Confessions of a dubious mind.

I want to start this thread to present my confession(s). I'm not sure where it will go or even if it will go.

The confessions start with an unreliable mind, in many ways. I feel an inclination to confess, admit, acknowledge, apologize for, occasionally brag on, primarily, to start with, in self-deprecating adjectives and adverbs. Hell, I don't even know what "post-metaphysical" means.

Unfortunately, as dubious and unreliable, this mind moves all over the place. Perhaps it is feeling upset in its tummy from too many peeled grapes taken in already, unable to digest.

When I am flitting deeper through the complicated conundrums of knowing, as I dabble deeper into quiet in a homegrown version of meditation-contemplation during the early morning waking hours, thinking of all that seems to be known and asserted here on IPS and elsewhere, wondering why I don't get it, one regular place I go is to feel certain that my mind is mediocre, inferior, undeveloped, ensconced in the gross, without much knowledge of subtlety and hardly a clue of causal. It is lazy or incapable and doesn't want to carefully study the great philosophers who have probably trodden and cracked open this ground.

It doesn't want to study, feel through, and come to embody "true knowing" from the great minds and spiritual space travelers like perhaps aurobindo, ramana maharshi, nigarjuna and so on.

It/he doesn't want to and thinks he is too old to sit with a "true guide" to proper meditation that lays a reliable and capable foundation for knowing, and he doesn't entirely trust the mental politics and veracity of this either. Yup, he is all over the place, and being one of the cats himself, is having trouble herding the cats of his mind.

All apparently self-concluding and even deprecating - with bits of humor and counter opinions interspersed.

He thinks that his exiting the conundrum(s) must have something to do with "knowing" that some have said is an organ like the senses and should be accorded a similar status of reliability. Part of knowing apparently must be an intrinsic logic, along with a more formally learned logic to be used as a careful tool, and the exit into the mainstream of cutting edge knowers will acknowledge and imbibe that.

If he were to exit, and to know like the others, he must do "the work". Alas, he wants peeled grapes to be placed within his hedonistic mouth, by others. But he doesn't quite trust, doesn't quite believe the others.This all, and more, is a conundrum that may break this man's mind to smithereens, with no reincarnation of humpty to be seen.

Likely he'll partly wander off in part resignation and pick the random grape. Then die.

Nice story, there, mind.

To, perhaps, be continued.

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Comment by Ambo Suno on October 14, 2014 at 8:57pm
Good, thanks.
Comment by Balder on October 14, 2014 at 3:04pm

Hi, Ambo, no worry about the blog vs. forum thread; both work.  But if you want to start a new discussion thread, click the "Forum" tab along the top of the home page, then select a "board" you want to post on (Introduction, Open Forum, IPS Inquiry, etc).  When you open up that board, you'll see an "Add" button in the upper right corner which lets you start a new discussion thread.

The "What are you up to?" box on the home page is just for posting a "shout" to the group.  It only allows a limited number of characters, like a tweet, so it's used only if you want to make a brief communication to members here without starting a whole new thread.

Best wishes,


Comment by Ambo Suno on October 14, 2014 at 2:45pm

Nice, Bruce - I follow you.

I want to read your TSK piece - soon I hope.

BTW - I haven't learned to navigate this site well yet. I didn't really need to make my initial post a blog-post. Blog-posts are apparently in a different category than the others that people start. How do I start one such as most people do, outside of blog? And the, "What are you up to" slot, what is that? Is that the beginning point for a new thematic thread?

Fresh air, ambo

Comment by Balder on October 14, 2014 at 11:13am

Hi, Ambo, not-knowing for me is mostly a friend.  To use the terms from a recent conversation here, sometimes it shows up for me agapeically, as an appreciative (or even astonished) openness to mystery as generative, unknowing-in/as-knowledge; and sometimes it shows up erotically, as a sense of the lack of my present state of knowledge and a 'push/pull' to engage new topics, broaden my understanding, etc.  The latter happens especially when I am writing or researching; one path leads to another and I realize there are whole worlds of perspectives I am only just glimpsing and have not yet begun to traverse.  Sometimes that feels daunting, since I don't have time to take some of those journeys (and would like to); sometimes I just have to let go and acknowledge, "Not in this life."  But in both cases (and more), not-knowing is an essential ally.  When I have to speak or teach classes, sometimes not-knowing is disturbing: I look at the event ahead and just am not sure what I will say.  But often in that 'empty-headedness,' a lot nevertheless finds its way out into expression, beyond my conscious planning or anticipation, so I have learned to trust that blankness.

Here is a brief discussion of the relationship of knowing and not-knowing in the TSK tradition I practice (see this post and the discussion following).

With warm wishes,


Comment by Ambo Suno on October 13, 2014 at 6:00am

You are on-target, Bruce. Well rendered.

It get's a bit uncomfortable when I am in a comparative mode or some state that can slide into excessive-for-me self-deprecation. This happens quite rarely for me these days. The mildly Woody Allen mode does serve not just as an access portal to acceptance but also seems to allow a perspective which brings freedom to it - larger picture freedom. It seems also to serve as an entry way into a topic that I can't seem to begin to get my mental arms around - making it uber-personal seems to give me a more solid beginning foothold to explore.

In your warm mirroring here, identifying it as a mode implicitly among various possible modes, you seem to acknowledge the copious room here and within humanity (as one arrives to deeply feel sufficient self- and humanity-acceptance) to be as one as is, in the different moments and contexts of life.

If you don't mind me asking, how would you characterize your inhabiting your knowing/not knowing, in outward expression and in different rooms of yourself, perhaps in relationship to predominant personality, types of subject matter and such? Only if you feel like engaging that question.

Warm regards, ambo

Comment by Balder on October 12, 2014 at 11:02pm

Hi, Ambo, my sense of you, over the years, is that you actually quite appreciate a wavy, wandering, subtly equivocating (because subtly discerning), gently doubting, self-hesitant and -qualifying mode of being -- that there is something in this very mode that rings true to you and that generally serves you (or has served you) in the course of your life thus far.  You are confessing this way of being as perhaps a weakness but there is a strength in it as well, a being beyond easy 'convincing,' which enables you to stay on your toes as the waves of opinion or belief crest and fall.  Do you see this as well?  Or am I off about this?

What paths lie ahead for religion and spirituality in the 21st Century? How might the insights of modernity and post-modernity impact and inform humanity's ancient wisdom traditions? How are we to enact, together, new spiritual visions – independently, or within our respective traditions – that can respond adequately to the challenges of our times?

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