Nature of memory and time - Split from "Why do we reincarnate without memories"

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Federica
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Nature of memory and time - Split from "Why do we reincarnate without memories"

Post by Federica »

Cleric K wrote: Sat Jan 01, 2022 8:54 pm
Hedge90 wrote: Fri Dec 31, 2021 4:10 pm Well, I'd say memory is an archive of my previous experiential states, organised in order of their perceived significance or usefulness by some faculty of my mind. Things that had a great emotional impact, for example, will be easy to recall, while the name of a small grocery store I walked by once yesterday will be almost impossible to.
Secondly, memory also seems to serve the purpose of creating a sense of continuity and a way to identify patterns. It is memory that makes me able to identify myself in any manner, as well as to steer my actions based on what I can conclude to be the best course based on the archived states I can recall (or at least integrated subconsciously).
I have no idea about where memory is stored though (and neither do scientists, really), and what the mechanism of retrieval is.
Before we answer the original question we need to prepare the grounds a little more. As said, we're rarely aware that when we ask certain questions, we presuppose the framework in which we seek the answers. When in doubt, we can always step back and see what the given tells us.

As always, we should try to distinguish what is really given and what has become what it is only after we have worked upon it with thinking. Initially we have color, tone, taste, feelings, thoughts, etc. These form an amalgamation we call the world content. Splitting the world content into sensory perceptions informing us about an outer objective world and inner conscious phenomena, is something that is achieved only through thinking (even though quite unknowingly for most).

Our understanding of memory is one such thing which presupposes certain way of thinking about the world and time. We generally imagine the world as a giant clock - mechanical or spiritual - which ticks along in time. Our consciousness is seen as a perspective of this clock that follows its ticking which feels quite independent of our consciousness and what we think of it. Memory in this sense is seen as the possibility to preserve pictures of the ticking progression. Hedge is quite correct that it is thanks to this memory that we at all have a feeling for continuity of consciousness through time.

I hope it's easily seen how many fundamental questions all this poses. We have the mystery of the world clock/being. We have the mystery of our own conscious aperture of the clock (why I am me ...). We have the mystery of memory - what is it, where is it stored, what is memory in the incorporeal state, etc. All of this proceeds from the fact that even without knowing, we presuppose a quite specific way of thinking about reality. We set out to build a mental model of the world clock and then begin asking questions about how that model fits with our observations.

Let's see if we can find an alternative way of thinking about these things. In our conscious life we continuously do things. When we work with the device that we're now using to write/read these words, we're doing certain things - pointing, clicking, tapping, scrolling, dragging, etc. In other words, we know that if we want to open the forum and check for new posts we need to perform certain gestures with our hands. But let's back up a little more and try to investigate what we're doing in order to do the gestures themselves? Look at your hand, focus on a finger and will its movement. Do that for different fingers one at a time. Try to feel how intricate these movements can be, how finely they can be controlled. It's not like we have single button for each finger which either clenches or extends it. We have quite continuous control over its motion. Now really try to pay attention to what exactly you're doing in order to move the fingers? It's not very easy, is it? It's almost like magic. There're no buttons that we can point at and say "When I want to move my finger I press this button". Furthermore, even this was possible it would only regress the problem because we're left with the exact same question about pressing the button that controls the finger.

Nevertheless, we can state generally that we have certain degrees of freedom of our spiritual activity. We don't know the exact details but somehow it is possible to thoughtfully will the movements of our fingers. There are many questions. For example, we can't tell exactly how we chose the order in which we moved our fingers. The important thing is that somehow we know what inner spiritual gesture we should perform in order to accomplish the most varied movements. Try to appreciate for a moment how astonishingly complicated that 'keyboard' would be if we had to objectify every little thing that we can will in relation to our body. All the time we do with ease things that are marvelously complicated. Yet we have no problem to immediately know what we need to do in order to move our toe instead of our thumb.

Things become exponentially more complicated when we consider how our spiritual activity expresses in feeling and most importantly - in thinking. Somehow we know what to do if we want to put words in logical sequence in our mind.

Now things become interesting when we realize that we also perform certain thinking gestures when we remember things. This allows us to look on memory in a very interesting way. Imagine how everything we learn increases the degrees of freedom of our spiritual activity. When we learn to ride a bicycle, when we learn something on the news, when we learn certain mathematical skills, all of this leads to increase of spiritual degrees of freedom, it is as if new buttons are added to our spiritual keyboard. Well, when we see things in this way, we realize that the flow of Time is practically continuous increase of these degrees of freedom. Even if we don't learn anything significant, from moment to moment, our inner palette nevertheless grows. For example, at the moment you clicked on the link that led you to this post, you've attained new degrees of freedom. It's like new 'fingers' have been discovered which can be activated with their unique inner spiritual gestures. To remember the moment when you began reading this post, something must be done. It is a different inner gesture compared to if you want to remember what you had for breakfast. Or what you had for breakfast yesterday.

This is quite an unusual way to look at things. But please take note that we're entirely within the given. Everything that we have said is purely phenomenological investigation. We don't postulate world structure, we don't postulate what time is, we don't postulate what consciousness is. We simply observe the kinds of activity we do in order to will bodily movement, to feel, to think and to remember things. Then, when we avoid to postulate time as abstract concept but instead try to read it out of the given, we can understand it as constant increase in our degrees of freedom. We continually gain new skills to remember new moments. We're staying within concrete knowledge. We don't speak about abstract memory which we must explain, instead we simply speak of the concrete inner activities which we perform in order to remember.

Here I would like to point out that 'remembering' doesn't postulate some return in time to a previous state. It is simply the utilization of a degree of freedom that we have acquired. When we learn a skill with our hand, when we perform that skill we don't return in time but experience new states which utilize that skill. Similarly, when we remember something, we don't simply return in time but we experience new state where we utilize the remembering degree of freedom. This act in itself becomes a new degree of freedom which allows us to think/remember that we remembered the past event.

Another important observation, which I have pointed out many times, is that we can experience time flow in a direction in which the degrees of freedom continuously increase. If every next state of being doesn't contain the previous as a degree of freedom through which we can remember it, then it wouldn't be possible to have the experience of time flow. We arrive to an explanation for the arrow of time purely from inner observation. This arrow becomes a mystery only when we presuppose a world independent of spiritual experience because we then need different laws for the world-in-itself and laws which explain the continuity of consciousness. 

In this way, through pure observation and thinking, we see that if we're not to postulate metaphysical models of the world, we can simply assess the given and recognize that we're continuously utilizing our degrees of freedom of spiritual activity and they continuously grow, which among other things, gives us also the sense of continuity in time. These things can really be understood if we think them in the sense of (T). Only there we can experience this continual spiritual activity which implodes as memory (the degrees of freedom for remembering).

