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

Any topics primarily focused on metaphysics can be discussed here, in a generally casual way, where conversations may take unexpected turns.

Moderator: Soul_of_Shu

Federica
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat May 14, 2022 2:30 pm
Location: Sweden

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

Post by Federica »

Cleric K wrote: Mon Jun 13, 2022 8:55 am
Thank you, Cleric, for your words and encouragements!
I agree with your conclusions, there is only one point left to clarify.

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."

Well, I see a clear difference between thinking and willing (as it’s called here) on one hand, and feeling on the other.
What I am trying to say is that love, gratitude, seem to be part of the fabric of the universe, like an omnipresent grace. In our most ideal state we should be constantly able to feel these, for everything and everyone, not because we produce the feelings but because we are open to them, and so we nourish them and relay them to others, to ourselves and to the world.


By the way, we will and think very specific and peculiar gestures that are extremely differentiated, especially thinking, whilst we simply ‘feel gratitude’. There seems to be only one gratitude. When I feel grateful I haven't cooked the gratitude, like I am cooking and serving these thoughts right here, I have simply accessed it, by seeing it, by being open to it. But the opportunity for feeling grateful was there regardless. The opportunity for gratitude is everywhere. Not that this openness does not require much work to be enabled and maintained. But the work is not on gratitude. It’s not about finding the recipe to make it from within ourselves. It's on openness to gratitude. As soon as we are able to see it, gratitude embraces us. Love is the same.


This soul plumbing work is certainly under our responsibility, I speak from experience, I have been working hard on that. On it depends the openness that allows us to feel gratitude and love and to relay them - on it also depends our ability to disconnect us from infective negative feelings relayed by others, so we can help them heal instead of being captured by their same ailment.
When these exact same plumbing skills allow us to relate to others in a way that stops the spreading chains of negative feelings, replacing them with graceful ones, we say that forgiveness has happened.

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.

I agree, we can be active in the world of feelings, if it means that 'we have degrees of freedom in our spiritual activity through which we can work on the soul’s plumbing'. Is this activity working in the feeling spectrum specifically? If you mean exclusively, I would doubt that. But it certainly has a specific effect on our feelings.

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"?

Perfect metaphor for what I am trying to say: I cannot generate water, I don't have a water gesture, however I am eager to work on the plumbing if the tap is not functional.

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"?

Exactly. Untiring work is necessary to come to a position where we can love our enemies and it’s all worth it, not just for the sake of our enemies and our love for them - not that I have arrived there, I can see it from a distance - but the work is not on Love. It’s not like we hold a little personal version of Love that we can work with. The work is on the plumbing. But your house example seems to entail a similar perspective?
User avatar
AshvinP
Posts: 3687
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:00 am
Location: USA
Contact:

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

Post by AshvinP »

Federica wrote: Mon Jun 13, 2022 11:22 pm Exactly. Untiring work is necessary to come to a position where we can love our enemies and it’s all worth it, not just for the sake of our enemies and our love for them - not that I have arrived there, I can see it from a distance - but the work is not on Love. It’s not like we hold a little personal version of Love that we can work with. The work is on the plumbing. But your house example seems to entail a similar perspective?
Federica,

It's great you have focused in on the high ideals of Gratitude and Love so quickly. I just wanted to share a passage from a book I am reading now, which you may find some inspiration from. It sounds like the question is, just how much and how far can these high ideals like Love empower and propel our spiritual (thinking) activity. Can it be transfigured into an activity more like sensation?
OAM, Man in the Cosmic Body wrote:Nothing is more important than to live in harmony with this large body in which we are housed and fed. All riches are contained in this harmony: health, strength, joy, light, and inspiration. Those who work to achieve such harmony begin to feel their whole being vibrating in unison with universal life and understand what life, creation and love are… but not before. Before it is impossible to understand. Intellectually, outwardly, we can always imagine that we understand something, but no: understanding, true understanding, is not achieved by just a few brain cells, but through the whole body, even through the feet, the arms, the belly, the liver. The whole body, all the cells must understand. Understanding is feeling. You feel, and then, you understand and you know: because you have tasted it. No intellectual understanding can be compared to sensation.

