-modifying programs and algorithms, a very sophisticated wind-up doll.

    “the immersion, which is the everyday life of the vast majority, prevents contact with the cosmic consciousness”

    There is no cosmicness constraining Consciousness. The Being is Consciousness, unconstrained by space-time-causation (akasha-kala-nimitya, the Sanskrit terminology was in use before the Buddha’s time, and is Old Age, not New Age). It is always everywhere at all times, and can therefore neither initiate nor discontinue contact. Water cannot wet itself.

    “observer must be observed also.”

    The observer is the subject. The observed is the object. Abstracting something called “observer” and observing it makes it an object. The subject can only observe an object, and never the subject.

    “Would you agree with this use of the word consciousness: consciousness is its content? And the implication that there is no consciousness apart from its content?”

    Sort of like saying there is no sunlight apart from the forms and colours illuminated by it. The moon at night is surrounded by dark sky, but there is sunlight passing through it. That is why the Buddhists speak of the Void (Sunyata) and the Jews speak of the Boundless Void (Ain Sof). Subtler than the subtlest, it can easily be (and is) dismissed as non-existent, as nothing. Meanwhile, chop wood & carry water. If done right, each of them is excellent objects to be illuminated by consciousness.

    Even if a scientist sticks h/er/is head in an FMRI scanner and then looks at the monitor observing the results, s/he is still not observing the observer.

  • Hi Clive, I don’t know if we have “choice less awareness” because how can it be choice less if our awareness is based on everything we have in our head or have learned? I discovered Krishnamurti many years ago. I am not saying that what he says is not understandable but when I say he is just another person talking well that’s what all of us are doing, trying to make sense of what we think, our thoughts and how we view our world inside and out. I believe awareness comes not by learning what others are saying but upon experiences one has that are unique only to the individual. We can’t even see with our eyes all that there is to see or hear with our ears all that there is to see because we have been conditioned or we don’t have the capability to. Other species are far more evolved or more in tune with this planet. Whales can message one another thousands of miles apart without using a computer…birds fly together in formations without a gps… What I am finding a little strange is that we are having a religious discussion on a website that is supposed to be about climate change. It looks to me like because of the fact that we could be facing our species extinction now people are looking for the right answer as to how and what will happen after we die. It seems to me that we are all a part of a spark, all the hearts that beat including all other species are connected by this electric involuntary connection, this current that gives us life as we understand it on this planet.

  • Meant to say hear with our ears all that there is to hear…

  • Did LOVE remain on Mars after it lost it’s atmosphere & oceans? Does LOVE remain on Venus under a thick blanket of runaway greenhouse gases? Does anyone love Earth enough to not leave it radioactive – even if we do not remain?

    Steven Benner at Applied Molecular Evolution “Life on Earth uses a set of 20 left-handed amino acids to build proteins.” All 20 mutate when exposed to radiation. 500 Fukishima meltdowns coming soon. The chain reaction after an EMP/Biowar might be the NTE your looking for. Several countries have genetically enhanced pandemics in store. Ready for release when the elite do not care about capitalizing on this planet much more.

  • @ Teresa

    Seems like the last part of my post to you was cut off somehow. Here it is:

    Teresa: “Somehow humans need something to believe to secure our identity. What is our identity? We don’t know, no one really knows anything, it’s just all a figment of our imagination…don’t you think?”

    Clive: Our identity is whatever we happen to identify with. But I question if we actually need any identity, if we need to identify with anything. Why should we? Yes, certainly all identities are figments of imagination.

  • @ Mike K

    I am certainly starting to regret ever using Krishnamurti’s name! I do feel it was a mistake, and introduces a lot of distracting discussion. Yes, let us take Rumi’s advice, and take, or at least look at, what is in people’s hands. As many sages have said, look where the signpost is pointing, but don’t attempt to take the post along with you on your journey :-).

    In any case, I doubt if we can ever know the complete truth, the full picture about anybody’s actions. Who knows what is behind the apparent scandal, the sensationalism?

    What is clear is that we have to see for ourselves, understand for ourselves. We can afford to accept the words of ANYONE. There is no learning in accepting authority. I want to state categorically that I have no interest whatsoever in following another human being, it is degrading. And no interest in pursuing any system of meditation, and so called spiritual practice.

    Since the issue has been raised, I see a need to deal with the following points:

    Mike K: “Of course there is great controversy about Krishnamurti’s behaviour among his devotees. This article from Tricycle aims to be a fair presentation of that:
    http://www.tricycle.com/the-shadow-side-krishnamurti”

    Clive: First of all, if someone calls himself a devotee of Krishnamurti, he has totally ignored what K actually said. K could not be more clear about this, he addressed the issue at every talk he made – saying he was NOT a guru, he wanted NO followers, he was NEVER to be taken as an authority. All the time he asked to be questioned, doubted. In 1929 he relinquished his role as World Messiah, and dissolved the organisation that has been formed for him. In the face of all this, if people insist on “following him”, being a “devotee”, well, there is nothing that I can do.