I'll stop here. Let's see if these things are clear. Then we'll have more solid foundation to continue further.



I am having lots of problems understanding / accepting this explanation of time and memory. Yet, the start sounds very good to my ear: 'Splitting the world content into sensory perceptions informing us about an outer objective world and inner conscious phenomena, is something that is achieved only through thinking (even though quite unknowingly for most).'


I agree that separation between outer and inner perceptions and feelings is an artifact, an invisible habit of thinking. This resonates with the arbitrary nature of the bodily boundary. Perfect! But later things take a different turn. An alternative way of thinking about time, one that that seeks to avoid the named pitfall, is explored.
The way goes from the instinctively known spiritual gesture that moves our finger and its inherent mistery, to the one, more complex, that moves a feeling (are by the way feelings ever moved by willing gestures?) and to the one, even more complex, which generates a thought. OK up to here, more or less.


Then, a forth distinct category appears. As it seems, there is a forth type of spiritual gesture that generates memories. And from here I can't follow anymore. These memory-gestures are said to accrue degrees of freedom as they continuously incorporate new possibilities of recalling learnings and concrete memories. A process that is happening 'entirely within the given' and within 'purely phenomenological investigation'.


Here I wonder, how can an activity of phenomenological investigation be given? How can I know that the thinking I will operate to do the investigation is not going to fall down the same cracks of arbitrary categorization, like when I split the world content between inner and outer perceptions? There seems to be a wrinkle here that needs to be ironed out?


Is ‘given’ in these teachings pointing to all that is unaltered fact of human experience? If so, how can we state first that splitting world content is only achieved through thinking, mostly unknowingly, and later that thinking is nonetheless within the given? If not so - if the free activity of investigating is also part of the given - what is left then outside the given?
If there are alternative ways of thinking about things that we can try to investigate and find, are all of them within the given?


Then to the core statment about time, which is found to flow in the direction of the increase of freedom: 'If every next state of being doesn't contain the previous as a degree of freedom through which we can remember it, then it wouldn't be possible to have the experience of time flow'.


Firstly I guess one could argue that our experience of time flow is an illusion. Instead, we have the experience of regular, almost constant thinking, of recalling a number of pictures from the past. From there, thought - in other words fresh memory of older memories - creates from discreteness the illusion of continuity, or time flow. This happens in the same way as the unified sight of a landscape is an illusion arising out of the merging of our eye’s two slightly different screenshots of that landscape.
We could even think about that landscape view we have captured a millisecond ago, and... here's a thought, a fresh memory of that vision. Same thing, when we recall, say, our last conversation with someone, we are creating a compound-thought of the type 'fresh memory of older memories'. I guess it is what's called: ‘a new state where we utilize the remembering degree of freedom’. But what is this ‘state’ if not simply a thought?
Moreover, it seems to me that by refreshing memories from a new, more recent viewpoint, yes the span of what we can now recall is broader, however that recalling thought is zipping the older memories, it is sucking the original depth out of them, likely distorting, spoiling them in that second-pressing thought-act of remembering. This second press seems to reduce degrees of freedom, instead of accruing them!


Secondly, your argument - if I try to summarize it - is that memory is not the object recalled - a picture, an action, a limited portion of the experienced - memory is not even a thought that recalls those objects. Memory is a memory gesture i.e. a freedom to recall, a spiritual gesture, that wants to go and recall that memory content.
Now, not deliberately trying to be provocative, but this seems abstract to me. Who can touch that gesture and recognize a specific mnemonic nature in it? How can that gesture not be simply another thought? Sometimes we want to recall, and we use a thought to evoke a memory. Sometimes remembered material appears to our mind’s eye without intent on our part. In both cases I can’t put the finger on any peculiar type of gesture that would not be of the same nature as thought. In the second case I actually don’t find any gestures at all!


In fact it seems to me that there is nothing allowing us to draw a line between memory-thoughts and thought-thoughts. They are all of the same one nature: thought nature. Thought nature is one that has an abrupt surge, as a pointy-appearance in consciousness, followed by a long, soft tail that fades off as memory of itself. That’s how I see it. That applies to every thought, whatever the generator of that initial thought-sparkle is. In fact, it is my intuition that if we insist that we have to distinguish between thoughts and memories, it’s because we are unknowingly falling down the cracks of another arbitrary categorization.


What we normally call 'memories' are just thoughts like any other thoughts: the sparkle contains something from the past, yes, every thought does that. If we are in the midst of solving a mathematical equation, the content of the sparkle is also from the past, but because it’s a not an old past, we don’t call it a memory. I think it is so simple. I don't see any reason other than abstraction to categorize different sorts of thoughts.


Finally, time is explained here as the flow of ever increasing degrees of freedom to recall more, as we experience new things. But ‘freedom’ here seems ambiguous. If freedom increases with the accrued volume of accessible contents, is then freedom, which is the time, offered by a volume, an accumulation of memory bits? So are we falling into a spacial type of concept? I really can't see this understanding of time as coming ‘purely from observation’.


To me, by brandishing the sparkling head of thinking we break open breaches in experience. In those breaches we apply ourselves to twist and shuffle and reshuffle the shreds. That's thought. The deeper the breach, the longer the memory tail of the thought, the higher the potential for distortion / creation.
Memory is thought, and thought is time. Thinking is the generator of time. Time is only experienced when we think, which is to say, when we have memories. We are used to think about past as solid reality, although there is no other way past can ever have an existence than through us thinking about it. Think about it...
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AshvinP
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Re: Nature of memory and time - Split from "Why do we reincarnate without memories"

Post by AshvinP »

Federica wrote: Fri Jun 10, 2022 12:03 am Then, a forth distinct category appears. As it seems, there is a forth type of spiritual gesture that generates memories. And from here I can't follow anymore. These memory-gestures are said to accrue degrees of freedom as they continuously incorporate new possibilities of recalling learnings and concrete memories. A process that is happening 'entirely within the given' and within 'purely phenomenological investigation'.
You picked a difficult essay here, Federica! I wanted to point to another recent post by Cleric which also explores the nature of Time-experience from another angle, which was also easier for me to wrap my head around.

viewtopic.php?p=17151#p17151

Also a couple preliminary points before Cleric responds. You don't need to respond to me, but maybe it will help clarify some basic issues.

1. I didn't understand there to be any 4th gesture. Concious access of memory is a thinking-gesture, as you also noted, and actually conscious experience of will impulses, feelings, or anything else is also a thinking-gesture. There can be thinking-gestures without conscious willing or feeling gestures (imagine your physical organism paralyzed and emotional register disabled, but still thinking), but not the other way around. We cannot imagine willing or feeling without also thinking. This asymmetry is why it's so important for us to awaken to what we are doing in thinking - the latter is the only portal to higher consciousness.

