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Conditioning The Book of Life

How to Approach Problems

This was just posted on a new website called Remodeler.  Please excuse the typos.  I didn’t think it would be posted due to copyright issues, but it was.  Good for them.  It is based on the video What is Guilt by Jiddu Krishnamurti.  You can view my blog entry about it here.  My hope is to get this method of meditation out to as many people as possible.  It changed my life.  Hopefully, it will change others as well.

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Conditioning The Book of Life

Freedom from the Self

May 23rd ~ To free the mind from all conditioning, you must see the totality of it without thought.  This is not a conundrum; experiment with it and you will see.  Do you ever see anything without thought?  Have you ever listened, looked, without bringing in this whole process of reaction?  You will say that it is impossible to see without thought; you will say no mind can be unconditioned.  When you say that, you have already blocked yourself by thought, for the fact is you do not know.

So can I look, can the mind be aware of its conditioning?  I think it can.  Please experiment.  Can you be aware that you are a Hindu, a Socialist, a communist, this or that, just be aware without saying that it is right or wrong?  Because it is such a difficult task just to see, we say it is impossible.  I say it is only when you are aware of this totality of your being without any reaction that the conditioning goes, totally, deeply–which is really the freedom from the self.

February 23rd, 2020 ~  Is there a more important topic discussed by Krishnamurti then conditioning?

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Conditioning The Book of Life

Awareness May Burn Away the Problems

May 24th ~ All thinking obviously is conditioned; there is no such thing as free thinking.  Thinking can never be free, it is the outcome of our conditioning, of our background, of our culture, of our climate, of our social, economic, political background.  The very books that you read and the very practices that you do are all established in the background, and any thinking must be the result of that background.  So if we can be aware–and we can go presently into what it signifies, what it means, to be aware–perhaps we shall be able to uncondition the mind without the process of will, without the determination to uncondition the mind.  Because the moment you determine, there is an entity who wishes, an entity who says, “I must uncondition my mind.”  That entity itself is the outcome of our desire to achieve a certain result, so a conflict is already there.  So, is it possible to be aware of our conditioning, just to be aware?–in which there is no conflict at all.  That very awareness, if allowed, may perhaps burn away the problems.

February 21st, 2020 ~  Awareness of what we are doing, thinking, feeling.  We are such a doing society.  K uses the word climate.  Our climate impacts our thinking.  The weather here in California allows us to be quite independent.  It is hard to relate to other parts of the world where the climate is more harsh.  Being aware of ourselves.  no easy task since we are so busy and focused on doing.  Be satisfied with being Aware.

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Conditioning The Book of Life

There Is No Noble or Better Conditioning

May 25th ~ Does not the urge of the mind to free itself from its conditioning set going another pattern of resistance and conditioning?  Having become aware of the pattern or mold in which you have grown up, you want to be free from it; but will not this desire to be free conditioning the mind again in a different manner?  The old pattern insists that you conform to authority, and now you are developing a new one which maintains that you must not conform; so you have two patterns, one in conflict with the other.  As long as there is this inner contradiction, further conditioning takes place. 

….There is the urge that makes for conformity, and the urge to be free.  However dissimilar these two urges may seem to be, are they not fundamentally similar?  And if they are fundamentally similar, then your pursuit of freedom is vain, for you will only move from one pattern to another, endlessly.  There is no noble or better conditioning, and it is this desire that has to be understood.

 

February 20th, 2020 ~

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Conditioning The Book of Life

Freedom from Conditioning

May 26th ~ The desire to free oneself from conditioning only furthers conditioning.  But if, instead of trying to suppress desire, one understands the whole process of desire, in that very understanding there comes freedom from conditioning.  Freedom from conditioning is not a direct result.  Do you understand?  If I set about deliberately to free myself from my conditioning, that desire creates its own conditioning.  I may destroy one form of conditioning, but I am caught in another.  Whereas, if there is an understanding of desire itself, which includes the desire to be free, then that very understanding destroys all conditioning.  Freedom from conditioning is a byproduct; it is not important.  The important thing is to understand what it is that creates conditioning.

