News
 International
   Global Views
   Asia-Pacific
   America
   Europe
   Middle East & Africa
 National
 Embassy News
 Arts & Living
 Business
 Travel & Hotel
 Medical Tourism New
 Taekwondo
 Media
 Letters to Editor
 Photo Gallery
 News Media Link
 TV Schedule Link
 News English
 Life
 Hospitals & Clinics
 Flea Market
 Moving & Packaging
 Religious Service
 Korean Classes
 Korean Weather
 Housing
 Real Estate
 Home Stay
 Room Mate
 Job
 English Teaching
 Translation/Writing
 Job Offered/Wanted
 Business
 Hotel Lounge
 Foreign Exchanges
 Korean Stock
 Business Center
 PR & Ads
 Entertainment
 Arts & Performances
 Restaurants & Bars
 Tour & Travel
 Shopping Guide
 Community
 Foreign Missions
 Community Groups
 PenPal/Friendship
 Volunteers
 Foreign Workers
 Useful Services
 ST Banner Exchange
  America
Meditations
Narratives or Insight?
By Martin LeFevre
Contributing Writer
Grand Canyon, located in northwestern Arizona, the United States

Philosophical claims urgently need to give way to essential questions. Is direct perception possible, and is it the wellspring of the psychological revolution vital to change the increasingly disastrous course of man?

The commonplace idea that all experience is mediated by previous experience, by the memories, images and ‘narratives’ that we bring from the past to the present, requires radical questioning. Legions of mediocre thinkers echo some version of the following claim.

“Nobody is seeing reality as it is … what we’re actually perceiving is a bunch of mental stories we’ve formed about the world based on information we’ve taken in through highly distorted perceptual filters based on our conditioning, biases and cognitive habits.”

Even if that’s true 99% of the time for 99% of people, the one percent of exceptions disproves the assertion, and holds the possibility of unmediated perception. For example, when one sees the Grand Canyon for the first time, the mind is shocked into stillness. Thought has no words, no images, and no ‘stories’ with which it reacts to the overwhelming sight of being confronted with such immense space, time and beauty.

Of course there are people, like the ones who came up behind me when I first set eyes on the Grand Canyon, who immediately say, “Ok we’ve seen it, now let’s go to lunch.” But they are the walking dead.

So we have to be very leery of self-fulfilling statements such as, “Nobody is ever experiencing objective reality, they’re only ever experiencing the inside of their own highly conditioned and totally unique tunnel through which whatever reality might happen to be is perceived.” Such a verdict on human beings manages to be separative, dogmatic and misanthropic at the same time.

It doesn’t help to then say, “Humans have the potential to become a conscious species that is no longer dominated by mental narrative.” Which is it?

The question of narratives, and how “dominators manipulate them” is an important one. But far more important is the underlying question of whether the entire edifice of thought can yield to direct perception and insight on a daily basis.

The intensifying ecological and psychological crisis has been wrought by symbolic thought, not by the ‘dominators’ of narratives. Of course as things stand, there is a war of narratives, in America and worldwide, which the news-as-entertainment media, and online platforms with their algorithms are only too willing to exploit.

So the question is not just, can we free ourselves from those who control the narratives, but can we free ourselves from the narratives that thought generates, indeed, from the domination of thought itself?

The ‘us vs. them’ mindset is very strong, but it is divisive and destructive, whether it has no basis in reality — “Democrats are baby-blood drinking pedophiles!” — or in reality — “clever dominators who have the money and power to control what the dominant stories are about what’s happening in the world.”

It’s necessary for a human being to stand against injustice, but it’s deeply false for a human being to think, speak and act in terms of ‘them,’ an enemy.

Ideas and ideals kill both the spirit and people. During a war, a nation is united by a single idea: defeat the enemy. After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, nearly all Americans marched in lock step behind the idea of defeating the ‘Japs,’ motivated by nationalistic hatred. To this day people justify the atomic bombing of two Japanese cities, killing tens of thousands of civilians, with the attack on the military base at Pearl Harbor, which killed less than five thousand soldiers.

In a more current and continuing example of ideas and narratives running amuck, the power and evil that flowed through George Bush Jr. declared a “global war on terror” after 9.11 that turned a terroristic horror into a plethora of horrors in the first quarter of the 21st century.

The waking nightmare of warring narratives is based on the confusion between ideas (and ideals) and insights. Opening the space within and between the individual for direct perception is the cornerstone for a global society founded on living human beings rather than dead humans.