2. Logic (Logos) is how we can judge whether our thinking is reliable or unreliable. When we say the dualism of outer/inner created by the intellectual thinking is unreliable, we are really saying its illogical. When the idealist speaks about "hard problems" of dualism, it is implicit that there is no possible logical solution. The hard problem manifests in the discontinuity of logic. That is what the intellect has become a master at - finding ways to ignore the discontinuity of logic in its abstract formulations. The safeguard is to reason with logic from first-person perspective without any added assumptions about the "essence" of the experience, i.e. phenomenology.

And your last paragraph reads to me as being right on track!
"Do not stop on any step, no matter how high, or it will become a snare.”
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Re: Nature of memory and time - Split from "Why do we reincarnate without memories"

Post by Federica »

AshvinP wrote: Fri Jun 10, 2022 1:12 am

You picked a difficult essay here, Federica! I wanted to point to another recent post by Cleric which also explores the nature of Time-experience from another angle, which was also easier for me to wrap my head around.

viewtopic.php?p=17151#p17151

Also a couple preliminary points before Cleric responds. You don't need to respond to me, but maybe it will help clarify some basic issues.

1. I didn't understand there to be any 4th gesture. Concious access of memory is a thinking-gesture, as you also noted, and actually conscious experience of will impulses, feelings, or anything else is also a thinking-gesture. There can be thinking-gestures without conscious willing or feeling gestures (imagine your physical organism paralyzed and emotional register disabled, but still thinking), but not the other way around. We cannot imagine willing or feeling without also thinking. This asymmetry is why it's so important for us to awaken to what we are doing in thinking - the latter is the only portal to higher consciousness.

2. Logic (Logos) is how we can judge whether our thinking is reliable or unreliable. When we say the dualism of outer/inner created by the intellectual thinking is unreliable, we are really saying its illogical. When the idealist speaks about "hard problems" of dualism, it is implicit that there is no possible logical solution. The hard problem manifests in the discontinuity of logic. That is what the intellect has become a master at - finding ways to ignore the discontinuity of logic in its abstract formulations. The safeguard is to reason with logic from first-person perspective without any added assumptions about the "essence" of the experience, i.e. phenomenology.

And your last paragraph reads to me as being right on track!


Ashvin,

Thanks for advancing some of the basic points. They still haven’t become basic to me but I can move a step further. Or two. I haven't read the suggested post yet.


Fourth gesture: (thank you btw for writing ‘4th’ : ) This is really a matter of not understanding the difference between memory and thought. I understand the asymmetry though. I agree we have to wake up to what thinking is doing that other experiential modalities do not do. What thinking is doing is, it generates time. Actually I feel what I just wrote is a concession to causality that is not fully consistent. It would be better to say: Thinking is time (still trapped in language, but better).
As a side note, the asymmetry seems to be more asymmetrical than just at the level of thinking. It’s about feelings. I can send a thinking gesture to a feeling that I am having, I can think about the feeling I am having. I can even engage in a certain quality of thoughts that will end up triggering some feelings, but this last joint is not mastered. On the other hand, a feeling that arises in me can be the trigger of a new thought. That would be a thought that I haven’t ‘gestured’. But how can I have a ‘feeling gesture’ and willingly generate a feeling? I don’t see how I could.
As I am writing this, I am realizing that feeling in a sense is on par with thinking, when it comes to how powerful it is. However for us it’s passive, while thinking can be active. If you don't agree, please define feeling.


Logic: Yes we can use logic to discriminate, but logic cannot be within the given. Logic is an abstraction or postulate. The second we use it we are rationalizing, we are not being fully experiential anymore.


Lastly I am delighted that you agree with my last paragraph, but how do you reconcile it with Cleric’s explanation of time?
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Re: Nature of memory and time - Split from "Why do we reincarnate without memories"

Post by AshvinP »

Federica wrote: Fri Jun 10, 2022 7:12 am
AshvinP wrote: Fri Jun 10, 2022 1:12 am

You picked a difficult essay here, Federica! I wanted to point to another recent post by Cleric which also explores the nature of Time-experience from another angle, which was also easier for me to wrap my head around.

viewtopic.php?p=17151#p17151

Also a couple preliminary points before Cleric responds. You don't need to respond to me, but maybe it will help clarify some basic issues.

1. I didn't understand there to be any 4th gesture. Concious access of memory is a thinking-gesture, as you also noted, and actually conscious experience of will impulses, feelings, or anything else is also a thinking-gesture. There can be thinking-gestures without conscious willing or feeling gestures (imagine your physical organism paralyzed and emotional register disabled, but still thinking), but not the other way around. We cannot imagine willing or feeling without also thinking. This asymmetry is why it's so important for us to awaken to what we are doing in thinking - the latter is the only portal to higher consciousness.

2. Logic (Logos) is how we can judge whether our thinking is reliable or unreliable. When we say the dualism of outer/inner created by the intellectual thinking is unreliable, we are really saying its illogical. When the idealist speaks about "hard problems" of dualism, it is implicit that there is no possible logical solution. The hard problem manifests in the discontinuity of logic. That is what the intellect has become a master at - finding ways to ignore the discontinuity of logic in its abstract formulations. The safeguard is to reason with logic from first-person perspective without any added assumptions about the "essence" of the experience, i.e. phenomenology.

And your last paragraph reads to me as being right on track!


Ashvin,

Thanks for advancing some of the basic points. They still haven’t become basic to me but I can move a step further. Or two. I haven't read the suggested post yet.


Fourth gesture: (thank you btw for writing ‘4th’ : ) This is really a matter of not understanding the difference between memory and thought. I understand the asymmetry though. I agree we have to wake up to what thinking is doing that other experiential modalities do not do. What thinking is doing is, it generates time. Actually I feel what I just wrote is a concession to causality that is not fully consistent. It would be better to say: Thinking is time (still trapped in language, but better).
As a side note, the asymmetry seems to be more asymmetrical than just at the level of thinking. It’s about feelings. I can send a thinking gesture to a feeling that I am having, I can think about the feeling I am having. I can even engage in a certain quality of thoughts that will end up triggering some feelings, but this last joint is not mastered. On the other hand, a feeling that arises in me can be the trigger of a new thought. That would be a thought that I haven’t ‘gestured’. But how can I have a ‘feeling gesture’ and willingly generate a feeling? I don’t see how I could.
As I am writing this, I am realizing that feeling in a sense is on par with thinking, when it comes to how powerful it is. However for us it’s passive, while thinking can be active. If you don't agree, please define feeling.


Logic: Yes we can use logic to discriminate, but logic cannot be within the given. Logic is an abstraction or postulate. The second we use it we are rationalizing, we are not being fully experiential anymore.