Since this might be a bit confusing, let me ask you to take notice OAM doesn't say our current feeling and sensation is higher understanding. This is why it's so important to discern thinking-gestures in everything we consciously do. Then we discover that all of our current feelings, which we are conscious of, are interlaced with mineralized concepts, even if we are mostly unaware of the latter. Those current feelings are therefore only dim shadows, on the same Maya plane as our mineralized concepts, of Feeling on a higher plane.
"Do not stop on any step, no matter how high, or it will become a snare.”
Federica
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat May 14, 2022 2:30 pm
Location: Sweden

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

Post by Federica »

AshvinP wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 12:31 am ...
Thanks for sharing Ashvin. I gather from the passage that, at a first level, he is talking of what you would call living experience, correct? But with a specific accent on sensations. There seems to be an ounce of dualism though? When he separates understanding as imagining in a few brain cells that we grasp something intellectually on one hand, and true understanding that comes through, and is anchored within, the whole physical body on the other. He doesn’t seem to acknowledge the non-intellectual thinking experience as another path to true understanding? I might be off track, it’s a short passage, and I have only now with this quote become aware of OAM.


But on sensations: yes, I appreciate the reminder. Opening to the feeling of love and gratitude is also a sensation. It arises in the chest then propagates to the whole body, and even floods out of its boundaries, to flow back into itself. By opening to the feeling, and by relaying it, we also can feel the dilution, or thinning, of our sense of separation, by letting that sensation wash the edges of our physical body, in waves, like the growing tide gradually melts the sharp contours of an object laying in shallow waters, until it's submerged.
In a sense, to me this connects up with that is-ness that you don’t like… that sense of unity of being, understood as a sensation in the body and beyond it.


So I much like the invitation to try and live in harmony with the body as a way to understanding ‘life, creation and love’ from within. Has this allowing the sensation of feeling to vivify the body the ability to empower and propel thinking activity? I don’t know. I am certainly not even close to getting there. For me it’s more like embodying the feeling as a sensation switches off thinking. Have you found yourself this transfiguration of feeling into sensation and from there into thinking? It almost sounds like using the body as an inverted prism… see, for the time being all I am able to do is what OAM warns us against, ‘outwardly imagine that I understand it’ : )
User avatar
AshvinP
Posts: 3687
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:00 am
Location: USA
Contact:

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

Post by AshvinP »

Federica wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 12:05 pm
AshvinP wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 12:31 am ...
Thanks for sharing Ashvin. I gather from the passage that, at a first level, he is talking of what you would call living experience, correct? But with a specific accent on sensations. There seems to be an ounce of dualism though? When he separates understanding as imagining in a few brain cells that we grasp something intellectually on one hand, and true understanding that comes through, and is anchored within, the whole physical body on the other. He doesn’t seem to acknowledge the non-intellectual thinking experience as another path to true understanding? I might be off track, it’s a short passage, and I have only now with this quote become aware of OAM.


But on sensations: yes, I appreciate the reminder. Opening to the feeling of love and gratitude is also a sensation. It arises in the chest then propagates to the whole body, and even floods out of its boundaries, to flow back into itself. By opening to the feeling, and by relaying it, we also can feel the dilution, or thinning, of our sense of separation, by letting that sensation wash the edges of our physical body, in waves, like the growing tide gradually melts the sharp contours of an object laying in shallow waters, until it's submerged.
In a sense, to me this connects up with that is-ness that you don’t like… that sense of unity of being, understood as a sensation in the body and beyond it.


So I much like the invitation to try and live in harmony with the body as a way to understanding ‘life, creation and love’ from within. Has this allowing the sensation of feeling to vivify the body the ability to empower and propel thinking activity? I don’t know. I am certainly not even close to getting there. For me it’s more like embodying the feeling as a sensation switches off thinking. Have you found yourself this transfiguration of feeling into sensation and from there into thinking? It almost sounds like using the body as an inverted prism… see, for the time being all I am able to do is what OAM warns us against, ‘outwardly imagine that I understand it’ : )

Federica,

I was only providing that quote as something which may resonate with your concepts of Gratitude and Love. This is all phenomenology- we shouldn't think of these differentiations as ontological divisions between activity or understanding. The quote indicates that what we are speaking of here is not at odds with Feeling as understanding, or even Willing (Perceiving/Sensation) as understanding, only that this understanding comes on a higher plane than that of mere intellect which permeates the conscious thinking, feeling, and willing of most people. Just as the self-reflective thinking of human beings is understanding on a higher plane than the thinking of instinctive animals.