    Secondly, about the “Life in the shadows” book. It has never been denied that K had a long lasting ‘love affair’ with Rosalind, after the break up of her marriage. He help raise her child, the author of the book. But as for the rest of the accusations, they have been formally and firmly denied by the Krishnamurti Foundation of America, and in a book written by one of K’s biographer’s Mary Lutyens, “Krishnamurti and the Rajghopals”.

  • @ Mike K
    “How to move a crucial number of us beyond this world-destroying ordinary consciousness is the key problem we are facing”

    Clive: Yes, I agree with that. Although for me the word “how” cannot imply a search for a method, a technique.

    Mike K: “ The first step towards that is to gather some small groups dedicated to discovering/birthing a process that can accomplish this essential goal”

    Clive: Groups have their own difficulty. It seems almost impossible for even a small group to think together. But let us examine this suggestion. Do you mean a group gathering physically, or on the web?

    Mike: We are facing a major planetary initiation ordeal. The only way beyond this is to find a way to make real love the basis for everything we do.

    Clive: Yes, and as you say, REAL love. Not the semblance of it

    Mike: Any other path will embody the seeds of it’s own failure.

    Clive: Yes, this is crucial. This means, does it not, a complete severance with the past.? The past simply does not have any answers.

  • @ Teresa
    “Hi Clive, I don’t know if we have “choice less awareness” because how can it be choice less if our awareness is based on everything we have in our head or have learned?”

    Clive: Exactly, we cannot. Awareness is not based on anything. It is not verbal at all. It is just ….awareness.

    Teresa: “ trying to make sense of what we think, our thoughts”

    Clive: I don’t think it is possible to make sense of our thoughts. They are fragmented and contradictory, that is their nature. And besides, who or what could do this ‘making sense’? Just another thought, no?

    Teresa: “ I believe awareness comes not by learning what others are saying but upon experiences one has that are unique only to the individual.”

    Clive: By all means let us put aside what others might say, but ….. well, is awareness something to be cultivated, something that has a cause?

    Teresa: “What I am finding a little strange is that we are having a religious discussion on a website that is supposed to be about climate change.”

    Clive; But what significance does religion have, if it is not concerned with our everyday life? I am not using the word ‘religion’ as having anything to do with ‘religious belief’. More meaning an inquiry into what is true.

    Teresa: “ looking for the right answer as to how and what will happen after we die.”

    Clive: We need to die just as we need to live – without any knowledge of ‘how to do it’.

  • Since when does posting an essay give the right to swamp the comments thread ? There must be a website on Krishnamurti where his devotees can be directed.

  • Perhaps it is our ignorance and hubris that gives rise to the notion mankind needs to be **transformed**?

    If, as some say, things are exactly as they *should* be, in balance. Perhaps it is somewhat arrogant of us to be discussing a **to do** list for **mankind**.

    Perhaps we should stick to our knitting and direct our limited energy towards transforming ourselves.

    @david higham — transforming mankind is tireless, endless work and requires more than 2 posts a day. Maybe if we were just gonna transform – say Austraila — we could suffice on two comments a day.

  • A few of the news stories collated at JJFH from a few days ago:

    2015-04-09 – Methane leaking from the ground, ground collapsing over mine, roads buckle, homes evacuated, in Benld (Illinois)

    Quote: “The homes were evacuated as a precaution after authorities detected methane gas leaks in three homes. Roads also cracked and buckled.”

    Quote: “Methane from the mine shafts is bubbling up to the basements of a few of the homes, causing them to buckle. Ameren Illinois is working to clear the gas out. While not poisonous, methane is highly combustible. The utility company shut off power for about 70 customers to prevent a methane explosion.”

    2015-04-09 – Sinkhole spews fire and incredible heat in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (China)

    2015-04-09 – Home destroyed by basement explosion and fire in Cicero (Wisconsin)

    Quote: “A house in Cicero, near Seymour, is destroyed after an explosion and a fire Thursday night. Firefighters were called before 7 p.m. to the house on Cicero Road. They remained on scene until about 1:00 Friday morning. Authorities tell us the fire started after an explosion in the basement.”

    Note: This is the 148th residential explosion in 2015

    2015-04-09 – Entire town destroyed by fire in Saptari District (Nepal), more homes burn separately in another district

    2015-04-09 – Water treatment plant damaged by fire along the Ohio River in Louisville (Kentucky)

    Quote: “The fire caused a loss of power at the facility and damaged electrical and mechanical equipment. The damage to the equipment resulted in approximately 100 million gallons of sewage mixed with stormwater to leak into the river.”