Lastly I am delighted that you agree with my last paragraph, but how do you reconcile it with Cleric’s explanation of time?

I will let Cleric address the issues around the asymmetry of W-F-T and your last paragraph. But we should really appreciate how, the moment we relegate Logic to abstraction or postulate, we are back to dualism - to a realm where Logic is essential to adaptive behavior and survival (the sensory world), and a realm of "pure consciousness", or whatever other label we use, which exists beyond the sensory world. That is outer/inner dualism all over again.

Logic is actually that force through which all experience is made coherent. Perceptions by themselves confront us as white noise - try to imagine only being aware of the shape of the letters typed here, or the sounds of words spoken to you, but not cognizing the meaning which lives in the liminal spaces between those perceptual forms. It is undeniably Logic which 'glues' together the syntax of letter and word forms with semantic meaning. The same with numbers in math. So why would it be any different with the outer forms of physical objects and processes in the world?

Those are like a language we have forgotten how to read, precisely because we have not developed the higher order Logic needed. So we shouldn't confuse rational intellectual logic (Aristotelean) with Logic as such, just like we shouldn't confuse our own national language with all possible Language as such. The problem is the average modern person hasn't differentiated their thinking activity from intellectual logic enough to imagine higher order Logic in contrast to their current logic - we only understand something once we have differentiated ourselves from it, in this case the intellectual logic. Once we differentiate, however, we can discern how that logic precipitates from higher order Logic, like that which weaves together beats, notes, and chords into flowing musical melodies and harmonies, and, as Cleric would say, which arts the dreamscape we call the sense-world.
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Re: Nature of memory and time - Split from "Why do we reincarnate without memories"

Post by Cleric K »

Federica wrote: Fri Jun 10, 2022 12:03 am To me, by brandishing the sparkling head of thinking we break open breaches in experience. In those breaches we apply ourselves to twist and shuffle and reshuffle the shreds. That's thought. The deeper the breach, the longer the memory tail of the thought, the higher the potential for distortion / creation.
Memory is thought, and thought is time. Thinking is the generator of time. Time is only experienced when we think, which is to say, when we have memories. We are used to think about past as solid reality, although there is no other way past can ever have an existence than through us thinking about it. Think about it...
Hi Federica. Very interestingly, it seems to me, especially when reading your last paragraph, that you are expressing precisely the essence of what my post had in mind. The question now is why from your perspective it seems that I'm speaking of something else?

I'm not exactly sure. I tried to read my own post while trying to feel how it might have looked like through your eyes. My guess at this point is that the descriptions look as piling abstractions and actually only multiplying the cracks.

We have to be clear that the way we communicate today, working under the heavy habits of the intellectual age, poses a difficulty. What we exchange as words is something inert, dead even. It's like we're exchanging orthopedic braces. Imagine that we have a great number of thinking limbs but the majority of them are completely dormant, our life circumstances never led us to the point to even know that they exist. Exchanging dead thoughts as orthopedic braces is like saying "Here, try this on". We put it and it mechanically moves. In this way it entrains our real limb and stimulates a new kind of experience in us. Hopefully, we then discover the corresponding degree of freedom of our spiritual activity, through which we can move the thought-limb ourselves. Then we can throw away the brace. This metaphor also explains why simply seeing the brace doesn't at all mean that it has achieved its purpose. That's why we repeat that thoughts must be lived through, and not simply heard. Otherwise the person feels crushed by a pile of orthopedic braces and says "This makes no sense, it only makes things more and more complicated, it only moves us away from reality."

From what I reckon, you're actually moving your thought-limbs pretty well but don't see how what I have written might be an exoskeleton that fits such intuitions. One of the objections is that spiritual activity is unnecessarily being categorized.

I won't go point by point through your questions, instead let's try to approach a common ground first.

If we try to be as general and encompassing as possible we could say that our stream of existence consists of continual metamorphosis of the totality of spiritual phenomena. We don't divide them into inner and outer, we simply speak of them as a whole. This totality is morphing. Yet it does so in a way which allows us to see it as stream of metamorphosis. Clearly this is only possible if every 'now' state contains as implicit intuition the reverberations of other states which seem to fit musically the current state.

The next thing is that we feel at least partially responsible for the way our states morph. In the most general sense we speak of meaningful spiritual activity. Whether we're thinking or reaching for a glass of water, there's some meaning that we seek to manifest in the stream of becoming.

Seen in this way, at the foundation of our stream of becoming is meaningful intentionality which gets reflected in the totality of phenomena. This is how this intentionality recognizes itself. If we were to intend different things but nothing of the morphing totality of phenomena correlates with the intentions, then the intending force lacks self-reflection, it is similar to Schop's blind will.

As you say, it is not at all necessary to break things into irreconcilable categories. Our momentary state of being is a totality of phenomena. Yet this doesn't mean that we can't differentiate them. For example, there's justification to differentiate color from sound. We shouldn't mistake this differentiation for philosophical postulation of fundamental elements of reality. We're not saying "spiritual reality consists of color and sound atoms, which are completely distinct fundamental blocks." At the same time we should beware of abstractly postulating an imaginary third more fundamental atom of which sound and color are only variations. There's no need to fantasize anything in this way. All we can say is that "Whatever the mystery of this totality of phenomena is, I can certainly distinguish between color and sound". That's all. It's only a statement of the facts, it's not speculation about the nature of color and sound and their relation.

With this in mind, when we speak of the different forms of spiritual activity, we proceed in the same way. It's not the goal to separate things in abstract categories and imagine that this is what reality is made of. Also we shouldn't completely abstractly postulate some unified force. If there's such a force we should speak of it only as a testimony of direct experience.

Thinking, feeling and willing are such differentiable forms of spiritual activity. Even without spiritual training, most people would say that these three forms have inner unity, that they are all expressions of an active unity of meaning which we label as the "I".

Now you say it is difficult for you to see feeling as an expression of spiritual activity. It is true that for most part feelings are quite independent of our activity "I feel good, I feel sad" and so on - we just register how we feel. But we can be active in feeling too. Think of forgiveness. Someone has hurt you and now you feel in a very specific way about them. I previously your heart was open to share thoughts and feelings with them, now you've closed as a clam. You want to exclude them from your soul. Or maybe you feel desire to take revenge, to hurt them back.

These are all feelings. They are like the weather that follows us along the morphing stream of states. Most of our intentionality expresses as thoughts that symbolize these feelings. We think "How could that person be so cruel!". So we're morphing through states and certainly the meaning that we live through is reflected in thoughts but the hurt feelings are simply 'there', they persist through our stream of becoming.

