Morning Trip (316)

The Untethered Mind
“The transformation of the world is brought about by the transformation of oneself, because the self is the product and a part of the total process of human existence. To transform oneself, self-knowledge is essential; without knowing what you are, there is no basis for right thought, and without knowing yourself there cannot be transformation. One must know oneself as one is, not as one wishes to be, which is merely an ideal and therefore fictitious, unreal; it is only that which is that can be transformed, not that which you wish to be. To know oneself as one is requires an extraordinary alertness of mind, because what is is constantly undergoing transformation, change; and to follow it swiftly the mind must not be tethered to any particular dogma or belief, to any particular pattern of action.. If you would follow anything, it is no good being tethered. To know yourself, there must be awareness, the alertness of mind in which there is freedom from all beliefs, from all idealization, because beliefs and ideals only give you a color, perverting true perception. If you want to know what you are, you cannot imagine or have belief in something which you are not. If I am greedy, envious, violent, merely having an ideal of non-violence, of non-greed, is of little value … The understanding of what you are, whatever it be – ugly or beautiful, wicked or mischievous – the understanding of what you are, without distortion, is the beginning of virtue. Virtue is essential, for it gives freedom.”

–J. Krishnamurti

Morning Trip (40)

“We are so in love with our words and ideas that we forget the direct experience from which they arise. We build concept upon concept. In the end we have abstracted our contact with life into the rote regurgitation of thought-bound ideology.
We have fallen victim to the great curse of human existence of the tendency to misconstrue language (words, thoughts, ideas) for actuality. We are entombed in our brains.
We are thinking our lives, not living them.

Think about the problems all this thought is creating. We pick up a self-help book, a book of spiritual advice, a religious book, thinking it might help with our thought-bound world. We read. We think it quite interesting. We think we will read more. We are not sure where all of this is going, but we think we will read more and find out.
It is not going anywhere.

Thought has nowhere to go but its own isolated, endless fragmented repetition.

Without the obsession of thought we are the recognition and the expression of the energy of consciousness and space in which we and others coexist in such profound contact that there is nothing that definitively divides us.
We search for this relationship of profound openness, without guile or armor, vulnerable, trusting, and at the same time, intimate, intertwined, boundaryless – but this transcendental relationship constantly slips from us as we experience it and then try to institutionalize it.
When our minds are absolutely quiet, when thought is still, this relationship is the natural state of our being. Then thought, the ego-center, enters immediately to catalog, analyze, and capture the beauty of the vision.
We seek the rare butterfly. Upon glimpsing its beauty we stalk it, catch it, drive a pin through its head to mount it, and put it on our wall with its Latin name. We trade the moment of beauty for the endless stultification of a dead symbol, an artifact, a word, a concept.

We can use language to approach that which is beyond language. We can use language to amuse ourselves. We can use language as poetry, as music. But we forget that these words, any words, bring us nowhere in actuality, only somewhere in the mind, in thought. We are in a bubble. We are staring in the pond admiring the reflection of our own thoughts.”
– Steven Harrison

Morning Trip (19)

“As with events, so is it with thoughts. When I watch that flowing river, which, out of regions I see not, pours for a season its streams into me, I see that I am a pensioner; not a cause, but a surprised spectator of this ethereal water; that I desire and look up, and put myself in the attitude of reception, but from some alien energy the visions come.

Dream delivers us to dream, and there is no end to illusion. Life is a train of moods like a string of beads, and, as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue, and each shows only what lies in its focus. From the mountain you see the mountain. We animate what we can, and we see only what we animate. Nature and books belong to the eyes that see them. It depends on the mood of the man, whether he shall see the sunset or the fine poem. There are always sunsets, and there is always genius; but only a few hours so serene that we can relish nature or criticism.

It is very unhappy, but too late to be helped, the discovery we have made, that we exist. That discovery is called the Fall of Man. Ever afterwards, we suspect our instruments. We have learned that we do not see directly, but mediately, and that we have no means of correcting these colored and distorting lenses which we are, or of computing the amount of their errors. Perhaps these subject-lenses have a creative power; perhaps there are no objects. Once we lived in what we saw; now, the rapaciousness of this new power, which threatens to absorb all things, engages us. Nature, art, persons, letters, religions, — objects, successively tumble in, and God is but one of its ideas. Nature and literature are subjective phenomena; every evil and every good thing is a shadow which we cast.

Thus inevitably does the universe wear our color, and every object fall successively into the subject itself. The subject exists, the subject enlarges; all things sooner or later fall into place. As I am, so I see; use what language we will, we can never say anything but what we are.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson