Thought

"Clearly Visible, Hard to See." is a title of a talk given by Stephen Batchelor that can be read in a number of different ways.

Since most of what takes place in here happens in the movements of thought(s) can we take some time to look at thought and see how it is functioning and operating?

If thought is creating divisions and inadequate representations of our relationships, will it produce the solidarity we are considering or might it produce further division?

Is it possible, without thinking about thought, to observe thought (setting down our prior ways of seeing) and observe together for a while?

Might this open up a wider range of possibilities than we could previously see and imagine?

Comments

ricknew's picture

>> Since most of what takes place in online solidarity or perhaps consider not-separate happens in the movements of thought(s) can we take some time to look at thought and see how it is functioning and operating?

Not sure how to edit. What I meant to write is:

Since most of what takes place online happens in the movements of thought..

ricknew's picture

Found the edit, now how to delete comments :-)

insomnialex's picture

great post and glad you found the edit. deleting comments not made available, but post in the forums if you want to raise it as possible.

Peter's picture

I am aware of the thought arising: can this process of meditation be done via writing text as you and I are doing or does it need to be done verbally face to face? I am also aware of the thought arising that this is an interesting experiment in itself and am willing to see what may come out of it. I also feel the urge, probably narcissistic, to point to the latest poem post 'The Joy of Nothingness' at my blog memengineering in which my thoughts attempt to explore the limitations of thought and self. And also would like to thank you for posting this attempt, Rick.

ricknew's picture

Hi Peter,

Very beautiful poem, thank you for sharing it. Really.

> can this process of meditation be done via writing text as you and I are doing or does it need to be done verbally face to face?

I don't know, but it seems worth attending to what we say/think/write with an understanding of how partial and generated-in-the-moment those thoughts are. Some sort of limit on our thought as we go along together. It isn't easy and the possibility of misunderstanding is great.

> willing to see what may come out of it.
Yes, can we be attentive to that other sense that begins to emerge as we suspend as we think and write? It is kind of an oscillation, something to be continued and noticed as we create concepts, then allow those concepts to re-integrate and re-form. Each cycle may produce renewed clarity. Eugene Gendlin wrote about this type of process.

> Perhaps, many of us here feel the anger that others are creating so many problems. It might be the first step is seeing if perhaps we are all in the same soup, that the other's way of thinking is OUR way of thinking. Once we begin to see ourselves in our projection of the other, then the way we deal with the "other's" approach is still one of a gesture to produce a shift, but perhaps it a different way that won't produce the same kind of problem we hope to resolve as we move forward?

Do you know of DML http://www.amazon.com/David-Michael-Kleinberg-Levin/e/B001IXMD3K. He writes about the relation of politics and society in the context of a (perhaps) more open ground.

Thanks again for jumping in,

Rick

Peter's picture

I am now aware of distant thunder passing, probably far away, and a darkening sky although it is 2.27 pm. Maybe I should uncross my legs, a memory arises of having read that that may be bad for the lower back. I've changed the legs crossing and it feels better. I can hear a distant train passing. Let me oscillate back to your comment and let thought arise. Yes, I have read Eugene Gendlin, and remember loving his approach. Exploring some 'felt sense' and its evolving into much more, including concepts. A development of Gestalt a la Paul Goodman and Fritz Perls, a great interest (including experiential workshops) of my 20s. Guess that ties in with philosophical phenomenology, I gather a possible interest of yours, which I am deducing from the link to Kleinberg-Levin's books which you've provided? I know nothing of the latter, and only the most rudimentary things about Husserl and phenomenology, usually at second hand via Critical Theory (Adorno). Except for Adorno and Marcuse and Bloch, I tend to find most philosophical texts too abstract in the sense that they leave me feeling cold and dry and very heady. That's enough thought for now. Now it's gently raining, and that's very welcome since we've been very dry for weeks and weeks. Hope you're well, Rick. And thanks for posting the poem link, Alex.

ricknew's picture

It is a quiet night here, darkness coming early, soft rainy days. Sound of a computer fan whirring as I write this message. The LED glow of the computer screen, text displaying with the movement of fingers. As the breath emerges, thoughts smoothing, settling, the range of movements becoming more apparent. It is subtle, but not too hard to pay attention to.

Gently noticing the tug to move into history, breath leading into the present.

We are in the stream of thought, it is a vibrant, pulsing current, an enormous flow that we are living within. Can we sense the enclosures, the projections outward to the object, the projections inward to the subject? Can we feel the vast ranges, from the softest whisper that can take us anywhere with tremendous force, to the compelling shouting that tells us "this one is real!".

As this observing takes place, is it possible to feel the quivering of something new, can we denote this form for a moment? The smoothness, the responsiveness, the inquisitiveness, the energy, the lack of conflict, is it possible to begin here and keep returning? Reminding one another as some sense of the path slowly emerges and dissipates.

Can we remain underway, while together, while communicating?

ricknew's picture

Thanks for the tips and links, Alex. Hope we get together again soon.

