A Completely New Approach.
The very means by which we try to solve our problems is the problem. David Bohm
Allowing David’s insight to sink in forces a complete reexamination of our approach and our priorities - to everything. With this in mind, below are a number of concepts that may be new; attention is different from thought or cognition, knowledge, memory, and imagination are not intelligence, attention has different qualities and capacities that can expand, personal identity is reality shaping and defining, conditioned thought and associative memory represent a tiny fraction of our neural activity, personal identity, the social-ego and culture are two sides of the same coin, both emanate from a common source, there is a reality behind the appearances our brain creates, true self-knowledge involves exposing and facing misconceptions about ourselves and more. Some care may be needed as we proceed. Shall we?
The root of our personal and global crisis is a Bio-Cultural Conflict or, a clash between our true nature and our imagined and abstracted thoughts, images, cultural beliefs, and conditioning, which together express as our social ego and culture.
Joseph Chilton Pearce’s first book, Crack in the Cosmic Egg, focuses on, and this is the heart of Joe’s life’s passion, how, to use Joe’s language, the Cosmic Egg represents our Self-World View. This self-world view is our identity and this identity is reality shaping and defining. This then is the formula that defines our challenge, our mission, and our survival.
A change of worldview can change the world viewed.
There is a relationship between what we think is out there in the world and what we experience as being out there. There is a way in which the energy of thought and the energy of matter modify each other and interrelate. A kind of thought-mirroring takes place between our mind and our reality.
JCP Crack in the Cosmic Egg
As thought and imagination are the sources of humanity’s current, yet false and suicidal, self-world view, Krishnamurti and Physicists David Bohm, along with the essence of Buddhist practice, explored the limitations of thought as a means of transcending the self-deceptions implied in our Cosmic Egg. One can intellectually understand that thought is limited, that a self-world identity/reality, based in this limited frame is a deception, while remain in that deluded state, nodding, saying yes, “I understand,” while remaining in the state of self-deception. Thought cannot leverage itself out its implicit limitations. This state must end, which gives rise to new states of perception, identity, and reality that the deceived, yet very real and convincing, imagination filled state hide, negate or extinguish. See the Dalai Lama below.
Our challenge is to discover and reveal this paradox, reveal the deceptive and limited nature of thought and lead or create experiences where young people may discover their authentic self-world-view (identity/reality), one that is not an abstraction or metaphor, rather a direct perception of our essential nature which is nature. With this context the following becomes clear:
We are faced with a breakdown of general social order and human values that threatens stability [and survival] throughout the world. Existing knowledge cannot meet this challenge. Something much deeper is needed, a completely new approach. I am suggesting that the very means by which we try to solve our problems is the problem. The source of our problems is within the structure of thought itself. David Bohm
Acknowledging that existing knowledge, and this includes machine learning systems and AI, with its algorithms, cannot meet this challenge, opens an exploration to discover, define, and implement a completely new approach. Vision:
Redefining and aligning our reality-defining identity, and that of our children, with our true nature, which is entangled, symbiotic, and interdependent nature.
Establishing, embodying, and identifying with our true nature creates a new default state of consciousness, a state that was, and is, always there, but hidden by a mind self-absorbed with image and concept. This new default state fundamentally changes the value and function of intellect, memory, and abstracted mental images, concepts, and beliefs that form the social self and culture.
These capacities; thought, memory, imagination, and technology are seen for what they are; tools that serve and support life in all its diversity, being guided now and inspired by our authentic self-world-view, which again is reality shaping and defining.
A change of worldview can change the world viewed.
The goal is to provide the embodied experiences necessary to bring human consciousness to its next, higher-order, by shifting the focus of early childhood and young adult development from intellect, memory, and knowledge, which function perfectly fine as tools, but not when falsely mistaken as an independent and separate intelligence. And also, to develop and nurture the core capacities that define being human;
Empathy, altruism, a constant state of wonder, curiosity and inquiry, not as a concept, but a quality or state of attention, authentic play supported and enhanced by distilled imagination that is mindful of the limitations of thought and the self-deception implicit in reification, and a deep, embodied realization that we are inseparably entangled and interdependent with all of life.
Upon this new default state, our true and authentic self-world-view, intellect, imagination, and creativity are understood and used as tools in the service of and are guided by. our true and new identity/reality. The Dalai Lama describes this transformation of one’s self-world-view as the essence of Buddhist practice.
His Holiness sets the stage for discovering the reality behind appearances. Our tacit acceptance of things as they seem is called ignorance, which is not just a lack of knowledge about how people and things actually exist but an active mistaking of their fundamental nature.
True self-knowledge involves exposing and facing misconceptions about ourselves. The aim here is to find out how we get ourselves into trouble, then learn how to intervene on the ground floor of our counterproductive ideas. His central theme is that our skewed perceptions of body and mind lead to disastrous mistakes, ranging from lust at the one extreme to raging hatred at the other so that we are consistently being led into trouble as if pulled by a ring in our nose. By developing insight into this process, we can free ourselves, and those around us, from these endless scenarios of pain.
