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Category Archives: On Being

d) The correct condition of the ψυχή  as presupposition for genuine λόγος (διαλέγεσθαι).

To summarize, λόγος [speech], in its genuine function, is founded on dialectic. But, at the same time, we see that λέγειν [to speak], if it is living speech–living in the sense that it lets others see–necessarily presupposes a readiness to see on the part of the ψυχή [soul] of those others. Yet, on the other hand, in fact most men do not possess this readiness, and διαλέγεσθαι [discussing], as Plato says explicitly in the Phaedrus, is a πραγματεία [task] (cf. 273e5), a real labor and not something befalling a person by chance. To that extent, a special task and a special kind of speaking are necessary in the first place, in order to develop this readiness to see on the part of the very one who is investigating and also on the part of the other, the one to whom something is to be communicated. Therefore everything depends on this, that the ψυχή, the inner comportment, the Being of the existence of man, lies in the correct condition with regard to the world and to itself, i.e., in the correct συμμετρία, in an adequacy to the things themselves which are to be grasped in their uncoveredness. Socrates summarizes this once more at the end of the Phaedrus, now specifically not in a theoretical explication but in an invocation of the gods. ”O dear Pan and all ye gods here”-Socrates is outdoors with Phaedrus, beyond the city-“grant it to me to become beautiful” (καλός is nothing else than the opposite of αἰσχρός, ugliness, and signifies συμμετρία versus άμετρία, the proper adequacy versus inadequacy) “ grant it to me to become beautiful, to come into the correct condition in relation to what is in myself, what comes from the inside, and grant that whatever I possess extrinsically may be a friend to what is inner, and grant that l repute as rich the one who is wise, i.e., the one who is concerned with the disclosure of things, the disclosure of beings, and grant that to me the amount of gold, the quantity of treasure, I possess in this world will have for me as much value, and that I will claim for it only as much value, as a man of understanding should claim.”(279b8-c3).  That is, he beseeches here specifically for this correct condition with regard to the things themselves, and at the same time also for the correct bounds. Thus nothing in excess, for that could again turn into ignorance and barbarism…

Heidegger (Plato’s Sophist, p.240-241)

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“Making good”, as understood by the old ethic, with the attendant repression of evil and obedience to convention, is often enough no more than an easy way out, which shirks peril and clings to established security. Yet “where peril lies, grows the remedy too”, and the voice of the new ethic, or so it seems, is determined to accept both peril and remedy at the same time- since the one is not to be had without the other.

This in itself makes it perfectly clear that the way of the new ethic is anything rather than a “way of making one’s own life easier”. Quite the contrary. To surrender the moral certainty about good and evil provided by the old ethic, stamped as it was with the approval of the collective, and to accept the ambiguity of the inner experience is always a difficult undertaking for the individual, since in every case it involves a venture into the unknown, with all the danger which the acceptance of evil brings with it for every responsible ego.

-Erich Neumann (Depth Psychology and a New Ethic, p. 108)

I think everyone should ask themselves this…

If we, as everyone tends to assume, are changeable; then what would have to be the core of our Being?

Let’s say the core of our being was decided. That we “knew” who we were….would we then be able to change?

If a tree were to become hard and inflexible in the middle…would it be able to bend and not break under a strong wind?

Really dislike people trying to figure me out…Ie. put me in a box from their limited experience and narrow consciousness.
If you really want to see someone, drop your Self; your ideas, your judgements, your built up experiences, assumptions….in short free yourself from your knowledge and conditioning. Then and only then can you see someone for who they really are…and not through the narrow limited window of what you think you know.

I had a general “feeling” one could say, that something like this has, is, and probably will happen so I decided to voice my dislike. I mean, doesn’t everyone share this feeling at least once?

Be like an Uncarved Block:

The Chinese word “Pu” is often translated as “the uncarved block,” and refers to a state of pure potential which is the primordial condition of the mind before the arising of experience. The Taoist concept of Pu points to perception without prejudice, i.e. beyond dualistic distinctions such as right/wrong, good/bad, black/white, beautiful/ugly.
But this should apply to everyone. If everyone attempted this and remained open it would help a lot in getting everyone to turn towards wholeness.

“There is truth, my boy. But the doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend. Rather, you should long for the perfection of yourself. The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived, not taught.”
― Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game

What I am attempting here is to bring something up into consciousness. To help it into our sight.

The core of our Being, unknowable, speaks and shows.

We don’t have to be stuck or limited, in the normal sense of the word. Holding onto the I, me, mine causing nothing but separation, division does not lead to the open field of play.

And in this sense, and pretty much only this sense, can “I” judge. Can I “dislike”. Because I put the Open first, and only because I put the open first, can I judge that which is not open and dislike it.

