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Category Archives: On Knowledge

I’ve been thinking about confidence lately. And how the ladies like or are more turned on by a confident man. But if self doubt is necessary for the striving for Truth and living of our individual truth then self-confidence, especially too much of it, is the opposite of truth seeking and can be considered a form of violence and death.

I had a dream recently, and it was about Love. I was with a girl and we were going around doing things and hanging out. But when it came to the end of the dream, a song by Meat Loaf popped up and I sang this:

I would do anything for Love,
O I would do anything for Love!
But I won’t do that,
No, I won’t do that.

Hopefully, by the time you finish reading this you will understand the purpose of this dream. And what it means for me and all of us.

“…in order to understand ourselves we need a great deal of humility. If you start by saying, `I know myself’, you have already stopped learning about yourself; or if you say, `There is nothing much to learn about myself because I am just a bundle of memories, ideas, experiences and traditions’, then you have also stopped learning about yourself. The moment you have achieved anything you cease to have that quality of innocence and humility; the moment you have a conclusion or start examining from knowledge, you are finished, for then you are translating every living thing in terms of the old. Whereas if you have no foothold, if there is no certainty, no achievement, there is freedom to look, to achieve. And when you look with freedom it is always new. A confident man is a dead human being.”
– J.Krishnamurti (Freedom from the Known)

So, in regards to dating Women; What is the Man, who doesn’t want to be a dead human being, to do?

Can he really be with a Woman of today, if she is like this? That is to say, who looks specifically for a Man, who, being confident, merely fits into his society and so is never truly free? And who, if she doesn’t, herself, acknowledge that she is projecting from knowledge and conclusions, can therefore be considered not free and also then, not helpful in regards to Humanities higher purpose or calling?

For if the higher purpose of Humanity, is to “Know Thyself”, and if knowing thyself requires one to admit that we do not know ourselves…then what is the “new” Man, or “Present” Man to do? (Present, is here being taken as “on time”, or aware of Humanities new situation)

What can we say about Women, who, being stuck in the past, and not present, because they want a “confident” man, i.e. want a Man who makes them feel secure and safe. To help make them feel confident through his confidence. What can we say about Women, who want a Man who is certain of himself? Who themselves want comfort and security over the Truth, and the striving for it?

Can we ask this? Can Women acknowledge the new situation and properly step up to the plate? Are we “Men” forever having to give in to, what could be called–which I would prefer not to have to say–the “weakness” of Woman?

Can women face the uncomfortableness of truth, or will they always want to feel secure and therefore shun it? For if, as wisdom says, Happiness comes from within not without, then how can woman, consciously, seek a partner who will hide them from the truth and allow them to live an illusion?

I mean, if this is the “new” situation; that we have to be lacking in certainty, to be full of self-doubt, or rather, to maintain that innocence of the child; who is open to anything because he never thinks he actually knows for sure; confidently.

Am I missing the proper understanding of Confidence? Is there something that is hidden from me in regards to Woman? Supposedly, she, wants to be free and treated more equally. Well, if that is the case, and Women have a “new” demand based on their “new” situation. Then so do we Men, now have a “demand”, which really isn’t “our” demand but one based on the Truth. That we need you to work with us. That if you want to be “equal”, that you too have to change and adapt and strive for truth. That you too, have to share the weight and burden of “not knowing”, of uncertainty. That you, can no longer shift the responsibility onto us. Can no longer judge us from the past and what you have concluded is being “confident”.

In the past, you were sheltered by the Patriarchal. And this sheltering, that allowed you to remain freer from hardship, has also held you down. The situation has changed. And what once was helpful, to both Men and Women, has now been stifling you. And you, in your turn, being more reactive than responsive, have contributed to the disruption of the Family. Of the foundation of relationship between the sexes and therefore, also, within all Relationship. We, too, have not been very helpful. We also reacted to your reaction instead of responding. We are both at fault and yet, we are both free from blame. For, we both, do not know. And we both, are having issues coming to terms with the new situation. With having to forego a “foothold”. To having to be open and think and feel anew in every moment. For, just because someone says something or does something, that in the past, hurt us, does not mean that it should in this new moment. That just because I feel a certain way doesn’t mean that my feeling is a proper response to the new situation. And this also applies to Thinking, that just because, what I see, looks similar enough to a previous situation does not mean that I can, without re-thinking or re-looking, assume a conclusion or apply a solution that I have had or used before.

In this sense, the desire for security, comfort; a safe haven, as J.Krishnamurti would say, is precisely what keeps us from the Truth, and from real relationship. We conform or run away. We keep things easy and light. We are afraid and we won’t face the fear. It is easy to judge and then run. It is hard to maintain uncertainty and meet each person and situation fresh, anew, free from past conclusions and ideas.

