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March 08, 2013


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The notion of ‘Those who say know not’ runs through many traditions. Some of the Sufi stories for example talk of not addressing people while ‘this thing’ is in you. I take this to mean that the ‘thing’ is the ego/mind, whose main objective is to promote the ‘I’ or ‘self’ structure – we all know many teachers (and students) who thrive on attention. And perhaps along with Bruce Hood and others who study the brain/mind know it to be an illusion (not what it seems). In this sense perhaps they (the Sufi) are quite happy to ‘say’, but only when the whole self/mind/brain is understood and does not get in the way.
In ‘Ask the Awakened’, Wei Wu Wei says that truth cannot be transmitted factually; it can only be called up by ‘appropriate indication’. This is similar to the Sufi who teaches through situations as they occur rather than explaining through, what to a student is just theory – so they tread carefully with them as it were. For example, I experienced a couple of dramatic episodes where thinking was in abeyance. On reflection it started me on the quest to discover who of what the thinker is, how it arises and so on – which is why I embrace (a sort of) meditation and find out how others in the field of science and mind studies are conveying these concepts.
But most of the people I know are not at all interested in these matters and it would be quite futile and inappropriate to start a conversation about ‘selves’ and the like. Only very rarely will someone perhaps in exasperation say something like ‘I don’t know – what’s it all about?’ and wants to talk a little. But usually they just seems to want some relief or distraction from the perpetual voice in their heads
I don’t have a problem with chatting with people on these issues but I think there may be a need to know what they really want to know and talk about – and its rarely the ‘real world’ as I understand it and that you quote from Alan Watts
". . . we carry on a perpetual interior conversation, because we are afraid that if that conversation were to cease, we too would cease. And, in a way, we would. So, the Taoists speak constantly of being thoughtless, of having an empty mind, so that one can communicate with the real world without distortion."
I think that sums up quite nicely my take on the matter in that people do not want the conservation to cease – and probably don’t really want to be disturbed.

I'm just arguing there's no way the Tao Te Ching can be used to bolster a belief that "Those who know, say not. Those that say, know not." Saying and not saying in Taoism are just two different things. Both valid. Both real. Both expressions of the same source.

Which is mysterious.

Tao te Ching, Section 56:
He who knows, does not not speak;
He who speaks does not know.
Fill up its apertures,
Close its doors,
Dull its edges,
Untie its tangles,
Soften its light,
Submerge its turmoil,
This is the Mystic Unity.

This is another translation ;

Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu - chapter 56

Those who know do not talk.
Those who talk do not know.

Keep your mouth closed.
Guard your senses.
Temper your sharpness.
Simplify your problems.
Mask your brightness.
Be at one with the dust of the earth.
This is primal union.

He who has achieved this state
Is unconcerned with friends and enemies,
With good and harm, with honour and disgrace.
This therefore is the highest state of man.

Thank you Mike. I needed to hear that. The Rat Race is full of traps and poison. Sometimes I wish I were just a single celled organism :-)

Hey The9thGate,

I still want to communicate with you buddy, Brian send my email address to him please. I've got some cool stuff i want to share with you.


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