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Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Way of the Philosopher

In these difficult times we've seen some polarization occur that have brought about change for the worse. We're seeing extremes of religious zealots at one end of the scale, like the Creationists, Evangelicals and the Theocons, to the immoral pornographic and sexual perversions such as the two recent cases of Canadians in Thailand accused of abusing young boys between 10 and 14 years of age. All internet users know about the proliferation of pornography. And there have been some steps made to limit exposure, especially the work of the search engines with their filters. Although some could argue that the search engines are helping to perpetuate pornography's existence. Forget about porn just look at the idle time spent on blogs and chats motivated by sexually distracted individuals.

The ever increasing amount of news about fundamentalist Muslims and other fundamentalists of various kinds has chipped away at our phsyches. The pace of living has increased with the cost of living. The fragmenting of our focus and the little energy that's left after a days work all adds up to a loss of useful and much needed time for ourselves just to think. Maybe that's why belief systems are able to flourish. It makes things tidy and easier to manage for those wanting power. Sometimes I am shocked to learn that there are people out there who take the ancient Holy Bible as fact. People who say they don't believe in evolution.

What am I getting at: We would do well to develop our own analytical thinking. Jaspers spoke of the Axial Age as a 600 year period where a surprising overlap of philosophies emerged in totally remote areas where contact with each other didn't exist. Conclusions could be made that we are all capable of thinking and developing a belief system of our own based on our own investigation. Instead of reading all of the Harry Potter books for instance. How about an investigation of Bhuddism or study some writings by Blake or Milton. There is much to say about keeping an open mind. It could also be said that one should earn the right to have an opinion. In a time when ignorance and poor education is behind most of the conflicts we see it's the right moment to consider the way of the philosopher.

Krishnamurti on Fragmentation a symptom to our problems. Fragmentation, Negation and Wholeness

The specialist cannot perceive the whole; his heaven is what he specializes in but his heaven is a petty affair of the brain, the heaven of religion or of the technician. Capacity, gift, is obviously detrimental, for it strengthens self-centredness; it is fragmentary and so breeds conflict. Capacity has significance only in the total perception of life which is in the field of the mind and not of the brain. Capacity and its function is within the limits of the brain and so becomes ruthless, indifferent to the total process of life. Capacity breeds pride, envy, and its fulfilment becomes all important and so it brings about confusion, enmity and sorrow; it has its meaning only in the total awareness of life. Life is not merely at one fragmentary level, bread, sex, prosperity, ambition; life is not fragmentary; when it’s made to be, it becomes utterly a matter of despair and endless misery. Brain functions in specialization of the fragment, in self-isolating activities and within the limited field of time. It is incapable of seeing the whole of life; the brain is a part, however educated it be; it is not the whole. Mind alone sees the whole and within the field of the mind is the brain; the brain cannot contain the mind, do what it will.

To see wholly, the brain has to be in a state of negation. Negation is not the opposite of the positive; all opposites are related within the fold of each other. Negation has no opposite. The brain has to be in a state of negation for total seeing; it must not interfere, with its evaluations and justifications, with its condemnations and defences. It has to be still, not made still by compulsion of any kind, for then it is a dead brain, merely imitating and conforming. When it is in a state of negation, it is choicelessly still. Only then is there total seeing. In this total seeing which is the quality of the mind, there is no seer, no observer, no experiencer; there’s only seeing. The mind then is completely awake. In this fully wakened state, there is no observer and the observed; there is only light, clarity. The contradiction and conflict between the thinker and thought ceases.