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Category Archives: On Mind

Truth leads to Untruth, Untruth leads to Truth.

The path and way of being, particularly human being, flows like this.
This is one of the most general notions that can be spoken about the Essence and Destiny of Man.

Truth leads to Untruth, Untruth to Truth.

Man is that organic process, that creatively ordered flux.

Man stands before the Cosmos a small frail being. Its incomprehensibility equal to its spatial scope. He almost drowns in the abyss of the Unknown.
Yet in the depths of this incomprehensible blackness, a light emerges.

Consciousness born. Man’s essence, like the tree, who rises and strives towards Sol, Man reaches for the light in Mind. And as the tree does not only rise up, so does it also descend.

And just as the seed had to incubate in the darkness before it could sprout, so Man also.

Being at one with the heights and the depths. Being at home in them and also a home for them.

Man, fearless only when he grasps his own oblivion.

For a dawn grows out from every darkness.
And Man is that Dawning.

Man is forever a Dawn and a dawning. And it takes time for this to dawn upon him.

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)

The great archetypal activities of human society are all permeated with play from the start. Take language, for instance that first and supreme instrument which man shapes in order to communicate, to teach, to command. Language allows him to distinguish, to establish, to state things; in short, to name them and by naming them to raise them into the domain of the spirit.
In the making of speech and language the spirit is continually “sparking” between matter and mind, as it were, playing with this wondrous nominative faculty. Behind every abstract expression there lie the boldest of metaphors, and every metaphor is a play upon words. Thus in giving expression to life man creates a second, poetic world alongside the world of nature.

Or take myth. This, too, is a transformation or an “imagination” of the outer world, only here the process is more elaborate and ornate than is the case with individual words. In myth, primitive man seeks to account for the world of phenomena by grounding it in the Divine. In all the wild imaginings of mythology a fanciful spirit is playing on the border-line between jest and earnest. Or finally, let us take ritual. Primitive society performs its sacred rites, its sacrifices, consecrations and mysteries, all of which serve to guarantee the well-being of the world, in a spirit of pure play truly understood.
Now in myth and ritual the great instinctive forces of civilized life have their origin : law and order, commerce and profit, craft and art, poetry, wisdom and science. All are rooted in the primaeval soil of play.

– Johan Huizinga (Homo Ludens, man-the-player, p. 4-5)

Our intellect, however, no matter how independent of the past it may behave in science and technology, is ever renewed and consecrated by the consciousness of its connection with the mind of the remotest times and civilization. Indeed, it gets to know itself and value its lofty nature only through comparison with that which it, the eternally unchanging, has been in all times.

– Jacob Burckhardt (Reflections on History)

The truly religious man is not the one who practices so-called religion, who holds to certain dogmas and beliefs, who performs certain rituals or pursues knowledge, for he is merely seeking another form of gratification. The man who is truly religious is completely free from society, he has no responsibility towards society; he may establish a relationship with society, but society has no relationship with him. Society is organized religion, the economic and social structure, the whole environment in which we have been brought up, and does that society help man to find God, truth – it matters little what name you give it – or does the individual who is seeking God create a new society? That is, must not the individual break away from the existing society, culture, or civilization? Surely, in the very breaking away he discovers what is truth, and it is that truth which creates the new society, the new culture. I think this is an important question to ponder over. Can the man who belongs to society – it does not matter what society – ever find truth, God? Can society help the individual in that discovery, or must the individual, you and I, break away from society? Surely, it is in the very process of breaking away from society that there is the understanding of what is truth, and that truth then creates the ripples which become a new society, a new culture. The sannyasi, the monk, the hermit renounces the world, renounces society, but his whole pattern of thinking is still conditioned by society; he is still a Christian or a Hindu, pursuing the ideal of Christianity or of Hinduism. His meditations, his sacrifices, his practices are all essentially conditioned, and therefore what he discovers as truth, as God, as the absolute, is really his own conditioned reaction. Hence society cannot help man to find out what is truth. Society’s function is to limit the individual, to hold him within the boundary of respectability. Only the man who understands this whole process, whose action is not a reaction, can find out what is truth, and it is the truth that creates a new culture, not the man who pursues truth.

– Krishnamurti

Although all the qualities of mind may be united in a great genius, yet there are some which are special and peculiar to him; his views are unlimited; he always acts uniformly and with the same activity; he sees distant objects as if present; he comprehends and grasps the greatest, sees and notices the smallest matters; his thoughts are elevated, broad, just and intelligible. Nothing escapes his observation, and he often finds truth in spite of the obscurity that hides her from others.

A lofty mind always thinks nobly, it easily creates vivid, agreeable, and natural fancies, places them in their best light, clothes them with all appropriate adornments, studies others’ tastes, and clears away from its own thoughts all that is useless and disagreeable.

A clever, pliant, winning mind knows how to avoid and overcome difficulties. Bending easily to what it wants, it understands the inclination and temper it is dealing with, and by managing their interests it advances and establishes its own.

A well regulated mind sees all things as they should be seen, appraises them at their proper value, turns them to its own advantage, and adheres firmly to its own opinions as it knows all their force and weight.

