The Burden of Memory

We believe  that the benefit of knowledge as we have come to understand it is ultimate and that it is real, We rear and train our  children in hope of developing their memory towards that ability and being able to retain that information. Through that process we learn to experience life through the concepts that we have learned and stored in rote memory not aware that there is a consequence for this. It occupies much of the space in our process of attention.

There is much more in life to be witnessed  through attending to direct experience and in living from this place not burdened by the accumulation of relative information that has come to fill our brains and create artificial boundaries that separate us from what we are not separate from. The brain operates in a way that it is not necessary to be actively working on retaining memory, which in doing we are not attending to what is constantly unfolding in the dance of creation.

More occurs in attending to life in a way that is  present than we have come to realize. Concepts are useful in sharing and communicating but in our confusion about their value we have allowed them to block us from deeper realization. A person can be informed through information accumulated in books and libraries about any given subject but do they really know; in  fact can that way of depending on knowledge be blocking us from  a more authentic experience and realization.

There always seems to be something missing in our intellectual assumptions and analysis and belief in our objective ability but if we we can learn to quiet the mind,  in that stilling we can begin to see beyond the crazy images and dreams that we have been taught and have  come to believe as reality and in that letting go and dropping of effort and convention we see from a more direct experience,  things as they are.

Gord

Is it not essential that there should be a constant renewal, a rebirth? If the present is burdened with the experience of yesterday there can be no renewal. Renewal is not the action of birth and death; it is beyond the opposites; only freedom from the accumulation of memory brings renewal, and there is no understanding save in the present.The mind can understand the present only if it does not compare, judge; the desire to alter or condemn the present without understanding it gives continuance to the past. Only in comprehending the reflection of the past in the mirror of the present, without distortion, is there renewal.If you have lived an experience fully, completely, have you not found that it leaves no traces behind? It is only the incomplete experiences that leave their mark, giving continuity to self-identified memory. We consider the present as a means to an end, so the present loses its immense significance. The present is the eternal. But how can a mind that is made up, put together, understand that which is not put together, which is beyond all value, the eternal?As each experience arises, live it out as fully and deeply as possible; think it out, feel it out extensively and profoundly; be aware of its pain and pleasure, of your judgments and identifications. Only when experience is completed is there a renewal. We must be capable of living the four seasons in a day; to be keenly aware, to experience, to understand and be free of the gatherings of each day. – Krishnamurti, J. Krishnamurti, The Book of Life

What Is True

The Search  Photo by Gord
The Search Photo by Gord

I often find it difficult to find words to express my experience. They  never seem to be able to capture the humility, sense of gratefulness and mystery that are often a part of what I experience these days. There is something creative when using words simular to using paint to create a picture. Some times one is happy wirh the painting and at times obe is not so happy.

The greatest  influence in my painting and creating, and my life searching has been a desire to live and eypress myself in a way that is authentic. Feeling grateful, humble and seeing the mystery all seem to be connected to this. Outside of these sensations I don’t really know what is true and what is not and I am very doubtful that anyone else does.

I have come to trust more in a place of direct experience within for that guidance than in  investing too much time and hope in anything that might come from elsewhere. Attending to life through awareness has something that I have increasingly focused on over the years. I know that I have entered this intensely human aware experience when compassion, connectivity and a sense of self realisation are present. There is a sense of coming to intimately know something that can not be known through other efforts. It is only here that I have a sense of thriving in  being a fundamental part of something  authentic, that in awareness is extended to others as it deserves to be. In coming to be more in this place it allows for acceptance and change and an unfolding to occur in a way that is natural and real. From these depths within myself I am aware that I am an inseparable from all else here on this planet and further beyond it and from this wholeness all experience in life is more intimate and there exists a wisdom more relevant than anything I encounter that has been produced through our external ways of knowing that we have become dependent on.

Humans Becoming Mechanical and Abstract

Knowledge, even the best scientific knowledge  interprets experience through human cultural understanding. The origins of culture and language and social life involved the use of symbol, ritual and metaphor. Words themselves as concepts have these origins and are limited in their representation of phenomenon. They can serve to illuminate a way to envision an experience or to suggest a way that another might have a similar experience but they are not the experience. The direct experience is somewhat irreplaceable as a source of what we know especially in terms of what we are or where we have come from. In the early years of language there was fewer words and they were more directly linked to what they were referring to. Ironically in our modern age we seem to have come to a place where we look to and rely on greater abstraction  as part of our experience. We could say that it has come to a point where it has largely replaced experience.  We so often  look to others, who and what we think to be more dependable,  more external sources for much of our understanding about life and knowing.

Gary Gutting’s article “Does evolution Explain Religious Beliefs” in the New York Times   http://nyti.ms/1n5tswg

In Gary Gutting article he interviews the philosopher Michael Ruse. Ruse begins by  making  similar claims as I have made in the first chapter yet he goes on to use reductionist and abstract ideas and theories that foster  a fragmented, mechanical,  perception of human development and evolution. Science itself has developed a language and culture that needs to be examined for its relevance in claiming to capture truth.  Its revelations may be quite relative at best. There are many conceptual reductionist as well as holistic models of evolution and social and cultural evolution that explore  evolutionary and human  developments in more creative ways than Ruse suggests.    All conceptual models are  ways of seeing but is it possible that the unfolding of consciousness is a much more complex occurrence that goes beyond our ability to understand from rational conceptual thinking? Can the direct experience be known in this way?

