A duality is understood as two separate options when truly is one line of continuity. I am not speaking about the “morality” of what we perceive as “bad” or “wrong” for that is a human value. I am pointing out that our perception of a duality as separate, opposite sides is an illusion in the “reality” of Life. We need language to identify a side of that duality, but if we consider one side valuable and despise or reject the other, we are setting ourselves up for suffering. Language is an identifier but let us forget the connotation that it brings, if we want to go deeper. For example, the word “snake” brings a connotation according to tradition or cultural conditioning (devil, penis, medicine- caduceus-, etc.) if we are influenced by that, we cannot look at the reality of the snake appearing in front us. The mind and its conditioning will give us an illusory reality.
Let me illustrate with the duality of life and death.
The weather is getting hotter because of the increase of carbon dioxide emissions. Superficially, we could say that “Australia is one of the largest per capita emission of carbon dioxide in the world; “ and come up with a “reason” for dead kangaroos and other animals there at this time, due to the recent fires. However, Life does not make distinctions of nationalities, which are man made illusions, part of the conditioning. Is Global warming “good or bad”?
Our moral conditioned mind will say “ It is bad.” Yet, our human “progress” depends on it. In a nutshell, the “economy needs global warming to thrive.” More cars, more coal powered electrical stations, more energy dependent sources on petrol and oil which are used in greater quantities as human population increases.
What we DO is in contradiction with what we say. It is called politics.
Do we see how something which we apparently call “bad” could be turned into “good” after a couple of turns in the streets of Life? We could change our perspective of “good and bad,” due to mass media and political pressures, but we cannot change the consequences.
Every belief and support in something labeled as “good” will bring its “bad” effect as well. Observe the current international situation between Iran and the USA. We are used to take sides based on our assesment of the “good and bad;” however, ego manifested as desire for control, is the “real” cause to observe and that ego is more important in the “normal” human mind than to respect Life. No matter what religious or moral teachings we may have superficially accepted about protecting Life; sooner or later the “truth” of who we ARE will come out. Then, the question of choosing countries and pair them with a label such as “good or bad” seems very infantile. Another example? it is said that the belief in God has brought some social order but many lives have been taken as well due to that belief. Our conditioning will follow what mainstream teaches us, but every belief has 2 sides which cannot be taken apart: To separate a duality to support one side and reject the other is insane; however, it is the “bread and butter” of our spiritual/religious/moral teachings.
Many years ago while I was running, a car hit a deer. The deer could hardly walk and went near the bushes to the side of the road. I looked for help as I didn’t know what to do. A couple of firefighters came with a security guard. They offered shooting the deer with a gun and “end its misery.” The firefighters “jokingly” (but seriously) were talking about eating the deer afterwards. I was in my late twenty’s at the time. I wanted for the deer to be in a tranquil space and asked for help because I thought the deer could get well. Nevertheless, I had to forcefully convince the people around me to let the deer go naturally. The “help” I brought, didn’t help in my view. I could see the face of despair of the deer. I couldn’t understand how some people were not sensible to pain and suffering. There was no empathy. Their “economic interests” were more important. From the time the deer was hit until it finally died, about 1 hour lapsed. I saw the deer die, and then the “helpful” people helped themselves.
Now, I understand that other humans will see Life with different eyes. Where some see despair and anguish; others see an opportunity to eat. Who is to say that my view is “good” and theirs “bad”? Judgment is out of the way in Life. There will be consequences for all players. No matter what we believe is “good or bad.” Life is about the experience of consequences. Are we able to OBSERVE the consequences of our own actions? As a consequence of this incident, I developed a trauma: I had to fight with others to impose my views which I thought were “right,” “compassionate,” etc. Superior than other people’s views. Also, the witnessing of pain and suffering in others affected me as if it was my own. Empathy is different than suffering for others. Their experience is not mine. Those traumas were with me for a long time. I am sure other consequences were experienced by the other “players” of the deer scene, although they may not be aware of that.
Beyond duality, there is the common good which cannot be perceived by the conditioned mind. It is only felt when there are no reasons or interests at stake.
Many times I hear that part of Education is to teach the student “how to think.”
Actually, that is called conditioning, in a mild way. The proper label is violence.
