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Re: [Meditation Society of America] Fw: Re: [Bohm_Dialogue] September 25, 1962 Dear Isidore,

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  • sean tremblay
    Asking a thief to become a policeman? I think thats the bulk of my mission in Afghanistan!
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 29, 2008
      Asking a thief to become a policeman?
      I think thats the bulk of my mission in Afghanistan!

      --- On Tue, 11/25/08, krishnan sundaram <krish_cost@...> wrote:

      > From: krishnan sundaram <krish_cost@...>
      > Subject: [Meditation Society of America] Fw: Re: [Bohm_Dialogue] September 25, 1962 Dear Isidore,
      > To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Tuesday, November 25, 2008, 7:56 AM
      > --- On Tue, 25/11/08, krishnan sundaram
      > <krish_cost@...> wrote:
      > From: krishnan sundaram <krish_cost@...>
      > Subject: Re: [Bohm_Dialogue] September 25, 1962 Dear
      > Isidore,
      > To: bohm_dialogue@...
      > Date: Tuesday, 25 November, 2008, 11:24 AM
      > How to kill the ego in order to get clarity ?
      > "To get the ego to kill itself is like asking the
      > thief to turn into a policeman.Self-enquiry is the only
      > way" Sri Ramana(1888-1950)
      > Refer:Paul Brunton
      > --- On Mon, 24/11/08, ae.dropper@...
      > <ae.dropper@...> wrote:
      > From: ae.dropper@... <ae.dropper@...>
      > Subject: [Bohm_Dialogue] September 25, 1962 Dear Isidore,
      > To: bohm_dialogue@...
      > Date: Monday, 24 November, 2008, 10:55 AM
      > September 25, 1962
      > Dear Isidore,
      > I have been seeing things a bit more clearly since you
      > left. I would say that our concepts are like mirrors that we
      > hold up to reality.  If they are distorting mirrors, they
      > may present many apparently different reflections of one
      > thing.  Thus, if I tried to study my own ego, there appears
      > the “me” with all its qualities, and an “I” that
      > seems to be observing them.  Yet we know logically, that an
      > "I" and “me," must be one entity.  How
      > then do we come to see them as two?  I suggest that
      > consciousness is a distorting mirror, which is able, in
      > effect, to give two apparently different but related and
      > interacting reflections of one process.  In reality there
      > is neither "I" nor "me," but the
      > individual in his totally (individual = undivided).  On the
      > other hand, the ego process with the "I - me"
      > division could be called the "dividual."  In the
      > individual, perception is "going on" without the
      > need for a "perceiver" to do the job.  Our
      > language forces us to say that a subject is acting on an
      > object.  Thus, we say, "It is raining."  But
      > where is the "it" that is doing the raining? 
      > Similarly, we say, "I am observing."
      > Also, one can ask, "Is there really an 'I'
      > that is ' doing' the observing or is there not just
      > a process of observing that is going on?"  What a
      > person is serious about what he is doing, the ego falls
      > away, and the individual as a whole is perceiving and
      > acting.  For instance, suppose that he is playing music. 
      > When he is finished, the ego process comes back into
      > existence, and takes the credit.  But in reality, the ego
      > process never does anything at all, except to get in the
      > way.  Imagine trying to play music, while the ego is
      > saying, "I am now playing music.  Isn't it
      > wonderful what I can do?"
      > So it seems to me that at all times, when the ego exists,
      > the individual is in a state of confused perception.  In
      > this state, he sees "the world," and also, he
      > hears the words  "This is' I,'" along
      > with a feeling of ownership or possession of a whole set of
      > qualities, memories, urges, relations, desires, etc..  This
      > latter feeling can be called "identification." 
      > The individual also has the illusory perception of a process
      > in which the centralized collection of qualities is
      > initiating actions.  But in reality, it is the individual
      > as a whole who acts.  The confusion is that the individual
      > is seeing the process as if it were the separate ego that
      > was acting, as in a moving picture we see the image of a
      > person as if it were "doing" things.
      > I would say that as a man perceives, so he is.  Here I
      > include in perception, all of seeing, hearing, feeling,
      > sensing, going on up to understanding, and the seeing of
      > what is true and false.  This latter is very important. 
      > If a man is confused in his vision of what is false and what
      > is true, then nothing else, that he does can mean much. 
      > Thus, if he wants to do good, he may nevertheless do evil,
      > since he cannot see whether what he does is truly good or
      > not.  Probably even Hitler saw himself as doing good, but
      > his vision was very confused.  Similarly, an insane man may
      > be responding in a natural way to his confused vision of the
      > world.  When a man sees differently (i.e., understands),
      > then he is different.  A man with a confused perception
      > must act in a confused way, and therefore he is confused. 
      > As soon as his vision is really clear (not just in words,
      > but in his whole being), then he turns away from confusion,
      > and he is a different man. 
      > So the transformation of man must come through a new
      > vision, a new understanding.  Only the individual can do
      > this.  So it is the individual who can change, and not the
      > collective.
