The ancient Masters didnít try to educate the people,
but kindly taught then not to know.

When they think that they know the answers, people are difficult to guide.

When they know that they donít know, people can find their own way.

If you want to learn how to govern, avoid being clever or rich.

The simplest pattern is the clearest:

Content with an ordinary life, you can show all people the way back to their own true nature.

Tao te Ching

 

Dependences on codified knowledge Ė memory, text, digital - has supplanted our spontaneous creative nature. It  makes us distrustful of own body, instinct, insight, intuition, and nature. Our tragedy today is that even our needs, need to be taught. How

Our process of knowing and hence knowledge has undergone four fundamental cognitive shifts:

Experience as the means of knowing led to the experiential paradigm.

Memory as a source of knowledge led to the memorizing paradigm

Text as a source of knowledge led to the textual paradigm

And in our more recent history a new paradigm ha entered: the Illusional Paradigm.

Each shift has dramatically effected not only content of the knowledge but also the knower.

Every living being posses existential biological knowledge, the knowledge of nature, the ability to sustain life. Every organism is born with it. The human organism differs from other organisms insofar as it has codified it's complex language system into text. And with this tool he has effectively removed himself, lost himself in the maze, she has lost touch with her inner nature.  And is effectively in the process of destroying his host the earth.

 Every child is born with natural knowledge. Over and over again. The knowledge that reminds the human organism of its connection with nature.  Perhaps the knowledge that all living beings possess to lead a harmonious life.

The ancient Masters didnít try to educate the people,
but kindly taught then not to know.

When they think that they know the answers, people are difficult to guide.

When they know that they donít know, people can find their own way.

If you want to learn how to govern, avoid being clever or rich.

The simplest pattern is the clearest:

Content with an ordinary life, you can show all people the way back to their own true nature.

Tao te Ching

'Knowing' Paradigm 'Knowledge' Paradigm
Non-Codified Knowledge Codified Knowledge
 
 Natural knowledge is the result of a collaboration between people and their surroundings. Knowledge that has sustained the life on earth for centuries; knowledge that makes the coconut tree bend to access sunlight, or the hen find a place to lay her egg, or a human being find a way of communicating with language. We are all part and parcel of this knowledge, but it does not belong to us. The autonomy of the senses guides us to access this life sustaining knowledge. This is the knowledge of the experiential paradigm. Experience which is experienced through all our senses, all our being. It needs us to be fully awake and alert,  because this establishes our connection to  our world, the  inner and outer.
Our cognitive crisis begins with the misuse of memory.

There is the memory which is in our bones, which is is remembered unintentionally. Every natural action is informed by this memory. And language learned as a child naturally calls on this memory.

And then there is intentional memory, when something is memorized. Only rigid ritualistic rules are memorized. Religious texts, The Old Testament, the Koran, The Gospels.

The Vedas, the Upanishads again written but they had some possibility of re-knowing. For example Ramakrishna, who did not read came to the same point as the Vedas.

 

 In the course of time, text replaced memory. It released the burden of memorizing. From being an assistance to record experience, text replaced experience as the means of knowing.

In so doing text dropped all aspects of  knowledge that could not be textualised.

Text denotes the absence of the real. It removed the need for communication. It takes place in a past, removing the experience of the present. The senses cease to function in the absorbing act of the mind making sense of the word.

 Text also brought new experiences: like imagination, conceptualization. All these could happen in the textual world with no relation to concrete experience whatsoever. Text replaced the necessity of experience as belief or faith. Text became the authority.

 

The genesis of the digital paradigm has its roots in pictorial text - movies, television, and finally the computer. It was the popularization of television - sound and images - that accelerated the third paradigm.

Long forgotten words became popular again:

'intuition' comes back around this time. Textual cultures started addressing the fragmentation, alienation and rootless ness they found around them.

A spiritual crisis and spiritual exploration began in the west.

The rise of feminism. However the control was firmly masculine: intuition harnessed by reason; spirituality  within the scientific framework!!!

 

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Jinan, April 9th-2006.

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