Re: [Meditation Society of America] Fw: Re: [Bohm_Dialogue] September 25, 1962 Dear Isidore,
- 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: email@example.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
> 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
> 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 =
> 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
> 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
> Saral and I send you our love, also to Sheila and the
> Yours, Dave info:
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