The above - written in clear understandable English, and, I never had any issues with the above. I doubt very few here would radically disagree with you, or could state it any better.Cleric K wrote: ↑Fri Sep 09, 2022 8:02 pm I know that the World Content matter has been gone through with Ashvin but I would like to present yet another rendition.
What do we imagine when we hear the word 'world'? In the most general sense we picture a vast space filled with materials, plants, creatures, empty space between planets, forces, star stuff and so on. We imagine ourselves also as a creature within this world. These latter things that fill the world are the 'content'.
But is this world and its content something which is directly and unquestionably given to us? Or there's some unexamined thinking that gives it such a form? Let's compare our waking life with dreaming. In the former case we feel pretty confident that we know what the world is with all the creatures, trees, rocks. We imagine that this world exists outside of us and we only have subjective perceptions of it. What about dreaming? While we dream we play along the flow of imagery as if we're really moving within a world with its creatures and materials. So what is it which makes the dream imagery to be 'just a dream' instead of a real world? When we become lucid in a dream it is not because the visual content changes. What changes is our understanding of the perceptions. Seconds ago we were acting with implicit understanding that we're moving in a world, then our understanding changes and we comprehend our perceptions to be pliable flow of images that we can begin to shape in our lucid dream.
So it turns out that it is our thinking (even if implicit) that makes the difference between a visual landscape being understood as a dream image or as a sensory perception of the 'real' world. So what is the true given in our consciousness? It is the experience of certain colors, sounds, feelings and so on. A red color in itself doesn't have a label "Hey, I'm a dream color" or "Hey, I'm a color stimulated by your optic nerve". It is up to our spiritual activity to orient itself and grasp the dynamics of the perceptions, which make the dream imagery distinguishable from sensory perceptions.
So if we now ask "What is the world and its content?" we'll have to think twice before habitually answering "space filled with rocks, trees, creatures." As far as the given is concerned, the only world we know is that of first-person experienced color, sound, taste, feeling and so on. This is the only world we ever know! This is the only thing that comes to us as a certainty. The concept of a spatial world container within which all content resides exists only in our thoughts. Now this doesn't suggest that everything exists only in our head. Such a conception immediately falls into its own trap because it has to imagine some head existing within some space and then colors and sound existing within that head. We're not saying that the perceptions we experience exhaust the totality of reality. We're only saying that perceptions (no matter if sensory or dream) are the content of the world we experience. Just as through thinking, the meaning of these perceptions changes, so with even deeper development of cognition, our current spectrum of waking perceptions will be seen in a new light of understanding.
The key in all this is not to feel that some theory is being pressed upon us that has to be believed. It is actually the inverse of that - it's about taking a moment to step back and unbelieve the theories that we have unknowingly accumulated in our cognition. It's about focusing on what is certain and distinguishing what results from thinking about perceptions.
As it can hopefully be seen, all this doesn't require any special philosophical background, let alone certain personal names. It requires nothing but willingness to make inner observations, to go a little 'meta' in comparison to our habitual flow of cognition. Yes, this requires some effort, as any attempt to break a habit does, but how can we seriously imagine that the secrets of existence should simply appear effortlessly to us?
Let's try the next step - could you elaborate on your phrase above - 'step back and unbelieve' - are you referring to specific techniques?