Thursday, October 01, 2009


Not making chutney

George G Clark, 30 September 2009

This morning there are no urgent calls on my time so I am free to do whatever 'I' want. But this can be viewed as problematic as there is presently a lack of clarity about who 'I' am let alone what 'I' want. The following thought train was set in motion by the quote at the bottom of the page.

Words and concepts are not subtle enough to capture the constant flow of nuances that are thought and felt; but, at the moment, the territory to be mapped links to 'world weary', 'burn out', 'depression' and 'low self esteem'[1]. Google and Wikipedia offer a broad range of wordy, conceptual unpackings that have their uses: but these lead to 'knowing about' rather than to 'first hand knowing' - to intellectuality rather than to intuition - to head stuff rather than to heart stuff.

The goal of first hand knowing is intuitive and subjective in-sight rather than what might be called objective, intellectual out-sight. Most of us are familiar with the intellectual out-sights that populate upfront consciousness and, at a push, we can 'explain' them in some quasi-reasonable manner. So how might we 'explain' intuitive insight? Is it possible to develop an objective, intellectual outsight regarding subjective, intuitive insight?

Yes. And there is no need to invoke mumbo jumbo or magic. The unconscious has its causes and conditions rooted in nature, nurture and chance. And there is constant flux. And there is some room for manoeuvre. By using the heart/mind (conscious and unconscious) this way rather than that your mental state will move in this direction rather than that.

The task is to move to non-egoic mental states that are beyond space and time. This will allow (a) moving beyond the suffering that links to egoic concerns that are rooted in the past and future, and thus (b) first hand knowing of the peace that passes all understanding.

Intuitive in-sight emerges from the practice of stillness such that there is intimate awareness of what the heart/mind gets up to. There is then (a) a letting go of the illusion of individuality and permanence and (b) a manifestation of the ever-present real reality of interconnected Oneness.

The issue has been alive for a long time:

What Really Matters

The Buddha refused to deal with those things that don't lead to the extinction of dukkha (suffering). He didn't discuss them.

Take the question of whether or not there is rebirth after death. What is reborn? How is it reborn? What is its "karmic inheritance"? These questions don't aim at the extinction of dukkha. That being so, they are not the Buddha's teaching nor are they connected with it. They don't lie within the range of Buddhism.

Also, the one who asks about such matters has no choice but to believe indiscriminately any answer that's given, because the one who answers won't be able to produce any proofs and will just be speaking according to his own memory and feeling. The listener can't see for himself and consequently must blindly believe the other's words. Little by little the subject strays from dharma until it becomes something else altogether, unconnected with the extinction of dukkha.

- Buddhadasa Bhikkhu[2] from "A Single Handful[3]," Tricycle Winter 1996


SO - I use my free time being objectively intellectual about subjective intuition. There is the option of making chutney!

[1] A neurotic nihilist living in an existential vacuum!

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