September 12th ~ I do not know if it is clear to each one of us that we live in a state of contradiction. We talk about peace, and prepare for war. We talk about nonviolence, and are fundamentally violent. We talk about being good, and we are not. We talk about love, and we are full of ambition, competitiveness, ruthless efficiency. So there is contradiction. The action that springs from that contradiction only brings about frustration and further contradiction…
You see, sirs, all thought is partial, it can never be total. Thought is the response of memory, and memory is always partial because memory is the result of experience, so thought is the reaction of a mind that is conditioned by experience. All thinking, all experience, all knowledge is inevitably partial; therefore, thought cannot solve the many problems that we have. You may try to reason logically, sanely, about these many problems, but if you observe your own mind you will see that your thinking is conditioned by your circumstances, by the climate you live in, by the newspapers you read, by the pressures and influences of your daily life…..
So we must understand very clearly that our thinking is the response of memory, and memory is mechanistic. Knowledge is ever incomplete, and all thinking born of knowledge is limited, partial, never free. So there is no freedom of thought. But we can begin to discover a freedom which is not a process of thought, and in which the mind is simply aware of all its conflicts and of all the influences impinging upon it.
October 26th, 2019 ~ The quote from the 2nd paragraph:”…but if you observe your own mind you will see that your thinking is conditioned by your circumstances, by the climate you live in, by the newspapers you read, by the pressures and influences of your daily life…..” Here in Silicon Valley, aka the SF Bay Area, the weather is pretty unbelievable. It allows for independence. I have read stories about how the humid climate in Asia causes disease and people have to support each other more. Areas of extreme weather would be the same. What you eat, K is saying, impacts your mind…and your health. This is hard for a lot of people to accept or believe. What you read, what TV and movies and books you are into, does the same. The pressures and influences of our life impact our life. It is hard for me to accept Silicon Valley heavyweights who think they are “self-made” men. It is usually men who think they made their wealth all by themselves, even though a lot of things have to happen before they can even begin to be successful. If we really could see and appreciate that our lives are impacted by pressures and influences of our daily life, it would seem that high paid executives and CEOs would see that they aren’t separate from others including the poor and the sweatshops they hire in places like China. Of course, these people are feeling pressure and it impacts their mind. That not everyone there or even here in the US and Silicon Valley can pull themselves up by their bootstraps and be successful in the American Dream.
We are full of contradictions as K says. Back in my late 20’s, I met a Native American Shaman in Hollister. He used to run Sweats with his wife in their backyard. Everytime I saw him, which was about 3 times, he said: “Doug, it is all about the contradictions.” He didn’t have his act totally together: he had health issues and the food they were serving wasn’t the healthiest, but he knew. He was very generous in allowing me to attend these events. He even allowed me to bring my a men’s group I was part of to a sweat, which I was very appreciative. Can we see how we are conflicted? How we say one thing and do another?