Friday, May 28, 2010

A Passion To Be Misunderstood

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall.

Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradicts everything you said to-day. “Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.” Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates and Jesus, and Luther and Copernicus and Galileo and Newton and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh; to be great is to be misunderstood.

Ralph Waldo Emerson words certainly create food for thought in his 1841 essay, Self-Reliance. Anyone who doesn’t conform to the present laws of science, religion and social rightness are easily misunderstood. Most new information is rejected as non-sense. Sense as we define it is rational behavior and reasonable choices. Anyone who strays outside the fence of rationalism is labeled a nut-case or wacko. They are put in a box marked weird.

Rationalism is a floating consistency that changes as our awareness springs from our inner consciousness. What is rational now may not have been rational when Emerson wrote his thoughts. Everyone has thoughts and beliefs. Our beliefs become waves that are part of a wave of complicated energy. This energy vibrates at different frequencies. Our beliefs conform to beliefs on the same frequency, but we can change that frequency. The folly of believing for conformity’s sake is impulsive behavior.

We are all misunderstood as we develop and then change our system of beliefs. Rationalism is a finicky bird that flies in and out of our bird cage of beliefs and leaves its dropings. We can keep the door of that cage open, and allow other birds to leave their mark. The accumulation of those droppings creates food for thought, and the passion to be misunderstood.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Unconscious Consciousness

In this self-nature there is a movement, an awakening, and the Unconscious becomes conscious of itself. This is not the region where the question “Why?” or “How” can be asked. The awakening or movement or whatever it may be called is to be taken as a fact which goes beyond refutation. The bell rings, and I hear its vibrations as transmitted through the air. This is a plain fact of perception. In the same way, the rise of consciousness in the Unconscious is a matter of experience; no mystery is connected with it, but, logically stated, there is an apparent contradiction, which once started goes on contradicting itself eternally. Whatever this is, we have now a self-conscious Unconscious or a self-reflecting Mind.

D.T. Suzuki expressed those thoughts in his 1969 book, The Zen Doctrine of No-Mind. Suzuki has a knack for explaining the internal aspects of philosophy in way that is easily understood. Words tend to distort unnatural expressions. They become crutches to support ideas that spring from the well of what we call rationalism. But, the unconscious is a very conscious place. It is a place filled with portions of our conscious mind. That portion of the mind is not attached to the brain. Even though it is free floating in the sea of unconscious consciousness it is able to act as a self-reflecting tool for the portion of the conscious mind that is attached to the brain.

Professor Suzuki didn’t allow his consciousness to be trapped by words. He allowed his self-reflecting tool to express itself consciously. He called that tool Zen. Zen moves through layers of beliefs, and creates pockets of awareness. Those pockets express ideas that stimulate emotions. Our emotions color these ideas, and our imagination gives them energy. This energy may not conform to logical thoughts, but it creates moments of reflection that tickle enlightenment. The sensation of enlightenment touches the conscious mind, and we feel the power of our unconscious consciousness.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Natural Guilt

Loose your mind and come to your senses!

As long as the body remains as object to the ego, it may fulfill the ego’s pride, but it will never provide the joy and satisfaction that the “alive” body offers.

In ego therapies it is hoped that a person can consciously accept the irrational in his personality, he will be free to respond naturally and spontaneously to life situations. The weakness in this concept is that the conscious acceptance of a feeling does not lead, necessarily to the ability to express this feeling. It is one thing to recognize one is sad, it is another to be able to cry. To know that one is angry is not the same as to feel angry.

On some level people are aware that the body is a repository of their repressed feelings and while they would very much like to know about these repressed feelings, they are loathe to encounter them in the flesh.

The first thought about loosing our mind comes from Fritz Perls, the 20th century psychiatrist and psychotherapist.

Alexander Lowen, the American psychotherapist and a student of Wilhelm Reich, expanded that thought in his 1967 book Betrayal of the Body. Being a fragment of something else is taught by most religions. Political beliefs are experienced in fragments, and just about everything we experience is a fragment of something else. Artificial guilt is a fragment of natural guilt. Natural guilt surfaced when humans recognized the concept of the past, prsent and future. Guilt is connected to memory. It is a perventive measure. Guilt needs an advanced memory to judge new experiences against recalled ones. We then evaluate those experiences in moments of reflection.

