Even though U.G.Krishnamurti is not a Buddhist, the dharma seals of impermanence and non-self is clearly in his writings. I'd say his understanding and experience is so far the closest a non-buddhist gets to some essential Buddhist teachings. Comments?
For example he said:
"You cannot conceive of the possibility of understanding anything except in time. Everything takes time. It has taken so many years for you to be where you are today and you are still striving and struggling to reach a higher plateau, higher and higher. That instrument which you are using cannot conceive of the possibility of understanding anything without effort, without striving, without producing results, but the issues that you have to deal with in life are the living issues. Thought has not helped us to solve those problems. Temporarily, you can find some solution, but that creates another problem, and it goes on and on. These are all life issues, but the mind is a dead instrument and cannot be used to understand anything living.
How can you bring about a change in consciousness, which has no limits, which has no boundaries, which has no frontiers? You can do every kind of research to find the seat of human consciousness, but there is no such thing as the seat of human consciousness at all. You can try but the chances of succeeding in that are slim.
There is no such thing as a seat located in any particular individual. What there is, is thought. Whenever a thought takes its birth there, you have created an entity or a point, and in reference to that point you are experiencing things. Every time a thought is born you are born. Thought, in its very nature, is short-lived. This state cannot be described in terms of bliss, love, compassion and all that poetic nonsense and romantic stuff because you have no way of experiencing what is there between these two thoughts.
The world you experience around you is also from that point of view. There must be a point and it is this that creates the space. If this point is not there, there is no space, so anything you experience from this point is an illusion. Not that the world is an illusion—the world is not an illusion—but anything you experience in relationship to this point, which itself is illusory, is bound to be an illusion, that's all. The Sanskrit word maya does not mean illusion in the same sense in which the English word is used. Maya means to measure. You cannot measure anything unless you have a point. So if the center is absent there is no circumference at all. That is pure and simple basic arithmetic. This point has no continuity. It comes into being in response to the demands of the situation. They create it.
There is light. If the light is not there, you have no way of looking at anything. The light falls on that object and the reflection of that light activates the optic nerves which in turn activate the memory cells. When the memory cells are activated, all the knowledge you have about that object comes into operation. It is that process which is happening there that has created the subject and the subject is the knowledge you have about it. When you reduce it to that, you feel the absurdity of talking about the self. The lower self, the higher self and self knowing, self-knowledge, knowing from moment to moment, is absolute rubbish, balderdash! You can indulge in such absolute nonsense and build up philosophical theories but there is no subject there at all, at any time.
So not only the I but all the physical sensations are involved in this. Sound, smell and the sense of touch—the operation of any one of these sensations necessarily creates the subject. It's not one continuous subject which is gathering all these experiences, piling them up together and then saying, “This is me,” but everything is discontinuous and disconnected. The sound is one. The physical seeing is one. The smelling is one. They come and go. There is no permanent entity there at all. What is there is only a first person singular pronoun, nothing else. If you don't want to use that word it is your privilege. That's all that is there. There is no permanent entity there at all.
While you are living, the knowledge that is there does not belong to you. So why are you concerned as to what will happen after what you call you is gone? The physical body is functioning from moment to moment because that is the way the sensory perceptions are. To talk of living from moment to moment by creating a thought-induced state of mind has no meaning to me except in terms of the physical functioning of the body.
When thought is not there all the time, what is there is living from moment to moment. It's all frames, millions of frames, to put it in the language of film. There is no continuity there. There is no movement there. Thought can never capture the movement. It is only when you invest a thought with motion you try to capture the movement, but actually thought can never capture any movement that is there around you. The movement of life out there is the movement of life here. They are together always.
So thought is essential only for the survival of this living organism. When it is necessary it is there. When it is not necessary the question of whether it is there or not is of no importance at all. You cannot talk of that state in a poetic, romantic language. And one in that state won't be hiding somewhere. He will be there shining like the star. You can't keep such people under a bushel. To be an individual is not an easy thing, you see. That means you are very ordinary. You want to be something other than what you are. To be yourself is very easy. You don't have to do a thing. No effort is necessary. You don't have to exercise will. You don't have to do anything to be yourself, but to be something other than what you are you have to do a lot of things."
"The eyes are like a very sensitive camera. The physiologists say that light reflected off objects strikes the retina of the eye and the sensation goes through the optic nerve to the brain. The faculty of sight, of seeing, is simply a physical phenomenon. It makes no difference to the eyes whether they are focused on a snow-capped mountain or on a garbage can: they produce sensations in exactly the same way. the eyes look on everyone and everything without discrimination.
