A layman's one-time blog, article, essay, whatever
"In this tiny planet lives tiny beings with tiny brains producing experiences in a tiny corner of the head.
The emperor is all clothes and all about skin in the age of packaging and marketing. A reflection on what we have become.
No apologies to those who know they do not know. Words are freely used here. They will come and go, whether in seeming clarity or contradictions. It's here and not here so it is not because the mind is clear, but rather one never knows when the mind is clear. Saying the mind is clear would be like asking if the sky is clear. But the sky is the sky. One can not grab it, only the things moving around. So can there also be clarity in a mind emptying itself of its contents? One has to find out for oneself.
Freedom is boundless intelligence. The other way around is not, so it is not about what one wants or demands. It can not be measured so nothing to do with size and numbers, whether one has more possessions than others or one is in a higher position than others in the steep ladder of human aspirations.
It is not something that can be aspired for, so it is not about comparison. Not about the-more-and-the-better, nor about the-more-the-better. It comes on its own from its unknown nature, not driven by thinking, not by or for the personal, not something to be claimed or possessed, for arrogance of the learned or an owner only covers it up with ignorance.
It has no opposites so it is not about games of opposites. We old minds may recall innocent games we enjoyed as children. Like being in a seesaw with one end going up while the other end is going down, a playful game of opposites. Another common enjoyment is the swing, just oneself going up and down. Growing up however requires the learning of self-nurturing games of opposites that adults go through in the individual pursuit of a successful life (drumroll). In the daily exposures to the way of life and pressures to blend in by cultural conditioning, so on, that a child experiences to become *something*, so as not to be regarded and treated as *nothing*, it is all too often that when knowledge is gained, being a child is lost.
That intelligence is not something put together by thought, invested with meaning and purpose. It is not in the movement of thought so it is not of the mind. Giving it a name and putting words around it is not it.
Rather it is from nature, something brought about by eons of evolution. It is natural intelligence already here, an inheritance through the species. We have glimpses of it as children when we go through wondrous states or magical moments when touched by something new and unknown to our child mind. It is also in the pure anguish when a child sees something in physical pain. We see it also in action, not as premeditated action, but at times of crisis that demands critical action and no time for thought except time to respond to a pure demand for all to act together or for one to help another in distress, not bounded by motivations and questions about differences, whether accidental or ones that separate. That natural intelligence is also there in utter silence, in the adult ever a child reborn, in seeing the immensity of it all through the nothingness of the mind, whether looking at a tiny leaf or being among the bright night sky and the silent stars. It is not when in a silence fabricated by the mind, but when the mind is silenced by what is before it, unable to touch it, unable to put a word into it."
"The beginning of the end of the wonderment in a child is when it is introduced to knowing, to knowledge, to the familiarity of someone or something. Confined to knowledge in its young life, and into the psychology that the way to life is through knowledge. Knowledge built from the first word learned and uttered through the first recitation, remembrance and repetition. Knowing is born and when followed by understanding, the first answer is in for the first question by the I-know as one who has the answers. Then I-know gives birth to its opposite I-don't-know and this seals it all for knowledge to be the be-all-and-end-all that covers up not knowing. I-know and I-don't-know working together to settle all questions with ready answers—the known and the unknown as one.
In a child's early mind, out of nothing something is born to be nourished by thought through thinking. In the who there must be someone, in the what there must be something, in the why there must be cause, in the when there must be time, in the how there must be a way, in the where there must be space. A child is brought up to know by reciting, repeating and remembering. In the new are moments of wonder when discoveries are made in early explorations. In the old, familiarities are reinforced as things appear and reappear in the mind. Ask a child, and the child readily answers, for the questions already contain answers. Ask an adult, and the devil is in the details, what's embraced at the moment, by the evolution of the self, a reality shaped by nurturing of wants, feelings, emotions, experiences, thoughts, words, so on, bundled into self-importance in the want of permanence and fulfillment.
From the young, not yet hardened by the conditioning by knowledge, into adulthood, hardened by the grip of conditioned knowledge, is a leap into nurturing a way of life in a particular culture. The conditioning by knowledge is evolution revolutionized into questions and answers, so to speak, that is unique to the human species. For thinking has become a tool to stimulate, repeat and strengthen what are valued as desirable, of the sensual or whatever. But as what is desirable implies the undesirable, it is a process of constant conflicts. The noises and reactions is what dominate—stresses from thinking and from primordial reactions busy working the switches, or synapses, with the slightest invitation or provocation. Yet in the million of years.of evolution, there is also what appears inaccessible to human thinking, of what might be acausal, quiet living intelligence already is but unseen, pushed in the background by the cause and effect noises of becoming, emerging only under the right conditions.
