I’ve included the following quote by Einstein in previous posts, and i’m including it here again.
“The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from the self.” — Albert Einstein
The human brain goes through a huge amount of associative mental connections. Most people associate the “I,” the “me,” the “self” with power to control, with domination over “other” thoughts, and with freedom to act independently. However, the “I” — just like the other concepts of central authority — is just a protrusion of thought/thinking. In all actuality, there is no true central “controller” situated in the brain. Unfortunately, far too many people treat this thing as if it has a separate, substantive existence (apart from others). It may be that many millions deceive themselves each and every day. Transcending this limited, primitive, crude form of thinking opens the way toward deep compassion and holistic understanding. Our age-old associative ties to a central, independent “controller” (apart from the world) may be very erroneous.
being to timelessness as it’s to time… E.E.Cummings
Time is distance. We perceive with (and “as”) distance, and we remain stuck in time. Of course, you have to keep your doctor’s appointment, which involves a certain physical time and place. (A supposed isolated center looking out, perceives via distance.) Should time be the only domain we function in (and “as”)? This writer says, “No!”
A lot of people in the so-called United States of America like to kill a lot of people in the so-called United States of America. It’s a deplorable form of ignorance really. It’s like the thumb of a hand attacking the fingers of the very same hand. A lot of people have been miseducated, and they do not perceive the unity of all things and creatures. Most look with (and “as”) separation, division, fragmentation, indifference, and isolating distance from a supposed center. We need to wake up and grow beyond the shortsighted limitation.
Most of us are almost constantly churning — mentally — with various images, words, and patterns within our minds. (The words are often verbal in essence and usually occur as simulations of what one’s own physical voice sounds like.) Even when we listen to others, or observe others, what we perceive largely consists of patterns recognized (i.e., re-cognized) by mental patterns which already exist in (and “as”) the mind. We often take these patterns — these protrusions of thought/thinking — to be equivalent to pure reality. However, they are primarily just virtual representations that are fragmentary, symbolic, and of the past, since they are constituted of repetitive mental protrusions that reflect what was poured — piecemeal — into us by others. Even the “I” that each one seems to zealously harbor and worship consists of a protrusion of thought/thinking (that deceives the mind and often invites fragmentary, separative behavior).
A silent mind transcends this limitation by going beyond what is secondhand, virtual, and symbolic. Such a mind is not merely trapped in (and “as”) the representational. Such a mind is dynamic, alive, pristine, and beyond sequential, robotic imitation. Then, true care and compassion may manifest. Compassion does not emanate from what is fundamentally not alive.
Integrity is wholeness, goodness, purity, accuracy, uprightness, and incorruptness. A disjointed mind that is constantly internally chattering to itself — with fragmentary words and labels that society indoctrinated it with — likely has a hard time with existing as true integrity. Friction, conflict, fragmentation, and indifference are not what contribute to integrity. The lack of integrity is illusory, and so many people (for comfort) accept what is spoon-fed to them but which is essentially false.
There exists a profound level of integrity that is intrinsically a manifestation of incorruptibility; such incorruptibility is beyond the decay that most people fear. It effortlessly transcends mortality.
We’ve looked with separation for eons in order to survive in a competitive world. However, merely looking with (and “as”) separation may not be what is conducive to a truly spiritual life. How does one look without separation? It isn’t the result of some method or system that one can apply or copy. Effort itself, through time, is separative and is not the answer. Practicing meditation is not the answer. Belonging to a so-called organized religion or to an abstracted territorial domain (conveniently called “my country”) contributes to division and conflict in the world. Any procedure performed by a supposed central ego is based on separation.
The answer neither involves time nor a central observer.
Time involves distance. Without distance, there is no time. Many people try to convince others — and themselves — that they have perceptions involving great depth and great wisdom. What does it mean to see deeply? Many people see deeply. They perceive with (and “as”) depth that involves distance… such as between a perceiver and that which is perceived. However, even animals perceive in such a way. Such depth involves (and is constituted of) conflict and separation. However, there is, in a few, a holistic depth of mind that does not involve conflict and separative distance. It is not of the mundane, so-called “normal” depth. A different holistic perception involves unity… and not mere separation between a perceiver and that which is perceived. In such perception, compassion exists, unity exists, and care and empathic action exist.
Getting to the timeless (i.e., the unlimited) through time — through effort and distance — is foolish.
Time, evolution, light, sound, and thought/thinking all consist of a series of sequences. We live in a domain consisting of sequences. That is our life. I am suggesting here that great spirituality exists timelessly beyond what is merely sequential. Can you get to it by doing a series of things in time? No. However, is living a life that is orderly, perceptive, and caring (within time) essential? Yes. That sacredness may not be separate from an orderly, perceptive, caring life. However, if your mind exclusively consists of sequences and sequential patterns, you likely will never be visited by the timeless sacred. Sequences, per se, only consist of the partial (i.e., fragmentary patterns) and what is partial is not what partakes of the whole. This is why an orderly, meditative mind is crucial… but it is not something that one can practice or perform as a technique.
