Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Analytic Knowing v. Primary Knowing

In the "analytic picture offered by the cognitive sciences, the world consists of separate objects and states of affairs, the human mind is a determinate machine which, in order to know, isolates and identifies those objects and events, finds the simplest possible predictive contingencies between them, stores the results through time in memory, relates the items in memory to each other such that they form a coherent but indirect representation of the world and oneself, and retrieves those representations in order to fulfill the only originating value, which is to survive and reproduce in an evolutionarily successful manner."
By Contrast, "primary knowing" arises by means of "interconnected wholes, rather than isolated contingent parts and by means of timeless, direct, presentation" rather than through stored "re-presentation." "Such knowing is open rather than determinate, and a sense of unconditional value, rather than conditional usefulness, is an inherent part of the act of knowing itself," said Rosch. Acting from such awareness is "spontaneous, rather than the result of decision making," and it is "compassionate... since it is based on wholes larger than the self."
As Rosch told Otto, all these attributes--timeless, direct, spontaneous, open, unconditional value, and compassionate--go together as one thing. That one thing is what some in Tibetan Buddhism call "the natural state" and what Taoism calls "the Source."

From Presence by Senge, Scharmer, Jaworksi & Flowers - Quoting Eleanor Rosch - p 98-99