In the world of knowledge, of the interplay of questions and answers, is also the birth of symbolic human aspirations when sensations are nuanced into categories, into words. On top are what are called universal or ultimate questions: meaning of life, purpose of life, truth, free will, morality, so on. But are called ultimate only because behind the questions is the ultimate questioner - the seeker of answers as all that there is has become an object of knowing by human thought. With values set by human thought, especially when the questions also fabricate the opposite reflections. Purpose into purposeless, meaning into meaningless, morality into immoral, so on. Unseen in the questions is already the answers that produce the questions: the question evoking the need for valued answers, to impress on the inquisitive that in the question must be an answer. Much like the seeking of something from nothing that traps the thinker in seeking. Or trapped in the same human condition of illusions and delusions, producing the spectrum of answers and the conflicts of opposites. The yes or no, pros and cons preserving the status quo of the continuity of thought and of seeking. And round and round we go with all the categorizing nuances, from hidden answers into posing of the questions, from so-called solutions into their problems. Looking for ghosts in the mirror while not seeing what is before the mirror, for it too has become a category by thought - the mind, thinker, self, the I, free will, spirit, soul, consciousness, whatever name is given to the mirage of a center.
For all that there is has become only as reflections of human thought, that looking outside is but a reflection of what is inside, of the categorizing by the thinker of its things in memory, the center of every thing in a private materialistic world of ideas in the tiny corner of the head."
"People like to take a walk in nature for the presence of all this around us. For the space and beauty of the scenery that it gives, for the vastness of the ocean beyond and of the skies above that stirs the imagination even into a glimpse of eternity. For the silence that the attention to the natural sounds give, for the forms, colors, movements of it all away from the everyday life. For the urge to take home pictures what the memories can not retain. And so on for whatever images the imagination will evoke or just for the special moments when in the solitude the self is temporarily forgotten.
Yet unknowingly the walk is from the perspective of a state of knowing, from the conditioning of accumulated knowledge into I-know and I-don't know, translating what the sensory system stimulates from an undivided world that the mind can not hold into a journey of the knowing mind in its inner world of dissected things. That all this before the eyes is not seen because it is known. It is already something."
"Human thought lives with two destructive states of knowing that strengthens each other. One is that it does not know that it does not really know and in that is the ignorance accepting all kinds of something from nothing. The other is the illusion of the magician with its magic of all magic: that it knows. Which brings arrogance to the ignorance: an authority unknowingly fabricating answers to questions that are not there and fabricating solutions for problems that do not exist. The something from nothing for the individual to be something to itself, the narrowing of knowing into the delusion of self-importance. In it is the human condition of suffering, unseen by the knower in the daily pressures to live the life in its private materialistic world of ideas.
In the moment when nature is freed from the stranglehold of knowing is the immensity in the silence and nothingness. The immensity not of size but of being free from the the grip of the materialistic world of ideas. In the silence, nature being not of ideas. In the nothingness, nature being not of things. No point of contact or separation for there is no individual looking up. There is only nature looking down, for lack of better terms, and in this, unparadoxically, is the immensity of silence and nothingness unto the living organism. In the silence and nothingness the organism is back to nature from the illusion of separation, into being nothing to itself. For what is looking down is not human thought, but the boundless presence of what is alive.
Yet all these words can not be but by and for the knower, in the description of when human thought is not. It would be silly to ask a jellyfish what is it like to be a jellyfish, but also silly to ask a knower what is it like looking at all this when the knower is not, for it can backstep all the way from the known into its unknown, the source of something from nothing. Somewhere in the evolution of intelligence between the jellyfish and the knower must be a gift of nature: the boundless presence of all there is unto the living - evolution's ultimate magic in any walk of life.