    Quote: “The Louisville Water Company confirms this massive spill has absolutely no effect on the city’s drinking water. That’s because the water intakes are upstream from Louisville.”

    Note: How about the people downstream? There are more people on the planet than just those that live in Louisville.

    2015-04-09 – Construction debris bursts into flame shortly after 4 AM at library in Milwaukee (Wisconsin), near Lake Michigan

    2015-04-09 – Home erupts in flame with popping noise in Bellbrook (Ohio)

    2015-04-09 – In separate incidents, within 30 minutes, vacant and occupied homes go up in flames in Plainview (Texas), nobody there

    2015-04-09 – Fish dying in lakes and ponds across Massachusetts

    2015-04-09 – Couple, 22 and 20, found dead in home in McKeesport (Pennsylvania)

    Quote: “Officials say there does not appear to be any foul play involved in the deaths.”

    2015-04-09 – Couple, 58 and 56, found dead in home on Jane Randolph Street in Forest (Virginia)

    2015-04-09 – College student, man, 20, goes for run along river, next seen dead in the Susquehanna River near Binghamton (New York)

    2015-04-09 – Man, 33, shirtless, goes on rampage at pita restaurant, attacks random pedestrians, in Harrisburg (Pennsylvania)

    Quote: “Ingalls approached the man, whom he recognized as a service worker from another business downtown. ‘What are you doing behind the counter?’ Ingalls asked the man. The man didn’t answer. He mumbled incoherently and looked disoriented. ‘He couldn’t even speak,’ Ingalls said. ‘That’s how messed up he was.’ Ingalls stopped the man from destroying the soda cooler and tried to usher him out, but the man then came at Ingalls.”

    lots more, every day @ http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/

  • Thank you for introducing J. Krishnamurti to the conversation. Truly a man for our times. Although I do not believe he drove an automobile, or for that matter possessed a drive’s license, or (reflecting on one of Gerald Spezio’s comments) had a credit score – seems as though Krishnamurti was a bit of a half-wit … never mind then.

  • All right! Finally got around to listening to Guy McPherson’s Latest Climate update (the April 10th interview with Reese Jones). Great stuff. I mean… You know what I mean. So even if there’s a delay, it’s time for a bit of love mail (sort of an offset) to Guy and Reese. Here’s to you!

    Still

  • I meant the one posted on April 1.
    Still

  • Clive, I just wanted to add, that for a man, meaning Krishnamurti, that didn’t want any followers, he sure liked to talk about what he thought and he had a huge audience ready to listen…maybe by casting his net of thoughts and questions out to the audience he was trying to gain answers for himself…I don’t know, only he does.

  • @Clive – There are two points you raise in your recent post to me that I want to respond to. Because of the length necessary to explain myself thoroughly, I will deal with the first question in this post, and do the other concern later.

    Clive Says:
    April 11th, 2015 at 1:56 am
    @ Mike K
    “How to move a crucial number of us beyond this world-destroying ordinary consciousness is the key problem we are facing”
    Clive: Yes, I agree with that. Although for me the word “how” cannot imply a search for a method, a technique.

    In his Commentaries on Living Krishnamurti is recounting experiences he had from the point of view of a state of consciousness he was in that he has called “choiceless awareness”, which others have referred to as the “witnessing state”. This is a real and valuable state of consciousness which I have experienced occasionally. It must be experienced to be appreciated, although to experience it is not necessarily to understand it. And there’s the rub: you cannot directly bring it into focus or explain it to one who has not experienced it. There are things you can do to make it more likely you will be visited by it, but they all involve prolonged waiting, like meditation for example.

    The best attempt to share what it is like I have found is Ken Wilber’s book “One Taste”. The problem with K’s presentation of this valuable state I that he confronts the reader with the need to see things with choiceless awareness, but denies him any method to do that. He is a little like a zen master in this respect, but although the zen roshi denies all ordinary methods efficacy, he does offer a non-method. A little like Herrigel’s zen archery teacher (who would of course deny he was a teacher) telling him, “The arrow must shoot itself!”

    Now the problem facing humankind is that as valuable as this higher level of detached consciousness might be in resolving our desperate problems, we have not found a quick accessible way to engender this level of higher understanding, which is not understanding in the ordinary sense. Another way to put this is we don’t know how to reliably deliver spiritual experiences that are lasting and transformative. And the need for such methods has been around for as long as we have human history. But we need answers that can head off disaster ASAP. So it appears that due to time constraints and the attachment of most humans to various forms of delusion and denial, the promise of higher levels of consciousness as a solution to our pressing dilemmas must be deferred to a possible but unlikely future yet to be provided for…

  • david higham –

    “Since when does posting an essay give the right to swamp the comments thread?”

    since any time any writer has taken the time to post an essay on NBL. being the initiator of that particular conversation, they are free to answer and participate in as much of that particular conversation as they would possibly want to. of course this only applies to the actual conversation thread begun by the essayist.