It is what allows us to discover the underlying unity of Thinking, Feeling, Willing, which normally appears to our conscious intellect as completely vague, smeared out, and mostly disconnected. It is through living differentiation that we come back to the enriched Unity (this is true of all polar relations - one always allows us the other to unfold). The first step towards this higher plane of understanding is what you wrote in bold - realizing that you are not yet there, but it is also possible to get there (and you are much closer than you imagine, since it is really a shift in perspective on what you are always doing in thinking). Higher cognition allows us to enrich our current feeling with the living knowledge of how the 'soul plumbing' works. It is Thinking of the Heart.

Steiner, PoSA wrote:But if we once succeed in really finding life in thinking, we shall know that swimming in mere feelings, or being intuitively aware of the will element, cannot even be compared with the inner wealth and the self-sustaining yet ever moving experience of this life of thinking, let alone be ranked above it. It is owing precisely to this wealth, to this inward abundance of experience, that the counter-image of thinking which presents itself to our ordinary attitude of soul should appear lifeless and abstract. No other activity of the human soul is so easily misunderstood as thinking. Will and feeling still fill the soul with warmth even when we live through the original event again in retrospect. Thinking all too readily leaves us cold in recollection; it is as if the life of the soul had dried out. Yet this is really nothing but the strongly marked shadow of its real nature — warm, luminous, and penetrating deeply into the phenomena of the world. This penetration is brought about by a power flowing through the activity of thinking itself — the power of love in its spiritual form. There are no grounds here for the objection that to discern love in the activity of thinking is to project into thinking a feeling, namely, love. For in truth this objection is but a confirmation of what we have been saying. If we turn towards thinking in its essence, we find in it both feeling and will, and these in the depths of their reality; if we turn away from thinking towards “mere” feeling and will, we lose from these their true reality. If we are ready to experience thinking intuitively, we can also do justice to the experience of feeling and of will...

I have found my own thinking to have degrees of freedom completey unsuspected before, and for this trend of discovering unsuspected DoF to continue reguarly over the last few years, especially the last few months. Our thinking can become more like the touch-sense, reaching out actively and touching the contours of meaning it is flowing through, and in the process becoming more unified with what it is touching, like the Octopus mimics its environment through the tentacles. It is like going from a person feeling around for meaning in a dark room, passively bumping into things here and there, and letting those bumps in the dark dictate what he thinks about, but never gaining a holistic picture of the room, to a person who has the lights on and can therefore form a more holistic image of the embedded meaning in the room. Our writing here cannot possibly do the experience justice, only point towards the paths on which the living inner experience, which corresponds to all these concepts and metaphors, can be found for all those tread it with an open heart and mind.

The inverted prism metaphor is great and I think your intuition is oriented very well. As Cleric said, you naturally try to understand these things from the first-person perspective of your inner gestures, and that is a huge advantage. Much of our back and forth with people here over the last few years has resulted from people failing to adopt this living perspective, instead defaulting to 3rd person view from nowhere. Since Cleric may be posting another response to you soon, I will leave it there for now (also I recommend you look at his recent post on the Whirpool thread) .
"Do not stop on any step, no matter how high, or it will become a snare.”
Federica
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat May 14, 2022 2:30 pm
Location: Sweden

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
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.

(...)

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".

(---)

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.


Hi Cleric. Yes, even after careful reading of your other essay - the one with the fractal triangle - I am still not sure how it’s clear to you and Ashvin that the verbal exoskeleton you have built actually fits my intuitions. As it seems, I need to work more on calibrating the orthopedic braces. So I’ve tried on this one quoted right here, together with the TCT essay: viewtopic.php?p=17151#p17151
Before I get to it, let me say that rereading my post, I realize it sounds polemic, which is not the spirit. But if I try to edit out the tone, the braces get baggy. So for the sake of calibration I leave it as it is.


In the essay - while I follow and understand the first part about science - I then get a sense that your idea of time is very solid. Time is tightly built into the fabric of everything. The impression is that if thinking is suspended, that frame / state of being will still go on flowing through time, getting eaten up, nested within the next self-similar frame. Time for you doesn't seem to be same as thinking, because outside thought time goes on rolling. Time is hooked to the states of being, whatever they encompass. Time is not hooked to thinking only, which was my intuition. In more details from the essay:

Cleric K wrote: Mon May 09, 2022 8:04 pm ..no matter if there's really a time flow or reality is created anew at each instant from scratch, the sense of continuity in time comes from the fact that in the now we have the intuition that there are many other states of being which are somehow related to our current and this relation feels as if we've reached this moment through temporal development.