      > The importance of perception by the whole man cannot be
      > emphasized too much.  Suppose that a man sees what he takes
      > for sugar, but suddenly, he reads the label "Potassium
      > Cyanide."  His whole being immediately sees that this
      > is poison, and he turns away from it without further ado,
      > because he wants to live.  His intellect, his emotions, his
      > nerves and muscles, etc., are all aware that "this is
      > poison," and each does its job in carrying out the
      > appropriate action.  Now, if we really had a corresponding
      > total perception of the ego at work, we would see that it is
      > as poisonous as cyanide.  However, what may happen is that
      > the intellect says, "This is poison," while the
      > emotions, being more conservative and attached to memory,
      > say, "No -- it is sugar."  So we are confused, we
      > are in a state of contradiction.  While we are in that
      > state, all our thoughts and actions are confused, and each
      > step only tangles us up worse.  It is as if a scientist
      > were to
      > say, "3 = 2."  Then he would feel uncomfortable
      > because of the contradiction.  Every idea that he
      > introduced to resolve the contradiction would only make it
      > worse, as long as he accepted the notion that "3 =
      > 2."
      > When one is in a state of confusion, one can do nothing (as
      > when one is lost in the woods, it is urgent to stop and try
      > to understand, rather than go around in circles).  We
      > cannot believe anything that is in our own minds, because it
      > may only be an idea brought in to cover up our confusion. 
      > But there is one thing that one can see, and this is "I
      > am confused."  Here, one starts with the truth, and
      > goes on from there.  It is an objective fact that I am
      > confused, as objective as "the temperature is now
      > 65°F."
      > Then one must see the source of the confusion.  This is of
      > course often quite difficult.  But here, it is helpful to
      > ask the question, "Is there anything more important
      > than seeing what is true and what is false?"  If your
      > mind puts forth some emotional demand as more important,
      > then you will see, on asking this question, that here is one
      > of the sources of your confusion.  For it is plain to see
      > that nothing can really be more important than to see what
      > is true and what is false (not even the need to save your
      > life, because if you mistake truth for falsity, you will act
      > in a confused way, and will be more likely to lose your life
      > then if you saw clearly).
      > It is clear now that it is of no use to fight the ego, to
      > "do" something "positive" about it. 
      > For this would only be a confused process, in which the ego
      > tried to improve itself, not noticing that the ego process
      > is the essence of the illness.  When you understand
      > confusion (i.e., see it deeply), then this perception will
      > act of its own accord, and you will turn away from
      > confusion, without further ado.  The ego need do nothing at
      > all.  Indeed, if it acts, it must get in the way.  If I
      > confuse my image in a mirror with another man who is
      > imitating me, then everything that I do to stop this man
      > from imitating me will only confuse me more when I
      > understand that this is only a reflection of me in the
      > mirror, then the whole problem disappears.  As long as I do
      > not understand the problem, it is insoluble, because it is
      > based on confusion.  As soon as I understand, there is no
      > problem.  And this is what happens with all the problems
      > created by the ego
      > process.  They are all based on confusion, hence
      > insoluble, until one understands.  But when one understands
      > there is no problem.
      > I would like to go a bit in to the origin of the confusion
      > that is responsible for the ego process.  Now, an infant
      > begins by not being able to recall to memory (in an internal
      > image) and object that is absent.  But he can still
      > recognize it when he experiences it (this is often true even
      > of an adult).  How does it happen?
      > It seems to me that every experience leads a kind of
      > "negative trace" or imprint in the mind.  When
      > the experience is repeated, it fits this imprint as a key
      > fits a lock.  In this way one can recognize it.  One can
      > also produce an internal image In the imagination, which is
      > recognized in the same way that direct perceptions are
      > recognized, i.e., against the "negative trace." 
      > So memory is a positive internal imitation (in the
      > imagination) of something that was once perceived, while
      > recognition precedes imitation in the development of the
      > infant, because it is basically a simpler procedure.
      > One can compare recognition to a set of grooves and
      > scratches impressed by past experience on the mind, while
      > memory is like the "play-back" of the record as
      > internal images, sounds, etc..
      > It is important to notice that both recognition and memory
      > involve the emotions as well as factual records of what
      > happened outwardly.  Thus, if the infant has a certain
      > experience that is pleasant, his recognition traces start to
      > demand a repetition.  He tries to find a way to repeat
      > it.  But if they are unpleasant, he tries to find a way to
      > avoid it.  Here is the real beginning of the ego process. 
      > Evidently, when the memory "play-back" develops
      > later in the child, it too will be accompanied by emotional
      > demands for or against the experience in question.  Since
      > thought is based on recognition and memory, it is clear that
      > thought and feeling cannot be separated.  They are two
      > aspects of the one process, which is the response of
      > recognition and memory to new perceptions.
