Why do so few people perceive the whole? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Perhaps the question itself is a wrong (i.e., faulty) question. It may be that wholeness is simply “what is” beyond the dualistic, separative perception involving an “observer” and “that which is observed.”
Very few people are of wholeness, though (certainly) a good number think that they are. Most people are of fragmentation… perceiving from — and through — that fragmentation. We were taught, by elders, about how to perceive, how to react, and about what to believe in. We live in (and “as”) mental symbols; we accept those virtual-mental symbols as true realities. Most of us stay in the rut of that limitation, that conditioning, and remain that way until the day we die. Is that ever really living?
Throughout school, we were not encouraged to question things deeply; we were not encouraged to go beyond the accepted values and the accepted ways of perceiving things. Man, throughout the ages, evolved from animals; we (being so-called sophisticated animals) still harbor basic instincts for focusing on elemental parameters, (just like the animals do… only what we do is a bit more “sophisticated”). Few of us go beyond that. You could count those (living wholly) on one hand. What is the sound of one hand clapping?
Through eons of conditioning over generations, people are locked into reacting as they inevitably do. The following video, by Donald Hoffman, is worth a watch; it has its limitations, but it helps to illustrate some about what one has been saying for a long time. (With other of his video/audio sessions, one feels that he relies too much on old, fragmented, mathematical, and speculative approaches that can leave us merely analyzing ad infinitum.)
Is, by the way, the watcher separate from the watched?
The appeal to faith as a virtue cemented the bias and hardwired the neurons. Now through belief we see only our bias. Through unbelief we can see what is really there. It’s amazing!
Faith and blind belief are, indeed, almost as dangerous as a sombrero and very dark sunglasses.
Just kidding, of course! 🙂
I had to upgrade from the turkeys. It’s not much of one, but this too shall pass.
As an entirely humorous aside, yesterday was Cinco de Mayo, and someone down here suggested a six-foot wide sombrero as the perfect means of ‘social distancing.’
I love your query: Why do so few perceive the whole? Surely conditioning and education- yes -(my PhD in retrospect pulled me away from myself) but there is more – we are taught to split mind from body – our consciousness arises as much from our senses as it does from our mind… perhaps more so…In my way of thinking awareness develops out of the experience of my body more than from the clutter of an over active mind – but that may be my bias… In any event, this is an important question to raise again and again…If that glorious picture isn’t a toad what is it????
That’s easy to answer (with a piece of art by Rene Magritte, the philosopher/artist):
Reblogged this on Wolf's Birding and Bonsai Blog.
Thank you much for the Reblog! 🙂
You always give us food for thought Tom – now, as life slows down we should take more time to ponder, reflect, wonder … hopefully we don’t charge back into our former way of life that we forget anything we have learned, or what we have become. Me personally, I think I am the same person I was before, but a little worse for the wear from worry … listening to the news and reports and press conferences may be instilling fear that will be very hard to shake. If only I could bound away from it all like this sparkly looking toad you have shared with us in this post.
Yes, take time to ponder and question (beyond what “they” taught you); what they taught is what they learned. Passing that torch (in certain little things for physical survival) is necessary, but in the spiritual and philosophical realm it usually turns out to be a heavy (crude) burden.
Fear about the virus is intelligent fear. It’s the really ignorant ones who are not afraid. However, making that fear a habit and extending it farther than is necessary… is a waste of time. Stay safe and keep taking those wonderful nature photographs! (I just finished bleach-cleaning my groceries after picking them up at Walmart’s Grocery pickup. I’m delighted that Christy Walton — Walmart owner — donated heavily to the Lincoln Project, which is trying to get rid of the immoral so-called president that the U.S. currently has. I donated too, even though i’m an independent.) Stay safe.
I try to be calm about it Tom, then I’ll hear about a resurgence, or the especially long time for this virus to hang around, or speculation about just when a vaccine is available and whether rushing it through is wise? I hope to be around to take all the fun nature pictures I can Tom. A friend of mine sent me the one-minute video about Trump bu the Lincoln Project – it sure was disheartening wasn’t it?
We need to get rid of him and McConnell; real monsters out to cut health care, cut Social Security, cut decency, and compassion. We are at a stage where we are going under.
Be careful and stay as safe as you can. That is all that you can do.
I didn’t know that pipe was a Magritte. There’s a fellow I know who uses a photo of himself with the pipe as his avatar, and even though I always smile when I see it, I didn’t know the background.
Your comments here are worth pondering. I especially was caught by your use of the phrase “analyzing ad infinitum.” It’s a fact that ‘analysis paralysis’ is real, and it’s one reason I’m no longer in academia. Life as a mental construct ain’t all that much fun.
Funny about your 6 foot sombrero comment. 🙂
I’ve loved Magritte’s art for a long time. I have a signed written letter by Magritte. He is a true philosopher/artist in a deep sense. Marla and i once saw a bunch of his originals on loan at the Chicago Art Institute. Awesome pieces! 🙂
Yes, life as a mental construct ain’t all that much fun. It isn’t really life at all, though many ironically “think” that it is. How easily the mind believes it’s own (never-ending) fabrications!
Science is important but so is looking without all of the garbage.
Take care and stay (virally) safe.
Enjoyed the Ted Talk – I’m in agreement that we aren’t grasping reality – questioning is a healthy habit!
Yes, Jazz, and it has to be the right kind of questioning — not merely mechanically habitual — not what merely comes from the background of what we’ve been taught. Going beyond questioning (as silence) may also be very prudent at times.
Take care and stay safe!
Very thoughtful post as always, Tom.
Are you sure that’s not a toad? https://www.wikihow.com/Tell-the-Difference-Between-a-Frog-and-a-Toad