The Hub of Being (57-4) Concepts


It is the movement of thought that appears as this world. ~ Vasistha

Perception is a subconscious thought process: interpreting sensations and making them meaningful, by comparing current input with past experiences, categorizing, and conceptualizing. That last bit – conceptualization – is the part that imparts meaning, for it assigns value. Perceptions which curry no favor are instantly discarded. Only perceptions laden with esteemed concepts are brought to attention.

The world does not passively impose itself on our mind; rather, it has to be actively interpreted. ~ English developmental psychologist Bruce Hood

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Perception is a simulation, not reality itself. ~ American psychologist Charles Tart

What we take to be the world is instead a collage of symbolic expressions to which we assign value. Love is a conceptual experience that, at its most rewarding, is dipped in feel-good emotion. We may physically touch an object, but its impression is entirely within the mind. All we ever have are concepts, and concepts are not real.

Reality is not a concept, nor the manifestation of a concept. It has nothing to do with concepts. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Ignorance is attachment to concepts.

Ideas and thoughts are bondage; and their coming to an end is liberation. Because you are not fully enlightened, your mind clings to the illusion of object perception, of concepts. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

The trouble began when others started telling you about the world, and you believed them.

Nullius in Verba (take nobody’s word for it). ~ British Royal Society motto (The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge was granted a charter by King Charles II as The Royal Society in 1660. The Royal Society is the eldest scientific society in existence; a seedling in the Scientific Revolution.)

The trouble continues as long as you continue to cherish concepts. Thoughts rightly offer only utility or enjoyment: necessary for navigating life’s travails or for sheer amusement. To appreciate life as a cavalcade of concepts eases their uptake (learning), facilitates their exploitation (skill), and, most tellingly, liberates oneself from the world, which is nothing more than a big ball of notions.

Belief in this world is built up of unreality. ~ Indian guru Sankara

All before you is merely conceptual. Living is an exercise in symbolic manipulation.

The mind likes to believe what it comes up with. This self-validation provides a sense of security which the mind nestles in.

Face value has is valueless. Do not subscribe to the mind’s self-assurance. Do not let a specious axiom be an unseen signpost to error. Adopt the practice of having the mind question the premises upon which conclusions are drawn.

Abandon false ideas. There is no need of true ideas. There aren’t any. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

Being lulled by the mind into accepting its facile version of events defines ignorance. To believe nothing is to question everything, and absolutely necessary to be open to every experience as potential revelation.

Whereas actuality is pliable to some degree, wishes are unalloyed fantasies, rigid to the hilt. Frustration is nothing more than slamming into a wall built of wish.

Ignorance arises with embracing ideas as if they were reality: naïve realism. Suffering stems from failures of conceptualization coupled to attachments. The root of the trouble comes in axiomatic form: assuming what is not for what is. Behind every misconception lurks an apriorism.

For instance, belief in the matterism arises with the premise that physicality is reality: mistaking subjective experience for objective uptake. The presumption is reinforced by social consensus, as it is with all ‘conventional wisdom’.

In contrast, accepting energyism is not a belief; more an acceptance that Nature is putting on a show beyond ken, only the outlines of which may be discerned; in which case, the task is to enjoy the show, and make your way with as much grace as you can muster.

All this is the play of concepts. It is all mental entertainment. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj