Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Why are we so afraid of conflict


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Fri, 20 Nov 2015 #1
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5970 posts in this forum Offline

I hope you do not mind, Radha, that I have opened a new topic for your question

Yes, indeed, conflict is the human condition. I was on the verge of starting a discussion on this issue myself. If anything is the defining factor of the human race, it is conflict. In all his affairs man is in conflict, nationally, politically, socially, racially, economically, in the family, in intimate relationship – and at the very root, in his own consciousness. It seems this has been the human condition since time immemorial, and it only seems to grow, not abate.

This is not just a theory. As you say Radha, it is everywhere one looks. And when one starts to get to know ANYONE, it doesn't take much scratching below the veneer to discover the great conflict in their life.

Civilisations have come into being, built up with vast human effort, only to collapse in war. Then things are rebuilt, only to be destroyed by new conflicts. Conflict means incredible waste of human energy, and immense human suffering

And strangely, the issue of human conflict per se is hardly ever, if ever, discussed. Although great emphasis and extensive analysis of particular conflicts happens everyday. It seems we are so used to living in conflict we hardly notice, hardly realise it.

I think it is clear that the cause of conflict is division, separation. But it is natural to ask: why does man divide himself, when the result is such destructive conflict. And, perhaps most importantly of all, can conflict end?

But Radha, you are asking a different question about conflict. ''Why are we so afraid of conflict?''

Well, the obvious reasons have been touched upon above – it is destructive, it is painful, it brings about suffering. It takes away any semblance of security. It threatens to overwhelm the whole world.

But I feel I must be missing something in your question, Radha. Can you expand?

Clive

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Fri, 20 Nov 2015 #2
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 1324 posts in this forum Offline

What is conflict? It is struggle, the struggle to prevent or eliminate the unwanted or to keep or gain the wanted. In either case conflict is struggle.

At the center of this struggle is the psychological self -- the entity with the wants and desires, the entity who recognizes competition and threat. When the psychological is given priority over the physical, that is the beginning of sorrow and suffering.

As I see it, the person who is aware of this avoids the psychological. His avoidance results from an understanding of the nature of conflict and struggle, not out of a fear of conflict.

max

This post was last updated by max greene Fri, 20 Nov 2015.

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Sat, 21 Nov 2015 #3
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5970 posts in this forum Offline

max greene wrote:
When the psychological is given priority over the physical, that is the beginning of sorrow and suffering.

Hi Max

Thanks for joining in on this topic.

What you say about conflict seems to be quite true. And we can see this “ When the psychological is given priority over the physical, that is the beginning of sorrow and suffering.” in the action of suicide bombers, in acts of so-called heroism in war time, and in so many everyday examples – the psychological self is given more importance, amazingly, than physical life itself.

Now I would like to ask you a question, Max, with absolutely no offence intended. I ask to extend our inquiry. If you have seen the nature of conflict, struggle, sorrow, suffering, as you describe in your mail, are you yourself free of such things? Do you live a life of perfect peace and harmony?

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Sat, 21 Nov 2015 #4
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 1324 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
in the action of suicide bombers, in acts of so-called heroism in war time, and in so many everyday examples – the psychological self is given more importance, amazingly, than physical life itself.

"Amazingly," you say. And it is amazing, but it is our conventional, everyday way of living to give more importance to the psychological than we do to the physical. Suicide bombers and heroic acts in wartime are just spectacular aspects of our daily lives.

A few examples: We smoke. We get pleasure out of this as we kill the physical body. We overeat and get much pleasure out of this as we kill the physical body with heart disease and diabetes. We go in for extreme sports and risk the death of the physical body for psychological "kicks.". Maybe we immerse ourselves in work, "dedicate" ourselves to our business or profession so that we can pile up a fortune far beyond what we will ever need. We have substituted greed for the physical, our physical or the physical of others, leading to much misery.

The amazing thing is that through the centuries our entrenched belief in the primacy of the psychological, the imaginary self, has gone relatively without discussion.

max

This post was last updated by max greene Sat, 21 Nov 2015.

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Sat, 21 Nov 2015 #5
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5970 posts in this forum Offline

Max, I am terribly sorry, being inexperienced in the technicalities of the forum, I deleted your previous posting, when I meant to correct my response to it.

First let me repost your words:

To the extent that one sees and
understands, to that extent one is
free. This goes for everyone. It
cannot be otherwise, because
understanding is right action,
choiceless action. So, am I free, do I
live a life of perfect peace? To the
extent that I understand, yes.

If you want to repost yourself, please do so.

sorry

Clive

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Sat, 21 Nov 2015 #6
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5970 posts in this forum Offline

Max wrote:

"To the extent that one sees and understands, to that extent one is free. This goes for everyone. It cannot be otherwise, because understanding is right action, choiceless action. So, am I free, do I live a life of perfect peace? To the extent that I understand, yes".