My previous blog posting included a photo of T-rex, my pet parrot; i used to breed parrots. Some readers expressed interest, so the following is an audio of T-rex. Needless to say, he is quite a character. (In the audio, at first, he rings a bell — which, often i think, is to summon me, as if i’m some kind of butler —and, when i don’t come running, at 4 seconds into the audio tape, he says “Oh, what the heck?!” Then he whistles a summoning whistle … and subsequently, he diverges, and his wolf whistles follow. He whistles better than i can. At 22 seconds he, quietly, says something — as if to himself — like “specific.” At second 25, he quietly says “stupid,” which is probably about me and not coming as he wants me to. At around second 34, he says “come on” a couple of times. At second 37, he says, “hello.” Then, among summoning whistles, he quietly — as if to himself — says “specific” again and says “come on” repeatedly. Personally, i think that he thinks that i’m his private butler whom he can summon whenever he wants; he rings that god-forsaken bell and expects me to come running. Sesame Street is what can be heard in the background. I put Sesame Street on tv for them daily, which they enjoy and learn things from.) Let’s face it, we are our pets’ menial servants. 😉
First of all, if you ever happen to be blessed with a true understanding of how eternity works, don’t go shouting about it from your rooftop. It is a thing for an individual to discover and is not something meant to be shared, one feels.
One will say this, however… Eternity does not depend upon the existence of a central “I.” Anyway, there never was a true central “I” in the first place. Each manifestation of an “I” (or “me”) is an obtrusion and product of thought/thinking and there is nothing truly central about it. This writer sometimes uses the term “I” when responding or writing in this blog because it is a common form of communication. However, in actuality, it is not truly necessary. Eternity exists quite nicely, thank you, without the need for the existence of an “I” or “me.” This seems counterintuitive. However, truly understanding how the cosmos functions (in its entirety) occurs best when the “I” and “me” (with all the falsities involved) are absent or psychologically negated.
One happens to have, and care for, a couple of wonderful pet parrots — I used to breed parrots — and they often speak with comprehension… and they sometimes correctly use the word “I.” For instance, recently my girlfriend bought colorful wooden toys for them and one of them, named “T-rex,” was tearing his huge wooden toy up so much, and making extensive messes, that i removed it (i.e., the toy) from his enclosure… intending to give him one section at a time. He said, “I want it back.” So even animals can use the word “I”; it’s no big deal.
One posits that, for us humans, it takes great intelligence to transcend the notion of a central “I” or “me.” Then, possibly, such a one may partake in great insights that transcend our rudimentary notions of time, space, control, death, life, and self. Many, however, would say, “Well, I’m not interested.”
It’s not what we were taught to consider. The following contains a portion of what my response was to someone who gave comments in my previous blog posting.
Regarding what may happen when thought/thinking is not merely what occurs in (and “as”) consciousness… Well, what may remain is not a gut feeling or instinct. What we are talking about may occur when thought/thinking is in abeyance… and it is not what thought/thinking can easily grasp, label, pigeonhole, or categorize. But most people, in modern society, would be uncomfortable about often being where ordinary thinking is not… and they would likely say that what i am suggesting is malarkey. We are so indoctrinated with the process of thought/thinking, that anything else is unfathomable. Most of us were programmed to be what thought/thinking is… and anything else is unwelcome (and likely not what we are interested in).
Miseducation is often one-sided. Such so-called education is what can program us to wholeheartedly accept what is limited, confined, and false. The human world is a result of this miseducation… and currently, there is much conflict, violence, confusion, division, and separation. There may be an aspect of great compassion, bliss, and caring when transcending thought/thinking. Beyond the fragmentation that thought/thinking consists of, the burden of sorrow is not. Thought/thinking, by itself, on the other hand, often involves robotic, banal, sequential fragmentation; thought/thinking is primarily of a symbolic nature. Mere symbols are not true realities; they are mere tokens. It may be prudent to go beyond what your consciousness was educated to exist as.
There is, it seems to us, At best, only a limited value In the knowledge derived from experience. — T.S.Eliot
It is good to experience things in life often. For instance, one needs experience in order to function properly and in ways that do not end up being detrimental to one. Additionally, it is very wise to experience nature often. Nature contains a lot of profound beauty, order, and magical dynamics… consisting of occurrences that are real treasures to take in. However, it is also prudent to often go beyond experience… to dwell where experience has no place. Exclusively clinging to experience is what most people do (and such an existence may be very limited, very confined, and partial). Such a partial life is of sorrow. Most people exclusively crave more and more experiences, greater and greater experiences. Someone, to them, suggesting going beyond experience, must seem odd. Many would laugh at such a person.
When we experience, we usually do so in terms of what we have already mentally accumulated. We recognize things and classify things according to what we’ve already been taught (in and “as” the past) and according to what we already have stored in our brains. It can be a rather robotic (re-cognition), mundane process. And exclusively partaking in it may, in fact, be rather childish and mechanical. We recognize with (and “as”) the past and, in a sense, we keep living in the past.
A mind that sometimes perceives or exists without accumulating, labeling, or comparing patterns, however, may be atypical… and may be beyond normative experiencing. Such a mind may see (or be) holistically at times, in a way (or unway) that does not merely classify, label, recognize, pigeonhole, compare, or evaluate. Such a mind does not merely always cling to the apron strings of experience. (Do remember this… Going beyond limitation, the status quo, and confinement is not a terrible thing.)
Do you look at things in standard, habitual, common ways (involving space and separation)? How we perceive occurrences matters. It matters regarding the outside environment and it matters internally (i.e., in consciousness, so to speak). Of course, as we have pointed out in the past, we perceive the outside environment via our internal consciousness… so our “outside perceptions” tend to be largely internal and altered by internal screening.
