DreamBliss

How can I get past, "...then what?"

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There are circumstances and situations in my life that are going to cause major change and instability as they occur. There are things that I intend to do, and really have no choice but to do. Advice I have been given that feels right with me, and I am going to take it. I am also adopting a consciousness, a mindset, for something to happen by a particular date this year. But I can not get past the, "...the what?"

 

If this thing I am working so hard to create in my life experience does not happen, if this thing I was advised to do, which I intend to do, falls through, this question remains. Then what? What will I do next?

 

I have only one answer to this question. If this experience does not happen, and this thing I intend to do falls through, I have one definitive, final, answer. I see no other solution to the problem. If I can not create this experience in my life, allow it in, be receptive to its manifestation, by the date I have set, that's pretty much it for me. But I might be able to squeak by if this thing I intend to do works out and I am able to throw myself into that.

 

The problem is, as I understand it, I have to have the consciousness, the mindset, I would have in the reality I have chosen. In that consciousness, that mindset, there is no room for this action I have determined I will take if I fail, if things do not work out. Nobody who thinks that way would do that to themselves.

 

But I can not ignore the, "...then what?" I am unable, at this moment, to completely blind myself to it and think only about what I wish to experience in my life, and my success at experiencing these things. I don't know how.

 

I know I am not in alignment with my Higher Self, with Source, because of these negative emotions, including doubt and fear. But I just can't see how to see the situation any differently. I don't feel like I have enough energy to focus solidly on the consciousness and mindset of the reality that I want. It feels too big, too difficult, too hard. It feels like too much.

 

I also feel a definite lack of support. I feel as if I am completely and totally on my own. I know there are those who support me, who want only good for me. But they are at a distance from me. I am over here, they are over there, I am not physically immersed in their higher frequencies. I might be able to keep myself in the consciousness or mindset I desire if I had the right people around me.

 

But that would make adopting a chosen consciousnesses or mindset conditional. It seems to me I should be strong enough to adopt it even if I was being drawn and quartered. But I just seem unable to do so. Maybe I am just not strong enough. I am a far cry away from any sort of physical abuse, yet even in these relatively comfortable and safe circumstances I find it hard to adopt and keep my chosen mindset!

 

What can I do, right now, in this moment, in this instant, to completely forget about, "... then what?" and focus entirely on the consciousness or mindset I have chosen, to adopt completely, thereby creating the reality I desire? Is there anything at all I can do? Because all my spiritual practices, including meditation aren't cutting it, and that's the strongest way of dealing with it I know of, short of some sort of self-hypnosis.

 

I appreciate your thoughts.

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Hi DreamBliss,thankyou for sharing.

 

It is difficult to comment on your situation,not knowing the full details.

However you express much uncertainty,doubts and anxiety.

 

When situations are import,when outcomes make a difference in real term.

Then there is much investment of self in achieving set goals.

 

There are many'what ifs',this keeps the mind busy,increasing fatigue,maybe insomnia or just more time to think.The

Then we attempt to develope defence mechanism,which we can use if plans are flawed or you are somehow unsuccessful.

 

Defence mechanism both conscious and some unconscious.

Understanding these mechanism,is helpful in developing self understanding.

 

Self awareness,know you have done all you can,also know sometimes our goals are dependant on others,not always aligned with your vision.

 

Then get some good food,shared with friends,try fun,then sleep,focus your breath to keep your thoughts at bay,helpful in getting sleep,also helpful all day long.

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I know I am not in alignment with my Higher Self, with Source, because of these negative emotions, including doubt and fear. 

 

 

Actually, you sound as though you are very much in alignment with your Higher Self.  It's just that your Higher Self is doing some work on you right now, that's all.  We all struggle with doubt and fear until we realize Who we really are.  We are the One, the Creator.  This is just something you're walking through.  And you're doing it right, in awareness of your reactions and feelings.

 

Developing an artificial mindset doesn't sound like a great idea.  I sure wish you were a little more explicit as to the nature of the problem.

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I would ask yourself what advice you would give to another person that asked you the very question you are asking here.