I feel this is a very good answer. Yes, to the extent that one sees and understands, to that extent one is free. That goes for everyone, yes.

Clive

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Sat, 21 Nov 2015 #7
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5970 posts in this forum Offline

max greene wrote:
The amazing thing is that through the centuries our entrenched belief in the primacy of the psychological, the imaginary self, has gone relatively without discussion.

This is quite right, Max. I have talked to people doing psychology courses at a University, and
THE COURSE DOES NOT EVEN MENTION THE SELF. Believe it or not.

So why this blindness? A blindness which brings about so much darkness. Is it that we have taken what thought says as an absolute truth – rather than being merely what thought says?

Clive

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Sat, 21 Nov 2015 #8
Thumb_stringio Steve SDS. United States 15 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

This is a very good and interesting thread. This topic of Conflict is one we all deal with, living in this violent, divisive world, of our own making, for the most part.

You have touched upon some very good points, and i am looking at it with you.

Krishnamurti asked us over and over in his talks "Can we live a life with no conflict whatsoever? "

K thought it was possible, i think it is possible too. No conflict whatsoever psychologically, there will always be some conflict outwardly, but inwardly, can one be totally free of it, and i say yes.

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Sat, 21 Nov 2015 #9
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5970 posts in this forum Offline

Steve SDS. wrote:
, and i say yes.

Hi Steve

If someone tells me that it is possible to be totally free of conflict, it seems the only way they can know this is that is they actually DO live a completely conflict-free life. Otherwise the statement is mere speculation. So, I am asking a similar question to one I put to Max yesterday, is this the case for you? Please, I am not attacking personally, it is just that I feel the question must be put. Or do you have some other basis for making the statement?

I admit that my question is suspect, as it appears to suggest some static state, or some state existing in time.

Yes, please let us continue the inquiry, even if it is never generally asked in a world riddled with conflict at all levels. Perhaps we are too caught up in conflict to inquire into conflict.

Clive

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Sat, 21 Nov 2015 #10
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5970 posts in this forum Offline

It seems to me that the fundamental cause of conflict in oneself - which means in human consciousness - is this division between the thinker and the thought, the observer and the observed. This mostly manifests as the 'should be', or 'shouldn't be'

It is not perfectly clear to me how this inner conflict translates into all the global conflict, but yes, how can a man in conflict in himself create a peaceful world?

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Sat, 21 Nov 2015 #11
Thumb_stringio Steve SDS. United States 15 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Clive Elwell wrote:
If someone tells me that it is possible to be totally free of conflict, it seems the only way they can know this is that is they actually DO live a completely conflict-free life. Otherwise the statement is mere speculation. So, I am asking a similar question to one I put to Max yesterday, is this the case for you? Please, I am not attacking personally, it is just that I feel the question must be put. Or do you have some other basis for making the statement?

I admit that my question is suspect, as it appears to suggest some static state, or some state existing in time.

Yes, please let us continue the inquiry, even if it is never generally asked in a world riddled with conflict at all levels. Perhaps we are too caught up in conflict to inquire into conflict.

Clive

Yes, it is good to question me and Max on this. Questioning is the only way to learn. I was quoting K on this, it was a question he asked a lot in his talks, and i happened to agree with him. To K, it might not have been speculative or theory, but to me, yes it is. I still have inner conflict, but i can see where K was going with this, a little.

But one can see for oneself, when one is free from inner conflict, even if for only a moment. It is to be seen or felt from moment to moment. It is not a static thing as you say.

I do feel this question and inquiry into conflict is a helpful one and we should continue pursuing it and looking at our own lives and seeing where there is and where there is not conflict.

The world is definitely in conflict and getting worse by the minute. The outer conflict is reaching unmanageable levels. K's teachings seem to suggest that the only way to change outer conflict is to change our own inner consciousness. And that is all we can do it seems, to end conflict in myself.

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Sat, 21 Nov 2015 #12
Thumb_stringio Steve SDS. United States 15 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Clive Elwell wrote:
the global conflict, but yes, how can a man in conflict in himself create a peaceful world?

There is global conflict, we are not denying that or putting our heads in the sand. It is there, and in a sense, we all have contributed to it. But the only way to not be a part of the problem, is to work on ourselves and end as much as possible the conflict within ourselves.

A peaceful person, one free of conflict as much as possible, will create a more peaceful world, or one with less conflict, it seems logical and inevitable.

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Sat, 21 Nov 2015 #13
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 1324 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote (post 7):
So why this blindness? A blindness which brings about so much darkness. Is it that we have taken what thought says as an absolute truth . . .