People tend to look at things — both externally and internally — through space that is limited. People, even with thoughts, for example, seem to see thoughts through a limited space (between a perceiver and the perceived). This space may be largely fictitious because there may just be the perceived and any (separate) perceiver may be solely the result of thought/thinking. We see our fears through a limited space (with a distance)… whereas, in reality, we actually are our fears… not merely what “has them.” When one is in sorrow, one is — partially as a part of what one is — the sorrow. Dealing with things directly, without having superfluous entities at a distance, enables more energy and acute intelligence to flower. Additionally, one can point out that limited space (such as habitually concocted by the mind) does not nourish vast, unlimited perception, deep compassion, and pristine understanding. It may be prudent to often be the phenomena of observing without habitual limited space. Limited space is the essence of indifference (i.e., a lack of compassion).
Human beings, for the most part, perceive things by looking through (and from) a screen that they’ve been taught to look through, that they’ve been instructed to exist as. This screen consists of accumulated knowledge, accumulated symbols, bundled memories, and learned images. We recognize what we were taught to recognize; most of us believe what we were taught to believe. It’s all rather regimented, robotic, structured, and prearranged. And we think that we are free, even as the way in which we perceive is very mechanized, predetermined, limited, and shaped by society.
We see what we were programmed to see, and this “seeing” is usually fragmentary, limited, symbolic, and secondhand. It may be, in a big way, like clinging to shadows. Stepping out of this quagmire may not be easy. It (i.e., this hand-me-down perception) often occurs unconsciously and it is deeply ingrained in (and “as”) us. Additionally, society does not want you to step out of this… for doing so might be a danger to all that is false.
Self-critical awareness may be necessary. And often looking without one’s accumulation may be prudent, whole, and what is beyond fear. Looking without accumulation may make one vulnerable (and we are so terribly afraid to be vulnerable); we cling to the known out of deep fear and cowardice. Too many of us became used to being told what to do, what to see, what to believe, and how to act. It’s so childish! But secondhand isn’t living. Merely looking at everything through learned, fragmentary symbols, and separative labels, may not be bona fide living.
I would like to mention — especially to those who have followed my blog for quite some time and who are appreciative of some of the things that i have written about — a bit about what may be (in a limited way) called nirvana. Nirvana being — as i describe it — a visitation to one by that sacred and indefinable timelessness. I am writing about it here as it pertained to me (in the past). I am not trying to impress anyone by writing about it, and i don’t really care if you are impressed or if you think that i am a nutty nut who is totally off of my rocker. It doesn’t matter. I am writing about it to possibly help show that some truly amazing and sacred things are possible if we are very serious and if we keep our minds in great order.
It can occur at different intensities. Words are very inadequate in terms of explaining what occurs when it happens. The most intense form of it occurred many years ago (around 1972 or so). When it occurred, one’s mind was in an empty, meditative state (though in no way was i practicing meditation). Besides the meditative (empty) state of mind, one was also (at times) feeling very compassionate about others. Suddenly, it occurred, and — i kid you not — its energy made me feel thousands of times more alive than i have ever felt before. Words cannot explain the immensity and beauty of what it was. My hands, as it occurred, were contracting and it was a bit difficult to move around fluidly. Additionally, my visual field changed and depth (visually) was replaced by a “nearness of everything.” One continued to smile from ear to ear… as the joy of it was so intoxicating. As it occurred, thought was in abeyance (with what seemed to be some sort of assisted suspension). It seemed so sacred and timeless; it was direct, beautiful, holistic energy (and not mere thinking about energy). After a good while, it left as quickly as it came. A day or so later, deep insights occurred; for instance, one figured out some profound things about how the cosmos functions.
Craving for this nirvana (or whatever you wish to call it) — it really is a nameless, immeasurable thing — never helps to bring it into being. It comes uninvited. What may be prudent is having an orderly mind that often exists beyond fragmentary symbolism (of thought/thinking) and existing as a mind that exists beyond the norm. Maintaining a healthy body, free of drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, and adulterated foods is essential. But being an orderly mind that often exists beyond the fragmentary symbolism of thinking… is a blessing of its own; it is (then) real intelligence, integrity, and holistic, keen perception.
Many people, of course, think that their consciousness is their own individual consciousness. However, it may be truer that one’s consciousness is a branch of all of the consciousnesses of the entire cosmos. One’s consciousness is a branch of that multitude and it is not separate from it, though, to (far too) many, it appears to be entirely separate and individualistic.
Our human consciousness is often conditioned by what society has poured into us. Many of us are exactly what we have been shaped and molded to be. To step out of that mold requires a lot of questioning and creative, holistic insight. Internal quietness, beyond wanting a mechanistic result, may exist beyond all of the fallacious chatter, symbolic fragmentation, and delusory separation.
There is a vast seriousness that radiates its discipline holistically, healthfully, and with tremendous joy and insight. This seriousness is not what merely childishly depends upon the blueprints of others. Being whole, it need not grope for more, for improvement, nor does it mechanistically function according to any prearranged laid out patterns. The flame of this seriousness burns away illusion, separation, death, and time.
Many people believe that they have free will. Others do not think that that is the case. I say that free will is — for the most part — patently false. Reacting according to “thought/thinking,” as all of us do, depends upon the physiological processes of the brain. These physiological processes are complicated and are not what we can easily regulate. And the controller is not necessarily separate from the controlled. Of course, many things can be done to better help the organ of the brain function healthfully and properly… such as eating whole, healthy foods, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and avoiding recreational drugs, alcohol, and smoking. However, there exist genetic, environmental, and unseen forces that are beyond what we can easily regulate.
