Freedom from the known

Finally I SEE! I.e. I think I get what you’re getting at. If you know you are dreaming, you are free from the dream. Oui?

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If you look at it as a neuro-complex structure built up in the brain over a lifetime and occupying it, there is no “defying “ or “imposing” but rather just a ‘belief system’ structure with ‘you’ as the center, rarely if ever questioned by itself. K’s “you don’t exist” does put it in question! As well as “there is no division and no psychological time”.

A true believer holds their beliefs as incontrovertible truths. They feel they have no choice: Truth is truth, period! (Dreamer)

A realistic believer knows that their beliefs are provisional and subjective, but chooses to hold them (loosely) anyway. (Lucid dreamer)


What does ‘known’ mean in the phrase ‘freedom from the known’?

Apart from it being the title of one of K’s books, I don’t know what it means.

Does it mean our conclusions, beliefs? - i.e. beliefs and conclusions that we (falsely) assume to be true knowledge?

In which case ‘freedom from the known’ simply means having the freedom to examine or explore without being tied to any authority or fixed belief?

I would say that freedom from the known is the brain freeing itself from the occupancy of the self image and all its psychological accumulations as well as the belief in a psychological ‘time’. An emptying? And silence?

Interestingly in the book Freedom from the Known, K only mentions this phrase twice (as far as I can tell).

One use pertains to dying (dying to everything that one knows); and the other use is in the context of a silence that is supposed to be beyond any silence that can be known (and which K says is the door to an immeasurable state).

But the other association, as I understand it from elsewhere, is freedom from authority (of tradition, organised belief, spiritual dogmatism, etc).

Yes no authority. Empty of the self, all that : tradition, organized belief, rituals, etc only make sense to a ‘becoming’ self. Thought trying to find its way out of its self created ‘darkness’….

My understanding is that the known is the totality of our conditioning: knowledge, experiences, beliefs, memories, views. Our filter, prism, that through which we see and act in the world.

Freedom from the known is freedom from, non-attachment to our (psychological) conditioning.

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What is meant by the word ‘self’? - I’m just asking myself this question because for some reason it doesn’t resonate much with me.

When K says that beauty is when the self is not, this resonates.

But in other contexts it sounds to me like Catholics talking about sin.

I’ve noticed that some people resonate with this self language - either because they are pro-self (like Advaitins of a certain stripe), or because they are anti-self (like Buddhists of a certain stripe).

But the word ‘self’ doesn’t communicate very much to me?

Yes, ok. I can follow that. The known is our (psychological) conditioning.

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To me it has always meant ‘ego’ , the ‘I’ process. The ‘me and the mine’ as K called it. It is exclusive, possessive and of course divisive. And as seen here, a destructive “occupation” of the brain.

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I’ve never really reflected on the ego before.

When I hear people talking about the ‘self’ I hear people talking about ‘selfishness’ - which has a moral quality. No-one wants to be seen to be selfish.

But what is the self or ‘I’ process that can ‘be’ selfish?

It’s probably too late at night for me to be able to consider this question; but I find it interesting that I don’t know the answer.

There is something it is like to be me, but I know from a couple of previous experiences that it is possible to be in a state of attention in which there is no ‘me’ and yet there is still something it is like (to be in that state).

So I would make a distinction between the ‘me’ and the nature of awareness itself.

I think that is the ‘division’ that K was trying to point out.

Division? You mean between awareness and ego?

I’m just asking myself what this ego-self is, because I honestly have never thought about it.

I’ve read what the Buddhists have said about self - they say it is put together by various aggregates. And K says the self is put together by thought - it is ‘a bundle of memories’.

But I’m just asking what the word ‘self’ is supposed to communicate.

Some people would say the self is a moral agent. I think this is the main Western view (partly informed by Christianity). Selves can be good or bad, and should be punished or rewarded accordingly.

I think it’s apt having (psychological) in (…) because non-psychological aspects of conditioning are intertwined with the psychological, the sense of self. Hmm, after mulling it over for a while, I’m leaning towards thinking that all conditioning leaves a trace in our sense of self, dramatic to subtle. I guess I’m saying that all conditioning, all of the known, is, to a degree, psychological.

Between ego / self and the world.