For I must always acknowledge, within myself, that I am unknowable, beyond words, thoughts, ideas, and that this extends to everyone, everything. So how can I, with my labels and ideas about you, ever really hold them to be true?

Wouldn’t I be selfish if I did? I mean, am I for the open? Do I want to play or do I want to rule?”

solitudinus

Decline of the critical spirit, weakening of judgment, perversion of the function of science, all point to a serious cultural disorder. To think, however, that in locating these symptoms one is attacking the evil at its roots, is to make a grave mistake. For already we hear the swelling chorus of objections from the self-styled bearers of a new culture: “But we do not want a tried and tested knowledge to rule us and to decide over our actions; our aim is not to think and to know but to live and to do.”

Here we have the pivotal point of the present crisis of civilization: the conflict between knowing and being, between intelligence and existence. There is nothing novel about it. The essential insufficiency of our understanding was already realised in the earliest days of philosophy. The reality in and through which we live is in its essence unknowable, inaccessible to the processes of the mind, absolutely disparate from thought. In the first half of the nineteenth century this old truth, already understood by a Nicolaus Cusanus, is taken up again by Kierkegaard, whose philosophy centres upon the antithesis of existing and thinking. It served him to found his faith all the more firmly. It was not until much later that other thinkers forced this thought on to tracks away from God and let it derail in nihilism and despair, or in worship of earthly life. Nietzsche, deeply convinced of man’s tragic exile from truth and interpreting the will to life as will to power, repudiated the intellectual principle with all the poetical vigour of his genius. Pragmatism deprived the concept truth of its claim to absolute validity by placing it in the flow of time. To the pragmatists truth is what has essential validity for those professing it. Something is true when and in so far as it is valid for a particular time. A crude mind could easily think: something is valid, therefore it is true. A truth-concept reduced to only relative value was bound to bring a kind of ideological egalitarianism, an abolition of all differences of rank and value of ideas, in its wake. Sociological thinkers like Max Weber, Max Scheler, Karl Mannheim and Oswald Spengler have of late introduced the term of the Seinsverbundenheit des Denkens, which may be very imperfectly rendered with “the environment or life-conditioned nature of thought.” The concept itself makes them next-door neighbours to historical materialism, which is professedly anti-intellectual. Thus the tendencies of a whole age which, to avoid the vagueness of “anti-intellectual,” we venture to call anti-noetic, merged into a mighty stream which shortly was to threaten what were long thought to be insurmountable barriers of intellectual culture. It was Georges Sorel who, in his Réflexions sur la Violence, formulated the practical political consequences of all this, thereby becoming the spiritual father of all modern dictatorships.

But it is not only the dictators and their followers who desire the subjugation of the will to knowledge to the vital impulse. We have here the most fundamental element of the cultural crisis as a whole. This revulsion of the spirit is the essential process dominating the situation in which we find ourselves to-day.

Was it philosophical thought which led the way and society which followed? Or do we have to reverse the order and admit that it is a case of thought dancing to the tune of life? The doctrine itself which subjugates knowledge to life seems to impose the latter view.

Have earlier generations ever renounced the intellectual principle in this way? It seems impossible to find historical parallels. Systematic philosophical and practical anti-intellectualism such as we are witnessing, appears to be something truly novel in the history of human culture. To be sure, the past has often known reactions of thought whereby a too exclusive primacy of the understanding was succeeded by a revindication of the will. This is what happened, for instance, when the thought of Duns Scotus took its place beside that of Thomas Aquinas. These spiritual reactions, however, were not concerned with practical life or the worldly order but with the Faith, the striving for the ultimate meaning of life. And this striving itself always remained an “apprehending,” however far reason was left behind. The modern mind too often confuses intellectualism with rationalism. Even those forms of approach which, transgressing the purely intellectual, were intended to attain through insight and contemplation what was inaccessible to the understanding, always remained directed towards knowledge of truth. The Greek or the Indian word for it, gnosis or jnâna, makes it clear enough that even the purest mysticism remains a “knowing.” It is always the spirit which moves in the world of the intelligible. To have truth was always the ideal. There are no instances known to me of cultures having forsaken Truth or renounced the understanding in its widest sense.

When earlier currents of thought repudiated allegiance to Reason it was always in favour of the super-rational. What parades as the culture of today does not only disavow Reason but also the knowable itself, and this in favour of the sub-rational, the passions and the instincts. It votes for the will, not in the sense of Duns Scotus, however, but for the will to worldly power, for “existence,” for “blood and soil,” instead of “understanding” and “spirit.”

