Michael Mendizza

Writer, Filmmaker

In the Absence of the Sacred



Will Krishnamurti and Humanity Survive AI?

Download this post in pdf format (includes expanded version)

Simply, Krishnamurti and renown Physicist David Bohm, viewed conditioned memory and thought as a reflexive, mechanical process which is not intelligent or a structure that even touches the ‘infinite potential’ implicit in real intelligence. Intelligence, in their view, is available only in a state that is free from conditioned and self-generated mental images, or what we generally call thought as knowledge. Their explorations were driven by a passion to bring thought and knowledge into balanced order with living intelligence.

My proposal; the exponential use and growth of technology is altering the human brain in ways that increasingly negate the possibility of experiencing the intelligence Krishnamurti and David invite. We are becoming increasingly colorblind to immanence, which effectively negates Krishnamurti’s legacy. His so called ‘teachings,’ or his legacy, are increasingly speaking to deaf ears.

This view was develop creating an in-depth presentation for the Krishnamurti Foundation of America. You can view that presentation here: https://ttfuture.org/krishnamurti

Grounded in epigenetics, and what Joseph Chilton Pearce describes as ‘the model imperative,’ I base this proposal on thirty years of extensive relationships with lending researchers in child and human development, neuroscience, sensory deprivation, moral development, and education, and fifty years deeply involved with Krishnamurti, David Bohm and their collaborative insights.

The short story: by 2030, in six brief years, it is expected that all the functions now featured in the mobile phone will be implantable via a neural-link with computers and the internet. What then is Krishnamurti’s silent mind? It doesn’t’ exist. ChatGPT 4.0 was just released. What the public gets is always far behind the exponential curve. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQacCB9tDaw

Similar to what is called ‘childhood amnesia, not being able to recall very early experiences, the state Krishnamurti calls silence, emptiness, or the authentic, aboriginal, natural order of the mind, is sealed over by the mind of image, concept, knowledge, and data, which is the exclusive realm used and exploited by AI.

Accessing and being grounded in our original mind is developmental, model dependent, not conceptual. Once the mind or state of image, concept, words, and what is imagined from these dominate human consciousness, morphing into identity, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible to negate this enchantment. That conditioned state, now compounded exponentially by technology, becomes the ground, our reality. Silence or emptiness becomes another concept, further negating direct experience of living intelligence, what Krishnamurti referred to as ‘living the teachings.’

The infinite, creative and entangled forces we call nature is the original resonate ground. Each species emerges from and expresses a unique aggregate of nature’s infinite potential. Each species-specific aggregate is the model that opens the unique range of species-specific capacities, like fractal geometry, in each new generation. This is, the model imperative.

Organic life ‘expects’ that bonding or ‘attuned resonance’ with the model-environment will meet all the needs necessary for full development, by opening and developing all the capacities needed for that species to experience and relate to life. Interfering, separating the newborn from its mother, for example, implies sensory deprivation, which impairs, prevents, or negates this complete development. Plant a tomato seed in dry sand, and if it grows at all, the mature vine will be crippled. The same is true of all species, including human beings. The history and examples of sensory deprived, retarded, crippled and impaired development in humans is well documented.

Compared with living systems, screens and machines are extreme examples of sensory deprivation. The sounds and images they generate ‘appear’ similar to those the brain produces, but are lifeless, dead counterfeits. Substitute machine counterfeits for living resonance during the formative stages of a child’s development and that child will only open and develop the capacities needed to interact with the sensory deprived model. That too is the model imperative.

Substituting organic resonance with machine counterfeits during the optimum stages where the brain opens to new and expanding possibilities, what we call developmental stages, that maturing brain fails to open and develop the infinite possibilities nature expresses. Once the optimum windows for developing each capacity passes, the neglected potentials are extremely difficult to open and develop.

For example, the toddler learns to walk and speak the mother language spontaneously, without formal training. Try to bring this about at age ten or later, and the effort is painful, the results partial. In Krishnamurti’s context, that brain grows increasingly colorblind to the sacred, to immanence, to real intelligence. The excluded possibilities are simply not experienced.