Yes, this is it exactly. We have the belief that thinking and thought are the way to truth and understanding. This has been our belief for centuries. But thinking and thought cannot bring us to truth and understanding. In fact, they prevent understanding as they keep the brain busy, noisy, when silence is necessary if awareness and understanding are to be. When the brain is busy thinking, when the brain is occupied with thinking, then awareness is impossible.

max

This post was last updated by max greene Sun, 22 Nov 2015.

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Sun, 22 Nov 2015 #14
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5970 posts in this forum Offline

Steve SDS. wrote:
I still have inner conflict, but i can see where K was going with this, a little.

Thank you for being honest and straight-forward, Steve. Yes, these qualities are essential if we are to usefully inquire together.

So we stand on common ground. We see the movement of conflict in consciousness. I would not describe it as 'my conflict' or 'your conflict' - it is human conflict, one movement, and I think this has great significance. We are not trying to solve our particular conflicts, we are concerned with human conflict, in all its manifestations.

And we both glimpse, if I can use that word, that conflict may not be inevitable.

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Sun, 22 Nov 2015 #15
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5970 posts in this forum Offline

Steve SDS. wrote:
. K's teachings seem to suggest that the only way to change outer conflict is to change our own inner consciousness. And that is all we can do it seems, to end conflict in myself.

And yet K often suggests that there is no individual consciousness, does he not? And one has a feel, unless one's perception has been influenced by K's words, for the truth of this. Which implies to ..... cannot find the best word here ..... eliminate conflict "in oneself" is to lessen the conflict of the world.

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Sun, 22 Nov 2015 #16
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5970 posts in this forum Offline

max greene wrote:
t thinking and thought cannot bring us to truth and understanding

Yes Max, with you. Clear that thinking about conflict will not bring it to an end.

There can be no question that this is a crucial issue, perhaps crucial for the very survival of mankind. I would like to ask Steve what he means by "working on oneself". The usual approach would be to create an ideal of non-conflict, and somehow "work towards it". I think we can dismiss this approach, can we not? To try to achieve what is not actual is one of the major causes of conflict.

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Sun, 22 Nov 2015 #17
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 1324 posts in this forum Offline

Yes, Clive, our belief that thinking and thought -- which is totally the psychological and the self -- can bring us understanding and therefore freedom from conflict, is, as I see it, a mistake of survival importance. We have tottered along for centuries, with occasionally someone like Krishnamurti telling us that "the house is burning," but It seems to me that time is growing short. Technology and the increased ability to easily organize large groups contributes to our continuing insensitivity to the problem. Our wisest people are totally ignorant of the problem!

max

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Sun, 22 Nov 2015 #18
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5970 posts in this forum Offline

max greene wrote:
Our wisest people are totally ignorant of the problem!

This is a strange view of what 'wisdom' is!

Yes Max, all the indicators are that time is running out for human civilization. Seems there is hardly any intelligence to be found, anywhere.

What is our response to this fact, when it is accepted as a fact - which is not easy. To be concerned with our own, our family's personal security? There is no such thing anymore, probably there never was. To 'spread the message'? I have been doing that in various ways, but seems the vast majority just will not change, or even let the facts into their minds.

It is not generally seen that the real problem is human consciousness. I have had articles published on the web on this very topic, but hardly anyone accepts. And yet it is indisputable, for me.

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Sun, 22 Nov 2015 #19
Thumb_stringio Steve SDS. United States 15 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Clive Elwell wrote:
I would like to ask Steve what he means by "working on oneself". The usual approach would be to create an ideal of non-conflict, and somehow "work towards it". I think we can dismiss this approach, can we not? To try to achieve what is not actual is one of the major causes of conflict.

Yes, K clearly shows this approach to be the wrong approach, to work towards it. K was about the negative approach, not the positive approach. His approach is negative, one of negation. When there is no conflict, the other is. But one cannot work towards it, positively.

To me, when i said "working on oneself" it is not meant as a positive action, a thing to do, but more in line with Ks teachings about passive awareness, choiceless awareness, that is the work to do, if you want to call it something, or work. But it is not work in the usual sense of the word. Hope this clarifies.

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Sun, 22 Nov 2015 #20
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5970 posts in this forum Offline

Steve SDS. wrote:
K was about the negative approach, not the positive approach

Yes Steve. So from conflict we have arrived at negation. As negation deepens, it becomes rather difficult to communicate about it. Everything that is expressed seems so partial, so inadequate. I am not trying to be mystical here, but it is so.

So one cannot take a single positive step. All steps are the wrong steps, because they are in the direction of what is already known, which, psychologically, is merely an image.

Even the term 'negative approach' seems false, since again 'approach' suggests what we already know, which is invariably limited.

It is so called positive action that creates all the mischief. K has said, something like, “complete negation is the complete positive action”.

What do you say Steve? Or anyone else.

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Sun, 22 Nov 2015 #21
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3498 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
So one cannot take a single positive step. All steps are the wrong steps, because they are in the direction of what is already known, which, psychologically, is merely an image.

makes sense, Clive....succinctly put. Another way of saying that will is of the 'me'.

