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Timothy
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Contemplation really isn't thinking, in the conventional sense; it's like picking up an object, observing it, turning it around in your hands, and letting the object tell you of it's story itself. The object has more to say about itself, than you have of it.

It's like the difference between thinking about a flower, and contemplating a flower. The former is a subjective to objective experience of sorts; you're scrutinizing the flower, deconstructing the flower in your mind, thinking about the flower. Your thoughts determine what you would know of the flower.
Contemplating is an objective to subjective experience, it's like looking upon the flower without thought, soaking up the experience of the flower, turning it around in your hand, in your mind; beholding the flower and it's essence.
Contemplation is consciousness without discrimination and judgment.

Last edited by Timothy on May 29th, 2009, 3:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Contemplation

Permanent Linkby alpha_3 on May 29th, 2009, 12:55 pm

Some could call what you describe here as a kind of "intuitive knowledge" usual in art and philosophy.
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Re: Contemplation

Permanent Linkby Timothy on May 29th, 2009, 4:44 pm

I did a bit of research on Intuitive Knowledge, and it is a fair bit like this, with an exception or two. Whereas I.K. seems to result in unexplained knowledge, usually in a flash of insight, contemplation is a lot slower of a process, and doesn't always happen as a subconscious thing; it's conscious contemplation.
It creates a connection between oneself and the concept or object or thing, by which your consciousness has a grasp of it, rather than your thoughts and mind.
This doesn't need to be done with art or philosophy; it can grant you insight into things like ones consciousness, thought itself, even the nature of reality and objects around you. It is direct knowledge and understanding, without the need of some intermediary.
'Intuitive' seems to imply subconscious awareness, whereas contemplation implies a conscious awareness.
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Re: Contemplation

Permanent Linkby alpha_3 on May 29th, 2009, 6:48 pm

Timothy wrote: 'Intuitive' seems to imply subconscious awareness, whereas contemplation implies a conscious awareness.


I believe you are right here. But this is not far from genuine philosophical knowledge as described by Spinoza (his third kind of knowledge) and many others. What is the issue here then? I would say grasping the essence of a thing, its reason to be, by becoming its most perfect mirror- by becoming the object itself.
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Re: Contemplation

Permanent Linkby Timothy on May 30th, 2009, 3:26 am

What is the issue here then? I would say grasping the essence of a thing, its reason to be, by becoming its most perfect mirror- by becoming the object itself.


That actually seems like a really good way of putting it! I have heard that before, but I never really understood what it meant until you brought it up in context, I really appreciate it :D
Last edited by Timothy on May 30th, 2009, 3:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Contemplation

Permanent Linkby newyear on June 3rd, 2009, 6:38 pm

Timothy wrote:It's like the difference between thinking about a flower, and contemplating a flower.


You are describing two very different actions.

One is whilst thinking, about a flower (or anything else), the senses are not in contact with the object.

The second case is where all the senses are used and a complete sensual perception of an object is taking place. While this is happening the mind may be cross checking for similar perceptions that are stored. For example, the recognition of the colour and shades, the smell, or lack of one, and so on.

This action may well trigger other memories, and it is this I think you are referring to.
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Re: Contemplation

Permanent Linkby Timothy on June 15th, 2009, 2:16 am

Newyear,

I know what I am referring to, and what I am describing. You don't have to agree with me, but I assure you I mean what I said. Thank you for the comment though.
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Re: Contemplation

Permanent Linkby Mossling on July 15th, 2009, 4:16 am

Hi, your initial post reminded me of this amazing quote I often revisit - it twists my brain around:

"...looking into a flower, you can see that the flower is made of many elements that we can call non-flower elements. When you touch the flower, you touch the cloud. You cannot remove the cloud from the flower, because if you could remove the cloud from the flower, the flower would collapse right away. You don’t have to be a poet in order to see a cloud floating in the flower, but you know very well that without the clouds there would be no rain and no water for the flower to grow. So cloud is part of flower, and if you send the element cloud back to the sky, there will be no flower. Cloud is a non-flower element. And the sunshine… if you send back the element sunshine, the flower will vanish. And sunshine is another non-flower element. And earth, and gardener…if you continue, you will see a multitude of non-flower elements in the flower. In fact, a flower is made only with non-flower elements. It does not have a separate self.

A flower cannot be by herself alone. A flower has to "inter-be" with everything else that is called non-flower. That is what we call inter-being. You cannot be, you can only inter-be. The word inter-be can reveal more of the reality than the word "to be". You cannot be by yourself alone, you have to inter-be with everything else. So the true nature of the flower is the nature of inter-being, the nature of no self. The flower is there, beautiful, fragrant, yes, but the flower is empty of a separate self. To be empty is not a negative note. Nagarjuna, of the second century, said that because of emptiness, everything becomes possible.

So a flower is described as empty. But I like to say it differently. A flower is empty only of a separate self, but a flower is full of everything else. The whole cosmos can be seen, can be identified, can be touched, in one flower. So to say that the flower is empty of a separate self also means that the flower is full of the cosmos."
~Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Monk, Teacher, and Author

The quote actually begins with the following statement:

"You of this moment are no longer [the same] you of a minute ago. There is no permanent entity within us, there is only a stream of being"

...but I thought it would have more impact if I started with the flower description.
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