When knowledge and the knower are seen for the conditioning that they are, then the ordinary life is a compelling life, no choice or decision can be made. It is not that the conditioning ends but it is that the conditioning is seen and the seeking is seen. Life is ordinary because it has no need to be anything else. There is no goal to attain it because it is already in everyone. One does not have to clutter and burden the mind with all kinds of thinking trying to find out how. What is already here is not an idea and not a thing, not in the naming or the owning of anything. There is rather the autonomous, beyond-any-control cleaning of clutter from how knowledge conditions. Knowledge is necessary in order to function in a changing world, but the nurturing of knowledge on how to live hides the living intelligence already there in the organism. The continuity of the reality in the how-to's is what superimposes on the day-to-day life and so it is also the conditioning that hides itself."
"OUT THERE" into "IN HERE"
The evolution of human thought is a leap from an organism reliance on its senses to navigate its environment. From the need of "memory" to identify and react in order to survive "out there", evolving into memory as an "intellect" and "experiencing" mechanism. In time, the ability to translate, interpret, manipulate what is in memory evolving into symbolic "thinking". The human species adapted to a reality of knowing, the "out there" into "in here", a private materialistic world of ideas in the tiny corner of the head.
From the primitive process of identifications and reactions in order to survive, evolving into the symbolic process of identities and recognitions. Nuanced into a concreteness of "things" and "ideas", the artifacts of knowing and thinking.
In the reality of human thought in the space of memory is the conceptual division of space and time. In the here and there, this and that of space, and the past-present-future continuity of time. Also in a sense of existence as the illusory knower, the center of thinking, made concrete by a self-validating and self-affirming knower and thinker. Psychologically and existentially trapped in the state of knowing, the knower "lives" in its inner world where questions are from answers framed in things and ideas. The images of the "presence" of things and ideas in the inner world empowers human thought to be the "living" reality.
In the knowing of things and ideas, everything is a thing whether abstracted as a thing or an idea. As such, every thing is a commodity. And being a commodity, invested with values from the conditioning of the individual and of culture. Including values on values, in the mirroring to self-reflect, as in to own and to be the owner, ideas into ideals, free will to be free, the more the better, so on and on. Round and round it goes from in the knowing to be the knower, to different levels and layers in the valuing of things and ideas. Something to itself in the one and the other.
The natural world, all there is "out there" is not of the known. It is not of the world of memory, not in the world of human thought. What is in memory is not "out there" in the sense that a reflection in the mirror is not "out there" as the reflected. What seems obvious however is also muddled because the knower "lives" in memory, but not "out there". Yet it is the very image of the reflected in the reflection of the organism that gives "concreteness" to the movement of thought in the space of memory. A knower being something to itself in the movement of thought validates its "presence" and the "presence" of things and ideas in its inner world. And in the sense of itself among other presence, to aspire for change, human thought always on the move, to be something else, to be somewhere else.
The illusion of an inner world of things and ideas is the reality of the knower, "living" in memory with its hoardings of identities and recognitions, contacts and separations. And importantly, a knower that "sees" itself also to be outside the inner world, extending its existential and experiential states in an outer world. The "out there" translated into the reality of knowing in the inner world and projected as the outer world. Being there in the outer world, the knower does what knowing does, to see "nature", the outer world, as a separate thing itself and separable into things, thus dragging "out there", the natural world, into the reality of human thought to be confined to the "presence" of things and ideas. As such, from abstractions and materializations by the mind is the illusion of things and ideas in a materialistic world of ideas. "Being there", the ghost in the machine is real. The natural world, absorbed by the translation into the reality of the ghost, is nowhere to be seen.
Something to itself in its inner and outer worlds, the knower is at once separate and the center. Hence being separate among other things, and as knower and knowing go, the familiarities with the separation of one from the other and the contact of one with the other breed a sense of identities and recognitions of the one and the other. In the knowing of oneself the need is to know the other. And in the stimulus and response reaction, contact and separation is eye-to-eye, from one to the other, from the knower to its object of knowing, whether a thing or an idea, as the knower being something concrete to itself, is also concreteness in the other.