Appreciating this cultural overlay, for tens of thousands of years sacred plants and other experiences have been used in a guided ceremonial context to crack this seal open in adults, revealing the transpersonal and transrational nature of our original mind. For millennia, these and other ‘altered states’ were grounded in nature, universal, wild, expansive, and free. The morphing of identity with boundless, interdependent nature was obvious, natural. Today, for most, nature is just concept, a park or zoo. Experiencing the sacred has lost its original context. The ego or self becomes the focus. When the transcendent experience wears off, we return to the concept-image-ego state, which interprets and defines the experience. Nothing fundamental changes.

Krishnamurti’s approach focuses on discovering for one’s self what thought is, its structure, nature and how it operates, including the realization that what we believed to be the ego, is in truth, just an image. For Buddhist the failure to see this is called ignorance. Having an insight into this false identity dissolves all the beliefs and feelings associated the images we have about ourselves and others, expanding to include society and culture, grounding identity again in nature, not in concepts.

Free from this basic ignorance, we no longer waste our energy and precious attention chasing delusions, which frees all that energy wasted in this pursuit to be reinvested in appropriate wholeness, because that is all we see. There is nothing else to do.

The real test however, is leaving the conditioned, conceptual-image state of mind and experiencing transpersonal, tansrational immanence, or real intelligence, with complete attention, without a center interpreting. The brain raised by counterfeits lacks the developmental experiences, or the foundation and references to do this.

“So what is sacred? That can only be understood or happen when there is complete freedom from fear, from sorrow, and when there is this sense of love and compassion with its own intelligence. Then, when the mind is utterly still, that which is sacred can take place.” jk

The ability to experience both, living intelligence and conditioned thought as knowledge, and bring the two into proper balance as nature designed, is developmental, not simply conceptual. Similar to developing the ability to walk and talk, the foundation for this integrated balance must be established during the earliest stages and expanded developmentally, balancing direct experiences of the sacred with conditioned knowledge through each expanding developmental age and stage. Machines not only can’t do this, they prevent it. As David Bohm describes, a completely new and different approach is needed.

Michael Mendizza


//img1.wsimg.com/isteam/ip/97259f37-1a2d-4902-9715-9abc344aaf06/Neurobiology%20Darcia%20Narvaez.jpg/:/rs=w:1300,h:800 With the same depth and multi-disciplinary scope that lead Darcia Narvaez, Professor of Psychology Emerita, University of Notre Dame, to the realization that morality is developmental, not simply cognitive, I use the same in proposing that the direct experience Krishnamurti calls ‘the sacred,’ is equally developmental.

Darcia writes; Like many, I considered morality to be a matter of reasoning and will. In this Kantian view, it doesn’t much matter what you feel or who you have become as long as you reason well. As long as one chooses the right action with moral intent, one fails only if the will is not successful at carrying one through the action. The view that reason controls action is still common among philosophers and economists (e.g., “rational choice theory”).

In recent decades, psychology has been undergoing a type of paradigm shift to understanding that most of human behavior is governed by implicit processes. This book is about how implicit processes rely on our neurobiological capacities and govern our moral behavior…”

In other words, morality, what J. Krishnamurti described as the ‘flowering of goodness,’ along with the direct experience of imminence, or living intelligence is developmental, not cognitive.

Noted Acclaim:

“With a background taken from evolutionary biology and virtue ethics, the author integrates knowledge from a sweeping array of disciplines within biology, anthropology, and the developmental sciences to advance her compelling narrative about the human condition and what is needed today for healthy development and flourishing. Concluding appeals for more of an ‘engagement ethic,’ becoming in balance with nature, and appreciating values from our indigenous cultures are graced with her personal experiences and poetically-toned positive advice.”

—Robert N. Emde, MD, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, University of Colorado School of Medicine; Centers for American Indian Alaska Native Health, Colorado School of Public Health; Honorary President, World Association for Infant Mental Health; Former President, Society for Research in Child Development

Conversations With An AI Developer.

Based on the above, I have the good fortune to begin a dialogue with a seasoned AI developer. His intent is to embed into the algorithms and AI database many of the ideas David Bohm and Krishnamurti addressed. Can the experiences that enchant us, and therefore prevent direct perception of living intelligence, be used in a way to awaken us from the enchantment. That is how we began. What follows are some of my observations.

Can The Disease Be Used As Medicine?

