1. Hmmm . . .
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    16 Aug '07 04:24
    There is a bedrock in terms of our experience of reality. And this bedrock is just—experiencing, without thoughts or mental representations of any kind—this, now, including ourselves in and of it. (The conceptual boundaries separating us from it disappear.)

    I could put lots of “scare quotes” around those words. But perhaps that just adds to the conceptual clutter.

    A very few people on here have convinced me that they knew, intimately, this bedrock before all their other talk. Some of them are theists, some not. Some refuse to talk about it at all, because all talk (and writing) is in the domain of conceptualization—and the bedrock is absolutely non-conceptual. The problem with conceptual talk is that we may begin to think that it is a concept too. Like conceptualizations of God, or—hell, even “experience” perhaps (itself a dangerous word).

    Concepts are manageable: we can manipulate them and combine them into systems of philosophy and religion. Sometimes those conceptual systems seem so compelling that we can become lost in them—and forget about it altogether. What do you do with no-concept? What can you say about no-concept? How can you moralize about it? Philosophize about it?

    Easier to keep on thinking and talking “about and about.”

    Isn’t that terrible? I can just hear the “arguments from terribleness” now!

    Get to the bedrock. Spend sufficient time there, without thoughts or concepts. Realize how your thoughts and concepts spring from it, how it defines them, and not the other way around. Realize that you are of it, and not the other way around. Regardless of talk and texts.

    Then you will realize the paltriness and paradox of the texts, on the one hand, and the profundity of what they point to (with myth and metaphor and symbol), on the other. And you will realize how inadequate they are—all attempts at conceptualization and definition are—in the face of that non-conceptual suchness of which you are. And you will hesitate to give it even a name, let alone a doctrine. Reality is prior to all names and doctrines. And all our attempts can only point to that, which is in itself ineffable.

    We are, however, thinking, self-reflective beings. That is the nature of our consciousness. Nothing wrong with that, per se. It is part of our part of it. But that is all it is. Just don’t confuse what is prior and ineffable with our attempts to “eff” it.

    _____________________________________________

    The Tao that can be spoken of is not the real Tao.
    Names cannot define or circumscribe it.

    I don’t know what to call it—I call it Tao.

    (Paraphrased from Lao Tzu.)
  2. Standard memberKellyJay
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    16 Aug '07 07:07
    Originally posted by vistesd
    There is a bedrock in terms of our experience of reality. And this bedrock is just—experiencing, without thoughts or mental representations of any kind—this, now, including ourselves in and of it. (The conceptual boundaries separating us from it disappear.)

    I could put lots of “scare quotes” around those words. But perhaps that jus ...[text shortened]... r circumscribe it.

    I don’t know what to call it—I call it Tao.

    (Paraphrased from Lao Tzu.)
    Sounds like you are speaking of a sure foundation, but I could be
    wrong.
    Kelly
  3. Donationrwingett
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    16 Aug '07 14:22
    Originally posted by vistesd
    There is a bedrock in terms of our experience of reality. And this bedrock is just—experiencing, without thoughts or mental representations of any kind—this, now, including ourselves in and of it. (The conceptual boundaries separating us from it disappear.)

    I could put lots of “scare quotes” around those words. But perhaps that jus ...[text shortened]... r circumscribe it.

    I don’t know what to call it—I call it Tao.

    (Paraphrased from Lao Tzu.)
    Would you equate this "bedrock" with Heidegger's concept of "Dasein", whereby traditional language, logical systems, and beliefs obscure Dasein's nature from itself?
  4. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    16 Aug '07 14:501 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Would you equate this "bedrock" with Heidegger's concept of "Dasein", whereby traditional language, logical systems, and beliefs obscure Dasein's nature from itself?
    The same question occurred to me (I was reading about Heidegger's servile theory last night, so it's still repugnantly fresh).

    There has to be a way to get Barney, Wilma & Co together with Heidegger in Bedrock.
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    16 Aug '07 23:13
    Originally posted by vistesd
    There is a bedrock in terms of our experience of reality. And this bedrock is just—experiencing, without thoughts or mental representations of any kind—this, now, including ourselves in and of it. (The conceptual boundaries separating us from it disappear.)

    I could put lots of “scare quotes” around those words. But perhaps that jus ...[text shortened]... r circumscribe it.

    I don’t know what to call it—I call it Tao.

    (Paraphrased from Lao Tzu.)
    "Names cannot define or circumscribe it."

    But words are all we have to describe our experience. Without words we could not communicate our ideas. Words give ideas and concepts meaning. Without meaning we are lost.
  6. Hmmm . . .
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    16 Aug '07 23:39
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Would you equate this "bedrock" with Heidegger's concept of "Dasein", whereby traditional language, logical systems, and beliefs obscure Dasein's nature from itself?
    Don’t know. Sounds okay. We conceptualize reality. Nothing wrong with that. Confusion sets in when we get lost in the conceptualizations, and think they are what reality is. We get so lost in our libraries full of maps, and our own precious favorite maps, that we never get to the bedrock territory, but always insist on viewing it and interpreting via our maps—like putting the maps on eyeglasses through which we then look at the world.

    We interpret reality. Reality doesn’t say “Hey, here’s the interpretation.” Reality doesn’t even say, “Here’s how something called ‘gravity’ works.” Reality just says, if you jump off a tall cliff, you’re going to fall. The “laws of gravity” are our conceptualization, description and understanding of how that all works. Scottishinnz can talk out the interpretative nature of scientific inquiry much better than I can; and I will accept any corrections he makes.

    Bbarr, before he left, refused to apply any conceptual label to what I will call Tao (or reality, or the real—all of which are just words that folks then go on and conceptualize endlessly about).

