Is the "other" an illusion? A fictional thought-projection?

JK: The world is me: I am the world. But we have divided it up into the British earth and the French earth, and all the rest of it!
DB: Do you mean, by the world, the physical world, or the world of society?
JK: The world of society, primarily the psychological world.
DB: So we say the world of society, of human beings, is one, and when I say I am the world, what does it mean?
JK: The world is not different from me.
DB: The world and I are one.
JK: Yes. And that is real meditation; you must feel this, not just as a verbal statement: It is an actuality. I am my brothers keeper.

JK: Is it some kind of fanciful projection, hoping that it will solve our problems? It is not to me. It is an actuality. Because the end of suffering means love.
DB: Before we go on, let’s clear up a point about “me.” You see, you said it is not to me. Now, in some sense it seems that you are still defining an individual. Is that right?
JK: Yes. I am using the word “I” as a means of communication.
DB: But what does it mean? In some way, let’s say there are two people, let’s say A and B.
JK: Yes.
DB: So A says it is not to me–that seems to create a division between A and B.
JK: That’s right. But B creates the division.
DB: Why?
JK: What is the relationship between the two?
DB: B is creating the division by saying, “I am a separate person.”
The Ending of Time Extended Version

**Is the brain that translates relationship as ‘myself and the other’ caught in illusion? Caught in the divisive cultural conditioning? Confusing thought imagery for the actual?

And isn’t this illusion merely part of the our dependance on the known - aka belief that what I see is actualy what is?

Isn’t this just part of our relationship with the authority of our own “knowledge”?

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Hello Doug - Yes, that seems clear. Upon reading or hearing K question authority, we begin to be skeptical of external authority, while largely ignoring the ‘internal authority’, which is the conditioning K mentioned so frequently. The conditioning that is revealed in relationship in our responses to each other. The psychological judgments, evaluations, and assumptions are revealed in the responses. And when the responses are judgments of an “other,” it reveals the core of this “centre” K continually mentioned, based on the ubiquitous belief of, “I am a separate person.” Never mind that this belief is actually a ‘psychological thought programing’ we acquire growing up in a culture propagating this myth.
As can be observed, the “practical knowledge” of observing the nature of the environment we are part of, is essential to intelligent action. But the psychological beliefs, defined as “my” beliefs, simply lead to conflict and division.


What is knowledge? What is its relation to reality? What is its relation to identity?

Is it not, at best, merely a tool in the service of progress? (security, material or otherwise)
And thus, is not all knowledge at least somewhat psychological?

**Practical knowledge, the impressions of reality/actuality that the brain records, enable us to discern the difference between a rope and a poisonous snake. It enables us to discern whether the floor we’re walking on looks safe or not. It enables us to stop at a red light.
What is the relationship of the knowledge of a red light, to the observation of a red light? It reveals the significance of the red light, that we’ve given to it.
What is the relationship of identity to knowledge? Psychological knowledge, identity, is knowledge, but it’s imaginary knowledge.

Where is this “thing” called “progress” that knowledge is a tool of? It looks like a psychological idea. How can knowledge be a tool of a thought, a psychological idea? Progress only exists in the imagination. The environment is being ‘transformed’, but calling it progress is just a psychological idea. Is knowledge being used to make us feel more comfortable or safe, that certainly appears to be true. Including acquiring food, clothing and shelter.
Yes, all knowledge appears to be psychological. But some of it is practical, or based on observing ‘facts’ (as best we can discern), and some of it is imagined, not discerned from observation. This imaginary thought, opinions, beliefs, theories, etc., is the psychological thought K and Bohm were referring to. All of the beliefs recorded as what ‘I believe is true’.
That’s how it appears from over here.

Would this be a correct paraphrasing of the above?:

“Practical knowledge” is the stuff that I believe very strongly to be true and that keeps me safe (and are beliefs that I share with the majority of my community perhaps? - my addendum) like snakes, traffic lights, meteorites etc
Psychological knowledge is the stuff that I believe also - it also informs me about the world around me, but is maybe not inherent in what is seen, but rather more to do with qualitative opinions about the things I see?

Surely this is not what you are saying? Where have I gone wrong? Is there a definite frontier between these 2 knowledges?

**Let’s give it some ‘context’:

K: What would we call facts, ‘what is’? What would you say, or describe, or talk about, ‘what is’, actually ‘what is’, not theoretical, not abstracted, not an abstraction, or a supposition. When we say 'fact ', ‘what is’, what do we mean by those two words? Right? Facts. The fact is that there is war. Right? The fact is that human beings are violent. The fact is there are national divisions, political divisions, religious divisions, ideological divisions. Right? You and me - division, the woman and the man - division.

**I suggest that ‘practical knowledge’ is knowledge based on observable facts. It’s not a matter of whether anyone believes it or not. We have the knowledge that the word ‘apple’ is a word that points to what we call a fruit. It’s observable. Whether I believe it or not, it’s practical thought. It’s a useful tool to point to the object. Most everyone in the US has the “knowledge” that when driving we’re supposed to drive on the right side of the road. Again, that’s not dependent upon anyone believing this to make it practical knowledge. Knowledge based on the observable nature of something, versus theory or ideas.
The ‘practical knowledge’ is ‘what informs me of the nature of the world around me’, not the psychological.
Psychological knowledge is fiction. “He is a jerk.” There is no such thing. And even “he” is just a thought image. There’s possibly a human form appearing in awareness, but it’s not a “he” or a “Howard,” or an “other.” If you dissect this body going by the name Howard, you won’t be able to find a “He, Howard, or other,” inside the physical body. Those thoughts only exist as conceptual ideas, they’re imaginary. The labels may be useful, but they’re just images.
The problem with psychological thought occurs in confusing the internal thought judgments for that which is being observed. A personal judgment is not a fact, it’s an imaginary measurement. Good, bad, right, wrong, should and shouldn’t only exist in the imagination.
There’s no problem believing that a hammer is used for hammering nails, but there is a problem believing the fictional idea of: “I am separate from you,” because that’s an illusion, a false internal idea, confused for truth, the actual. The word is not the thing, the description is not the described.

