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Beyond Time and the Soul
Beyond time The conditioned mind, surely is incapable of finding out what lies beyond time. That is, sirs, the mind as we know it is conditioned by the past. The past, moving through the present to the future, conditions the mind; and this conditioned mind, being in conflict, in trouble, being fearful, uncertain, seeks something beyond the frontiers of time. That is what we are all doing in various ways, is it not? But how can a mind which is the result of time ever find that which is timeless? The house of your beliefs, of your properties, of your attachments and comforting ways of thinking is constantly being broken into. But the mind goes on seeking security, so there is a conflict between what you want and what life’s process demands of you. This is what is happening to every one of us. I do not know if this problem interests you at all. Everyday existence, with all its troubles, seems to be sufficient for most of us. Our only concern is to find an immediate answer to our various problems. But sooner or later the immediate answers are found to be unsatisfactory because no problem has an answer apart from the problem itself. But if I can understand the problem, all the intricacies of it, then the problem no longer exists. The Book of Life, J. Krishnamurti, September 28, HarperSanFrancisco, 1995 Is there such a thing as a soul? So to understand this question of death, we must be rid of fear which invents the various theories of afterlife or immortality or reincarnation. So we say, those in the East say, that there is reincarnation, there is a rebirth, a constant renewal going on and on and on—the soul, the so-called soul. Now please listen carefully. Is there such a thing? We like to think there is such a thing, because it gives us pleasure, because that is something which we have set beyond thought, beyond words, beyond; it is something eternal, spiritual, that can never die, and so thought clings to it. But is there such a thing, as a soul, which is something beyond time, something beyond thought, something which is not invented by man, something which is beyond the nature of man, something which is not put together by the cunning mind? Because the mind sees such enormous uncertainty, confusion, nothing permanent in life—nothing. Your relationship to your wife, your husband, your job— nothing is permanent. And so the mind invents a something which is permanent, which it calls the soul. But since the mind can think about it, thought can think about it; as thought can think about it, it is still within the field of time—naturally. If I can think about something, it is part of my thought. And my thought is the result of time, of experience, of knowledge. So, the soul is still within the field of time... So the idea of a continuity of a soul which will be reborn over and over and over again has no meaning because it is the invention of a mind that is frightened, of a mind that wants, that seeks a duration through permanency, that wants certainty, because in that there is hope. The Book of Life, November 19, HarperSanFrancisco, 1995

The Insight Center,

2 Oakway Rd. · Timonium-Lutherville 21093, MD


What we're about

The motivation for holding these dialogues is to observe the workings of the self and possible connections to conflict and suffering. We aim to explore together the nature of the self, "What am I?", by looking at the operation of the self in our daily lives. We want to use a leaderless dialogue/inquiry process as a mirror in which we can see our own conditioning and patterns of thought happening in real time. The proposed focus of the dialogue group is not solely on the questions that arise, but also on the thought/emotion/relationship process with which the individual and the group engage the questions. In contrast to debate and discussion, dialogue is not a comparison of opinions or an attempt to convince another of a held conviction. The aim is not problem solving or self-improvement, but observation of the self in action. We encourage avoiding quick responses and listening deeply both to the speaker and to one's own reactions, so that our questions and opinions can appear in a new light. We think dialogue can only work in an atmosphere of affection and openness between the participants. . How it works: A quote or video clip relevant to the dialogue/inquiry into self (from J. Krishnamurti) may be provided as a possible starting point. A period of silence starts the dialogue process. This lasts until someone is moved to start. Then there is a check-in/go-round, with everybody having the chance to speak to what is happening with themselves, possibly in reaction to what they have heard. Then the dialogue proceeds spontaneously.. If too much of the discussion is going on between a few people, someone can ask for a check in to go around and find out what is going on with those not speaking.

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