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    Thread: the ego

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      the ego

      I read a dialogue between Krishnamurti and David Bohm when I was flying Friday. My opinion is neither of them fully understand the origin and nature of the ego. Krishnamurti knows that there is a way to think which produces an 'egoless' experience, and which he believes is the solution to conflict and suffering for humanity. But his whole gig is being able to do that kind of thinking, and trying to communicate it to other people. He doesn't look very deep into why people don't think that way to start with, which requires a different type of thinking, not the one that he advocates. I have the same criticism of Ramana Maharshi and the rest of the jnana yogis, and a similar criticism for raja yoga and other Vedic and Buddhist teachings. (Yeah I know that Ramana Maharshi and Krishnamurti are dead now, but their thinking lives, it is transcendent in that sense.)

      Clearly the jnana yogis are onto something, because their thought produces powerful experiences that go far beyond any mere intellectual philosophy. But it doesn't appear to me to do what they claim it does in the long run. People who take their ego-eliminating doctrine seriously, in my experience, are the most egotistical people around. And despite the blissful aura that they cultivate, they fail remarkably in other aspects of life also, as measured by their own ostensible values. Franklin Jones, later known as Adi Da and by other names, is to me a classic illustration of this kind of thing.

      I think that what all of these guys are doing is thinking in a way that is more like how our 'higher selves' think. So doing that gives us some of that kind of transcendence. But as I see it, our "higher selves", despite being marvelously powerful and wise in some regards, don't entirely have the answers to our condition either. They're subject to another side of the same semi-disfunctional dynamic, as evidenced by the persistence of that dynamic in us. Theirs is an egoless mind in the sense that there's no personal self-image in the usual sense. But there is still ignorance, and a kind of arrogant dishonesty expressed through individuals where that ignorance is denied. So it seems to me that these teachings about the ego are good in that they teach us something about a subject that is clearly important. But they're traps if we take them seriously as paths towards some kind of final freedom or perfection. Yeah I know that thinking in terms of a "path" or a goal to be reached is according to them an egotistical kind of thinking, yada yada yada, and isn't the kind of thinking that produces the transcendent glimpse. But these contradictions are built into their doctrines also.

      Though I don't fully understand the subject either, as a working hypothesis I think the existence of the ego is natural and necessary. And some degree of identification of 'self' with the body is natural: that kind of extension is an aspect of how spirit interacts with matter, so to speak. But when its done in a way that precludes awareness of the capacity not to identify with the body, that puts a mind in a sense-bound trance of sort. So it seems to me that what we need to do is understand this other way of thinking that people like Krishnamurti teach, and modify our egotistical way of thinking to accommodate it better.

    2. #2
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      The ego stirs some of the greatest misconceptions regarding eastern philosophy, both from eastern philosophers and students of the thought. There's an inclination to believe one must achieve ego death, which is as paradoxical as desiring to be free from desire.

      I tend to avoid using the word ego simply because it stirs misconceptions. I prefer to use the word resistance. It denotes properly what prohibits the liberation eastern philosophers describe. For the path toward this liberation is surrender.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    3. #3
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      Shadowofwind

      link Krishnamurti's [b]ego[Dionysos/b] discussion that you do not agree with, please. I bookmark this one 2 days ago (before we started PMing. I will watch it now.

      I bookmark it because I like the "show more"

      here is the "show more"

      Those who offer enlightenment or salvation appear to often operate more as businessmen than as authentic spiritual teachers.

      In part one of this two-part series, U. G. Krishnamurti he denies any possibility of knowledge of enlightenment. The very attempt to achieve enlightenment is an obstacle in the path of the proclaimed goal.

      The search for enlightenment is a device of the mind to perpetuate itself, in denial of its mortality.*

      In part two of the full DVD, he critiques various disciplines, both mystical and psychotherapeutic, which are said to lead to states of enlightenment. He proposes that states of enlightenment, if they are to be attained, must be gained in spite of--not because of--meditation, devotion, prayer, acceptance, forgiveness, or compassion. Stripped of all our pretenses, facing the despair of the human condition, freed of the imaginary diseases from which "enlightenment" may save us, we can build realistic and practical lives.

      U. G. Krishnamurti was a world traveler and author of Mind Is a Myth and The Mystique of Enlightenment.

      Viewed by many as a liberated individual, he eschewed all gurus, teachings and followers.

      Here is the YouTube:

      U. G. Krishnamurti: Complete Part 1 - Mystique of Enlightenment - Thinking Allowed w/ J. Mishlove - YouTube
      (27:29) 55,063 views

      Oh

      and Darkmatters

      I know you follow Shadowofwind and will see this - I like your new avatar .

      Shadowofwind

      I think I found it.

      Krishnamurti and David Bohm - Is there a future that is not touched by thought?

      Part 1/8

      The Future Of Humanity
      Dialogue with Dr David Bohm at Brockwood Park, 1983.

