I’ve been munching over this one concept for a long, long time. I actually had some of it written at a wiki somewhere. I started this version as just a transcription of old notes, but then as i progressed it ended up changing a lot. So:
It is the subjective ME that can know things — every knowledge happens starting from the human.
I have no science nor faith, prophecy nor hope. I have only myself.
At first, there is no certainty nor doubt, but only the state of awareness/experience.
The experience can unfold in many ways. Amongst those, one is «knowledge». But before knowledge there is action. The state of awareness is an active state. The subjective being performs, does things — whether or not it has knowledge or understanding or desire.
The subject can act in many ways. Action extends towards future — action is reaching. How i act, how i decide to act?…
Decision: If the subject acts, it has a will. There is a pull. This will can come from inside or outside, it can be free or constrained, it can even be illusory. Either way, it is a pull. Loose or contained — who cares? We assume there is a pull, that the pull is part of the subject. Observing the pull is our operational definition for identifying subject.
Amongst the myriad forms of performing that the awareness shows, one is to explore, and amongst explorations there is this proto-question: What are the consequences of my acting?
Conceivably, every other variation of the pull of awareness could be explored, but now we shall explore this one. It is reflexive — it extends towards itself. It’s first consequence, the one thing it seems to bring up over and over again, is fixation: Difficulty to accept a changing of focus. A part of awareness holds too tight — it then becomes assumption. Assumption is something that awareness can’t question. Thus awareness arises at certainty — it holds on to parts of it’s own movement, it strangles a part of itself. We do not know whether this comes from the structure of awareness itself, but even then, awareness slowly abandons certainty, and keeps on exploring.
As we will see, this exploration leads to many unexpected twists and interesting opportunities, but it is very important to see this: It is the subject that acts, and it is the subject that explores, and it is the subject that becomes full of certainties, and it is the subject that abandons his certainties to arrive at knowledge.
To abandon certainty is not leaving assumption, but rather using assumption. Assumption is a difficult tool, a double-edged sword. Assumption at the same time blinds awareness and allows it to see differently.
Through exploring, awareness can now create differences of awareness. The subject can explore these differences — the subject thus creates perceptions and understandings and ideas.
And sometimes the subject might confront all his different forms of seeing. And many times the subject will fall back to his previous state, to his certainty, only now holding too tightly to one of these visions. And he will finally ask: Which is the one above all others? What certainty is the certainty i must have? What is the idea that is right? But from the perspective of the subject there is no answer to this question. The perceptions do have regularities and patterns, but those are still regularities inside a vision. Awareness can not know. Awareness must follow its pull, it cannot and it should not step out of itself to find higher certainties, for certainty only comes from within, and it must be overcome. All of awareness’ visions come from its explorations, they are consequences of it, properties of it. Certainty is just an action, and it is a hurtful action. I can not know what is the right certainty. There was action before the need for certainty, and action remains in spite of the absence of certainty.
Thus, again, the subject asks itself: How do i act, how do i decide to act? And then: What are the consequences of my actions?
In life, there is at least the purpose of remaining alive. But also purpose does have myriads of variations. The pull that moves the subject in his actions also moves the subject in his knowledge. Thus it is that knowledge is always a path for the subject, a way to follow his pull. And so is everything else. Nothing is good or bad, right or wrong, true or false — by itself. Instead, the subject can and must do the choosing.
Sometimes, all there is to it is a power struggle — sometimes the subject must either enforce his will or perish. Kill or be killed. Many, many other times, there are more interesting options. Paths to choose from. Opportunities to seize. Risks to explore. And amongst those, sometimes, knowledge can change the circumstance of possibilities that the subject experiences. Because knowledge allows the subject to see things in new ways, sometimes it allows awareness to find new paths. And the subject must choose to take those paths or not, exactly as he had to choose before he got knowledge — how will he act? And sometimes the new paths that he sees are good, sometimes they are in accordance with what awareness wills, but ultimately one can only know when one finally walks the walk, the subject only fulfils his experience through living it.
Awareness pulls towards the future. And still, awareness fears some of the forms that the future can take. And faced with the fear, again, the subject can fall back to certainty, to his unwillingness to let go, and then he can ask: How can i know the right path?
I can not know, but i can gamble.
When a subject holds a certainty, he is making a wager with the future. He is making a gamble. The certainties that the subject holds or releases change its future.
I do not know. I do not face certainties. I face risk, and i deal with it. It is not necessary to be right, it is not necessary that my certainties are processed and judged — there is no one at the end of things that will tell me whether my certainties were “in accordance”. The subject exists, and the awareness exists, and the action exists. If there is no other answer, this is already enough, this allows us to take our paths.
If the subject talks about the past, he can split his past certainties between those that it now thinks were good bets and bad bets, and fear and certainty can yet again cause the subject to believe that some of his bets were true and perfect and immutable — but in the present knowledge remains a gamble.
