Photo: ‘Trees’ by Marion Wunder – Pixabay

Rinpoche says some interesting things about our ‘ordinary’ way of knowing the world… often habitually constructed out of our thoughts and beliefs. Investigating this ‘process’, he suggests…

In saying that the world is ‘lower knowledge’, we can go deep enough to call everything into question without inconsistency. The unchallengeable can be challenged… [This thinking process, this ‘worlding’] seen as ‘lower knowledge’… [becomes] tediously repetitive and deadening. It is basically a functioning on the level of a recording machine…superficial responses laboriously and mechanically attributed to a knowing subject.

There is very LITTLE DEPTH OR SENSITIVITY to ‘lower knowledge’, and LITTLE FLUIDITY as well. Everything is forced into conformity with a certain implicit logic of how knowing occurs and of how the known world is structured. ‘Lower knowledge’ acts like a kind of magnet, attracting experiences and presuppositions that obscure understanding of the nature of appearance. IT TRACKS ONLY THE MEREST SURFACE OF SPACE AND TIME, giving rise to a ‘space’ and ‘time’ which are limited, and which in turn LIMIT THE CAPACITY TO KNOW, TO EVALUATE. ‘Lower space’ does NOT PROVIDE SUFFICIENT ROOM FOR A BROAD PERSPECTIVE. ‘Lower time’ RUSHES ALONG TOO FAST FOR US TO TAKE STOCK OF THINGS AND TO REFLECT PROPERLY.

The fact that ‘LOWER’ SPACE AND TIME ARE NOT OPEN ENOUGH FOR BROAD PERSPECTIVES, or for profound and sensitive contemplation, is reflected in the unreliable and unfulfilling character of so much of our ordinary knowledge. We often hear that “the truth will set us free.” But sometimes we suspect that the truth may not turn out to be so pleasant or liberating after all. Such a glum possibility seems plausible to us precisely because we have had all too much exposure to the ‘lower knowledge’ approach to truth.

Like a magnet, ‘lower knowledge’ tends to bind us to a certain range of obscuring and polluting phenomena. It creates a kind of local gravitational field, and in trying to find our way out of it through using ’lower knowledge’ itself, we are actually carrying it along with us. We become entranced with our discoveries and innovations, not seeing their future consequences…

Our failures to consistently distinguish between time-bound values and verities and timeless ones, as well as our inability to evaluate the long-range consequences of our actions, are signs that a certain type of knowing has been employed, A KNOWING WHICH LACKS THE ABILITY TO PENETRATE TO THE CORE OF ‘TIME’ AND DISCERN THE BREADTH OF ITS VARIOUS FACETS… However, these frustrating features are not just ‘the way it is’, the human condition. Nor is the suffering and lack of fulfillment we experience merely our lot in life… THERE IS ANOTHER WAY OF KNOWING—one which we can learn to open to and directly experience.”
…’Time, Space, and Knowledge,’ by Tarthang Tulku, p.236-8

AT THE LINC… A TSK student describes one of his experiences of ‘other’ ways of knowing… ways that are, a less oppositional and myopic approach… that are more open, and allowing… seeing more broadly than a single point of view… Also, see the comments below that post…


About David Filippone

David Filippone has been a student of Tarthang Tulku’s Time, Space, Knowledge (TSK) vision for over twenty-five years. For the past twelve years, he has studied TSK and Full Presence Mindfulness with Jack Petranker, director of the Center for Creative Inquiry (CCI). He also participated in programs offered by Carolyn Pasternak of the Odiyan Center. For the past several years, David has curated the CCI Facebook page, which is often TSK-focused, and he serves on the CCI Board of Directors. The CCI Facebook page can be found at the following link... https://www.facebook.com/CenterforCreativeInquiry/
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