Rick

insomnialex's picture

i posted below without seeing your post until refreshing. i think my underlying question is how to create the conditions for a kind of acceptance and smoothness that seeks forward movement? it doesn't come from force. it also doesn't come from denial of current conditions. but how does it encourage?

ps: and if you'd like to get together, cool. most recently i attended naomi klein's movie with local do-gooders. going to start using this site for meetings..

insomnialex's picture

conditions we create. i was thinking this a bit when reading your post rick, and then a bit more by peter’s poem. not even sure how to say it, but the conditions we create are part of how our naturalness can exist. i don’t mean to put one thing before another.. things that always exist at the same time, or one that seems most dominant at a moment in shifting cycles.

i’m both a dreamer and a pragmatist... i think.

some thoughts i feel silly sharing but they keep coming to mind so i won’t resist. i am thinking about some feelings of grappling i’ve had. haven’t been on the mat in awhile, but i’m talking about wrestling/jiu-jitsu. there are moments that have come back into my mind later, or ones that i can still feel now. moments where i felt like an observer, and yet more whole than ever. we all know that thing where someone throws a ball at you and your hand goes up to catch in reflex. it kind of surprises you when you catch it, as you didn’t even have time to think about doing it, yet there’s a thought of it that happens in that tiny little moment, a decision. it happens in a micro-moment, now extend that moment to a few seconds. it’s actually a very long time to feel that way (isn’t it?). i don’t know, is it? but that’s the moments i’m talking about. they came from training in expanded reflexes i guess. unpredictable things happened and i flowed with them in both an unconcious and conscious state, in such a tangible unity. it felt perfect. i was making decisions, yet the lack of control was their efficiency. i actually wasn’t making decisions, i was just watching. well, i don’t know. for that feeling to happen over just a few seconds is something that replays in my mind because it feels so profound. it is living in the moment. and this is what i always thought all that zen stuff was talking about. but is it?

i mean, it’s not just expanded reflexes. but can we feel that way all the time? i’m not so biased to think that my grappling experience is the only path to get a taste. in fact i’ve felt some similar feelings rhyming to myself, just in moments again. but what’s the point of all that, of anything? am i trying to get back to the source? are we split off from creation to make decisions in our tangible reality, but looking for a way home at the same time? maybe we should have home and travel but know, accept the difference, and our conditions are a bit out of balance. i don’t often feel at home. i am often spending my time looking for a way to create home.

ricknew's picture

> I think my underlying question is how to create the conditions for a kind of acceptance and smoothness that seeks forward movement? it doesn't come from force. it also doesn't come from denial of current conditions, but how does it encourage?

Perhaps, that kind of open questioning creates a space for something new to emerge? As it is new, different, and in constant change maybe it is hard to see when we lock into habitual patterns?

>> ps: and if you'd like to get together, cool. most recently i attended naomi klein's movie with local do-gooders. going to start using this site for meetings..

I'll check in with via email tomorrow and we can set up a time.

Peter's picture

Your text above resonates, Alex. Being in this world but not of it, deeply engaged and looking on, watching oneself performing one's context-dependent self to others, the rare occasions where both 'I' and no-self-no thought seems to be doing non-action ('wu wei') as in some sporting activity or sometimes when doing Tai Chi. A flash of it perhaps this morning while making tea. Zen and the art of grappling. As for home, yes, never there and always there, never getting there and never having left. And is your avatar having a drink in front of the Vatican?

insomnialex's picture

haha, yes, that’s my selfie before they were all the rage with the Instagram kids. i’ve been over seas thrice, Italy one voyage. i’m holding a Peroni at about 10 in the morning on Popesville, wondering if their weird little nation status would take an issue with that before i need to esacape a few meters back to Italian soil. shortly after i found out my father had passed, i decided me ma and i should do something we were always waiting for the right moment to do, as sometimes the right moment is just deciding to do it. actually i fell in love with Napoli. travel gives me a guilt complex, so maybe i was hoping for repentance as well ;)

wasn’t sure if any of my words would even make sense or convey the idea in head, but seems they actually have approached by your response Peter. so should i continue? oh, why not? there’s more silly thoughts that keep begging and i’ll see what happens. this notion of home. what is it? i’ve made some analogies before to attempt to ask (mostly to myself). maybe most people see a squirrel as a ‘lower’ life form. IT lacks some of our analytical thought process which seems to make the humanoid such a dominant form, if that’s good or not. well, there’s good and probably some things to be worked on and that’s part of the point. but, i watch a squirrel run to an ending edge and just jump, then navigating bending branches, reacting as it happens to adjust to the next step. there’s an intention to get to the trunk of that tree, but all between seems to be a partial plan ready to be embraced, with incredible stunts performed that are just natural in the process. and i doubt, that squirrel stopped after to applaud itself for what it just did. said squirrel does that all the time. and we’re the smart ones? well, we are smart, for some comparable things. but that squirrel is living in those moments, maybe always, and that’s a beautiful place i’m calling home. i could dedicate my whole life to navigating my body that way and never reach what is just an everyday thing in the life of a squirrel. but we come from that and aren’t actually apart from it. but we are apart from it, too, right?

now i have five different directions i would write from there, and also intended on responding to some of rick’s statements, partly from my pragmatic self. i’ll get to some tomorrow (long day). maybe it’s better to just pause. (is what seems to be some sort of horribly perfect storm of extreme global inequality with imminent ecological self-destruction our evolutionary question? the non-thought (origins), the separation as thought (humanity). now, next, we must balance or perish. -?)