You have a feeling that there is a 'cameraman' who is directing the eyes. But left to themselves -- when there is no 'cameraman' -- the eyes do not linger, but are moving all the time. They are drawn by the things outside. Movement attracts them, or brightness or a color which stands out from whatever is around it. There is no 'I' looking; mountains, flowers, trees, cows, all look at me. The consciousness is like a mirror, reflecting whatever is there outside. The depth, the distance, the color, everything is there, but there is nobody who is translating these things. Unless there is a demand for knowledge about what I am looking at, there is no separation, no distance from what is there. It may not actually be possible to count the hairs on the head of someone sitting across the room, but there is a kind of clarity which seems as if I could.
The eyes do not blink, except when there is sudden danger -- this is something very natural because the things outside are demanding attention all the time. Then, when the eyes are tired, a built-in mechanism in the body cuts them out -- they may be open, but they are blurred. But if the eyes stay open all the time, if the reflex action of blinking is not operating, they become dry and you will go blind; so there are some glands beyond the outer corners of the eyes, which are not activated in your case, which act as a watering mechanism. Tears flow all the time from the outer corners. Ignorant people have described them as 'tears of joy' or 'tears of bliss'. There is nothing divine about them. By practicing not blinking, one will not arrive in this state; one will only strain the eyes. And there are neurotics in mental hospitals whose eyes do not blink for one reason or another -- for them it is a pathological condition. But once you are in your natural state, by some luck or some strange chance, all this happens in its own way. "
Is there in you an entity which you call the 'I' or the 'mind' or the 'self'? Is there a co- ordinator who is co-ordinating what you are looking at with what you are listening to, what you are smelling with what you are tasting, and so on? Or is there anything which links together the various sensations originating from a single sense -- the flow of impulses from the eyes, for example? Actually, there is always a gap between any two sensations. The co-ordinator bridges that gap: he establishes himself as an illusion of continuity.
In the natural state there is no entity who is co-ordinating the messages from the different senses. Each sense is functioning independently in its own way. When there is a demand from outside which makes it necessary to co-ordinate one or two or all of the senses and come up with a response, still there is no co-ordinator, but there is a temporary state of co- ordination. There is no continuity; when the demand has been met, again there is only the unco-ordinated, disconnected, disjointed functioning of the senses. This is always the case. Once the continuity is blown apart -- not that it was ever there; but the illusory continuity -- it's finished once and for all.
Can this make any sense to you? It cannot. All that you know lies within the framework of your experience, which is of thought. This state is not an experience. I am only trying to give you a 'feel' of it, which is, unfortunately, misleading.
When there is no co-ordinator, there is no linking of sensations, there is no translating of sensations; they stay pure and simple sensations. I do not even know that they are sensations. I may look at you as you are talking. The eyes will focus on your mouth because that is what is moving, and the ears will receive the sound vibrations. There is nothing inside which links up the two and says that it is you talking. I may be looking at a spring bubbling out of the earth and hear the water, but there is nothing to say that the noise being heard is the sound of water, or that that sound is in any way connected with what I am seeing. I may be looking at my foot, but nothing says that this is my foot. When I am walking, I see my feet moving -- it is such a funny thing: "What is that which is moving?"
What functions is a primordial consciousness, untouched by thought.
I love this description of mind-body drop:
Your movement of thought interferes with the process of touch, just as it does with the other senses. Anything you touch is always translated as 'hard', 'soft', 'warm', 'cold', 'wet', 'dry', and so on.
You do not realize it, but it is your thinking that creates your own body. Without this thought process there is no body consciousness -- which is to say there is no body at all. My body exists for other people; it does not exist for me; there are only isolated points of contact, impulses of touch which are not tied together by thought. So the body is not different from the objects around it; it is a set of sensations like any others. Your body does not belong to you.
Perhaps I can give you the 'feel' of this. I sleep four hours at night, no matter what time I go to bed. Then I lie in bed until morning fully awake. I don't know what is lying there in the bed; I don't know whether I'm lying on my left side or my right side -- for hours and hours I lie like this. If there is any noise outside -- a bird or something -- it just echoes in me. I listen to the "flub-dub-flub-dub" of my heart and don't know what it is. There is no body between the two sheets -- the form of the body is not there. If the question is asked, "What is in there?" there is only an awareness of the points of contact, where the body is in contact with the bed and the sheets, and where it is in contact with itself, at the crossing of the legs, for example. There are only the sensations of touch from these points of contact, and the rest of the body is not there. There is some kind of heaviness, probably the gravitational pull, something very vague. There is nothing inside which links up these things. Even if the eyes are open and looking at the whole body, there are still only the points of contact, and they have no connection with what I am looking at. If I want to try to link up these points of contact into the shape of my own body, probably I will succeed, but by the time it is completed the body is back in the same situation of different points of contact. The linkage cannot stay. It is the same sort of thing when I'm sitting or standing. There is no body.