Forgiveness is an example where our intentionality has greater impact on the stream of becoming. Even a child know the difference between only saying something and to actually mean it. So we know very well that it's not enough to simply think the words "I forgive you". To actually forgive we need to set in motion deeper strata of our being. Expressions like "from the bottom of my heart" still bear very precise Imaginative descriptions of actual realities inherited from olden times, even though in our age there's barely any consciousness of this. The point is that there's distinguishable difference between only thinking in concepts and actually shifting the tectonic plates of the heart-world. We use different degrees of freedom from our palette in either case.

Things are once again different when we consider our will. It is one thing to think of lifting a heavy weight and quite another to actually engage our body.

I repeat that this differentiation is not meant to put these variations of our spiritual activity into fundamentally distinct and irreconcilable categories. We simply need to have clear awareness of the variations because it makes huge practical difference, as the examples above show.

Yet when we see things generally, we still have a stream of becoming which is partially shaped by meaningful intentionality. Some of this intentionality is reflected into inner verbalization, imagination, remembering, perceiving. Other is capable of shifting the weather patterns of our soul atmosphere. Other morphs the sensory spectrum. Yet they all seem to have a common point of overlap - the singularity of meaning which strives to intend these different forces in such a way that they reflect in the stream of becoming this coherent unity.

I'll stop here. My goal is to arrive at common language made of orthopedic braces, through which we can feel that we're expressing the same inner realities. The main points of all the above are to get a feeling for the stream of becoming and the ways in which meaningful intentionality is reflected in that stream.
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Re: Nature of memory and time - Split from "Why do we reincarnate without memories"

Post by Federica »

AshvinP wrote: Fri Jun 10, 2022 12:00 pm
I will let Cleric address the issues around the asymmetry of W-F-T and your last paragraph. But we should really appreciate how, the moment we relegate Logic to abstraction or postulate, we are back to dualism - to a realm where Logic is essential to adaptive behavior and survival (the sensory world), and a realm of "pure consciousness", or whatever other label we use, which exists beyond the sensory world. That is outer/inner dualism all over again.

Logic is actually that force through which all experience is made coherent. Perceptions by themselves confront us as white noise - try to imagine only being aware of the shape of the letters typed here, or the sounds of words spoken to you, but not cognizing the meaning which lives in the liminal spaces between those perceptual forms. It is undeniably Logic which 'glues' together the syntax of letter and word forms with semantic meaning. The same with numbers in math. So why would it be any different with the outer forms of physical objects and processes in the world?

Those are like a language we have forgotten how to read, precisely because we have not developed the higher order Logic needed. So we shouldn't confuse rational intellectual logic (Aristotelean) with Logic as such, just like we shouldn't confuse our own national language with all possible Language as such. The problem is the average modern person hasn't differentiated their thinking activity from intellectual logic enough to imagine higher order Logic in contrast to their current logic - we only understand something once we have differentiated ourselves from it, in this case the intellectual logic. Once we differentiate, however, we can discern how that logic precipitates from higher order Logic, like that which weaves together beats, notes, and chords into flowing musical melodies and harmonies, and, as Cleric would say, which arts the dreamscape we call the sense-world.

Ashvin,

Ok, so it's a Catch-22 situation you put me in, because reasoning with ‘logic from first-person perspective without any added assumptions about the "essence" of the experience’ is precisely what I tried to do. What I found is, for example, that there is no reason to separate thought and memory. Now this must be still unreliable and far away from higher logic, because you and Cleric do separate them, right? Yet, that’s what I found doing my best. Another finding is that there are no feeling gestures. But this too must be wrong because Cleric said 'Yes there are' (I will reply to Cleric separately but I want to read the post you suggested first, plus I am not a fast writer like you are). So you tell me there is a higher logic, yet I cannot leverage it just by applying myself to stick to the fact of experience. Now it seems the last resort I am left with in order to reason within higher logic and in full contact with experience must be to basically check with you, hoping that at some point I will be able to heal my thinking from intellect. Anyway, even if this doesn't seem to be happening, I have to go on trying my best and work with what I have.


So let me try to follow your cues to grasp this higher logic. It’s very easy for me to 'imagine only being aware of the shape of the letters typed here, or the sounds of words spoken to you, but not cognizing the meaning which lives in the liminal spaces between those perceptual forms’. When one constantly jumps in and out of languages as I do, one gets a clear sense of that.
You ask: 'It is undeniably Logic which 'glues' together the syntax of letter and word forms with semantic meaning. The same with numbers in math. So why would it be any different with the outer forms of physical objects and processes in the world?'


I can tell you why. It’s precisely because your examples are conceptual systems. Words, numbers, languages. Those systems require us to learn a man-made code as a precondition for functioning within their inherent logics. In addition, we could notice that these logics are different for each language, there is no unified higher logic when similar issues are tackled in different languages with clearly different approaches. What glues together the syntax of a code or language is not Logic, it’s logic. But let’s keep it simple. So yes, the perceptions by themselves confront us with white noise, if we haven’t learned the code.


Not at all so when we for example are immersed in a natural landscape, pause for a moment, let us just be there, and let the reality we are being a witness of, and a part of, sink into our senses in all its is-ness. Then there is no white noise. And there is no need to think. No requirement to call any higher logic to come to our rescue. We can just be. No user manual to check whether our perceptions are being reliable or not. Perceptions by themselves are enough then. This is because no mediation has to happen, there is no logic engine to turn on, no process to go through, not even a recognition to acknowledge. There is only the instant knowing of unity of being. That’s why it is different with the outer forms of physical objects in the world.
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Re: Nature of memory and time - Split from "Why do we reincarnate without memories"

Post by Cleric K »

Federica wrote: Sat Jun 11, 2022 9:44 am (1)
I can tell you why. It’s precisely because your examples are conceptual systems. Words, numbers, languages. Those systems require us to learn a man-made code as a precondition for functioning within their inherent logics. In addition, we could notice that these logics are different for each language, there is no unified higher logic when similar issues are tackled in different languages with clearly different approaches. What glues together the syntax of a code or language is not Logic, it’s logic. But let’s keep it simple. So yes, the perceptions by themselves confront us with white noise, if we haven’t learned the code.

(2)
Not at all so when we for example are immersed in a natural landscape, pause for a moment, let us just be there, and let the reality we are being a witness of, and a part of, sink into our senses in all its is-ness. Then there is no white noise. And there is no need to think. No requirement to call any higher logic to come to our rescue. We can just be. No user manual to check whether our perceptions are being reliable or not. Perceptions by themselves are enough then. This is because no mediation has to happen, there is no logic engine to turn on, no process to go through, not even a recognition to acknowledge. There is only the instant knowing of unity of being. That’s why it is different with the outer forms of physical objects in the world.
The distinction that you're making above between (1) and (2) is at the core of most talks here. You feel it is unwarranted to put thought and memory in completely distinct buckets. And that's right. For anyone who intuits that reality is a unity, it is always disturbing to split things into irreconcilable buckets. Instead, we're open that there should be a unifying stratum at some level, even if it is not immediately obvious.