Peter's picture

Alex, re your grappling experience and the leaping squirrel Zen, I thought, via Rick's reminder of the man, of Eugene Gendlin's notion of 'felt sense', that fuzzy complex awareness that comes before single thoughts, emotions, perceptions, something like a 'whole-body sense' perhaps. He has two nice examples to clarify 'felt sense'.

One, felt sense guiding golfers teeing off: the golfer cannot think all the details intellectually, i.e. the location, environment, conditions, hundreds of muscles needing to be precisely coordinated at precisely the right micro-second, exact nature of the swing etc. So he uses his felt sense, which feels all these myriad elements as a whole, he aims with the feel of his whole body. "The preliminary movements are guided by the whole body's feel, finding its balance, seeking the feeling that says, 'Yes, now I am ready, I feel right. Now I can swing.' Golfers cannot describe that feeling of 'ready', because too many details are involved. They know the feeling when it comes, however. When the body-feel is right, they swing." So in so many sporting and creative practices (e.g. impro drama, poetry writing, music impro) we don't ask the head first and then try and order/dominate the body but get this whole-body felt sense first. Can be used anywhere, in groups, discussing heavy issues like climate chaos etc...before then proceeding to thoughts...

The other example Gendlin uses is saying something in a discussion: you're listening to others and feel you're about to say something relevant and important while the others are still talking. You don't have your words prepared, all you have is a strong 'felt sense' of what you want to say, a kind of 'intentionality of meaning' (my phrase) if you like. When we then stick to this felt sense and intentionality the right words will then come as we speak without any problems including the hundreds of intonations, nuances of meaning, colourings, word choices, body language signals, reactions you hope to elicit etc. that we cannot singly choose and control with the intellect but can only do by giving ourselves up to the whole-body-felt-sense of our deep 'meaning impulse'.

So everyone is using/being used by 'felt sense' all the time I guess, mostly without knowing it. Not esoteric, little to do with school education, very democratic. It may be one form of our deep, whole, original intelligence before the intellectual splitting and distinguishing starts, the often divisive opinionating that rules most of our conversations, especially the political ones. So wrestling, ju jitsu, tai chi, yoga, sport, poetry, music, art may be healthy antidotes and practical reminders of this original intelligence when too much everyday politicking threatens.

ricknew's picture

>> ...am i trying to get back to the source? are we split off from creation to make decisions in our tangible reality, but looking for a way home at the same time?

Read this passage from Levin this morning:
"We have expanded our civilization into the envelope of outer space; yet we cannot make room, here on earth for people very different from ourselves. We control a far reach of space; yet we still have not resting place, no near abode, for the weary and desperate soul. We 'contact' the most distant stars, but do so in a space without any room for deeply felt meaningful feel, since the spatial uniformity which makes such contact possible derives from a theoretical framework that *requires* the relinquishing of qualitative, bodily felt experience."

> As for home, yes, never there and always there, never getting there and never having left.

Simply remembering to come back to the moment as it moves forward into a kind of not-knowing. From there, an attempt to communicate, not necessarily about this (except as needed) but about how to proceed, how to move forward together continuously shedding the subject/object source of conflict. Shedding in such a way that the multiplicity and difference remains. Then cycling, again.

Peter's picture

Love: "Simply remembering to come back to the moment as it moves forward into a kind of not-knowing", Rick. Only question, is the movement of the moment into not-knowing necessarily 'forward', not sure, my 'felt sense' is that maybe it's just movement, that is if nothing is linear before/after, start/finish, forward/backward (except as usual habitual feeling of such as real of course). No point scoring, just a felt sense around the word 'forward'. Shalom.

insomnialex's picture

“Perhaps, that kind of open questioning creates a space for something new to emerge? As it is new, different, and in constant change maybe it is hard to see when we lock into habitual patterns?” -Rick

i certainly like there being a space for open questions. hmm, how to approach what i mean though…

i don’t feel in the moment when i need to get to a job at X o’clock, that means not much more to me other than paying bills. sometimes i walk down the street and the whole thing around me just seems ugly. this doesn’t seem to be the ‘right’ world to live in. honestly, so much of it seems pretty fucked. and i could fall into thinking this is just how we are, but i also think that so much of it is perpetuated simply by the current conditions. what’s so great or has ever been, maybe isn’t the question or attachment, or some thing to romanticise. certainly some things to explore. but we know many places that reveal a story of self-destructive perpetuation. an abused child grows up jaded and fills the lack of love through abuse of self or others, and this in turn ripples through the pond. or, maybe that child uses that experience to create an alternate ripple, drawing on what happened and so drawing to others its happening to now. and that creates a positive chain. but is it happening enough? should it have even happened that way in the first place? are those positive ripples more an anomaly than what we would expect? what were the conditions that created the abuse back in the chain? is it economic frustration, a lack of community, or some general pattern we can point to?

