Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Knowledge?


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Wed, 21 Sep 2011 #1
Thumb_stringio Paul Davidson United Kingdom 3659 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Some divergent comments were made in 'Observations' with regard to knowledge. Here I want to ask something different, namely:

What do we include as knowledge? What are we actually referring to? How far does it go?

I think it would be useful to find out our various preconceptions about knowledge, before we might discuss its usefulness or otherwise.

What is knowledge?

The sky is blue: Is that knowledge?

"The ego is first and foremost a body ego." S. Freud

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Wed, 21 Sep 2011 #2
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 5845 posts in this forum Offline

Paul,

You asked, "What is knowledge?"

For me, a person's knowledge is his memory of his experiences. That is, providing his brain and memory are intact, whatever one experiences will be his knowledge. Experience is obtained through the senses.

All of this can be brought together with your next question, "The sky is blue: Is that knowledge?" Assume that a person looks overhead on a clear day. What he sees (sense of sight) is his experience. He has been told that what he sees is "sky,' and that its color is "blue." Listening to these descriptions (sense of hearing) was also an experience somewhere along the line. He merges the two experiences. Either one or both is "knowledge" for that individual.

Going a little deeper into this, your question, "The sky is blue: Is that knowledge?" illustrates the weakness of experience and knowledge. Why do we call the air overhead "sky"? Who told us that, and what does it mean? And, who came up with "color?" Further, whoever did apparently would label this color overhead as "blue." Blue? Why not "xvctp?"

Experience and knowledge are shifting and subject to endless interpretation. But that's another story.

max

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #3
Thumb_img_0244 Jack Pine United States 5660 posts in this forum Offline

Paul Davidson wrote:
What is knowledge?

That's easy Mr. Davidson. Knowledge is what is keeping you from understanding who you are. And your question is yet another attempt to escape from the thing you really need to understand. Don't all of us need to understand who we are? Why are we constantly escaping from what is into countless entertainments and meaningless diversions? The world is crumbling around us. If we don't change we're through as a species. When do plan to quit escaping into these seemingly endless shams of seeking yet more knowledge and see what it is that compells you to seek these escapes? It's a question for all of us to ask ourselves about ourselves.

Take a gander at the following quote by K. Got it off the JKrisnamurti.org site. Just type in "What is knowledge" Actually, leave out the "is" because if you don't every "is" in the text will be highlighted.

Knowledge apart from technology of what value is it? There must be technological, scientific knowledge, you cannot wipe away all that man has accumulated through the centuries. That knowledge must exist, you and I cannot possibly destroy it; the saints and all those who have said mechanical knowledge is useless, they have their own particular prejudice. I can know about myself, most profoundly; yet when there is an accumulation of knowledge, it begins to interpret, to translate what is seen in terms of its own past. As long as there is this burden of knowledge, psychological, inward knowledge, there is no free movement. And there is the difference between the man who is free of that burden and he who says he knows and will lead another to that knowledge, to that supreme thing and if he says he has realized, then you distrust him completely, for a man who says he knows, he does not know. And that is the beauty of truth. K 1968

This post was last updated by Jack Pine Thu, 22 Sep 2011.

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #4
Thumb_deleted_user_med Muad dhib Ireland 175 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Jack Pine wrote:
There must be technological, scientific knowledge, you cannot wipe away all that man has accumulated through the centuries. That knowledge must exist, you and I cannot possibly destroy it

can we consider Hiroshima as a knowledge which must exist?

Dan.....

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #5
Thumb_deleted_user_med Muad dhib Ireland 175 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

apart from that, when I put aside what I don't know, what remains is knowledge :)

this is not going to bring deep peace in this evil world of mankind ,with or without science , technics and modern science are two different things ,as one is modifying the natural order of the nature, it is then to be caught in what should be....ending in mankind dooming on your screen soon....it is useless to shout in the desert anyway, in his quest to prove how great he is man will continue his insane way towards more science modifying the natural order which is originated by what is out of time,
man is fighting the ground of all what is without having a clue that he runs away from himself, because his life is in fact unbearable...

No one is willingly going through the door of sorrow ,which the scientific mind refuses, then sorrow will keep working as it is in us on purpose with a mission .
By refusing that , it has another effect which is to destroy , we are set up with a two way gift, the right way opens the all minds , the wrong way destroy..guess which one we go?
By facing my death which is there all the time ,this will put the analytical brain where it belongs to....well two big men said we have to understand suffering like buddha and k ..I don't mention not famous people who see it, as to quote someone is only good when it comes from someone well-known ,first you are well known or have PH d or something valuable , then you speak..

