Sunday Matinee: The Nature of the Mind Part 1

Whaddup you old rogues?!

I’ve got a real banger for you today. This is the first of a four part discourse between David Bohm, Jiddu Krishnamurti, John Hidley and Rupert Sheldrake.   A rather eclectic dialogue, the topics addressed include abstract considerations like the self, religion, infirmity of the mind and the etiology of problems confronting the world of men. With these heavyweights on the case however, I respectfully request radio silence.  Today is training of will with the Jedi High Council. Enjoy!

CAM00433

Jedi High Council

One love,

HJ

P.S. For a playlist containing all four segments click here.

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About H3nry J3kyll
Vincit omnia veritas (using an obscure Latin heraldry motto makes one seem kinda learned and distinguished).

8 Responses to Sunday Matinee: The Nature of the Mind Part 1

  1. DK Fennell says:

    Thank you for the videos, H3nry. It was interesting but personally, I do not see the deference given to Jiddu Krishnamurti. The problem, in my humble opinion, with “spiritualist” (for lack of a more precise term) thinkers is that they can reduce everything down to whatever their essential (unprovable) axiom is, whether it is There is No Self, The Ways of God are Mysterious, This is the Best of All Possible Worlds, or whatever. It simply isn’t possible to have a discussion with them. You either agree with the fundamental principle or not. That’s the end of the conversation.

    It works the other way to. Krishnamurti tries to prove that the distinction between member of society and society is meaningless (in EVERY sense I guess) because “I am society.” But this is clearly not true unless you are willing to collapse all reality into some sort of unity or engage in superficial reductionism. Societies are a level of abstraction above each individual. It acts independent of every single one, because it is a system. It is demonstrably true that societies act in ways dependent on a number of variables (economic systems, resource availability, competition from other societies, tradition, etc.), some having stronger influence than others. But to say that there is no “difference” between “self” and “society” because “self” is part of “society” is like saying that there is no difference between one my cells and me and that I would be changed if one of my cells decided to reform itself.

    Krishnamurti’s problem with dealing with the natural world (suffering in nature and the existence of non-human societies which bring suffering on certain of its members) is because he’s smart enough to know he can’t use the same ruse with nature, at least not among Western thinkers: The leaf-cutter ant is the colony! If you want to reform the colony, reform the individual leaf cutter ant!

    The better “mystical” view, if that’s the way you want to go, is to conclude, as hundred of millions do, that Shiva controls the universe. Life is the process of consuming life. It is illogical to say that the antelope eaten by the lion suffers because there is no individual antelope, only life and the process of life is that the lion eats the antelope. In other words, the correct “mystical” response is to say that the higher abstraction is the reality not to attempt to reduce the abstraction to its parts.

    But the real problem with the approach is that it is the easiest way for the powerful in a society, who have disproportionate power over the members of society, can use the argument to maintain the status quo. It eliminates the concept of social justice by the nature of its reductionism. But there is no one there who has an interest in social justice, because none really believe that society is an independent level of living organization. One sees things in terms of quantum randomness, another sees social organization as a historical relic of natural selection, one sees only the consciousness of the individual (rather than whether there should be an adjustment between the power of individuals) and Krishnamurti denies that there is such a thing as social organization. The talking over each others’ heads is really a source of (temporary) suffering for this listener.

    • H3nry J3kyll says:

      Somehow I get the feeling that I would enjoy passing to you after taking a puff amigo.
      Great insight as usual! This really deserves a thoughtful response and I promise to do so as soon as I get some free time to sit and pen a response.
      Thanks for commenting DK.

    • H3nry J3kyll says:

      Hey DK,

      I apologize about the prolonged delay but I’ve been enjoying a much needed change of scenery. As far as the deference to Krishnamurti, I think he served as a primary source of introduction to self-inquiry for many Westerners engaged in the frenetic pace of keeping up with the Joneses. As with any teacher however, learning is accomplished through a combination of acceptance and rejection of the ideas presented and Jiddu was notoriously famous for encouraging his listeners to challenge his position. If I may be so bold, I think your response is exactly the kind that a true understanding of Krishnamurti should eventually lead to. If you’re interested, his “Truth is a pathless land” speech expands a bit more on this.