Clive Elwell wrote:
Even the term 'negative approach' seems false, since again 'approach' suggests what we already know, which is invariably limited.

It is so called positive action that creates all the mischief. K has said, something like, “complete negation is the complete positive action”

So can we say that all will...all effort.... is producing more 'mischief'? Adding to the disorder? Can one observe the disorder without effort? Asking myself as well.

Let it Be

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Sun, 22 Nov 2015 #22
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 1324 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Can one observe the disorder without effort?

I would say no, that one cannot observe the disorder because there is no "one" as the observer. With awareness, or observing, there is no entity who is aware or observes. With awareness, at the moment of awareness, there is just the awareness itself.

How the self sneaks in! Almost automatically we assume there is someone observing.

max

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Sun, 22 Nov 2015 #23
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3498 posts in this forum Offline

OK, max (post 22)....but, what does one do when faced with conflict...any conflict...in his/her life? Can he do nothing at all? He is part of the conflict. How does he proceed? He wants to understand himself and his fear, his anger, greed, depression, addictions, etc.? Are you telling him he can do nothing to understand himself...his suffering? That's what it appears you are saying.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sun, 22 Nov 2015.

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Sun, 22 Nov 2015 #24
Thumb_3252 Voco . Luxembourg 426 posts in this forum Offline

max greene wrote:
I would say no, that one cannot observe the disorder because there is no "one" as the observer. With awareness, or observing, there is no entity who is aware or observes. With awareness, at the moment of awareness, there is just the awareness itself.

It is a nonsense. Simply the observer is still, it does not interrupts, that does not means there is no observer at all. You cannot talk of awareness as something independent and separate from the observer.

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Sun, 22 Nov 2015 #25
Thumb_stringio Steve SDS. United States 15 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Clive Elwell wrote:
Even the term 'negative approach' seems false, since again 'approach' suggests what we already know, which is invariably limited.

It is so called positive action that creates all the mischief. K has said, something like, “complete negation is the complete positive action”.

What do you say Steve? Or anyone else.

Yes Clive, i think you described it well. K said "Negation is the most positive action."

And in this talk of K's, he goes on to describe this positive action. K describes it much better than me, so i will let the man speak:

"So we are saying that through the negation the positive is. You understand? Through negation. That is, is pleasure love? And we examined pleasure and we see it is not quite that, though pleasure has its place it is not that. Right? So you negate that. You say it is not remembrance though remembrances are necessary. Right? So we put remembrance in its right place, therefore you have negated remembrance as not being love. You have negated desire, though desire has its certain place. Therefore you say through negation the positive is - you understand? Come on! But we on the contrary posit the positive and then get caught in the negative. Right? That is, one must begin with doubt, completely doubting, then you end up with certainty. But if you start with certainty, as all of you do, then you end up in uncertainty and chaos.

So in negation the positive is born. You understand? "

J. Krishnamurti

Fourth Public Talk in Saanen

July 1977

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Sun, 22 Nov 2015 #26
Thumb_stringio Kolya Harari Israel 117 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Voco . wrote:
You cannot talk of awareness as something independent and separate from the observer.

Quite. The observer IS the observed; equally real.

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Sun, 22 Nov 2015 #27
Thumb_3252 Voco . Luxembourg 426 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
He wants to understand himself and his fear, his anger, greed, depression, addictions, etc.? Are you telling him he can do nothing to understand himself...his suffering?

First one has to see what he is, which means nothing more but be responsible, and to be responsible one has to feel deeply. One cannot understand himself by merely trying to understand all that separately, the fear, the greed, the depression, the addictions, for it is all that comes from one source.

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Sun, 22 Nov 2015 #28
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3498 posts in this forum Offline

Voco . wrote:
for it is all that comes from one source.

Which is?

Let it Be

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Sun, 22 Nov 2015 #29
Thumb_stringio Kolya Harari Israel 117 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Thanks for #25, Steve. T'riffic!

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Sun, 22 Nov 2015 #30
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 1324 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
. . . what does one do when faced with conflict...any conflict...in his/her life? Can he do nothing at all?

If one reacts to a conflict, it is a reaction by the brain through the process of thinking. The reaction infers, and so perpetuates, that for which it is a reaction. The conflict continues. This is illustrated nicely by the Israelis and the Palestinians with their interminable reacting, their back-and-forth never-ending conflict.

So one does not react. One is aware of the conflict, and with this awareness there is understanding and choiceless action, not the motivated reaction of thinking.

One is impatient of "awareness." Oh, for Christ's sake. That isn't going to get me anywhere. I have to do something.

Then go ahead and do it. And be sure to note the consequences.

max

This post was last updated by max greene Sun, 22 Nov 2015.

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