This is going to be a fairly short entry but I thought it was worth writing. In pretty much all branches of “philosophy” the acceptance of what is seems to be the key to understanding ourselves and reality. This seems fairly easy at first, and we are very happy to accept what we think “is”. The problem with this is that our mind is based on labels, ideas, and concepts…truly, we never really look at anything without referring to our idea of what that thing is.

Alex_Grey-WonderFor example, looking at a tree you would immediately think of the label “tree” and all the things you have learned/memorized about “trees”. The problem is that your idea of a tree is not the tree itself, it’s just an attempt to understand and define what you are seeing. So how do we accept “what is” if we cannot label or define “what is?” Simple, stop trying to define it…it only limits the experience.

I’ve often said that our need to define and label anything comes from our need to make things “solid”. If we can say that “this thing is this” then it can no longer be anything else and thus, we no longer have to question it. It’s very comforting to limit things because, in defining the thing, we are escaping the “unknown” and ultimately the feeling of uncertainty that goes with it. Once we have a solid idea of something it is no longer believed to be “unknown” because now we can classify it as “known”.

But what are these things without their labels? “Energy”, “matter”, even “thoughts” or “illusions” are all labels implying a specific meaning…and thus denying any other possibility.

But without the labels we are simply left with “what is”…we are left with an ever-changing amount of perceptions of everything. That “tree” could teach you about life, about death, about your own inner turmoil or the thoughts of people around you, it could even teach you lessons water or even chocolate…but only if it is not limited by the definition we have given it. Truly, without definition, the tree could be nothing at all, or everything possible…and this is how we can truly “see”.

In accepting the unknown we are no longer limited by the known. The unknown is the door to infinite perception and thus infinite and endless growth.

9 thoughts on “What is

  1. But surely we need these definitions to function in our everyday lives? If the phone rings, we need to know to pick up the phone, rather than, say, a shoe.

    And in any case, even if we decide that we *don’t* need these definitions, how can we forget them? How can we dissolve what we know in order to see what we don’t?

  2. And who says you have to pick up that phone? Perhaps sitting and listening to the sound would show you lessons and perceptions you were not aware of before because you were caught up in the “knowledge” that it must be picked up because it is a “phone”. I’m not trying to be difficult, I’m just trying to point out another perception…the point is that, for the moment, we have to be able to see both sides of the coin. Yes, you “know” that it is a phone, but you are also able to see the perception where it isn’t, it’s simply a “thing”.

    How can we forget these definitions? Again, choice. I’m not saying that it’s easy…when you spend your whole life looking at something in “one way” it definately takes practice to see it in another way. It is the choice to let go of an assumption and look at things from a completely clean perspective. There is only one clean perspective…”I exist”. Just that, simple awareness without the need to “categorize” what that might mean. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? It did to me, but I can honestly say that this “clean perception” has made shown me the things I was aware of all along…I was just too busy admiring the details to see the whole picture.

    I do not expect this to make sense…this is what is called a “leap of faith”. Yes, you can function in the world with only “awareness” to guide you. Remember, because YOU are the source of your reality…everything and everyone else will be shifted by your own change in perception. They’ll see it as their own change, but you’re them anyway. I intend to write an article on this exact topic later in the future, but for now let me leave you with the one question that always makes me laugh.

    Are you becoming aware because the world around you is, or is the world becoming aware because you are?

    The only time we worry about “how we function in the world” is when we have an idea of “how we SHOULD function”…there is nothing that dictates this except you (or others, if you choose to let them).

    We’ll expand on this as the articles keep rollin out of my mind I’m sure…for now, I await your response.

    Sincerely,

    A Forgetful God

  3. Have you ever run across E-Prime? It ocurs to me that you may find it useful.

    E-Prime is a modified version of the English language, with the verb ‘to be’ excluded. Why? The verb to be (is, are) allows us to say things like “The table is red”, which implies that the table is the same thing as red and vice versa. In fact, the table reflects a certain specific shade of red light, it sits on the floor with a certain aspect(perhaps square, standing 30 inches high), it provides certain utility (as an eating surface, for example) and so on and so forth. So E-Prime forces us to look at objects (and people, animals, plants, etc) as temporal, multi-faceted, and complex objects that can not be simplified down to a single adjective.

    tp

  4. Terra,

    thanks for pointing me in that direction, I’ve honestly never heard of E-prime before and it seems like an interesting idea. I think that, perhaps, having a software package specifically designed to remove the verb “to be” from sentences and whatnot is a wonderful step but still isn’t fixing the problem. The problem is how we “think”, not how we speak. (Yes, how we speak is a reflection of how we think, but language is really just a set of sounds or characters we Believe represent our thoughts or ideas…in truth, as one consciousness, I believe the use of language is an escape from our true communication within..some might call that telepathy but that is just another label. Hey, I’ll write an article about that soon I think)

    Nonetheless, I like it and I’m going to play around with it for entertainment I think. If anything, the exercise in new perception would be fun.

    Always happy to see new things,

    A Forgetful God

  5. I think this is a useful idea to help you get outside the box in a controlled way by allowing you to see and experience the world from a different angle.

    I’m not sure it would work as a way of live however, unless you were an independently wealthy monk who did not need to interact in the world.

    Much like those who tryo to live The Power of NOw to the Nth degree, it is just impractical, but I could see how this would be an interesting way to re examine your perceptions of the world.