Eye-to-eye contact is also central in the knower's state of knowing. There has to be eye-to-eye contact with its things and ideas. Being there is not of being but of becoming, not of "what-is" but of images, of "what-is-it-like-to-be-this-or-that", "what-is-it-like-to-be-the-other". Of meaning and purpose, experiencing, conditioning, interplays of questions and answers, so on. In the imagemaking of the how's of becoming and what-is-it-like-to-be is the knower's existential need to fabricate questions of being and becoming. In abstractions, concepts, contemplations, nuancing of ideas, the something from nothing fabrications in its inner and outer worlds. In the expanding space of human thought, but with the knower confined in its worlds of things and ideas, the preoccupation is the pursuit of concepts, ideals like happiness, ownership, truth, ideologies, relationships, love, morality, spirituality, universality, oneness, so on and on, everything being a thing, the word and the image in the word a thing. The eye-to-eye contact is also the concreteness that reinforces conditioning, thus reinforcing the "presence" of things and ideas.
The imagemaking and the image probably appeared more real and selective with things that are "seen" in the outer world. Especially with personal things and its extension to personal wants leading to more nuanced idea-making. And in the pursuit of eye-to-eye contact with the one and the other, being something to itself into a reinforced mirage of "consciousness" in human thought from the processing of information and experience moment to moment in the space of memory of the inner world.
The preoccupation of human thought in the want of control of its worlds of knowing is all visible in the daily life. In the want of control is the dominance of the inner world over the outer world. The need to know in order to tame the control of nature in the human species need for survival, into its control of nature beyond the need for survival. Psychologically, in the likes and dislikes, biases and prejudices, conclusions and attachments, and so on, with the opposites. In the grip of the center as an individual. Or the center as a group from the grip of authority and of cultural conditioning. In the knower's need to find out how to be something else, how to be somewhere else.
The subject of its object, ideals from ideas, comfort from security, the owner and the owned, answers and questions, of purpose and meaning, idealizations of aspirations, future in the hope, "solution" of the "problem", "ask-and-it-will-be-answered", "imagine-and-it-will-be-real"...and on and on, on what knowing can do and can be. Something from nothing in action. Things and ideas, both commodities in the tinkering of the practical and the tinkering of identities and recognitions. The common purpose to gain control and the meaning to be in control - the human thought conditioning into being trapped and self-confined in the "presence" of things and ideas.
What is not seen in the reality of the knower is the presence of "out there", the natural world that is not of experiencing, not of comprehension, not of knowing, not of the known. The concreteness of the knower and the eye-to-eye contact or separation of the knower with things and ideas, and its two worlds are not "out there". In the nothingness and silence, the knower comes up empty in the grasping of things that can not be seen, and the silence deafening in listening to what can not be heard. Knowing can not be found, the knower not being "out there". To ask "what is it like to be" is might as well be to ask "what is it like to be me" for the answers are from the known, from a thing of human thought, where every question is from a beginning, the "presence" of things and ideas. The seeming contradiction is caused by the need and the futility to communicate that all communication hides what can not be communicated. For in the wants and preoccupation with the-more-and-the-better is not what is immeasurable, in the same sense that "out there" is not of the known and thus can not be known.
Evolved traits including "intelligence", pure instincts or instinctive functions before and during early human species may still lurk in humans. Species eons before the human species are still here - the evolution of what is "alive" , plants, primordial species with or without nervous systems, with or without senses. The "experiencing" of living space without the image and imagemaking of human thought may still be in non-human species.
When human thought is not, what happens in the "experiencing" of "out there", the natural world that is all there is? In the evolving "intelligence" of some primordial species, without the mirroring of itself into a state of existence, without turning itself and its environment into an object of knowing and owning - or maybe fortunately, that it has no ability to do so. But able to look, and see "out there" with no sense of "being there".
The sensual impressions from the primary senses provide a window to "out there". Although it is of an illusory "reality" that is fabricated by a brain, it represents the presence of "out there", of the natural world. As presence is an evidence of existence, an evolution of a sense of presence must be an important role on how organisms cope with its environment and so also on how the basic senses evolved.
What is the color green is something that a non-thinking species can not know though it may be seeing the color green. As it is dark inside the brain and as it is said an illusory color green is produced by the brain, a human may also not know what is the color green. And this may well apply to all sensations, bundled as "feelings". Perceptions of colors, sounds, taste, smell, touch may not be the sensual happenings or events that they appear to be. But are only evolution's fabricated "representations". The brain producing its "ghosts" of sensations, so to speak, so an organism can "see", "hear", "taste", "smell". And "feel". Thus bringing "realism", bundled as "experiences", to the perceiving organism, to be able to "sense" what's going on. How pain evolved is telling for its useful effect and also for having a seeming opposite, pleasure.
