Escape From The Percept/Product Box

IN HELD TWAS IN I–At a time like this, which exists maybe only for me, but is nonetheless real, if I can communicate, and in the telling and the bearing of my soul anything is gained, even though the words which I use are pretentious and make you cringe with embarrassment, let me remind you of the pilgrim who asked for an audience with the Dalai Lama. He was told he must first spend five years in contemplation. After the five years, he was ushered into the Dalai Lama’s presence, who said, ‘Well, my son, what do you wish to know?’ So the pilgrim said, ‘I wish to know the meaning of life, father.’ And the Dalai Lama smiled and said, ‘Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn’t it?’

If I Am To Find Percept/Product Free Consciousness, I Will
Find It In The Grasping Act Of Comprehension

Keaau Beach

June ‘73

Moving forward through consciousness means moving along the
percept/product continuum, a journey that is bound to leave a
sensitive person unfulfilled and unsatisfied. It is a journey devoid
of authenticity– one man’s percept is another man’s product. Truth
here becomes just another word for fabrication, which in turn,
consists of means, mode and end. Interpretation is the means,
percept/product, the mode, and relativity the end. If I want more out
of consciousness, I must move in a different direction–but how?

Strange! I feel like Descartes must have felt when he ended his
meditations with the realization that existence exists; that is, with
his “cogitio ergo sum,” which was the same thing. How could it be any
different? How could anything be questioned unless a questioning
subject existed? Essentially, Descartes turned existence on its head
when he concluded: I doubt, therefore I exist. That seems to be
where I am at right now. If there are answers outside of the
percept/product continuum, then those answers must not be a product of anything. Products lie inside the continuum. As a “product,” the percept/product continuum is always ahead of me. But, I am in the act of grasping, of comprehension, before I comprehend anything. If I am to find a consciousness that is percept/product free, I suspect I will
find it in this “act of grasping,” in this “act” of comprehension. I
must therefore, if I am to acquire this consciousness, stop moving
forward in consciousness, and instead, move in full retreat.

Before the answer, there is the question. Before the question, there
is mere possibility. Something is responsible for the percept/product
world, the world we live in (quantum mechanics suggests an answer to
this question, but that is a conversation for another time). Existing as
mere possibility, I become/became that something. Whatever mere possibility is, I am the “engine that realizes the product.” I am the possibility that carries forward the percept/product continuum–as the product of the percept!

Thrown into the world, I become the world. I am inseparable from the
world, but, simultaneously, the world ceases to be “my world” as I
cease to “be me.” In the world, clouds, trees, flowers, and campfires,
all the “things of the world,” are perceptions given to me as I give
myself to them. Together we are, and separate, we are not. My
subjective consciousness, in this respect, becomes objective. All
“objects of consciousness,” in this way, participate in the
percept/product continuum.

Because, “I am not what I am, and I am what I am not,” I can conclude
that I am both “not-me and me,” simultaneously. This is certainly a
strange statement. But, I believe, it is a true statement. It’s as if
I had just stepped across the threshold into Alice’s “looking glass
world.” Over there, or should I say over here, through the glass, the
faster I run toward something, the farther away from it I get. In this
place, it becomes impossible to know anything about what’s “really
real.” Identity per se is fraudulent. In this world, “being my
possibilities,” is the closest I can get to “being me.” Once I
actually become something, I am forced to be something, or someone,
other than who I am. So there it is– whatever it is. “Consciousness is
a slippery and strange fella,” indeed.

Given that I have come so far without really going anywhere, I want to
conclude with a few brief speculations. If I am not myself, if I am
something other than myself, where am I? Will I ever attain myself?
“Being what I am not” is not a very pleasant experience. It makes more sense to say I am already dead. Perhaps, I will become myself when I die. Perhaps, I am dead already. That makes more sense than to call self, not-self, and not-self, self. What is life anyway, except “a
waiting for death?” Life is so unstable and consuming. At least death
is logical. Everything is satisfied, at rest, “being what it is,”
instead of what it is not. Perhaps, life is really death, and death is
really life. That makes more sense, except, why would life have death,
if death were really life? Why would you die into life? I don’t know. (Stay tuned, I answer these questions in the end.)

In a nuclear holocaust, the percept/product is pushed to its limit, —
absurdity (nuclear holocaust) is the result. Absurdity also results when
you do an about-face and move in the opposite direction.
Perhaps, this is all part of an infinitely large whole, and we are an
infinitesimally small part of that whole. Perhaps, our consciousness
is at a transitional stage in its evolution, and something will eventually
push it into a higher plane of consciousness, where we will finally understand why we are what we are not. Perhaps, death is an incomprehensible part of the whole, and sooner or later, we will evolve into more than the sum of our parts. Absurd? I do not know! At least, here, in this world, we can still have another cup of tea, or was it Treacle? I’m not sure anymore!


About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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3 Responses to Escape From The Percept/Product Box

  1. suitablefish says:

    Thanks for sharing your journey toward
    I’m wondering how far you’ve traveled since June ’73. Did you find it was in the ‘grasping act of comprehension’, or in opening the hand and letting go?

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      I’m blogging my ’77 bicycle trip now and after that I went on a west coast trip (’80) and another trip back to the Canadian Maritime Provinces (’82). I got married in ’85 and family life took over after that (a boy now 22 and girl 24). As for the second part of your question, somewhere around ’81 I made a leap of comprehension which occurred as an act of grasping (but only after many years of struggle–as suggested by some of my blog posts). Anyway, the url below will take you to an old blog post (I’m not very computer literate and my old blog is an an example of that struggle) which describes a bit of that act of comprehension. The bottom line in all this–is that self-awareness/human consciousness must be understood as an evolutionary result the Divinity that makes Consciousness and Evolution possible. Take care.

  2. bwinwnbwi says:

    Before the answer there is the question. Before the question there is mere possibility.

    In 1922, Werner Heisenberg, as a student, asked his professor and friend-to-be, Niels Bohr, “If the inner structure of the atom is as closed to descriptive accounts as you say, if we really lack a language for dealing with it, how can we ever hope to understand atoms?” Bohr hesitated for a moment and then said, “I think we may yet be able to do so. But in the process we may have to learn what the word `understanding’ really means.”

    “Time of mind” or discontinuity occurring in continuity (b~b~bb), in any final sense, cannot become conscious of itself because it carries within itself a rift of nothingness that negates. Without this nothingness our capacity for questioning (and logic) would not/could not exist. At the depths of the physical universe where everything is broken up into discreet bits, where behavior exists in a discontinuous, indeterminate, and non-local way, we also discover a rift of nothingness (~~b). This nothingness, the nothingness that separates/connects particles to waves, the nothingness that links different regions of space together (where the entangled particles are), is also the nothingness (~~b) that permits/births cosmos, nature, and the logic that we use to understand cause/effect (classical theory) and you and me.

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