I Think, Therefore I Think

~Beyond Western Philosophy~

Part 1

Photograph by Sofia Sanchez & Mauro Mongiello
(Embellished by Franca von Funnybones)

“To think is easy, since you never do or have to. Not to think is true mind.” - Cedric-Tynan Muadhnait-Axhard.

‘I am the mind - the brilliant the blind.’ (The title of a song written by my friend Helena).

Sally Solomon (Kristen Johnston): Well, I think we covered all the deadly sins.
Tommy Solomon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt): No! No, actually there's another one.
Dick Solomon (John Lithgow): Well I'm too much of a sloth to think of it.
Harry Solomon (French Stewart): Oh wait! That's it!
Dick Solomon: What, sloth?
Harry: No, thinking.

- 3rd Rock from the Sun (Season 3, Episode 9, 'Seven Deadly Clips,'
written by Michael Glouberman and Andrew Orenstein, 1997).

Abraham-Hicks tells us that we came here to think and that the purpose of stopping thought meditation, although a useful tool for as long as we are liable to neglect feeling, is not to sweep us along the skirting board into a space of permanent no-thought. Feeling, I feel, attunes us, potentially, to pure consciousness beyond mind. And that places us in a much better position to know.

"If a man would pursue Philosophy, his first task is to throw away conceit. For it is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he has a conceit that he already knows." (The Golden Sayings of Epictetus, LXXII, tr. Hastings Crossley, Harvard Classics, 1909).

“Silent knowledge is not the enemy of thinking. Thinking should be done after knowing, that’s all, as ratio is a sort of promotive agent for silent knowledge.” – Unknown.

At college, I wished to move on from philosophy and mysticism to study the subject of Atlantology for my final year. Alas, my proposal was rejected on the grounds that I took, for my premise, the existence of Atlantis as factual. I had no intention of spending a year trying to prove or disprove its existence. I wanted to delve deep into the pie with my fork and see what it tasted like. What were the ingredients, the buried treasures, according to researchers and channelled teachings? Is there a secret recipe for creating a great civilisation and can we find it and make good use of it? So, I quit. Another reason, I might add however, was that I viewed this as symptomatic of the shift of the College of Independent Study I attended into the mainstream University. Since 1974, when it was founded, students had been blessed with the freedom of studying absolutely any subject that interested them and which they wished to explore. One guy, I recall, was seriously interested in trash. We all laughed at the time, but now recycling waste is a significant sector of the country's infrastructure. There are as many subjects as there are people. We all have a unique interest and a unique perspective, and we can all make a unique contribution to the world. How people can motivate themselves to study with the sole goal of earning money is beyond me. I study what interests me, what I wish or need to know about, what I am passionate about, what generates positive, creative energy through enthusiasm. Study, for me, is a celebration, not a duty.

Patrick: You mean what we thought they thought we think and thought they thought. We think?” (Spongebob Squarepants, created by Stephen Hillenburg, Viacom International Inc.).

The four walls of the college were now, as I saw it, the restrictive subjects of modern 'knowledge.' Students were now fed information that is as nourishing to the soul as dry, stale bread is to the body: barely sustained so that the college could justify its existence and funding. Their tutors were now jailers peering in through the bars of the small hatch in the door to ensure that no one escaped from the confines of 'Reason.' It has been said that 'being clever is what raises man above the animals, but it is also what keeps him from the company of the gods.' Orthodox educators are totally missing the point, in my opinion. Reason exists to enhance and clarify life and consciousness, to bring out the truth. It is not meant to shut it out by squeezing the life out of the world and reducing 'truth' to a brittle body of knowledge that tidily fits into an ornate casket. This jewel-encrusted box can be handed down to other people even though it bears no resemblance to anything real. It is exhausting! The contents of the box of modern education resembles a decapitated head. It is impossible to pass a whole, live human being to others. What this means, in effect, is that the student must learn for him-her-self - which naturally involves thinking for oneself - rather than simply pondering a lifeless skull. Thus, we say, "You can educate a person but you can't make him think." (Harry Millner, Pearls Of Wisdom, Surrey, UK: Clarion, 2004, p.9). Only part of a subject can be passed on and that part is severed from the life force. Truth is awakened within oneself and comes to life as an expression of one's own energy. Academia, as with Western medicine which, customarily, crudely treats the external symptoms, is itself symptomatic of the Western approach to life.

