Are ‘acts of positioning’ the same as ‘timed-out meanings’?

50 points by Sandra Herber - Flickr

It seems to me that at one level taking a position, perhaps a perspective, is our ordinary way of dealing with the intent to fulfill any desire, even the desire for meaning…

Any ordinary intention, any concern or desire—even the desire for knowledge—arises from a ‘position’ that the self takes up. From this ‘position’, love of knowledge can thus seem threatening: a call to ‘give up’ the positions that make the self what it is. We have seen, however, that the threat is not real. If the self’s position is simply an act of positioning—a particular expression of the knowing activity—what is there for the self to give up? Only the positions already adopted by the ‘bystander’ insist that there is something ‘real’ in positions, and that this ‘something’ must be ‘given up’ for new knowledge to shine forth.

If we accept the possibility that ‘positioning’ can be an expression of ‘knowingness’ (without turning that acceptance into a position), the ‘bystander’s’ concern for maintaining positions drops away. Our intention is left open and free, all-allowing and all-encompassing, This is the true love of knowledge—a love that turns from the concerns of the self, allowing knowledge to know without limitation. LOK 313

‘Timed-out meanings’ refer to the diffusion of our perceptions by lower time, perhaps even diversions of attention or focus.

The slowness is a result of ‘lower time’ leading us astray on various side-trips. Our attempts at ‘progress’ meet with many obstacles, seductive obscurations, and impeding barriers. These barriers are not merely static features of our experiential landscape; they are not frozen space or walls. Rather, they are ‘meanings’ and delineations timed out by ‘lower time’ as part of its diffusion.

Such ‘time’ not only arranges our ‘passage’ but structures it in terms of specific encounters. Usually, we become so caught up by this continual stream of particular encounters and times that they prevent us from really getting on with what is most essential. TSK 138

So ‘Timed-out meanings’ and ‘acts of positioning’ may sound similar but, it seems to me, the former is a process that can occur without the necessity for taking a position, such as when there is a ‘transcendence of pointings’. See: TSK Ex. 26 – Transcendence of Pointings

…the rhythm of Time must be ‘timed out’, and for this Knowledge is required. Knowledge is the evaluator and shaper, yet what appears and is known by Knowledge is the embodiment of Space. But without Time there would be no presentation to evaluate, no activity capable of generating being and becoming.

The ‘mechanism’ that allows such interactions among Time, Space, and Knowledge appears to be very subtle, like a glow around the edges of a bright, intense light. Yet the glow is not found only at the periphery. It is the radiant heart of the light, invisible in the light of ordinary concerns, but intrinsic to all appearance. It is the glow of ‘zero’, the ‘point’ of decision, the ‘rhythm’ of Being.

… Although we could say that Great Knowledge is lucent, its light is not opposed to darkness. Darkness can not limit its radiance, nor can shadow and form, whether physical or mental. The lucency of Great Knowledge has no point of origin and no point of cessation. At one with Space and Time, its inspiration embodies in all emerging. Since there is nothing that is not known, how can there be obstacles?

First-level characteristics could be said to be created by Time, Space, and Knowledge; the same is true for more fundamental activities and attributes such as allowing and knowing, rhythm, momentum, and light. But this creation, out of which the world in a certain sense could be said to arise, is not creation by a creator, for nothing of substance is created. Lucency simply radiates within Being. All qualities and attributes, in their own being, are Time and Space and Knowledge, they express this triad in boundless variety. KTS 492-3


About David Filippone

I have been a student of Tarthang Tulku’s Time, Space, Knowledge (TSK) vision for over twenty-five years. For the past twelve years, I’ve studied TSK and Full Presence Mindfulness with Jack Petranker, director of the Center for Creative Inquiry (CCI). I have also participated in programs offered by Carolyn Pasternak of the Odiyan Center. For the past several years, I have curated the CCI Facebook page, which is often TSK-focused, and I serve on the CCI Board of Directors. The CCI Facebook page can be found at the following link...
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1 Response to Are ‘acts of positioning’ the same as ‘timed-out meanings’?

  1. michaelg says:

    Early on in your interesting post, a phrase you quoted from LoK captured my attention:
    “If the self’s position is simply an act of positioning—a particular expression of the knowing activity—what is there for the self to give up? Only the positions already adopted . . .” I somehow noticed the use of past tense. If the positions that we try to cling onto require that we have assigned them an identity sometime in the past, we can be free of them by a simple expedient: by looking at the fruits of time as they arise, including the ‘acts of positioning’ with which we seek to come into relationship with this flow of arising. . . . Notice that I called this expedient “simple”, not easy to accomplish . . .

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