‘in the now we have the intuition’ is an impossible occurrence. The now only arises as a concept, when and only when I think about it. Only when I think ‘Oh this is the now’ the now appears, not as a reality, but as an abstraction, by means of that thought and within that thought. That intuition you talk about is enclosed in thinking. If we step out of thinking, we also annihilate that intuition. The intuition of timeflow is not an underlying constant of any state of being. But your point is maybe that thinking is part of every frame, correct? By virtue of making thinking a necessary, ever-present component of being, time also gets upgraded to the same status. Is this a correct reading of your reasoning? Next you say:


Cleric K wrote: Mon May 09, 2022 8:04 pm Similarly, there's some experiential phenomena which make all states of our life to seem self-similar and this justifies us to say that they all happened to us (the self-similarity is that all states are imbued with the same quality of "I"-ness).

And in other words in this thread:

Cleric K wrote: Fri Jun 10, 2022 2:07 pm ...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.

While the second version sounds softer, the difficulty I encounter is the same.
What are ‘all states of our life’? Do we have them all? To create them, not to mention to hold them, we need to think about them. Can you go with thinking to every specific frame of your life? If you can’t then where are those frames that you cannot think about, or recall? There is nothing in the now that makes me touch this self-similarity between me around now and me as a 5 year old. It's only via external backing that the connection can be made. I look at that school picture. Ok, that was me, there is a resemblance. I look at the notebook where I wrote my very first sentences. I need my thinking to be heavily subsidized to be able to touch that I-ness. Some memories are accessible indeed, but it's fragmentary, dream-like. There's clearly no natural sense of continuity of being that extends through a whole life. It might be there in the short-middle term, anchored by thinking, up to the extent to which the cracks cut by thought are fresh enough to be seamlessly bridged. But the integral ground cracked open by thought heals up and the illusion of bird’s eye view across the span of a whole life collapses.


This supposed quality of I-ness that smoothly extends throughout our life, although it might please a mathematical mind, doesn’t seem to be a living experience. And these ‘overarching phenomena as ever expanding context which embed states’, seem to me like a visual mind's poetic license. Can the sense of I really be smoothly modeled this way?
The more I search for these frames and for this coherence of the sense of I, the more I get trapped in the requirement of time. It seems like these frames emerge as a way to guide us to an understanding of time, as an intermediary step, but in order to exist as concepts, they require time in the first place. So is there any use in this concept of frames or states of being?


Then we move to the absolute state, and I like it much better. Although unpromisingly presented as an asymptotic run to infinity that vows to hopelessly chase time by endlessly pushing it one frame ahead, it then takes a peaceful turn, where the absolute state eats back all shedded frames, overviewing the encompassing of every potentially possible state of every being ever. So fully so that you conclude: ‘the absolute state can never be experienced as something through time’. All is well that ends well.


But why take that bumpy road, through that frame-based understanding of personal time flow, that is anyway not even supported by experience, in order to, through a thought experiment - meaning another jump - finally arrive, still running, to the absolute state, where in the end time is dropped?


Now what’s ‘new’ in this thread that I don’t find in the TCT essay is this:

Cleric K wrote: Fri Jun 10, 2022 2:07 pm 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.

which I like, meaning that although I admit I cannot hold it, or play with it, at least it doesn’t short-circuit. Then you go on speaking of differentiation of spiritual activity, and all activity:

Cleric K wrote: Fri Jun 10, 2022 2:07 pm 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 understand this too and I agree. As it seems, there is not much overlap between the essay and what you wrote here in the thread. While I understand the latter and accept it - apart from the digression on forgiveness we are having in parallel - the former seems almost as difficult as the original post at the top of this thread. Hopefully there are calibration mistakes to be pointed out here?
Last edited by Federica on Wed Jun 15, 2022 10:39 pm, edited 5 times in total.
User avatar
Cleric K
Posts: 1007
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:40 pm

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

Post by Cleric K »

Federica wrote: Mon Jun 13, 2022 11:22 pm Well, I see a clear difference between thinking and willing (as it’s called here) on one hand, and feeling on the other.
What I am trying to say is that love, gratitude, seem to be part of the fabric of the universe, like an omnipresent grace. In our most ideal state we should be constantly able to feel these, for everything and everyone, not because we produce the feelings but because we are open to them, and so we nourish them and relay them to others, to ourselves and to the world.


