Life involves much more than having many symbols (i.e., thoughts) about it. Many of us go through life looking at everything through a screen of symbols and images. We recognize things merely via these symbols and images (that we were taught). To look freshly — without all of these blasé, worn-out images — is to really live. Otherwise, one is merely looking through (and with) the old, dead known. Direct, youthful observation only takes place without the contaminated past interfering. Such observation is, in itself, alive and free.
Structured and “learned” observation is never really of freedom; it is never implicitly free. Many merely look via the ways and modes that they were “taught” to look. Little wonder, then, why so many become bored, weary, melancholy, and depressed. They are not looking with what is joyous, fresh, alive, and spontaneous; they are looking with what is old, stored, categorized, and of the past. The beauty of existence and life is in its spontaneity and “nowness”… not in a remembrance of what “was before.” Go beyond what all the pundits have taught you. Go beyond what you stored and accumulated. Leave the dead past and perceive freshly in the “now.”
The next time you see the beauty of an animal, or a face, (or a tree)… please do not merely look at it via labels, classified-learned patterns, formulated systems, and antiquated memories. Please do not merely look with a lot of that “learned space” that exists between the perceiver and what is being perceived. Without all that baggage, maybe (if you’re lucky) you’ll actually be in relationship with what is observed.
“Beyond Labels”… pic by Thomas Peace (Left click on the photo and scroll down to see it enlarged; left click on the “middle” of it again to enlarge it more; hit left return-arrows, twice, to return.)
Yay! It worked! Your post is showing up now. 🙂
I think I’m grasping what you’re talking about. A fine example is, when I look at the beauty of an animal, that beauty is not on the surface like it used to be. Now I see something much more profound and spiritual in the beauty of an animal and how we’re graced to have some of them as pets. 🙂
Yes, most of us (i.e., pretty much all of us, unfortunately) look with (and through) images (of thought). Therefore we see only what we were taught to see. Doing what I am suggesting, however, involves much more than what may seem to be, at first, rather obvious.
Most people are “living in the past,” which is not really much of a “living” at all.
Pets are cool. Though I have a lot of pets… really, I feel, it is wrong to say that “one has pets.” No one organism can, in any real sense, “own” another. Probably it would be better to say that animals live with me; we share this area together. (Sometime I think that our dogs own us!) 😉
We humans think that we are somehow superior to animals (because we can think so much better); it’s kind of a vicious circle!
Just because one animal can have power over another animal… doesn’t make the powerful one truly superior. To take advantage of something doesn’t make you better than what you take advantage over; otherwise Donald Trump would be God-like. Really, I don’t admire the guy much at all! 😉
I just wanted to let you know something. When replying to any comment on your blog or to an individual comment on another’s blog, you must hit the “Reply” but on the user’s comment itself and not the main comment form, this way they’re notified in the little orange box that you replied. Other than that, they may never know you replied back to them. 😉 😀
I understand what you are shooting for here, I do disagree though. The power of modern humans is the perspectives of the past. It is important to look at things in a fresh light, but no person can ever abandon how they have been raised. Attempting such abandonment is futile and ensures no person can truly share your observation. The power of real observation is the ability to share that observation in an empirical sense. Empirical observation is pure and factual. Without empirical observation, you may as well pray to some metaphysical entity. The labels of society are an intrinsic part of it, and even though they may not encapsulate everything, these labels are they only way to convey an observation. If you are unable to share your observation because of its personal or spontaneous nature then the fleeting perspective is lost and any valuable lesson with it. What value is a realization if you can not share it, and if you can’t share it, are you being selfish or ignorant?
I agree with what you said about modern education. The monotonous and repetitive nature of education can dissuade the youthful mind and curtail creativity. However, these lessons are monumentally important and must be imparted. I personally believe a curriculum should be boiled down to the essentials and education should take a more productive and hands-on approach.
I think we can both agree that nothing, absolutely nothing is ever entirely free. This may be a semantic argument, but the word free implies no regulation whatsoever. Every action has a cause and every effort a demand. A lack of freedom does not imply a lack of value. Even the purported freedom of America is rooted more in human rights than whimsical or fleeting impulses. Order must be maintained and freedom is granted within the mandates of order. I understand the desire for a frontier, for something new, but I assure you there would be no now without the past. Do not deny or abandon what makes you, you. Ask instead why you think the way you think. Is your thought process the result of you personally or the assimilation of your environment. In essence what makes you, you, is not so much a personal factor, but more a tangible variable of the environment. We are all the manifestation of our environments, I possess no faculty that was not imparted to me by an outside force. I do myself no good by denying this fact and attempting to establish a new library of labels. Everything we see is seen through a perspective lens, there is no sense fighting or denying that. Even the empty mind is driven to emptiness by outside stimuli.
In conclusion, there is nothing beyond labels. If something cannot be labeled, it is metaphysical and inherently deceptive.
Of course there exists something beyond labels… and it is, intrinsically and implicitly, not deceptive. It only appears to be deceptive through a crooked lens of distortion… and fragmentary labels, images, and words are often distorted.
There is a lot more to life than the mere conveying of information. Otherwise, we are merely like self-explanatory, unsophisticated ants that endlessly carry things back and forth. If one ant maintains that life is impossible without “carrying”… it isn’t going to reduce me to an endless worker-ant.
I did not, in my post, say that one should not share information, (which would be ludicrous, since I, at the time, was sharing information)! In no way am I suggesting that one should permanently abandon one’s past learned data bank completely; one needs words and symbols — as the beautiful tools that they are — to function splendidly. However, they are merely tools; they are not what the essence of the organism need be! I did not, in my post, say that empirical observation is a waste of time. I use empirical observation a lot. Measured empirical observation surely has its place. When I use it… I am aware of it. When I am not using it — and dynamically go beyond it — there exists an awareness of being beyond it.
There is something that is entirely free. It can never be corrupted by the residual, distorted thoughts and fragmentary symbols of man. It can affect man… but it is beyond the realm of fragmentation, shallow thoughts, and man. It is palpable… but not by what is merely symbolic, residual, and second-hand.
An ego free spirit doesn’t need labels. To observe or to be the observer without labeling is true freedom into “ONENESS”. Great post Thomas.
Thanks, Jerry! Very well, and wisely, put! (Not that one can necessarily “know” what wisdom is!) 😉
Reblogged this on PhoPort.