      Now on to the good stuff. lol

      I was hoping that some of the listeners would grasp the underlying premise as I understood it and I’m grateful that you shared your thoughts. Verbalized mysticism, physics, evolutionary biology and psychology are just alternate mappings of the territory and the map is never the territory. None of these models can posit an all encompassing truth as you clearly pointed out.

      The essence I hoped this chat would convey is that a holistic comprehension is a far superior model to intellectual reductionism, the latter having failed miserably when subjected to any level of scrutiny. I thought the various positions serve as a reminder of the restraints we impose on our minds if we choose to operate under one construct of reality. While each is capable of providing a degree of illumination concerning the unfolding of truth, each is a limitation in an of itself.

      I think the idea of societies as “a level of abstraction above the individual” is quite valid but one still must acknowledge the feedback loop involved between the individual and the society, or as in your example, the cell and the body. The anti-social teenager or the cancerous cell are the first examples that come to mind. While society is an independent level of living organization, we can’t extricate the role of the individual when conducting any analysis.

      As far as social justice, the shortcomings are painfully obvious as you stated. Mysticism, physics, and any of these models are about as useful for addressing the plight of the down-trodden as they are for replacing a head-gasket on a Buick. These are all wealthy men seated in air-conditioned comfort discussing abstractions. Whether survival of the fittest or karmic principles, none have any idea what it means to live in a refugee camp because Shell has used armed militias to drive your family off their land to secure resource rights.

      Personally man, I share these videos to encourage introspective thinking and not as a source of definitive answers. Maybe if enough people turned their gaze inward, the incessant quest for one experiential satisfaction after another that drives this infinite growth paradigm may slow, albeit by an infinitesimally small amount. Our world of finite resources just can’t sustain it.

      Keep well amigo.

      • dimvisionary says:

        Excellent conversation! And thanks for posting these videos of Jiddu dropping the sufi on three big brains! Like sweet mystical bull-fighting.

        Your map-and-territory reference up there, Mr. Hyde, is sublime. And now, after flattering you, can I humbly ask that you take a peek, when time allows, and if nature inclines, at the recent essays I have posted. I would sincerely appreciate your review.

        And keep the Sunday Matinees coming man!

        • H3nry J3kyll says:

          Lemme say a big thanks for the compliment man. I will def take a look at the essays you’ve posted. If your past shares foreshadow the insight possessed by the recent ones, then the pleasure is all mine.
          I’ll get over to dimvisionary as soon as I get a chance.

          Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment. And, I do plan to get the Sunday routine back on track very soon. Keep well till we chat again.

          • dimvisionary says:

            Thanks, Henry. Just this evening, a friend stopped by and after pimping your excellent blog to him, we settled down and watched the 4th part of this series with Jiddu. We also chuckled heartily at your photo of the Jedi High Council. Be well, mate.

  2. Krishnamurti, for whatever reasons, seems to have lost much of his vitality toward the end of his days. He developed a habit of interjecting a lot of questions during lectures or talks like this one, perhaps because he became freaked out from increasing awareness of his closing in on death, or maybe (look how thin) he was dehydrated. It’s understandable that one could lose it to a certain extent at this late stage, but one can’t help but feel somewhat disappointed listening to Krishnamurti in his latter days, even to the point of feeling sadness for the diminishment of the man’s earlier strong capacity. Not any kind of expert on Krishnamurti, but remember being impressed after reading one of his books, “Think On These Things”, many years ago.

    • H3nry J3kyll says:

      Good point Jerry! Although Jiddu continued to give talks in the later stages of his life, the clarity with which he once spoke does seemed to have waned some. It is still interesting to get his perspective however, as I always learn much from the esteemed teacher.
      Thanks for commenting amigo. As soon as I get a moment I plan to drop by your cyber crib for an update on the state of affairs confronting this collective psyche of ours.

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