and what about our response to those patterns if we are not facing something so personally extreme? what are the patterns and conditions of our lack of response?

i could talk about squirrels, abuse, musashi or whatever and some of it might resonate for some and not others. and that may be positive, and it might also lead to an eventual silence. i will wake up tomorrow and walk down the same streets perpetuating many forms of self-destruction. maybe i helped change some of that. maybe it wasn’t enough and i should encourage others to do what i do. maybe my approach is wrong and i should be a better listener. and maybe that is such a complex process, that if it takes me so long to get there, it probably isn’t going to answer some of the bigger questions that surround me. being the change is not enough but also all we have, and also bigger than myself.

so we’ve reached the collective ability that requires our individual change to connect if it is to ripple over the self-destructive ripples.

right now, i’m asking myself what this site is for. i’m thinking about something darcy said about focusing on emerging groups rather than established. i’m thinking about some early conversations in my local iops group that wanted to identify ourselves as connective tissue by approach. i’m thinking about michael albert’s description of blocs in fanfare/occupy strategy, and wondering why that was not more of a premise in the iops creation. i’m thinking about the general lack of solidarity of common cause. i’m thinking about how hard it is to penetrate the beliefs of a single person that has been conditioned by circumstance.

what kind of conditions does this site or its intentions offer? what does it encourage without creating unrealistic expectations? that should be simple enough to answer, right?

Peter's picture

Alex, on your ripples in the pond and individual-collective musings, I had a go once in that direction in 2011 but centred on the notion of individual and collective/social alienation: again at memengineering:

https://peterlachnewinsky.wordpress.com/2011/02/13/the-four-noble-truths...

Peter's picture

'Right now i'm asking myself what this site is for'. A simple question on the cat-chasing-its-tail questions. Could not Liquid Solidarity itself simply be the hitherto worked-upon global Common Website itself? Why anything more 'grandiose'? Just add water, stir, sip slowly.

ricknew's picture

>> necessarily 'forward', not sure, my 'felt sense' is that maybe it's just movement, that is if nothing is linear before/after, start/finish, forward/backward (except as usual habitual feeling of such as real of course)

That's a good one to consider, thanks.There is a feeling of some kind of proceeding, while at the same time, as you suggest, non-linear.

ricknew's picture

Thanks, Alex. Read something this morning which might relate to your post:

"That the individual of the future, like the individual of today, faces the lonely task of transforming himself, with or without the agreement and understanding of those around him. He needs only to know that transforming himself means coming up against interiorized cultural edges. If this transformation is to occur, he will have to disturb the status quo of the world around him as well."

"The person in the midst of an individuation process must know then when his symptoms disappear, a new kind of pain is likely to arise: conflict with the history of the world, of which he has been an integral part. How he deals with this conflict is a creative task which no one can predict. But one thing is certain. Becoming an individual means stepping over cultural edges and therefore, paradoxically, also freeing the public to communicate more freely."

Arnold Mindell

ricknew's picture

Perhaps this is the crucial point: "conflict with the history of the world, of which he has been an integral part."

Can we stay with the recognition that we are the world, we are fully implicated in the situation in which we find ourselves. If this is recognized, perhaps a wider view of who we are begins to open, we may see that we are fully a part of this stream of thought, and our response toward change becomes less divisive and more helpful in creating communicative spaces.

The thing is, especially at first we may oscillate back and forth, the oscillation may be subtle enough not to notice, but its effect may be significant. Can we learn to feel those subtler movements of thought and begin to clarify what is happening on how we are an "integral part" of what we see around us?

ricknew's picture

"Just add water, stir, sip slowly."

Kinda nice.

insomnialex's picture

bazillion directions in mind but…

i read your ‘four noble truths’ Peter. damn, mate. that really is what i was gettin at. and, yes Rick, i resonate with that Mindell quote… the pain of freeing oneself as it conflicts with status quo. some things i'd like to return to on that sometime.

and Peter also said:

“So everyone is using/being used by 'felt sense' all the time I guess, mostly without knowing it. Not esoteric, little to do with school education, very democratic. It may be one form of our deep, whole, original intelligence before the intellectual splitting and distinguishing starts, the often divisive opinionating that rules most of our conversations, especially the political ones. So wrestling, ju jitsu, tai chi, yoga, sport, poetry, music, art may be healthy antidotes and practical reminders of this original intelligence when too much everyday politicking threatens.”