I really like to make it dramatically dark to bother the peace of mind from the morning:)....

No worries everything is OK....it was only a bad dream..

Dan.....

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #6
Thumb_stringio Paul Davidson United Kingdom 3659 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Dear Jack. I appreciate your comments. Would you say that your comments were also knowledge? Or did they come from some other place?

For example, you seem very knowledgeable about knowledge when you say, "That's easy Mr. Davidson. Knowledge is what is keeping you from understanding who you are."

So, where does such a statement come from, if not knowledge?

"The ego is first and foremost a body ego." S. Freud

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #7
Thumb_stringio Paul Davidson United Kingdom 3659 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Jack Pine wrote:
K: "Knowledge apart from technology of what value is it?"

I have read this passage with care and others like it many times. It is not directly dealing with the particular question I have posed, "What is knowledge," but on the effects of the accumulation of psychological knowledge.

K has divided knowledge as technological and psychological and his question, above, is to do with the value of the latter part. This is an important point of the teaching, but it is not directly answering my question, which is, what is knowledge, as a whole? Max has responded directly to the question and put things in his own words, which to me is creditable.

It is also interesting in the quote Jack gives that K does not dispute the value of knowing oneself profoundly. What he questions is the value of accumulating knowledge about oneself and then trying to pass on one's accumulated 'wisdom' to others.

Elsewhere K stresses the need to know oneself thoroughly. But such knowing is from moment to moment. It is not, he suggests, an accumulated catalogue of what one considers one's attributes and failings, which K has sometimes called the results of introspection.

"The ego is first and foremost a body ego." S. Freud

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #8
Thumb_stringio Paul Davidson United Kingdom 3659 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Jack Pine wrote:
Knowledge is what is keeping you from understanding who you are.

Please Jack, could you explain these words as I think for many they may appear unclear.

What does it imply, to "understand who you are"? You have separated knowledge from understanding in such a way as to make them mutually exclusive. Why, or on what basis, have you done so? And how do you understand the word 'understanding?'

And when you use the expression, "who you are," what is implied by this? Is it a goal to find one's true self? Or, how would you put it? After all; What am I?

"The ego is first and foremost a body ego." S. Freud

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #9
Thumb_stringio Paul Davidson United Kingdom 3659 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Jack Pine wrote:
The world is crumbling around us. If we don't change we're through as a species.

So, I look around and ask, is the world crumbling? And you say it is crumbling in such a way that extinction is thereby threatened. I question that.

Such things have been said before. John the Baptist said it two thousand years ago. It strikes me as an over-zealous interpretation ofthe facts, fed by fear.

And why should I care (I may care) if humanity becomes extinct? Should I take on a mission to save it? Is that the correct motivation for self-enquiry? Is it missionary zeal we are lacking?

"The ego is first and foremost a body ego." S. Freud

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #10
Thumb_tampura ganesan balachandran India 2204 posts in this forum Offline

max greene wrote:
Experience and knowledge are shifting and subject to endless interpretation.

The two full of butter, beautiful masters of all creatures, broad and wide, milked of honey, beautifully adorned- unageing, they are are rich in seed.
gb

We are watching, not waiting, not expecting anything to happen but watching without end. JK

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #11
Thumb_stringio Paul Davidson United Kingdom 3659 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

max greene wrote:
For me, a person's knowledge is his memory of his experiences.

Yes, Max. I think that is correct. It is the accumulation of all the remembered experiences. But is all experience accumulated as knowledge? It may be. Is it?

And what is the relation of this to understanding?

Jack has said that knowledge prevents understanding.

K has put it the other way round, with respect to 'psychological knowledge.' He said that we accumulate, as memory, that part of experience which has not been understood. (Obviously he said much more than that, on the subject.)

What is your take on it, Max?

"The ego is first and foremost a body ego." S. Freud

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #12
Thumb_stringio Paul Davidson United Kingdom 3659 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

max greene wrote:
Further, whoever did apparently would label this color overhead as "blue." Blue?

