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Does the following convey any meaning for you?
Does it seem true?
Context dependent?
You can not know the unknowable
but the unknowable is known

Now where you going to swim to?

For the present we have no time to waste. In the future, time itself teaches us . . .


  • aMattaMatt Veteran
    The unknowable is known as unknowable. Either non conceptual or unmanifest potential. Future? Where in the world would we put it with so much in the present?
  • "This is what Wisdom means: To be changed without the slightest effort on your part, to be transformed, believe it or not, merely by waking to the reality that is not words, that lies beyond the reach of words."

    "Thought can organize the world so well that you are no longer able to see it."

    Anthony de Mello
  • Do these words not speak of the final reduction of knower and known, and thus a going beyond knowing to a kind of not-knowing. As the Upanishads ask, who is there to understand the understander? The great sages tend to say that they are the truth, not that they know it.
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited August 2013
    lobster said:

    You can not know the unknowable
    but the unknowable is known
    Now where you going to swim to?

    it seems to me the same thing as said by Dogen:
    To carry yourself forward and experience myriad things is delusion. That myriad things come forth and experience themselves is awakening.

    Also similar thing is said in Hsin Hsin Ming:
    All is void, clear, and self-illuminating, with no need to exert the mind.
    Here thinking, feeling, knowledge, and imagination are of no value.
  • howhow Veteran
    It might be saying that someone is in danger of developing hair on their spiritual palms.
  • @how, do you mean that they have become 'spiritually' unpleasant? Isn't praise and blame all samsara?
  • Thanks guys, :thumbup:

    It was in response to this point:
    - Seeking to know the unknowable is a waste of time. For example, for someone to seek to know/understand Ultimate Truth.

    Does that give it a context?
  • @lobster, It's a defense mechanism of the ego to say it cannot know the nature of mind. Meanwhile the nature of mind is here but it cannot be conceptualized. We can see it at first with concepts but eventually according to my teacher we become extremely precise in our... wisdom? prajna? I can't think of the right term, but I think we can have at least a sense of the ultimate? Sogyal Rinpoche says we get glimpses and then more stable realizations in a progressioin. There are even ecstatic experiences or nyams that are so profoundly attuning us but they are still nyams because we are seeing them as a state of mind 'inside us'. Yes? NO? Bah?
  • howhow Veteran
    edited August 2013

    Knowledge that is considered unknowable points out the limits of our referentiality to an illusory self.
    Moving beyond such limits only requires the transcendence of that which would seek such knowledge.

    This is just
    acquisition verses renunciation.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    Sounds like typical zen babbling. Anyway, I'm hungry. I think I'll get a sandwich. :D
  • ToshTosh Veteran
    edited August 2013
    lobster said:

    You can not know the unknowable
    but the unknowable is known

    Do you think this about different ways of knowing something?

    You know, I can touch-type (honestly); my fingers just fly around the keyboard; they know exactly where to go at quite a rapid rate.

    But if I had to tell you what the letters are on a keyboard from left to right I would struggle to do so; I'm not even sure I could without some hand-wringing and mistakes.

    So I can both not know something, but also know something, and the something I know I just 'know'; my fingers just 'know' where the keys are, but I wouldn't be to tell you what the keys were in order.

    Does this sound like the right path to understanding this? Is this epistemology? We covered this on my Buddhist foundation course, but I was a naff student.

  • I'm not sure the typing thing would be relevant. Epistemilogically-speaking Buddhism seems to be bang in line with Aristotle, who concluded that 'true knowledge is identical with its object'. To me this phrase seems to sum up the whole situation. There cannot be a knower and a known when there is identity, but there may still be knowledge. I think Kant calls this 'non-intuitive immediate knowledge'. Any other knowledge would be relative or provisional. Thus the process of acquiring true knowledge would be intimately connected with a process of becoming, with changes in our knowledge of our identity.
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