It's similar with (1) and (2). Why do we feel comfortable when we declare logic, concepts, thinking to belong entirely in the bucket of the man-made, while the perceptions of nature to be self-explanatory, requiring no thinking and living outside logic? This is the dualism of non-dualism that we're trying to point attention to in practically every post. We have split reality in the network of conceptual relations which exist only within human minds (1), and the inexplicable reality which simply is (2). Human logic can wrap reality in its conceptual web but it remains alien to that reality.

In other words, if we focus on the conceptual web, we are living in a world orthogonal to reality. Our thoughts mimic reality, as small puppets mimic living beings, but the whole web of conceptual puppets remains only a phantom layer. To experience something of reality we need to put aside the conceptual web and let ourselves absorb perceptions of the natural (and inner mystical) world in their inexplicable is-ness.

First, we can quite easily see that this is-ness doesn't make itself readily recognizable to us. You say "Then there is no white noise. And there is no need to think" but this simply forgets all the work that has been put into our being since we were born. Imagine a newborn that is put in a dark cellar and grows up knowing nothing else. Imagine at same age it is suddenly placed amidst a natural landscape. Do you think that the is-ness of this world of experiences will be even remotely similar to the is-ness that you, a well developed person, experiences? It is precisely white noise that the child will behold. Do you think it will automatically intuit the sky, the meadow, the trees, the birds, the flowers, the aromas, the sun light and warmth, the wind?

So in the case of (2) there's a whole world of already developed 'slots of meaning' within our being that we simply take for granted. We completely disregard the fact that in the first years of our life we actually have learned to read these perceptions. We have learned to read the letter of the flower, the letter of the bird. It is only because this kind of reading has become an almost automatic skill, that we take it for granted. That's why we feel that that the natural beauty just is. We say "But I'm not doing anything! I'm not thinking! I'm just experiencing the beauty of nature in its intrinsic is-ness." Yes, but that beauty would be pure white noise if we hadn't prepared the slots of meaning where the perceptions can pour and evoke the complex yet unitary meaning of the panorama.

The second thing is to consider the possibility that our conceptual web of meaning is organic part of reality. Here one can still argue: "Yes, we can't appreciate the is-ness of nature without the habitual slots of meaning which make it readable, but these are still only significant for the human mind. The world-in-itself exists independently of any such web."

We make real progress when we realize that this split between the conceptual web and 'true' reality that simply is, is not forced upon us. It is the conceptual web itself (the intellectual mind) which declares itself to be of fundamentally different essence than true reality.

If we understand this act of mind we have basically two choices:
1 - to believe that the intellect is right in the above. That it exists only as a phantom web which wraps reality, mimics reality but ultimately is unreality. It has no point of contact with the Essential Being of Nature and ultimately only veils reality. Yes, it is a veil which makes reality thoughtfully meaningful but it is imagined that this conceptual veil/web stands in between us and true reality and thus, even though it gives us comprehension, at the same time it distances us from the true being of reality. This is the position of BK and many others.
2 - to consider (what in other culture than ours would have been seen as the most obvious thing) that the conceptual web is only the most mineralized part of the Essential Being of Nature (of which we experience a point of view). Currently that Being indeed clumsily tries to mimic the full reality by arrangements of its crystal shards, yet there's also the possibility that the Being awakens (becomes self-reflective) in the higher order strata of meaning.

The mineral stratum of meaning is experienced as dead, it feels like we're trying to build a grotesque mannequin of the living being of the Cosmos by gluing together pieces of bone, hair, nails, skin flakes. Then we say "This is man-made, it is nowhere near what reality is in its essence. Unfortunately this grotesque mannequin stands as veil between us and true reality in its is-ness. We need to throw it away and only behold reality as it is."

But we don't know if what we behold is reality as it is! What if our culture is growing in a cellar? What if we're looking through reality but have no slots of meaning to grasp the depth of what we're seeing? What if we don't even know that we may have -10 diopters on both eyes and call the blurry picture "reality as it is". The only thing that is "as it is" is the momentary experience of our own state of being. To imagine that this state of being at the same time presents us with a true picture of full reality as it is, is overassuming, to say the least.

It is true that our modern conceptual web has been ripped (abstracted) from the healthy being of the Cosmos, as for example part of the nerve and blood vessels can be ripped from the body and continue to lead its existence in a tumorous growth. But simply discarding the web of spiritual activity in order to behold reality as it is, presents us simply with the picture of the tumor. To approach reality we need to grow consciously in the body of the Cosmos and understand how the Cosmic Thoughts run like currents through the Cosmic Body and animate it. The intellectual stratum is where the spiritual currents become mineralized, where they deposit their mineral element, as our bones precipitate from our blood flow. This in itself is not the problem. It is the natural and wise course of evolution of the Cosmic organism. The problem comes from two directions:
1 - when this calcification process begins to build its own kingdom within the body. A tumorous kingdom which feeds on the Cosmic organism (it can't even exist without it) but seeks its own goals. This is where we stand with materialism. We see only the calcified stratum of the Cosmic organism and imagine that it is simply the dust blown from the Big Bang. Then we decide to shape that dust in any way that suits our desires.
2 - when we imagine that it is enough to simply let go of the world process and imagine that in this way we behold true reality as it is. This is where we stand with mysticism. Alas, what we behold is nothing but the calcified or even tumorous body of the Cosmos, without realizing that in this way we cut ourselves from the currents of the Spirit, which builds and enlivens the Cosmos. In this way we completely disregard that it is only through our activity that this Body can be healed again. It is not that we, with our intellect and technologies will heal it but by understanding that the archetypal life processes are already wise and good. It is our job to seek the inner perspective of the beings that will the life processes and align the Earthly kingdom with them. Here of course we'll hear: "But this is totalitarian, I don't want to comply with some higher Cosmic forces, I want to be free." But this compliance doesn't at all restrict our freedom - actually it maximizes it. Just think: where we find more freedom? In a tumorous, sick body on the brink of collapse? Or in a healthy, vibrant body before which all doors are open? The reason someone may object in this was is only because they don't recognize how sick and disabled our present worldly state is, and what it could be when Love and Wisdom become the blood and nerve of our dream flow.

