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Questions arising after the April 17 dialogue

Questions in the order they arose in me after the dialogue.

What is the mechanism that keeps me from seeing that illusions are assumptions?

Do we know whether we are constructing or deconstructing?

What happens when we do nothing?

Who am I without you?

Who am I when I’m doing nothing?

Do we know the answers to our own questions?

Do we know the answers to everyone else’s questions?

And here is a question that arose from my side

When do we stop getting to know each other?

Carl - I was wondering about your original question: “Is there another kind of thinking that is not based on memory or thought?”

I must admit that found it confusing, because if it is not based on memory or thought then it obviously cannot be thinking.

Perhaps you were distinguishing between thought/thinking and intelligence?

This is my consideration:
There is knowledge stored in memory, based on first hand experience and what we’ve learned from others.
There is the thinking that responds from there, evaluating logical responses in order to meet the needs of the moment.
Then there is thinking and responding that is necessary for the sustenance of the self based on the assumptions of psychological experience.
There also seems to be thinking that uses the memory of language, but is not based on the need to survive in either of the first two senses. And perhaps has no necessity in a practical sense. Maybe a human manifestation of the curiosity that all incarnations of life share. Call it intelligence if you will, but as K says “ the word is not the thing”.
In questions and answers of this kind there are the words and maybe or maybe not, something unprovable beneath or beyond.

Yes - there is thought that arises in response to the needs of survival (A), and thought that arises in response to apparent psychological needs (B).

You are saying that, in addition to these two, there is thought that arises in response to curiosity.

What is curiosity? According to the dictionary, curiosity means “careful, diligent; inquiring eagerly”.

When we do science, our inquiry requires a mixture of observation and theory (because the theory guides and limits what is to be observed). So this might be the relatively free use of thinking you are talking about, which is a response to a curiosity (about the nature of matter for instance). However, this is still essentially the same thinking that is involved in physical survival (A).

When it comes to the mind on the other hand, does inquiry (or curiosity) depend on our thinking about the mind? - or rather on observing it in action?

Therefore, the capacity for - and interest in - observation and perception is perhaps what constitutes the essence of what you are calling curiosity - not thought.

What do you think?

There are questions that seem driven by no earthly or psychological purpose.
What I’m proposing; thinking is perception itself with no parts to it.
The stars were outrageously twinkling early this morning and were participating in me and I in return.
I raised my arms and used words to tell the twinkles what I was feeling about them, and asked how could such a mind boggling manifestation ever come to be.
They just continued on without missing a twinkle. Illusion or not may be irrelevant.
What ever is perceived beyond the mundane is unprovable. And if we try to confirm it becomes an illusion.


On the face of it is obvious. But the obvious has no end to it.

Obvious to who I wonder.

Curiosity is wonder and amazement and admiration behind which lies an intention to partake in the creation or whatever the name for existence is.

To the one who looks at himself with the energy of the original question you raised.

With affection.

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I love the way you write about the “outrageously twinkling stars”!

I get a sense of what you are saying when you write that “thinking is perception itself with no parts to it” - but I personally would be disinclined to call that anymore thinking. It is simply perception, isn’t it?

Thinking obviously does have parts: it is a stream of interconnected but separate fragments - fragments of memory - that act and react all the time as we think. If I had not remembered the experience of drinking fresh orange juice yesterday, I would be unable to call it to mind or think about it today.

But perception itself has no parts (the senses are merely different doors into perception): perception is the quality with no parts in it. Perception takes in the sweep of the stars, or the wide blue sky and the tree tops - and it only fragments when I begin to think about what I see, or judge what I see, or inwardly narrate to myself about what I see. Otherwise it is just a perception with no parts.

And in that wide, spacious sweep of perception, our questions have more potency, more power - the question itself may simply be the verbalisation of that sweep of perception (as the wave of perception moves our thought, as it contacts our thinking mind - like corks floating on the tide).

Like ice-cubes in warm water, thinking dissolves in perception, wouldn’t you say Carl? It is the perception itself that gives rise to wonderment, amazement.

Hah! I don’t know which came first, egg or chicken. I prefer that “wonder and amazement and perception”are one.
If you are interested in Bohm you make like the dialogue video “The self that we experience is mostly the self which is produced out of thought”

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Yes - I can go with that!

Maybe we can consider what thinking is? Not the content of thought which is made of fragments but the process itself. The space between cause and effect. Can it be sliced up; I can’t seem to get past the subtle feelings of vibration and energy. It seems descriptions are not possible for the ineffable if that is what thinking is

I wonder why we associate thinking with ineffability? Surely thinking is precisely what is effable (i.e., capable of being described in words), because it has created words?

Thinking - as Ayham and I have been looking at on another thread - is a relatively mechanical movement of associative memory taking place in the brain (and nervous system). A memory begins as an image or mental recording of a specific incident or happening - meeting someone for the first time, eating a particular fruit, getting hurt, etc - which is then stored up neuro-chemically in the brain (probably in specific and local neurones); and which is then triggered through association.

This movement of thought and memory has its own energy, which is part of the energy of the brain and body, and is perhaps also linked to the energy of perception.

If there is a space between one association or memory and another, then the energy of perception has room to expand.

It is perhaps this energy of perception (and awareness) which then becomes more difficult to describe, because perception and awareness are not composed of memories or thoughts - they are an energy of a subtler, less obviously mechanical, kind.

What do you feel about it?

Another way of asking the original question;
Is there thinking that is not initiated by knowledge or memory ?
If so or maybe so, or one does know, then does your analysis still apply?
I’m considering that thinking is a process as are the senses, hearing etc…
That can’t initially be determined by logic.
When one is thinking, is one aware of the movement while the content is being revealed?

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Carl - I don’t understand why you are dressing thinking in a mysterious livery?

Thinking has obviously developed in the animal kingdom (of which we are part) as an extension of the senses. Through memory we are able to hold previous events and sense-experiences in thought, and project those experiences into the future as anticipation. Animals do this to a limited extent - while humans have developed this capacity to a much greater, and more flexible, degree.

If there were no memories - based on sense-experience - there would be no raw-data to “think”. So thinking is just the extension - or the play of - these memory-based thoughts, through creative association. Take away memory, and you take away thought.

This doesn’t mean that there is not another way to contact the world (apart from the senses). Meditation is to discover whether awareness, attention and insight might be another mode of apprehending reality - a mode which is not “initiated by knowledge and memory”.

But thinking per se always equals knowledge and memory.

I just feel that there is an intention of reducing thought to something mediocre. In that same sense, does listening equal sound? Eyes = vision?

I think understand thinking as a material process and that is it, could be applied to the other senses as well: A mechanical process.

This is an evaluation you are making Ayham. If you can find a thought or idea that is not rooted in knowledge and memory - which in turn are ultimately rooted in raw sense-experience - then then you will have shown that thinking per se does not always equal knowledge and memory.

The senses have obviously come into being through a process of biological evolution. They serve the body in helping it to survive and thrive. However, the critical difference between sensing and thinking, is that sensing is the primary contact we have with the world, while thinking is only a secondary echo of what we have first of all sensed.

So, sensing is like a primary datum, and thinking is never more than a shadow of what was first seen, tasted, heard, touched or smelt.

What you are saying is irrelevant to the conditioned. To the conditioned, which we are or at least I am, this is nothing but a fairy land which I heard a lot about but never saw it in action.

Biological or not, thinking have evolved as well.

Applies to thinking as well

Sure, primary… but to the unconditioned again. Yet to the conditioned, they are almost simultaneous if not instantaneous.