I would like to bring up the notion (again) that all our notions/concepts/ideas/images of reality are “fictional thought projections”

“I am separate from you” may be an illusion, but then so is “I am you” - If I am not separate from you, then neither am I separate from an apple. As all our understanding/interpretation of reality comes from mind (or Mind)

All of our ideas about reality are merely ideas - even the really clever metaphysical ideas. Having the best ideas is not freedom from the known. Freedom from the known is the ongoing process of not confusing “what I know” with “what is”.
I cannot know what is. But as said earlier (somewhere) : even though my understanding of a brick wall is an illusion - I avoid crashing into it.

Knowledge is never truth. Facts are just symbols for communication.
What is Knowledge? One definition goes like this: Knowledge is a subset of belief - sometimes called “justified true belief”
Right now I’d say that Knowledge is a function of self. Knowledge separates me from you; and it also brings us together, and separates us from them.

You seem to echo words of a Great Hindu religious leader Adisankara : "I am Bhrimasmi ", meaning I am the universe.

Or K quoted as saying in his biography " I saw myself as an ant climbing a road side grass / as a fast moving wheel of a car on road "

K " Word is not the thing"

Eternal dielema " Do objects exist independent of subject "

Maybe you were speed reading? I thought I was saying that the sacred thoughts were no different from the mundane. There is no hierarchy of delusion, belief is belief.
Maybe I was saying that “its all mind” (in the sense that perception is of the mind) - and if we extrapolate that my mind is a subset of Universal Mind - then maybe I was saying Hindu stuff - but I didn’t mean to.

This could be an effect of being no longer dependant on knowledge. If I am no longer bound by the concept of observer and observed being 2 independant entities, then there may be identification with perception itself?

**Is the understanding, as in ‘clearly observing’, an illusion? It’s an image, but is it an illusion? Is the wall not really a wall?
Are the labels we learn, ‘table, chair, hammer, nails’, “a function of the self?” How are you defining self? To my observation, the self, or “centre” is psychological thought imagery referencing a “me or I.” How does ‘table’ reference an ‘I’?
Are facts really symbols? Is the symbol the fact? Is the symbol of a tree, the factual form we label as a tree?
Can a fact be put into a symbol?

There is the wall as I picture it. There is the wall as described by a particle physicist.
Which brain holds the correct image? Mine or the physicists? Is the wall mainly bricks and mortar, or is it mainly empty space?
Context helps us choose between contradictory facts. All of which are only significant in terms of communication and security. Knowledge is a descriptive tool. Or a psychological burden.

This has also been addressed sufficiently in Hindu teachings. Simultaneous creation when both the subject and objects seen arise simultaneously is true in both the waking and dream states. Gross objects are seen by the subject in the waking state and dream objects in the dream state. In other states such as deep sleep there is no subject and so no objects. Hence all creation is only in the mind and can arise only when there is a subject (mind) or witness to see it. Probably K was describing the state of no-mind when there is only awareness.

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**I suggest that the wall is the form, not the word-picture. Any ‘set of words’, or ‘interpretations’, are ‘not the thing’. But humans have built actual structures the we simply ‘refer to’ as a “wall.” To human beings, which I’m assuming are typing these words, does the wall ‘feel like empty space’ to us? Is it really “empty?” Does it not feel solid to the touch? Okay, so ultimately it may simply be vibrating energy, mostly empty space. But is space really empty of full of energy? We can theorize, and create descriptions, but is that really the issue for us? Or is the real issue ‘seeing the nature of conflict’? We could turn these conceptual views into beliefs and create conflict over the words. Or, we could observe that the word is not the thing. The word “wall” is not the actual wall we’ve constructed. But there is an actual form that we can agree to label as a “wall.” Right?

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We want to get to the ‘bottom’ in us, why we kill, why we hurt each other, why we kill ourselves, unable to bear the images, thought/images ‘unchosen’ that arise from the brain…Conditioned thought/ images that arise from the brain and bring along with them a ‘thinker’.,Can they end before the brain dies? Otherwise, it seems, it will just continue in ‘other’ brains.

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**Good question. When you used the word “bottom” it connected to my favorite David Bohm quote:

DB: We have to get to the bottom thought. The bottom thought is that the problem is out there. The problem of society is not out there. It is nowhere except in thought. The minute you put it out there you are contributing, you are part of the problem. If you don’t put it out there, you start to become part of the solution. The solution is for people to stop putting it out there. Once we see this, and this thought changes, it will all go.

Yes, reality and language exist. No argument from me on this account.

Well said. Rather that saying identification, just perception is their without a division of perceiver and perceived.

Heard at a Tibetan monastery:

“It seemed as though everything I perceived was me”
“That is still a very gross form of consciousness, because it still includes a me.”