On the Tree of Knowledge we are taught to listen to words instead of looking at reality.
In essence we are cut off from our direct experience of life. 1
In my classes the biggest challenge is to cause the students to see. Unless the seeing comes with words, explanation, they can’t see.
See patterns, see the story behind a picture, see cause and effect, see similarity, see differences, see what they need to see to maneuver life.
Astute is a person who can see things for what they are without having to ask for help, explanation, etc.
The level of ability to actually see what is there, without reducing what is there to words, varies from person to person. It is trainable, but isn’t trained.
It ranges from not seeing anything through seeing the cliches all the way to being able to see what is there.
Much of what I teach, maybe most of what I teach needs you to see.
Expecting to see without first learning to see is what all people suffer from: it is like an affliction, a disease, that you are not even aware of. 2
I tell you to look, and you say: nothing there.
I ask you to notice, and you don’t know where to look, how to look.
I ask you to make sure you have reminders of what you wanted to do, and you have no idea what I am talking about.
It started for you early on. By the time you got into school, you have stopped looking, you have stopped seeing.
…And most of what is taught in school depends on your ability to see. Because seeing connections is what activates the brain connections.
Your ability to think depends on your ability to see. Causality, similarity, differences, correlation, effects… these are all thinking terms that come from seeing. Seeing with your eyes, or seeing with your “mind’s eyes”. 3
Hearing words is linear and doesn’t create those connections because the physical location of things. Daredevil didn’t listen to words to orient himself, he listened to noises and translated them to visual signals that showed him the relationships, the patterns, the world, reality.
If your relationship to reality is through words, then you don’t see the world. And you are lost. Your visual cortex may see, but you don’t know what it sees: it has come to send through only things that are attached to the words you use.
The expression that can be used about you is that you live in your head… but it is imprecise. A more precise way to say what is going on is that you live in words, not reality.
I am searching for methods to teach you to see… I hope I’ll find some.
Next I need to talk about words.
Because you live in the world of concepts, the world of descriptive words, you, unbeknown to you, on an other than conscious level, translate every word into concepts.
Concepts you learned. Concepts you hope describe life accurately.
They don’t. They actually cause you to not hear. Not feel. Not see. Not experience.
One of the concepts that has wreaked havoc on your life is called “belief”.
Belief is a concept.
In the world of concepts you bring in other concepts to help change your world.
Concepts are dead things. What is alive is what they attempt to stand in for.
Like a life size sex doll… standing in for a living breathing woman… it is useful because it doesn’t speak. It is useful because it doesn’t ask for anything, intimacy, or to be paid attention. So it is, in fact, useful. But it also only gives its owner one thing: the concept of companionship.
Whether you know it as that, or not, this is the world you live in. And life is full of discord. Because life is not made of concepts. Life is made of what the concepts are trying to reduce to some words.
And it real life, you are lost, irritated, frustrated, trying, manipulating, and it isn’t working.
Why? Because maneuvering life through concepts is not an effective way to live.
Your senses are given to you so you can track real life in real time, as it is happening, without words. Non-verbal.
The moment you name something, the name stands between you and reality and you have already stopped seeing, hearing, smelling, touching.
This is what Krishnamurti, Osho, and others talk about, but no one is getting it, because the examples they use don’t seem to be part of real life… the rose… the rose is the example they use most frequently. Or you can’t hear it… One or the other or both.
Words stand between you and seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, tasting.
It is said: you are eating the menu… meaning you can’t taste the food, your taste buds may taste, but YOU don’t taste.
You taste the concept… the menu.
The concept “they” and you call beliefs are words you say to yourself.
Beliefs cannot be changed, because there is no such thing as belief. Belief is a concept.
Trying to change a belief is like painting mustache on your reflection in the mirror. It didn’t happen on your face… only on the reflection.
A concept is the reflection of reality. A belief is a reflection of the reality you saying something to yourself.
When you want to alter something, you need to deal with the thing itself, not its concept or its reflection.
But before you can alter anything, you need to see it, hear it, taste it, smell it… as it is.
“They” talk about being present, being in the moment, but as concepts, they are useless.
