Individual Effort

I notice that when I express my experience to a companion it involves a much more intimate and authentic process than if  I am sitting down to capture  my reflections in writing. More specifically the act of connecting and communicating  in an intimate way with another seems to allow  for deeper insights than if I am attempting to illuminate  my reflections in writing. There is more of an abstract, subject – object shift  in that reflection and expression of it in the later. Its a more of an individual, mechanical – cerebral process that is introduced.

 It seems that many philosophers made wonderful insights but than seemed to become so caught up in the individual literal reflection and expression which took them into this  very abstract bifurcated process. At times they have become quite obsessive about their individual insights seeing them as ultimate and fixed revelations. These days  I am more and more aware that this kind of individual effort is limited. It loses, or is missing something of which it is inseparable from.

Humans are involved in an ongong search and have come to some conclusions about how we might best come to know ourselves. From  this tendency to abstract our experience it is possible that human kind has come to accept  a modernized mind-body dualism grasping of  our immutable human condition that is quite possibly just another historically determined understanding; one of many possible. My experience has led me to realize that finding out who we really are doesn’t come in words, but only as an intimate experience, an awakening.

Rabindranath Tagore wrote “Listen, my heart, to the whispering of the world. That is how it makes love to you.”

3 thoughts on “Individual Effort

  1. I sometimes ask myself if I become too hung up on particular insights as you describe. Something may seem to be the key to everything, but then you have to think : “That thing may be true, but many other things are true as well.” An approach that appeals to me is that which I believe is central to the school of pragmatism, and that is to view practical usefulness as the test for the truth of an idea. It is easy to get lost in trying to give some all-encompassing expression to the ineffable, but is it useful? By contrast you might test your ideas by asking : “Does this idea help me with a practical challenge? How does this idea make me feel? Is there an advantage in feeling this way? Does feeling this way help me to perform the tasks I need to perform? Does it improve my relationship with another person or with people in general?” These are things we can usually grasp and may suggest a path toward a better life, even if we can never be sure what is true in some ultimate cosmic sense.

    • Pragmatism makes sense. I really appreciate the writings of William James, Don Cupitt and the American Phenomenologist Richard Rorty. Pragmatism seems to be very grounded in awareness and reflection.

      • I should try to get around to reading some of Don Cupitt and Richard Rorty. I’m not sure if I’ve heard of them before. I read William James’ Varieties of Religious Experience but I haven’t read his writings specifically on pragmatism.

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