 

What would you say ? Then, do that. :-)

 

 

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New Age thinking can be a double edged sword.  The whole 'you create your reality', philosophy can chew people up and depress them badly.  When there life sucks it leads to the feeling they are totally responsible and if they wanted they could almost magically become rich, thin.. blonde.

 

But imo, it doesn't work that way.  Life deals us cards, we play them as well as we can, learning along the way.  We all go through periods of life that stink, but we get through them and its gets better.  It tends to get better faster if we can have a goal, downgrade our desires into preference and accept what is happening now. 

Edited by thelerner
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Dreambliss,

 

It¬īs great that you are working on something and I hope it works out. However: if it doesn¬īt work out, or it doesn¬īt work out according to the timetable you¬īve set, it¬īs important to remember that you have options. Not just one final option, as you put it, but options plural.

 

Life goes on, even when things don¬īt appear to go our way. Or it can anyway, if we allow it. What you are planning now may not happen the way you hope, but that doesn¬īt mean that all is doomed.

 

There are so many ways to get past the "then what" -- exercise, friends, your spiritual practice, writing, etc -- but if none of this is working for you I suggest seeking out professional mental health services (usually available very cheaply if you look for it).

 

Liminal

Edited by liminal_luke
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Just go in there and to expect nothing.  Or keep your expectations low.  If things turn out well, great.  If not, you are back where you are.  No big deal.  I have countless of these experiences because things never go the way I planned, always.

Edited by ChiForce
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What you can do right now is just be the watcher. All this stuff in your head... just watch it. This is pretty much releasing into emptiness. It doesn't happen all at once though, but there is an immediate effect.

 

This is something I'm working on also. The tendency is to retreat back into your head where it's not nice but still feels like home. Staying in emptiness is slowly moving out of home. It's painful but worth it because in that state you have a much clearer perspective in regards to everything that is going on.

 

Then your problem is a matter of sufficient planning then waiting the time in emptiness rather than in your head. If you're in your head then chances are you'll mess it up, right? The "right now" is keeping your head clear.

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Thank you everyone for your replies. Please note I am being purposefully vague here, for a variety of reasons.

 

Some very good points about how I am thinking, the mindset I have adopted.

 

So many people here telling me to go and get my head examined... What could it possibly mean?

 

I will feel my way through what everyone has said here so far...

Edited by DreamBliss
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But I can not ignore the, "...then what?" I am unable, at this moment, to completely blind myself to it and think only about what I wish to experience in my life, and my success at experiencing these things. I don't know how.

 

 

And in this way we are all on the horns of an enema.  We don't know what's going to happen tomorrow.

 

One day, when I first joined Alcoholics Anonymous 34 years ago, I was complaining to a long-term sober woman about my upcoming pension hearing.  I was going on and on, enumerating my fears.  Periodically, once in a while, she would squeeze in 'But how are you today?'  I would disregard the question a few times, returning to my tale of impending doom regarding my pension hearing.

 

Once, after she asked me about 4 times 'But how are you doing today?  That was the time I heard it.  I immediately threw my head back and cracked up - I realized how totally different I felt at that moment than I had just a few moments earlier.  What a huge journey was travelled in just a few seconds from the prior condition of my stress-ridden body to the body of lightness that was laughing at myself because it was the first time I actually had a personalized glimpse of 'today' as it had not previously been glimpsed before.  and my problems melted away for that day, at least.

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So, to paraphrase Tolle, you are advising me to "Be present."

 

Makes sense. Certainly will give that hamster in his wheel up there a breather.

 

So how am I right now, in this moment? Hmm...

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'Being present' is what you are anyway. Even if thinking of the past, or future then this is from the now. I don't agree with Tolle at all as he seems to be suggesting that being present is actually trying to be other than you are and thus 'not present'. If that makes sense ?

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Wandering off topic, but...

 

As I understand Tolle, what he is saying is that, in general, humans just act without awareness. They aren't really there with whatever it is they are doing. You have seen this: People riving a car or walking down a street talking on their cell phone, paying no attention to anything going on in the world around them. You have experienced this: You get in your car to drive somewhere, usually some distance away on a familiar route, and finding yourself having arrived  at your destination with little or no memory of what happened between when you departed and when you arrived.