A difference exists between a working mind and a business-like mind. We can undertake business without turning it to our own interest. Some are clever only in what does not concern them, and the reverse in all that does. There are others again whose cleverness is limited to their own business, and who know how to turn everything to their own advantage.

It is possible to have a serious turn of mind, and yet to talk pleasantly and cheerfully. This class of mind is suited to all persons in all times of life. Young persons have usually a cheerful and satirical turn, untempered by seriousness, thus often making themselves disagreeable.

No part is easier to play than that of being always pleasant; and the applause we sometimes receive in censuring others is not worth being exposed to the chance of offending them when they are out of temper.

Satire is at once the most agreeable and most dangerous of mental qualities. It always pleases when it is refined, but we always fear those who use it too much, yet satire should be allowed when unmixed with spite, and when the person satirised can join in the satire.

It is unfortunate to have a satirical turn without affecting to be pleased or without loving to jest. It requires much adroitness to continue satirical without falling into one of these extremes.

Raillery is a kind of mirth which takes possession of the imagination, and shows every object in an absurd light; wit combines more or less softness or harshness.

There is a kind of refined and flattering raillery that only hits the faults that persons admit, which understands how to hide the praise it gives under the appearance of blame, and shows the good while feigning a wish to hide it.

An acute mind and a cunning mind are very dissimilar. The first always pleases; it is unfettered, it perceives the most delicate and sees the most imperceptible matters. A cunning spirit never goes straight, it endeavours to secure its object by byeways and short cuts. This conduct is soon found out, it always gives rise to distrust and never reaches greatness.

There is a difference between an ardent and a brilliant mind, a fiery spirit travels further and faster, while a brilliant mind is sparkling, attractive, accurate.

Gentleness of mind is an easy and accommodating manner which always pleases when not insipid.

A mind full of details devotes itself to the management and regulation of the smallest particulars it meets with. This distinction is usually limited to little matters, yet it is not absolutely incompatible with greatness, and when these two qualities are united in the same mind they raise it infinitely above others.

The expression “Bel Esprit” is much perverted, for all that one can say of the different kinds of mind meet together in the “Bel Esprit.” Yet as the epithet is bestowed on an infinite number of bad poets and tedious authors, it is more often used to ridicule than to praise.

There are yet many other epithets for the mind which mean the same thing, the difference lies in the tone and manner of saying them, but as tones and manner cannot appear in writing I shall not go into distinctions I cannot explain. Custom explains this in saying that a man has wit, has much wit, that he is a great wit; there are tones and manners which make all the difference between phrases which seem all alike on paper, and yet express a different order of mind.

So we say that a man has only one kind of wit, that he has several, that he has every variety of wit.

One can be a fool with much wit, and one need not be a fool even with very little wit.

To have much mind is a doubtful expression. It may mean every class of mind that can be mentioned, it may mean none in particular. It may mean that he talks sensibly while he acts foolishly. We may have a mind, but a narrow one. A mind may be fitted for some things, not for others. We may have a large measure of mind fitted for nothing, and one is often inconvenienced with much mind; still of this kind of mind we may say that it is sometimes pleasing in society.

Though the gifts of the mind are infinite, they can, it seems to me, be thus classified.

There are some so beautiful that everyone can see and feel their beauty.

There are some lovely, it is true, but which are wearisome.

There are some which are lovely, which all the world admire, but without knowing why.

There are some so refined and delicate that few are capable even of remarking all their beauties.

There are others which, though imperfect, yet are produced with such skill, and sustained and managed with such sense and grace, that they even deserve to be admired.

–  Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marsillac.

An old Chinese adage says, “For one who watches a person through a narrow crack, the person he sees becomes narrow.”

In other words, by watching with a narrow view, one cannot obtain to the authentic reality.

Or, taken even further:

When one heeds not the whole, the Open, the being or beings one attempts to see become narrowed, limited, concealed, by the very looking that assumed it could see. And if one is unaware of all this, how can what one sees, the judgment one feels they have a right to, be taken seriously? If one simply assumes, and doesn’t take the time to question and look into what “seeing” is or how it comes to be, how can what one thinks they see be taken as real?

I mention all this just to illustrate the order of magnitude to which the anima/animus projections belong, and the moral and intellectual exertions that are needed to dissolve them. Not all the contents of the anima and animus are projected, however. Many of them appear spontaneously in dreams and so on, and many more can be made conscious through active imagination. In this way we find that thoughts, feelings, and affects are alive in us which we would never have believed possible. Naturally, possibilities of this sort seem utterly fantastic to anyone who has not experienced them himself, for a normal person “knows what he thinks.” Such a childish attitude on the part of the “normal person” is simply the rule, so that no one without experience in this field can be expected to understand the real nature of the anima and animus. With these reflections one gets into an entirely new world of psychological experience, provided of course that one succeeds in realizing it in practice. Those who do succeed can hardly fail to be impressed by all the ego does not know and never has known. This increase in self-knowledge is still very rare nowadays and is usually paid for in advance with a neurosis, if not with something worse.

– Jung (Portable Jung, p. 158)

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)