We seem to live in a world of separate things, implicitly. As we look around us, and also at what happens within ourselves, we seem to be separate from it all. This includes our own thoughts and feelings, other people, and even life itself. Embedded in all of this is the sense of being a separate entity that, by whatever name, is inherently autonomous and independent of everything else and is (supposedly) in control of what goes on in our lives.
There is a certain inner stimulation as well as pressure linked to being in control, which seems to sustain being separate. This pressure to be in control gives rise to resisting what is happening, including our very thoughts and feelings, if what happens does not affirm our being in control. So the struggle to control continues on without a seeming end, which is its own suffering. Being separate needs to remain in control at all costs, since this is its basis. When it “fails” at being in control, more struggle and suffering ensues.
So inward pressure, resisting and suffering are inherently part of being a separate entity who is in control. We implicitly accept all of this as a necessary cost of being a separate entity who (supposedly) is in control, as if this price is in the very nature of life itself. This seems to be the story of humankind. Being separate is generally our implicit reality, the very basis for our sense of being. So we suffer, necessarily. Is this actually true, is this inward suffering necessary?
When psychological resisting arises, what is actually being resisted? Is it the particular circumstances, or is it the fact of not being in control? Not being in control questions the entire basis of a separate entity, which it must resist.
At its deepest level, is being separate resisting not being separate? Is it avoiding what actually is?
Is there dying to being separate in which no one “does” it and in which no one dies? In which there was never anyone separate to begin with? In which being separate disappears into not being separate? In which we (as human beings) are present yet are not separate at the same time?
Perhaps this is the same as dying to what is; to not be separate from whatever is happening, right now.
Can we look into all of this together and find out? Can we move as one?
Daily online sessions: 10:00am-12:15pm PACIFIC TIME
These sessions will be recorded and made available to the participants only for further personal study for 2 weeks after the last session.
Dan Kilpatrick is a retired Associate Professor of the Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems, and the Program in Neuroscience, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He has had a long-time interest in our shared, underlying nature and inquiry into how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. The insights of J. Krishnamurti and others have been an invaluable part of this journey, helping to reveal that the opportunity for self-discovery is present in each and every moment and does not depend on circumstance. Coming to see that our sense of self is something in which we all share, not as a conclusion, but as an immediate and living fact, is also perhaps our greatest challenge.
Dan received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at San Diego in chemistry and his doctorate degree in biochemistry from Duke University. His research focused on how self-organizing gene networks controlling development and its timing give rise to emergent properties of the nervous system.
What to expect
- Deep and frank group explorations
- Practical study demanding a full engagement on the part of participants
- Potential breakthrough of old mental patterns
- Affectionate, careful and caring inquiry
- A community of like-minded people
Who is this for
- Anybody interested in exploring this topic in-depth
- Anybody willing to ask fundamental life questions in a practical, sensitive way
- Students who would like to deepen their understanding of this topic
- Groups willing to venture into a life beyond conditioning