Then too, the majority of us are heavily conditioned by society. Such conditioning runs very deep within our psyches. Much of such conditioning is so ingrained in (and “as”) us that we are very unaware that it is taking place; we are unaware that it exists at all. Thought/thinking, by its very nature, is essentially very robotic, residual, mechanical, fragmentary, symbolic, second-hand, and sequential. (By the way, perceiving that we do not — for the most part — have free will does not mean that one can do whatever one likes, haphazardly; that would be ludicrous.)
Things like insight, true premonitions, deep compassion, and holistic perception can — and do — transcend conditioned, run-of-the-mill, second-hand thinking and conditioning. Still, most of us are primarily trapped in thought and (for the most part) function in (and “as”) thought. In rare moments — for humanity — during actual nirvana, for instance, a mind does go deeply beyond conditioning wherein (during such visitations/episodes) thought/thinking (temporarily) becomes very difficult… but that (so far) has been a rare occurrence and most of us primarily function in the very limited domain of thought/thinking. It may be prudent not to put all our eggs in one basket.
Excerpt from the poet E.E. Cummings:
A lot of people think or believe or know they feel — but that’s thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. And poetry is feeling — not knowing or believing or thinking.
Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself.
In my previous two posts (prior to this one), if you understood that, psychologically, the perceiver actually is the perceived (and not merely something separate from the perceived)… then you may understand the following insightful poem by Stephen Crane. If you did not understand (even intellectually) what was previously written, then you will not understand Crane’s poem.
From the poetry of Stephen Crane:
The sage lectured brilliantly. Before him, two images: “Now this one is a devil, And this one is me.” He turned away. Then a cunning pupil Changed the positions.
Turned the sage again: “Now this one is a devil, And this one is me.” The pupils sat, all grinning, And rejoiced in the game. But the sage was a sage.
In my prior post, i delved into the likeliness that — psychologically — the perceiver is not truly separate from the perceived. Most people do not realize that their perceptions are not truly separate from what constitutes their consciousness and existence. Many people might argue and say, “Oh, no, I am so much more than my perceptions.” But take away your perceptions, your experiences, your observations, the robotic labeling of things, the conditioned judgments about the things seen… and then what are you? In actuality, you basically are these things and without them you are nothing. Most people are very afraid to be nothing; they “think” that their sense of self is necessary for security and for eternal prosperity. They do not realize that a mind of sweet, psychological nothingness is what security and eternity actually are. And people who are afraid to be nothing do not really understand meditation (though they may often talk about it and “think” that they practice it). (It might be prudent to read my post that is prior to this one.) In the following clever poem, Whitman insightfully talks about people as if they are the things in their lives that they deal with.
Excerpt from A Song for Occupations by Walt Whitman:
When the psalm sings instead of the singer,
When the script preaches instead of the preacher,
When the pulpit descends and goes instead of the carver that carved the supporting desk,
When I can touch the body of books by night or by day, and when they touch my body back again,
When a university course convinces like a slumbering woman and child convince,
When the minted gold in the vault smiles like the night-watchman’s daughter,
When warrantee deeds loafe in chairs opposite and are my friendly companions,
I intend to reach them my hand, and make as much of them as I do of men and women like you.
To a great extent, the perceiver is not (psychologically) separate from the perceived. If we go through life merely as a sequence of patterns (i.e., from one set of fragmentary psychological patterns to another… which is time), then are we truly living as a bona fide whole?
It may be that to be timelessly alive, one often exists beyond the patterns and the mere robotic recognition of patterns.
A poem by Wallace Stevens:
The Indigo Glass in the Grass
Which is real… This bottle of indigo glass in the grass, Or this bench with the pot of geraniums, the stained mattress and the washed overalls drying in the sun? Which of these truly contains the world? Neither one, nor the two together.
One may ask, “Is compassion very significant in life?” Yes, compassion is immensely significant because it reflects and is a wonderful radiation of the whole. That whole has its own intrinsic, organic intelligence (of which compassion is a very big component). A fragmented, isolated consciousness, that merely perceives with self-idolizing boundaries and cold distance is, unfortunately, not of compassion. Such a debilitated mind is distorted and is not of the whole. Such a mind is isolated and apart. It may be intelligent in a very mechanical, crude, and limited way, but it is not intelligent in a living and wonderfully dynamic way. The isolated mind’s intelligence is — being limited — like that of a programmed, mechanical, robotic computer.
A mindful consciousness is of the whole. Such a dynamic, living mind sees beyond “learned distance” and learned isolating patterns. It is not like a left hand that is attacking the right hand; it sees that both hands — and all organisms — are of the same body. A mind of the whole has great intelligence (because it is of “right relationship”). Majestic love involves all (i.e., the whole) and it is not just yours or mine. A mindful consciousness is the whole.
A short poem by E.E. Cummings:
love is a place & through this place of love move (with brightness of peace) all places
yes is a world & in this world of yes live (skilfully curled) all worlds
When i eat a meal, i usually mentally thank the food; (i guess it is much like the way the very wise Native Americans used to do… and still do). All food — whether plant or animal — had to die for us to eat it.
And when i walked out of the grocery store today, i thanked the (past) poor creatures who had to die (and lose their land) such that the vast grocery store parking lot could be formed for our polluting cars… not to mention the endless lifeless, paved streets and the area that my home exists upon (though i do have a lot of aquarium fish and critters inside).
I bet that not many people ever thanked the creatures who used to live where that lifeless parking lot is. And now, writing this, it reminds me of that song, “They paved paradise, put up a parking lot (ooh, bop-bop-bop-bop)”
We so-called modern humans need to be a lot kinder and more compassionate to nature. That is easier said than done.
