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Bohm people; heads up!
on 21 June 2011
The people reading this review will mostly fall into two categories; there are people who are interested in Krishnamurti and who want to see what he had to say when talking to a sympathetic scientist, and there are people who who are interested in David Bohm (and Physics) and who want to see what Bohm had to say when talking to Krishnamurti.
It was no accident that these two met, Bohm could see that fragmentation of thought was threatening, not just progress in his own discipline of physics, but also the whole of civilisation, and so, when he heard the extraordinary stuff K had to say about thought and time and that K was also talking of the possibility of the salvation of humanity, he beat a path to K's door. These and other dialogues are the result of those meetings.
Now the only way to understand the meeting of these two *in depth* is either to read it, or you can listen to it as a set of audio files. I did the latter and so this review is not strictly a review of the book, even though the content is nearly identical. But if you want the big conclusion of this book in summary it is this; they divide time into two types and name them variously, but for our purposes we will use a single pair of terms, "earth time" and "psychological time".
Earth time is the one we know, it is the ticking clock. But psychological time is a term many will not understand. The reason for this is that we automatically apply the notion of time inwardly, and we do so because it seems self evident that there can be no exemption from time for the inner world. And yet this division is absolutely fundamental in this dialogue...the reason why will become clear
All right so what is "psychological time" as these two discuss it? It is simple; "I am not right now", "I feel unhappy", "I have done wrong", "wrong has been done to me", "I have had emotional pain", maybe I feel confused, or angry etc etc etc. In short we all have a feeling, right this moment, that things are not right inside us. And so, in face of this, we say to ourselves "I will improve things". We do this by all sort of methods, maybe we just resolve to be better in the future, maybe we go to anger management classes, maybe we will do meditation, maybe we become a monk, maybe we just wait for the feeling to subside and "let time be the healer" or whatever. As soon as you do this in any way you create psychological time because you have decided to use some kind of method and you have decided your salvation lies in applying that method which inevitably is across time. This is what they mean by "psychological time" and it is this psychological time that occupies nearly the entire dialogue.
What K is saying is that psychological time actually creates the "self". The idea of "you", this "me" is composed and created out the psychological past and the psychological future. This seems hard to believe, right? And yet this is the key insight of the entire exchange. To decide if it is true or if it baloney you need to read the book...
Anyway, this structure of having a "me" is the cause of all suffering. The correlate of this is that if you live without time, purely in the now, the "you" will disappear and the suffering will disappear with it. Moreover, at this point your conciousness will have its first access to "the infinite"...
They conclude that if this inner revolution happens in enough cases, the entire world is saved from the misery and pain and the threat of imminent destruction that now engulfs the earth.
OK so what you read above is really what K brought to the party. What did Bohm bring? Well, he brings himself as a good quality sounding board, and he imposes a (mainly) good quality of analytical discipline on the proceedings, but other than that he brings almost nothing. The learning is essentially a one way street...
Those of us who knew of K's stuff before we read this dialogue hear in this dialogue something like a massive airing of things we had already heard K say at least 100 times before, so to that category of reader I say, yes it is interesting, but it will not add much to what you are learning. But those who came to this from the Bohm camp will be brought into a new world...So to Bohm/Physics people I say, give it a go.
In closing I want to say something that arises directly from this exchange but which never becomes explicit; I hope it will be deemed stimulating by the Bohm/Physics people. In Physics there are people who study foundational issues, like time and space and measurement, but what is not yet in the fold of foundational issues in Physics is the biggest foundational issue of all, "I", the ego. Science is trapped in an old paradigm that is absolutely failing us now, as you who read Bohm know only too well. That paradigm has its foundation in the very form of human conciousness i.e. our conciousness is divided into a "me" and "the world". That divide is a *falsehood&* and on that falsehood science rests. It has to, scientists are themselves the holder of this divided conciousness. But the new science will be done by scientists who realise this error in the(ir) foundation. The actual realisation of it is the ending of it.