Despised Philosophy

Philosophy -- meaning a love of knowing -- has poor repute in many circles of Western and some Eastern cultures. It is not that many people have strong convictions counter to this or that philosophy. Philosophy itself, in some minds, is abhorrent.

Of course, this invites philosophers (anyone who loves knowing) into various forms of resistance such as sarcasm, artistic caricatures (such as the theatre of the absurd, or Orwell's 1984 or diatribes against resisted categories (philistines, Luddites, bourgeoisie, Babbitts, wogs of all shapes). Unfortunately, railing against such identities is a pratfall into a slick Heffalump trap. Ask one who has been there.

It is interesting, instead, to seek a loving tolerance of the identity (or identities) which despise philosophy, and to see what they are about. Within the limits of such an identity categorically and vehemently opposed to knowing there must be other concerns which in some way are threatened, or at least disturbed or derailed, by an occupation with knowing.

One reason is that knowing (for better or for worse) in this universe is achieved through the assimilation of data Data itself is of course a curse to many people. One reason is that a collection of buried confusions exists in every mind connected with words, symbols and other communications which have been misunderstood by oneself, or used by oneself and misunderstood by others. Since this is anathema to consciousness, these piles of created "it's there and it's incomprehensible" can add up to a zone of mystery with a lot of upset behind it.

Totally aside from misunderstood communications, another reason for detesting data exists in the nature of the beast.

Regardless of the forms, assertions, obsessions, reactions, emotions that make up the mask of identity, there is at the core of every particle of one's make up a tranquil, lucid light of direct experience and knowing. Under the mountains of electronics and information a cool wellspring of simple feel and know can be found which is the most intimate level of existence in this universe. It knows without hearing, sees without form, perceives without sensory channel, and understands without information. Here is the core of identity from within, as well as the Source of identity from without. From this zone, within and without are minor issues.

But from this source, data is an insult as well as an embarrassment. It is an insult because it proposes the encapsulation of knowing in a little form, as though this tiny crutch were necessary. "Let these little tiny symbols do the work for you" is perhaps similar to offering a spelling helper booklet to a Rhodes scholar, or a plastic lawn ornament to Frank Lloyd Wright. It is to snort! Data insult Knowing, and philosophy is insufferable because at some level one Knows already.

Embarrassing, too -- because these little crutches remind us that we have abandoned our own crystal wellspring so often that we have fouled our own nests with false and artificial structures. It is the embarrassment of discussing mathematics with a college graduate who secretly got through it all using a hand calculator. He'll try to shift the discussion somewhere else. Discussing a boxer's triumph when he rigged the match, or talking about justice to a judge on the take -- embarrassing. We all have the same secret, though -- there is not one among us who has not compromised his own clarity with these little packages called symbols and information. So a certain amount of reaction can be expected against the love of knowledge practiced through data (as in the reading of this book). The reaction is against being reminded of one's own power once one has sold it out. The Knower within does not like to be reminded of himself.

These reactions combine with a third factor, the resistance to change. In the maelstrom of experience, consciousness can identify itself so hard with an identity that it won't let go. In doing so it can perceive (from this identity) that the best solution to a tight spot is to just hold tight and not change for anything or anyone. This usually happens when too much change has been forced on the identity (because the identity wasn't doing it, after all). So one digs in one's heels and says "No more change!" "I's staying as I IS! no matter what!". And of course philosophy of any quality leads one directly to noticing that life is change, and one cannot really stand in the same river twice. How insufferable! Get it out of here!

Finally, there is a fourth reason to despise philosophy. It is the set task of an identity preoccupied with the belief that it must accomplish something which has not yet occurred.

This dual creation (must have it but don't have it) locks consciousness into the center of it until one or the other side (or both) gives way. So the housewife who is furiously trying to balance the family budget while planning college for her three young will not entertain much in the way of philosophical information while she is in the middle of that task. In other words, philosophy has no use to her. This is only true because she has abandoned certain levels of consciousness which are represented by philosophical data, and is creating the difficulty of her task with at least as much energy as she is creating her desire for its completion. The whole thing could become a lot less serious if a good dose of loving knowing were added in. But she can't love knowing while she is busy knowing what she knows about how hard this task is, and how necessary.

The remedy is the discovery of the creation existent within almost all identities of the purpose to know and to help others know. If that can be rekindled, these rugged boulders of resistance melt rather suddenly, swept away by the lucid wellspring that suddenly breaks loose from within. It cannot always be tapped but in many cases it can. When it can a remarkable reversal occurs.

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