“Hey farmer, farmer put away that DDT now Give me spots on my apples, but leave me the birds and the bees Please
Don’t it always seem to go That you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone They paved paradise, put up a parking lot”
Belief primarily emanates from deeper psychological factors, such as fear, hope, and by what was poured into one in the past. Many people say, “I will not give up my beliefs.” And it may be an ego thing (i.e., these are “my” beliefs). The beliefs tend to actually reinforce the ego. (This, in itself, may negate the possibility of true nirvana, for nirvana may only occur in the egoless mind.) Many people think that if they believe something, they will get something out of it… spiritually, for example. It’s a quid pro quo, this for that, marketplace kind of thing. And, having different beliefs worldwide, we are at each others’ throats. Many — if not all — wars have resulted in the spilling of blood… over beliefs.
Being beyond “beliefs” demands a lot of acute awareness, deep examination, and tremendous inner discipline. It may be that a very intelligent mind largely exists beyond what “beliefs” entail. Such a mind is free to look without circumscribed conditioning. Such a mind does not look through (and “as”) preconceived, rigid, spoon-fed patterns. Only then can the real magic of free discovery happen. Then one does not belong to groups that cause friction, division, and conflict in the world. But most people don’t want to hear such things. They want to go on believing (because it’s the easy thing to do).
A group of young students saw the sagacious Lo Zu sitting upon a big boulder with a contented look on his face, a face that seemed to radiate much wisdom and clear perception. The students approached Lo Zu and asked him why he never entered the temples.
Lo Zu replied, “I do not enter the temples because they are primitive, manmade fabrications that have nothing to do with the truly sacred. Besides, that vast, timeless sacredness does not have an ego that wants to be worshipped by men or other strange creatures. What is trapped in time and limitation cannot adequately communicate with the timeless and the unlimited. He or she who has a limited ego cannot be communion with that which is beyond boundaries and confinement. True intelligence goes beyond fabrications and limitations. Go to the temples if you wish… but that ineffable sacredness isn’t there (in a limited space).”
There are different levels of love. Superficial love is constituted of motivations for the limited self. That limited self is what was learned (from miseducation) and it is primarily unreal, unintelligent, and fictitious.
There is a profound love that exists beyond the illusory framework of the self. It is a vast intelligence that breaks through the limitations of boundaries and fragmentary, learned perceptions (including the distance that is, in actuality, inherited ignorance). Selfless love is of bright truth, not of shady falsity and erroneousness.
Beyond the shadows of “thought/thinking” exists a sweet openness wherein what most people would call “the sacred” can come pouring through for a visit (if you are very lucky). Thought/thinking is incapable of describing or inviting that eternal sacredness. That immensity is too ineffable, too extraordinarily and profoundly beyond what limited, fragmentary words are capable of. Words — all words — are only about energy; they are never the actual eternal energy. Yet we human beings exist in (and “as”) transitory words… and what we see is dictated by a screen of potty-little words and learned mental accumulations. Words are intrinsically like empty shadows. Words are concocted, representative symbols that are essentially empty and void of real life. (Words are often necessary but many times words need not exist.) Merely existing in (and “as”) words is a kind of death… a mental death/decay situation that isn’t good. Most people, unfortunately, are stuck in that little, psychological hole (habitually) and are extremely uncomfortable about going beyond it.
Note: (Below is a short excerpt from one of my earlier blogs about Socrates’ Cave. It may shed some light on our current dark situation… if you are perceptive.)
In Socrates’ parable of the Cave — within Plato’s Republic — people were born in a cave, and they were fettered with chains… and forced to merely see and learn the details about shadows cast on the cave walls from puppets and a fire that they didn’t see behind them. One of them was taken — at one point, by force — first to see the fire… and then out of the cave into the true light of day… into a more genuine reality; then he came back down into the cave with the others. When he — the man who returned back — pleaded with them to look beyond the shadows, they called him a fool and continued giving prizes to those who could best guess which shadows came before or after.
Pretty much everybody is conditioned in myriads of different ways. It’s a big factor in why there is so much conflict in the world. Humans have different beliefs and ideas about how things should be done, and about what is best to do. All of our beliefs and ideas involve — and are the result of — time. These beliefs and ideas often result in conflict and friction. To go beyond this conflict without another method (in and “as” time) may involve negation and silence. Such silence is a wonderful negation (mentally) that does not involve time or methodology.
Most people, unfortunately, are conditioned to remain in time exclusively (in the mental sense). They habitually go from one set of symbolic sequences to another (unceasingly). It’s how they were educated (or miseducated) to be.
Great beauty and awareness exist beyond repetitive, sequential, mundane, symbolic mental patterns but most people are too afraid and conditioned to go beyond what they were programmed to be. And being afraid in such a way is just another extension of the stifling, dead conditioning.
A very intelligent mind often questions in dynamic ways that shatter old, traditional acceptances and assumptions. Albert Einstein, for example, often questioned standard assumptions, and his ground-breaking theories were proven correct by subsequent testing. Einstein once said, “It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.”
Organized religions and society (in general) do not want us to doubt much and question much. They want us to fall in line and follow unwaveringly. And most of us carry loads of deep-rooted conditioning, much of which we would never think of questioning. For instance, our very perception of the world around us (and of ourselves) is largely based on fragmentation, separation, delimitation, and learned distance and time. Most of this is fallacious and delusory, not holistic and of deep insight. When most of us cling to fallacious suppositions and presumptions then disorder is what ensues. And look at what is going on worldwide. (For one thing, if more people questioned wisely, the grocery stores wouldn’t be full of sugar-oriented products and adulterated foods that are shelf-stable but very unhealthy; and we wouldn’t dare dump sugar and crap into our automobile gas tanks.)