    ~mo

  • Teresa,
    Your arguments re” reality and what we are taught from Day One are most compelling. Don Juan, a Yaqui native, believed that getting rid of the baggage stuffed into one’s suitcase by our ancestors is one of the most daunting challenges of life. Living or discovering what is outside the box of human experience that is showered upon us from every culture is one big adventure, which I feel very few people wish to do.

    I differ in your assumption however that this is a religious discussion. Although I know nothing about Krishnamurti, I doubt he can be more relevant than Don Juan was if what you wish to do is become a self-actualized Maslow advocate, but in general I think no one comes close to Carlos Castaneda’s narratives about Don Juan. For anyone interested in a different venue to explore the human condition, no one does it better than Castaneda who as far as I’m concerned came as close to Don Juan’s visions as anyone could.

    It was a most entertaining excursion and one that is worth pursuing. In general, I think you’re absolutely right on. Unlearning our Skinner Boxes of personal cultural and religious heritages are daunting tasks, and in the case of Islam for instance, I’m told that if you are born into the Islamic faith and reject it, you are dead meat. Wow! Talk about choices. Planet Mars, here I come!

    If you`re into a form of self-actualization, and you want to discover some life outside the box, one can`t go wrong by reading Castaneda`s `The Teachings of Don Juan“, “A Separate Reality`, and “Journey to Ixtlan` If so, have fun and let your mind wander a little.

  • Jean, a penetrating scientific analysis of Carlos Castenada & Don Juan by Marvin Harris.

    http://sustainedaction.org/Explorations/critique_of_phenomenology%20as%20obscurantism.htm

  • @mike k, this is a very interesting state you talk about, the “choiceless awareness”.

    However, you then say “But we need answers that can head off disaster ASAP.” and Clive says ““How to move a crucial number of us beyond this world-destroying ordinary consciousness is the key problem we are facing”.

    If either of you believe Guy, then there is no “heading off disaster”. One might feel there is an urgency, still, in bringing many, many people to the stage of awareness you describe for some other reason, perhaps just for the individual value of the experience.

    You acknowledge that you are asking for all the aims that spiritual movements have theoretically been working towards (having gotten nowhere)… to manifest themselves in a matter of a few years. And that might make a difference only if catastrophic climate change were not a foregone proposition, (which I think most of us here believe it to be).

    That notwithstanding, I guess what my ultimate question to you is, how would achieving a state of “choiceless awareness” lead to action of any kind? It would seem the opposite of action. To expect action to arise from a state of “choicelessness” seems like just a different kind of salvation delusion, but if you see it differently maybe you can tell me more about the state to which you’re referring.

    I often feel as though I am in a witnessing state. It may not be the sort you are referring to but it doesn’t seem to be something people appreciate, as it always gets brought ’round to politics and some implication of volition or complicity.

    Krishnamurti asserted that Choiceless Awareness is a natural attribute of non-self-centered perception, which he called “observation without the observer“” (wikipedia)

    Where have we heard that before…???!?
    Hmmmmmmmm….

    @Jeff Campbell.. I don’t know much about K. .. sounds like you’re saying he was a sort of Chauncey Gardiner?

    @Jean Turcot, I thought of you when I came across this:
    http://xkcd.com/1338/
    “Earth’s Land Mammals by Weight”

    @ Bob S.: “transforming mankind is tireless, endless work and requires more than 2 posts a day. Maybe if we were just gonna transform – say Austraila — we could suffice on two comments a day.”
    Hilarious!! thanks!

  • Simple Acceptance

    Acceptance allows us to strike
    Discomfort from out of our psych;
    It’s easy to do
    For me and for you—
    Except for the things we don’t like.

  • Modern western-style societies have been set up to ensure that those actually responsible for the greatest crimes that occur in western-style societies -orchestrating the looting and polluting of the commons to the point of complete collapse of everything and exploitation of the general population by opportunists- cannot be held responsible.

    The people responsible for this outrageous state of affairs inhabit the corridors of power and various legislative assemblies around the world.

    When nations are governed by criminals who cheat and lie and totally mislead the general populace it is inevitable that everything that matters will fall apart.

    I find it tiresome to keep reading comments to the effect that no one is to blame to blame for the rapidly deteriorating state of practically everything (and certainly everything that matters). The criminal have names, and their crimes have been well documented.

  • @ Lidia Says:
    April 11th, 2015 at 10:02 am

    …you’re saying he was a sort of Chauncey Gardiner?

    Perhaps the best character ever portrayed by Mr. Sellers, sorely missed, in a wonderfully allegorical fable which, like most, landed on blind eyes and deaf ears. So, “Is there a TV upstairs? I like to watch.” 😉

  • Hi Lidia – Your questions and comments are really interesting. I feel you truly have an enquiring mind which I much admire. I would like nothing better than to sit down with you and engage in a deepening conversation. But online the best I can do is offer a couple of thoughts on all that you have posted.