PS: Sorry that my post became once again way too longer that I initially intended. The core question is: just as you feel that there's something in common between thinking and remembering, do you conceive as possible that there might be something akin to thinking even in the contemplative state? And that furthermore, the deeper strata of this thinking-like activity may be responsible for the structure and unfolding of the dreamscape (which would correspond to what Ashvin called higher Logic of which our intellectual logic is only crystallization)? Or thinking and meaning are only isolated phenomena comprising the phantom layer of the mind, while in reality-as-it-is, there's nothing of that sort, there's just inexplicable is-ness?
Last edited by Cleric K on Sat Jun 11, 2022 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nature of memory and time - Split from "Why do we reincarnate without memories"

Post by AshvinP »

Federica wrote: Sat Jun 11, 2022 9:44 am
AshvinP wrote: Fri Jun 10, 2022 12:00 pm
I will let Cleric address the issues around the asymmetry of W-F-T and your last paragraph. But we should really appreciate how, the moment we relegate Logic to abstraction or postulate, we are back to dualism - to a realm where Logic is essential to adaptive behavior and survival (the sensory world), and a realm of "pure consciousness", or whatever other label we use, which exists beyond the sensory world. That is outer/inner dualism all over again.

Logic is actually that force through which all experience is made coherent. Perceptions by themselves confront us as white noise - try to imagine only being aware of the shape of the letters typed here, or the sounds of words spoken to you, but not cognizing the meaning which lives in the liminal spaces between those perceptual forms. It is undeniably Logic which 'glues' together the syntax of letter and word forms with semantic meaning. The same with numbers in math. So why would it be any different with the outer forms of physical objects and processes in the world?

Those are like a language we have forgotten how to read, precisely because we have not developed the higher order Logic needed. So we shouldn't confuse rational intellectual logic (Aristotelean) with Logic as such, just like we shouldn't confuse our own national language with all possible Language as such. The problem is the average modern person hasn't differentiated their thinking activity from intellectual logic enough to imagine higher order Logic in contrast to their current logic - we only understand something once we have differentiated ourselves from it, in this case the intellectual logic. Once we differentiate, however, we can discern how that logic precipitates from higher order Logic, like that which weaves together beats, notes, and chords into flowing musical melodies and harmonies, and, as Cleric would say, which arts the dreamscape we call the sense-world.

Ashvin,

Ok, so it's a Catch-22 situation you put me in, because reasoning with ‘logic from first-person perspective without any added assumptions about the "essence" of the experience’ is precisely what I tried to do. What I found is, for example, that there is no reason to separate thought and memory. Now this must be still unreliable and far away from higher logic, because you and Cleric do separate them, right? Yet, that’s what I found doing my best. Another finding is that there are no feeling gestures. But this too must be wrong because Cleric said 'Yes there are' (I will reply to Cleric separately but I want to read the post you suggested first, plus I am not a fast writer like you are). So you tell me there is a higher logic, yet I cannot leverage it just by applying myself to stick to the fact of experience. Now it seems the last resort I am left with in order to reason within higher logic and in full contact with experience must be to basically check with you, hoping that at some point I will be able to heal my thinking from intellect. Anyway, even if this doesn't seem to be happening, I have to go on trying my best and work with what I have.


So let me try to follow your cues to grasp this higher logic. It’s very easy for me to 'imagine only being aware of the shape of the letters typed here, or the sounds of words spoken to you, but not cognizing the meaning which lives in the liminal spaces between those perceptual forms’. When one constantly jumps in and out of languages as I do, one gets a clear sense of that.
You ask: 'It is undeniably Logic which 'glues' together the syntax of letter and word forms with semantic meaning. The same with numbers in math. So why would it be any different with the outer forms of physical objects and processes in the world?'


I can tell you why. It’s precisely because your examples are conceptual systems. Words, numbers, languages. Those systems require us to learn a man-made code as a precondition for functioning within their inherent logics. In addition, we could notice that these logics are different for each language, there is no unified higher logic when similar issues are tackled in different languages with clearly different approaches. What glues together the syntax of a code or language is not Logic, it’s logic. But let’s keep it simple. So yes, the perceptions by themselves confront us with white noise, if we haven’t learned the code.


Not at all so when we for example are immersed in a natural landscape, pause for a moment, let us just be there, and let the reality we are being a witness of, and a part of, sink into our senses in all its is-ness. Then there is no white noise. And there is no need to think. No requirement to call any higher logic to come to our rescue. We can just be. No user manual to check whether our perceptions are being reliable or not. Perceptions by themselves are enough then. This is because no mediation has to happen, there is no logic engine to turn on, no process to go through, not even a recognition to acknowledge. There is only the instant knowing of unity of being. That’s why it is different with the outer forms of physical objects in the world.
There is certainly no separation between what I have termed logic (of intellect) and higher order Logic which weaves the sensory world. We use the metaphor of "precipitation" to highlight the continuity here, just as water vapor precipitating into rain or snow is a metamorphic gradient of the same elemental force. So we are saying the logic you are using right now to comprehend our meaning is none other than the essential World Process, only 'stepped down' to a lower order manifestation. Again, we should sense the duality created when we speak of cultural logic of language ("man-made") and the rules of the natural, sensory world (laws of nature). We say the former is mere ideas and thoughts, arbitrary rules our ancestors created, private experiences which could just as well follow any othet set of lawful rules, etc. How is this any different than standard mind/matter dualism? It is different in name only, but the downgrading of inner experience to mere human invention, without any discernable lawfulness, is maintained. Modern psychology and cognitive science have already overturned this prejudice, but we seldom remember that when moving from psychology to philosophy, or from philosophy to evolutionary theory.

Logic is not any set of rules for math or language, but the force by which rulemaking becomes possible. The rules for a language, for ex., precipitate from the sphere of inner experience of how our conceptual thoughts transform. No humans gathered around a table to hammer out how their concepts should transform and then be expressed in word-sounds. This is quite evident for us in aesthetics. We know the inspiration for musical creation does not rely first on a man-made set of rules for how strings must vibrate to create flowing tones, yet we also know music has precise mathematical, lawful structure and coming to discern that structure on some level is critical for anyone wishing to perfect their musical art form. Their integration of ideal inspiration and thinking discernment of inner musical logic will influence how faithfully that inspiration flows into perceptual states of sound.

Music unfolds according to a higher order Logic - it is a higher order language which we are only dimly conscious of now with intellectual cognition. Imagine someone takes Beethoven's 9th symphony and cuts it up into small isolated segments of tones - how much would those segments resemble the original flowing, inspired reality of rhythms, melodies, and harmonies? Only as much as our current perception of fixed objects in the sensory world resembles the flowing, imaginative, ideational reality from which they precipitated. Moreover, cognitive science shows how all sensory perception flows through our own cognition, that of each individual. It is the coherence of our cognition and ideas which determines how faithfully meaning is translated into perception of words in language or objects in nature, just as the coherence of our overarching musical idea determines the perceptual flow of its beats, tones, and chords. We should locate the prosaic nature of language, or the deadened appearances of the natural world, to the limits of our own individual cognition at any given time, not absolute properties of Reality itself, and see how our ability to even make this distinction through thinking points us to the real possibility of overcoming it.

