Saturday, June 8, 2019

Duet - Glen Keane

Mary Oliver - Varanasi

Early in the morning we crossed the ghat,
where fires were still smoldering,
and gazed, with our Western minds, into the Ganges.
A woman was standing in the river up to her waist;
she was lifting handfuls of water and spilling it
over her body, slowly and many times,
as if until there came some moment
of inner satisfaction between her own life and the river’s.
Then she dipped a vessel she had brought with her
and carried it filled with water back across the ghat,
no doubt to refresh some shrine near where she lives,
for this is the holy city of Shiva, maker
of the world, and this is his river.
I can’t say much more, except that it all happened
in silence and peaceful simplicity, and something that felt
like that bliss of a certainty and a life lived
in accordance with that certainty.
I must remember this, I thought, as we fly back
to America.
Pray God I remember this.

David Skitt - What Is Krishnamurti Saying?

Conflict and violence Krishnamurti sees as issues of basic concern to any serious human being. But in his view history shows there has been a repeated failure of education, science, politics and organized religion to end them. What is needed in our time therefore is to own up to that failure, to make a clean sweep of all these past, defective endeavors, and to adopt an entirely new approach. It is quite hard to imagine taking a more radical position than this. Put aside everything you have ever learned from others, ever read, and start your own inquiry into what life is about, what really matters. Stand on your own feet. Stop being a second-hand human being.

He proposes that this means looking at what is actually happening in life and in our consciousness—‘what is, not what should be’—without condemning or justifying, without resisting or wanting to change it, holding it instead ‘like a precious jewel.’ In so doing, he says, we are looking at human consciousness not just our own.

    This non-judgmental watching, free from all past-based thought and projection, is for him ‘pure observation’. If accompanied by a passion to find out, there will then be fresh understanding, he says, a ‘going beyond’ one’s previous state of consciousness.

A constant source of human confusion in Krishnamurti’s view is our rooted tendency to make images of ourselves, others, and of life and death that are put together by thought based on memory, on past experience or hearsay. Instead of looking afresh at what is new in the now, being open to the unknown and unpredictable, we ‘translate the present into the past.’ He sees such images are inevitably conflictual because they are time-bound and therefore partial and inadequate. Yet we frequently act as though we are programmed by them.

Krishnamurti maintains that we fail to make the most of our mind and of our life while subject to latent or manifest anger and fear. Also, our sense of self is usually experienced as inherently apart from another’s, whereas all human beings share far more psychologically than separates them. Not to see that is a huge error of perception, because our sense of shared humanity is lost. This feeling of psychological apartness breeds a fear of isolation that leads, among other things, to a spurious sense of safety in numbers, which is then, unfortunately and divisively, carried to excess in nationalism, political ideology, and religious faith. These provide a false cohesion held together by fear that there are those ‘outside’ who threaten us and are in some way not as fully human as we are.

Seeing the problems in our personal life and in the world with a mind free from the dictates of the past, from faith, belief, stereotyping, and fantasy, is to see that what goes wrong in the world outside reflects what goes wrong in one’s own mind. When there is insight into that, Krishnamurti says, there is a wholly different way of living, in which an awakened awareness of what causes human suffering also brings with it greater sensitivity to the beauty and immensity of life.

He cautions his audience, ‘You don’t have to believe all this—I am not an authority. But take a little time to look at this. Test it out.’

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Robert Wolfe - The "Mystery"

The nature of ultimate reality can only be understood when looking from its own viewpoint. That is to say, one’s conditioned perspective of reality must be put aside.

The simplest explanation is to consider that one’s life in the world and universe has the characterization of a dream.

Into this dream, each dreamer is born. To the dreamer, the world and universe have the appearance of being real. The dreamer takes himself to be real, and therefore the world and universe this person is “in” to be real.

The dreamer “knows” that he has “come into” this life, therefore at some point he will “go out” of life. The dreamer “knows” that although he will die, the world and universe and fellow dreamers will persists after his death; that the dream will continue when the dreamer no longer exists.

None of this is so. When the dreamer ceases to be, the dream ceases to be.

The dream has never been real. The dreamer has never been real. In other words, an unreal dreamer dreams a dream that is unreal.

Only if the person, the world, and universe were real would any of this be justified to have an explanation. Any explanation would entail the process of cause—and—effect, time and space (or location). Ultimate reality has no relationship to time, space or cause –and—effect. These are elements which occur only within the dream.

Only within the dream is it a legitimate question to ask, “How then can life and the world and universe be?” Any answer would entail the processes of time, space and cause—and—effect. Such processes occur only within the dream itself. Therefore, any answer will be an answer within the unreal dream.

The point is that all that is apparent to the dreamer is simply that: an illusory appearance. What appears to be real or actual is not the same thing as what is real or actual.

What is actual, is ultimate reality. Ultimate reality can be characterized as empty; no-thing or nothingness.

Ultimate reality is absent any of the qualities of the dream. Being emptiness itself, it has no need of an explanation or a justification. There are no questions which one can ask about nothing. Questions and answers are a product of the dream.

Nothing is not the cause of anything or the effect of anything. Cause —and—effect is a process only within the dream. So, if we ask, “What is the cause of the unreal dream?”, the cause is the unreal dreamer. An apparent dreamer interacts in an apparent world in an apparent universe.

None of what appears to be is actual. What appears as “real” within the dream is not actual, not ultimate reality. To understand ultimate reality, one must go “outside” the conditioned perspective that is within the dream. It can only be understood from the standpoint that no thing is real. Nothingness is what’s real.

From the standpoint of nothingness, it is clear that not anything in our dream world, including oneself, is important. None of the activities in the world matter “outside of” the unreal dream. There is no meaning in life, in an ultimate sense. Anything which is to be taken “seriously” is within the unreal dream. Whatever you do, or anyone else does (or doesn’t do), does not matter in any real sense.

This insight is the freedom which one can experience within the dream. It is justified on its own terms.