    “If either of you believe Guy, then there is no “heading off disaster”.”

    Let’s replace disaster with NTHE. I consider this likely, but not inevitable. Why not inevitable? Because I am not omniscient, and also I can think of scenarios that would save our bacon. Like what? Well, my father was always on me for reading too much science fiction as a child (I started really young) but it stoked my already overdeveloped imagination. So here goes….

    Things are looking pretty grim on planet Terra what with the exploding population, climate disaster looming, nuclear war almost a certainty, dying of basic planetary ecosystems, etc. When lo and behold a pandemic superbug wipes out 99% of the humans infesting the hapless planet. At that time the folks remaining are so chastened by their self-inflicted genocide, they agree to a new set of principles much like an ecological religion to prevent a recurrence of their near fatal mistakes. And lived happily together (more or less) for a good long time.

    Amazing where the imagination can take us eh? With this simple narrative I have put a stick in the spokes of the wheels of the absolute certainty theory of climate doom without leaving my easy chair. You may say my story is extremely unlikely, and I will agree. But the aim was simply to poke a hole in the ocean liner of certainty not to sink the whole ship of probabilities.

    As a footnote I would say that the role of imagination in the advancement of science is sorely under appreciated. Einstein’s impossible ride on a beam of light opened a window on whole dimensions unseen. Those physicists and cosmologists on the forefront of our growing knowledge are those with the wildest most iconoclastic imaginations!

    More later, I am out of breath. I am a terrible typist. You would not believe how long it takes me to peck out these little notes. It is however a labor of love….

  • holy fuck you guys, funniest posts yet, like some horrible black comedic troupe gone wrong. David says bollocks, I say bullocks, I guess english was never the best thing i was ever of. love the whole egomaniacal death cult koolaide stuff.

    my relapse into consciousness won’t last long, so i’ll be brief. when all the animals are gone, our genetically modified trees will gain sentience, and have nothing better to do all day than to make fun of the grass and their crazy stories about cereal killers called cows. diamonds are for heifers, but mass extinction is forever. as you can tell from that last sentence my relapse is over.

  • Thanks for the chuckle,Bob s. And while I am here,Thanks to Benjamin
    for all your past and future limericks. Many smiles and more from them.

  • The campaign to transform Humanity reminds me that I have just read a book on attachment theory. I can’t wait to tell everyone about it. I estimate that about 65 lengthy comments should cover it.

  • Kevin, that’s true but the society that has evolved which includes all the “first world culture’s” have done exactly what they have done to all aboriginal tribes. The weird thing is that it’s on a roll and most other countries want to emulate what we are doing. They want the trinkets and gold and don’t care how they get it just like how our culture evolved. So then you get the new religions of unlimited abundance (like asking the Universe) or the law of attraction and so on. Trouble is these ideas only work in a society that has abundance. This type of society breeds f’d up humans which is why people like Krishnamurti are thought to possess some special knowledge. People are trying to sort through the shite they’ve been taught when clearly as they look around and see what’s really happening stuff doesn’t match up. And people keep having kids and teaching them the same old crap. Every year it’s the same old holiday celebrations. How can you change a culture that worships stuff? You know what being aware is? It’s when you come to the conclusion and wake up to the fact that the people that this society gave authority to are really the ones who are aware. They are aware to the fact that most of the population can be easily manipulated and have no problem doing so.

  • The only ones who are really aware are the people who have pulled the wool over the rest of our “culture’s” eyes. They realized it was easy to fool the population with trinkets and gold just like what’s happening all over the world now. Other countries are keen to follow in our footsteps. How can you hope to change the minds of humans that have no sensibility?

  • Hi Oldgrowthforest,

    Thanks for the detailed post. It would be good if we could sit down and have a long discussion about all these fascinating and important issues, but we don’t have that luxury. We are limited to a few exchanges on this thread, and I don’t want to pick on a few of your words, refute this and that, make a few agreements here and there. So how to reply?

    I looked up the word sociopath, as it is not a term I have ever used. I must say the picture that seems to be drawn is of the average sort of person in society (ok, I do not work in the field, I do not meet extreme cases of mental disorder, and most people do not detonate bombs and directly murder people, that is understood). But do not ‘most of us’ live lives that are extremely anti-social?

    You wrote that “I don’t think that desire, ambition and pleasure actually separate things.” but surely each person pursuing his or her own ambitions, desires, pleasures, creates huge separation between people? And does not one have to be extremely insensitive to others to focus on making oneself rich in the midst of so much poverty in the world?

    And surely a “reckless disregard for safety of self and others.” is EXACTLY how we are all living, as through our life style we pollute enormously, consume the earth’s resources as if there was no tomorrow? And is it an exaggeration to say we are actually causing the deaths of people by the way we live, in many ways?