      Krishnamurti and physicist David Bohm explore the prospects for the future of human beings, given our immense capacity for self-destruction. They note that we are still pursuing the age-old patterns of thinking which create humanity's suffering, and discuss the possibility of a change in our conditioning.

      As there is no psychological evolution and becoming is an illusion, Krishnamurti suggests, change may require a mutation in the very cells of the brain. Exploring this, they touch on consciousness, brain, mind and intelligence.

      1/8
      Jiddu Krishnamurti & David Bohm - Is There An Action That Is Not Touched By Thought? - 1/8 - YouTube
      (10:29) 6,585 views

      Krishnamurti:

      (9:20) First, what is the psyche, the me, the ego and so on? What is it?

      David Bohm:

      (9:25) The word psyche has many meanings. It may mean the "mind" for example. (...)

      Krishnamurti:

      (no) the ego, I'm talking about the ego, the Me.

      David Bohm:

      Yes, now some people who are thinking of evolution are thinking there will be an evolution in which the "Me" will be transcended.

      Krishnamurti:

      Now (...) will that transition need time? That's my whole question.

      David Bohm:

      The trascendance transition.

      Krishnamurti:

      Yes yes that's my whole question.

      David Bohm:

      (9:55) Yes, so there's two questions.

      one is will the Me ever improve. That's one argument and the other argument is that even,

      suppose we want to get beyond the Me, can that be done in time?

      Krishnamurti:

      That cannot be done in time.

      David Bohm:

      I want to make it clear "why not".

      Krishnamurti:

      I will. We are getting to it.

      What is the else"Me"?

      (10:15)

      If the (word) "psyche" has different meanings, the "Me" is the whole movement that thought has brought about.

      (10:30 end of part 1/8)

      part 2/8 next.

      Shadowofwind

      shall I open my own thread and call it David Bohm and Krishnamurti in say Senseless Banter or can I post and transcribe in this thread?

      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      I read a dialogue between Krishnamurti and David Bohm when I was flying Friday. My opinion is neither of them fully understand the origin and nature of the ego. Krishnamurti knows that there is a way to think which produces an 'egoless' experience, and which he believes is the solution to conflict and suffering for humanity. But his whole gig is being able to do that kind of thinking, and trying to communicate it to other people. He doesn't look very deep into why people don't think that way to start with, which requires a different type of thinking, not the one that he advocates. I have the same criticism of Ramana Maharshi and the rest of the jnana yogis, and a similar criticism for raja yoga and other Vedic and Buddhist teachings. (Yeah I know that Ramana Maharshi and Krishnamurti are dead now, but their thinking lives, it is transcendent in that sense.)

      Clearly the jnana yogis are onto something, because their thought produces powerful experiences that go far beyond any mere intellectual philosophy. But it doesn't appear to me to do what they claim it does in the long run. People who take their ego-eliminating doctrine seriously, in my experience, are the most egotistical people around. And despite the blissful aura that they cultivate, they fail remarkably in other aspects of life also, as measured by their own ostensible values. Franklin Jones, later known as Adi Da and by other names, is to me a classic illustration of this kind of thing.

      I think that what all of these guys are doing is thinking in a way that is more like how our 'higher selves' think. So doing that gives us some of that kind of transcendence. But as I see it, our "higher selves", despite being marvelously powerful and wise in some regards, don't entirely have the answers to our condition either. They're subject to another side of the same semi-disfunctional dynamic, as evidenced by the persistence of that dynamic in us. Theirs is an egoless mind in the sense that there's no personal self-image in the usual sense. But there is still ignorance, and a kind of arrogant dishonesty expressed through individuals where that ignorance is denied. So it seems to me that these teachings about the ego are good in that they teach us something about a subject that is clearly important. But they're traps if we take them seriously as paths towards some kind of final freedom or perfection. Yeah I know that thinking in terms of a "path" or a goal to be reached is according to them an egotistical kind of thinking, yada yada yada, and isn't the kind of thinking that produces the transcendent glimpse. But these contradictions are built into their doctrines also.

      Though I don't fully understand the subject either, as a working hypothesis I think the existence of the ego is natural and necessary. And some degree of identification of 'self' with the body is natural: that kind of extension is an aspect of how spirit interacts with matter, so to speak. But when its done in a way that precludes awareness of the capacity not to identify with the body, that puts a mind in a sense-bound trance of sort. So it seems to me that what we need to do is understand this other way of thinking that people like Krishnamurti teach, and modify our egotistical way of thinking to accommodate it better.
      Last edited by anderj101; 03-20-2013 at 03:51 AM. Reason: Merged

    4. #4
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      What is the origin and nature of the ego?
      BTW, Although I think Krishnamurti was enlightened, he did have an ego.
      Last edited by Dannon Oneironaut; 03-06-2013 at 11:13 AM.

    5. #5
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      Shadowofwind

      I am tentatively, continuing.

      2/8

      David Bohm:
      (00:00)
      Why do you say that?