 

Humans in general just react, usually unconsciously. There is no awareness. It's like some knee-jerk reaction. I have observed this in myself. My mom does or says something that rubs me the wrong way, and I have my response, and I just respond, without thinking. It is only when I am present, putting my awareness in what arises when my mom says or does something that rubs me the wrong way, that I can catch myself and change my response.

 

Tolle proved to be one of my most valuable teachers that time I was at my brother's, staying over. I have talked about this before on these forums. We do not usually get along. He does something and it just sets me off. It is almost as if I am helpless, carried along without choice. But this one time, I had been reading, "The Power of Now", I was tired, and getting breakfast ready, when my brother just blew up. Started throwing stuff around the room.

 

Usually I would engage. Somehow I was able to just breathe, be aware, be present, completely focus on what I was doing, right then, in that moment, and I was able to calmly eat my breakfast as he was literally throwing stuff all around the room. I am not exaggerating here. A recliner and a softer were flipped and tossed, a bunch of stuff was thrown, including a glass in my general direction which shattered on a wall.

 

I would just calmly get out of the way. I did not engage with my brother in any way. I just finished my food, fathered my stuff, and quietly left after calling my dad for a lift. It hurt me to be around him. I think maybe that was the first time I was hurt for him, rather than by him.

 

That is the value in what Tolle teaches. Maybe I have the answers inside me somewhere. I have yet to prove this oft-taught message. But I didn't have them at that time. It took those words to affect the change in me that allowed me, in the applying of this knowledge, to handle the situation in the way I did. I can say with almost 100% certainty it would never have happened otherwise. My normal response would have been to engage. By being aware and present in the moment, I had the room needed to choose my response.

 

OK, I am starting to wander here so I will leave it at that. Does that aid you in your understanding?

Edited by DreamBliss
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This is a complex thing that resolves partially through age. The younger you are the more automatic will be the response to stimulus and if the education system has imposed on you a Pavlovian action/reaction trained response then it becomes even more automatic.

 

We can only hold around 7 chunks of information on our heads at any time. Try and visualise a 5 sided object such as a pentagon and this can be done, but something of a hundred sides is impossible. A tree is easy, but a million trees is impossible. To get around these limitations we hold gestalt packets of memory in the form of concepts and as subconscious action. It's easy to notice this if you consider the complexity needed to open a door. The amount of muscle movements, co-ordination and force required to consciously accomplish the task would be impossible. We store the gestalt programme for door opening and use inductive reasoning to apply the program to any number of different types and sizes of door. When a door of some unusual design is found, then we snap out of unconscious action and begin to problem solve. We take the gestalt concept of the door and combine it with other conceptual knowledge and the direct perception through our senses. Once the new door problem is solved it is added to the knowledge store.

 

As we get older it becomes more difficult to solve these problems without a great deal more thought. Where as a young person is bounding along and taking in the new information rapidly. They are soaking up experience like a sponge. So, the less mature mind is less mindful because it has to be. The older mind develops a different type of ability and begins to re-asses the information that has been tucked away in gestalt concepts. This is the age of wisdom. It is said 'you cannot put an older head on younger shoulders'.

 

What Tolle has investigated is just a natural phenomena of his own changing mind. It's more easy to be mindful when you are older than when you are younger. It appears to Tolle that he has made some great leap, but he is only experiencing the changes which are entirely natural in his own mind. However, young minds are malleable because they are eating experience and information in the same way they consume food. It is why guidance is necessary so they get the right kind of food and experience. Staring at mindless entertainment, or creating distorted gestalt storage is as bad as filling the body with junk food and refusing it exercise.

Edited by Karl
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I am not so sure about this, and I am afraid I will have to disagree...

 

Because it is not only young folk driving and talking while on their phone. And I am still young, at 39. Middle-aged really. While I can not be certain or prove it, I am fairly sure that my ability to "tune in" to what is happening right now has nothing to do with age.