This has to be done together. I can’t stress this enough. I am not capable of always and forever maintaining the tension that creates the freedom to look, with living eyes, into every new situation and moment. Maybe I didn’t get enough sleep or maybe, for you, it is that time of the month.

Part of Relationship is to help each other “Know Thyself” and to understand what “self-knowledge” really means: That we “do not know”. That I am, we are, changeable, within a continuum of constantly changing relationships. And through this continuum of change within relationship we have to acknowledge each other and all of our relationships.

Our relationship with the Whole; the Universe, which we seem to have named God, or Cosmic Spirit. With each other. With our own selves. With Ideas.

But perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps this is merely the end of a previous situation and relationship. Perhaps there has finally been a revolution and this scribbling signifies my resultant liberation. Regardless, the point was to make you think, as this dilemma has made me think.

solitudinus

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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)

And now we come to the real distinguishing feature which essentially separates barbarism from culture; the only reason it cannot serve us as a guiding rod or for the determination of the beginning is that the documentary evidence is inadequate. It is the question: Where does mere living in the present, such as the savage does, cease, and where does life in the past and the present, i.e. differentiating comparison, begin? When does the mere present, devoid of history, end?

Jacob Burckhardt (Reflections on History, p. 5)

“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

How does one convey the problem? How do you discover those who have broken away? Why does society, you and me, continually do the same thing….shun those who are different? Luckily, society doesn’t seem to kill the different anymore(?) but if society, you and me, are so perfect…how come there is still war? How come we are in the midst of a hundred years and counting of war? Supposedly our enlightened and educated society understands that we are the world and the world is us (an experience one can have through Ayahuasca or DMT) then it must be us who are making these wars…either directly or indirectly, by not facing fear and understanding the human condition. Enslavement Blues we can call it…enslaved to emotion and the running away that comes when the superficial self is not surrendered to the truth.

So if transformation can only happen through emotion then we all, quite easily, can take the first step…but it is the next step that is most troublesome.

The step where what is being asked of you: to allow yourself to feel and go through the emotions while at the same time not judging them; is never realized. Once you’ve judged them it is all over and you have fallen into the trap of the superficial self that seeks to save itself above all else and will weave incredible stories and excuses for not going further. Namely the person who tries to bring this about becomes the scapegoat and is therefore shunned or in Socrates’ case killed due to the ignorance of his society…you and me.

They can also be simply pushed to the side as Heidegger would say:

“When the creators have disappeared from the people, when they are barely tolerated as irrelevant curiosities, as ornaments, as eccentrics alien to life, when authentic struggle ceases and shifts into the merely polemical, into the intrigues and machinations of human beings within the present-at-hand, then the decline has already begun. For even when an age still makes an effort just to uphold the inherited level and dignity of its Dasein, the level already sinks. It can be upheld only insofar as at all times it is creatively transcended.”
– Heidegger (Introduction to Metaphysics, p. 67)

Questioner: What do you think “the human condition” is?

That is hard to answer but if I can bring anything to words that will hopefully speak then let it be this:

The human condition basically consists of the real life realization of the eternal truths. As in the limitedness of our consciousness and ability to know. A non-superficial understanding of this brings to one the understanding that we are always ignorant. That there is always something that we do not know and that we can only make our judgments based on what we know and so we need to continually re-look, re-see, re-adapt to the new insights and impressions life has given us…therefore we are forever in transformation.

This means, if these words will speak, that the truth, uncertainty, is the very thing that gives us the sight and power to create society and culture in the first place.

And while that fact operates any society, doesn’t matter what society, is always limited because it is made by man and therefore has to eternally be “creatively transcended”…

Which in the words of the I Ching means Return…to Return to the beginning and surrender to the truth, uncertainty. We then re-enter into that innocence of relation with truth and rebuild culture and all our relationships to people, thoughts, and things.

In short all “true” knowledge is only true when we start from ignorance. Not from the assumption that we are “correct”.

[More insight regarding Truth, Aletheia (ἀλήθεια), un-concealment, dis-covery and truth becoming “correctness” of propositions can be ‘un-covered’ in Martin Heidegger’s ‘The Essence of Truth: On Plato’s Cave Allegory and Theaetetus.’]

But I would like to raise another problem here, one that, it seems, will take some time to overcome…And this problem, I think will, probably, come to be known as: ‘The Oblivion of the Obvious’ or ‘Oblivion in the Obvious’.