Another way to perceive the development of religion is that it  emerged at the same time that the dualistic brain was developing and at a time of increasing abstract thinking.  Religion kept humans grounded and connected to something more fundamental and present in their being. I think that there is good reason to ask if it might  have served than as it does at times in modern days  to keep individuals connected to something more fundamental in our origins in a way that words, concepts and abstractions are not able to do; something more authentic that can not be expressed so easily. Symbol and ritual became a way to do this and they still can serve in this way that points us back to a more experiential knowing which involves a more vast and direct realisation of how we fit into life on this planet and the universe, if not skewed in their use and intent.  Abstraction and rigid rational concepts have limitations in explaining that which is not of a  linear, mechanical nature and more and more the world of science these days is realising that the mechanical model and methods used for understanding the universe is limited in this way.  But they are still being utilised despite the reality  and  risk that,  with such an encompassing focus and conventional reliance on our  mechanical conceptual perceptions, we might become them. In fact have we not become more mechanical in our ways at a cost of ignoring what is not so mechanical about being human or being a creature of this world and universe.

We experience a deeper connection to the direct experience of life when we come to understand how to differentiate it  from abstract, symbolic and conceptual thinking. I think that it is highly possible that religion served to ground man in the direct experience of life and that it can continue to serve in this way today if we can see clearly the divisive  influences of culture, science, language and even religion. They are divisive in that they have the ability to  take us away from ourselves.Religion evolved as a cultural way of being aware.  Even religion has developed in  a way that has forgotten its origins. We don´t require religion to develop the necessary awareness that I am writing about.

Enclosing Ourselves in the Illussion of Certainty

The snake that can not shed its skin perishes likewise those spirits which are unable to change their concepts are no longer spirits. Stefan Zweig

We can’t really do without structure and concepts in negotiating our world . But in coming to understand that the word is not the truth we can come to see them more as tools in understanding and in so doing we can come to relate to the world in a different more direct way.

We have come to crave structure as a way of providing security and certainty in our lives. Unfortunately when we are looking for truth the structures and concepts we use to understand are static as opposed to open and dynamic. If we are changing and the world is ever-changing how do static concepts help us to open to change and how do they authentically reflect truth?

We become confined and closed in our blind embracing of structures and concepts. Limitation in seeing can be their trapping. And in our blindness we succumb to the fear of insecurity which leads us away from the direct experience of living towards a more complacent structure seeking way of being.

If we have not stepped out into embracing the world from a more direct experience we can feel quite threatened by perceptions of a world that does not fit our familiar notions. In our selective perceptions we find security and the seeing of reality (truth) might involve learning to be in the world from a place beyond their secure and structured conditioning. We choose to live with the familiar and static in the institutions and forms that we attach to and in the concepts and structures that influence them. In a way we enclose ourselves in an habitual way in the illusion of certainty. The cost is that they in turn influence our perceptions of life and the world. Accepting from others in a literal way what they perceive is not a substitute for the truth of the direct experience.

Life is a far greater mystery and gift than our conditioning allows us to realize. To realize it we must learn to be with the insecurity and uncertainty that is part of that direct experience of the mystery.

Direct Experience

The more that we can come to  live from the direct experience and to respond to insights and connections that arise from that than  the more that we will be living and acting in a way that is supporting humanity and the all other beings on this planet.

In our separation from that direct essence and experience of what we are we do not recognize what  is truth and what is not.

A More Direct Experience of Life

Coming to know ourselves in a more direct way can be a very rewarding experience. When we use abstract constructs and notions that others have created to understand we are limited by these definitions. We  are also  confined by what can be known and observed and measured. And we are limited by language. Different languages are able to capture different aspects when focused on examination and expression of the objects of focus. Our knowing is as well limited  by the capacity of the senses. All of these ways are helpful  in understanding  pieces of the whole mind but to know ourselves intimately involves looking and being in a different way.

There is much about our minds that can not be understood  through a factual reductionist knowing and understanding. The mind and consciousness can not be known through the examination of pieces.  And whst  about the pieces that are beyond measurement or that we have no way of being conscious of? There are many gaps in our efforts to understand in  this way.

I have  come to realize through my involvement with others that there is great benefit in exploring the direct experience through conscious awareness with others in intimate revelation and sharing with one another.  Exploration of the direct experience involves moving beyond habitual and conventional ways of knowing and relating. It involves a openess and willingness to question and examine the way we do things, our perception of things and especially the way of thinking that has become a part of us as  a separate self influenced by our parental and social conditioning. This conditioning can be a powerful influence that interferes with a more direct and whole experience of living, relating and embracing of life.

Ironically we can come to see with much greater clarity if we are able to move beyond the need to see with certainty and coming to realize hat all of our understanding is relative.