    And when you say: “…. they do not learn from suffering. They make the same mistakes over and over, even when they fail spectacularly …….” , well this applies to just about everyone I have ever met.

    You wrote, OGF, that “ Just because words can make a potentially meaningful sentence doesn’t mean they provide an accurate model of reality.” and I am absolutely with you on this. Words have enormous power, and we have to be so careful in their use. I see in myself how thought tends to ‘run away with itself’. More fundamentally, as you suggest, we constantly confuse thought and reality. For most, just because we think something, we assume that it must be true. But unfortunately, we have a built a society based on thought, unbridled with awareness of itself, and so yes, ”no wonder we are going extinct”.

    I know I have not responded to many of your points, sorry, and I also know there is huge capacity for misunderstanding the other in this form of communication. So apologies.

  • @ david higham 

    Please see my comments above to Mike K regarding the term “devotees”.

    It is strange how there can be such different perceptions about something. You regard it as “swamping the comments thread”, I regard it as a matter of common courtesy to respond when people address comments to me :-).

    More than that, as I have stated, I feel this opportunity to discuss together is far more important than merely presenting an essay.

    Also, I have also stated I now regret using Krishnamurti’s words, when I see the effect they seem to have on people. It was never my intention to direct the discussion this way, but I feel misunderstandings about K need to be addressed.
    regards, Clive

  • Bob S. said: 

    “……. and direct our limited energy towards transforming ourselves.”

    Indeed, there is nothing else that can be transformed, except ourselves.
    Clive

  • @ lida
    “That notwithstanding, I guess what my ultimate question to you is, how would achieving a state of “choiceless awareness” lead to action of any kind ”

    Great question Lida. And I feel that asking and pursuing such questions IS the first step in the transformation we are talking of. And maybe the last step.

    I think when writing to oldgrowthforest, I touched upon something very relevant to this question (it is now not YOUR question, it is OUR question)

    The basic problem is thought. Not talking about practical, technical thought, which is necessary to function in this world, but the rest of it, psychological thought it might be called. Human beings have always built society based on thought (maybe a few exceptions, I don’t know) Their religions have been based on thought. Politics is based on thought, education is firmly centred there.Our relationships for the most part are based on thought (image)

    When we think something, we generally assume it is true. We think what we think is reality, we do not make a distinction. And so as thought has created untold millions of separate realities, the result is what we see- chaos.

    And when we seek solutions to our problems, where do we go to? To thought of course. We do not see that thought IS the problem. That is WE are the problem, since the ‘me’ is also a construction of thought.

    So where does choiceless awareness come into this?

    Choiceless awareness is not of thought (choice is of thought). In choiceless awareness thought is seen, exposed for what it is. In the light of this awareness, thought cannot do damage, cannot do ill. In fact it ‘fades away’. Choiceless awareness really is ‘the answer’.

    Regards
    Clive

  • @Lidia – “I guess what my ultimate question to you is, how would achieving a state of “choiceless awareness” lead to action of any kind? It would seem the opposite of action.”

    The Taoist calls it wu wei wu. Doing by not doing. Or doing without doing.

    When Ouspensky realized that human beings were indeed like machines trapped by their conditioning to constantly repeat their errors, he asked Gurdjieff in consternation at this situation, “Then what can we do?” G. replied, “DO?!! Man can do nothing!”

    If we look at our human world objectively, is not the mess we are in largely the result of our “doing”? Real action perhaps has an entirely different basis in an entirely different man or woman. In order for one to be capable of real constructive doing, first one must be.

    Three men are climbing in the mountains when they see a figure standing on a summit a little above them. They begin wondering what he is doing standing there. One says, ‘Maybe he has lost his favorite animal and is looking for it.” Another opines, “He is there admiring the view.” The third man says, “He may be scouting out a path to climb higher.” Thus discussing, they decide to approach him and see who is right. When they get there each asks him if he is doing what they surmised. To each he answers no. Then they ask him, “What are you doing standing here?” He answers. “Just standing.”

    A state which is free of judgments, preferences, desires, expectations, conditionings, questions, evaluations, reactions – is extraordinary in the experience of most individuals. Reality is experienced in it’s naked suchness with none of the distortions caused by the ordinary mechanisms of mentation.

    Now it must be said that this state is a preliminary one necessary for the opening of higher states. To linger too long in this state is to remain unfulfilled, although this witness state is strangely gratifying and has a preliminary quality of real selfless love. Whatever one experiences is embraced with total acceptance just as it is. There is not a stirring of the wish that anything be other than it is. We feel at one with reality in all it’s manifestations.

    To say more will not be helpful. This much is probably way to much for many to relate to.

