A Question

Because I perceive conditionally - not directly - I have only my version, my “take”, on what’s happening presently. I can only make a so-called educated guess at what’s going on, and speculate as to where it may go from here, and this guess-work depends on what assumptions and presumptions I choose to hold and revise as new information requires.

This is how we operate, and most of us are content or resigned to carry on this way because it never dawns on us how limited, myopic, brutal, and destructive it is. We act as if all we need is more knowledge to correct our crude modus operandi, but we don’t seem to realize that the knowledge we need is self-knowledge, awareness of what we are actually doing as we do it.

Is it possible to be acutely aware of what impulses, fears, desires, images, and thoughts are driving, distracting, or deceiving us before they have their effect? Or is that mental activity too subliminal, too stealthy, to be aware of?

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I think that it is ‘enough’ to be aware moment to moment of the ‘inner and the outer’. Analysis of what is observed is secondary to just ‘watching’.

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Analysis? Do you think that acknowledging fear, desire, imagery, etc. is being analytical?

You don’t know fear when you feel it? Desire? Imagery when you see it?
These reactions are not the result of analysis…they’re what we live with constantly.

If I can be aware of what is clearly inner (my conditioned response) and clearly outer (what I’m reacting to), I’d be free.

Yes in this case of choice less awareness or watching. To be aware of thought, sounds, sights doesn’t call for any labeling, just a movement with them. A ‘simple’ awareness of what is going on. This as K said “sharpens the brain” and brings about sensitivity. A very necessary sensitivity?

Yes, and if you could do “simple awareness”, you’d be free. But the conditioned brain cannot be aware of what it can’t recognize, what it doesn’t “know”. All it can do is acknowledge that there’s more to awareness than presuming to know how to be aware,

It’s not something the self ‘does’. “Freedom” is a goal of the self. The self complicates being simply aware and says it can’t be done…but it can. But as the man said “it is arduous”.

So you believe, and as you know, it’s belief, presumption, “knowingness” that stands in the way of freedom.

I know that there is no freedom from the known?

I know this and therefore am legitimate in my dismissal of what you know?

Why does what I know allow me to dismiss what you know? To what end?

Just because I have reached an intellectual conclusion based on my conditioning, does not mean I must weaponise it.

Unless of course I am an oracle of truth, and what I say is beneficial to all beings.

I remembered an example that K mentioned that I think relates about this ‘awareness’. It was something about being aware of the “curve of the road”. I would say it this way: when I look out at scene in front of me the visual field has all the information; the light, the way it plays on things.

The water, it’s movement, the tree line , it’s reflection in the water, etc, etc. But I am only aware of some of all that and sometimes when thought is also active, I’m aware of none of it! So this is an excercise to be more conscious of the sights, sounds, thoughts, sensations that I actually see, hear, think, feel, etc. in the moment. To be more ‘sensitive’ to what is happening around me and in me…this, he suggested, “sharpens” the brain.

The thoughts count too! I mean as things that can be seen, of which there can be an awareness of.

And so the question that comes to me is : do we hold some hierarchy of experience? For example : do we think its more important to fully experience the visual images (out there) than to notice our state of mind?

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Yes the ‘whole’ picture. That’s what “choiceless” is pointing at isn’t it? No hierarchy. Just what is. Include as much as possible of what is there. Sensitivity?

Maybe I’ve never questioned this? Why aren’t I included in the ‘landscape’?

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It isn’t clear what each of these questions and statements refer to. Please be specific, if you can.

So it seems, but we know that our conditioning, our biases, beliefs and conclusions, color and distort the “the visual field”, and we can’t assume that what we see is not altered by our content. We know this because unusual circumstances (like a life threatening situation or psychedelics) bypass conditioned response and and we get a glimpse of what actually is.

[quote=“Inquiry, post:15, topic:2280”]
Please be specific, if you can.

This example might be as good as any: my wife and I are in the car driving along and she says “Oh, did you see that beautiful tree!?” And I say “no” because I didn’t, even though we were both looking in the same direction. It was in both our ‘visual fields’ but I ‘paid no attention’ to it.
The tree wasn’t included in the ‘hierarchy’ of things that I (the brain) ‘paid attention to’.

And I’m reacting in general to some ideas about knowledge, knowledge dismissing knowledge, and the idea that this might be of assistance to others.

What is this a reaction to?

I know this and therefore am legitimate in my dismissal of what you know?

What specifically is this your reaction to?

Why does what I know allow me to dismiss what you know? To what end?

What specifically is this your reaction to?

Just because I have reached an intellectual conclusion based on my conditioning, does not mean I must weaponise it.

And this…

A reaction in part to this :

If I was to mirror your argument more precisely, instead of “I know there is no freedom from the known”, maybe : “I believe that your beliefs are wrong, because beliefs are an obstacle to freedom”, would be more accurate.

Surely though the belief, model, knowledge, data, or thought cannot be blamed for our reaction to it, or our relation to it. We’re just confusing it with Truth, or we have identified so much with our ideas that we have become their slave.