Here’s a thought I had:
In the West we are taught that understanding and knowledge are what’s important. Its what you know, what you understand, etc. Its as if that’s all that matters. That is to say, everything is viewed in the context of some form of thought or idea. When you understand the idea, then it becomes everything, almost as if it were god. Its as if there’s nothing more to do once you understand it . . . its what life is all about. As a result, this becomes the focus and orientation in life. In short, life becomes nothing but the pursuit of an intellectual “truth” which means, of course, that we must know everything under the sun.
To me this point of view seems very empty and shallow. This is primarily because it is based in word-based things . . . the explanation, and knowing the explanation, becomes the focus . . . its ALL based in words and ideas. I found this over-emphasis on word-based things, such as concepts and ideas, very unfulfilling and unsatisfying. To me, it seems lacking. It seems that there must be something “more” to things. It became clear that what “more” means is going beyond word-based things. This means that I must seek something beyond concepts and ideas. Over time, it became clear that what I was seeking is what I began to call ‘connectivity’. This refers to a deep-seated sense of having a “connection” or “association” with something. In this way, ‘connectivity’ makes me feel as if I am a part of something and it is a part of me. This sense takes more than words and idea. I found that it goes way beyond that and hits into more deeper aspect of ones self.
There are many forms of the “something” that we are “connecting” to. Some of these include:
- The world
- Our self
- An activity
- An awareness
- A knowing
So we see that ‘connectivity’ is made up of many things with many forms. In fact, we could probably say that ‘connectivity’ is a conglomeration of many elements and forms. That’s its power and what makes its effect so extensive and varied.
In reality, it seems to me, that life is nothing but trying to achieve ‘connectivity’ in its many forms. In this way, we could call achieving ‘connectivity’ the “great education”. We could also call ‘connectivity’ the “great truth” of life. In fact, I would even go on to say that a person does not really “live” until a ‘connectivity’ is achieved. What does this mean? It means that ‘connectivity’ is a big part of life to such an extent that it makes up life . . . it is life. One could very well say that “life is nothing but a continual seeking and maintaining of a ‘connectivity’ with things and life itself”. To narrow things down to concepts, ideas, concepts, and word-based things is like narrowing life down to a small thing.
Word-based things, though, can create a ‘connectivity’ of sorts. I often speak of this as ‘relevance’ (see my article “Thoughts on my saying: Truth is relevance”). This form of ‘connectivity’, being word-based, tends to have minimal impact and tends to be shallow. Despite this, it can be very influential and can lead a person to a greater ‘connectivity’. It has a tendency, though, to ‘dress up’ ‘connectivity’ with all this jargon and ideas which can be quite deceptive. When it does this extensively we tend to forget ‘connectivity’. With this we can see that there is a tendency where word-based things like ideas tend to make us forget ‘connectivity’ altogether. As a result, they lose a “sense of life” which causes many problems for people. In my opinion, the forgetting of ‘connectivity’ is one of the common causes for despair and unhappiness in people. This is quite prevalent as, in this knowledge and word-based society, there is an all too easy tendency to forget ‘connectivity’. To complicate this further, when people despair and become unhappy there is a tendency for them to look to word-based things as the solution . . . they want to “understand” what’s going on. But the problem is that this is what caused the problem to begin with! The solution they are seeking is actually the cause of the problem. Because of this, some of the “secrets” of life, at least in my opinion, is to do things such:
- Do not get too involved with word-based things. Don’t get too wrapped up in having to understand and know things.
- Try to not think or use words too much.
- Look beyond words and ideas, into the “sense” of life.
- Focus more on experiences and doing.
- Be more spontaneous.
The point of all this is to not use excessively, not to rely too heavily on, or become dependent on word-based things. In short, treat word-based things as a tool in life, not the end or motive of life. In my opinion, words, concepts, ideas, etc. are not a whole lot of different than a hammer or a pencil and should be treated similarly.