i have a lot of things churning in my head based on the ‘four noble truths’ piece, but i could also separate some of that into some other more specific conversations. can quickly hit that point where we’re talking about everything so i’m not even sure how to procede with any one thing. but as the initial post goes and a sort of pragmatism regarding what this site may be for i’m considering what it means to add water.

while i have some issues with what i have currently posted, things that could be improved, as a ‘mission’ statement, which doesn’t need to be called that, one thing i wrote in goes: “when it comes to building bridges between the work being done there seems to be something missing. This is an attempt to find that missing element, the one that results in the fragmentation of our efforts.”

i’m hoping that is seen as non-assumptive on what is THE problem, and more a calling to those who feel we need to extend our focus on what’s not bringing us together. i don’t see a lack of options or work, i see a lack of connection. maybe not pursuing the question of what separates us is part of the reason we remain so separated. maybe, part of creating the conditions that allow for a less divisive atmosphere, is to pursue connection based on this question (however one prefers to frame it). that is, rather than inviting groups or the world to come connect and play out our differences, we could slowly invite people that are interested in solving what is keeping us apart and start finding our way from there. that doesn’t have to be an absolute either, but is this an approach worth considering and somewhat what we are talking about?

ricknew's picture

>> we could slowly invite people that are interested in solving what is keeping us apart
Might it be that as we see ourselves creating division, both the sameness and the diversity could emerge?

Maybe those people interested in the moment into looking at thought/division/conflict/separateness could be a kind of porous group that other groups that were interested in looking into other areas, referenced, participated in, stopped participating, etc, that could serve as a touchstone for exploring the limits and movements of thought. Those emerging (ongoing) insights could perhaps provide an always changing vision that might be an influence or another voice that integrated, influenced whatever that particular group was doing.

That could open the door to a wide range of voices that have/are also looking into problems, limits and potentials of thought.

On a related note S.B. "secularizes" (it that's a word) the 4 truths here.
http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/169/talk/27498/

ricknew's picture

sp: (if that is a word)

insomnialex's picture

thanks rick. will try to offer some words later tonight...

insomnialex's picture

i think the porous group idea is interesting. in one sense i would just see that as a group, of many, that one can be interested in or not. in another, if presented in certain ways, comes off as a bit of a jedi council, which even if open for participation, will naturally have some more interested-in members than others, and so become dominated by some of their presence. i don’t think that’s what your suggesting by intent, and i also don’t have any major assumptions about the intent, so just thinking outloud to explore the idea or ideas.

it may not be healthy to establish a particular group as the visionaries, even if participation can move in and out, as there may be a premise it starts with that creates a kind of hold on that vision that by its very nature keeps the decision to participate out.

but, we are still faced with finding some way to allow diversity while also rooting in some kind of unity. now, i’m thinking about egalitarian communities. those that i’ve looked at, some with friends that have been residents, have a set of ideals required to join. it’s a funny little paradox. you have to say no to fascists to create a non-fascist community. but, at the time you are joining together with those liberating themselves from fascism (or whatever thing) to help seed a less fascist world.

but, personally, i would not like to seed this project by laying out every ideal a small group of people can come up with, and think it would be healthier to have some things like thought groups that are helpful in creating the atmosphere, things that help encourage that internal, natural democratic tendency. as we may be existing in a world where everyday politicking and the individualistic conditioning has set a divisive tone for discourse and dialogue as a default, we are challenged to find a non-assumptive place to start that still establishes a different set of conditions. we are challenged to simply open the potential for a pathway to connect.

for practical purposes, this does come down to establishing some ideas upfront. it may not be important yet to establish how those ideas shift, how decisions get made just yet, but can still be on the table. we are a small group right now participating in some ideas and can find our way to some initial pliable forms of consensus. but, i think we need some more dialogue on this to get closer to what it is someone wants to invite another to, to help create.

this conversation has been very helpful so far for me at least, and is opening up some ideas as well relaxing some internal tendencies to have a ‘finished product’ with a ‘launch point’. what concerns me though, is that i might be engaged in this conversation, along with a couple others, but i don’t know if anyone else will get anything out of it.

ricknew's picture

All well said, Alex, thanks.

> it may not be healthy to establish a particular group as the visionaries

Right. Those warning buoys ringing out help keep us attentive.

Maybe something like Merleau-Ponty's sense, a way of seeing

“... go back to that origin [of silence], so long as we fail to find, beneath the chatter of words, the primordial silence, and as long as we do not describe the action which breaks this silence. the spoken word is a gesture, and its meaning, a world.”

Perhaps it is enough that a few people connect and get something out of it. As others come in, the group changes and includes the new voice/vision. It stays fluid so that a new entry/exit produces a change.

The dialogue continues to open up, widen, spread out. Forms, reforms, shifts. Never ending, never concretizing.

In some sense, maybe it is already here, already happening, as you said "we are challenged to simply open the potential for a pathway to connect."

insomnialex's picture

thanks back. the general direction seems present. but! for all i know, not another soul will ever comment on this site again. i will be watering, stirring and sipping as i have. appreciate your presence.