I will leave it there for you to continue the dialogue with Cleric.
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Re: Nature of memory and time - Split from "Why do we reincarnate without memories"

Post by Federica »

Cleric K wrote: Fri Jun 10, 2022 2:07 pm
Now you say it is difficult for you to see feeling as an expression of spiritual activity. It is true that for most part feelings are quite independent of our activity "I feel good, I feel sad" and so on - we just register how we feel. But we can be active in feeling too. Think of forgiveness. Someone has hurt you and now you feel in a very specific way about them. I previously your heart was open to share thoughts and feelings with them, now you've closed as a clam. You want to exclude them from your soul. Or maybe you feel desire to take revenge, to hurt them back.

These are all feelings. They are like the weather that follows us along the morphing stream of states. Most of our intentionality expresses as thoughts that symbolize these feelings. We think "How could that person be so cruel!". So we're morphing through states and certainly the meaning that we live through is reflected in thoughts but the hurt feelings are simply 'there', they persist through our stream of becoming.

Forgiveness is an example where our intentionality has greater impact on the stream of becoming. Even a child know the difference between only saying something and to actually mean it. So we know very well that it's not enough to simply think the words "I forgive you". To actually forgive we need to set in motion deeper strata of our being.

Hi Cleric, this will not yet address the main point about time, memory and the common language of braces. It's only an aparte on forgiveness and feeling gestures. It turned out too long to remain in the same discourse but I still wanted to say it. So I take it out of the way now, doesn't need to be addressed.


I have considered your example of forgiveness. Here's what I found. Forgiveness is not a feeling. Forgiveness is the removal of a dysfunction. It is the restoration of the double conduit that connects us emotionally to others. When this conduit is spoiled, like it often happens, the way in is wide open and the way out is half clogged. It means we let others send in whatever feeling they want to - or can't but - pass on us. If we are lucky these are positive feelings, but often they are not. So we let others decide our feelings by their behavior, or by their non-behavior.


For example someone could tell me: your argument is hurting, now I feel hurt, thinking they have no other choice. If they only realized that there is no justification for giving away that internal space where they feel feelings - their heart if you will - and that it is not necessary to leave the conduit wide open, enabling whatever passerby to throw in whatever garbage they want, their life would already hugely improve. Instead, they choose to feel hurt, and the next thing they do is, as you say, they want to separate their soul from me. Which is not even an effort because the way out is obstructed anyway.


Now those who can forgive me for my hurting behavior, are those who have set up the pipes as they should be, i.e. the other way round. Firstly they protect the internal space of feelings so that it stays theirs, they accept that something unpleasant (could be worse than unpleasant) has happened and they do what the situation requires without aggravating themselves for no reason with the other suffering person’s negative feelings. Secondly, they have a well functioning conduit on the other side too, so they can make their own sense of what’s happening and then let the way open to… just openness or more intense feelings perhaps. The exact feeling they will feel depends on other factors, it could be neutral, or just openness, but also sympathy, love, friendship, connectedness, it doesn’t matter.


But forgiveness is just what happens when a well setup and well maintained emotional apparatus is put to work by life circumstances. It is the event that allows the feeling, whatever this is in the specific case, to flow out. Clearly the mechanism can hardly be perfect, but when it's good enough to protect from the negative and let the positive flow, forgiveness is the name of the functionality.
Although this is a quite proactive take on feelings, still I cannot find feeling gestures. I can't see the love and understanding that's free to shine through forgiveness as a choice...
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Re: Nature of memory and time - Split from "Why do we reincarnate without memories"

Post by Cleric K »

Federica wrote: Sun Jun 12, 2022 10:21 pm ...
Thanks Federica. First I want to say that it's a great joy for me to see how you engage in these topics by doing the inner observations. Even though I haven't commented, your descriptions of thinking and the thought-tails didn't go unnoticed and unappreciated. This is really the productive attitude that very few are willing to assume. When we enter the investigations ourselves, then we no longer feel as if we're presented with a set of dogmas the we need to choose to believe or not. When the attitude is proper, we literally feel how we're probing the inner dynamics of the dreamscape. Of course, everyone beholds a slightly different angle of the World Process, but we're fully capable of resonating also with others' perspectives and, to use your metaphor, in this way we attain to an even higher order perspective, just like two eyes beholding slightly different pictures, integrate into a higher order depth picture, which in itself explains how it is possible to have different and seemingly conflicting views on the same underlying dynamics.

I agree that forgiveness is something more complicated than just a feeling. I didn't choose the example on some special grounds, it was simply the first thing that came to mind. We can certainly give examples that can be classified as feelings. For example - gratitude. We can certainly say "I feel grateful". And of course - Love.

Here of course, one can still object in the same way. One can say "One doesn't do anything to feel grateful. This feeling simply appears when the soul plumbing system is properly operating." Or "One can't do anything to love. Love is only a feeling when the proper life circumstances happen." In the same way we can say "There's no inner gesture of walking. Walking just happens when a healthy body is confronted with a road."

So you say: "But forgiveness is just what happens when a well setup and well maintained emotional apparatus is put to work by life circumstances". But this immediately begs the question: how is this emotional apparatus set up and maintained? Are we going to regress here and say that it is up to life's circumstances to present us with a well working emotional apparatus, similarly to the way we're used to blame genes for a well working or malfunctioning body? Or we'll recognize that we have degrees of freedom of our spiritual activity through which we can actually work on the soul's plumbing?

This activity is specific and works in the feelings spectrum. If we say that we don't know how to be active in feelings, we open the door for modern psychiatry where we assume that feelings can only be altered through drugs.
Federica wrote: Sun Jun 12, 2022 10:21 pm Although this is a quite proactive take on feelings, still I cannot find feeling gestures. I can't see the love and understanding that's free to shine through forgiveness as a choice...
Fair enough. This is an objective statement for our inner situation. As said, everyone experiences slightly different angle of the one world. I may say "I don't know what you're talking about. In the house through which windows I happen to observe life, there's no such thing as running water. I can't find a gesture that can produce a flow of water through the tap.

Now the big question is what do we do with this statement. Do we declare that running water is impossible and that others who claim to have that are simply mistaken? Do we say "Well, maybe it is possible to be active in the water flow but the designers of my house forgot to lead in the pipes, so it's a waste of time for me to even try seek a tap." Or do we say "My house is always a work in progress. The fact that I have no running water now only reflects my current situation. But through the appropriate inner development I can find the unsuspected degrees of freedom of my spirit through which I can be active in the flow of feeling and guide it according to a high ideal"?

Unless we consider the third option, how can we make sense of something like "Love your enemies"? Would the Christ have been more correct to say "wait patiently until life's circumstances lead you to the point where you experience the feeling of love towards your enemies"?
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