  • @mike k, I think I understand. To reach higher states than that of “choiceless awareness”, though, must be a further challenge. How then, to accede to them without wanting to? How to describe them without mentation? Do they even exist, or are they just more stories? What are they, as you believe them to be?

  • @mike k, I think I understand. But to accede to states higher than that of “choiceless awareness”.. how would one get there without wanting to, without “mentation”? Do such states really exist, or are they only stories? What do you retain them to be? What would be the point of arriving beyond a state of full witnessing, without desires?

  • @Lidia –
    You get to the next higher state from witnessing by not wanting to get there. Wanting to get there is just another activity, another desire of the restless mind. Let your mind be quiet, at peace, silent, not even “waiting” – and It will come. Surrender is the key to release from the endless machinations of the mind.

    Would a slice of Mr. Eliot’s poetry help?

    At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
    Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
    But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
    Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
    Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
    There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
    I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.
    And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.
    The inner freedom from the practical desire,
    The release from action and suffering, release from the inner
    And the outer compulsion, yet surrounded
    By a grace of sense, a white light still and moving,
    Erhebung without motion, concentration
    Without elimination, both a new world
    And the old made explicit, understood
    In the completion of its partial ecstasy,
    The resolution of its partial horror.

    Why go beyond witnessing? There is more, and it is perhaps our destiny to realize it. We might even begin to glimpse the deep meaning of the ancient Vedic koan: Know That knowing which all things are known. Good luck on your journey of discovery Lidia.
    And good luck to all of us lost souls…. There is more than we have dreamed of waiting for us to uncover it, already there beckoning….

  • Clive, your comments are far too universal and general to be meaningful for me. Sorry. If it’s true that EVERYONE is all these things that you say they/we are, I don’t understand why anyone thinks otherwise, or believes that there are substantive and meaningful distinctions between sociopaths and their opposite personality type, the giving, kind, and dedicated to service person.

    In my world, I have met VERY giving, kind, brilliant people who were dedicated to service to others, people who humbled me, they were so very giving, so disciplined, so respectful of others, and just so good. On the other hand, I also live in a world where there are people who are liars, criminally irresponsible, who are selfish and superficial in the extreme, who are angry and violent, who are always needy, manipulative, exploitive. In my world those are the extremes of the kinds of people I have seen in over 60 years of living. Then, there are a lot of people in the middle, who are not consistently either good or bad, but are frequently tepid, are not hot nor cold, but are capable of either or both a few times in their lives, given the right mood, circumstances, and other factors. And I know plenty of people who do learn from their mistakes, and I know ordinary people who make big mistakes, but are not overall destructive human beings.

    If you really live in a world where everyone really is the same in all these different areas of life, as you appear to claim, I don’t know what to say other than, I don’t believe you. Or, you are not on Earth. Or something, and I doubt it matters what it is. I don’t just disagree, I don’t believe you are making a statement that provides a valid model of reality. I’m not trying to be nasty here, really, but my nonsense detector is alarming so loudly I can’t cope anymore, so I guess I’ll go back to Planet oldgrowthforest and talk to the dogs and the chickens.

  • @ all those interested in this issue:

    Choiceless Awareness

    I think there considerable danger in turning ‘Choiceless Awareness’, or rather the idea of it, into some terribly exalted state, something only to be “reached” by the elite, after years of intense meditation or some spiritual practice.

    In fact there is a danger in the whole process of trying to reach something, of trying to achieve, psychologically. Trying to become. For me, choiceless awareness is nothing to do with such things.

    Am I aware of the pressure of the keyboard on my fingers? Am I aware of the click of the keys? Am I aware of my posture, that slight pain in the back? Do I hear the distant cars go past? The sound of the wind in the trees. The colours, perhaps the smells . . . . all that the senses are taking in? This is part of awareness, is it not? And there is no choice involved in this awareness – the world out there just is. I cannot change the clouds drifting by

    But there is more to awareness than this. Awareness also can extend inwards. Awareness of thoughts drifting through the mind. Of feelings, slight annoyance at the fly landing on me. A moment of regret as a memory of something said yesterday arises.

    And, if there is a certain space, a certain sensitivity, one finds there is awareness of things deeper in the mind. Motives for our thoughts and feelings become apparent. In fact the whole field of consciousness starts to reveal itself.

    There is no effort in any of this. One is not practising anything. And one is not judging what is seen as good or bad. If judgement arises, then there is awareness of that.

    It is no use speculating about the state of choiceless awareness, imaging what it must be like, and what it might bring about. But when one actually does it (hesitating to use that word, as it suggests effort) one sees that awareness, in itself, does actually bring about a change, a transformation in what is being observed.

    And the question inevitably arises, is the observer of the mind different from the mind itself? This is the turning point.

    What is important to be seen is that choiceless awareness is not a method to be followed. Awareness cannot be made into a practice – if it is, it is not awareness. And although one might like to sit quietly at times, it is only in actual, day-to-day relationships that awareness reveals the full story of itself.