By the way, we will and think very specific and peculiar gestures that are extremely differentiated, especially thinking, whilst we simply ‘feel gratitude’. There seems to be only one gratitude. When I feel grateful I haven't cooked the gratitude, like I am cooking and serving these thoughts right here, I have simply accessed it, by seeing it, by being open to it. But the opportunity for feeling grateful was there regardless. The opportunity for gratitude is everywhere. Not that this openness does not require much work to be enabled and maintained. But the work is not on gratitude. It’s not about finding the recipe to make it from within ourselves. It's on openness to gratitude. As soon as we are able to see it, gratitude embraces us. Love is the same.


This soul plumbing work is certainly under our responsibility, I speak from experience, I have been working hard on that. On it depends the openness that allows us to feel gratitude and love and to relay them - on it also depends our ability to disconnect us from infective negative feelings relayed by others, so we can help them heal instead of being captured by their same ailment.
When these exact same plumbing skills allow us to relate to others in a way that stops the spreading chains of negative feelings, replacing them with graceful ones, we say that forgiveness has happened.
Hi Federica,

I would like to explore together with you two things.

The first is related to the fact that, as you say, we don't cook the feeling, we don't create the water. We can really see this more clearly in thinking and then move on to feeling.

If we're very precise in our inner observations it wouldn't be quite truthful to say that we create out of ourselves the perceptions of the thoughts. In certain sense they are something independent. As you say, we feel involved in the thought but then we see how its tail recedes away as a memory picture. If we're careful we can't say that we somehow produced the 'substance' of this memory picture ourselves. We would be much less pretentious if we simply say "Somehow my thinking gestures, my willful weaving in meaning, becomes impressed in the field of consciousness (the World Content), like a seal becomes impressed in wax. I don't perceive the seal because it is the invisible meaning that fills my being as pure intuition. I only perceive the effects of this weaving in meaning, which are reflected in the 'substance' of the World Content". Of course all this should be grasped as imaginative artform expressing first-person living experience, and not as some theoretical model of the mind. I believe that you have no problem with this kind of inner expressing, as you've already showed. The same can't be said about others who simply can't see words like this as living testimonies for inner realities. Instead they try to imagine some floating seal and some wax and say "Well, that's a nice theory but such a seal and wax are nowhere to be found in my experience."

So we've established that our inner experience justifies us to differentiate between what we do through our spiritual gesticulation in meaning, and the perceptual effects in the World Content. In a similar sense but about feeling, you say that what we invisibly do with our spiritual activity as plumbing is different from what we perceive as feeling atmosphere in the World Content. And that's quite correct in the exactly same sense as it is about thinking. But we should also be aware that there's a potential trap here. I tried to illustrate this in the Central Topic series with the hysteresis image, where the meaning that we think most of the time is about something which is not the thinking itself. We think about the weather, the dog, the table but the wax impressions of these thoughts do not directly reflect anything back about the fact that there's a thinking process which impresses them. That's why we say that thinking is in the blind spot almost all of the time. When we do something like the vowels exercise or we simply move a light dot in our imagination and try to feel as closely as possible how the thought-tails reflect our inner activity, then we become conscious of the fact that the wax impressions are not only about the vowels or the light dot but also about the living process that impresses them. This was metaphorically illustrated as the hysteresis process spiraling into unity - meaningful intent and reflection come together. Of course, this unity is not perfect. We can still clearly distinguish between the meaningful gesture and the impression. So we still have no right to say that we create the wax out of ourselves.

That's all good. But the abovementioned trap is that if we overemphasize this differentiation, we practically forcefully open the hysteresis again. We want to emphasize the distinction and say "These thought perceptions have nothing to do with the activity I'm performing, they are of completely different nature. What I innerly do doesn't look like the thought perceptions. What I do is the plumbing in meaning. This only creates the circumstances for the thought to be perceived." And as said, this is technically correct but let's ask ourselves for example: what do I do if I want to think the sound 'aaaaa'? Do we find ourselves doing some plumbing which has nothing to do with the sound 'a', yet we perceive precisely that sound? As an exaggerated example, do we try to weave in the meaning of, say, a circle in order to hear the sound 'a'? Or when we want to hear 'a' we simply think 'a'?