Most individuals do not realize how violence has been ingrained by society. The competitive “spirit” hungry for success is violence, as it is not concerned at all for the common good. It is just about “ME” and “MY” loved ones. If we want to observe this with some depth, we may need to inquire about the nature of thought:
“Thought is the response of the brain that has recorded. If the brain did not record, you would have no thought or knowledge. It is like a registering machine. From knowledge is memory, and the response of memory is thought.”
J. Krishnamurti – Public Talk 1 in Madras (Chennai), 24 December 1977
Notice the automatic process of thought. That mechanism is unable to be creative. It only repeats what is recorded, although with variations. That may be a “good thing” to learn some technical skill, but the art of living is not concerned with that skill at all.
Out of that repetition and the obsession of “becoming number 1” to feel “successful” in society, the thought of violence was generated.
“Thought has created violence in me, and then it creates non-violence to be achieved, and then there is conflict.”
J. Krishnamurti – Buddhist Scholars Discussion in Madras, 21 January 1985
Observe the contradiction. I AM vs. I SHOULD BE. What SHOULD BE is an ideal. That is the main component of the rhetorical talk of a politician. Those are the “feel good” words that most want to listen. We don’t want to SEE what IS. We are blind.
What is needed is a new way to deal with what IS.
“Please learn. Learn to observe, not memorize. We have contradiction only when we are not dealing with what is actually going on. Because we don’t know how to deal with what is going on, we invent the ideal, which is an escape. If you want to change what is going on, don’t have contradiction. Then you have the energy to deal with what is, instead of wasting energy in contradiction, having ideals and all the rest of it. I am violent, and my conditioning has been not to be violent, so I try to be non-violent. Whereas in actual fact, I am violent. So I am wasting my energy in trying to be non-violent. When I remove that, I have the energy to deal with what is – the energy to observe the fact of being angry. I won’t use the word ‘anger’ because the word is not the thing. Therefore there is only that reaction. The moment you name it, it becomes stronger. By associating through that word with the past, you are giving it strength. If you don’t name it, it soon dissipates. Eliminate contradictions altogether, and you are dealing only with what is actually going on.
J. Krishnamurti – Public Discussion 1 in Madras (Chennai), 27 December 1977
What should I DO to eliminate violence in me?
Acknowledge it. Do not fight it. OBSERVE it when it appears and become aware on how “I “want to demonstrate my supremacy over others, then we invent escapes, such as pride, shame, competition, non-violence and even nationalism.
“Nationalism is a poison.”
J. Krishnamurti – Public talk 2 in Bombay (Mumbai) 25 January 1981.
As the emotion is OBSERVED without labeling it or judgment; there is a space where it could be seen to its root causes. Every person may have a different root, although the “output” is violence. Observation is not concerned with results or the goal of “becoming better.” Observation is only concerned with OBSERVATION.
Thought, memory, thinking, conditioning, action; which in our society usually results in violence. It is a vicious cycle.
For those eager to “practice” and learn this “new method,” there is a catch:
“Real learning comes about when the competitive spirit has ceased.” – J. Krishnamurti. There is no achievement, no “becoming better,” no reward in the afterlife, no “special mention” and honors, no utility whatsoever in our “money making” society. Can we handle that?
The teaching has been to DO something to become “better” in Life. That conditioning entails to negate who we ARE to pursue what “should be.” It is thought that DOING (some goal oriented action) will attain a “better” state of BEING.
Observe how our society supports this view. We encourage young people to obtain more, gain more, acquire more to become “better.” We encourage greed through the separation of “I” vs. “you.” We call that “ healthy competition.” Our society is founded on that principle. We need to compete and win, to become “better,” but nowadays as the amount of “competitors” have increased tremendously, to “win” is even necessary to survive. Paradoxically, the most “intelligent” species of the planet basically lives Life, to survive.
That ideology has ill consequences for society and the common good.
The same principle is applied into religious teachings and spirituality for the “masses.” Here, the prize is in the afterlife, whereas in society; the prize comes in this lifetime after some years of “sacrifice.”
That “prize,” whatever it may be; becomes the motivation. Therefore, every action that we take to pursue something “better” has a motive; a “because” when someone asks “why?”.
J. Krishnamurti observed:
“How do you observe the fact that you are conditioned? Do you observe it with the desire or motive that you must be free of it? If so, you have created a contradiction. So can you be free to observe without a motive? Motives are born out of your conditioning.”