And . . . why have we isolated and delineated this patch of the spectrum and given it a cardinal importance, named it. The spectrum is, after all, a continuum. There are no natural dividing lines as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. Homer wrote of the 'wine sea' and of violet sheep.

Much of what we consider 'natural' or technical within thought/recognition is actually culturally determined. The Ancient Greeks, along with every other ancient culture, had no word for blue and hardly much 'colour sense' at all. Modern society has relevated colour and imposed its own determinations where it has seen fit.

('Relevate' is a Bohmian word meaning, 'to elevate to a position of relevence.' I feel it to be the one word he invented that has some usefulness.)

"The ego is first and foremost a body ego." S. Freud

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #13
Thumb_rao kamarajugadda Mallik ArjunaRao India 903 posts in this forum Offline

Any thing we explain in the present situation in terms of past record stored in memory could be knowldge.Same thing could be a peice of information if it is not used now. If you take information also as knowldge it is all together deffent.It depends upon the view point. Then there is emple scope for disputation.

nothing

This post was last updated by kamarajugadda Mallik ArjunaRao Thu, 22 Sep 2011.

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #14
Thumb_img_0244 Jack Pine United States 5660 posts in this forum Offline

Muad dhib wrote:
can we consider Hiroshima as a knowledge which must exist?

I'm afraid you've missed the point. But then you're not alone. Do you understand that the last paragraph was a quote from Krishnamurti explaining the difference between psychological and physical, technological knowledge? Your comment indicates otherwise. The question is not whether the knowledge exists to make an atomic bomb. The point is technical knowledge has to exist for us to be able to function. Few would deny that there is knowledge that exists that is wholly destructive and we would be better off without it.

The point is that psychological knowledge is the result of the seperation of observation into the observer and the observed. If we observe, see, without recording, or comparing or coming to conclusions about what we are observing then there is no duality of the observer and the observed.

It is the duality of the observer and observed, the thinker and the thought and so on that is the center, the I, the ego which has become our prison. And unless one understands how psychological knowledge accumulates and is the center there is no possibility of breaking through the walls of the prison which is our psychological centers which, in fact, is an illusion.

Technical knowledge, on the other hand, neccessarily has to be recorded. Otherwise we would have to relearn how to drive a car everytime we wanted to get in it and go somewhere.

This post was last updated by Jack Pine Thu, 22 Sep 2011.

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #15
Thumb_deleted_user_med Muad dhib Ireland 175 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Jack Pine wrote:
I'm afraid you've missed the point. But then you're not alone. Do you understand that the last paragraph was a quote from Krishnamurti explaining the difference between psychological and physical knowledge. Your comment indicates otherwise.

jack, I understood it was a quote from k...
and I still maintain the question as entirely pertinent, in my next post I mention this :

Muad dhib wrote:
technics and modern science are two different things ,as one is modifying the natural order of the nature, it is then to be caught in what should be

Dan.....

This post was last updated by Muad dhib (account deleted) Thu, 22 Sep 2011.

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #16
Thumb_img_0244 Jack Pine United States 5660 posts in this forum Offline

Paul Davidson wrote:
Jack Pine wrote:

Knowledge is what is keeping you from understanding who you are.
Please Jack, could you explain these words as I think for many they may appear unclear.

Read the quote I provided by K that should be clear enough on it's own. Why is this so hard to understand? Maybe if all of us would give up, or at least suspend, our own ideas long enough we would see the simple directness, and clarity of this quote.

This post was last updated by Jack Pine Thu, 22 Sep 2011.

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #17
Thumb_img_0244 Jack Pine United States 5660 posts in this forum Offline

Jack Pine wrote:
I can know about myself, most profoundly; yet when there is an accumulation of knowledge, it begins to interpret, to translate what is seen in terms of its own past. As long as there is this burden of knowledge, psychological, inward knowledge, there is no free movement. And there is the difference between the man who is free of that burden and he who says he knows and will lead another to that knowledge, to that supreme thing and if he says he has realized, then you distrust him completely, for a man who says he knows, he does not know. And that is the beauty of truth. Krishnamurti 1968

Here's the quote, in part, again Mr. Davidson. Can you understand this and see that psychological knowledge is what is keeping all of us from seeing what is? And if we don't see what is how can we change our destructive patterns of existence that are, clearly, destroying the earth?

All you are doing is taking a fragment like "space" or "knowledge" and intellectualizing about it without seeing it's significance as part of a whole. It's like looking at a gear wheel from an old fashion watch and thinking you are seeing to whole watch.