February 17th, 2020 ~  Understanding is the key word here. We have a hard time to slow down enough so we can see our conditioned mind.  K has talked about understanding as opposed to knowing.  Knowing feels more like getting caught up in it.  Understanding feels like observing.  Here is another meditation from K on Understanding.

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Conditioning The Book of Life

No Part of the Mind Is Unconditioned

May 28th ~ Your mind is conditioned right through: there is no part of you which is unconditioned.  That is a fact, whether you like it or not.  You may say there is a part of you–the watcher, the supersoul, the atma–which is not conditioned; but because you think about it, it is within the field of thought; therefore, it is conditioned.  You can invent lots of theories about it, but the fact is that your mind is conditioned  right through, the conscious as well as the unconscious, and any effort it makes to free itself is the state of the mind when it knows that it is conditioned  and realizes that any effort it makes to uncondition itself is still conditioned?

Now, when you say, “I know I am conditioned,” do you really know it, or is it that merely a verbal statement?  Do you know it with the same potency with which you see a cobra?  When you see a snake and know it to be a cobra, there is immediate, unpremeditated action; and when you say, “I know I am conditioned,” has it the same vital significance as your perception of the cobra?  Or is it merely a superficial acknowledgment of the fact, and not the realization of the fact?  When I realize the fact that I am conditioned, there is immediate action.  I don’t have to make an effort to uncondition myself.  The very fact that I am conditioned, and the realization of that fact, brings an immediate clarification.  The difficulty lies in not realizing it in the sense of understanding all its implication, seeing that all thought, however subtle, however cunning, however sophisticated or philosophical, is conditioned.

February 12th, 2020 ~

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Conditioning The Book of Life

The Burden of the Unconscious

May 29th ~ Inwardly, unconsciously, there is the tremendous weight of the past pushing you in a certain direction.

Now, how is one to wipe all that away?  How is the unconscious to be cleansed immediately of the past?  The analysts think that the unconscious can be partially or even completely cleansed through analysis–through investigation, exploration, confession, the interpretation of dreams, and so on–so that at least you become a “normal” human being, able to adjust yourself to the present environment.  But in analysis there is always the analyzer and the analyzed, and observer who is interpreting the thing observed, which is a duality, a source of conflict.

So I see that mere analysis of the unconscious will not lead anywhere.  It may help me to be a little less neurotic, a little kinder to my wife, to my neighbor, or some superficial thing like that; but that is not what we are talking about.  I see that the analytical process–which involves time, interpretation, the movement of thought as the observer analyzing the thing observed–cannot free the unconscious; therefore I reject the analytical process completely.  The moment I perceive the fact that analysis cannot under any circumstances clear away the burden of the unconscious, I am out of analysis.  I no longer analyze.  So what has taken place?  Because there is no longer an analyzer separated from the thing that he analyzes, he is that thing.  He is not an entity apart from it.  Then one finds that the unconscious is of very little importance.

February 11th, 2020 ~ The thought that just came in is how Buddhism and like-minded thought isn’t more popular.  People say things based on their knowledge and then change it later on when they get more knowledge.  There is a feeling I am trying to convey so the words aren’t exactly what I am feeling or even thinking.  However, at least with Buddhism, the idea that we can’t really know and can’t really express what we are experiencing is pretty much the way it is.  Hopefully, we become more humble along the way.  But, most people don’t do that.  I am not sure I can articulate what I am experiencing.  I remember hearing the a well-known person ( I will leave his name out) talk about a time that he was depressed during his marriage to a former relatively famous person.  He had certain beliefs that he expressed back then.  He wasn’t living true to himself.  But now, he had changed.  He was more care free.  And, he was a proponent of this carefree life.  In fact, he used to live this way and had strayed from that when he was married.  When he was married, evidently, he wasn’t happy.  I guess my point is that it is interesting how we can share how we are in the past, including vulnerability, but it is hard to share how we are in the moment. Did he know at the time he wasn’t happy?  Should we be sure he is happy during this particular interview?  I remember this idea and have wondered about it on a few occasions.  It is very difficult for us to share about our current experiences.  Is it because we aren’t yet aware of them?  Are we resisting them?