    None of what I say “about” it matters. Nothing wrong with lots of the stories “about.” Except that people get lost in the “about,” insist on the “about.” People live their whole lives “about” without ever setting aside the “abouts” to see what lies underneath. And they call the “about” meaning, and say their lives are meaningless without this or that “about”.

    Too, too many words! (My own long-standing folly!) Get to the bedrock. Spend time there. Then you will know the real from the “about”—and can talk about the about all you want.
  7. Hmmm . . .
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    16 Aug '07 23:40
    Originally posted by josephw
    "Names cannot define or circumscribe it."

    But words are all we have to describe our experience. Without words we could not communicate our ideas. Words give ideas and concepts meaning. Without meaning we are lost.
    Can you give me an explanation of the word "meaning," so that I understand exactly what you mean?
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    17 Aug '07 00:52
    Originally posted by vistesd
    There is a bedrock in terms of our experience of reality
    And this bedrock is just—experiencing, without thoughts or mental representations of any kind—this, now, including ourselves in and of it. (The conceptual boundaries separating us from it disappear.)
    There is a bedrock in terms of our experience of reality

    Is there?

    And this bedrock is just—experiencing, without thoughts or mental representations of any kind—this, now, including ourselves in and of it. (The conceptual boundaries separating us from it disappear.)

    Why does this simple experience always motivate someone to formulate articles of faith to which others are encouraged to adhere, but which are difficult to derive from just the experience itself?

    And this is what gets me about Christian contemplative prayer vs Buddhist, Hindu or any other meditation. . . . how do you know which it is unless someone tells you...or you tell them!
  9. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    17 Aug '07 07:54
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Too, too many words! (My own long-standing folly!) Get to the bedrock. Spend time there. Then you will know the real from the “about”—and can talk about the about all you want.
    Frolic until sunset.
    (Come in if it gets wet).
  10. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    17 Aug '07 08:11
    Originally posted by josephw
    "Names cannot define or circumscribe it."

    But words are all we have to describe our experience. Without words we could not communicate our ideas. Words give ideas and concepts meaning. Without meaning we are lost.
    Or, language produces meaning in a given social context, beyond which it cannot point, although you might set up a big sign that says BEDROCK.
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    17 Aug '07 08:24
    This 'bedrock' stuff is all a bit too deep for me but it sounds rather like science.
    Science is mostly about finding models that accurately model reality but people (including scientists) often forget that the model is not reality and even have major problems coming to terms with the difference. For example many of us see the world through the eyes of Newtonian mechanics, yet that is just a model. Einsteins General Relativity is a better model but still just a model. At the microscopic scale we find that Quantum mechanics is an even better model than General Relativity. But reality? Nobody actually knows what that is, only that it seems to behave similarly to our models.
  12. Hmmm . . .
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    17 Aug '07 16:25
    Originally posted by Sepia Tint
    [b]There is a bedrock in terms of our experience of reality

    Is there?

    And this bedrock is just—experiencing, without thoughts or mental representations of any kind—this, now, including ourselves in and of it. (The conceptual boundaries separating us from it disappear.)

    Why does this simple experience always motiva ...[text shortened]... other meditation. . . . how do you know which it is unless someone tells you...or you tell them![/b]
    Is there?

    Seems to be. If you can get beyond it . . .

    Why does this simple experience always motivate someone to formulate articles of faith to which others are encouraged to adhere, but which are difficult to derive from just the experience itself?

    I don’t know. But that is just the point. Also, although it may be simple and natural and basic, a whole lot of people seem to go to a whole lot of effort to avoid it . . .
  13. Hmmm . . .
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    17 Aug '07 16:34
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    This 'bedrock' stuff is all a bit too deep for me but it sounds rather like science.
    Science is mostly about finding models that accurately model reality but people (including scientists) often forget that the model is not reality and even have major problems coming to terms with the difference. For example many of us see the world through the eyes of Ne ...[text shortened]... ity? Nobody actually knows what that is, only that it seems to behave similarly to our models.
    I am talking about simple clear awareness before any thinking about it, adding any concepts. (I am not talking about before simple sense perception.)

    Acutally, the experiment here is to see if I can say anything without using the word--Zen. (And without conjuring up any Buddhist metaphysics, as opposed to somebody else's.)

    But since I've now used the word, the Zen response to Sepia's question would be: "Don't make anything out of it!"

    Science is mostly about finding models that accurately model reality but people (including scientists) often forget that the model is not reality and even have major problems coming to terms with the difference.

    Precisely; religion and philosophy as well.
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    17 Aug '07 23:09
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Can you give me an explanation of the word "meaning," so that I understand exactly what you mean?
    You know what I mean, and I know what you mean.
    If words have no meaning then we may as well shut up.
    I know what I know. Which is very little. I also know that some of what I think I know may be wrong, and often is. But I'm not walking around in a fog either. At least not all the time.

    What I don't understand is why, or how, you can ascribe to a philosophy of life where nothing has any meaning!

    I would love to hear your explanation.
    And perhaps I missed the whole point of your original post.
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    18 Aug '07 11:48
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I am talking about simple clear awareness before any thinking about it, adding any concepts. (I am not talking about before simple sense perception.)

    Acutally, the experiment here is to see if I can say anything without using the word--Zen. (And without conjuring up any Buddhist metaphysics, as opposed to somebody else's.)

    But since I've now used the ...[text shortened]... s coming to terms with the difference.


    Precisely; religion and philosophy as well.[/b]
    But if we are present to be concious of the reality does not that reality include us and our conceptualisations anyway? Is the bedrock but one element of this, "a moon in the marble" towards which the fingers of zen may point?
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