Monday, January 17, 2011

Tearing down the ediface

To climb the nonexistent mountain, it is necessary to plan ahead - in what state are my tools? Perhaps I will need to replace some of them, others may be too heavy for the journey. Each tool must be evaluated and, if found lacking, discarded. I'm going to begin by considering the value of thought, of the thinker.

Philosophical/psychological discourse has always failed to unravel the mystery of our presence in the world. The division between being and thought remains unbridged by ordinary means.

As Krishnamurti reminds us, thought itself, born from past experiences and previously accumulated knowledge, cannot occupy the vital present. It must inevitably be a product of the past and cannot hope to illuminate the phenomena of being - being which occupies the past only as lifeless memory.

So thought - past, dead thought - can have nothing in common with being and cannot explain being. However, it is the only tool I currently possess. How to solve this dilemma?

To make a tool of thought, I must first learn to separate thought from being. What is 'I' and what is thought? Perhaps then 'I' (of the present) could direct 'thought' (of the past), using it as a tool rather than mistaking it for my presence.

But which 'I' may be considered as distinct from thought? Because I am not unified - there are thousands of individual 'I's that comprise my consciousness. The 'I' that decides to get up early the next day is not the same 'I' that switches off the alarm clock in the morning - I dare say those two 'I's do not even like each other.

So an impasse is reached - thought itself, being fundamentally a product of the past, cannot hope to comprehend the phenomena of existence, which wholly occupies the present. And, while it is theoretically possible that a separation between consciousness and thought might be made in which the former might use the latter as a tool for self-reflection, it is clear that there is no unified conscious 'I' to wield such a tool.

The following statements must then be held to be true:

(1) Thought is divided from being in the same way as past is divided from the present.
(2) If thought is not to be mistaken for the thinker, for self, then a separation must be made between them.
(3) The self is not unified, therefore I cannot know who thinks at any given time. I cannot separate the thinker from the thought because there is no one thinker - I am legion.
(4) This makes the further question of whether my thoughts can be considered as my own quite redundant as the very concept of 'my' ceases to have any meaning.


  1. Yes, I understand completely, I cannot be sure, but when I read you, you call to my girl in the basement, and she comes running; it seems like the same one each time; indeed, how to know?
    I have labelled the bridge between thought and being: Speaker of the House. I would like to say it is always the speaker, but again...I am not there yet, if I ever will be. and yet, the SOTH commands a certain gray presence of balanced negotiator, needed when dealing with legion.
    From the information I have gathered thus far, it seems thought is like a running loop much of the time; automatic--thinking getting lazy, and letting moving try to do all the work! but thoughts, real thoughts, when they come--who they come from--seem a collective thing, no matter who they come from; an entity, or many different--all with the same fundamental sides.math.
    Take poetry, words, if i reach up I can pick one out, and write it down, sign my name, and there it is before me: a piece of the collective whole. but being, this is something "other"; the pearl inside the golden egg.
    I love this blog.

  2. I have spent probably too much time 'thinking' about this very 'thing'. I think part of the problem for me is that the moment we begin to try to articulate 'our' thoughts we do bring in past and future and multiple I's. I would say much of the so called intelligence attributed to man has limited value but again that is I suppose perspective. If you're goal is to rid yourself of the false selves and consider your primary goal is your consciousness and then making sure your secondary goals are complimentary of your primary goal then mans brilliance means little. It gets very tied up in knots when I begin to try to put into words some of the concepts were are talking about. Primarily because I question whether mans languages are capable of expressing truths. (not that we shouldn't try). But immediately I get somewhat frustrated with the amount of quotes I feel I need to start putting around to show that the I in the sentence is not the I that 'I'm' talking about. Second to that are the paradoxes that many I believe are created solely by our language. Its hard to discuss without falling into or creating even more duality, I feel, I think, I said, etc. Perhaps knowing is not what we think to begin with, I think all we can do is know about something until we find our true I. Because unless you are it (no duality) you can only know about it. I also believe language is one of the enablers if you will of a great deal of confusion over these concepts being passed along through the ages. Limits and diversity of vocabulary, education, understanding, and more have personalized and bastardized so many of the teachings. I don't mean to be negative here, but just expressing one possible problem with trying to understand these topics. I think you have staged this discussion extremely well and maybe my rambling will only help prove my insanity. My feeling is that so many times what we say at best only points to the truth. Just as you pointed out, the I that is writing this versus the other I's and other concepts of the other I's makes me wonder how we ever understand anything and is maybe why it seems we so freely adopt 'soft truths' or relative truths. It just makes things easier. The lazy speak born out of the lazy thought. When you watch thoughts you ask who's watching, it's not the thinker. therefore all that the 'thinker' is thinking is rubbish based on a false world, false past and future, etc. In the end thought may not be it at all, what we are looking for is a knowing that comes from being and thought is a mere toy of the ego. I'm sorry if these 'thoughts' by the way are disjointed.
    1. Who cares what the thinker thinks if he is mad to begin with?
    2. What value is thinking once you've realized that the thinker is not you and is thinking based on illusions that he creating to hide his madness.
    3. If you watch 'your' thoughts its really easy to being to believe that they are not yours, as I wrote once they seem like a soupy aggregate of unconscious thought shared by all. A collective unconsciousness or madness.
    I'll leave with something I heard once and it struck me deeply - The real truth can't not be spoken! I believe the Tao De Ching also says in the beginning, the Tao that can be spoken is not the true Tao. Again maybe not something that can be said but know, then the question becomes how do you teach what can not be said, which might explain a lot.

  3. Anthony--you said it! I hear the unskoken in what you just said; this is why I love poetry so much, as it speaks what cannot be said, but can only be felt in the space of no space, where the cherry blossoms fall, and the wind makes smiles from clouds.
    perhaps only the mad keep quiet; writing the moon between thoughts.

  4. Thanks Kristin and Anthony - I know much of this must seem self-evident but I feel that by methodically eliminating all the functions of the mind that cannot help us to understand being, it's possible that a way may yet be found. And if not then at least much of my self-delusion will be dispelled! It doesn't seem like such a lonely journey with you guys here! so thank you for that.

  5. I think you are on the right track, please forgive my ramblings but it is born out of frustration and again as far what I say the way I write it might give someone the impression I know but I do not, I'm very much whistling in the dark. None of it is self evident to me so I don't mean to imply knowledge I don't' have. I'm very much thankful as you that I have a chance to take this journey with both of you.

  6. :) Funny, while at work today, my mind would not stop thinking about how I should learn to keep my mouth shut, as what often comes out is garbled and untranslatable (unless it's written/poetry); and about how I know so little, I may it may in fact be damaging to open my mouth and try to explain what is, in a language I have yet to fully learn. would it not be helpful to truly see another without having to speak. I wish to learn this language, but until I do, you're stuck with my ramblings and working out of bugs.
    I am so thankful for both of you; I know i am the little sister of the group, and am thankful you let me tag along.

  7. Lovely that you could join us Loplop. You may have noticed that our conversation on thought has arrived at similar conclusions to Krishnamurti's views on the topic - although there are points of deviation too. I couldn't agree more about the need to exercise great caution when it comes to accepting the authority of religions, creeds etc. When this ceases to be a personal search it slips back into sleep and abstraction. You are most welcome here.

  8. Hi... can I be a Sherpa? :)

    "I feel that by methodically eliminating all the functions of the mind that cannot help us to understand being, it's possible that a way may yet be found. And if not then at least much of my self-delusion will be dispelled!"

    Sounds like a wild ride into nakedness. How beautiful!

  9. Thanks Blake - a wild ride into nakedness is exactly what this is. Please you could join us :)