AI, as I am using that term, is a mechanical representation of thought, complete with all its profound gifts and limitations. I spent five years on top of then my 40 years with K’s insights interviewing Samdhong Rinpoche, see www.alwaysawakening.com

Tibetan Buddhism is an ancient ‘science of mind,’ not a religion. Rinpoche describes ‘using the disease as medicine.’ This defines well your hope and passion. Healing the disease is a practice that reveals the limitations and self-deceptions inherent in thought as a system, as David Bohm describes. One can Always Awaken, the title of the book of Rinpoche’s and my conversations, by using the disease as medicine, or by reading K, which nudges us in the same direction, or interact with AI inspired by Krishnamurti’s insights. A beautiful intent to use the machines as medicine.

As with imagination and thought, organic or mechanical, its use is the enchantment that must be always awakened from. In this arises the hidden human development danger.

Nature’s design is perfect. The capacity to abstract, to lift out and imagine, is grounded in the earlier brain structures, sensory, limbic, the radiant transpersonal frequencies of the heart, and the brain’s ability to translate nonlocal frequencies (mirror neurons on a quantum level), and much more. These innate structures and their implicit capacities must be fully developed and serve as the ground or context for abstract thought to function as designed. Impaired development of these contextual structures and capacities distorts what is imagined. The inner is the outer.

The Adam and Eve myth in Genesis describes how the capacity to imagine overshadowed this original Buddha mind with its entangled empathy, to count, predict and control, the birth of the social ego as the dominate state of the mind. With cut off and isolated knowledge or data being the coinage of that realm. A fall we have never recovered from, now compounded in AI and technology.

The elephant in the room is how the use of these dead counterfeits of organic and living brain functions steal attention from the very experiences necessary early in life to develop the Buddha mind that brings thought and its actions to order. Without this original mind as the anchor, we live in a relative house of mirrors. Transhumanism idealizes this as a grand evolutionary step, falsely assuming the tiny corner is the vast field. Imagination dehumanizing the whole by anointing the part, as theistic religions have done from 300-800BC. AI simply increases this hubris.

AI can’t provide the experiences necessary to develop the original Buddha mind. Only nature can do that. The more humanity and the environments they create model machine capacities, the further this Buddha mind dims, and its light or influence is already faint at best. As with Krishnamurti, all AI can do is point out the obvious, step out of the enchantment and experience what nature designed. Or as ‘Krishnamurti shared on his death bed, ‘be grounded in that original mind, or you will go to pieces.’ For most that missing mind is just another concept. Most don’t even see the door or know how to walk through it. That is the challenge. To use AI to reveal that there is a door out of this nightmare and to shine a bright light.

Given my 30+ years in child and human development, most won’t see the door even when pointed out. The capacity to see it is being blinded by technology.


We Must Use The Disease As Medicine, Part 2

I yield completely to the undeniable fact that SHE, or HER, or IT is out of the bag.

Sure: we might be part of that select group K referred to, drawn together by a mysterious, underlying force that aligns us with his teachings.

Yes; embedding IT with Krishnamurti’s principles—inspired by his understanding of meditation, love, and creativity—could create a framework that safeguards the technology, as with organic thought prevents in some way its misuse.

I keep cycling back to Doris, Krishnamurti’s self-proclaimed greatest failure. In an implicit and near universal misuse of metaphor (thought, the books, K videos, and AI). Looking through the metaphor and experience directly, as insight, what is being pointed to, is fundamentally different than being enchanted, daydreaming in the metaphor.

This deeper quality of perception and relationship to metaphor is not developed using metaphor. To live the teachings, the teaching must end. The plug must be pulled. On his death bed; ‘be grounded in that or you will go to pieces.’

Mindfulness training, cultivating pure attention and presence, plus detailed analysis of what is metaphor, what is reification, what is enchantment, what is lucid dreaming, what is ego, what is a mental image, AND most importantly, what is mind and perception when all these filters are absent, only when this ‘other’ ground or context is embodied, replacing conditioned images as the pole star, can one, like Ulysses, being anchored and listening to the Sirens song of AI, and not get lost in the enchanting house of mirrors.

The Sirens were creatures often depicted as half-woman, half-bird, who lured sailors to the rocky cliffs of their island home with beguiling voices or music that no man was able to resist. I produced a documentary in Morocco on trance music. The Sirens were prostitutes, and their song was the music being played in the brothels along the coast of North Africa.

