Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Memory according to Jiddu Krishnamurti

Blogger's Notes:
Commentary of an Academic 
(Copyright @ 2013 by Chester B Cabalza. All Rights Reserved).

Memory is essential according to J Krishnamurti because it has connection on how we understand the self.  In his view, he deems that the actor, action, and end or result, is a unitary process, a single process, which comes into being when action has an end in view (The First and Last Freedom, 2001, reprinted 2008, page 38). He further expounds that memory is always in the past, and that memory is given life in the present by challenge. An action based experience is limiting and therefore a hindrance (Ibid, page 64).

The self is dividing and the self is self-enclosing. This view is reinforced particularly when he describes that if you recognize that every movement of the mind is merely a form of strengthening the self, when you observe it, see it, when you are completely aware of it in action, when you come to the point – not ideologically, verbally, not through projected experiencing, but when you are actually in that state – then you will see that the mind, being utterly still, has no power of creating (Ibid, page 42).

Thought is a collective action of expereince, sensation, and experience. There is pleasure that is mantled through thought, and that pleasure is sought in the structure of the society. Experience is always strengthening the ‘me’. The more you are entrenched in your experience, the more does the self get strengthened.

However, Krishnamurti says that to be integrally intelligent means to be without the self because reality, truth is not to be recognized. Love is not the self. Self cannot recognize love. When you know love, self is not. When there is love, self is not (Ibid, pages 65 and 68).

Thus in trying to see the relationship between memory and the self, he tries to expound the symbiotic relationship of the two by looking into the life experience. As he believes that life is experience in relationship. One cannot live in isolation, so life relationship and relationship is action. To understand myself, I must understand relationship. Relationship is a mirror in which I can see myself. That mirror can either be distorted, or it can be ‘as is’ reflecting that ‘which is’. In other words, there is relationship only so long as we are gratified. If you really examine your life very closely you will see it as fact; and to avoid a fact is to live in ignorance, which can never produce right relationship (Ibid, page 89).

In fleshing out my own thoughts about Krishnamurti’s understanding of memory, there are some teachings he preaches that I subscribe in as an individual. The idea of presenting that memory is time. A person’s self-knowledge and worldviews can be a product of his own time based from his broad memory. The time, whether chronological or psychological, is the passage of the past to the future.

I am convinced that memory founds our concept of the self, knowledge, values and beliefs. In fact, if I expound on Krishnamurti’s understanding of the memory and its relationship with the self based on the several books he penned, there is an exposition of reality and truth in his sayings. It certainly affects our own personal reality and truth.  However, memory sometimes becomes an impediment on how a person constructs the realities of the self because if memory dictates and shapes our chronological memory, it will impair our evolving understanding of our own self and the universe surrounding us. It will make us not grow but rather leaves the state of the mind in limbo because the memory has been stuck in the status quo.

Fear is one factor as an obstacle to bring back memory. As Krishnamurti deems, that fear seems to be one of the most common things in life; strangely we have accepted it as a way of life – just as we have accepted violence in all its various forms as a way of life – and we have become used to being psychologically afraid (Beyond Violence, 1973, page 60).

In trying to reconcile memory to the self and the how can fear quakes the state of mind has significance particularly when the set of memory one has gained are tormenting and keep on coming back. For fear is always in relation to something; it does not exist by itself. There is fear of what happened yesterday in relation to the possibility of its repetition tomorrow; there is always a fixed point from which relationship takes place where there could be pain (Ibid, page 65).  

Along the lines of the memory and self, there are voluminous challenges that may shake the relationship of the two. The vulnerability of the relationship of memory to the self, if and when not properly guided by the memory, it will not represent the self. There will be contradiction in the union of memory and the self. It will become divisive and not unifying. It will be detrimental to the real freedom.

Finally, this for me will certainly paralyze the state of mind of the self which is supposed to function that is conducive based on acquired memory that one has experienced and gained. Living without the indulgence of knowing the importance of memory is like a person trying to imagine life without memories of the self and one who has no identity at all. This might be a person who has no recollection of the past, including experiences that are important to him/her and one that has no anticipation of the future.    

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