All actions happen naturally, our sense of becoming involved is but another illusion.
In the effort to explain how we may cause natural events to happen, we try to trace some connection which at one end is rooted in ourself and the other in nature. But this is against the very principle which brings about such things to happen. What we accept instead is our limitations, and do not turn as we do to our physical or intellectual selves for development, but quite the opposite.
We turn to the subject, our sense of identity, and not work upon it in any way, but allow it to suffer as it does quite naturally, its indignations. The result, follows from removing something which obstructs a development, in consequence, something else may be ascribed as its cause.
In this indirect fashion, causes bring about their effects, which as they are completely natural in their development and sequence, have all appearance of happening without intervention. If this suggests a thinking ability in nature, it is better understood as, thoughts relating to an event only seem to be ours, in reality they belong to the event. We look at them and consider them our identities, in much the same way we feel about our appearances.
It may be possible to turn to some aspects of ourselves, and with guidance, root them out. As this is difficult, one can instead, accepting the natural order of reality and evolution, live with the circumstances. The effort is directed at bearing natural suffering and, as it is acting upon the deepest cause linked closely to our identity it hurts us deeply.
There is an intervening will of nature, which tempers harmful actions directed at us. Things hurt sometimes, and at other times just don't. And often, the longer lasting reaction of an ill intentioned act turns out for the good.
One can see nature as totally integrated, and ourselves, carrying as though, imperfections in our identities. We wonder what these could be that bring so much misery in life. After a time we can see how our troubles seem related, all of them adding to make our situation that we wish we could unravel.
Is there an unravelling then in that sequence of bearing injury, not retaliating, and suffering the healing? One accepts this or nothing at all.
There are two things here. One is when we act, the other is when nature acts for us.
Our being the one doing the action, is illusionary, if we can accept this idea that the thoughts occur to us, but they're in a sense outside of us and belonging to the event we are involved in. This can be the experience even when we're overtly doing something.
An extension of the same principle, like the learning experience, is that it's an internal state of our mind; we can get there in different ways. Normally our evolution happens as we are accustomed to seeing in everybody, the increase in the capabilities, initially more of the physical ones but more lasting, the mental ones. This learning process, of 'hard-knocks' or by studying, proceeds along established patterns in our mind. But every time the progress really is the removal of some dross. Accompanying it is an intensity in our mind which we may understand as the separating of the subjective from the objective but nevertheless it happens. This is the 'feeling of indignation', and contributes most to our learning.
The essay suggests this as a direct process to speed the growth in our minds.
I find this essay easier to follow; whatever you're doing, it's working. ;-)). However, I do have a question with this underlying assumption: "thoughts relating to an event only seem to be ours, in reality they belong to the event." I suppose my reaction to this is, "how do you know? How can you say that my thoughts are not mine; what is your evidence to this effect?" (there's a legal term creeping in ;-)).
I suppose one could put it this way: how did you get from point A to point B?
The answer to your question would be along the lines of our earlier discussion in the 'observations' essay. Whatever we percieve as thoughts, their objective part, that is also their real part, is of the nature of the 'higher constituents' of nature's elements. We accompany the thought only with our ego-sense, which too exists at that same level.
The experience of seeing our thoughts as such is the revealing of the reality.
It seems it is not possible to discuss things of this nature without making some underlying assumptions--for example, defining the "higher constituents of nature's elements." One must be willing to accept that things are a certain way, and not another, in order to even begin the learning process; would you agree? And by "things" I am referring to things which cannot be seen or proven by scientific inquiry. So...does that not make them faith-based?
Thank you very much for answering me today, being Sunday.
I have the same questions with this philosophy and think the way forward as following through to where it is that it takes us further, that is, to abilities beyond the limitations we normally consider ourselves as having. As example, we cannot now say with absolute certainty what's on another person's mind, or to exactly know which events are going to happen with us next and will significantly impact the course our lives will take.
The text itself advises to not consider these as an objective of the study or practice, because of all the involvement and turbulence it would create in the life of the person having them - like the present day 'celebrity-status' . On the other hand, I find no other method to prove that the parts, or 'assumptions' as you call them, leading to the results are in fact correct, unless one can experience these extraordinary results.
So my fix is nearly the same that you have with it.