      > Out of thought is then born desire, the urge to continue,
      > to enhance, to possess, to make secure that which is
      > pleasant and to guarantee the avoidance of what is
      > unpleasant.  Desire attaches itself to an object of the
      > imagination, in order to attain permanence.  But the object
      > of desire is always changing.  Firstly, the real object
      > changes in one way, while the object imagined in desire
      > changes in another way.  We then discover when we get the
      > object of our desire that it isn't what we expected; we
      > soon encounter satiety and boredom.  Other objects soon
      > seem more attractive to desire.  Besides, objects of desire
      > change in unexpected ways, grow old, and even pass out of
      > existence.  So the attachment of desire to an object leads
      > to contradiction (contradictory desires), and out of this
      > comes confusion.
      > Religious people and moralists then tell us to suppress
      > desire, shape it, control it, direct it to God or to the
      > triumph of Communism.  Psychologists and others tell us to
      > sublimate it.  But doing this only heightens the
      > contradiction and confusion.  Then comes fear that one will
      > never achieve satisfaction of desire, a state of anxiety and
      > despair, alternating with periods of hope, when there is the
      > momentary belief that one can escape into a new job, a new
      > religion, a new hobby, a new marriage, etc.
      > So we see that the ego process, with its attachment of
      > desire to an object, is inherently in a state of
      > confusion.  What is the origin of this confusion?  It is
      > very simple.  We mistake the demands made in the
      > "play-back" of memory for true feelings.  True
      > feelings arise only in fresh perception of what is new. 
      > This perception is understanding on the intellectual side,
      > and it has the wholeness of feeling sometimes called love on
      > the emotional side.  It can also be called creativity. 
      > But this creativity refers to creative living, and not just
      > to the expression of creation in art, science, music,
      > etc..  It is essential to understand that the play-back of
      > memory and the recognition "scratches" are not
      > creative in this sense.  They have their utility as factual
      > memory to guide you in your life or your job (how to get
      > home, etc.).  Memory is, like fire, "a good servant
      > but a bad master."  And as soon as you take the
      > play-back of emotions
      > seriously, you are the slave of memory, since your actions
      > will then be only a response to these "memory
      > scratches," and not to reality as it actually is from
      > moment to moment.  Since the "memory scratches"
      > cannot fit reality (because reality is always changing), one
      > comes into a state of contradiction between demands based on
      > memory and reality, as well as between the different aspects
      > of memory demands that contradict each other.  So the ego
      > is inherently in a state of confusion and contradiction.
      > What is to be done about all this?  The answer is, as I
      > said before, nothing at all.  Whatever action is born of
      > desire, will also be self-contradictory (e.g., the desire to
      > end desire, which in fact, only continues desire in another
      > form).  But the question is, "Why do anything at all
      > about desire?"  Desire seems to be necessary to mental
      > life.  It is like a mini-colored flame, very beautiful and
      > full of energy, always changing.  When it is attached to
      > something, it falls into contradiction and confusion -- the
      > flame turns into dense smoke.  But if you understand the
      > futility of doing anything at all about desire (satisfying
      > it, attaching it to an object, shaping it, suppressing it,
      > choosing "good" desires and getting rid of
      > "bad" desires), then you will just turn away from
      > these efforts, and let desire do what it will, to die as to
      > unfold in its own natural way.  Then there will be no
      > contradiction.  Desire does no harm if it is not
      > attached.  In other words, desire is something different,
      > when you understand it.  For recall, "As man sees, so
      > he is."  If you see desire in a new way, then desire
      > is different in its operation in you.
      > If you don't let desire determine your actions, then
      > what should do this?  The answer is: The perception of what
      > is true and what is false will operate by itself, if it is
      > deep enough.  For example, when one sees the poison, one
      > simply leaves it alone, without bringing in a struggle
      > between the desire on one side to live and on the other side
      > to continue to take the poison.  Also, when you see the
      > truth -- that you are confused, and the falsity of ideas
      > that arise in the state of confusion -- then this perception
      > acts, and your mind is already starting to clear its self,
      > without any effort by the ego to bring this about.  You
      > must ask yourself, "Is it possible for there to be such
      > an extensive and deep perception of what is true and what is
      > false, that the ego process as a whole will drop away like a
      > dead leaf?"  There is no way to answer this in
      > words.  It is foolish to try.  The answer can only come by
      > looking at the problem concretely.
      > Finally, it is interesting to compare all this with various
      > forms of psychoanalysis, which also assert that
      > self-understanding can lead to integration of the
      > personality.  The main difference is that they all urge us
      > to adjust to the "normal" life in society.  But
      > this "norm" is confused and self-contradictory. 
      > So we are asked to adjust to confusion.  Imagine a
      > physicist who was asked to adjust to the assumption that
      > "2 = 3."  He would end up by going mad.  Perhaps
      > a similar fate awaits the one who tries to adjust to
      > society.  What is needed is to see through it as inherently
      > confused.
      > Saral and I send you our love, also to Sheila and the
      > children.
      > Yours, Dave info:
      > www.david-bohm.org/mailman/listinfo/bohm_dialogue
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