When we create a contradiction from “what is” into what “should be,” then; our actions are goal oriented; nevertheless, the goal is an ideal, and the ideal is never “real.”
“I want to be humble.” That is the ideal. There will be some actions to follow as to accomplish the ideal of “humble.”
Our idea of “humble” cannot be the full extension of BEING humble no matter how much we practice. Thought out actions cannot attain what is in the realm of BEING. Without deep observation, understanding, acknowledgment of “what is”, the outcome will bring fake transformation. In short, deep observation is action.
To observe, to become deeply aware is the “true” action, and that brings change without motive, thus; true change, for observation is not concerned with labels or moral standards.
Observation requires attention, it has to occur without motive; that is without the mental explanation: “I am doing this because…”
On attention, J. Krishnamurti pointed out:
“Attention may last a second. That is good enough. Don’t be greedy to have more. In the greed to have more, you have already created the centre, and then you are caught.”
There is a motive which brings the conditioned “I” to the surface; that is the one who “wants to be better,” but that wanting is the reason why we cannot BE.
Observe that this “self-improvement” of “not wanting,” is the complete opposite of what our society has conditioned us to believe.
Awareness and deep observation has been replaced by the pursue of an empty ideal, which may bring “economical progress” to our society, but where quality of life is lacking.
A world taught to compete by dividing itself into little groups and little flags is deep sleep, as it is incapable of realizing that those divisions are illusions, which participants are unable to break free from. It is a strong conditioning.
For them, “freedom” is merely to comply with the ideal of “going away from one country flag to stay in another,” without realizing that we are still slaves of the illusion of division which is fueled by competition, which in turn; provides a motive, a purpose to live Life in society, which is bound to exist in contradiction with the ideas and illusions of other human beings.
Many seekers are sensible to perceive the type of mental madness going on in our human society. However; when given the chance to leave all behind; they will feel trapped. There is too much at stake to “lose”.
“ I have my job, my family, my possessions, my reputation…” those will weigh more than anything else. Nevertheless, that wasn’t a problem for a Buddha, a Jesus or a Mahavira among a list of others; who were passionate about their search. They had plenty to “lose,” and that was their way to gain consciousness.
Thus, in a military formation, we follow. We comply. We go with inertia. The end result is a conditioned, fearful individual unable to perceive the world outside the common boundaries set aside by the traditions and views of society.
If an intelligent being from out of space could be able to live among us for a brief time, he could observe some relevant facts which “normal” individuals are unable to perceive:
“ Humans have created “countries” ( a kind of mental limit of one group of people from another. Limits can go from language, looks or beliefs) when there are no truly physical boundaries. That artificial separation, could go on: States, cities, neighborhoods… The separation continues on until there is a small group of people living together which they call “family.” There are divisions among families as well.
This mentality of separation is used frantically to view Life. As a consequence there is violence among groups to “survive”. That violence surrounds human beings throughout their lives. It is man against man, group against group just to “get ahead.”
A toned down flavor of violence is called “competition.” A human born in such environment is taught to compete. “Survival of the fittest” it is said. Humans consider themselves the most intelligent species. However, no other species harms their habitat as much as humans. Other species live in balance with each other to assure their survival. If a species becomes extinct, it is due to human policies.
Humans live in competition with each other. Even their games are about competition. They have “winners and losers.” It is hard to describe what winning is, for it is merely a moment of feeling elation for subduing all the other competitors.
Humans have created a reward system for “winners”. No one wants to be a “loser”, thus dishonesty appears as consequence for “winners” create “losers.”
Humans have created a bartering system to survive in society, which is tinted with competition. Their system relies in the irrational trust of paper which is known as “money.” They exchange paper for services. Most humans will do anything to obtain those pieces of paper, which are colored with pictures of other humans from the past. That “money” has a number which means the exchange value but there is nothing valuable backing that money.
Interestingly, humans have created wealth and poverty among their own groups. Paradoxically, humans struggle to put an end to poverty. They are hesitant to create more paper money to create opportunities for the poor as their system will reduce the overall value of their “currency” (paper) of that location compared with others, which will affect their production of goods and being able to sell it. It is a complicated system based on the whim of those who have lots of paper money competing with each other to preserve their power to subdue those who have less paper money with them. Everything they do in their society is about buying or selling: Buy cheap, sell expensive. Make profit. That is their beloved “mantra.”
