In Context

Placing the thought presented here amongst the wider relatedness of thought.

  • The thought presented thus far has arisen through relationships between minds and thought systems just like any other, and before we conclude the nature of this relatedness  should be clarified.

One aspect of thought which is involved is descended in a system of relatedness from the Greek geniuses, through modern “Western” thought, and through the Wallace – Darwinian theory of evolution.

The other major component of thought represented here descends from the Eastern lineage of thought, including the Indian Shakyamuni Buddha (Buddhism), Advaita Vedanta thought, and from the Chinese Laozi (Taoism) .

The ideas regarding notions of connectedness between self and environment are directly descended from the Buddha’s notion of “interdependent co-arising”, the Advaita concept of “absence of duality”, and the Taoist understandings of “Yin Yang”.

The development of truthful thought is clearly a collaborative venture between the aspects of reality itself, extending across continents and back in time, in essentially irretrievable patterns, leaving us indebted to women and men we have no hope of knowing let alone thanking.

This writing therefor represents efforts towards the drawing of connection between the truthful understandings which exist within reality, focusing on those aspects of thought which very roughly speaking can be known as the “Eastern” and “Western” thought “lineages”.

As B. Alan Wallace points out, genius should statistically be expected to arise from one time and place to another and between populations whose cognitive profiles are essentially homogeneous. And these are all examples of such genius thought.

The quote “Every advance is accompanied by a retreat” drawn from Taoism for example appears to be a description of the manner in which the movement of an aspect of reality is accompanied by an accommodation to this movement by surrounding aspects of reality which is of absolute precision.

The Buddhist idea of “Interdependent co-arising” recognizes the dependence of the occurrence of any phenomena within reality upon everything else: “self” and “non self”; “mind” and “physical reality” are all considered inseparable aspects of one reality.

This understanding is probably best represented in modern times by the Vietnamese monk  Thich Nhat Hanh, and “The order of interbeing” which is the lineage he has created.

The understandings of this thought are partly conveyed by the following quotes: “The self is composed exclusively of non self elements.” And: “You are empty of a separate self”.

The problem with including the experience aspect of reality however is that it is one step removed from the reach of scientific processes, which makes it difficult for the “experience of non conflicted certainty” to be reliably and easily transferred between minds using scientific methods.

This is precisely why thought descended through the Greek lineage has largely excluded experience as subject matter.

(One of the recommendations of the Buddha however was not to take anyone’s word for anything regarding meditation experience, but to verify all results for one’s self. This is about as close as it is possible to come to scientific process where experience is concerned.)

The result is that these examples of Eastern genius have been grossly under characterized as “scientific”, and over characterized as “religious”.

“Modern truthful thought” must inevitably come to be understood as descended from all these lineages (as well as others).

As stated, the thought presented in this article in addition to connecting in a system of relatedness to the thought systems of evolution, also extend in a direct system of relatedness to these Eastern thought systems.

  • These Eastern thought systems also happen to assert that an experience of “oneness” with the universe is possible.

These experiences of “oneness” have nothing to do with time or space or abilities of mind. (Within this writing, abilities refer to evolved strategies of interaction between the “self”, and “everything else”.)

What is more, the patterns by which these “oneness” accounts occur throughout reality are not confined to these thought systems alone.

The manner in which such accounts occur between different locations, seemingly independent of culture and historical time period, and between minds which do not appear to have been in communication; and the startling similarity of such accounts may appeal to the logic of those who value scientific systems of thought.

As stated, evolution utilizes the relating processes of this single connected reality and operates by it. It did not therefor “evolve” relatedness. This suggests that the sense of “meaningfulness” which extends from “relatedness” is more fundamental than some truly “chance” evolutionary development.

This further suggests the possibility that any ability to experience a sense of “oneness” with reality is more fundamental than, and therefor may not stem from, the abilities of mind which are evolutionary in origin.

2013 Peter Sillifant

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