      Krishnamurti:

      The "Me" is my consciousness. The "Me" is my name form and all the various experience that I've had, rememberances, and so on. The whole structure of being is put together by thought.

      David Bohm:

      (00:28) Some people may find that hard to accept.

      Krishnamurti :

      Yes, of course, of course, we're discussing this.

      David Bohm:

      but I mean also to try and bring it out.

      Krishnamurti:

      Yes.

      David Bohm:

      (00:40) The first experience or the first feeling I have is that the "Me" is there, independently in that the me is thinking.

      Krishnamurti:

      Is the "Me" independent of my thinking?

      David Bohm:

      Well, my own first feeling is that the "Me" is there independent of my thinking and it is "Me that is thinking.
      Krishnamurti:

      Yes,yes (nods and smiles) (1:01)

      (...)

      here is the link to part 2/8:

      Jiddu Krishnamurti & David Bohm - Is There An Action That Is Not Touched By Thought? - 2/8 - YouTube
      (10:02) 1,529 views on my YouTube app
      2,073 on my phone Internet

      (...)

      Krishnamurti:

      (8:22)

      As thought is limited, our consciousness which is put together by thought, is limited.

      (...)

      Krishnamurti :

      (9:09)

      The limitless cannot be captured by thought.

      (10:01 end of part 2/8)

    6. #6
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      Why not just post a link to the video rather than transcribe it?

      What Krishnamurti does is talk your ear off and interrupt and not let anybody else talk. In my opinion anyway. He always has the same conversation no matter who he is talking to. The funny thing is that the idea for the talk is his idea, he invites the other fellow to talk and then doesn't let the other person talk.

      So he is saying that the ego is made of thought. That thought limits the limitless. I am interested in what shadowofwind thinks is inaccurate about that and what would be a more correct understanding?

    7. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by debrajane View Post
      Viewed by many as a liberated individual, he eschewed all gurus, teachings and followers.
      And yet, he made a living as a kind of guru, his teaching is essentially jnana yoga with mostly cosmetic differences in language, and he lived a privileged life thanks to the support of his followers. He deserves credit for rejecting the more over-the-top personality cult encouraged by his early Theosophist sponsors, but he definitely wasn't beyond all that.

      The question and answer format of his dialogues is pretty standard for yogis, as is his role in facilitating the transcendent experience. The 'you are already liberated' thought is also standard and essential to that kind of teaching, as is the uselessness of a kind of 'knowledge'.

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      Well it isn't like one can say anything new that hasn't been said a million times before. He served a good purpose and a lot of people needed to hear what he had to say. Sometimes you need a guru to yell at you and say "The guru is within!"
      Original Poster likes this.

    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by Dannon Oneironaut View Post
      What Krishnamurti does is talk your ear off and interrupt and not let anybody else talk. In my opinion anyway. He always has the same conversation no matter who he is talking to. The funny thing is that the idea for the talk is his idea, he invites the other fellow to talk and then doesn't let the other person talk.
      My take on this is that since his aim is to help people realize their timeless limitlessness, his approach in both thought and dialogue is geared towards that at the expense of everything else.

      Krishnamurti does give essay-length responses to questions in some of his earlier writings, but its like a self-parody in the Bohm dialogues. Its an entire book filled with conversation, with neither one of them saying more than one or two sentences before the other says something. That way of thinking may be OK for inducing the timeless experience, but they're also discussing the origin and nature of the human condition. They suggest, for instance, that man's problem with conflict started a few thousand years ago. How is an intelligent social animal supposed to overpower and kill other social animals for food without experiencing conflict? I think it amounts to a form of denial.

      Quote Originally Posted by Dannon Oneironaut View Post
      So he is saying that the ego is made of thought. That thought limits the limitless. I am interested in what shadowofwind thinks is inaccurate about that and what would be a more correct understanding?
      The body changes, the personality changes. Krishnamurti doesn't want us to think of ourselves as being anything which changes, hence the book title, The Ending of Time. The thinking of oneself as something that 'becomes' is the ego. He suggests that if we stop self-identifying with anything temporal, then conflict and slavery will go away, because its the thought of 'becoming' that drives all of it.

      I think that what a person finds is that as minds we're to some degree inextricably connected to things that 'become', and in order to deal with those things in a healthy manner we must self-identify with them to some extent. What Krishnamurti points to is real also, but its not complete. I can't say what a complete understanding would be though, like anyone else I only have pieces.
      Dannon Oneironaut likes this.

    10. #10
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      Well that is the search for knowledge: to look for something that is permanent, a foundation, a ground of being. Science, mysticism, etc. are all looking for this. religion calls it God. Science thought it found it with the atom, but no, atoms can be split. But the fact is that everything is always changing. The only constant is change. Nothing is permanent. So to identify with something that doesn't change is futile. But Krishnamurti is correct that identifying with the transient phenomena is the source of conflict. Identifying with anything, even an imaginary "thing that doesn't change" will cause psychological suffering and conflict.

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