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August 07, 2023


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>>Reflecting on life is different from directly experiencing life>>

This could be an sutra ....

attributing meaning
etc, ec. et. etc. on XXXXX is different from directly experimenting XXXXX

Being a chef, is something different then a guest at his table, an consumer ,or those that make their income on describing, commenting his dishes, in books, colums, journals and blogs.

What to say of those that spend their time READING what these bread readers produce witjout ever going to a restaurant themselves and trust their own capacity to taste and eat.

These two paragraphs in particular resonated with me: - “The existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre describes our experience as a perpetual transitioning between unreflective consciousness, "living-in-the-world," and reflective consciousness, "thinking-about-the-world."
And: - “Gratitude seems to necessitate a certain abstraction away from that direct experience. Paradoxically, our capacity for gratitude is simultaneously enhanced and frustrated as we strive to attain it.”

Can’t recall whether it was from a Sufi source or a Zen one but the emphasis was on ‘remembering’ similar to what Sarte refers to as ‘unreflective consciousness.’ When asked for his wisdom the teacher simply wrote the word “Attention.” The student said “Is that all?” The teacher wrote “Attention, attention.” And then when asked again he wrote “Attention, attention, attention.” The frustrated student said “What does attention mean?” The teacher replied “Attention means attention.”

I think attention or awareness is a key factor in what Brian refers to as: - “… simply attend to the life that's easy to find, because it's right in front of me.” And it would seem that paying attention links into gratitude. Not that one has to go around being grateful for everything, more to do with appreciating what’s appearing or happening around and (if thinking) within you at the moment.

Awareness is to notice what’s arising, whether it’s good or bad, happy or not, people walking by, the tree or pigeon, the bench etc. Apparently, just the act of noticing of being aware of everyday things mutates naturally into a sense or feeling of gratitude.

Yes, it’s difficult to be in what J. Krishnamurti referred to as ‘Choiceless Awareness’, maybe because our habits have become ones of distraction such as having our minds focused on the T.V., the mobile phone, various diversions – even our spiritual or religious practices can be methods that help to avoid present reality.

Which brings me around to ask why are we so unaware? Well, maybe because our lives are dictated by a self-structure that habitually acts from its programmed stock of information (the past) rather than what is happening in the present moment.

"(hey, I learned to read at a young age, and even comic books contain implicit philosophy)"

Yes, indeed you are right my perspicacious young padawan! These are 2 of my favourite books from the last decade or so, and I've never even had a prior interest in comic books:



and on this theme of reflecting vs. experiencing, theorizing vs. grounded wisdom, let's reflect on how far Sam Harris' star has fallen. Harris is currently the laughing stock of X for his ludicrous remarks.

After chasing gurus around India, Harris had the extreme good fortune of Hitchens his star to the rising new atheist movement of the 90s. Sam wrote a book or two bashing religion, and to be fair, he made some good points. However, at some point Harris decided he was an expert on not just religion but everything from sociology to foreign relations. Many, such as Joe Rogan, fell spellbound for Harris' turgid oratory and mistook it for brilliance. There's always been a lot of that going around.

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