If one find one needs a shed, or a house, or even a lean-to, where does one start to build it?
At the foundation.
Yet the foundation, almost without exception, is the one part that receives the least amount of attention. It is the part one has to go through: the process of building before one starts the actual building. As if it somehow is not part of the building.
It is so often poorly thought out, poorly executed, and afterwards, completely forgotten about.
Every human construct requires a foundation.
Descartes observed: "I think, therefore I am".
For all anyone knows, he may actually have known what he was talking about.
What seems clear, in retrospect, is that almost nobody else did.
And yet this concept became one of the foundations of western philosophy.
Occidentals display, almost without exception, an ego.
Orientals display, almost without exception, a lack of ego.
Why is this?
Oriental philosophy honours the Great Mother. The Tao. The Void.
All beings spring from it. All are part of it.
Occidental philosophy honours the mind. Thinking sets us apart and above everything else that exists.
Orientals are part-of.
Occidentals are apart-from.
I challenge Descartes.
Not the man himself, or whatever it was he intended by:
"I think, therefore I am".
But how those words were interpreted / misinterpreted.
It may well be more useful, even true, to say:
I am, therefore I think.
I contemplate, therefore I am.
I think, therefore I am not.
I am, is a statement of fact. To say it results from thinking, is not.
In fact, the act of thinking, causes one to cease being.
The thinking mind is observing and interpreting.
It is no longer simply being.
Anything that can be built: a house, a value-system, or a philosophy, requires a foundation.
A civilization can be built, and it may last a long time, even if built upon sand.
It would certainly last a great deal longer, if it were built upon rock.
It is never too late, until it is too late, to jack up the whole construct, and securely underpin it with a re-engineered, re-thought-out foundation.
If this is not done, finally the whole thing will succumb to its own mass, and tumble, end over end, into oblivion.
Not a display.
3 years ago