-Johan Huizinga (In the Shadow of Tomorrow, p.99-104)

Can that which is immeasurable be found by you and me? Can that which is not of time be searched out by that thing which is fashioned of time? Can a diligently practised discipline lead us to the unknown? Is there a means to that which has no beginning and no end? Can that reality be caught in the net of our desires? What we can capture is the projection of the known; but the unknown cannot be captured by the known. That which is named is not the unnameable, and by naming we only awaken the conditioned responses. These responses, however noble and pleasant, are not of the real. We respond to stimulants, but reality offers no stimulant: it is.

– Krishnamurti (Commentaries on Living, p.34)

When living by the Tao,
awareness of self is not required,
for in this way of life, the self exists,
and is also non-existent,
being conceived of, not as an existentiality,
nor as non-existent.

The sage does not contrive to find his self,
for he knows that all which may be found of it,
is that which it manifests to sense and thought,
which side by side with self itself, is nought.

It is by sheathing intellect’s bright light
that the sage remains at one with his own self,
ceasing to be aware of it, by placing it behind.
Detached, he is unified with his external world,
by being selfless he is fulfilled;
thus his selfhood is assured.

Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching: An Introduction by Stan Rosenthal)

The great, to some extent ultimate, task posed here is that of understanding fear in all its forms as an instrument of the Self. Fear of the unknown and of all that is ego-alien turns out to be fear of the unknown aspects of “one-Self” and of “one-Self” as the unknown. In this sense the transformation process of becoming one-Self again and again embraces new unknowns, indeed, ever-new worlds of fear-inspiring unknowns.

In development through the archetypal stages, the individual must overcome fear with each transition from one phase to another, which, of course, always means the new phase of an existence unknown until that time. In this context we cannot take up the various ways in which men and women overcome fear, nor can we address the striking and as yet not well understood fact that the manner in which the ego overcomes fear is symbolically “genital,” i.e., is coordinated with the specific form of the genitals. Thus the male form of overcoming fear is active, intrusive, and pugnaciously heroic just as the typical form of fear appears as “castration” fear. Conversely, women’s fear is the fear of rape, and her way of overcoming fear is not activately heroic but passively heroic, accepting and incorporating it in her surrender to fear.

But always and independently of any of its forms, overcoming fear represents a specific form of integration in which something alien to the ego, some piece of Not-I, is recognized and realized as one’s own. Thus the man experiences the Terrible Feminine in its character of anima and transformation as belonging to his own psyche, just as he experiences the maternal and elementary character as “his own,” and only after assimilating all these aspects of the feminine will a man attain to his own authenticity as a human Self that is male and female simultaneously. Only when the “pure masculinity” of the patriarchy has been overcome through this process of transformation does a man overcome the fear in which his “pure masculinity” screened itself from the otherness that appeared symbolically as feminine. The same holds true for woman and her fear of the Masculine, which she has only concealed by her identification with the animus world demanded by the patriarchy.

In this experience of transformation the human individual becomes conscious of the relentless power of the Self, which recasts all phases of development as well as all ego-conquests of the outer and inner worlds into aspects of Self-realization that manifest from the very beginning as automorphism, as a tendency at work in the psyche. When the personal Self that manifests as a fear-inducing world assaulting the ego from within and from without is integrated, not only the one who fears and the one who overcomes fear but that which arouses fear can be seen as belonging together. Just as the good and evil gods in Bardo Thodol are one and turn out to be only projections of an underlying third thing, here we are led to experience the unity of Self and world. Destiny in its unity of inside and outside that arouses fear from without and from within turns out to belong to humankind and to be the living experience of the personal Self. World events appearing from outside as much as inner, fear-inducing phenomena of the psyche prove to be disguises of the Self. Inner and outer realities that at first appear strange and hence frightening are later experienced and “unmasked” as belonging to one’s very own authentic being, and thereby lose their foreign as well as their fearsome character. In this transformation the ego experiences that it belongs fundamentally to the Self, and that, in the form of the ego-Self axis, this “belongingness” has determined the entire development of personality on a new level. When the ego grasps the degree to which the Self directs fear and uses it as a “tool for transformation,” it also experiences itself embraced by the Self’s demand for transformation. In this way, however, the ego unmasks its own annihilation through fear and recognizes it as a process of negation brought about by something unfamiliar that proves itself to be one’s most essential nature, and one gains a paradoxical security in the Self that creatively forces the ego into continual transformation. As the ego becomes the transparent exponent of the Self, this agent of transformation, the Self, becomes one’s most treasured essence that remains fearlessly creative throughout all transformations. Only in this way does fearlessness arise for the ego that no longer clings to itself but rather in transformation surrenders and devotes itself to the Self as to its “own.” Thus the ego-Self axis becomes humankind’s guarantee of a creative existence, i.e., of an existence of transformation. Despite this ego-Self unity, however, the opposition persists in which the ego, as a smaller part, is subjected to a Self that is existentially superior to and more than a match for the ego. This means that the ego must necessarily continue to experience fear. Fear disappears only when the ego has come to that stage of the conquest of fear in which the human being’s sense of security lies in existing not only as an ego but, in a mysterious and numinous way, also as a Self that guides the personality through all ego-phases and turns all of the ego’s fear-constellations into stages of transformation in which existence reveals itself as an unending metamorphosis of aspects of the creative.