If one is fortunate enough to have a good, healthy brain, one can — perhaps — question wisely. Then going beyond crippling conditioning is a tremendous joy, adventure, and blessing beyond words, beyond limitation, beyond mediocrity, beyond time.
From E.E. Cummings: “Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.”
There is here We are them “I” is not When is where Past is future Future is past We are water Up is down Uncurled is curled Tears are joy Hate is mindless Poem is reading Awake not dreaming See not knowing Pour was spill Clean was dirty Little is big Born was dead Left to right Wings are resting Desert was thirsty Jungle was noise War is sorrow Flowers are calling She is he Silence is golden Once is always Time is ticking
The thinking process is largely based on (and dependent upon) measurement. Without measuring, consciously or unconsciously, thinking (for the most part) would not exist. We have concepts about time — like the past, present, and future — and these aspects of thinking are learned measurements, (and may not necessarily reflect true reality). We have mental labels for certain animals and plants, and these mental labels are largely based on measurements and measure-oriented attributes about the animals and plants. Sometimes measurement is necessary but all too often we engage in it in excess (which results in comparison, greed, jealousy, conflict, frustration, judgment, and discrimination).
Real bliss in life, however, occurs beyond mere measuring and labeling. Measuring and labeling are always partial, limited, and fragmented. A brain that mostly just measures and labels is likely a rather robotic brain that is not of a blissful whole.
The following is one of the many koan-like sayings that occur within the Gospel of Thomas. Some top biblical scholars say that this gospel — which was banned by the so-called high priests who were controlled by the Roman Empire — was closer to the historical Christ and is more pristine than the other politically endorsed gospels. One is not necessarily positing that the following saying means anything specific, but it does pertain to going beyond measurement. (Assessing weight is measurement.)
Jesus said, “The father’s kingdom is like a woman who was carrying a jar full of meal. While she was walking along a distant road, the handle of the jar broke and the meal spilled behind her along the road. She did not know it. She noticed no problem. When she reached her house she put the jar down and found it empty.”
The dictionary describes sorrow as ‘the mental suffering caused by loss, disappointment, etc.; sadness, grief, or regret.’ Sorrow is a common phenomenon for human beings and some other animals as well. We suffer mentally, even when some of us are not directly aware of that suffering. A mind of fragmentary mechanical reactions, separation, and secondary symbolic thinking is often what sorrow is. The thinking process itself, though sometimes very necessary, is — whether we admit it or not — a vast (though limited) field of sorrow because it is what is symbolic, fragmentary, and residual (i.e., resulting from something that was previously present). Thinking (per se), being residually shadowlike, is not true bliss.
We often try to avoid sorrow by engaging in escapes… such as entertainment, traveling, reading, engaging in activities, and all kinds of things. But the psychological suffering is usually always there, waiting, confronting again and again around the corner. Escapes are essentially temporary. A very prudent action, in regard to this, is not what just involves another reaction, is not what involves just another standard escape. Reaction is mechanical (bound by thought/thinking) and may be part of the problem. Real action — that is not just another reaction — is holistic and direct. Perceiving suffering directly and holistically may entail seeing it beyond fragmentary, separative distance. Then the psychological suffering isn’t “there” at a distance for you to contend with… rather, you are that suffering; consciousness is not then separate from what suffering is. You used to do things about it to escape from it or evade it. But now — if wisdom is there — intelligence may see that one is what it is (not that it is separate from what one is); when one fully perceives that one is it, reacting to it does not manifest as it did before in the standard old ways. Wisdom is the flame that dissipates suffering and disorder. No separate reaction on your part is necessary. (Such wisdom will naturally help so-called others.)
The dictionary defines “Sensibility” as ‘the capacity to feel.’ We can — if we are aware — observe that our society is largely bereft of “feeling,” these days. More and more people are concerned about money and power… not about others, not about curtailing suffering. Of course, there are some people who care, but society (as a whole) is generally headed in a disorderly direction. In regular public schools, they mostly focus on teaching you the 3 Rs. They do not, unfortunately, encourage students to probe deeply into such things as awareness, compassion, deep perception, self-understanding, mindfulness, wholeness, and transcending limitation. Public schools generally do not want students who would question society’s superficial values and norms. Public schools are generally designed to crank out followers and “robotic sameness.” This is why i’ve consistently donated to decent alternative schools such as the Brockwood Park School.
If you are (or were) educated in a run-of-the-mill public school, you will have to re-educate yourself. You will have to step out of the box. But you can’t easily step out of the box if your conditioning and brain are the box. Profound compassion requires going beyond superficial mental distance and numbing perceived space. Profound compassion is a real art (in a world full of sameness and secondhand imitation).
The space between the perceiver and that which is perceived… what is it? Have you ever wondered about that fundamental question?
That intervening space, that interstice, may primarily result from thought/thinking. Thought/thinking formulates an image (or an assembly of images) about a central observer (i.e., what thought thinks the “self” is). (This has been going on for eons, over the centuries.) Then thought/thinking assembles images or labels concerning what is perceived at a distance. This may seem silly — though it is essentially true — but what occurs is that one set of images or mental patterns about an observer sees what is considered “itself” looking at something (that apparently exists externally) as the observed (that usually manifests mentally via labels and categorizations of thought). So these two sets of constructs, made up of thought/thinking, are what takes place. So, unfortunately, the relationship is primarily between two sets of images (that thought developed)… which is no real relationship at all.