We are analyzing.  We are separate.  There is conflict.

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Conditioning The Book of Life

The Interval Between Thoughts

May 30th ~ Now, I say it is definitely possible for the mind to be free from all conditioning–not that you should accept my authority.  If you accept it on authority, you will never discover, it will be another substitution and that will have no significance. . . .

The understanding of the whole process of conditioning does not come to you through analysis or introspection, because the moment you have the analyzer, that very analyzer himself is part of the background therefore his analysis is of no significance. . . .

How is it possible for the mind to be free?  To be free, the mind must not only see and understand its pendulum-like swing between the past and the future but also be aware of the interval between thoughts. . . .

If you watch very carefully, you will see that though the response, the movement of thought, seems so swift, there are gaps, there are intervals between thoughts.  Between two thoughts is a period of silence that is not related to the thought process.  If you observe you will see that that period of silence, that interval, is not of time; and the discovery of that interval, the full experiencing of that interval, liberates you from conditioning–or rather it does not liberate “you” but there is liberation from conditioning. . . . It is only when the mind is not giving continuity to thought, when it is still with a stillness that is not induced, that is without any causation–it is only then that there can be freedom from the background.

February 10th, 2020 ~ This space between silence, this interval, is something we often avoid.  When speaking in public, we fear that we will blank.  Isn’t that silence a form of emptiness?  Rather than dread or fear it, maybe knowing the importance of emptiness might allow us to have compassion towards ourselves and others.  Great if we come up with something to say.  Okay if we don’t. . . .

The analyzer K is referring to is an interesting one.  I am blanking on what I want to say.  Oh well. . . . Emptiness.

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Conditioning The Book of Life

Observe How Habits Are Formed

May 31st ~ Without freedom from the past there is no freedom at all, because the mind is never new, fresh, innocent.  It is only the fresh, innocent mind that is free.  Freedom has nothing to do with age, it has nothing to do  with experience; and it seems to me that the very essence of freedom lies in understanding the whole mechanism of habit, both conscious and unconscious.  It is not a question of ending habit, but of seeing totally the structure of habit.  You have to observe how habits are formed and how, by denying or resisting one habit, another habit is created.  What matters is to be totally conscious of habit; for then, as you will see for yourself there is no longer the formation of habit.  To resist habit, to fight it, to deny it, only gives continuity to habit.  When you fight a particular habit you give life to that habit, and then the very fighting of it becomes a further habit.  But if you are simply aware of the whole structure of habit without resistance, then you will find there is freedom from habit, and in that freedom a new thing takes place.

It is only the dull, sleepy mind that creates and clings to habit.  A mind that is attentive from moment to moment–attentive to what it is saying, attentive to the movement to movement of its hand, of its thoughts, of its feeling–will discover that the formation of further habits has come to an end.  This is very important to understand, because as long as the mind is breaking down one habit, and in that very process creating another, it can obviously be free; and it is only the free mind that can perceive something beyond itself.

February 8th, 2020 ~Right now, the Zen center I attend is in a practice period.  Meditation sessions are often doubled.  Another thing that people do is cut out a particular behavior.  I decided to stop using a sports app and CNN page.  What I notice is that I will make it up in reading more the paper, both the NY Times and local Mercury News.  Conditioning is such a pervasive part of our lives.  When I don’t do Tai Chi or go for my daily walk, the day doesn’t feel complete.  I don’t feel like I accomplished as much.  Same with typing in this blog.  Looking at this is important to me, too.