Can you tell me how mango juice tastes? I can't. You also cannot; but you try to relive the memory of mango juice now -- you create for yourself some kind of an experience of how it tastes -- which I cannot do. I must have mango juice on my tongue -- seeing or smelling it is not enough -- in order to be able to bring that past knowledge into operation and to say "Yes, this is what mango juice tastes like." This does not mean that personal preferences and 'tastes' change. In a market my hand automatically reaches out for the same items that I have liked all my life. But because I cannot conjure up a mental experience, there can be no craving for foods which are not there.
Smell plays a greater part in your daily life than does taste. The olfactory organs are constantly open to odors. But if you do not interfere with the sense of smell, what is there is only an irritation in the nose. It makes no difference whether you are smelling cow dung or an expensive French perfume -- you rub the nose and move on.
Mystique of Enlightenment: Part 2
Like · · Unfollow Post · Share · April 26 at 6:27am near Saint Lucia, Queensland
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Stian Gudmundsen Høiland, Piotr Ludwiński, Joel Agee and 2 others like this.
Soh: Everything is an activity! a formation! a display! an appearance! a flow! utterly unlocatable! bubbles appearing and popping instantly! no in nor out apart from appearance..
April 26 at 7:01am · Like · 5
Kyle Dixon: U.G. was really helpful early on for me, I have most of his books and used to watch a lot of his videos.
Plus my friend who introduced me to the teachings learned of them through his uncle (who used to follow U.G. around and eventually became realized). He said that while no teaching 'gets it' right on, dzogchen is closest to the mark in his opinion, but to make sure not to get caught up in the bullshit. My friend and I had never heard of dzogchen but we both dove in head first. All happening right around the time my son was born and I was moving back (from a short stay in Los Angeles) home to the Bay Area where there is a practice center (the community in LA had no practice center at the time). So all the events surrounding that aligned perfectly, was very auspicious and without U.G. and my friends Uncle who knows where I'd be.
April 26 at 7:03am via mobile · Edited · Like · 7
Din Robinson: yes, U. G. 's great, except he's a cranky old bastard! lol
April 26 at 7:04am · Like · 5
April 26 at 7:18am · Like · 1
Kyle Dixon: U.G. was also nice because my close friends that I would discuss the non-dual spiritual and philosophical stuff with early on are all vicious atheists ha. So U.G. allowed for a common ground we could both enjoy, he was intriguing but didn't carry himself as a venerated guru and didn't expound any sectarian ideological message. And like Din said he's a cranky old bastard so my friends, having a crude sense of humor found him very entertaining. Plus my closest friend (who I would talk about a lot of this stuff with) is a very unforgiving and clever guy, he likes to deconstruct everything and is very quick to size things up, but I could tell that he didn't quite know what to make of U.G. and was pretty fascinated with him. So U.G. Helped to create a nice neutral platform for discussion.
April 26 at 7:55am via mobile · Edited · Like · 2
Din Robinson: one thing in particular I liked about U.G.'s (non) teaching heh, heh, was the idea he came up with of "worldmind"
"worldmind: the totality of mans' thoughts and experiences passed to us from generation to generation
you have to use this to experience yourself as an entity
what you call "you" can't be experienced without the help of that knowledge
so our very existence as an individual or as an entity depends upon that"
April 26 at 7:56am · Like · 1
Kyle Dixon: My friend's Uncle said that while U.G. came across as very crude and rough (on the videos of him), in person he radiated an immense compassionate presence that would fill up the room and was very kind. He said he was a beautiful person and just being in his general vicinity would put you in a relaxed state.
April 26 at 8:06am via mobile · Like · 4
Din Robinson: U.G.'s great!
who else would call himself a barking dog?
THIS IS A DOG BARKING
April 26 at 8:28am · Edited · Like · 2 · Remove Preview
Din Robinson: btw, U.G. pretty well dropped all of his teachings and told everyone to ignore them all
April 26 at 9:56am · Like
Din Robinson: his example is excellent!
April 26 at 9:57am · Like
Joel Agee: Kyle, I have never heard U.G.’s personal vibe described as kind and compassionate before. I didn’t experience him that way. I hung out with him for several weeks in 1969 and ’70. That was in Switzerland. He lived in a house a half hour’s walk away from where his namesake J. Krishnamurti held his yearly “conferences” in a large geodesic tent.
What he seemed to be about, pretty much nonstop, was “ruthless truth.” He had a deadeye gaze that could be pretty unnerving. On one occasion he said to me: “I’m shooting bullets at you and you’re dodging them. You’re very fast.” His manner was often harsh and sarcastic. He didn’t have much of a sense of humor, though he could be funny. Once, while he was talking, a steamroller very slowly drove by, drowning out his voice with its extremely loud motor, and U.G. kept talking, completely inaudible, driving home the point that it made no difference to him, or to us for that matter, whether we understood him or not.
