Friday, January 10, 2014

On Knowledge

In the sense that knowledge is ever-changing... it is inexpressible and transcendental

Knowledge so far as it springs from the desire to know something about the ultimate meaning of life, the absolute, can be no science. What we discover does not add to our knowledge as knowledge is an ever-changing state of temporal perception held in the notion of understanding. 

Still, the act of learning is a tendency of the human mind which I personally cannot help respecting deeply and I would not for my life ridicule it. 

Admiration (1897)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905)
San Antonio Museum of Art

While these words echo Wittgenstein's argument on ethics [Notebooks 1914-1916, ed. G.H. von Wright and G.E.M. Anscombe (Oxford: Blackwell, 1979), p. 79; Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (London: Routledge, 1981), pp. 182-183: 6.421], they equally express the issue of not-knowing. 

Knowing touches the part of us that believes It is alive. That aspect of self that knows it exists. Learning is what happens after some 'thing' stirs us from the inside out. Knowledge is that which we believe we find. 

A Reader recently commented, 

To have knowledge, as with the notion of the "Perfect Me", is to be in possession of a divine afflatus

In more modern terms, it is the sensation of being blown away by one's own insight or belief in a private revelation about the nature of existence

This knowledge is found in the penultimate thought: 

"I know that I do not know"

...and arises within us an intense sense of enjoyment, a heightened interest in experiencing further insights, and a profound and deeply personal sense of approval of one's self, whatever form that self might at present time occupy. 

Ancient or modern knowledge aside, learning is always a value for life, and the discovery that value is always an object of mind


Anonymous said...

After reading this a few times, I deliberate if one needs the Elixir to fulfil the hidden content of our higher self or if it can even be handled in our present development in evolution. If we need it as a fulfilment, then could it be the proverbial apple from the garden of Eden in disguise? (managed to get Darwinism and religious dogma into a question without too much tenuity hehe) Perhaps this elixir is a real tangible object, hidden in a clandestine moonlit location. Waiting for the wise to become wiser. The seeker to become the finder. Would you drink from this cup of uncertainty? Could just the concept of perpetual and ever changing ecstasy, be responsible for a return to birth? Tantamount to clocking back the mileage on a car. Emptying what we have learned this far in order to make way for another journey of creativity and absorption. Questions, questions .
Lovely use of the Grace Jones album cover from Island Life. It promotes the picture of ‘balance’ in the most flawless way. Ironically though, Jean Goude, who was responsible for the artwork, used re-touching photographic techniques to create the pose in the picture. Whenever I see it, I always get reminded of Iyengar yoga for some reason.


Soph Laugh said...

"The Elixir" is a metaphor for our own inherent ability to fulfill the hidden content of our higher selves...

I often times evoke the sensations surrounding the idea of the proverbial apple from the Garden of Eden .. placing the apple at the core from which my thinking extends. In this sense, the apple or elixir, as in this case, becomes a real tangible object, thought into existence by the very mind imagining it... hidden only to those who are not present in the moment in which it was conceived... yet simultaneously accessible by those who come upon an individual's description of any given moment...

The wise have no need of 'wiser' ... as wise is wisdom in and of itself ... the seeker is forever the finder, drinking from the same cup of uncertainty from which seekers watch, listen, or taste with eager pleasure and interest...

The return to birth, as you describe it, could indeed be accessible through any concept, a perpetual and ever-changing ecstasy, included.

Clocking back the mileage on a car is like hot-wiring our vessels, which I am currently exploring ... thus, I'll have to get back to you on this one.

Emptying only that which is unessential for any given journey of creative expansion; questions, those little buggerous reminders that we cannot and thus do not know, promote the picture of 'balance' but are not flawless in and of themselves.

What is flawless is a matter of further exploration ... Yogic or otherwise.


Anonymous said...

Some interesting points you make. One I’d like to highlight’ …
‘hidden only to those who are not present in the moment in which it was conceived’
… This reminds me of a quote from Lao Tsu.

“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

Perhaps the elixir is merely a freedom from all constraints of mental anguish. Or maybe a chance to accept that as wise as we would like to be in ourselves, in the scope of all knowledge, we must come to a sudden realisation that this pursuit is tantamount to chasing the dragon. Knowledge is ever evolving, faster than can be kept up with. So the only rational solution would be to find acceptance in what we don’t know. Thus the elixir takes less of an omnipotent form and finally becomes attainable.

Many a night has the concept of flawlessness or perfection come up. I found myself surrendering to one axiomatic principle and that is we are our own perfect form. I am my own perfect. No one can be me. No one can do what I do, in the way I do it. I am a constant. I am the only thing that can be perfect in my life. Thought I’d write a quick poem and share it with you. *ponders

I could try to be all I try to be
Spend my life in perpetual eternity
In wondering why the past is here
The future is now and never near

A search for what I try to reach
A lesson sought for me to teach
Questions related to causality
Answered in immediate eventuality

Wait for god or for a sign
Pursued until the end of time
For my scars are you see
Many forms of the perfect me.

Monk :)

Soph Laugh said...

There is genius inherent in not knowing and being 'okay' with it, which stems back to an ancient principle that recognizes and hallows an aspect of that which we seek we find within us... this gift of knowing that we do not know and maybe even cannot know breathes life into what is best in every living person, into their perfect form.

As for Lao Tsu... under ordinary circumstances, I would agree with Master Tsu... yet, I believe, like everything does, that this concept changes depending on where peace is to be found.

With respect to Master Tsu's aphorism:

Peace is found in peaceful thoughts. Since we can only be in the present at every given moment, even if we are ruminating on the past or future, then peace is not just 'living in the present' it is 'living in peace in the present' ...

I have found that if we wish to experience any thought, sensation, or emotion, it requires that we place ourselves in those very thoughts, sensations, or emotions we wish to experience.

Excellent poem... deserves many rereadings.

Soph :D

Anonymous said...

Thank you for including my last post in your thread. I am humbled. If I were to lay an open hearted honesty at your door, I would say my learning curve for knowledge was stagnant for many a year. Sparked off again very recently due to a shift away from my previous paradigms. Discovering a love of my precious books, where words lay in wait for a chance to become almost symbiotic with my everyday musings and conversations. This is the knowledge that presents itself to me in my now. For me, my end gain is to be able to present myself with the utmost confidence, using solid diction without the need of verboseness. Circumventing all paused speech for solid, succinct verse. My previous isolation from the world has robbed me of this and I feel my second chance can grow to something beautiful and treasured. Although much was learned during my sabbatical, it was the feeling of feeding when full. Knowledge is relevant. Wisdom is too. If I can kiss that concept, then happiness is within and grasp it with all I shall :)


Soph Laugh said...

I appreciate how you expressed 'feeding when full' with relation to stagnancy ... despite being powered by epiphany, it is as if the human system runs on knowledge, which when brought in regularly and with some form of recognized coherency as well as an effortlessness which 'allows for' rather than 'determining what' something is, the result, speaking for myself, of course, is something akin to a pulsating harmony that expands and retracts as is necessary all the while being light and fluid in its movements.

I'm happy to have published your side of our dialogues... they spark many excellent notions that speak to my vital, subliminal, and communicative strivings...