Clinging and grasping LO2016
Mon, 10 Jul 95 14:41:52 GMT

Thinking about how emergent learning and personal growth can
sometimes be triggered by spontaneous or unsought awakening of
spiritual-psychic energies, and how the metaphorical constructs we use to
conceive of ourselves (ie as evolving systems attaining greater levels of
complexity) influence how we react to and assimilate such experiences,
brings me to considering the importance of the conception of self or ego
in this same process. It seems to me that people can get in the way of
their own learning when too much is at stake for their feelings of
self-worth. Pride and expectations stifle. A different take on the "I am
my position" problem.

For me, just as I understand that "eternal truths" are ultimately
unknowable, that theories are at best approximations, I consider the
feeling of a consolidated self or ego as illusory. Does clinging and
grasping at what one "knows" in order to create credibility in a
security-seeking world inhibit spiritual-psychic development?? Do people
"use" their knowledge to "construct" themselves?? How would one consider
oneself if this "knowledge" were suddenly stripped away?? (Hmm... crises
as triggers for transformation)

If we use the metaphorical construct of evolving systems attaining
greater levels of complexity to imagine ourselves, then, one, there are no
reference points. Our understanding is necessarily partial and
paradoxical. It, in a sense, can bring one intellectually to the point in
which one can "let go" and not fear losing control. Two, the path to
"understanding" is then through a mindful awareness of the processes in
the creation of one's self in a world, through developing one's compassion
and empathy.

To play on an analogy already mentioned, when walking into a
bookstore one doesn't create an angst for oneself when considering all the
books there are to read, since "knowledge" is based elsewhere. The
learning from books is transformed into a "playground of approximations".

From "The Embodied Mind" by Varela, Thompson, and Rosch,
describing the Buddhist viewpoint:
"It is no ground whatsoever; it cannot be grasped as ground,
reference point, or nest for a sense of ego. It does not exist - nor does
it not exist. It cannot be an object of mind or of the conceptualizing
process; it cannot be seen, heard, or thought - thus the many traditional
images for it: the sight of a blind man, a flower blooming in the sky.
When the conceptual mind tries to grasp it, it finds nothing, and so it
experiences it as emptiness. It can be known (and can only be known)
directly. It is called Buddha nature, no mind, primordial mind, absolute
bodhicitta, wisdom mind, warrior's mind, all goodness, great perfection,
that which cannot be fabricated by mind, naturalness. It is not a hair's
breadth different from the ordinary world; it is that very same ordinary,
conditional, impermanent, painful, groundless world experienced (known) as
the unconditional, supreme state. And the natural manifestation, the
embodiment, of this state is compassion - unconditional, fearless,
ruthless, spontaneous compassion. 'When the reasoning mind no longer
clings and grasps,... one awakens into the wisdom with which one was born,
and compassionate energy arises without pretense.'"

Comments??? Experiences??

	Jackie Mullen