So what is insight? Insight is the pre-verbal, pre-conceptual flash of fresh awareness in the present. In science, a new insight is formulated into knowledge. In living however, turning insights into ideas or knowledge destroys our capacity for insight.

An idea is a conception previously arrived at and carried over from the past. Functionally, ideas are obviously necessary for building a bridge or a house. But making ideas and images primary, and viewing the world through them (the building material of narratives) denies understanding, harmony and genuine cooperation.

Insight is a living thing, whether it’s altogether new, or recapitulated in the present through questioning and the challenge of what is.

Insight has a certain sound, like striking the right note on a musical instrument. Insights reverberate and are multi-dimensional, whereas ideas are flat and two-dimensional. Ideas and conceptualizations are the product of thought, while insight has its source beyond thought.

The moments of direct perception of what is, much less moments or states of insight, aren’t represented by words, images or mathematical equations because they are not mediated by symbols of any kind. The stillness of thought opens the door to mind beyond thought, and a radically different consciousness altogether.

Martin LeFevre



Related Articles
    Fluidity of Thought Is a Far Cry From ...
    Time Is Elastic, But Timelessness Is Fantastic
    Slaughter and War Spew from Time and Memory
    The Universe Is in a State of Meditation. Why ...
    Two Kinds of Metaphysical Movement?
    Resolve Contradictions, Revere Paradoxes
    The Human Brain Is Exapted for Insight
    Oppenheimer, and “I Am Become Death”
    Doing Philosophy In America
    Regarding Nihilism and Negation
    Providence, the End of Man, and the Emergence ...
    Awakening Intelligence Within
    Teilhard Got It Backwards
    Awakening a Proprioception of Thought
    Human Being Is Not a “Very Small Phenomenon”
    Finding False Comfort In Impermanence
    Has the Retreat Industry Contributed to Human ...
    Letter to a Friend about Meditation
    A Birthday Wish from America for Humanity on ...
    Our View of Nature Is the Cornerstone of Our ...
    Three Kinds of Singularity
    An Explanation, Though It Won’t Change the ...
    When Did Progressives Become Warmongers?
    AI’s Quantum Leap Demands a Quantum Leap in ...
    The Ending of Psychological Thought
    Concerning Discernment and Difference
    Mystical Experiencing Is Our Birthright
    AI, AI, AI, or I, I, I?
    What Is Art, and an Artist?
    Canaries in the Coal Mines of Consciousness
    Cosmic Pointlessness or Infinite Immanence?
    Cardinal Errors
    Concerning Stagnancy, Demography and Vitality
    Mind, Brain and Consciousness
    The State of Insight
    The Religious and Scientific Mind
    Q Craziness and Unaddressed Evil
    Localism Increases Fragmentation of Earth
    Collapsing the Distinction Doesn’t Resolve ...
    The Silence of Being
    Heightened Senses In Nature Opens the Door to ...
    The Inter-National Order Is Dead and Gone
    Polarization Isn’t the Problem
    Enlightenment Isn’t Personal
    Human Beings Can Meet This Moment
    Nagasaki and the Incorrigibility of Man
    There Is No Evolution of Consciousness
    Imagining ‘Umwelts’ Is Unnecessary
    Expansion or Negation of Self?
    Intelligent Life, Meditation and Transmutation
    The Source of Evil Is Not a Person or a Nation
    The Dialogue Buffet at the Death Café
    Higher Thought: Threshold and Impediment to ...
    Is Universality a Western Idea?
    What Is Your View of Human Nature?
    Defeating Evil Without Violence
    A Recipe For World War
    Beyond Thinking Machines
    There Is No Such Thing as "Personal ...
    Time Is a Tremendous Illusion
    Breakthrough Infection, or Inflection?
    Requiem for a Meditation Place
    Fragmentation and Wholeness
    Did Evolution Go Wrong With Man?
    The Urgent Indifference of Enlightenment
    Death Isn’t After Life; It’s Inseparable ...


Martin LeFevre, a contemplative, philosopher and writer in northern California, serves as a contributing writer for The Seoul Times. His "Meditations" explore and offer insights on spiritual, philosophical and political questions in the global society. LeFevre's philosophical thesis proposes a new theory of human nature. He welcomes dialogue. lefevremartin77@gmail.com

 

back

 

 

 

The Seoul Times, Shinheung-ro 36ga-gil 24-4, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea 04337 (ZC)
Office: 82-10-6606-6188 Email:seoultimes@gmail.com Publisher & Editor: Joseph Joh
Copyrights 2000 The Seoul Times Company  ST Banner Exchange