A Concept Is Not Necessarily A BeliefWould you agree that it is perhaps the development of the linguistic ability in humans and their use of language to communicate in a self-referential manner in relation to apparent others, that really lies at the heart of the contracted view?
Many of the exchanges here recently have centred around the use of certain words to try to capture the understanding or at least point to or communicate it and how difficult that is. And how there is also always a danger of the words themselves somehow almost creating the very existence of what they describe or refer to as objects that are then taken to really exist as such.
I have always been struck in your teaching by your use of the word “contraction” to refer to the temporary appearance within the unbroken unity of Consciousness of the belief in a separate entity. Where there is never anything other than Consciousness itself, but that it now adopts a contracted viewpoint from which it looks out upon Itself, now as other.
Put simply, would you agree that it is perhaps the development of the linguistic ability in humans and their use of language to communicate in a self-referential manner in relation to apparent others, that really lies at the heart of the contracted view?
It appears to me that this seems to play such a strong role in reinforcing the belief in the non-existent separate entity. Indeed, having made this leap of faith based only on words and concepts, we then do not hesitate to ascribe the existence of such separate internal identity to other creatures, such as animals, where we all seem convinced that they have little “me’s” inside them too and that they would speak to us as such of only they could talk! All pet owners know what I am saying here!!
It seems to me that language and words play a significant role here in perpetuating the contracted view. Indeed, as we only really have words to talk about it with, it can sometimes be the words and the associated concepts they seek to communicate that can become a prison or barrier to seeing through the contracted view itself.
It is ironic that we all spend so much time enjoying exchanging all these words about it in an effort to understand, when all along we are all only ever That which the words can never capture, before, during and after they are spoken or exchanged!! Amazing really isn’t it???
Ian: Put simply, would you agree that it is perhaps the development of the linguistic ability in humans and their use of language to communicate in a self-referential manner in relation to apparent others, that really lies at the heart of the contracted view?
Rupert: What you are suggesting would be true if a concept and a belief were identical. Fortunately they are not!
For instance, it is quite possible to take the concept of, say, a ‘house,’ and to use this concept in conversation without believing that the object to which the concept ‘house’ refers, exists as such, that is, as it is conceived to be.
It is only when we forget that the concept ‘house’ is an abstract idea that does not correspond to our actual experience, that ignorance and its attendant suffering, occurs.
In other words, it is the ‘forgetting’ rather than the ‘conceptualising,’ that is responsible for the self-contraction you refer to. Playing the role of Hamlet does not imply suffering. It is only when one forgets that he is acting, that Hamlet’s make-believe suffering become his own seemingly real suffering.
However, in just the same way that concepts are used by the dualising mind to create the edifice of ignorance to begin with, so the same concepts can be used by understanding to dismantle it.
In other words, concepts and words by themselves are neutral. In the service of ignorance they divide. In the service of love and intelligence they heal and unite.