Humans mask their violent ways with ideologies of peace and equality; however those systems clash against each other producing more conflicts. Overall, humans are a violent species, but overall they have high hopes to change some day, they believe in change …”
The above description is the weigh of conditioning from our collective consciousness. To get away from that is the easiest way to de-condition.
That is why a wealthy, powerful man cannot self-realize and so those who are invested in their professions for unwillingly, these individuals help preserve the collective conditioning.
Without peeling that layer, there is no true passion in a seeker who seeks the “truth” of self knowledge. That is one of the “filters” in the path.
While out of the system, a seeker has the time to observe unaffected. What would you do with your time if work, entertainment, friends and relatives are out of your life?
How is consciousness able to change if we are always “busy”?
With time, we could sit in a park, contemplate that setting and smell the roses. We could truly look at Life and observe the “rat race” happening. We could learn to enjoy our own company. We could learn to appreciate the simple things in Life: Cooking your meals, sweeping your place. Learning to play a musical instrument. Becoming AWARE of what is like to live without trying to accomplish, compete, achieve and getting the approval of the masses for name and fame.
Many will think: “That is boring”. But then, those are the ones who sooner or later will look for “peace.”
Perhaps when they “retire”…. RIP.
Life is unexpected, dynamic, ever changing. Our society taught us to behave and meet situations with a recipe or pre-cooked package of actions, moral standards and laws.
We believe that a particular action labeled as “moral” is useful for all situations. That is not so. When our moralists realize that, then we try to create another recipe that will fit all. As a consequence, many discusions will arise leading nowhere.
As we go beyond conditionings, we will find that Life is only met fully in the moment.
Experiences are personal and could be used as personal guidelines but never as commandments or laws which can apply to all.
This realization will take away our neediness to be “right,” or to give free advice to others.
One thing is to say “in my experience…” another to say “my advice to you is…”
My favorite cup is made of blue glass. If I was that cup, I will see things “blue.” (reminds me of the “blue song.”) Through that center of personal experiences all I could feel comfortable with is that which I recognize: Perhaps another cup made of glass. I will not be able to distinguish colors as all I see is blue.
It will be a mistake to believe that everything is of blue color. In fact, I wouldn’t know colors at all. I wouldn’t understand what a color is, for I will need to experience contrasts to see that.
Most individuals in the world are trapped in their sense of self and their self centered perception, their own experiences which would like to label as “truth,” “right,” and all of those words which will make us feel “better and above.”
We could choose to meet Life intellectually. We could choose to follow a determined philosophy or belief but in doing so, we are creating a particular cup of a particular color. Life is much greater than that.
As I observe my kitchen, living room, bedroom, house, neighboorhood, city, country, continent, etc… I could observe that there is no end. Everything is so different, unknown, mysterious and yet “I” pretend to know it all… “I” pretend to be “right.”
I am just a cup of glass with extraordinary value as I am unique, but just like everything else. We tend to value things through their utility, but that is another conditioning. If it IS, it has the right to BE. That is value.
I heard the saying “Ignorance is bliss.” I understand the meaning of that; but also that “knowledge” is truly a kind of ignorance.
Blissful, if we don’t take it so seriously as the “only truth;” however, miserable if we completely believe in it.
There is no knowledge able to contain Life.
A time will come when we want to DO things “right.”
However, what is our standard for that? Our conditioning of what “right” should be.
It is from there how we envision “spirituality”: A God that should act in the “right way.” A “Paradise” where right-full people should go to enjoy Life forever, since they were busy suffering the mishaps caused by “others,” who in turn, will pay their dues in “hell.”
Our idea of “justice” is framed within those parameters: Give to A the same amount as to B. That is our concept of equality.
From there, a family will automatically implement those “values.”
Education then, becomes nothing but training to implement these ideals in the minds of children. We call that to do the “right thing.” Those “unfortunate” who are away from the system, are uneducated, handicapped children who are not in the same condition to “compete” with others in “Life.”
We could inquire into the “fairness” of competition. Then, we will find 2 contradictory “values,” justice vs. competition.