This post was last updated by Jack Pine Thu, 22 Sep 2011.

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #18
Thumb_stringio Paul Davidson United Kingdom 3659 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Jack Pine wrote:
All you are doing is taking a fragment like "space" or "knowledge" and intellectualizing about it without seeing it's significance as part of a whole.

That is not my perception of what I am doing Jack. I am asking questions in order to enquire. It seems you are ready to give answers or to say that the answer is obvious.

For example, what is the difference, in your view, between psychological knowledge and self-knowledge?

And also I have asked you where your answers come from, if not from knowledge? On what do you base your knowing?

I think these are pertinent questions and not intellectualizations.

"The ego is first and foremost a body ego." S. Freud

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #19
Thumb_stringio Paul Davidson United Kingdom 3659 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Jack Pine wrote:
And if we don't see what is how can we change our destructive patterns of existence that are, clearly, destroying the earth?

Is the earth being destroyed, Jack? I do not see it. Is this what you are calling technical knowledge? On what do you base your statement? Is fear involved, would you say?

"The ego is first and foremost a body ego." S. Freud

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #20
Thumb_stringio Paul Davidson United Kingdom 3659 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Jack Pine wrote:
K: I can know about myself, most profoundly; yet when there is an accumulation of knowledge, it begins to interpret,

So, can there be profound self-knowledge without accumulation? Is that the question?

But I did not see anywhere in the K-quote anything about "understanding who you are." I suspect he never said such a thing and I wonder what it would mean to ask: Who am I? To me it suggests looking for an identity.

"The ego is first and foremost a body ego." S. Freud

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #21
Thumb_stringio Paul Davidson United Kingdom 3659 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED


Jack Pine wrote: Krishnamurti explaining the difference between psychological and physical knowledge. Your comment indicates otherwise. Muad dhib wrote: jack, I understood it was a quote from k... and I still maintain the question as entirely pertinent, in my next post I mention this :

Yes, I got that you had read the thing clearly Dan. And it obviously did not contain the phrase "physical knowledge" which Jack now uses. K talked of "technological, scientific knowledge." He was specific on that, not sloppy.

"The ego is first and foremost a body ego." S. Freud

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #22
Thumb_img001 Sudhir Sharma India 1989 posts in this forum Offline

Jack Pine wrote:
When do plan to quit escaping into these seemingly endless shams of seeking yet more knowledge and see what it is that compells you to seek these escapes? It's a question for all of us to ask ourselves about ourselves.

Any planning about 'quitting escaping'is not going to be of any help. The question we all must ask of ourselves is very important, but to search for or find an answer would be a trap, won't it, Mr. Jack Pine?

FLOW WITH LIFE!

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #23
Thumb_img001 Sudhir Sharma India 1989 posts in this forum Offline

Jack Pine wrote:
Here's the quote, in part, again Mr. Davidson. Can you understand this and see that psychological knowledge is what is keeping all of us from seeing what is?

Are you saying that psychological knowledge is not included in 'what is'?

FLOW WITH LIFE!

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #24
Thumb_img001 Sudhir Sharma India 1989 posts in this forum Offline

Jack Pine wrote:
If we observe, see, without recording, or comparing or coming to conclusions about what we are observing then there is no duality of the observer and the observed.

This 'if' is a very big "IF", isn't it?

FLOW WITH LIFE!

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #25
Thumb_img001 Sudhir Sharma India 1989 posts in this forum Offline

Paul Davidson wrote:
And also I have asked you where your answers come from, if not from knowledge?

Equally important is to enquire about the state of mind before and after answering, Paul.

FLOW WITH LIFE!

This post was last updated by Sudhir Sharma Thu, 22 Sep 2011.

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #26
Thumb_stringio Paul Davidson United Kingdom 3659 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Dr.sudhir sharma wrote:
Equally important is to enquire about the state of mind before answering and after answering, Paul.

Are you suggesting that the very fact of giving the answer may change the state of mind of the one who answers, Sudhir? I think this is part of the whole experience, is it not? One's reactions feed one's further reactions, like a snowball. Giving an answer may have a self-affirming effect. Perhaps self-righteousness is built up in this way.