 

I think the older you get the more set in your ways you are. The more automatic things become, not less. My grandmother, at 90, is probably the least present minded person I know. If I compare how she talks and interacts with others to what I have seen of Tolle the difference is like night and day. Have you ever watched Tolle talking to people? It is as if he takes a few moments to consider everything he hears or says.

 

I am sure there are older people out there who do that. But I doubt very highly it is a natural byproduct of aging. The mental grooves in the mind of older people are so much deeper. They can not help but play the same broken thought records again and again, skipping at the same places.

 

Let's also not forget that if this thing called an ego exists, the only way you are ever going to free yourself of its influence is becoming aware of when you are acting from a place of ego. The only way to do that is to practice being aware and present-minded. It is the only way to observe yourself, what you do and say, and choose a response, rather than simply respond.

 

No, I don't think what Tolle is talking about is any sort of natural state for any modern human being. Maybe some ascetic, Brahmin, enlightened being or monk. But for the vast majority of humanity, I think the tendency is towards more autopilot, not less.

 

But as I am speaking without authority, I readily admit I could be wrong.

Edited by DreamBliss
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I am not so sure about this, and I am afraid I will have to disagree...

 

Because it is not only young folk driving and talking while on their phone. And I am still young, at 39. Middle-aged really. While I can not be certain or prove it, I am fairly sure that my ability to "tune in" to what is happening right now has nothing to do with age.

 

I think the older you get the more set in your ways you are. The more automatic things become, not less. My grandmother, at 90, is probably the least present minded person I know. If I compare how she talks and interacts with others to what I have seen of Tolle the difference is like night and day. Have you ever watched Tolle talking to people? It is as if he takes a few moments to consider everything he hears or says.

 

I am sure there are older people out there who do that. But I doubt very highly it is a natural byproduct of aging. The mental grooves in the mind of older people are so much deeper. They can not help but play the same broken thought records again and again, skipping at the same places.

 

Let's also not forget that if this thing called an ego exists, the only way you are ever going to free yourself of its influence is becoming aware of when you are acting from a place of ego. The only way to do that is to practice being aware and present-minded. It is the only way to observe yourself, what you do and say, and choose a response, rather than simply respond.

 

No, I don't think what Tolle is talking about is any sort of natural state for any modern human being. Maybe some ascetic, Brahmin, enlightened being or monk. But for the vast majority of humanity, I think the tendency is towards more autopilot, not less.

 

But as I am speaking without authority, I readily admit I could be wrong.

 

'Set in ways' is often used as a slur. Indeed it is part of a philosophical invention that you have digested without realising it. These are the things that should be examined if you are prepared to do so. I would say that the wise are consistent in their thinking. Age is no guarantee of wisdom if it has not been encouraged.

 

At 39 you are quite capable of evolving consistent thinking and from that will come wisdom-if you want it. Wisdom to some is a greater burden, they won't open their eyes to what they are afraid to see. That's for each to decide.

 

Consistency of thinking is auto pilot (set in ways as you called it), but it must be cultivated. Youth has no consistency, it wishes to try anything and everything. It is packing away experience without thinking or distinction. Watch a baby at play, it looks to grab everything and chew it. The human mind is a learning machine. It's fast input at the beginning, later it should increase in discrimination.

 

At 39 you are trying to make sense of it all. Is that not how you feel ? That your mind is crammed, but an impulse is telling you to cram even more and that the answer will somehow appear. In time you will begin to throw out the useless and stop cramming and unknow. Novelty is no longer attractive. With outside direction or perhaps by a combination of good self direction this will become apparent. Consistency of mind will reveal the world as you cannot yet know it, but it's there to be had.

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Thank you for your post. I will be spending some time with it in the next few days. Now there is one other aspect of this off-topic discussion that occurred to me tonight. Actually it is also loosely on-topic now that I think about it. Anyhow...

 

I am presented with two ways I can approach this moment right now. I can be here, with what I am doing. Typing out this reply. Breathing. I can place all my awareness into this moment, right now.