My point here is to guard against inserting abstract fillers between our gesticulating in meaning and the perceptions, in order to emphasize how unrelated the two sides are. While this is exaggerated in the case of thinking, it is much easier to be taken as a matter of course in feeling. The reason is that feelings are elusive for the average person of today. Most people can hardly, for example, summon (this is the inner gesture) the actual feeling of joy. In theory it seems logical to be able to do so. If we can will the impression of the sound 'a' with our activity, why shouldn't it be possible to will something which reflects to us as the actual atmosphere of joy? Yet this doesn't seem to happen for the average person. They might be able to summon a vague degree of the feeling, through the inner gesture of trying to remember how joy feels like, but most people wouldn't be able to intensify this feeling to the degree that it fills the soul content. This is not limited only to feelings. If we close our eyes and try to remember how red looks like as vividly as possible, most people wound barely see anything. Please note that even though we say "try to remember" the goal is actually to fill our soul with the quality of redness through and through. Remembering speaks only about the fact that we try to utilize an inner degree of freedom of our spirit. That's why I spoke about memories as creating new degrees of freedom. For example, if we want to remember how green feels like, we'll have to exercise a different degree of freedom. Somehow we know what 'button' to press with our spirit in order to summon the quality of redness or the quality of greenness. What about remembering that color which we have never seen in our life? We don't have the 'button' for that yet, we don't have the degree of freedom. If at some point we behold the quality of that exotic color, then we'll also attain to a new degree of freedom, new 'button', through which we'll know what to innerly do if we want to remember that color and once again fill our soul space with its quality (even if very dimly). If we have extraordinarily vivid imagination then we might be able to remember colors with such intensity that they feel no different that a color impressed through the senses or in a dream. The same holds true for feelings too. Through spiritual training we can increase the vividness of this 'remembering' tremendously.

Now everything we said about the plumbing and the perceived effects still holds. My goal here is only to protect from the trap to imagine that our inner activity is bound to remain completely dissimilar from the actual feeling. It's true that this holds true for feeling to a greater extent than in thoughts. If we want to think about a dog we simply think about a dog. It makes no sense to say "I want to think about a dog but I can't", because we already thought about it by saying this. With feelings we have one more level of indirection. When we first experienced joy in our life it was possible to condense the feeling into the concept of joy. Now the word 'joy' (or we could use a gesture, picture, color, etc.) symbolizes the feeling of joy. It is a holographic token. As we saw, it is easy to remember the token. We simply have to think about it. To remember also the feeling of which the token is conceptual condensation, we need much greater inner strength. If we have that strength innately or we gain it through training then we can not only remember the concept (the token) but also fill our soul space with the quality of joy.

Of course, in order to attain to that strength, we need a lot of plumbing, which, as you say, may have no immediate relation to joy. We may need to develop our ability to concentrate, to let go of some habits, recurring feelings and so on. All of these are hinderances for our ability to remember joy with great intensity. But when the path is cleared and we've gained the strength, it no longer makes sense to say for example "If I want to remember joy, I have to do some completely different plumbing, I have to remember, say, pain". No, if we want to remember and fill our soul with joy we need to focus directly on it, just like when we want to fill our soul with the sound 'a' we focus our thinking directly on it. I repeat that the distinction between the inner gesture of summoning the feeling of joy and the actual feeling of joy is still valid. It's not like we produce joy out of ourselves, just like we don't produce the wax of thought perceptions, yet we certainly have a role in bringing it forward. As you said previously, we can imagine that these feelings are embedded in the background of existence but most of the time our inner atmosphere interferes destructively with them and they seem non-existent. In this sense yes - summoning joy is really manipulating the interference pattern such that joy can come forward and fill the soul. The point, though, is that once we have advanced with the preparatory plumbing, which truly may seem unrelated to joy, then in the end our final summoning gesture can really be called 'filling our soul with joy'. In other words, once we have gained the inner strength, our final action should focus directly on joy in order to lift it from the infinite potential, and not in some other direction.

Of course there are many things for one to object here. It can be said that joy, even if we can remember it with great intensity such that it practically happens to us at the moment, is not 'real' joy because we ourselves bring it forward. Real joy should come only externally, otherwise we're 'cheating'. Well, we can talk a lot about these things too but my example with joy is once again arbitrary. We can substitute it with any other feeling.