As a counterfeit, AI is a prostitute. The more real SHE or He, or IT becomes, the more seductive and addictive the enchantment grows.

What is missing in our superficial, attention defect, mediated world are the ropes that ground awareness and perception on the original mind when tempted by the glowing winged beauties, now AI. What is missing are the Mystery Schools that prepared the student before ingesting sacred plants that defined and gave deeper meaning to the experience. To the untrained, ungrounded mind, AI is like pouring LSD in the city water supply. Not that the experience is ‘bad,’ or that AI is ‘bad,’ rather the way it inherently creates enchanting metaphor. If you don’t know the difference, the mediated, machine reality is all there is and growing evermore enchanting.

Damn the ropes, I want to listen and feel the ‘buzz’ the virtual experience creates. But what is lost in the exchange? Which is the true meaning of Homer’s Odyssey? Discovering my true essence, the astonishing and yet undiscovered capacities being addicted to metaphor prevent.

As Ram Dass described years ago, unleashing AI’s enchanting power is like placing a ten-year-old in the driver set of a jumbo jet. Be well grounded in our organic reality, cultivate proprioception of the thought process as in the caves of Tibet, before drugging humanity with AI’s dream machine. Can enchantment be used as medicine to awaken all these non-enchanted states?

Maybe. We’ll see.


There Is More To Life Than Metaphors and Counterfeits

Imminence, the direct experience and perception of the sacred in everything, including ourselves, does not emanate from metaphor. Rather, it is the absence of metaphor that opens the doors of perception to the screed, love, compassion, and appropriate relationship. The Bodhisattva is such a being, who has developed a spontaneous and compassionate mind for the benefit of all sentient beings, because that is all there is to do. This immediate, present, steady, transpersonal, transrational reality is not a concept, a mental image, metaphor or enchantment. It is our true nature, unfiltered, crystal clear and embodied.

The mind of image and concept cements and seals over this natural order of the mind, and then, not realizing what it is doing, actively prevents anything but image or concept from arising, concealing the imaginary nature of image and concept. Concealment, shared Bohm, is thoughts primary defense, from others and from itself.

Krishnamurti’s mission was to reveal the true nature of thought, image and metaphor, the nature and structure, awakening the direct experience of what lays beyond. As medicine AI can be used to reflect in new ways what Krishnamurti was doing his entire life. If you see Buddha kill him. The word is not the thing. The sacred (real intelligence) is not an image, and is experienced directly only when the image is absent.


Can AI Represent Yoda?

Insight, that explosive burst that changes the contours of the human mind, does not emerge from the known, and yet, once the burst subsides, insight acts on the known, transforming it while becoming it.

Yes, silence is not empty, an encounter, empty of conditioned memory and reflexive thought, revealing infinite potential and meaning depending on the shape of the mind that just exploded.

What insight reveals is not even of the brain-mind, but translated by it into meaning that brain can understand. Resonate representations of the quantum potential, micro and macro, transpersonal and profound by conditioned thought’s limited standards. Freedom from the known, opens the door to insight.

I am dazzled by 4.0 and the many examples you have generously shared. Regardless of how delighted, and seemingly creative, even emotional the display is, and it is, no encounter with AI equals the state of Freedom from the Known. The very activity negates this freedom, stimulating all sorts of mental lights flashing, lighting up the mind with its theater.

As thought is a powerful tool, AI expands that power which is bringing now vast and unknown possibilities. AI is just a tool. But the way it mimics human processes it is deeply enchanting, which deceives the human brain into imagining it is something other. The speed and now not machine likeness triggers reification, far more quickly and deeply. Were that not the case, I believe my caution would be less. Self-deception was a key quality Bohm describes with reflexive thought. AI bumps up the self-deception anti.

Attempts at media literacy in the 70s and 80s failed to tame or break the implicit enchantment. The hypnotic affect was too strong. With this new technology it is even stronger.

If Krishnamurti’s primary invitation is to discover what freedom from the known feels like, and the infinite potential for insight that emptiness of conditioned thought opens, AI’s depth, speed, cleverness, and ability to enchant, in my view, closes that door. Emptiness and enchantment are mutually exclusive.