Real relationship goes beyond this habitual mental orchestration (constituted of mere reactions). Then separation and secondhand labeling come to an end. Then the perceiver and that which is perceived are not parts of some fabricated duality. Deep compassion occurs when the perceiver and the perceived are one (beyond the distortion of thought/thinking). Then mentally fabricated space and separation end.
“The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self”. — Albert Einstein
We human beings — most of us anyway — tend to habitually look at everything through mental screens of conditioning that involve boundaries and borders. Most of us habitually delimit what is observed into fragments and snippets involving identification and learned recognition via what was absorbed in the past. Then we often further delineate things via words and labels. Words are symbolic and secondhand; they — for the most part — are not the actuality of what is observed. The word dog isn’t the dog. Words for many people are often seen as realities and although being primarily symbolic, they are not seen as representations but, rather, as what can take the place of reality just fine. Many people get lost in a world of symbolism, often letting the symbols seem to be realities.
It is good to use symbols when needed but it is also good (and very prudent) to go beyond them (and see their limitation). Then, if one is lucky, the whole is there (without the superficial symbolism). And a lot of people will think that they see the whole (although they do not). Self-deception is very easy, especially when that self is, itself, something that seems to recognize a wholeness from a distance. Chicanery is easy when the perceiver and the perceived appear to be separate and when recognition seems to occur from an internal center. Thought/thinking fabricates the internal center and such a supposed center is then given credit for having great perception, or it is praised for being right, or it is given blame for making mistakes, or it is lauded for exercising freedom of choice.
Most minds resist investigating this kind of thing; most minds are heavily conditioned to support the illusion at any cost. And it’s a tragedy really, because the real magic and the profound beauty only occur if one has the passion and the guts to fully delve into it.
I write to encourage others to go beyond conditioning, blind acceptances, and stagnation. Most of us were deeply conditioned in early childhood — and beyond — to absorb and follow what elders spoon-fed to us; they (i.e., the elders), without question, were deeply conditioned themselves throughout their early (and later) lives. We accept so many myriads of things and most of us blindly adhere to these things without question. Most of us are unaware of the extreme degree of our conditioning.
Conditioning is largely illusory in its essence; a conditioned mind is often a rather disorderly mind (though, to itself, it appears to be very orderly and “normal”). A conditioned mind primarily goes on in the same, old patterns while not questioning their value, essence, or impact. Society is a reflection of this conditioning and society is full of illusion, disorder, conflict, separation, friction, and turmoil. Many of us try to escape from such situations via entertainment, amusements, sports, incessant music, vacations, dreams, and various activities. However, the problem is not solved until we question intelligently and understand our own minds deeply. But going beyond being secondhand is very uncomfortable to a lot of people and so fundamental change does not take place.
The dictionary defines time as: ‘The measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues.’
Since Einstein, many scientists have been referring to “spacetime,” wherein space and time are united and not separate.
When we look at time or spacetime in the ordinary way, we — as we were taught — look via the known… via limited measurement and inherited pattern-making. Such time (or spacetime) is circumscribed and very limited. We look via the known and usually see things in a circumscribed, bounded, finite, fixed, and confined way. Such looking is fragmentary, partial, and quite constrained. Very few of us look beyond the known, beyond the second-hand, beyond the restricted templates and limited symbolic arrangements. A beautiful psychological transformation or metamorphosis can enable us to exist beyond such bounded, limited perspectives. However, time is not a factor in getting there; that would be absurd. There is no path to the pathless.
We are predisposed to incessantly label and categorize everything. This was hammered into us at school and most of us have largely become products of that miseducation (or very limited education). We habitually look through a screen of patterns and labels that was handed down to us (by our primitive society). We see what we were taught to see. We usually recognize merely according to what we were programmed to recognize. What we see is usually very limited, second-hand, fragmentary, and banal. Then many of us end up depressed, ordinary, and — to a large extent — mediocre.
Please question what you were taught and (often) go beyond it. Please look without all of the crap that was spoon-fed to you. Please often look at things holistically, without all of the divisions, distinctions, separations, run-of-the-mill labels, and distance. Question what was poured into you. Go out, appreciate what you see, and breathe and live as if for the first time.
There is the silence of a still evening as the sun is setting when none of the beautiful trees have leaves moving or fluttering about. There is the limited silence between notes being played by a wonderful musical instrument. There is the echoless silence in a large theater when no one is there. There is the murmurless silence of a dragonfly peacefully resting.
Silence of the mind can be a most beautiful, spiritual, divine, and wise thing. True spiritual silence is not an act of will. Will is a projection of desire and will is never truly free, though many of us insist that it is. True spiritual silence that comes about naturally, spontaneously, without any cognitive/mental effort, can be a miraculous thing. It occurs when the mind is aware but is not merely accumulating or striving. Control has nothing to do with it, for control is in the pattern of the opposites and is manipulation toward an end; it is merely part of the cause/effect continuum. True spiritual silence is beyond ends to attain; it is beyond cause and effect patterns and sequences. Such silence is an explosion beyond the known… beyond the cunning and ludicrous patterns of man.
Creation seems to be a concept that our primitive, sequential, time-oriented brains lock onto. The universe can have its own intrinsic, organic intelligence (which may reflect — but not be created by — a higher order to some extent). However, that higher order exists beyond conflict and separation. Love is beyond conflict and separation; it is a wholeness.