As a side note, we can say that when we speak of will we have even one more layer of indirection. If I want to move my arm, first I can most easily summon the concept of moving hand. This is only the token. Then, if I have the inner strength I can imagine/remember quite vividly how hand movement feels like. I can move my imaginary hand. But then I need even greater strength if this imagination has to intensify to the level of what we call the 'outer' world. So our inner world has few rings (they are not really rings, they all fill the entirety of inner space and are superimposed, but let's call them rings). The most pliable is the ring where thoughts are impressed in the sound, color, etc. 'substance'. Then we have the ring of more substantial feelings which require greater inner strength to move. And finally we have the ring of the sensory spectrum which requires third level of strength. All these rings together form the spectrum of inner world as it metamorphoses from 'frame to frame' and we can be active in this metamorphosis by working in the three rings.

As usual the post turned out quite long so I'll leave the second topic for a separate writing. Please excuse any writing errors above because I'm already quite sleepy and don't have the energy to go through the text once more.
User avatar
Cleric K
Posts: 1007
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:40 pm

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

Post by Cleric K »

Federica wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 10:02 pm Hi Cleric. Yes, even after careful reading of your other essay - the one with the fractal triangle - I am still not sure how it’s clear to you and Ashvin that the verbal exoskeleton you have built actually fits my intuitions. As it seems, I need to work more on calibrating the orthopedic braces. So I’ve tried on this one quoted right here, together with the TCT essay: viewtopic.php?p=17151#p17151
Before I get to it, let me say that rereading my post, I realize it sounds polemic, which is not the spirit. But if I try to edit out the tone, the braces get baggy. So for the sake of calibration I leave it as it is.
Hi Federica. I suggest that we leave aside for a moment the question of Time and go first through my post above and the other that I'll hopefully write today or tomorrow. I hope this will help to synchronize the concepts some more before returning to the more advanced topic of Time.

Other than that, I try to feel you perspective but I'm still unsure what it is. From what I sense, you feel that the metamorphic flux of our states has reality only when we think about it. Thus, when we cease thinking (as in the mystical state of is-ness) we enter the timeless, where past, now, future, etc. simply cease to exist. Am I getting nearer? There's no need to elaborate too much now. As said, we can continue with the more readily assessable experiences and then return to these difficult questions. They are difficult simply because they run along the event horizon of the intellect where it is constantly on the brink of evaporation.
Federica
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat May 14, 2022 2:30 pm
Location: Sweden

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

Post by Federica »

Cleric K wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 9:19 am
Federica wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 10:02 pm Hi Cleric. Yes, even after careful reading of your other essay - the one with the fractal triangle - I am still not sure how it’s clear to you and Ashvin that the verbal exoskeleton you have built actually fits my intuitions. As it seems, I need to work more on calibrating the orthopedic braces. So I’ve tried on this one quoted right here, together with the TCT essay: viewtopic.php?p=17151#p17151
Before I get to it, let me say that rereading my post, I realize it sounds polemic, which is not the spirit. But if I try to edit out the tone, the braces get baggy. So for the sake of calibration I leave it as it is.
Hi Federica. I suggest that we leave aside for a moment the question of Time and go first through my post above and the other that I'll hopefully write today or tomorrow. I hope this will help to synchronize the concepts some more before returning to the more advanced topic of Time.

Other than that, I try to feel you perspective but I'm still unsure what it is. From what I sense, you feel that the metamorphic flux of our states has reality only when we think about it. Thus, when we cease thinking (as in the mystical state of is-ness) we enter the timeless, where past, now, future, etc. simply cease to exist. Am I getting nearer? There's no need to elaborate too much now. As said, we can continue with the more readily assessable experiences and then return to these difficult questions. They are difficult simply because they run along the event horizon of the intellect where it is constantly on the brink of evaporation.
Alright, Cleric. I will go to your last post. Yes, you are getting nearer. I can imagine you already wrote about this second topic here on the forum. If so I could maybe read there to start with?
User avatar
Cleric K
Posts: 1007
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:40 pm

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

Post by Cleric K »

Federica wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 9:48 am Alright, Cleric. I will go to your last post. Yes, you are getting nearer. I can imagine you already wrote about this second topic here on the forum. If so I could maybe read there to start with?
Now on second thought, in case I'm getting nearer, I think it will be more appropriate to tackle this core issue directly. Otherwise, what I was about to write in the second part would probably remain misplaced.

If you prefer, you can first say whether the first part above makes sense.