    Clive

  • @ oldgrowthforest

    But I am not basically arguing with any of the things that you just wrote in your post. Of course there are differences. This is what I wrote in my article above:

    “But what about the differences? Yes, there are differences – in degree. Seems to me these are differences in conditioning. The basic structure of the human mind, although the same all over the world, is ‘modified’ by how it is conditioned, the influences, the experiences, it receives,We may be less brutal, more tolerant, more modest in our desires, perhaps we can afford to be more affectionate because we have some physical security. If we have fought our way to the top, we may be more insensitive. And so on. But the basic structure, in terms of fear, pleasure, desire, suffering, is universal”

    Do you disagree with my last sentence there?

    Clive

  • @Robert Callaghan

    “the whole egomaniacal death cult koolaide stuff”

    I almost choked laughing reading this even as I was trying to process the info with my Frenchie brain!

    Thanks! There has been some great posts, a peculiar humour in this tribe. Studied baboons at the university, and now I see them everywhere — looking at my hip joint and trying to connect it with a habitat some 10,000 years ago. We’re out of the tree, but barely…!

    Still

  • @mike k, what journey? It’s more like I fell asleep and the bus just dropped me off here.. 😉

  • I’ve posted a new episode of Edge of Extinction. It’s here.

  • @ Mike

    WARNING! This post makes reference to Krishnamurti’s words. No direct reference to NTE.

    Seriously, I am feeling this may not be the place to go into such things, even though I am replying to something you posted, mike. I hope others will indulge us. They need read no further.

    You wrote:
    “The problem with K’s presentation of this valuable state I that he confronts the reader with the need to see things with choiceless awareness, but denies him any method to do that. ”

    I would not say this is the PROBLEM with K’s presentation. I would say it represents insight. It is fundamental to his teaching.

    Yes, K flatly denies the any the practice of any method. But let us examine this for ourselves, without any recourse to what he or any one else says.

    If I am practising some method, any method, then that method has its roots in the past, no? It is something I have accepted before, something that has been decided to be ‘correct’. A conclusion has been drawn. Some authority has been accepted, either of another or of one’s own thoughts/perceptions. I then, at a later occasion, remember this conclusion, this method, and try to approximate the mind’s actual behaviour to it. I try to force the mind to a particular method. So the first obvious result is – conflict. Because the mind wants to go its own way. There will inevitably be a struggle – a struggle that is actually between two different parts of the mind. What significance has that?

    Any sort of struggle is a waste of energy.

    The method is a static concept, and the mind is a living, moving thing.

    Another point. If I continue to practise the method, despite the struggle, the resistance of the mind, it must be because I am pursuing some reward. One might say that reward is very spiritual, it is for the good of the human race, it is on a higher plane, but it is still a reward, there is still a motive for the practice. ‘Motive’ tells us that this all stems from the self. It is not ‘noble’, ‘spiritual’, it is still in the realm of the self – a sort of greed.

    Finally (I promise!) the method itself is a form of knowledge. It is something already known. Surely the known can only lead to the known? But the transformation we are concerned, the answers to mankind’s many problems (I can bring in NTE here 🙂 ) cannot lie in the known, can it? If we knew the answers, it would all be very simple, would it not?

    If you want to go into this further, Mike, perhaps better write privately. Guy will give you my email id.

  • Detachment is tricky stuff. It is essential to the project of becoming fully human, but it can be also used to abort that necessary work and even deny it’s value. Detachment in it’s false and toxic form can become a hiding place for an ego unwilling to accept responsibility for the real efforts needed to become a person manifesting love and wisdom. False detachment imagines that it is beyond all that, and looks down on those still involved in foolish and unnecessary efforts to improve themselves.

    Meditation can be a powerful tool to create the possible human, or it can be used to evade all responsibility in an imaginary perfection and invulnerability. One can assert that her/his real self has no connection with the lowly meat robot that is his physical body, for which one has only contempt. One can pretend to be far above the world and it’s petty concerns. The idea of doing anything to help improve that world can be seen as foolish and misguided.

    Understanding the spiritual trap and dead-end outlined above gave rise to movements like the Engaged Buddhism of Thich Nhat Hanh. Sufis speak of in the world but not of it, with equal emphasis on both stances. Potent forces like detachment need to be used carefully, consciously – otherwise they can go dangerously awry….

    @Lidia – Sorry you got evicted from the womb. Me too. But the journey goes on….

  • There is so much esoteric nonsense out there that it reminds me of the Sheriff in The “Dukes Of Hazard”. Always has been I guess. It is called propaganda, silliness, or just plain stupidity. Most humans are so needy, just like I am. We have waaaay too much brain, in most cases, and it leads the rest of us off cliffs.

    Oldgrowthforest nailed it with her last comment.