For purely “practical” reasons, for ease of speaking and so we can move on quickly to other things, and in a sense to maintain our dullness and to not meet life head on; we level-down into more easily and readily graspable, “tough” concepts and ideas. Or rather to escape from the headache of truly thinking, in the present moment, we, as I did above, “shorten” or distill. Which for me, this whole attempt is a leveling down. Because it doesn’t properly go into and bring about an actual conscious experience of the event or process by which one consciously, authentically, experiences uncertainty without judgment. So, in this sense, when we “play” with words and throw them about we are adding to the confusion, the noise. And instead of seeking and attempting to get to the bottom and experience the phenomenon themselves, we pride ourselves on the superficial, on the word, on that which merely points towards what is true. Or as Krishnamurti might say: “We take the word, the description, the scientific treatise…what have you, as the thing itself.” And in the obviousness of the ‘correctness of our propositions’ we let the truth, Alethiea, the un-concealment of what is, slip into oblivion, where we remain uncreative and continue upon our merry way as if there are no such things as problems and heartache. And therefore have no tie, no relationship to the rest of world…to live as if we are actually separate. To hold to the attitude that: “I, already know how to treat people. That I, already know how thinking thinks. That I, already have, without a doubt, the truth and it is only the inferior who have to strive for something that is obvious to me.”

So to come full circle and to return to the beginning:

How does one convey the problem?

solitudinus

If there is some end of the things we do, which we desire for its own sake, clearly this must be the good. Will not knowledge of it, then, have a great influence on life? Shall we not, like archers who have a mark to aim at, be more likely to hit upon what we should? If so, we must try, in outline at least, to determine what it is.

– Aristotle

Book I, 1094.a18

But the earliest dawn is still prior to the birth of light out of the darkness, and a wealth of symbols surrounds it.

The form of representation peculiar to the unconscious is not that of the conscious mind. It neither attempts nor is able to seize hold of and define its object in a series of discursive explanations, and reduce them to clarity by logical analysis. The way of  the unconscious is different. Symbols gather round the thing to be explained, understood, interpreted. The act of becoming conscious consists in the concentric grouping of symbols around the object, all circumscribing and describing the unknown from many sides. Each symbol lays bare another essential side of the object to be grasped, points to another facet of meaning. Only the canon of these symbols congregating about the center in question, the coherent symbol group, can lead to an understanding of what the symbols point to and of what they are trying to express. The symbolic story of the beginning, which speaks to us from the mythology of all ages, is the attempt made by man’s childlike, prescientific consciousness to master problems and enigmas which are mostly beyond the grasp of even our developed modern consciousness. If our consciousness, with epistemological resignation, is constrained to regard the question of the beginning as unanswerable and therefore unscientific, it may be right; but the psyche, which can neither be taught nor led astray by the self-criticism of the conscious mind, always poses this question afresh as one that is essential to it.

The question of the beginning is also the question “Whence?” It is the original and fateful question to which cosmology and the creation myths have ever tried to give new and different answers. This original question about the origin of the world is at the same time the question about the origin of man, the origin of consciousness and of the ego; it is the fateful question “Where did I come from?” that faces every human being as soon a he arrives upon the threshold of self-consciousness.

The mythological answers to these questions are symbolical, like all answers that come from the depths of the psyche, the unconscious. The metaphorical nature of the symbol says: this is this, that is that. The statement of identity and the logic of consciousness erected upon it have no value for the psyche and the unconscious. The psyche blends, as does the dream; it spins and weaves together, combining each with each. The symbol is therefore an analogy, more an equivalence than an equation, and therein lies its wealth of meanings, but also its elusiveness. Only the symbol group, compact of partly contradictory analogies, can make something unknown, and beyond the grasp of consciousness, more intelligible and more capable of becoming conscious.

-Erich Neumann
(The Origin and History of Consciousness p.7-8)

For the discovery of truth there is no path. You must enter the uncharted sea – which is not depressing, which is not being adventurous. When you want to find something new, when you are experimenting with anything, your mind has to be very quiet, has it not? If your mind is crowded, filled with facts, knowledge, they act as an impediment to the new; the difficulty is for most of us that the mind has become so important, so predominantly significant, that it interferes constantly with anything that may be new, with anything that may exist simultaneously with the known. Thus knowledge and learning are impediments for those who would seek, for those who would try to understand that which is timeless.

– Krishnamurti  (The First and Last Freedom)

To be aware of something that is not the projection of the known, there must be the elimination, through the understanding, of the process of the known. Why is it that the mind clings always to the known? Is it not because the mind is constantly seeking certainty, security? Its very nature is fixed in the known, in time; how can such a mind, whose very foundation is based on the past, on time, experience the timeless? It may conceive, formulate, picture the unknown, but that is all absurd. The unknown can come into being only when the known is understood, dissolved, put aside. That is extremely difficult, because the moment you have an experience of anything, the mind translates it into the terms of the known and reduces it to the past. I do not know if you have noticed that every experience is immediately translated into the known, given a name, tabulated and recorded. So the movement of the known is knowledge, and obviously such knowledge, learning, is a hindrance.

– Krishnamurti (The First and Last Freedom)