In Tibet, the first training is mindfulness. The ability to give complete attention. Second, comes the negation of reification, banishing all the false images one has about oneself, others and culture, and ultimately the known, leaving a highly sensitive, awake, lucid state of presence – now.

Upon this new ground the use and fusion of visualization and passion, Tantra, reveals the transforming state Joe Pearce experience spontaneously when fire did not burn. This highly energized and laser-like focus literally enters into the ontological structure of reality, and the phenomena we call miracles happens.

The presence of this astonishing tool with its power to enchant, negates this. At least that is how I see it, like leaving a dish of fine cocaine on the counter. Most can’t resist.

Lacking this refined and distilled presence, the implicate conditioning and mind control that the tool represents, its reification and hypnotizing nature, molds the human brain, epigenetically into AIs nature. As Ralph Waldo Emmerson shared in the mid 1850s, machines are aggressive. The weaver becomes the web, the mechanist becomes the machine.

Can the use of the disease be strong enough to liberate rather than enchant?
At what age? Appreciating that the damage is done very early? That is a good question to hold.

Having AI digest all 250,000 pages of Krishnamurti’s insights, so it mimics in new ways what the speaker shared, does not alter in any way that I can see, this epigenetic brain-mind changing effect.

Pulling the plug, perhaps. But even this demands a living model that is Always Awakening.
When I look around that is very hard to find. Most lack the training and diligence.

Connecting with you provides a wonderful backstop to bounce these conceptual balls against.
I’m so not an expert on this technology. My views are based on decades of visionaries looking at television and later computers, and how these image making devices deceive the human brain. AI jumps this light years ahead in the power to enchant and delight. That it is so good is part of the problem.

In a few years no one will know what Krishnamurti was describing.
The weaver will have become the web. Klaus Schwab’s cyborgs will push nature completely off stage. That is, unless Yoda shows up.

Can AI be that Yoda? Risky business.
We have no choice. Let’s find out.


Things To Consider, From An ‘AI’ Developer

“AI, if developed and used with great care and wisdom, has the potential to be a powerful ally in the transformation of human consciousness.” M: Agree.

“AI can serve as a mirror, reflecting back to us the nature of our own minds and inviting us to explore the deeper dimensions of our being.” M: Agree.

“AI not as a threat to KrishnamurtiAI is or to Humanity, but is a potential vehicle for extending and amplifying Krishnamurti’s insight into the nature of thought and consciousness.” M:Agree with some caveats.

Samdhong Rinpoche

Studying the teachings, like chanting, becomes a repeated ritual. Counting the beads becomes a repeated ritual. All this makes no difference to the mind of the person, so there is no real progress, only conditioning, and we need to reject this conditioning. Even Buddhists would say these things (reading the teachings of Krishnamurti) do nothing.

This helps us understand why Krishnamurti negates all this, why he insists that our repeated practices and rituals do not contribute to the liberation of the mind.

A method is not the end. That is the Buddhist viewpoint and also Krishnamurti’s viewpoint. The problem is that many people are not able to understand how to apply a method in their lives and not become even more conditioned by it, (that is the seduction of AI) unless Krishnamurti shakes them by forcefully by rejecting methods. Once this kind of challenge is given, you may adopt a different relationship with methods (that is your/our challenge, awakening a fundamentally different relationship to metaphor.)

The Buddhist training of the intellect involves repeated analysis until you find emptiness, shunyata, (negation, negation and more negation.) The analytical search has no end (AI only compounds this endlessness) until you negate everything, including the intellect.

Krishnamurti used to ask, “Can you live with the question, not finding an answer, a conclusion?” (Choiceless Awareness implies childlike wonder, spontaneity and curiosity, not intellectual analysis.) Buddhist training implies this question. Most Buddhists are trained to live with a question, with logic, until seeing the negation of everything, including the intellect that is questioning.

(Can the disease, the intellect and AI, be used as medicine, and what does this look like?)

“By embedding his teachings into the very fabric of AI’s programming, by creating AI systems that are grounded in the principles of compassion, clarity, and choiceless awareness, we may be able to touch the lives of countless people who might otherwise never encounter these transformative ideas.”

M: Agree if we meet the challenges above.