 

Or I can think about this alluded to course of action I have written about here. I can put all my awareness into this bleak future I am seeing. I am incapable of seeing any other future right now.

 

I have this moment, how I am doing right now, or a bleak future. The bleak future is an illusion. But what is occurring right now, what I am doing, breathing and typing, that is real.

 

That is the value in what Tolle is teaching. Because the natural tendency of almost every human on earth is to dwell in the future or the past. But the future they are dwelling on is only built on the foundation of the past. What they say they know, based on past experience. Not realizing that just because it happened that way once, and all the statistics say it will happen the same way again, even if it does happen again, that is not a guarantee it will always happen that way. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is set in stone.

 

As I have only a limited human perspective, as my perception is based solely on past events, I am unable to see all possible futures from this moment in time. I am not sure anyone can. So it is better for me to dwell on this moment, right now, on what I am doing right now. It is best to tune in to this present moment, because otherwise I will be seeing this bleak future and considering a particular course of action based on that.

 

Worse, in dwelling on this bleak future I may be tempted to to prepare and do research for that future, which means I will have that consciousness, which all but ensures that this is the future I will experience. The only way to create a brighter future for myself is to have a brighter consciousness, or mindset.

 

As long as I am dwelling on one possible outcome from a near infinite number of possibilities, and that outcome is bleak, I am going to experience anger, frustration, what Buddha and the Buddhists call suffering. Lacking enlightenment at this moment, to free myself of suffering that way, and lacking the ability to release all desires, thereby freeing myself of suffering that way, the only thing I know to do is to just be with this moment. One moment at a time.

 

Other spiritual teachers have relayed the same message. But the vast majority of them give that message under the influence of their religion. Their religion colors the message, in other words. However Tolle gives the message in the purest form a human can deliver it, with no coloring of any religion. It is a message that, for me at least, I needed and probably would not have been able to receive in any other way.

 

The book found me, as strange as this may sound. I purchased it at a booksale, recognizing the author as a spiritual teacher. But someone here had warned me about him. So the book was boxed up. Forgotten for some length of time. Then something, not remembering what exactly, caused me to pull it out of the box and to read it. Maybe it sat on my shelf for some time first. Can't remember. But when I read it, that was the exact time, and I mean the exact, precise time, I needed it. This has only happened with a couple of books in my life so far.

 

Whether or not this awareness of the present moment is a product of age or growing spirituality I can not say with any authority. I think this it is like a muscle of sorts that must be exercised, but you have to learn how to access it first. It is these instructions, allowing me to develop and flex this muscle, that Tolle has given to me through his books.

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You will be aware of whatever you are aware of. Try as you might, if the future comes into your thoughts then the effort to stay in the present will become a contradiction. The contradiction of being unable to stay in the moment will become me its own sense of failure.

 

What is in the future that you fear ? Why not talk it out here ? It can't be any worse than bottling it up. To hell with letting yourself sabotage your own happiness, get it out in the open and let's get some light on it. :-)

 

I used to have a recurring image of a damp, single room basement with only a candle for company. This I believed was my future since I was 15 years of age. I was borderline suicidal and manic depressive for more years than I can remember right up until around 45. So, you aren't alone, many of us have had those demons circling us.

 

If Tolle works for you then do that. I mean any raft in a storm. Just pointing out where the contradictions can be hiding.

 

The other practical option is to take up a challenge per day/week. Something that really does push you quite hard. It will begin to increase your self confidence as you overcome fears and find successes. Look at what is successful in your life and write a list of them. Try writing a list of your failures and see how many there actually are. That also helps to see what you might be hiding from yourself.

 

It seems there is a note of desperation in your writing ?

Edited by Karl
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i think writing of Tolle here is just what's called for.  I happen to be listening to one of his tapes in my car at the present time.

 

The present time.  Isn't that funny?  There's two layers to 'the present time'.  Obviously, I'm not listening to Tolle in my car right now.  So it's not really the 'immediate present time'.  But in general, it's the present time.  Whenever I go out to my car and start it up, he's on the CD.