A deer grazing in the meadow is present. Present to the grass. Present to the noises he hears.
His life depends on his awareness. If he were translating it all to concepts, it would not live long…
Awareness, not full awareness, but a ready awareness where what you see, what you hear, what you smell, what you sense can be brought up, in an instance, to the conscious area of your awareness, is what we call awareness, the awareness that is the best predictor of your chances for survival, and success.
Success in life.
The enemy of awareness is concepts. Shadow play.
Calling your internal conversation “belief” is shadow play.
One of the assignments I gave to my students in the Upset course is to document their internal conversations for a week.
I am almost certain that this is the hardest assignment and only a few will even understand what they are supposed to do. Not because they are dumb, but this may be the first time they are asked to actually listen to what they are saying to themselves, word by word, instead of talking about them, in concepts.
You, I, all humans have internal conversations with ourselves. We say things. Out loud or inside.
But when anyone asks you about that, you can’t say what you said, you immediately translate it into a concept. Life you translate the rose… One word, no power.
I’ve heard a story about a kid, ok, young man, who wanted to live in the wild. He traveled to Alaska and four months later he was dead.
Why? Because he was in Alaska the concept, wild the concept, crossed the river the concept, etc.
He noticed nothing, was aware of nothing, had no ability to be with and see things for what they are.
Factually he died because the river he crossed when it was still cold, became a raging torrent from the melting snow, and he was cut off from civilization. He starved to death.
His story is your story… living the conceptual life battling concepts with concepts leave you high and dry. No love, no harmony, no fulfillment, no enjoyment, none of the things you’d like are possible.
You may repeat affirmations (concepts!) but they don’t work. You may go to “belief changing seminars” where they work with concepts…
In real life you can be happy, have love, love, enjoyment, fulfillment. But not in the world of concepts.
So, what do I recommend?
I’d recommend that you come off the Tree of Knowledge, but you see, unless you learn to see, hear, smell, sense, without translators, you’ll do what the guy in Alaska did: die.
So I recommend that you learn to use your senses, catch the machine that wants to translate them, and know the difference. Have both for a while.
Be where you are, but bring awareness to your life. Not to the concepts, but to the things they attempt to replace.
PS: The problem with Krishnamurti or Osho wasn’t what they said. The problem is with the listener. It is always the listener who provides the power of a communication.
If the listener listens from concepts, and that is where 99.99% of humanity 4 listens from concepts, meaning that they don’t hear what you are saying, they only hear the concept words already in their heads. They were both professional speakers, not educators. So they did the best they could, and got the results they got: a big fat zero.
PPS: The more you are stuck on the Tree of Knowledge the less value you get from any book you read. Because the book is read through your concepts, no book gives you any access to improvement, to changing your mind, to learning anything new.
I am tearing my hair out, but at the same time I am grateful for this important learning. What I asked all my students to read is the Mindset book by Carol Dweck.
It is a book written in 60% “not concept” language. Meaning that 40% of it is actually using non-concept words that can help you turn yourself into a growth mindset learning machine.
Depending how invested you are in your conceptual living and experiencing life, you probably hear near 100% of what she says as concepts… concepts that don’t make a difference, concepts that cannot lead to learning, or a growth mindset.
This article will probably have the same fate. Only 7% of this article is written in concept language… Yet most readers will get what they have always gotten, the concepts their brain is trained to translate everything to.
Will I ever be able to make a difference? I have noticed that the students who do best in my programs that are Tree of Life based (all of them) are students for whom English is a second/third language, and students whose education level is so low, that they never built a concept-translation-system into their brains.
Because on the Tree of Life, the nonverbal tree, we are all very capable, and are able to act on our insights… that are non-conceptual.
- and become highly manipulated and manipulable. A friend of mine is a great fan of Trump. He never actually heard anything he said, all was filtered through words he already knew about him, confirming that he, Trump, is this great guy, this smart guy, this amazing guy who is going to make him (my friend) rich.
- This is the most important thing to learn from the Mindset book: that without learning, you have only what others want you to see. Nothing is innate.
- Blind people can see… not all but most.
- that means one in a million hears what they are actually saying!