Peter's picture

Back in the realm of thought, Rick. Just the way it is. Especially when writing/reading. The bees are on the lemon blossoms outside my window. I've just come back from a talk I gave on local plants for bees and butterflies at the local Community Garden.

Some brass tacks. Been thinking of possible sub-heading descriptors for Liquid Solidarity.

'A website of global Open Dialogue for all who feel Another World is Possible'

'A website for all who feel the need to connect the dots & build relationships between local-global issues, movements, individuals'

'A website for all seeking better questions & better answers in the global Movement of movements towards One World'

Could there be a Groups tab?

Could 'Mission' (Church and Corporate Speak) be renamed 'Vision' or 'About'?

Could there be a List of Radical Memes listing guiding slogans the global radical movements have thrown up over time: e.g.

Be realistic, demand the impossible
El Buen Vivir: Living well on Mother Earth
Building the new within the shell of the old
Building the path by walking it
One World or None
System Change not Climate Change
Disobedience, Dialogue, Democracy
Living more simply so that others may simply live
etc.

Some of above perhaps like old IOPS discussions with Rick and others, just like to say no probs on my part with drawing flexible boundaries re website. Out of meditation/nirvana, and unlike Krishnamurti for example, I'd feel uncomfortable/untruthful saying 'all' social conflict is utterly and merely a 'projection' of inner conflict, that thus ONLY the 'inner revolution' really counts...We may all contain the seed and potential for oppressive/fascist behaviour, of course. And indeed politicos often engage in blind projection onto 'enemies', have myself written quite a bit on that. But the other side of the coin seems to me that a fascist thug knifing a refugee is not just my 'projection' of my own unacknowledged fascism. I wonder whether the world of awareness/enlightenment and the world of power, poverty and oppression, nirvana and samsara, are both the same and very different, we struggle within both, totally engaged in resistance and struggle while also totally disengaged from 'outcomes' as spiritual beings or mystics... As an engaged Buddhist or mystic like Thomas Merton would probably agree, the division between the powerful and powerless, exploiters and exploited, order-givers and order-takers is a very real one, and not just projected one, despite all its spiritual complexities. The disgust with and resistance to that division is the strength and mercy of all that vague category called 'progressive', 'humane', 'socialist', 'anarchist', 'natural' etc I find 'myself' being a mystic to the politicos, a politico to the mystics. I appreciate Meister Eckhart and Marx, Krishnamurti and Kropotkin. Stopping here, the bees are still on the lemon blossoms.

insomnialex's picture

i often feel it’s easier for me to contemplate life when i’m not in direct danger.

ricknew's picture

Thank you, Peter.

Quiet morning here, the light is gray and soft. No sounds except the humming of the refrigerator and the cars going by on the distant road.

Perhaps, dealing with projections is initially for one's own benefit, so the response can be more effective. "A fascist thug, knifing a refugee" is a projection in THIS moment and depending on our reaction, perhaps even in the moment of witnessing a similar event. The fact that we see our thoughts projecting (on to real situations) doesn't reduce our capacity to respond to the situation.

In "After Buddhism", Stephen Batchelor tells the story of the Chinese Zen patriarch Yunmen being asked, "What are the teachings of an entire lifetime?" Yunmen replies, "an appropriate statement."

Understanding our mind, our projections and how we participate in creating division and conflict doesn't seem like it would prevent us from responding appropriately; it seems it could provide us a better chance to do so.

I spend most of my time around people that aren't thugs and murderers. Some are powerful, some are exploited, some give and some take orders. How do I interact with the people in my daily life? How do I treat each other there (and here?) How might my projections and different modes of thinking diminish my capacity to make "an appropriate statement"?

Here and now, can we sense the seeds of conflict in ourselves and one another? When they arise (even softly) can we recognize them as our common world, a part of ourselves and each other? In doing so, might these thoughts lose some of their power and might this open up some new possibilities, an emergence of new ways of responding?

A little brighter here, feeling the tension of effort trying to write or say something. The computer fan is whirring, more traffic, slight blue in the patch of sky seen through the trees. So still this morning.

Peter's picture

Thank you, Rick. No thought-feeling of disagreement arising at all while reading this. Good questions (penultimate paragraph), that carry their answers, to which one answers in the affirmative. Perhaps we are agreeing, and then finding differing nuances of shade and light.

Not thinking about personal projections or relationships now. Just asking whether sociological questions (power, oppression, how is and how should society be structured...), while not totally separate from, are not of a different nature, a different category/mode (namely that of rigorous thought and practical struggle), to those of individual psyche/spirit/contemplative awareness? Are historically formed macro-structures and their strong determination of most people's daily lives and suffering explicable merely via individual projections of intra-personal conflicts (although theories about them might sometime be)?

I have some felt sense arising of both my personal limitations and laziness in a spiritual sense and a thought of the necessary non-contemplative tragi-comedy of life and struggle, blood and guts and ignorance and wisdom and struggle and the common man and woman and the glory and misery of being all too human and how this is love perhaps all aboard the Great Vehicle...

