David Joseph Bohm (20 December 1917 – 27 October 1992) was an American-born British quantum physicist who made contributions in the fields of theoretical physics, philosophy and neuropsychology, and to the Manhattan Project [wikipdia]. Bohm, considered one of the best quantum physicists of all time., has had conversations with Jiddu Krishanmurti, U.G. Krishnamurti and also later with Dalai Lama. At length Bohm deals with the ‘thought’ in his book, ‘Thought as a System’ (1992) and he clearly sees the ‘destructive force’ in the ‘thought’ of the mankind; he was a ‘thought physicist’ too in that sense, so to say.
In a rather rare conversation between David Bohm and U.G. Krishnamurti happened on 17 Aug 1968, UG reveals and relates about the ‘natural state’ that he stumbled upon in 1967 in a more physical body terms. The Thought Knowledge Perception Institute has made these conversations accessible on their site. Here is the 1 of the 16 video clippings of that conversations now available on the youtube also:
The conversation happened between David Brohm and U.G. Krishnamurti is also featured in the recently published book, ‘The Biology of Enlightenment’, edited by Mukunda Rao. [Link]
The following ‘background text’ is sourced from the site of Thought Knowledge Perception Institute:
This conversation took place on August 17, 1968 and the recording lasts for 2 hours and 50 minutes.
Most people are aware of David Bohm’s friendship with Jiddu Krishnamurti. David also had a lengthy conversation with U.G. Krishnamurti on at least one occasion. Many comparisons have been made between Jiddu and U.G. Krishnamurti (no relation) with some people saying that their message are essentially the same. Other people are quick to point out that U.G. was critical of Jiddu and that U.G. was more sweeping in his denial of any kind of pursuit of awareness or meaning to life whereas Jiddu would talk about choiceless awareness, insight, ending thought, and the like.
The recording starts off with U.G. asking David to get the ball rolling and David asks about the “unusual experiences” he heard that U.G. had. U.G. then goes onto to describe the new state of being that came about for him in an unexpected way. U.G. goes into detail about how the experience felt along with the accompanying physical changes. U.G. goes on to say that he feels like he was woken up from a slumber for the first time in his life and from then on thought never operated in the same way in him again. U.G. sums up his experience as the mental functioning coming to an end, the body taking over, life expressing itself, and the “I” not referring to anything substantial. U.G. spends a good amount of time describing how he interacts with objects now that thought is different in him and what it means to see something.
Until about 73 minutes in, U.G. dominates the conversation and David Bohm listens and does not say much. After 40 somewhat minutes in U.G. talks a bit about what he was trying to discover since he was 14 (if there was anything behind all the abstractions the spiritual people were espousing) as well as some comments on the nature of thought and awareness. At one hour in U.G. is continuing to talk about the nature of thought.
After about 73 minutes Bohm starts to talk about thought and relevance and seeing when our judgements of relevance are relevant or irrelevant. Bohm points out how thought brings in irrelevant content that disturbs the function of the brain. Bohm goes on to talk about description and inference, the fundamental activity of science, and taking descriptions as what is. U.G. ends up being the main speaker again until about 93 minutes in where Bohm starts to talk about language as action and the difference between verbal and non-verbal action and the harmony (the lack-there-of) between the two.
Bohm states that the form of our language is out of harmony with its content. Bohm describes how this disharmony leads to confusion and incoherence. Bohm calls for attention to the form of our language and our judgements of relevance and irrelevance.
At times it appears that U.G. is trying to get Bohm to drop his ideas and concepts altogether and see that there is a way of operating that is beyond the structure of thought. Bohm on the other hand seems to feel that despite some things being beyond thought there is still a worthwhile dialogue that can be engaged in and that there is meaning and value in looking at all of these things (thought, language, awareness, communication, etc.) together.
At 110 minutes in Bohm again speaks about language, communication, emotion, and notions of relevance and irrelevance. The conversation then focuses on thought’s nature and seeing what it is doing and how it produces experiences and several other subjects that will be familiar to people who have read Bohm’s written work. The aforementioned subjects are explored in greater depth for the remainder of the recording.
For someone who has heard Bohm’s conversations with Jiddu Krishnamurti you cannot help but feel that David Bohm and U.G. Krishnamurti never really saw eye to eye or really built up much along the same line together during this recording like Bohm was able to with Jiddu. There were times where David and U.G. seemed to exploring together but U.G. would quite often end the conversation with a finalistic or dismissive statement, and at other times Bohm would go into great detail explaining things that U.G. seemed uninterested in or perhaps was not understanding. Yet there were also moments where once senses an agreement between David and U.G. All in all this recording serves as a good glimpse into U.G.’s autobiography in regards to his life changing experience, and a good glimpse into Bohm’s earlier ideas about thought.