Next, I think it will be the best if you try to explicate more about the state outside of time in the way you experience it. Few core points to consider are:
* Are you talking about the timeless state as something that can only be asymptotically approached? Or it is a state for which we can say upon return "I experienced that timeless state, I was 'there'."
* If the state can really be experienced, can we (our thinking being) have consciousness of it at all? Think about duration. If that state was completely timeless, shouldn't it be impossible to recall of ever experiencing it? Everything that we can claim to have experienced, when looked back upon, can be conceived as a scene within the stream of metamorphosis of our first-person World state. If the timeless scene we're talking about was truly timeless, wouldn't it look from the perspective of our thinking self, as a zero-length blink of an eye? I don't know at what circumstances you experience the timeless state but most probably it is some kind of meditation. Probably when looking back on the experience you can say that it began some time after you began meditating and ended upon your return to normal cognition. Even though while the mystical state lasted, time and space didn't exist for you, as you look back you can say, as contradictory as it may sound, that this state of non-existence of time, lasted for certain amount of time. If that was not the case you shouldn't be able to tell that you have gone through the experience. It should feel as a missing segment of memory - you closed your eyes for meditation at one position of the wall clock and then when you opened them the clock was at t+10 minutes. As far as your thinking self is concerned, it was blinking of the eyes, except that together with the blink the clock jumped 10 minutes forward. Please note that this is not the case even in deep dreamless sleep. When we wake up we may not remember anything but we certainly feel that we have spent time sleeping. That is, the only thing we remember from the night is the dark duration of the sleep. Otherwise, our falling to sleep and waking up would be like blinking of the eyes, except that after the blink the clock would have moved and the Sun would be up.

I hope it's clear what is at hand here. Can we really experience absolutely timeless state and still have consciousness that we have gone through that state?

I emphasize that all interest is entirely in the first person experience. That is, we seek the timeless state as something of which we can speak from direct experience, and not as some theoretical model held by the intellect.
Federica
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat May 14, 2022 2:30 pm
Location: Sweden

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

Post by Federica »

Cleric K wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 12:24 pm
Federica wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 9:48 am Alright, Cleric. I will go to your last post. Yes, you are getting nearer. I can imagine you already wrote about this second topic here on the forum. If so I could maybe read there to start with?
Now on second thought, in case I'm getting nearer, I think it will be more appropriate to tackle this core issue directly. Otherwise, what I was about to write in the second part would probably remain misplaced.

If you prefer, you can first say whether the first part above makes sense.

Next, I think it will be the best if you try to explicate more about the state outside of time in the way you experience it. Few core points to consider are:
* Are you talking about the timeless state as something that can only be asymptotically approached? Or it is a state for which we can say upon return "I experienced that timeless state, I was 'there'."
* If the state can really be experienced, can we (our thinking being) have consciousness of it at all? Think about duration. If that state was completely timeless, shouldn't it be impossible to recall of ever experiencing it? Everything that we can claim to have experienced, when looked back upon, can be conceived as a scene within the stream of metamorphosis of our first-person World state. If the timeless scene we're talking about was truly timeless, wouldn't it look from the perspective of our thinking self, as a zero-length blink of an eye? I don't know at what circumstances you experience the timeless state but most probably it is some kind of meditation. Probably when looking back on the experience you can say that it began some time after you began meditating and ended upon your return to normal cognition. Even though while the mystical state lasted, time and space didn't exist for you, as you look back you can say, as contradictory as it may sound, that this state of non-existence of time, lasted for certain amount of time. If that was not the case you shouldn't be able to tell that you have gone through the experience. It should feel as a missing segment of memory - you closed your eyes for meditation at one position of the wall clock and then when you opened them the clock was at t+10 minutes. As far as your thinking self is concerned, it was blinking of the eyes, except that together with the blink the clock jumped 10 minutes forward. Please note that this is not the case even in deep dreamless sleep. When we wake up we may not remember anything but we certainly feel that we have spent time sleeping. That is, the only thing we remember from the night is the dark duration of the sleep. Otherwise, our falling to sleep and waking up would be like blinking of the eyes, except that after the blink the clock would have moved and the Sun would be up.

I hope it's clear what is at hand here. Can we really experience absolutely timeless state and still have consciousness that we have gone through that state?

I emphasize that all interest is entirely in the first person experience. That is, we seek the timeless state as something of which we can speak from direct experience, and not as some theoretical model held by the intellect.
Yes, I am writing a reply to your first part (but I have not enough time to finish it right now, hopefully tonight). Then I will consider your last questions right here.
Post Reply