 

What I heard him say this morning was something like 'You're always all right in the immediate now - in this present moment'.  And that was kind of what I realized when the AA lady kept asking me 'But how are you right now?'

 

The particular day that you're fearing, the particular situation, the 'wrong' possible conclusion - on the day that that happens, you will be all right!  You always have been.  You always will be.  Even if you die on that day, you'll still be all right.  Possibly more all right than you are right now, in fact...sometimes I think dying might be the swellest thing that ever happens to us.  The trip of a lifetime, as it were.  Please recall that Tolle often refers to 'knowing Who You Are'.  Do you know who that is?  and if you truly know Who That Is, what is there to fear?

 

Love to you.  Truly.

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DreamBliss,

 

You reminded me of another passage from The Nature of Personal Reality (chapter 15) that ties in beautifully with what you said in your last post and supposedly also with Tolle. :)

 

   Now: You must understand that your present is the point at which flesh and matter
meet with the spirit. Therefore the present is your point of power in your current lifetime,
as you think of it. If you assign greater force to the past, then you will feel ineffective and
deny yourself your own energy.
   For an exercise, sit with your eyes wide open, looking about you, and realize that this
moment represents the point of your power, through which you can affect both past and
future events.
   The present seen before you, with its intimate physical experience, is the result of
action in other such presents. Do not be intimidated therefore by the past or the future.
There is no need at all for undesirable aspects of your contemporary reality to be
projected into the future, unless you use the power of the present to do so.
   If you learn to get hold of this feeling of power now, you can use it most effectively to
alter your life situation in whatever way you choose‚ÄĒagain, within those limitations set
by your creaturehood. If you were born without a limb, for example, your power in the
present cannot automatically regenerate it in this life, although in other systems of reality
you do possess that limb. (See Seth's Preface, as well as the 615th session in Chapter
Two.)
   Exterior conditions can always be changed if you understand the principles of which I
am speaking. Diseases can be eliminated, even those that seem fatal‚ÄĒbut only if the
beliefs behind them are erased or altered enough so that their specific focusing effect
upon the body is sufficiently released. The present as you think of it, and in practical
working terms, is that point at which you select your physical experience from all those
events that could be materialized. Your physical circumstances change automatically
as your beliefs do. As your knowledge grows, so your experience becomes more
fulfilling. This does not necessarily mean that it evens out in any way, or that there are
not peaks and valleys. Each aspiration presupposes the admission of a lack, each
challenge presupposes a barrier to be overcome. The more adventurous will often
choose greater challenges, and so in their minds the contrasts between what they want
to achieve and their present status can seem to be impossible.
   In each case, however, the point of power is the present, and from that moment you
choose which you, and which world.

Edited by Michael Sternbach
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I was reading one of Barack Obama's books, Dreams From My Father - and he made a statement about when he used drugs when he was younger, looking for something to 'flatten out the landscape of his heart'.

 

What a perfect description - whether you're talking about drugs or about being in the Moment.  Flattening out the landscape of our hearts.  This is what we look for with drugs, but we don't get it for more than a moment or so.  Learning to back off of 'life' and extrapolate yourself momentarily, take a deep breath, disengage every tense muscle in your body, and realize that This Moment is all you really ever have.  See the beauty in it, forgetting about what you were worried about.  Utilize all the senses.  That will flatten out the landscape of your heart, which - in the end game - is pretty much what we're all looking for in all our efforts in attaining.  Just to feel secure.

 

I have several Krishnamurti books and it occurred to me the other day that Krishnamurti never looks into the camera for his book covers.  Never.  He looks off to the side.  I got to wondering about that, and I came up with the conclusion that he was staying in the moment, despite the fact that the photographer was taking a close-up of his face.  He didn't want his image to be relegated to the past.  Perhaps he sees the immediate moment if he looks elsewhere and focuses on that, not the camera or the fact that he's having his picture taken.  Or, maybe if he buys into the fact that he's selling another book, his thoughts would dwell in the future.  I don't know.  I just know there's something there, and it has to do with staying in the Now.

 

Any other ideas on Krishnamurti and the camera?

Edited by manitou

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