“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe anything simply because it is spoken and rumored
by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found
written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely
on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in
traditions because they have been handed down for many
Generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find
that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and
benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it. “
– Buddhist philosophy
All potential was created when the universe came into being. This may or may not have been the original cause but all else is effects in an evolution of Universal Intelligence. That intelligence is innate in all living things, expressed, more or less, by genetic makeup. In this process we humans are only a physical and psychological speck with that innate intelligence which is part of the whole. To the extent that we separate ourselves from the whole we skew our existence towards self destruction.
We separate ourselves from reality because we are caught in the prison of consciousness in which all our knowledge and experiences are contained. From this there can be no escape by way of that knowledge nor any psychological technique or introspection. We are prisoners of thought drawn from that consciousness because we are continually thinking about one thing or another. There is little space to be aware of who is the thinker of thought or the experiencer of experience, otherwise we would realize there is no separate self apart from our knowledge and experience. It is all an illusion.
By all this we are distracted, forced into an unreality of our own making. This is not to say that thinking is unimportant, it is. It is the foundation of our many activities and necessary for our survival. But it can also be misleading if we allow it.
The words we have invented to communicate with each other, while useful for this purpose, most often divert and separate ourselves from being aware of and using our innate intelligence. With words we create ideas, ideals and beliefs that have no relationship to that intelligence. Words are not real except in themselves, they can only indicate something that may be true, false or misleading. Only by attention can we be aware of which is which. It is that awareness that makes contact with our intelligence and directs our perception and behavior accordingly and not the words.
Unfortunately we have been mislead and confused by words that make up our language. We have allowed them to become a reality they are not. We believe what they mean and don’t see what they indicate. Language can never explain the unexplainable but it can indicate something beyond words that can free us from the confines that we have imposed upon ourselves. In so doing we may discover the unexplainable.
The Search for Answers:
“Whoever undertakes to set himself up in
the field of truth and knowledge is ship-
wrecked by the laughter of the Gods”
– Albert Einstein
Most all of us realize that there is something wrong with human thinking and behavior and consequently with societies everywhere, societies being the relationship that people have with each other. Throughout the entire history of our species ignorance and stupidity has prevailed in personal and social relationships. By ignorance is meant being solely confined to knowledge as compared to the freedom to see and understand beyond words.
“The artist is sometimes granted a sudden, transient insight which
serves in this matter for experience. A flash and where previously
the brain held a dead fact, the soul grasps a living truth!
At moments we are all artists.”
– Arnold Bennett
It is ignorance that leads to stupid behavior. However, no one is deliberately ignorant. They lack knowledge, are miss informed by it or are conditioned by their beliefs so that no rational argument or facts can persuade them otherwise.
Intelligence seems not much the result of our big brain that has otherwise served us well, allowing us to adapt to our different environments, to create cultures and to develop technologies that make us more comfortable, but they have failed to free us from the many instincts of our animal ancestors, such as aggression, greed, envy and fear of others. Not only that but our brain development resulted in psychological by-products. A by-product is a secondary result or side effect like in building a staircase results in the unavoidable space underneath. It is psychological by-products that direct our many divisive social, political, economic and religious, especially religious, beliefs. Along with these a self centered ego and the tendency to be conditioned by our limited knowledge and experiences, reinforced by our behavior. Altogether this has led to the many divisions among us, to continuous wars, to chattel and wage slavery and to terrible suffering and poverty. It has also led to ecological damage on a large scale, to species extinction and technologies that now threaten our very existence, if not every other living thing on earth.
This is a problem that many today and in the past have tried to understand and to modify, if not correct but without success in acquiring any comprehensive understanding. From Gilgamesh, more than 4000 years ago, to the ancient Greek philosopher Plato and his contemporaries, to the religious sages during the Middle and Dark ages, to the philosophers of the Enlightment and to our modern day scientists and thinkers, many ideas have been presented but without solving our problems. In fact they have only contributed to more confusion and division among us. There may be a few among us, past and present, who have understood, who have set knowledge aside to see beyond the words but most of us don’t understand what they indicated, confined as we are to the meaning of words and not what they indicate.
A major part of the problem, little considered, is that although we know what little we know we don’t know what we don’t know which may be infinite and contain therein the understanding we seek. The human mind does not much tolerate not knowing and so we keep trying to understand ourselves. Perhaps, if we survive long enough, we may discover the answers and save ourselves from otherwise certain extinction.
– Wilfred H. Loree
Freedom from Sorrow
“Truth is a pathless land. Man cannot come to it through any organization, through any creed, through any dogma, priest or ritual, nor through any philosophical knowledge or psychological technique. He has to find it through the mirror of relationship, through the understanding of the content of his own mind, through observation and not through intellectual analysis or introspective dissection. Man has built in himself images as a fence of security – religious, political, personal. These manifest as symbols, ideas, beliefs. The burden of these images dominates man’s thinking, his relationships and his daily life. These images are the cause of our problems for they divide man from man. His perception of life is shaped by the concepts already established in his mind. The content of his consciousness is his entire existence. This content is common to all humanity. The individuality is the name, the form and superficial culture he acquires from tradition and environment. The uniqueness of man does not lie in the superficial but in complete freedom from the content of his consciousness, which is common to all mankind. So he is not an individual.
Freedom is not a reaction; freedom is not a choice; It is mans pretence that because he has choice he is free. Freedom is pure observation without direction, without fear of punishment and reward. Freedom is without motive; freedom is not at the end of evolution of man but lies in the first step of his existence. In observation one begins to discover the lack of freedom. Freedom is found in the choice less awareness of our daily existence and activity. Thought is time. Thought is born of experience and knowledge which is inseparable from time and the past. Time is the psychological enemy of man. Our action is based on knowledge and therefore time, so man is always a slave to the past. Thought is ever-limited and so we live in constant conflict and struggle. There is no psychological evolution.
When man becomes aware of the movement of his own thoughts he will see the division between the thinker and thought, the observer and the observed, the experience and the experiencer. He will discover that this division is an illusion. Then only is there pure observation which is insight without any shadow of the past or of time. This timeless insight brings about a deep radical mutation in the mind.
Total negation is the essence of the positive. When there is negation of all those things that thought has brought about psychologically, only then is there love, which is compassion and intelligence.”
The above quotation was written by Jiddu Krishnamurti, 1895-1986, as the core of his teaching. The letter K was how his friend referred to him. He was born and discovered in India as a teenager but was educated in England and thereafter lived most of his life in the U.S.A. It was after moving to America that he had an awakening similar to that of the Buddha. Thereafter he traveled extensively in many parts of the world teaching large crowds wherever he went including to heads of state, scientists and philosophers. Many books have been written by and about him including web sites that detail his life and teaching. His works are on the syllabus of more than two hundred universities and colleges. He has been the subject of PHD thesis in the U.S., England, France and Germany.