Regarding those who are pompously dogmatic, who pontificate, telling you exactly what to do according to rigid creeds or beliefs that they expect you to adhere to… may i suggest running away from them (and wisely discovering and examining things for yourself beyond set patterns). And many say they’ve “gone beyond society’s crude patterns” while, all the while, they continue to carry them around mentally (tricking themselves that they’ve gone beyond). It’s so easy to deceive oneself and to wallow in (and “as”) that deception; it’s so easy to live a mechanical, robotic-automaton life, falling into programmed, spoon-fed habits and perspectives sadly beyond the natural, holistic, unfettered (living) beauty.
A few students walked past the elderly Lo Zu as he was sitting quietly in nature. As they were passing, they briefly paused near the wise and highly respected Lo Zu and he briefly stated this: “Beyond all of the so-called religious mumbo-jumbo, just sit still and perish to what you’ve been told. Do not try to ‘make’ the mind silent; just be passionate about the intrinsic beauty of true silence and then perhaps true silence will naturally manifest. You cannot make the un-makable.”
Four young people saw the elderly, willowy Lo Zu walking (as he often did with his trusty meandering cane). They asked him where he was going. Lo Zu replied, “I am going nowhere and I am coming from nowhere. A truly silent mind is of no place, so it is nowhere; being of nowhere it may, thus, be everywhere.” The sagacious Lo Zu — who had immense compassion for all living things — kept on walking, leaving the young students pondering. And though he left them, he was always with them.
We — most of us — live in (and “as”) the linear past, moving into what we think is the future. However, this future is, for the most part, a projection or fabrication from the past, and when unusual things later pop up we arrange them to fit into our storage of narrow past recognitions. (These recognitions constitute what we “are.”) We can fool ourselves into thinking that we often live in the present — in some kind of here and now — but usually it is the clockwork past deluding itself. Self-understanding and critical self-awareness may go beyond the limitations of all this. Such understanding and awareness are not merely the result of some learned processes or taught techniques.
When one was in grade school at, of course, a very young age, one was in one’s upstairs bedroom. Suddenly, one was in an extremely perceptive state in which thought/thinking was not in occurrence. One realized, without internal words or symbols, that it was a very “special” mental state (much different from regular, mundane consciousness involving thought/thinking). Somehow it was instantaneous in nature, not involving time and the sequence that words and time are involved in. From then on, one would occasionally go into that dimension (or “special” mode).
Back then, one did not label it as anything. “Meditation” was not a word that i was familiar with; “meditation” was not discussed or mentioned in my culture or educational background at the time (way back then). Only later, in one’s college days, did i discover more about the term “meditation.” Interestingly, one found that a lot of what some gurus from the East were presenting as “meditation” was really a form of self-hypnosis (involving mere concentration, effort, resistance, and time). Thought/thinking, being a sequential mental process, involves (and actually is) time. Profound perception is beyond time; it is a beautiful timelessness that thought cannot “make happen.”
Here is an excerpt from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman…
How beautiful and perfect are the animals!
How perfect the earth, and the minutest thing upon it!
What is called good is perfect, and what is called bad is just
The vegetables and minerals are all perfect, and the imponderable
fluids are perfect;
Slowly and surely they have pass'd on to this, and slowly and surely
they yet pass on.
I swear I think now that everything without exception has an
The trees have, rooted in the ground! the weeds of the sea have!
I swear I think there is nothing but immortality!
That the exquisite scheme is for it, and the nebulous float is
for it, and the cohering is for it;
And all preparation is for it! and identity is for it! and life
and materials are altogether for it!
The dictionary defines Nirvana as: ‘(in Buddhism) perfect bliss attained by the extinction of individuality.’
And the following — which may reflect the above definition — may be one pristine part of the bible that managed to get through without being adulterated much over time by those with mythological propensities:
35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’
Lo Zu was sitting peacefully, adjacent to a beautiful, small creek with splendid, lush vegetation growing all around it. A towering, majestic mountain stood in the distance. Four inquisitive, very young students came by, and one of them said to Lo Zu, “Tell us something of wisdom; please tell us something that will amaze us.”
Lo Zu turned to them, smiling, and said, “Well, my friends, that’s a very tall order!” The youths all affectionately smiled at the aged Lo Zu and agreed. Lo Zu gazed at them and said (half to himself), “Let’s see… what can one say (or do) that would sufficiently satisfy such a tall order?” Then Lo Zu said, “How about if i get that mountain to move? Would that be sufficient?” “Oh, yes it would, indeed,” said one of the young students, “but it can’t be done.”
“Maybe you shouldn’t be so sure,” Lo Zu stated, grinning. Lo Zu continued on, “You see, in the mind, psychologically, it is such that the perceiver is (in a big way) the perceived. If the mind feels anger, it is the anger; if the mind feels joy, it is the joy; if the mind sees a tree (the patterns and the colors of that tree become what the mind is); if the moon is perceived, it’s image becomes what the mind is (psychologically). So the perceiver is (psychologically) the perceived. The two are as one.
“Yes,” the students said. Lo Zu went on, “So if one of you students looks at the mountain, and i move you… then in a big way, the mountain will move.” “Very interesting,” the students proclaimed.
Then Lo Zu said, “”There is a great book, stemming from a great and very wise man, that was written in a foreign land a short while back. It was a cornerstone book that was rejected by the authoritarian (so-called spiritual) bureaucrats in that land (who wanted to manipulate people and did not want them to be independent); they arranged for all of those who cherished that book to be executed. The book was called ‘The Gospel of Thomas.’ Here is one of the sayings from within that book: “When you make the two into one, you will become children of humanity, and when you say, ‘Mountain, move from here,’ it will move.””