The Philosophy Of Freedom
Our last show was about the illusion of duality, and how knowledge gives us true reality by discovering the idea that objectively corresponds to our observation. The tool that enables us to discover ideas is thinking. In this show we examine thinking by means of introspective observation.
1. We are free to think or not think. If we choose to think, what is the purpose of thinking about an observation?
Thinking discovers the concepts that correspond to the observation.
2. What do we gain by thinking?
By discovering the concepts that correspond to an event, we can predict what will happen.
3. Is feeling on the same level as thinking?
To think and form a concept I must be active and make an effort. With feeling I am passive --as a feeling is something that just happens to me.
4. When a feeling is aroused in me by an event, the feeling is about me, my personality. When thinking is kindled by an event what do I learn?
Thinking is not about me. I learn nothing about myself, but instead learn about the event.
5. If you decide to think, how do you do it?
When thinking about an object my full attention is turned to the object, I am absorbed in it. I pay no heed to my thought activity, because my attention is on the object I am thinking about.
OBSERVATION OF THINKING
1. How do I observe my thinking?
The observation of thinking consists of two steps: First create thought, then observe thought.
I can never observe the present thinking in which I am actually engaged. Instead, I recall a past thought or earlier thought process to examine.
2. While the observation of objects, and thinking about them, are everyday occurrences that fill my life, why is the observation of thinking a kind of exceptional state?
The exceptional state is to apply the same attentive observation to thinking that we use for the study of other things in the world.
We take thinking for granted, so do not normally study our thinking-processes.
3. Why can we know our thinking more immediately and intimately than any other process in the world?
Thinking is different than other things, it has transparent clarity. I immediately know the context and details of how it takes place.
4. Why is thinking the only thing I know with absolute certainty?
I know thinking with absolute certainty because I bring it into existence.
5. The thoughts we produce are facts, so it is meaningless to speak of whether facts are right or wrong. In what way, though, can I have doubt about thinking?
We can have doubts about whether thoughts are correctly applied to the world.
1. How do we know that pure thinking is not directed by physical processes in the brain?
What I observe in studying a thought process is not what brain process links one thought with another, but my reason for bringing them into a relationship.
While thinking, I am guided solely by the content of my thoughts, not some physical process in the brain.
2. What is the content of pure thinking?
The content of pure thinking is universal concepts that do not refer to anything specific.
For example, the general concept “triangle” does not refer to any specific triangle.
3. Where does pure thinking take place?
Pure thinking takes place in the conceptual sphere.
4. Why must we start with thinking if we are to understanding the world?
Pure thinking is self-supporting and self-subsisting, not dependent on anything else. Starting with thinking as our basis we can go on and attempt to understand the world.
5. Where does freedom occur most purely?
Freedom originates on the level of pure concepts and ideas. This is the place of pure thinking that is liberated from the biological and characterological influences that normally control us.
How is pure thinking achieved?
Anyone who can think in universal concepts, such as in mathematics or philosophy, has already entered into pure thinking.