Contradictory “values” are the signature of our society. Thus, be smart. Use those as convenient. That is to be politically correct, right. Right? 🙂
Therefore, any spiritual teaching in alignment with values of society, are only preserving mainstream understanding. Those teachings could be helpful for some to fit with society’s values; but rest assured; that these teachings are not a reflection of the reality of Life. They only reflect our society.
The first thing to understand is that Life is not only what happens between 8 to 5 at work. It is not what happens on TV. It is not what happens in the family.
Life is more than that. To grasp Life we will need to go beyond our need to preserve that who we think we ARE. Our identification with that, will not allow us to move into the changing waves of Life.
Who we THINK we ARE, is not who WE ARE.
What others label us, is not who we are.
Let it BE undefined, without a conceptual idea.
Society is not prepared for that, but that is the starting point for deconditioning, otherwise; we become successfully trained with these teachings.
What are those teachings?
In a word: FEAR.
The future is more valuable than “now.”
Fear of punishment here and the afterlife.
Fear of the unknown. Death is perceived as something to avoid.
There are “good” and “bad” individuals. They could be easily recognized as if they were wearing a particular t-shirt color. Thus, we fear labels.
If you are not like us, you are against us.
If it cannot be controlled or regulated, it is “bad.” Sex comes to mind.
Pretty words and politicians will save the World.
Technology and math are the key for happiness.
Those values are heavily imprinted. This perception becomes our trauma in Life.
How could we be able to OBSERVE something different when we have that ingrained in our core?
That is the first question to resolve (for an intelligent seeker.)
Freedom from the known, is at the end of the street.
Living in society will bring us some sort of perceived security. A sense of purpose through having a laid out path to complete. We believe that our laws, moral values and “virtuous” living are compatible with higher order.
We believe in working hard to achieve whatever our minds tell us. That is whatever we believe. We live in the world of beliefs. Just achieve. Compete with others if they are in your way. Show them who the best is!
Look out for you and then for the extension of you, your family. “Help” others when yours are OK and have plenty, enough to “give” what is not needed.
Most of all, remain busy. Do things for an objective, a goal. Go to school, then college, get married, have kids, get a house, a car, a couple of pets. Get busy! Save for retirement, then you can ‘relax.’ Most of all… “Be happy!!”
We only understand “get happiness.” Something out there will give me that. I have to keep trying.
In a nutshell, that is the brainwash. The castle built out of “pretty” words. The belief that happiness is to comply with the conditioning.
Likewise, our “spirituality” will be based on that brainwash. There is the goal to achieve: Heaven, god, eternal salvation… Plenty of objectives.
There is the “family” of the “chosen ones.” You are part of it, if you just believe. There is plenty of help to give to others to “save them.” That “good action” will get you brownie points with the “Father,” the creator: God. Then you can ‘relax’ for eternity. Here in society, you work hard to get something for yourself. Over there, for the “spiritual” world, you do the same. We cannot ‘relax’ until we work hard first, right?
Isn’t it that “as it is above, it is below”? That phrase is used out of context. As we wake up, we will realize.
Awakening cannot be for everyone. There are many who rather live in the land of “make believe.”
Awakening is not an easy process. It is not a walk in the park.
It hurts, it disappoints, it hits you against the wall until “you” die. Once you are dead, then you are alive. Logical isn’t it? But it is no longer “you.”
When we are used to eating only chocolate in Life and we feel safe, how are we going to try another flavor? Only when Life offers us vanilla and not chocolate. That is a change of consciousness. Chocolate goes away and our fear to starve gets in the way. Our attachment to the known will not allow us to try something different. When we taste vanilla, we “know.” We become satisfied to taste another flavor and can appreciate chocolate from another perspective, another consciousness.
Awakening is like that. However for most, awakening is only about “understanding” the flavor of vanilla and reading plenty about it, getting certified in vanilla, but never had the opportunity to taste.
When we are ready to leave chocolate, vanilla will come and then chocolate will be gone, and we will “know” that there are many flavors in Life, many ways of looking at Life, many ways of living Life. Otherwise, we believe that Life is only chocolate!
Consciousness is not depending on us and our efforts to “achieve,” as society has conditioned us. So ‘relax.’ Consciousness is our link with Life itself. It happens. Just like Life itself. It happens. All we have to “do” is become AWARE of it.