One can say "but I can feel the pain as real, taste the food as good". Which is something thought wants to hear so it can also create its own representations.
Human thought took "realism and thus "reality" to another level by fabricating its own representations in the form of images. Thought itself becomes the mirror that sense its presence and its state of separation. Being "of thought and in thought" into a becoming of "by thought and for thought". The tool of language nuancing the separations between stimulus and response, cause and effect, subject and object, sensations and perceptions, knowing and knower, mind and body and on and on. Thought serves itself also to be the toolmaker that can shape thinking and language - power begetting more power.
Thus in the separative world of "things" and "ideas", thought's images and thought's self-validating image of itself becomes the "living" background that negates the presence and the sense of presence of the world "out there".
From what comes from all the shufflings, there maybe no less baffling than "consciousness" - how it can be perceived. Perceived as "real" it is also perceived as a "hard" problem. Or an "easy" problem maybe if feelings are only make-belief sensitivities somehow created by the brain - more like the brain yelling "fire" being the fire itself.
Perceived as illusion it is a mirage, a something from nothing. A mirage that "appears" from the recitations with "feeling" of thought's modelings of a private world of space and time in memory. All from the script of "being there" as the center of it all.
Whatever sensations and perceptions really are and however psychological adaptations or conditionings does, the human species is at once both motivated by and dominated by sensual "experiences". Of pain and pleasures in various forms and stimulants. And seeming separation into 2 sides of the same coin. For one is the other, the opposite is in the opposite as it can be effortless to leap from one side to the other. And as also common is gaining pleasure from pain or pain from pleasure. So in the struggle to avoid pain and pursue pleasure, the illusory boundary of separation set by thought is a moving line.
In the centrality of the sense of presence and attention to itself, is the human condition of finding a "mind" and its contents being trapped in a "body". The isolation creating the state of wanting - of expanding, of transcendence or free will over its contents, so on. But as images are freely available, the imagemaker is also enclosed and trapped by its own image of "progresssive" states, the-more-and-the-better, on to all sorts of the-More-and-the-Better of more make-belief. "What do I do?", the how in the psychology of wanting is also what thought wants to hear, for the authority under whatever name to say what itself or others would want to hear.
Nothing to do. In the pursuit of happiness the pursuit is the unhappiness so the pursuit goes on. One is in the other so one image against the other, thought against thought. Nothing to chase, to get, to own, to collect, to hoard, to nuance into words, to imagine, to name, so on and on. It is all unknowingly by and for the center whether it is as an individual, group, culture or as the human species itself. The wanting and the doing is one. Thought is both the center and the moving line, the pursuit is at the expense of itself and the human species itself, and all life on the planet. Illusions and delusions all too common in the history of the human species, especially as there is always the promising images of permanence, of a future and of hope. There is only the illusion of the presence of the center and its own images...but this is not what human thought wants or likes to hear, unknowingly hiding, for thought's self-preservation, in the conditioned i-like-i-don't-like-it way of listening.
Presence is primary to existence as existence is or is not. As such presence is not of thought and as such the sense of presence can be a "more" fundamental sense in evolution of life than the basic senses. A sense of presence may evolve in thinking species, and probably even in non-thinking species, and may vary from species to species and within the species or organism. Maybe none in ancient organisms, or with a selective or varied sense of details, or as a whole with neither a sense of separation nor non-separation, or the force in a presence.
It is difficult for thought to look without the centrality of "being there", or rather maybe impossible, because with thought, whose nature is knowing, the presence of things and ideas superimposes on the presence of "out there". To put it crudely, looking at "all this", as "out there", can only translate into "there is this, looking at all that".
But what can be said about the "psychology of not knowing"? Or is it an oxymoron as there is neither the sense of separation nor the sense of non-separation. Even in a "primitive" evolution of a sense of presence what is it like indeed to be a bat, or a more evolved non-human species, such as a whale?
"Being there" is of the "presence" of things and ideas, of what is not the presence of "out there". There has to be something, there has to be knowing. As such, "being there" is of the knower, of a reality confined to knowing, confined to the "presence" of things and ideas. As such, there can not be eye-to-eye contact in the presence of "out there" for there is no one when there is no other. The force in the presence of "out there" is the force of "out there". As such is the force in the thunderbolt in the question, crudely put, that has no beginning and can not be asked: "What happens looking at one's outer world without being there?"