Natural guilt does not harness any connection with punishment. Any violation against nature would trigger a sense of guilt so when a similar situation presented itself in the future we would, in our moment of reflection, not repeat the same action. As man progressed within our time-space reality artificial guilt developed using our projections as well as our memory. Our collection of artificial guilts has accumualted through the years, and the result is an abundance of repressed energy. That energy is released through violent actions and hatred. Hatred is fueled by artificial guilt. Wars, for example, develop through the release of repressed energy generated by artificial guilt.

Biologically speaking death is a hidden aspect of life, and life is a hidden aspect of death. We have a tendency to ignore that fact just like we ignore natural guilt. We choose to personify artificial guilt in order to feel the physical violation it produces. We loathe those feelings, but our beliefs make them a reality.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Maker Of Distinctions

Hence, even in the field of sensation, our minds exert a certain arbitrary choice. By our inclusions and omissions we trace the field’s extent; by our emphasis we mark its foreground and its background; by our order we read it in this direction or in that. We receive in short the block of marble, be we carve the statue ourselves.

This applies to the ‘eternal’ parts of reality as well: we shuffle our perceptions of intrinsic relation and arrange them just as freely. We read them in one serial order or another, class them in this way or that, treat one or the other as more fundamental, until our beliefs about them form those bodies of truth know as logics, geometrics or arithmetics, in each and all of which the form and order in which the whole is cast is flagrantly man-made.

William James in his 1906 essay Pragmatism and Humanism is explaining how we create our own reality. The conscious mind is designed to be a maker of distinctions. It sorts, assembles and organizes unconscious material, and brings it to the surface of our awareness. An infinite amount of unconscious data is sifted and mixed into a present focus and only the desired mixture emerges from this conscious, but unconscious exercise. Our conscious mind is a creative genius. It not only organizes unconscious data it organizes physical data using natural guilt as a catalyst.

The conscious mind has the ability to see it own beliefs and reflect upon them. We evaluate our beliefs and then experience them. We feel the effects of our beliefs and our consciousness expands from the results. That expansion is a product of natural guilt and our innate state of grace, but our belief strucutre may use other names to describe it

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Fragmented Thoughts

Segmentation of nature is an aspect of grammar. . . We cut up and organize the spread and flow of events as we do, largely because, through our mother tongue we are parties to an agreement to do so, not because nature itself is segmented in exactly that way for all to see.. We dissect nature along lines laid down by our native languages. The categories and types that we isolate from the world of phenomena we do not find there because they stare every observer in the face, on the contrary, the world is presented in a kaleidoscope flux of impressions which has to be organized by our minds and this means largely by the linguistics systems in our minds.

We cut nature up, organize it into concepts and ascribe significances as we do, largely because we are parties to an agreement to organize it in this way; an agreement that holds throughout our speech community and is codified in the patterns of our language.

Those thoughts come from the 1956 book, Language, Thought and Reality written by American Linguist Benjamin Lee Whorf. Whorf explains that thought influences language. The differences in thought as well as language is easy to identify in this emerging global society. Not only are we educated to believe that nature is cut up into segments or fragments, we cut our self into fragments and only focus on certain fragmented beliefs. We put other fragments of thought in a category marked not real.

The fact that we exist outside of our personal belief structure is dismissed as untrue, not factual, and crazy. We ignore the fact that all physical manifestations come from our imagination. Our beliefs define us, but we really don't know what we belief. We live and experience reality by our own definitions and descriptions, but we fail to give ourselves credit for all of our creations. The thought of us being part of nature, and the thought that nature is as conscious as we are is not part of our language or our beliefs.

There is more to us than we believe and express through language.The art of knowing the self starts with recognizing how well nature knows itself. We are more than what we express through language. Language can not define or describe the nature of the self in its completeness. But we can recognize it using our imagination.