‘Connectivity’ is not made up of just one thing. It is actually made up of a combination of things:
- Doing . . . an “active association” – this refers to experience, of doing things
- Framework . . . an “image” – this refers to an image of the world and how it works and how one fits in it
- Relevance . . . a “meaning” – this refers to that quality that gives value to things
- Intuition . . . a “sense” – this refers to that quality of insight that attaches ones self to the world
All these work together to create a sense of ‘connectivity’. One can see that knowing and understanding – with is part of “framework” – only plays a small role in the matter. It takes all these things to truly make ‘connectivity’. One could probably say that the effect of these is that it creates a sense that one has, of being-in-the-world. One finds oneself as an active participant in the world and with meaning. It is predominately a sense that is interior, wordless, and without conception. It is something that just “is”. This naturally makes it hard to “grasp”. In a way, the inability to “grasp” it makes ‘connectivity’ an enigma, something we never can quite “get”. It makes it something we continually seek but never quite find. This is not a failing but something that is good for in having to continually seek ‘connectivity’ we are, in actually, continually seeking life. This seeking makes life.
In this way, one could say that “truth” is only found in ‘connectivity’. This would mean that it is not found in knowing or facts. Really, once you “know” something what use is it? OK, so it satisfies your intellectual curiosity . . . now what? Does it really impact you that much? Knowing, by itself, seems useless and pointless . . . it needs a whole lot more.
Interestingly, since ‘connectivity’ is primarily a sense it means that “truth” is, in actuality, a sense. It is not knowing. It is not an idea. It is not a statement. This means that “truth” is not really found in knowing or explaining things. It is beyond that. It is wordless. It is an awareness, the awareness of the sense.
This awareness of the sense requires a number of things such as:
- A person must be open to it
- A person must be receptive to it
I think that many people never find ‘connectivity’ because they lack one or both of these qualities. In addition, with a person who relies too much on word-based things there is a tendency where the words as if become a wall preventing these two things from appearing. In short, being word-based actually hinders ones awareness of the sense. This is why one doesn’t want to get too involved a word-based orientation. It shows that there are really two phases in ‘connectivity’:
- The sense
- The reaction
The sense is the beginning and origin, but the sense tends to instigate a reaction almost automatically. This is because the sense, by itself, is just a sense and is as if incomplete. It needs something more. In some ways, the sense requires a reaction . . . it demands it. The reaction as if completes the sense. Its has a quality much like a cause and effect.
The reaction appears in a number of ways, such as:
- A belief
- Ideas and conceptions
- Behavior and actions
As one can see, these reactions as if give the sense a validity in the world and in life. Without the reaction the sense is as if “hanging there” doing nothing. This shows the need for reaction and why the sense instigates it. Because of this, the reaction makes up a lot of the “matter” of life. In other words, most of life actually consists of the reaction and not the sense. Because of this, we tend to view “life” as these reactions and, accordingly, emphasize them. One of effect of this, though, is that tendency to forget the sense. In forgetting the sense ‘connectivity’ is no longer whole and basically fails . . . everything is now about the reaction and living in the reaction. We then become lost in the reactions. When we lose the sense, and ‘connectivity’ is lost, we tend to feel detached and removed from life. As a result, we often have to remind ourselves of the sense from time to time. People often do this naturally, at least in some way, but it often can appear in involved and complicated ways. Some ways the sense is reestablished include:
- A spirituality
- Having to “get away”, such as on vacation
- Various ways of forgetting ones self, even including using alcohol
- Ways of “getting back to nature”
- Doing things that one enjoys
In ways, such as these, many people will have, at least, a “sense of the sense”.
Forgetting the sense, in a way, is a tragedy but we all do it. Sadly, a lot of the loss of the sense and ‘connectivity’ is a result of the very thing we think is so good: intelligence, ideas, knowing, and other word-based fabrications. These things are important, in their place, but too much has adverse effects. This is why I often speak of the need to “manage word-based fabrications” and to learn to not get too carried away with them and to not let them make us lose contact with life.
Copyright by Mike Michelsen