What is sensation? If one may go into it now. The actual meaning of that word is “the activity of the senses” Right? – touching, tasting, seeing, smelling, hearing, mind is part of the senses. Sensation like… pain….tears, laughter, having humour, it’s all part of sensation. Intellectual, theoretical philosophical sensation. Art or music…. sensation. Good taste bad taste and so on. Fear is a sensation. The sensation of drugs, alcohol…. the sensation of sexuality. The sensation of achieving something. We live by sensation. Be clear on that.
Sensations are going on-inside….
If there was no sensation both biologically and psychologically we would be dead human beings. Right? we live by sensation. That crow calling that is acting on the ear drum – nerves – and translating the noise into the cry of a crow. That is a sensation. You see a nice sari and shirt. You see it, touch it and there is the sensation of touching it, you say “By Jove, what a lovely material that is”. There is perception, contact, sensation and desire. My mind is always experiencing in term of sensation. It is the instrument of sensation. Being bored with a particular sensation, I seek a new sensation, which may be what I call the realization of God but it is still a sensation. As you know and as I know every sensation comes to an end and so we proceed from one sensation to another and every sensation strengthens the habit of seeking further sensation…. sensations are going on-inside….
You want more and more and more and more. and “the more” means that the past sensation has not been sufficient…. sensations – I like it or dislike it…. Our sensations are limited and you take drugs and all the rest of it to have higher sensation….the sensation of sexuality…. It is not to the experience that we cling but to the sensation of that experience which we had at the moment of experiencing.
Keep it very simple, don’t intellectualize it for the moment – we’ll do it later. Sir, sensation is ever a reaction and it wanders from one reaction to another. The wanderer is the mind, the mind is sensation. The mind is the storehouse of sensation, pleasant and unpleasant and all experience is reaction. The mind is memory which alter all in reaction. Reaction or sensation can never be satisfied. Sensation, reaction must always breed conflict, and the very conflict is further sensation.
Thought gives pleasure, sensation is turned into pleasure! When there is no identification the senses are senses. Why does thought identify with sensation? Why does thought identify with senses – is that it? Now wait a minute Sir. Why, because of pleasure,…sensations – I like it or dislike it… If it is pleasurable when the senses begin to enjoy – say “how nice” – then thought begins to identify itself with it. Why because of pleasure…. the mind is the storehouse of sensation, pleasant and unpleasant and all experience is reaction The mind is memory which alter all in reaction. So unless one understands this activity of sensation fear and pleasure will go on. Sensations are ever seeking gratification. If it is pleasurable I want more of it, if it is painful I resist it. So the resistance to pain or the pursuit of pleasure – both give continuity to desire.
What is wrong in watching the beautiful motion of a bird on the wing? What is wrong in looking at a new car…? …. in seeing a nice….face? But desire does not stop here. Your perception is not just perception, but with it comes sensation. With the arising of sensation…. comes the urge to possess. You say “This is beautiful, I must have it” and so begins the turmoil of desire.
– Collection of K Teachings from the KFT CDROM which contains all the published works of K from 1933-1986.
….there are some things which the mind goes on with, even though it knows them to be ugly or stupid. It knows how essentially stupid it is to smoke, and yet one goes on smoking. Why? Because it likes the sensations of smoking, and that is all. If the mind were as keenly aware of the stupidity of smoking as it is of the pain of a pinprick, it would stop smoking immediately. But it doesn’t want to see it that clearly because smoking has become a pleasurable habit. It is the same with greed or violence. If greed were as painful to you as the pinprick in your arm, you would instantly stop being greedy, you wouldn’t philosophize about it; and if you were really awake to the full significance of violence, you wouldn’t write volumes about non-violence – which is all nonsense, because you don’t feel it, you just talk about it. If you eat something which gives you a violent tummy-ache, you don’t go on eating it, do you? You put it aside immediately. Similarly, if you once realized that envy and ambition are poisonous, vicious, cruel, as deadly as the sting of a cobra, you would awaken to them. But, you see, the mind does not want to look at these things too closely; in this area it has vested interests, and it refuses to admit that ambition, envy, greed, lust are poisonous….
-Pg 150, This matter of culture
Happiness is not an end in itself. It comes with the understanding of what is. Only when the mind is free from its own projections can there be happiness. Happiness that is bought is merely gratification; happiness through action, through power, is only sensation; and as sensation soon withers, there is craving for more and more. As long as the more is a means to happiness, the end is always dissatisfaction, conflict and misery. Happiness is not a remembrance; it is that state which comes into being with truth, ever new, never continuous.
-Commentaries on Living (Second Series) p.71
Everything about us, within as well as without-our relationships, our thoughts, our feelings – is impermanent, in a constant state of flux. But is there anything which is permanent? Is there? Our constant desire is to make sensation permanent, is it not ? Sensation can be found again and again, for it is ever being lost…. Being bored with a particular sensation, I seek new sensation…. every sensation comes to an end and so we proceed from one sensation to another and every sensation strengthens the habit of seeking further sensation. My mind is always experiencing in terms of sensation. There is perception, contact, sensation and desire and the mind becomes the mechanical instrument of all this process. With the arising of sensation comes the urge to possess….and so begins the turmoil of desire…. and the habit of seeking further sensation… and is there an end to sorrow ? Is it possible to live a daily life with death, which is the ending of the self? …There is only one fact impermanence….every sensation comes to an end…. Can the mind the brain remain absolutely with that feeling of suffering and nothing else….there is no movement away from that moment, that thing called suffering. Is there an action in which there is no motive no cause – the self does not enter into it at all? Thought identifies itself with that sensation and through identification the ‘I’ is built up…. identification with sensation makes the self. If there is no identification is there a self? So is it possible not to identify with sensation?
Thought gives pleasure, sensation is turned into pleasure! When there is no identification the senses are senses. Why does thought identify with sensation? Why does thought identify with senses – is that it? Now wait a minute Sir. Why, because of pleasure,….sensations – I like it or dislike it… If it is pleasurable when the senses begin to enjoy – say “how nice” – then thought begins to identify itself with it. Why because of pleasure..
Face the fact don’t move away from the fact. Thought identifies itself with that sensation and through identification the ‘I’ is built up, the ego and the ego then says “I must” or “I will not”. Thought has given shape to sensation. Desire is born when thought gives shape to sensation, gives an image to sensation.
That means I must put everything in its right place. Right ? But there are all the bodily demands….sex….food…. put it in the right place. Who will tell me to put it in the right place ?. You understand Sir ? So I want to find out what is the right place. How shall I find out ? I have got the key to it Right ? Which is non identification with sensations, that is the key of it. Right Sir ? So non identification with sensation. Identification with sensation makes the self. So is it possible not to identify with Sensation ? Yes sensation.
So we are asking is there a holistic awareness of all the senses….? Just be aware….effortless observation…..choiceless observation….and to learn, to find out whether it is possible to allow sensation to flower and not let thought interfere with it-to keep them apart. Will you do it ?
-Collection of K teachings from the KFT CDROM
(Please refer to the K teachings quoted under ”The Four noble truths” and ”Ignorance and conditioning/cause effect” in this study)
IMPORTANT: Please refer to the Teachings as quoted in PART III