Knowledge, viewed differently
By John Dorsey Wolf
The question in my mind was: “Is the knowledge that I was receiving about reality from the same or related sources as Frank’s TGU.” It led to quite a journey on the nature of knowledge and how our assumptions about it are intimately tied with our assumptions about ourselves.
(From My Joint Mind:) “This particular discussion on knowledge flow begins to take apart structure, which never was there in the first place, except in your mind, and that is disconcerting. Disconcerting because as soon as that structure begins to dissipate, your concept of you dissipate with it.”
What follows is the best I can do after wrestling with the material for about a week now. It is imperfect yet I am beginning to appreciate the value we provide as we go to the mats with knowledge.
One way to look at knowledge is that it is obtainable, storable, recallable, reusable. One can think about the learned and the experienced, theory and practice, being able to be reduced to words, equations, which can eventually be stored in memory. This is consistent with the notion that we are separate physical entities and that all of our knowledge is able to be stored in our brains (or close to it, in our soul), and that people with exceptional brains are able to have exceptional knowledge. There is a memory bank associated with each of us and we can go to that memory and retrieve our knowledge. Some can do it better than others. Some are simply brighter and more capable than others. (We study Einstein’s brain for that reason.)
The smartest people study theoretical physics while the dunces drop out or go to trade school. We often closely associate individual value with a person’s ability to gain, express and utilize their knowledge.
In my question, I was attributing the source of knowledge to the “spigot” it came through (to use Rita’s analogy). Furthermore I was assuming that the knowledge I sought was known by somebody somewhere and it was simply a matter of locating the source, and of course (but not readily accomplished) being able to comprehend it.
Consistent with this model of us as physical units and knowledge as finite knowns (even if we don’t yet know it), we could look an example: climate change.
Climate change in this context is a phenomenon that is an outcome of our physical world (including our physical universe and all life within it, like us). In other words, climate change is a name applied to experienced phenomena. What came first was the physical world. Climate change is a phenomenon of that world we are experiencing. Even if we do not at the present time have all the knowledge about climate change, we believe it can be discovered, and eventually (if we don’t destroy ourselves first) we’ll figure it out. A combination of interest and capability and other factors, such as experience, of certain people enable them to be more expert on the subject than others. Also, since the knowledge is finite and known or knowable, it will eventually be determinable quite clearly who is “right” and who is “wrong” about climate change.
An Alternate Model of Knowledge
But I was introduced to an alternative way of looking at knowledge, in its broadest sense. In this alternate model, knowledge is broadly dispersed, is not contained or containable, is formless, and furthermore is alive.
We are not an independent isolated being, but a conglomeration of consciousness highly networked and able to experience certain kinds of knowledge, or combine certain kinds of knowledge. Our configuration and our “signature” that is formed through our choices become a unique mechanism for aggregating knowledge (not necessarily book knowledge). We are like a magnet to that knowledge. Whether we flow through it by reading, or by listening to other people, or by “thinking it up ourselves” we collect knowledge, bring it into our sensory process, put it through our perception, and as a result it now exists in a different form. It does not reside within us and we don’t own it.
Knowledge may be aggregated and processed by different aspects of consciousness, but even as its processed it is inevitably modified. Therefore it is, like all consciousness, ever changing.
In this model, the idea or concept of climate change exists before its physical expression. Not only that, a purpose of its physical expression (remember not just in our version of the world) is to focus on it in space-time and bring an understanding of it through numerous humans. Some humans will have a constitution that will naturally drive them to a strong interest and personal investment in the subject, further expanding their abilities to comprehend information that appears opaque to others. Part of their purpose is to help all consciousness gain knowledge about climate change. Humans configured such, together with the expressed physical phenomena bring form to what was heretofore formless: a thought of climate change.
Knowledge on climate is not a given, static box or RAM of information, being gradually unveiled to people as they become more able to comprehend it. Knowledge on climate is alive, progressing, and uncontainable within any given sub-mind.
Looking at climate change and our role from this second point of view would indicate that it is not our job to avoid it, but to experience it. We do have choices. No matter what our choices are, other choices will be experienced in other versions of our world, and greater consciousness will benefit and be changed by the total knowledge gained.
How we choose to be determines how we will perceive the information and the experience. We are not meant to all agree on a single set of “correct” knowledge on any subject. We can decide on such, or agree to compromise on our differences. If we are simply true to ourselves, we will acquire all possible “versions” of knowledge, just as we contribute to our share of all possible expressions of consciousness.
- Our soul/body/brain (not meant to be limiting) acts as a node in a vast network and its nature determines the flow it senses, translates and experiences. Or another way of looking at it, we have a (unique and changing) signature, and that signature provides our attraction to certain aspects of the network or field. Thoughts and experiences flow as a result (either we flow through them, or they flow through us).
- We are not static in any sense and our place in the stream is quite variable, based on awareness, previous experience, beliefs, …
- The information flows naturally when there is intent, desire, openness, but there needs to be a “readiness” that will allow it to be comprehended. Picture knowledge as an instantaneous demand flow instead of data held in a RAM.
- If may flow “through” one or more of our strands, or it may arrive in an even less attributable way: it’s just there, and it came from somewhere. Or it may flow to us via others or via material produced by others.
- Knowledge is alive, and it self-aggregates when it is drawn together by the appropriate forces.
- Knowledge cannot be sensed or “obtained” by “us” without modifying the information itself, because our unique perspective is built into the sensing and discernment process and presents “our” view not only to “us” but it flows back into the information itself.
A society that only knows how to value “smart” people or people of external accomplishment (whether it is sports professionals, musicians, writers, artists, scholars, etc.), is a society that is blind to most of the value of life. We are blind to the network of thought and being that is brought together to enable living and we are blind to the progression of the greater mind made possible through that same living.
The message is have reverence for all life, even if we don’t understand it.