Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Sleight of Hand

Knowing and memory are the same. Whatever is known can only be known through referencing something that was previously ‘known’. American indians who had not previously seen a train referred to a train as an iron horse. God is a word denoting something that cannot be known unless somewhere deep inside  is the memory of God. In Kashmir Shaivism it is assumed that man being born is subject to this amnesia, forgetting that we are God. All of life is considered to involve the remembering of who we really are usually through the means of remembering or realising who we are not. It is inevitable that because of this condition that knowing can only occur through memory of something already known that we will get lost or sink into a world of illusion where all that is known or can ever be known is based solely on what we are able to remember or whatever happens to be in our memory bank. All things are inherently unknowable.and this fact needs to be denied at all cost. Safety and security could not exist without this denial. While it is necessary to deny that all things are inherently unknowable we are still faced with the problem that even if we deny the unknowable it does not mean and cannot mean our denial is true. Whatever is known or can be known is processed by the sleight of hand of replacing all experience into what has already been experienced. We are compelled to live our lives seeking only what is already known regardless of whether or not what is already known works. It seems it is preferable to know something that is already known than to know something that works or is true. When we meet someone for the first time we will replace what we see with what we already know we will add to what we see memories of experiences with others we have previously known. We will use any information in terms of looks or mannerisms as necessary to turn what we see into someone we already know. Again the principle of what is already known is preferable to what works or is true usually means that when we turn people into who we already know we will find out eventually that we have created mistaken assumptions. Finding this out we can either reevaluate our assumptions or go through the whole process again with someone else. In Sanskrit the word Om refers to that which is unknowable something without boundaries of any kind, timeless and infinite in nature. The repetition of this word is designed to inject into our minds an antidote to the replacing of what we see with what we already know. Beliefs are always related to what is already known and what is preferable to be known. The realisation of this is also an antidote to our tendency to see the world only in terms of what is already known. The ego is the part of us that in order to feel safe replaces what is actually there with what is preferable and known. In many ways this is useful, with food for instance where over long periods of time we learn which foods are safe and which are not and this is rarely questioned. In other areas this tendency may be our undoing. Replacing anything that does not suit us into something that does can have disastrous results and turn out to be very unsafe. Consciousness is similar to the idea of Om something without boundaries and infinite in terms of potential and intelligence. So long as we are addicted to replacing what is with what is already known we can never realise what we already have; the pure infinite potential and intelligence of consciousness.


  1. This is absolutely brilliant Ray! I have read it and re-read it several times and it is a pretty amazing way to look at it. However I would like to know how one can sieve out the good and useful memories/knowing from the negative ones, or which do not work anymore. Awareness of this fact is the first step but how does one deal with memories that are cellular in nature I.e. physiological and other memories that are very strong and recurrent in nature. The cognitive memories are easier to witness as untrue but the ones lodged in the body through previously experienced trauma or feelings are harder to eschew. Can you give a practical approach to it? Is repeating Om a good practice for this as you suggested?

  2. Hi kite answered above in a new post, hope you are well.