His Holiness guides readers through a variety of practical exercises to help us break down the illusions we have superimposed over and beyond what actually exists, and learn how to act in the world from a more realistic framework. The book’s third part describes how to harness the power of meditative concentration with insight to achieve immersion in our own ultimate nature… to develop in us a clear sense of what it means to exist without misconception. And the way this profound state of being enhances love by revealing how unnecessary destructive emotions and suffering actually are.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama,
How to See Yourself as You Really Are: A Practical Guide to Self-Knowledge (Abridged)
From the Foreword by Jeffery Hopkins, Translator
Krishnamurti’s book titles all point to this transformation of humanity’s root identity/reality: First and Last Freedom (freedom being free from our imagined identity/reality imposed by imagination and culture), Freedom from the Known, The Awakening of Intelligence (again, intelligence being our authentic nature and not the reflexive and clever manipulation of limited and conditioned mental images), and other titles.
The essential core capacities noted above, that together form the basis for sustainable action and even human survival, are not mental concepts, though concepts and metaphors can represent them, rather: empathy, altruism, a constant state of wonder, curiosity and inquiry, not as a concept, rather express as a quality or state of attention. As the model imperative defined by Pearce in The Magical Child describes, each of these core capacities must be embodied, lived and modeled before they emerge and mature in each new generation. Stories and ritual celebrations can help, but cannot replace living models. Our challenge is to create experiences that awaken this direct perception of our authentic nature, appreciating that the whole of humanity is now being distracted, hypnotized and blinded by the forces of intellect, ego, and culture, now compounded exponentially by media and technology.
This awakening and discovery demand an evolutionary step, what Bohm described as ‘proprioception of thought,’ or mindfulness, which gives rise to a moment-by-moment awareness of what happens in the field of thought, as it is taking place, similar to the attention a master craftsman or woman invests as a sharp tool is sculpting a surface.
Currently, this expanded quality of awareness is not present, which leads to a near-complete enchantment in the stream of mental images produced by thought. This enchantment produces the false perception of a thinker who is thinking, when in fact, the movement of thought creates the appearance of a thinker assumed to be the one producing thought. This fundamental deception gives rise to the social ego and its outward twin, culture, both being forms of self-deception.
In Thought as a System, Bohm notes that our normal state of attention is low, reducing common thought to a reflex. As David explains, “there is no real intelligence in a mechanical reflex.”
We can easily see that in low states of attention the activity of thought completely occupies what attention is available. Mindfulness, with its proprioception of thought, represents a new, enhanced, and expanded state of attention that operates beyond the passive field of imagination that most consider normal.
The diagrams below represent crude metaphors for different states of attention, relative to cognition or conscious thought. To begin, it is generally understood that cognition or conscious thought represents a small fraction of total brain activity.
The lower left circle represents our normal low state of attention. Being low, the capacity of this state is easily filled with the persistent and habitual activity of thought. The lower right circle illustrates how mindfulness expands the capacity of attention, resulting in the proprioceptive quality described by David Bohm, and expanded sensitivity and awareness. The top diagram represents a state of complete attention, similar to what athletes call The Zone and researchers call Flow. With complete attention, there is no fragmentation, no thought, or internal observer to confine or limit what is perceived. In this state, attention, and with it awareness, expands potentially infinitely to include states of relationship and meaning blocked and obscured by the constant yet limited activity of thought. This expansive state of attention, sensitivity, and awareness, where thought is not active, openness perception to nonlocal fields of meaning beyond the body and brain, spontaneous flashes of insight.
This third state of silent attention, what Krishnamurti called Choiceless Awareness, opens perception to fresh perceptions and possibilities that do not exist within the field of conditioned thought and memory, what David Bohm referred to as existing knowledge.
The point worth considering is how the perception of self or identity changes with each expanding state of attention. In low states of attention, the experience we call identity is almost completely filled with the images and related feelings produced by conditioned thought and memory, a mechanical reflexive process that represents little or no real intelligence.
As mindfulness expands attention, perception, and awareness, identity is influenced less by impressions produced by conditioned memory and reflexive thinking, implying that perception is influenced more by spontaneous fields of transpersonal insight-intelligence.
When the powerful enchantment of reflexive thought and imagination ends, attention expands, in this case without a center, an observer, or thinker. From this expanded state of awareness, the activity of thought, and its limitations, become obvious, a direct perception unavailable when observing from within thought.
Grounding this expansive state in a deep and present, embodied experience that I am inseparably entangled and interdependent with all of life, changes, and fundamentally our self-world-view. Our identity/reality becomes coherent, entrained with our authentic nature. From this ground, the next act unfolds, a creative movement always for wholeness and wellbeing of who and what we really are, which is life.
This new and authentic default state creates a new orientation, a new baseline or reference that is not caught in enchantment, and from this embodied state, attention and true intelligence act in ways that free the mind from the self-deception implicit in reflexive conditioned thought and imagination. Conditioned memory, thought and imagination are amazing tools, not the master. The true master and moral guide is our authentic nature, which is life. To be effective this reality must be experienced directly. It must be our identity, the experience that I am that, and not just another abstract theory.
A completely new approach.