“In the Dark Ages, we lose our spirituality, we lose our integrity and we only pay attention to the physical and that which we can touch and measure. We become very left-brain dominant and very scientific in the traditional sense of science. In the Golden Ages, we explore spirituality. This is where the beautiful mythology of our world comes from. This is where spiritual healing and enlightenment tools such as music therapy [for example, form Pythagoras] has come from and integrity comes from.” – Dr. Doreen Virtue.

In his cowardice, man, as Shakespeare teases in Hamlet's famous speech, prefers his mortal existence - with all its "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" - to that which he does not know. He chooses to "grunt and sweat under a weary life" and to arm himself "against a sea of troubles." He opts for "the oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, the pangs of dispriz'd love, the law's delay." (And all because...the lady loves...Milk Tray). Such is his dread of death and of the whole sea of consciousness that rolls for infinity, far beyond the dainty arc of his imagination. People identify all too easily with the physical world. They develop the habit of depending upon external resources. Man prizes his intellect and prides himself on his physical might. The resulting physical identification veils them from their inner potential; so much so that, try as they might, even, they are unable to discover the Golden Apples of the Hesperides. Perseus was propelled by the poet's wings, the mind that is free to venture anywhere, that is unfettered by the ignorance of the damned! Once this state of attachment is established, this pact with the Devil, with materialist gravity, it is very difficult to find the cave that leads to the grotto of the true Self. People fear, consciously or unconsciously, getting lost at sea; or else, they do indeed become lost. Even when someone points out the way, "We can give the advice but not the wisdom to go with it." (Harry Millner, Pearls Of Wisdom, Surrey, UK: Clarion, 2004, p.13).

“If you will open your imagination and become as a child, you have much to gain. Let your intellect relax and soften as your intuition comes into gentle knowingness. Give your soul connection first priority and let its knowing – along with your heart’s response – confirm what I say. If you dare to do this your life will change in a way you would have thought impossible and you will find yourself connected to the living God in a deeper, more life-affirming manner than ever before.” – Jesus (‘The Christ,’ channelled through Virginia Essene, 61-62).


Wisdom is usually gained through experience. So, when people are good at using their bodies, their intellects, when they are confident, secure or competitive in certain areas of life and work, of course they do not wish to leave familiar ground. They say, 'Yes, I'd love to come and visit you in New Zealand, as long as I can stay here in Venezuela!' Well, nowadays, it is easier to travel and explore other countries without packing up and moving lock, stock and barrel, but this does not appeal to many people on either an inner or outer level. Hamlet's friend goes dancing but, of course, he has forgotten something! Tommy Cooper, holding a skull and playing the part of Hamlet, tells the audience: "He went to a dance the other night. He sat all by himself in the corner. He's got no body to dance with." It throws new light on the saying, 'the geek shall inherit the earth!' "Your body is dying. Pay no attention; it happens to us all," says Lestat (Tom Cruise) in Interview with the Vampire: the Vampire Chronicles (directed by Neil Jordon, 1994). "There's still life in the old lady yet!"

“Dance first. Think later. It’s the natural order.” – Samuel Beckett.

So puzzled is man by the mystery of death, "the undiscovered country, from whose bourn no traveller returns," that he would rather bear the ills he has than turn his attention to something of which he is ignorant. For, then, he must endure the pangs of inner growth and the death of the physical ego which feeds on "enterprises of great pith and moment" and occupies the mind to save it from straying into uncharted waters. Resolution is thereby contained in a safe measure which pales by comparison to its "native hue." Who knows what greater torments, what hydra-headed terrors, lurk further out at sea? By contrast, our present troubles are as nothing and "their currents turn away." Regularly scoop the puddles out of your plastic paddle boat and enjoy your merry jaunt around the children's holiday boat pond at the seaside (while I ride my hobby horse, with a face covered in candyfloss, and take a pop at the targets of orthodoxy as they crawl tantalisingly by just one more time: 'please can I have another go, daddy, please?'). Fearing that your will and identity shall be overwhelmed by such horrors that hide beneath the skirt of truth, marvel at your limitations; it will not be long before they are no moreYand back to the womb we must all go. Which is "nobler in the mind"? It is your choice. (Excerpts from Hamlet, Act III, Scene 1).