He came as close to being a living definition of “nihilism” as anyone I have ever met. One statement of his was: “Love is the filthiest word in the English language.”
I think he did a disservice to people by insisting that no one, not himself and certainly not “that bastard” in the geodesic tent, could help us to recognize the natural state he was talking about. Once he pointed at his chest and said, “There is no one here.” It would have been helpful to suggest that we look and see if the same was true of us. Instead he talked in great detail about the “catastrophe” that had catapulted him from a thought-tormented search into the natural state. He strongly reinforced the belief that he had something that his listeners lacked. So I’m surprised to hear that one of his followers actually did “get it.”
April 26 at 10:57pm · Edited · Like · 4
Greg Goode: Joel, this is the impression I had too, from what I've read and from people I know who have met him. His biologized account of enlightenment seemed to create more anguish than it alleviated.
A friend of mine used to go see U.G. in San Diego. He was pretty convinced that U.G.'s "anti-guru" approach was simply a guru pose of a different kind, not altogether sincere, but pretty effective....
April 26 at 11:32am · Like · 2
Din Robinson: I especially liked it when U.G. said "throw all that shit down!"
I guess I like it straight and to the point!
it reminds me of this:
"Cessation, cessation of the world"
"Housebuilder, you have been seen , your ridge pole has been shattered, your rafters scattered."
April 26 at 11:37am · Edited · Like · 2
Acharya Babananda: I've tried to watch UG's vids a few times. I felt he had points here and there but the packaging was very obscure. I probably would have left from his satsangs more than puzzled, like the video above. Had a good laugh though
April 26 at 11:55am · Like
Kyle Dixon: It took me a long time to figure him out, but if you watch closely his tactic is to leave aspirants with nowhere to land. Anything that is proposed he annihilates so that the individual cannot attach to any notion. So he never lets the mind relax into feeling secure because after all, and according to him, the place he's pointing to can't be accessed with the intellect. He says 'the mind is not the instrument to use in understanding this, and there is no other instrument'.
He's all about exhausting 'the seeker', so in being rough and even offensive at times he's not allowing for security, he doesn't want people to walk away feeling like they have a neatly wrapped package they can identify with. Sometimes it's almost like he wants to turn people off to it altogether, in his logic I think he saw an opportunity for recognition in that space of exhaustion and giving up.
His bizarre anatomical enlightenment was a fabricated story for precisely that purpose too. He made realization sound so fantastical and wild that people would just eventually give up trying to have that experience, and in that exhaustion there was room for recognition. That's why he would bash other gurus and bash people for guru hopping, so in the wake of his onslaught people wouldn't just hop to the next teacher.
There was method to his madness in my opinion.
April 26 at 1:07pm via mobile · Like · 1
Greg Goode: "His bizarre anatomical enlightenment was a fabricated story for precisely that purpose too." A buddy of mine listened avidly to UG videos up to UG's last days. Sometime about 20 years after UG wrote that "catastrophe" tale, he repudiated it. It proved to have the exact opposite effect from what he had planned! People glommed onto it for dear life!
April 26 at 1:32pm · Edited · Like
Joel Agee: I didn't know he later repudiated the story of his "catastrophe." Where can I read about that?
April 26 at 1:43pm · Like
Greg Goode: It's in some video interview that he recorded between 1998 and 2007, so a friend told me. This is hearsay on my part, since I didn't see the video. Would you like me to try to find out?
April 26 at 1:51pm · Like
Joel Agee: Thanks a lot for your offer, Greg, but it;s not necessary. It's not really important to me. I was just surprised and curious. I thought I remembered hearing, independently from his narrative, about people or a person in Gstaadt who nursed him in his coma, and assisted him in regaining conscious function and speech. Now I'm not sure.
April 26 at 7:41pm · Like
John Ahn: IMO, enlightenment is biological. I do not believe UG fabricated that story. He likely said it was fabricated later on because people were developing hopeful feelings that they too might one day go through something just as fantastic. And hope was the opposite of no-self teachings of UG. If you approached the path via the mind, through mere questioning or view, you won't know the mechanisms of how that experience has come about besides having had the mind be in that supportive state. There are physical and energetic components to transforming this human life form into the divine that one simply cannot access via the intellect alone. At a point you leave the intellect and work with the life process itself. The fault with a lot of the modern Buddhist approach is that it is too centered around the view alone. Realization of view is not enlightenment, but many seem to think it is.
April 26 at 11:42pm · Edited · Like · 1