Jack Pine wrote: If we observe, see, without recording, or comparing or coming to conclusions about what we are observing then there is no duality of the observer and the observed.
Dr.sudhir sharma wrote: This 'if' is a very big "IF", isn't it?

It is a big 'if' Sudhir. And having built his hypothesis, Jack draws his own conclusion from it, that, "then there is no duality of the observer and the observed." One wonders therefore to what extent the author of those lines hasmade progress towards any such state. He seems knowledgeable about it.

"The ego is first and foremost a body ego." S. Freud

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #27
Thumb_img001 Sudhir Sharma India 1989 posts in this forum Offline

Paul Davidson wrote:
Are you suggesting that the very fact of giving the answer may change the state of mind of the one who answers, Sudhir? I think this is part of the whole experience, is it not? One's reactions feed one's further reactions, like a snowball. Giving an answer may have a self-affirming effect. Perhaps self-righteousness is built up in this way.

It is of great significance to enquire whether the words are coming from emptiness (memory is being used) and mind is again in the state of emptiness after the answer. The thought originating and ending in silence is not a reaction and so is not psychologically active.

FLOW WITH LIFE!

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #28
Thumb_stringio Paul Davidson United Kingdom 3659 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

Dr.sudhir sharma wrote:
The thought originating and ending in silence is not a reaction and so is not psychologically active.

Yes, Sudhir. And this can be felt happening, albeit haphazardly, even by us poor mortals that still have selves. But the self can also be fooling itself! Like dreaming that one has awoken. How does one know when one is genuinely awake? (Not looking for a definitive answer on that!)

Is there a similar difference between seeing something directly and thereby knowing it, and regurgitating the words or thoughts of others, believing them original?

"The ego is first and foremost a body ego." S. Freud

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #29
Thumb_original_avatar max greene United States 5845 posts in this forum Offline

Paul,

You asked, "And what is the relation of this [knowledge] to understanding?"

And added, "Jack has said that knowledge prevents understanding.
K has put it the other way round, with respect to 'psychological knowledge.' He said that we accumulate, as memory, that part of experience which has not been understood. (Obviously he said much more than that, on the subject.)"

Our knowledge is our memory of accumulated experience. If our knowledge, accurately remembered and brought to the surface, cannot understand something, then continued mulling over that knowledge (the past) obviously will never help us to understand that something. What is needed for understanding is the addition of something new, some new factor, in what we already know -- our knowledge -- or there can be no understanding of that "something."

That "new" must come from seeing in the present moment. Knowledge can certainly provide a background, but there must be the action of seeing, there must be intelligence acting, for us to come up with the something new that leads to understanding. I would say that if one doesn't understand, all of his knowledge won't lead to understanding. He must see afresh in the present moment before there might be understanding.

It might be that one needs to take a look at his knowledge. Maybe he is misunderstanding his knowledge -- but the seeing in the present moment, the seeing of his own knowledge, is still required.

The subject of cancer is a good example. Obviously we do not understand cancer. If we did, cancer would be no more. All of our knowledge has not led to a cure for cancer. To keep hashing over this past knowledge is useless unless there might be an "insight" into that knowledge. Otherwise, something totally new is required. But in either case, either of the insight or of the discovery, the action is outside of knowledge. The seeing and discovery can take place only in the present moment. The past is useful only as a jumping-off place.

I would say that knowledge prevents understanding only when one is adamantly stuck in his knowledge. He is defending, or he is acting through ignorance and is bogged down. Otherwise, knowledge is just there to be used and seen for what it is. As I suggested above, knowledge is a necessary jumping-off place for research. But understanding requires seeing, not memory.

"He [Krishnamurti] said that we accumulate, as memory, that part of experience which has not been understood."

What is the part of experience that has not been understood? It is the part that has not been seen because to see is to understand. And why has it not been seen? I would say the screen of the psychological "I" has prevented clear and undistorted seeing. One has tangled an experience with the "I." So long as there is an "I," there will be this "psychological memory." Otherwise, there is simply recorded experience -- absolutely necessary for existence.

max

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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 #30
Thumb_stringio Paul Davidson United Kingdom 3659 posts in this forum ACCOUNT DELETED

I find that a very well considered and well-framed reply, Max. It throws up new questions, inevitably, but I will let that rest for now. Maybe others would like to come in on it.

How to take the enquiry further? What direction? I will let go the reins!

"The ego is first and foremost a body ego." S. Freud

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