In Lila, Robert M. Pirsig's long-awaited sequel to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Phaedrus (the hero) surmises that, in the subject of philosophy, it is preferable to reach one's own conclusions and then compare them to what others said:

"First to figure out what you believe and then to see what great philosophers agree with you. There will always be a few somewhere. These will be much more interesting to read since you can then cheer what they say and boo their enemies, and when you see how their enemies attack them you can kibitz a little and take a real interest in whether they were right or wrong.

"With this technique you can approach someone like William James in a much different way than an ordinary philosophologist would. Since you've already done your creative thinking before you read James, you don't just go along with him. You get all kinds of fresh new ideas by contrasting what he's saying with what you already believe. You're not limited by any dead-ends of his thought and can often see ways of going around him. This was occurring in what Phaedrus had read so far. He was getting a definite impression that James' philosophy was incomplete and that the Metaphysics of Quality might actually improve on it. A philosophologist would normally be indignant at the impertinence of someone thinking he could improve on the great Harvard philosopher, but James himself, to judge from what Phaedrus had read so far, would have been very enthusiastic about the effort. He was, after all, a philosopher." (Robert. M. Pirsig, Lila. An Enquiry Into Morals (London, UK: Black Swan Books, 1991, p.377-378).

Well, I had a similar relationship to Pirsig at college, this being the closest to Western philosophy I could stomach. I wrote an essay on to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance whilst struggling with its rational approach and grew more and more frustrated as I went on. I am sure anyone could see that such an essay would be an immense challenge regardless of one's individual philosophy! I appreciated many of the author's ideas, and had fun taking sides with Socrates and Plato against Aristotle and the resulting fragmentation of Western education. My understanding, alas, was based on mystical experience and I therefore felt great affinity with the ancient teachings of all parts of the world (and I was particularly impressed by the Neoplatonist Plotinus). In Lila, Prisig appears to have concluded that he himself aspires, through Phaedrus, to align himself with that ancient wisdom, to know its source. In fact, that essay was such a mindfuck that I vowed never to touch the book ever again! It is interesting, therefore, that I now find strong parallels between Lila, which I just loved completely when I read it, and much of what I have been writing about in my own books.

“The meaning of life is to give life meaning.” – Ken Hudgins.


A philosophologist, says Pirsig, is a parasite "that loves to think it controls its host by analysing and intellectualising its host's behaviour." (Pirsig, p.376). Indeed, he goes on to claim that there are no philosophers in the modern world. They are all philosophologists, yet they call themselves philosophers in similar style to the sophists of Socrates' day. They are bureaucrats conforming to the state by which they are sanctioned as the sages, the 'knowing ones.' They are concerned only with examining the structure of the world, not with the depth and substance of the inner life. They do not want know what is inside because they excel at describing the world of appearances in front of their noses. "Culture is an instrument wielded by professors to manufacture professors who, when their turn comes, will manufacture professors," said Simone Weil.

"Only one man ever understood me, and he didn't understand me." - G.W. Hegel.

Socrates' wisdom was awakened by the educated, experienced courtesans who, in his day, had mastered spirituality as much as sexuality, and whom he visited in his younger years. What are we beyond this flesh and blood? What is it one feels deep within? What is it we should be striving towards and how should we live? Without asking such essential questions society depends on superstition, dogma or modern science. To depend on a society's code of morality without turning within and finding things out for oneself, through feeling, gives rise to a cynical class of scholar which rejects even the lost foundation of that morality. Such academics are highly esteemed by political and commercial forces that would have zero power in a society governed by Plato's 'philosopher kings' or suchlike. The sophists get away with it because there are no actual philosophers to complain about the situation unlike, for example, "literature people" who "are sometimes puzzled by the hatred many creative writers have for them." (Pirsig, p.376). If philosophy students actually expressed their own philosophical ideas, adds Pirsig, their instructors "would probably compare the student's writing to Mill or Kant or somebody like that, find the student's work grossly inferior, and tell him to abandon it." (ibid, p.376-377).