But some bets are better than others.
If you have seen again and again a crooked dice thrown and it gives 6 half of the time, you might put your bet on 6, but it is still a bet. A coin flip is better than a dice, but they are both uncertain.
And it all follows the subjects’ pull. It is the will that orients action. Thus it is the will that orients knowledge.
And we shall explore in turn this relation between knowledge and will — for just like assumption it is a double edged sword, or maybe we should say that the same trap of assumption threatens the subject here. It is not will that determines knowledge, like if knowledge was a painting and will its painter. The fanciful thinking that instead of seeing just wishes, instead of perceiving produces feeble constructs of useless discourse, this is the same action as when awareness can’t let go. Fanciful thinking is assumption, not knowledge. Fanciful thinking is not the production of too much will, but just the opposite — fanciful thinking it the knowledge of a will that has become feeble and fragile. Fanciful thinking is a will that has ceased to explore.
My knowledge is the one that makes me stronger.
So when awareness explores it also creates, and this creation is also a proposal, and this proposal is also a gamble. And some gambles can undo the subject, and some gambles can open whole new dimensions of existence. For we see that knowledge does have some properties that are good for the subject, that further its pull, that make the subject stronger.
The best knowledge is the one that makes the will stronger. But in that respect knowledge works differently than other things — the best is not the one that serves will, but the one that feeds will. And there are many forms of knowledge and we must choose and chase different forms of knowledge, and the best knowledge we call it relevant knowledge.
How does knowledge work? What are the its properties? Which opportunities does it create?
- As knowledge is reflexive, knowledge can produce itself, and thus knowledge can explode, knowledge can be exponential.
- As knowledge is exponential, knowledge can embrace difference, and thus knowledge can be farseeing.
- Thus knowledge attracts patterns. Knowledge traps variety. And thus knowledge fosters complexity.
- And knowledge, as it is exponential and complexifying, it can diminish the amount of policy it imposes — knowledge can make the details less important.
- And this means that knowledge can create abstraction.
To create abstraction means that awareness must diminish the importance of its own limits. The limits of knowledge come from assumption. Assumption means holding too tight. But without holding, awareness falls. Thus abstraction proceeds from recreating assumption — creating assumptions that allow more movement. This is different from fighting untruth or cutting bias.
This process is extremely difficult. The reason that it is extremely difficult is that awareness cannot know its assumptions because the assumptions are what it cannot know. The enhancement of knowledge is not an innocent collection of data, but instead risky and puzzling self-exploring.
Data is the result of exploring, but it is not enough. A collection of data does not produce knowledge. And too much data dumbs knowledge down, it requires effort and thus it punishes abstraction. And what’s more — data is infinite. You could extract from a single grain of sand more data than you could parse in a lifetime. Data is important, but it is no more than a baseline of knowledge.
In the end, knowledge becomes so much a part of the awareness that it is not possible to split them anymore. Knowledge ends up defining who you are. This goes deep, and it works in ways very different from what school or science try to assert knowledge to be. To understand, it is necessary to think of knowledge in a broader way.
Knowledge is a difficult tool. It frees and enslaves. In the path towards abstraction, towards freedom, we make our bones and our references with knowledge. We create our own structure with knowledge. Thus our knowledge becomes who we are.
To think is not the idle exercise of finding test scores that have been made in spite of you, it is not a search for answers that would be the same whether or not you existed. Knowledge is not an impersonal structure that exists by itself. Abstraction is nothing but life itself.
To think is to become. To think is to create. To think is to gamble ourselves into freedom.
I AM ALL IN
Arf! This took a lot of effort to write. I know it ended up too grandiloquent and more than a little “genetic” (as in sounding like the bible’s genesis), but i was almost bored to death by writing it like that, imagine if i had tried for a “serious” approach…
Also, the terribly low level of my critics (do i even have any) bogs me down: It turns out i did spell out a lot of what would follow very naturally by simply unleashing those ideas merrily upon our imaginations, just because their bias of proximity blinds them to my real ideas. I shouldn’t be surprised, really: Communication is impossible.
Anyway, after some playing with that, some pressure points should become very apparent in the popular (as in “belonging to this dirty mob”) sub-philosophy that lies all around us. That should show you for example why people insist in prefer Matrix 1. Or the terrible mess caused by the incapability of perceiving the utter flaw of the idea of truth. Or, dumbness of dumbness, (straight from the ones who should be brightest), the childishness of the folly of “simple truth”.
It’s of concern how much we trap our own most-intelligent sons and peers into a soup of fear-driven certainty-seeking gibberish. We shield them from their own doubts, and teach them that rationalizing means being smart. School fills me with doom: Fear, fear, fear is all they’ve got.
I might at some time write a serious-sounding version of that as a proof of why undoing assumption is the highest form of science, instead of that falsifiability popperian crap. But — oh! where is the patience?