My eyes are tired after a day with my 4 year old grandson, most of it in a hammock that doubled as a canoe playing good and bad pirates and fishing for imaginary fish while a Willy Wagtail opposite us caught dragonflies over the water lilies and protected its nest on the island in the dam

ricknew's picture

What about "Liquid solidarity", lower case S? No tagline? Let the "Groups" create new titles and taglines

Home, Groups, Dialog (type of Forum), Forum (global) Calendar, Locate, About tabs

Like Alex said, maybe no one else will show up here :-)

insomnialex's picture

and yet, to my amazed delight, there have been more comments :)

insomnialex's picture

hmm, ‘brass tacks’ has some weird earliest known uses, if i’m to believe the collective ability of the internet to tell me some of the truth…

"When you come down to brass tacks – if we may be allowed the expression – everybody is governed by selfishness."

but brass tacks for a moment re: flexible mission/not mission etc.

Groups tab: currently the Locate tab drops down to Groups, but i was thinking about moving that list of dropdowns to the left sidebar as it might be natural as a main kind of navigation. it doesn’t really make sense for ‘content create’ to exist where it is, so that might help highlight groups to have it static visible.

we had a conversation about the term mission and alternatives once, but i’ve yet to look it up at this moment. i like Vision better for what is currently there, but is open, and hope to name a couple other things.

i like the list of radical memes idea. relates to what i’ve been thinking about, an available slot to add manifestos people like from elsewhere or have written themselves, or interpretations of parts of whatever statements are initially there. i was thinking of adding a “content type” specifically for that, which would auto-add to the list under a tab. then, i think, someone could post ANYthing there and that could get abused. so then, i think, since i have added the “flag” called “fist bump” (which doesn’t have to be called that) the order of of those could be based on who bumped/liked, to create a little bit of democracy to the list, and reduce abuse. i also have not added a flag possibility FOR abuse, say, one that marks something as inappropriate and possible abuse, but that could be shown for an early stage, maybe later with possible need to resolve if there was some method to that. could do something similar with memes.

ok, now i feel a need to say i don’t want to take away from the initial blog by responding too much on this level, if it’s not the intention. and it might be more appropriate if i did so in the forums section. but these things also come up in streams. since it is kind of specific and part of potentially ongoing thoughts that should be accessible in the future, would it make sense to also add this to the forums as part of an early kind of norm? preferences?

"I didn’t think people could quit grabbing and get down to brass tacks in a co-operative way."

Peter's picture

yep, bung em in Forums, Alex, by all means, no probs. Apologies to Rick too, if I strayed from the meta-thought thread into site-related thoughts. (Dunno about US usage, 'to get down to brass tacks' expression here and in UK for getting concrete and practical...).

insomnialex's picture

well, i don't want to be 'that guy' who tells anybody the appropriate place for a comment, but i AM interested in that conversation and opening it up outside of here. i quoted you and my response if you'd like to take it up a bit more, posted here http://liquidsolidarity.org/content/mission-statements

ricknew's picture

Evening, sound of cars going by with long breaks inbetween. The unnatural feeling glow of multiple monitors and phone. Slightly blissful feeling from a bit of red wine. Lingering aches from a short run. Fans whirring, breath breathing.

>> Just asking whether sociological questions (power, oppression, how is and how should society be structured...), while not totally separate from, are not of a different nature, a different category/mode (namely that of rigorous thought and practical struggle), to those of individual psyche/spirit/contemplative awareness?

Isn't it that everything around us emerges from thought. A clinic that I visit for allergy injections is located in an outdoor mall. As I was walking there today I thought of your question, it went something like this: Isn't this entire landscape created by thought? Figuring out the best way to monetize this large perimeter of land. How can we both encourage people to come and extract wealth from them at the same time?

Isn't thought the origin of the power, structures and institutions we are living in the midst of?

Are historically formed macro-structures and their strong determination of most people's daily lives and suffering explicable merely via individual projections of intra-personal conflicts?

Where else do the macro-structures originated but in thought? Aren't we born into these streams of thought? Don't we find ourselves participating in the same approaches, the same fundamental way of seeing the world? We think "equality, balance, solidarity, etc." but don't we still tend to think that WE think this way and THEY think another way? Do we not somehow energize the "other side" through our opposition?

Might it be, by realizing we are the "other side" that we can begin to envision, or sense, or let emerge another approach?

****************

Is the subject/object-us/them-projection-lack of proprioception (of thought) the root cause, the brass tacks of our predicament. Are we the problem?

Peter's picture

Thank you Rick.

My perception of a specific rock is no doubt much determined by my concept/thought of a rock. However, does that mean the rock itself upon which I stub my proverbial toe itself 'originated' in thought?

My perception of my own hunger or social oppression is no doubt much influenced by my concepts of hunger or social oppression. Does that mean my hunger or social oppression themselves 'originated' in thought (rather than in my body or in long social struggles over power and the allocation of resources)?