"The university was a temple to the rational mind. And I had been hired as a high priest of that temple, or as a priest. And it was clear that what we were doing was overriding the analytic, intellectual mind. And that was heresy, basically." - Ram Dass (Dr. Richard Alpert, from a documentary, May 1996).

People who are not expressing their own creative potential and yet have an interest in a subject do not want to see other people express their potential as creators. Their minds are so closed that they have identified with the closed-box syndrome. They are always looking at the subject from the outside in. since they never open their own box of potential. They have become very skilled at examining it. To open the box now, or even to be reminded that one can open the box and explore the contents for oneself, would make their lives and careers seem meaningless. They would have to start all over again, as 'beginners' in the field of creative potential and authenticity. The ego fights to retain its identity and, hence, fears such drastic changes and potential self-awareness that the subtle energy of true Being can awaken. Philosophers aspire to understand and they do not, or should not, recognise any barriers to their expansive minds, to their capacity to know the Mind of God. The more the individual becomes, the more he or she realises that we are all parts of a greater whole, like bees carrying experiential pollen from the flowers of life to the honeycomb of Creative Being.

"All attempts to contact God through the mind or intellect have failed and always will fail. God can be known only through the soul and the soul-faculties." - Joel S. Goldsmith (The Infinite Way, p.93, Unwin Paperbacks, 1952, p.93).

“One who is caught in thought loses one’s original nature. All he knows are words and descriptions. When he sees the actual thing, he fails to perceive it.” – The Dalai Lama.

“Nietzsche receives a yellow card after claiming that ‘Confucius has no free will; Confucius says ‘Name go in book.’ Karl Marx replaces Ludwig Wittgenstein, but does nothing to advance the game. On the 89th minute, Archimedes cries out ‘Eureka!’ and instructs the Greeks to use the football. Socrates scores the only goal of the match in a diving header from a cross from Archimedes. As the sketch closes, the Germans dispute the call; ‘Hegel is arguing that the reality is merely an a priori adjunct of non-naturalistic ethics, Kant via the categorical imperative is holding that ontologically it exists only in the imagination, and Marx is claiming it was offside.’" (Summary of the outcome of the Monty Python sketch, ‘The Philosophers' Football Match,’ which is a game between philosophers representing Greece and Germany, www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Philosophers%27_Football_Match).


Epictetus, a Greek born around the middle of the first century AD, said: "Never call yourself a philosopher nor talk much among the unlearned about Principles, but do that which follows form them...Remember that Socrates thus entirely avoided ostentation. Men would come to him desiring to be recommended to philosophers, and he would conduct them thither himself - so well did he bear being overlooked. Accordingly if any talk concerning principles should arise among the unlearned, be you for the most part silent. For you run great risk of spewing up what you have ill digested. And when a man tells you that you know nothing and you are not nettled at it, then you may be sure that you have begun the work." (Epictetus, CLXXV). "As a political theorist, Epictetus saw man as a member of a great system that comprehends both God and men. Each human being is primarily a citizen of his own commonwealth, but he is also a member of the great city of gods and men, of which the political city is only a poor copy. All men are the sons of God by virtue of their rationality and are kindred in nature with the divinity. Thus, man is capable of learning to administer his city and his life according to the will of God, which is the will of nature. The natural instinct of animated life, to which man also is subject, is self-preservation and self-interest. Yet men are so constituted that the individual cannot secure his own interests unless he contributes to the common welfare. The aim of the philosopher, therefore, is to see the world as a whole, to grow into the mind of God, and to make the will of nature his own." (Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 CD-ROM).

“I am not a philosopher. The philosopher thinks about things. It is a mind approach. My approach is a no-mind approach. It is just the very opposite of philosophising. It is not thinking about things, ideas, but seeing with a clarity that comes when you put your mind aside, when you see through silence, not through logic. Seeing is not thinking. The Sun rises there. If you think about it you miss it because, while you are thinking about it, you are going away from it. And, in thinking, you can move miles away. And thoughts go faster than anything possible. If you are seeing the sunrise then one thing has to be certain, that you are not thinking about it. Only then you can see it. Thinking becomes a veil on the eyes. It gives its own colour, its own idea, to the reality. It does not allow reality to reach you. It imposes itself upon reality. It is a deviation from reality. Hence, no philosopher has ever been able to know the truth. All the philosophers have been thinking about the truth. But thinking about the truth is an impossibility. Either you know it or you don’t. If you know it there is no need to think about it. If you don’t know, how can you think about it?

