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Words are not the Thing…

Reading J. Krishnamurti today and a lot lately. Why? His focus is on not focusing on a system or particular means to find the truth for one’s self. He doesn’t say to meditate as Thich Nhat Hanh or Buhhadhassa or Jack Kornfield may say. Hence, no time away from Fern (my wife).

His book ‘The flame of attention’ concentrated on showing us how to observe. Observe in the sense that we throw away all knowledge and past memories, old feelings, old thoughts, etc. About that which we are observing. He gave the example of a tree. He said that in order to observe a tree we need to observe it without giving it the name ‘tree’. We need to look at it for ‘what it is’, not that which we’ve built it up to be. We put behind the word ‘tree’ all of the thoughts, memories, feelings, prejudices, good and bad experiences that we have had in our dealings with ‘trees’. In order to find the truth about whatever we are observing we need to just be with the tree and observe without the filter of the past. Observe it right now, presently, in it’s totality.

Other examples were: He brought up the notion that husband and wife are on two parallel train tracks chugging down the tracks. They sometimes reach over and kiss, caress, or connect in some way–but they are not ‘as one’ because each lives with this idea of their selves (self-concept or ego) which they have sought to maintain over the years. This is not the individuals total self! It is only that representation of self that one has chosen to hold onto because it serves the ‘self’ well during it’s time here on earth In the present day society that it happens to be in. So, each individual is dealing with the image of the ideal self of the other and vice-versa.

JK said that conflict occurs when there is a difference between ‘what is’ and ‘what ought to be’. We as humans think we know what is and what ought to be and so therefore we are forever in conflict because of our ignorance. The ‘what is’ cannot be known except by careful observation like described above. It is only when we can forget all past ‘knowledge’ and observe a problem or situation with a freshness and a newness that truth can be known. Nobody takes the time to do this now. The ‘what ought to be’ is not our idea (though they have been internalized over the years by society’s indoctrination) though we believe that it is because we have not observed the truth without the filter of the past.

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