Social structures are of course not separate from thought and they are always mediated by thought, but do they not originate in very material, practical processes and interactions between people that solidify into customs and institutions (e.g. markets, the state, capitalism) that develop their own autonomous dynamics over people and their thoughts?

If ALL 'originates' in thought, including social structures, is not the perennial logical answer to all social problems then 'change your thoughts', or else 'watch them arise'? Is this a serious proposal for the poor, powerless or oppressed, for you and me?

(Philosophically we are of course approaching or in the midst of the ancient debates/thoughts about idealism/materialism...Wondering whether you would consider yourself a philosophical idealist, Plato-to-Kant-Hegel, where all 'originates' in the mind, Rick?)

Peter's picture

Prefer this:

There is no nature in eternity, no wind shift, no weeds.

Whatever our vision, whatever our implement,
We looked in the wrong places, we looked for the wrong things.

We are not what is new, we are not what we have found.

(from Charles Wright, 'Hawksbane')

My hands feel cold, computer humming. A little tired, the intention arises of shutting this machine down, going to bed although it's earlyish, finish reading Meister Eckhart's German Sermons if I can. Good night from the Antipodes.

ricknew's picture

A brighter morning, the light touching the tops of trees, the gray sky of yesterday now with a twinge of blue. The computer screens creating their own light, overshadowing the natural flow and changes of the light outside.

Sometimes, talking about thought can be seen in a metaphysical light, however, that isn't how I'm attempting to talk about it. Sorry for my lack of clarity. I'll try again.

>> Does that mean my hunger or social oppression themselves 'originated' in thought (rather than in my body or in long social struggles over power and the allocation of resources)?

****

See if this quote from David Bohm helps clarify:

"…thought has developed traditionally in a way such that it claims not to be affecting anything but just telling you the way things are. Therefore people cannot see that they are creating a problem and then apparently trying to solve it."

"Let’s take a problem – what problem do you like?"

"Pollution?"

"Ecology is not in itself a problem. It works perfectly well by itself. It becomes a problem because we are thinking a certain way, by breaking things up, and each person is doing his own thing. Therefore the ecological problem is due to the way we think. Thought thinks pollution is a problem “out there” and it must solve it."

"Now that doesn’t make sense because simultaneously thought is creating all the activities which make the problem in the first place and then creates another set of activities to try to overcome it. Thought doesn’t stop doing the things that are making the ecological problem, or the national problem, or whatever the problem is."

— David Bohm (Source: On Creativity: 1996)

****

Might it be fair to say that we don't understand the limits of thought?

For instance, we want to solve a practical problem like build a better bridge. We can look at ways bridges have been built in the past, consider the current situation, the plan, implement and test our way of building.

However, if we are dealing with groups (rich/poor/republican/democrat/american/russian) at odds against each other because they have different beliefs, then that division is continuously being created (in the moment) by the activity of thought. If you try to use thought to solve the problem, then we just generate more problems.

****

Bohm again:

"Imagine a stream which is being polluted near the source. The people downstream don’t know about that, so they start removing bits of pollution, trying to purify the water, but perhaps introducing more pollution of another kind as they do so."

" What has to be done, therefore, is to see this whole stream, and get to the source of it. Somewhere, at the source of thought, it is being polluted – that is the suggestion."

"Pollution is being diverted into the stream, and this is happening all the time. You could say, in one sense, the wrong step was when people first started pouring pollution in. But the fact that we have kept on pouring it in is the main point – it’s pouring in all the time. Therefore, the source is not in time – not back in ancient times, when it may have started – but rather the source is always now. That’s what we have to look into."

— David Bohm (Source: On Dialogue, 1996)

****

Speaking Eckhart, here is a nice paper on Eckhart and Heiddeger of types of thinking and representational thought (PDF:)
http://irserver.ucd.ie/bitstream/handle/10197/6114/Moran%20Eckhart%20%26...(submitted%20version).pdf?sequence=4

On page 12
"In the Gelassenheit lecture, in order to characterise the new kind of opening within which genuine as opposed to representational thinking takes place Heidegger introduces two new concepts namely, the notions of ‘horizon’ (Horizont), taken from Husserl, and ‘region’ .... which he understands as a certain kind of open space, but presumably not an imposed context. ... in other words, the concept of an opening here has not just got spatial meaning but also a temporal connotation. A kind of temporal space is necessary for a genuine conversation."

Might that temporal space be seen as originating from a kind of suspension of thought, a suspension which stills the movement/projection of representational thought? From that space, might a conversation/dialogue come forth that is already new?

The light has come fully forth, the enormous trees reaching even further toward the sky. The dark green of summer receding and the yellows, golds and burnt orange slowly appearing. Sounds of traffic and planes. Feeling thought, always trying to adhere to things, make it so, just movement, like waving one's hand in the space.

ricknew's picture

>> the whole link (above) must be copied for it to work