Friday, September 4, 2009

Daily Quote, Friday August 4, 2009.

Good morning everyone,

As we get into the long weekend, today looks nice. Just watching the sunrise, having got up early.

Here is today's quote:

Ignorance is the utter lack of self-knowing.

Ignorance exists even though one may have great knowledge, a good education, be sophisticated, have capacity in the exercise of which one achieves fame, notoriety, money. Ignorance is not dispelled by the accumulation of a great many facts and much information—the computer can do all that better than the human mind.

Ignorance is the utter lack of self-knowing. Most of us are superficial, shallow, have so much sorrow and ignorance as part of our lot. Again, this is not an exaggeration, not an assumption, but an actual fact of our daily existence. We are ignorant of ourselves and therein lies great sorrow. That ignorance breeds every form of superstition, it perpetuates fear, engenders hope and despair and all the inventions and theories of a clever mind. So ignorance not only breeds sorrow, but brings about great confusion in ourselves.

Talks with American Students, p 171.

Here is my reflection.

It's interesting to look at how the Eastern view of transformation differs from the West. In the West we used to use the term false-conscuousness a lot, at least in the days when Marxism was widely discussed. There was a failure of the proletariat to see their objective conditions because of the degree of material welfare that capitalism provided. Today, we would call this welfare 'entertaining consumer goods'. The role of transformation laid with the vangard, the intelligensia, who had seen these conditions, had seen the exploitation, etc. and who could teach and lead. That's the classical Western critical approach. It's largely dead now. Instead, within the liberal-capitalist model, there are mainly pressure groups and social movements; reformers not revolutionaries.

Krishnamurti is a revolutionary, but of a different kind than the Marxists. Ignorance is a different concept than false consciousness. It's not brought about by a lack of knowledge, as the Marxists would claim, or being placed in a state of false consciousness. In a sense, for Krishnamurti all consciousness is false, as it is the past, memory, conditioing. If we go from Capitalism to Marxism, we just exchange one plan for another, one method of becoming free for another, one pattern of conditioning for the next, and so on.

This is our idea of progress, and it happens this way precisely because we don't know ourselves. We go superficially from one teacher to another, one style of yoga to another, one self-help program to another, one diet to another, one job to another, one relationship to another, and our drifting from one fad to another is simply to avoid knowing ourselves. We call this exploring life, finding our path, being a on a journey, but the journey and the path are a myth that we create around these distractions. The path and the journey are our conditioned reactions to emptiness. It is out of fear that we remain ignorant of the fact that freedom can only come from total attention to exactly what we are right now, not what we would be if something wasn't getting in the way.

As long as the notion of false conscioness exists, there is the need for time and a teacher. But if all consciousness is false, because it is the past, then there is no need for time or a teacher. That just creates another form of consciousness to replace the old one.

Best wishes