– Neumann (The Fear of the Feminine, p.278-281)

When Heaven is about to confer a great mission upon a person, it first exercises his mind with suffering and his body with toil. It subjects him to hunger and poverty and perplexes his undertakings. By all these means it stimulates his mind, hardens his nature, and relieves his incompetence.

– Mencius

What is all that men have done and thought over thousands of years, compared with one moment of love. But in all Nature, too, it is what is nearest to perfection, what is most divinely beautiful! There all stairs lead from the threshold of life. From there we come, to there we go.

– Holderlin  (Hyperion)

Can you talk to my unconscious, knowing my conscious brain is going to resist you? Because you are telling me something which is revolutionary, you are telling me something which shatters all my whole house which I have built so carefully, and I won’t listen to you. You follow? My instinctive reactions push you away. So you realise that and say, ‘Look, all right, old friend, just don’t bother to listen to me that way. I am going to talk to your unconscious. I am going to talk to your unconscious and make that unconscious see that whatever movement it does is still within the field of time and so on, so on, so on’. So your conscious mind is never in operation. When it operates it must inevitably resist, or say, ‘I will accept’, therefore it creates a conflict in itself, and all the rest of it. So can you talk to my unconscious?

Bohm: You can always ask how.

Krishnamurti: No, no. You tell me first, ‘Look, old boy, don’t resist, don’t think about, look at that tree, listen, but I am going to talk to you’. (laughs) It sounds funny, but you follow what I mean. I am going to talk to you. We two are communicating with each other without the conscious mind listening. I don’t know if I am…

Bohm: Well, more or less.

Krishnamurti: I think this is what takes place really, sir. When you were talking to me – I was noticing it – I was not listening to your words so much. I was listening to you. I was open to you, not to your words, because I know, you’ve explained, I have looked in the dictionaries and all the rest of it. I said, all right, leave all that, I am listening to you, not to the words which you have used, but to the meaning, to the inward quality of your feeling which wants to tell me something.

Bohm: I understand.

Krishnamurti: That changes me, not all this verbalisation. So can you talk to me about my idiocy, my illusion, my peculiar tendencies, without the conscious mind interfering and saying, ‘Please don’t touch it, leave me alone!’ You know, they’ve – of course you know about it – they have tried subliminal propaganda in advertising, quickly, so that you don’t really pay attention, but your unconscious does, so you buy that particular soap! We are not doing that, that would be deadly. You are telling me, look at the tree, or the cloud, or that picture on that wall, forget, don’t listen to me with your conscious ears but listen to me with the ears that hear much deeper. That is how I listened to you this morning because I am terribly interested in the source, as you are. You follow, sir?

Bohm: I understand, yes.

Krishnamurti: And I say, by Jove, we will come to that, I caught on to it, we will come to that, and I am really interested in that one thing. And this all would be explainable, easily understood – but to come to that thing together, feel it together! You follow? I think that is the way to break a conditioning, a habit, an image which I have cultivated. You talk to me about it at a level where the conscious mind is not totally interested. It sounds silly, but you understand what I am saying, sir?

Say for instance I have a conditioning; you can point it out a dozen times, argue, see the fallacy of it, the illusoriness, the stupidity. I still go on. I resist it, I say no, it’s as it should be, what shall I do in this world if I don’t… and all the rest of it. But you see the truth that as long as the mind is conditioned there must be conflict and all the rest of it. So you penetrate or push aside my resistance and get to that, get the unconscious to listen to you, because the unconscious is much more subtle, much quicker. It may be frightened, but it sees the danger of fear much quicker than the conscious mind does. As when I was walking in California high in the mountains, I was looking at birds and trees and watching other things, and I heard a rattler and I jumped. It was the unconscious that made the body jump; because I saw the rattler when I jumped, it was two or three feet away, it could have struck me very easily. If the conscious brain had been operating it would have taken several seconds.

Bohm: Then to reach the unconscious you have to have an action which doesn’t directly appeal to the conscious.

Krishnamurti: Yes. I think that is affection, that is love. When you talk to my waking consciousness, it is hard, clever, subtle, brittle. And you penetrate that, say, all right, keep your own beastly little stuff, and you penetrate it with your look, with your affection, with all that feeling you have. That operates, not anything else.

 

– Krishnamurti (The Awakening of Intelligence)