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Monthly Archives: March 2011

O the absurdity of so rigidly holding onto a specific view so as to get frustrated at any other possibility of seeing something, of defining something so personally and holding it so close to the self as to not be able to see past it, of attaching oneself too deeply to the narrowness of a single view.

But isn’t this what we usually do? Do we not float between awareness and unawareness? Do we not let our fears judge for us? Didn’t Philosophy seek to show us something by raising a distinction between what simply appears to us and to what is actually real? Lets look at it like this and understand that there are still more examples and ways of looking and that you yourself have to do a little work if you want to truly understand for yourself.

Do we, today, understand time in the same way we used to? As in our potentially primordial fashion? That is to say that when the sun goes down do we assume the possibility that it will not rise again? That we would have to appease the Sun God in some fashion so as to make sure he returns? Or do we take it as a fact that no matter what the sun will rise unless something totally different occurs and for some reason stops this law?

And so this is one of the things Philosophy fought to bring forward: a more reasonable understanding of the general unchangingness of the universe in regards to its laws. But what of Man then?

What is Man? What is Man if when you look at him thousands of years ago he sacrificed virgins, live stock and whatever he had accumulated over a day or, as in the pagans, a year? Especially in regard to the fact that even back then the sun rose and fell just as it does today and yet we, we have slowly changed how we see and look at this very process…

Does he not show himself as being very immediate in his response. Let us perhaps say instinctual and what appears at least, at the moment, to be the reason for his ‘sacrifices’? Fear, we were afraid that the sun would not return; that after this year there would not be another.

Then it is obviously the practice of cultured men and women, as opposed to their more instinctual brethren, to take a little time to consider what appears before them and in a calm reasonable fashion take “…care not to become hardened in obstinacy but to remain receptive to impressions by help of strict and continuous self-examination.” – I Ching (hexagram 43).

solitudinus

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“What you call passion is not spiritual force, but friction between the soul and the outside world. Where passion dominates, that does not signify the presence of greater desire and ambition, but rather the misdirection of these qualities toward an isolated and false goal, with a consequent tension and sultriness in the atmosphere. Those who direct the maximum force of their desires toward the center, toward true being, toward perfection, seem quieter than the passionate souls because the flame of their fervour cannot always be seen. In argument, for example, they will not shout and wave their arms. But I assure you they are nevertheless burning with subdued fires.”

– Hesse (Glass Bead Game)

Whoever has traced the history of an individual science finds a clue in its development for understanding the most ancient and common processes of all “knowledge and cognition.” There as here it is the rash hypotheses, the fictions, the good dumb will to “believe,” the lack of mistrust and patience that are developed first; our senses learn only late, and never learn entirely, to be subtle, faithful, and cautious organs of cognition. Our eye finds it more comfortable to respond to a given stimulus by reproducing once more an image that it has produced many times before, instead of registering what is different and new in the impression. The latter would require more strength, more “morality.” Hearing something new is embarrassing and difficult for the ear; foreign music we do not hear well. When we hear another language we try involuntarily to form the sounds we hear into words that sound more familiar and more like home to us: thus the German, for example, transformed arcubalista, when he heard that, into Armbrust. What is new finds our senses, too, hostile and reluctant; and even in the “simplest” processes of sensation the affects dominate, such as fear, love, hatred, including the passive affects of laziness.

Just as little as a reader today reads all of the individual words (let alone syllables) on a page–rather he picks about five words at random out of twenty and “guesses” at the meaning that probably belongs to these five words–just as little do we see a tree exactly and completely with reference to the leaves, twigs, color, and form; it is so very much easier for us simply to improvise some approximation of a tree. Even in the midst of the strangest experiences we still do the same: we make up the major part of the experience and can scarcely be forced not to contemplate some event as its “inventors.” All this means: basically and from time immemorial we are —accustomed to lying. Or to put it more virtuously and hypocritically, in short, more pleasantly: one is much more of an artist than one knows.

In an animated conversation I often see the face of the person with whom I am talking so clearly and so subtly determined in accordance with the thought he expresses, or that I believe has been produced in him, that this degree of clarity far surpasses my powers of vision: so the subtle shades of the play of the muscles and the expression of the eyes must have been made up by me. Probably the person made an altogether different face, or none at all.

-Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil: Natural History of Morals sec.192)

Los carries Sol into the Darkness (William Blake)

Los - carrying the light into the darkness

The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.

-blake

Life itself has no system, for it is always in movement; always growing and striving. To systemize it, therefore, is to bind it and so negate its vital quality. For this reason pure reason can never understand; nor can its anti-thesis, which is pure sentiment, ever understand. Strength is needed for understanding, but sentimentality is always weak.

-J. Krishnamurti Early Works, circa 1930

“There are in fact four very significant stumblingblocks in the way of grasping the truth, which hinder every man however learned, and scarcely allow anyone to win a clear title to wisdom, namely, the example of weak and unworthy authority, longstanding custom, the feeling of the ignorant crowd, and the hiding of our own ignorance while making a display of our apparent knowledge.”
-Roger Bacon

It seems to me my only real worry is the last one.

But I have been trying to bring across this point for sometime now; As I say or write things like “the eternal dance of our consciousness with its own unconsciousness”, “The ‘flashlight’ of our consciousness can only be limited, in the sense that what it shows/illuminates/brings to light hides something else/casts something else in shadow…namely ourselves”, “unconcealing one thing conceals another”, “truth leads to untruth, untruth leads to truth”.
And if I am to question my own being in regard to how my questioning of everything makes people ‘feel’ then it is equally fair that those who ask this of me also ask of themselves whether their immediate and emotional reaction is based on the past and therefore a conditioned response or whether it is actually based on the reality of the present moment itself. For as Lao Tzu would say: “The truth isnt always beautiful nor beautiful words the truth.”

And I understand that my presentation of the truth can be pointed and that it is my responsibility to keep it so without at the same time being so sharp as to cut. But you must also then look at your self and whether or not your reaction has any real validity simply because you dont find that what is presented to you makes you look “beautiful”…

“Life itself has no system, for it is always in movement; always growing and striving. To systemize it, therefore, is to bind it and so negate its vital quality. For this reason pure reason can never understand; nor can its anti-thesis, which is pure sentiment, ever understand. Strength is needed for understanding, but sentimentality is always weak.”
-J. Krishnamurti Early Works, circa 1930

solitudinus

In the end who I am and who I will be will have only become a probable possibility due to the fact that the obstacles I am, have and will encounter are precisely what I need, have needed, and will need to increasingly be ever more what I truly am.

And if I dislike what I have become or am tending to become then it is no one’s fault but mine. For it is always within my ability to change how I see and therefore adapt my bearing towards that which has presented itself to me as an obstacle to be faced.

If I shirk the call and shrink away from facing myself and my relations with my fellow man then that bearing will have a profound impact on how or even if I ever face myself and the ways in which I tend to comport myself in regard to that which presents itself to me.

For in the end it is always in my power, if I face that power and come to a deep understanding of it, to see and look for myself. To see the ignorance of my own bearings….my arrogance or assumptions…my prejudices and presuppositions.

solitudinus

“Suppose you had never read a book, religious or psychological, and you had to find the meaning, the significance of life. How would you set about it? Suppose there were no Masters, no religious organizations, no Buddha, no Christ, and you had to begin from the beginning. How would you set about it? First, you would have to understand your process of thinking, would you not? – and not project yourself, your thoughts, into the future and create a God which pleases you; that would be too childish. So first you would have to understand the process of your thinking. That is the only way to discover anything new, is it not?”

– Krishnamurti (The First and Last Freedom)

The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold.

 

-Aristotle