  6. Navillus, what if I were to tell you that I DO, in fact, live this way? What if I were to say that I’m not wealthy, I don’t work, and yet I have an apartment, food, and I lack absolutely nothing (nothing I need to live happily anyway). Would you believe me? And if so, why not?
    Money, like everything else, is a creation of the mind (because all that exists in the mind)…with this being true, I do not need to pursue it…I simply need to know that it will come when it is supposed to. This perception in itself brings it to me…while the perception that I must work for it puts it farther away.
    How do I get money then, you ask? Simple, it comes…thousands of ways. I find it, I trade for it, I give it up freely to others who need it…I just don’t hold onto it because it has no value to me…experience is the only value that matters.

    This statement is probably really hard to believe…and I know why. Letting go of “control” and the “need to work” is all a matter of Faith in “God” (myself as reality). I’ve went through some hard times…poor, poorer, and even starving…but always I chose to hold onto my faith until I no longer needed to. In choosing to BELIEVE, I have chosen to rise above my fear…I still have to make this choice, it’s not a “one time thing”. And so, everyday I deny my temptation for control and power and I give my life freely to reality…and thus, reality takes care of me.

    There is only one reason this seems impossible…our own fear and our unwillingness to let go of the “luxuries” we believe will make us happy. Things will never be a source of happiness, I am…to pass off my right to choose a perception to something else is simply avoiding responsibility. I am responsible for how I view the world…whether it be in fear or faith. Nothing can make that choice for me.

    A Forgetful God

  7. I think it’s difficult for those of us who are still thinking mainly within our “program” to fully believe what you’re telling us, FG, though I tried to sum it up myself in a post on my blog (How To Have It All – October 18th). I can write about the theory, you see, it’s just putting it into practice…

    I think the best thing for beginners like me is to take one step at a time. Make modest steps to change your thinking and see how it makes you feel. If it makes you feel good, then persist. You don’t necessarily have to believe that everything is going to come to you on a plate when you finally get to wherever you’re going. In fact, if you focus on that then you’re probably not going to get there because you’ll be concentrating on acquiring stuff, which is really to do with the ego. It’s better to focus on being “aware” just for the sake of itself.

    I personally think that following Tolle’s ideas in The Power Of Now is a relatively simple way to start. It’s not really impractical – it’s just difficult. The process is simple because all you have to do is be in the now, but difficult because you have to keep on remembering to do it. I find it makes me feel good when I *do* remember though. Today I remembered to be in the moment a lot on a long journey and it was brilliant.

    You didn’t answer the second part of my earlier question though, FG. How do you dissolve what you already “know”? In fact, how did you get from where you were to where you are now? What were your first steps?

  8. That’s a tricky question, but I’m willing to try and answer it.

    How do you dissolve what you already “know”? … You accept that you never really “know” anything…there is no truth other than your own existence, everything else is only a possibility of truth. When you can no longer say “this is one thing” then it can be anything and thus, there is no solid truth…there is nothing you can “know”, only something you can perceive in an infinite amount of ways.

    “In fact, how did you get from where you were to where you are now? What were your first steps?”

    This is the simple part (and complicated because of the simplicity)…I had to accept that I wasn’t trying to “get anywhere”. This is the only step…there are no others, though we like to think there are for the sake of holding onto our “beliefs”. Essentially I realized that I was trying to “be myself”…and in knowing that “myself” is nothing and everything, indescribable and yet eternal(even that means nothing because there is only a moment)…well, that simply meant that I had to accept that I’m already that thing…any questions that I might have are simply an escape from the state of “being” that I’m always in. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…the act of asking questions is the sneakiest and most beautifully designed scapegoat in existence…in one simple sentence you can completely convince yourself that you do not know the answers…when in fact, you ARE the answer. (I am the alpha and the omega…the beginning and the end…the question AND the answer)

    I know you are a fan of Eckart Tolle, so I’ll try to quote something from “The power of Now” though I don’t remember much. The last question in the book was something like
    “And how will I know when I’ve found enlightenment?”
    He answers “When you stop asking the question”.

    This is all I’m trying to say…when you stop making a process, stop thinking of questions or “problems to deal with” you are left with one thing…yourself in a state of being that is constant and everlasting. You can NEVER leave this state, you can only convince yourself that you are not in it.

    So what are the steps? Be aware that “thinking” and “questioning” are the tools we use to convince ourselves we are not here…when you CHOOSE to stop doing both, you are left with yourself.

    I know this sounds a little harsh, but the fact is that it all comes down to one final choice…either I’m here, or I believe I’m not. As long as I rely on anything to help me make that choice (books, others, a process) then I’m simply not willing to make it myself.

    I cannot say that this process is hard because by saying this is true I am making it true…this is the easiest thing in the world because it only requires you do one thing.
    Relax and enjoy the ride (you are already here).

    A Forgetful God

    P.S. This is not a “one time” decision…this is a decision you must make every moment, all the time, no matter what you’re faced with….reality will continue to hit you with harder lessons until you can just smile at the problems and shrug them off. YOU test your own faith, never fear the test…simply continue to choose where and who you are. You exist.

  9. Many thanks for this. It seems to accord with what I got from a recent talk by Nick Roach, which I’ll mention in an upcoming post: simply stopping the internal dialogue and allowing the mind to fall quiet. This is what I did yesterday on the journey I mentioned. And speaking of journeys… although it’s so easy to keep talking about a “journey” towards enlightenment, all of you who are actually there make one thing very clear: There is no journey. We’re already there.

    By the way, you may not be aware of what a pain your word verification check is. You always have to do it twice! Once is bad enough. Just by way of feedback, I don’t use this at all on my blog and I haven’t had any problems (so far!)

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