From the archives of some theosophical e-mail lists.


Krishnamurti and Co

From:   Katinka Hesselink
Date:  Fri Mar 14, 2003  9:48 pm
Subject:  Re: slowing thought


I found you all a quote:

>> I suggested that to slow down the mind in order to examine the thought-feeling process, you should write down every thought-feeling. If one wishes to understand, for example, a machine of high revolution one has to slow it down, not stop it for then it becomes merely a dead matter; but make it turn gently, slowly, to study its structure, its movement. Likewise if we wish to understand our mind, we must slow down our thinking - not put a stop to it -
slow it down in order to study it, to follow it to its fullest extent. And to do this I suggested that you write down every thought-feeling. >>
The Collected Works of J. Krishnamurti, Vol III; Ojai 1944, 8th Public Talk, Oak Grove Talks. CD-rom code OJ44T8

Katinka Hesselink

>    From: Balasubramanian Vaidyalingam
> Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: slowing thought
> Hi Katinka,
>  When reading K, happen to notice my self looking for something accessible also, like sitting with the eyeball fixed, straight spined,etc and these are /were valuable. But to have an approach like noting in writing, one would have to crystallize the feeling and identify it which he was against in the general spirit of his teaching, so I dont know. K would say stuff like that to individual people - Like to Asit Chandmal he would say "Try seriously after 40, for that is when the mind matures" whereas to the general public he would say start younger. Leaves one with the impression that one should ignore what he said in private.
>   Understanding thought is essential, is the only thing that we can do. And found the same thing also - stopping thought is easier than slowing it down(though there is one way of stopping it that is of the will and is unrelated to what K said). Now the only thing I thought odd -and I didnt doubt that he had said that for a minute, but he would later talk about building up awareness etc, but not as a conscious,deliberate act.
[... edited ]
> Bala

Hi Bala,

You raise a relevant point: that one cannot take what Ksays (especially in private) as gospel that is true for everyone every where.
For me the essence of the quote wasn't the diary - though I do think that is useful for many people (and has been for me), but the slowing down of thought and finding its roots.

In the various responses to this quote I find that people respond most to the practical advice (in this case the diary) and least to the fundamental idea (at least for me the fundamental idea was not the diary but the slowing of thought), which is, I suppose why Krishnamurti was so
reluctant to advice people on practical issues. We are so prone to generalize these things and cast them in stone.
As for the deliberate act-thing. I tend to think we have to play with these things. In the process of watching thought deliberately, and deliberately not controlling it, and writing thoughts down, and simply letting things happen (and trying to observe that) - in that process we are like
a pendulum - sometimes not aware at all (which is also not where Krishnamurti wanted to show us), sometimes too controlling, but very aware, and sometimes just right, relaxed but awake at the centre. I think in order to get a feel for the latter, one has to play with the former a bit.
Not too hard, not too forcefully, but softly, mindfully, playfully. And yes, I do think a diary can help, for many (not all) people. On the other hand - some may find that soft/aware spot without trying. Great, wonderful,congratulations. Unfortunately, that is not true for most
of us.