"A philosopher thinking about truth is just like a blind man thinking about light. If you have eyes you don’t think about light, you see it. Seeing is a totally different process. It is a byproduct of meditation. Hence, I wouldn’t like my way of life to be ever called a philosophy because it has nothing to do with philosophy. You can call it ‘philosia.’ The word philo means love.’ Sophia means wisdom, knowledge. Love for knowledge. In ‘philosia,’ philo means the same, love, and sia means ‘for seeing,’ not ‘for knowledge’ but ‘for being,’ not ‘for wisdom’ but ‘for experiencing.’” – Osho (From a YouTube video titled ‘Osho: My Way of Life is Not Philosophy,’ from the series of talks, ‘From Ignorance to Innocence, No.2,’ Osho International Foundation, 1984).

In the domain of philosophy, of course, authorities on the subject could scarcely 'keep themselves on the gravy train for life' if they stopped 'disagreeing with each other and slagging each other off,' actually came up with answers to 'life, the universe and everything' and concluded their cleverly entangled endeavours. Their lives depend on their money-making philosophical concepts and academic resume enhancements. The rulers and manipulators of Patriarchal society are happy to leave the philosophers, or philosophologists, to do the deep thinking while they get on with revelling in power and bullying people. Confronted by the completion of an awesome new computer called Deep Thought, designed to answer the Great Question (of 'Life, the Universe and Everything'), two philosophers from Cruxwan University, wearing their coarse faded-blue robes and belts, have been sent by the Amalgamated Union of Philosophers, Sages, Luminaries and Other Thinking Persons to protest and get it switched off. Where did rational proof take patriarchal society, eh? 'Almost' to the cleaners! Haha. Think again! :)

"'What we demand is solid facts,'" says the younger one with reckless and thoughtless, rational-sounding irrationality, as if this mindless capacity for bullshitting was the very skill that a qualified philosopher acquired. "'No we don't!' exclaimed Majikthise in irritation. 'That is precisely what we don't demand!" (Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy (London, UK: Gollancz, 1979, p.132). When a programmer named Lunkwill asks what the problem is the younger of the two continues his aggressive rambling stupidity: "'We demand,' yelled Vroomfondel, 'that demarcation may or may not be the problem.'" (ibid, p.138). The 'Elder' explains: "'You just let the machine get on with the adding up,' warned Majikthise, 'and we'll take care of the eternal verities thank you very much. You want to check your legal position you do mate. Under law the Quest for Ultimate Truth is quite clearly the inalienable prerogative of your working thinkers. Any bloody machine goes and actually finds it and we're straight out of a job aren't we? I mean what's the use of our sitting up half the night arguing that there may or may not be a God if this machine only goes and gives you his bleeding phone number the next morning?' 'That's right,' shouted Vroomfondel, 'we demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and certainty.'" (ibid, p.138-139).

So, there you have it. The 'rational philosophers,' whose tradition itself has evolved in the black hole left by the Church, have monopolised truth in a similar fashion. They are motivated not by true scholarship but by earning a living. Anything anyone disagrees with the philosophers who are respected by academia in the West is not acknowledged by the all-knowing authorities on the subject. Institutions in the war machines of the West exist to keep the truth out so it can be effectively concealed and manipulated by people in positions of power. Wisdom is the last thing such people can afford to encourage in society. Over-rationalisation is not philosophy but careerism. As for actual mystical experience of the inner reality, the essence of human consciousness, that philosophy ought to be dedicated to exploring and understanding more deeply: "In our society such experiences could be labelled psychotic. The mystic poet William Blake saw angels in the trees at the age of four. Swedenborg's angels were delusions of a misguided mind said the German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). This mainstream approach to the mystical is still evident today. In one book it showed that someone who had experienced an angel was assumed to be mentally ill and treated as such. No wonder people are reluctant to speak out. It must be unpleasant if, having had such an awe-inspiring encounter, to have 'experts' talk of hallucination, of being a slave to a genetic throw-back time when man was seen as conjuring voices and visions to cope with novel situations. Joan of Arc heard voices and was burnt as a witch. Today we would be given Prozac and counselling." ('On the Side of Angels,' an article by Mary Bernardi, featured in Healing Today, Issue 98, November 2004 to January 2005, p.14).