...and that's an interesting point you make: "unless one can experience these extraordinary results." Have we not all experienced something that could not be explained by science alone? I know I have. Does it mean I have "psychic abilities"? No, not at all. I suppose that is one explanation; another would be that I was using my ordinary five senses, or some of them, and discerned something with them that I did not realize. For example, a favorite pet of mine ran away; the next day, I "heard" a voice (in my head--that is, my own thoughts) say "Go open the front door and let [the pet] in." And there she was, on the front porch, happily waiting for me. Perhaps she made a sound I did not think I heard; perhaps she was communicating with me in some way science cannot yet measure. The possibilities are endless. But because of events like this, I would never say, "If I can't see it, I don't believe in it." :-))
The position you take is, and please do correct me if otherwise, that 'things' may exist and we can believe that it is so, but, evidence is required, ie. hard facts alone allow 'things' into the domain of science.
I think I also need to say something about where I am coming from, in this - I should really be saying, where I wish to go to, with this. Well, simply put my case is that the philosophy I have been advocating for in our discussion deserves to be studied, that is, there is merit enough in what we can say about it as of now, and that nothing in our present knowledge allows us to dismiss it. Dismiss it as something unlikely to add to the our understanding of life, and how to better deal with it.
As a concrete objective I would wish something included in the course of 'Theory of Knowledge' which high school students study. Naturally I am asking for a chapter in the text-book which stands on its own, and is not considered only an extension of the chapter on religion.
What would be your opinion?
As with most things, it depends how you define your terms! Science can be defined as a systematic study of the physical world as understood through observation and experimentation. Where, then, does that leave, for example, psychology, which involves more than mere chemical or electrical impulses of the brain? We may then want to expand our definition to include the theoretical explanation of phenomena -- a much broader view. I have no problem with including things which are not yet "hard facts" under the penumbra of "science." My only problem is with assuming something to be a "fact" which cannot be proven to be true. Therefore, I would certainly agree that these subjects which are of interest to you deserve study in a "Theory of Knowledge" sort of course. My caveat would be that they cannot be presented as "facts" per se; that is, to say something to the effect of "there are four levels of existence" as if it could be proven in a laboratory, rather than saying "this [name of philosophy, school of thought, or whatever] holds that there are four levels of existence..." This is why there is such heated debate in the U.S. about teaching Darwinian evolution vs. teaching "creationism" or "intelligent design." To the person for whom the Bible contains literal "fact" as they see it, their own views are as meritorious of inclusion in a science class as those which teach Darwinism. But, if we confine our definition of a "fact" to something which can be scientifically proven, without relying on faith, that argument must fail. So, as with so many things, it comes down to the definition.
But my point is that there is enough merit in this philosophical system to take its statement -- of the four levels of existence, as a hypothesis worthy of further investigation. How can one arrange for such concerted study, is a question?
In this case, we must keep in mind though that the person doing this investigation will be experimenting on his or her own faculty of observation. This would not be a result that any person can be called in to verify in an instance. Any person who is subsequently involved to verify 'facts' claimed by the experimenter, can only make such observations after he too has been through the process of the experiment. The instruments and objects in this experiment are the experimenter's own senses and his mental faculties. He is able to observe his deeper lying faculties only by a process of stilling his normally agitated behavior of the mind. After that, the 'fact' of the inner faculty is viewable quite objectively.
Still stands to question though that, as the experimenter peers into his own stilled mind will he have an enlarged view of the external world? That would be the third level experience. Deeper still, will he find himself at par with the machinations of the entire universe, at the causal level, the fourth one?
I think it's very intriguing to put this to a proper study and test. Don't you agree?
I agree that it is intriguing and that studying it could only prove interesting and useful. Where I depart from your logic is that one can view the inner workings of one's own mind "quite objectively." By their very definition, one's thoughts can never really be said to be "objective." Again, we get into definitions. To look at something "objectively" means "not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; dealing with things external to the mind rather than with thoughts or feelings; belonging to the object of thought rather than to the thinking subject."
Now, having said that, that is a quite different thing from saying that you can show something to be "true." If you "observe" something to be "true," then, for you, it is "true," is it not? I find that a fascinating distinction--that something might be "true" and yet not be a verifiable "fact"!