“So go back and immediately drop out of it. There is nothing to worry about. At the most one can become a beggar. At the most death can happen – which is going to happen anyhow, mm? Take courage…And I am coming with you. Don’t give it a single thought again – just get out of it. All thinking is bourgeois. It is mediocre, middle class. Thinking is always cowardly. So don’t think. Simply go and close all the old doors…and don’t look back. And if there is any trouble come back, mm? This ashram is yours, so come back. Don’t be worried…I can find you one of the best women in the world (laughter), mm? I manage all sorts of things!” – Osho (Be Realistic: Plan for a Miracle, Chapter 1, 13 March 1976).

"He who learns but does not think is lost. He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger." - Confucius.

"...let the intellect serve consciousness instead of govern. The way I put it is - when you follow your intuition you live life. When you follow mind alone life lives you, which is what happens with most people. And, so, we have access to this incredible library of knowledge, this incredible library of guidance. And it's not the 'chosen ones.' It's those who are willing to open their minds to access that level of knowledge. It's not a club. You don't need a log-in code name. It's sitting there in the space that we are now experiencing. All we have to do is open up." - David Icke ('David Icke and Jordan Maxwell in Conversation,' Project Avalon, by Bill Ryan, May 2010, www.projectavalon.net).

A monk asked Yunmen: 'What is this place where thought is useless?'
Yunmen replied: 'Thought and emotion cannot fathom it.'

"So, when you keep raising the vibration of your field higher and higher you actually then get access into the higher bandwidths of higher intelligence. And this is how the awakening happens, right? You keep raising your vibration, you get into the higher information in the collective mind. You can access this. You can start to stream in. You can get it in meditation. You can get it through dream state. You can have these 'aha' moments all the time. Because, all of a sudden, WOW, you're seeing the world through new eyes. It's frequency. It's increasing your frequency. You get access into the higher bandwidths of energy. In a meditative state, this actually puts the frontal lobes into an alpha state. What we're doing in the vortex, we're accelerating that so high we actually start to get towards a gamma-ray state. So it's, in a sense, a quantum leap. This vortex is going to power you through stuff that normally would have taken years, if not lifetimes. But, we need that right now because everything is accelerating anyway." - Meg Benedicte (at the Conscious Life Expo, Los Angeles, CA, US, 12 February 2011, www.newearthevolution.com).

"The mind can't grasp it. The ego mind is 3-dimensional only. It will not be able to come with you up beyond the 3 dimensions. So, I found, when I first started meditating in the vortex, I would go into trance because my ego mind was not high enough in vibration to follow where I was going. Eventually, though, what you're going to do is, especially as you get to the 6th dimension and higher, you start to actually access the higher mind of the soul. And, so, what you want to do is link the higher mind to the ego mind. They become one mind. And then you can have lucid meditations where you are everywhere. You can just go out and see what's going on and work there." - Meg Benedicte (at the Conscious Life Expo, Los Angeles, CA, US, 12 February 2011, www.newearthevolution.com).

"We have reached the outermost rung of human evolution I the density of this earth plane. With the creation of the developed intellect which man-woman has now acquired, it would appear that humanity has reached the limit of involution. Now humanity turns its face upward. It has bottomed the depths, and now faces the upward arc; it reaches towards the angelic life." - White Eagle (The Light Bringer. The Ray of John and the Age of Intuition. The White Eagle Publishing Trust, Liss, UK, 2001, p.33).

"We have said many, many times: 'Nothing is so important as God.' There are many very clever people with great intellectual development, but despite all their knowledge, they are unable to penetrate the higher ethers or touch this profound spiritual silence; and indeed, until you have developed the required spiritual qualities, you will never penetrate these finer ethers." - White Eagle (The Light Bringer. The Ray of John and the Age of Intuition. The White Eagle Publishing Trust, Liss, UK, 2001, p.39).

 

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