Jerry Katz
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The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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Highlights #879

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11/5/01 Monday


Insider, Outsider and Untying Knots
From: Knowledge of Time and Space
Tarthang Tulku

"The known world is experienced by the self, which owns it's experience.
For this basic structure to work, the self must adopt a specific position
that puts it *outside* of experience. Thus, while experience is inseparable
from the flow of time, and is in fact the way that the flow presents itself,
the self is an 'outsider' with respect to the temporal dynamic.

As an 'outsider', the self occupies the spepcific role of 'bystander',
unaffected by the 'passing' of time. The objects and forms that it
identifies and defines are also 'outsiders', but in different sense: like
rocks in a stream, they are IN time, carried or carved by its flow, yet
separate from the flow itself.

'Outsiders' form the self's 'world', and self and world together comprise
the whole of existence. Past, present, and future, considered as static
structures, are among the 'outsiders' available to be known; time as an
active dynamic medium cannot be grasped directly, and so is largely

This static picture is inconsistent with the scientific model that presents
each object and each atomic particle as being in constant flux, shifting and
changing, responding to an ongoing momentum of its own. The mind too is
always active, never still. Yet motion on the atomic plane is too rapid or
too subtle for us to notice, while on the mental plane the role of mental
activity in observation makes it difficult to track the fluctuations within
the mind itself.

As for the self, it is constantly active: doing, speaking, judging,
responding, thinking. In terms of the static view just described, what
energy makes this activity possible? The activity of the self challenges the
'bystander' model, pointing directly to time's dynamic as powering the flow
of experience, action, and interpretation. Time presents both the self and
its experiences, arising together. While it goes against our usual
understanding, we could say that the 'self and its experiences are an
interpretation of time's momentum.'

Reinterpreted in light of this possibility, the prevailing model of
'bystander-self experiencing outsider world' offers indirect comfirmation
that the momentum of time saturates both self and experience. Form and
identity become the content projected by experience as it draws on time's
dynamic, thereby projecting the self into the realm of existence.
Extistence responds to the transitory nature of linear time by proceeding
from one transition to another.

When time's presentation is 're-presented' as the frozen 'order' of self and
world, 'outside' of time's flow, the self can appropriate the dynamic of
time as the substance of its own being. Turning its experience into the
vehicle for the temporal momentum, the self shapes the rhythms of time
toward establishing its own identity. Feeding on time, it reinforces the
basic structure of self and world, as the self lives out the role of

Aware of this move toward appropriation, we can rediscover the momentum of
time accessible within the static structures of experience. Though the
temporal order steadily invites us to put time in the background, it is an
invitation we can readily decline."

From: Knowledge of Time and Space
Tarthang Tulku



"why can't he...?"
"why can't she...?"
"why does she always..,?"
"why did he do...?"
"Why can't she give me...?"
"She did he did she said he said..."
"why can't she ever...?"
"why can"t he/she ever, know, do say..."

"why do they always...?"



Or: If you did what I want, we'd both be happy.
Why can't you do what I want?

Or: I need something from you to complete me.
Why don't you give me what I need to complete me?

Or: I want to be happy.
Why do you refuse to make me happy?

And: Relationships are great for pointing
clearly to "unfinished business" from
past relationships, and "control issues"
related to "expectations for getting
what I think/feel I need"

MUM: Lets just clear up all that unfinished business...
Then what?



ONE - Bulleh Shah

I know not who I am

I am neither a believer going to the mosque
Nor given to non-believing ways
Neither clean nor unclean
Neither Moses nor Pharaoh
I know not who I am

I am neither among sinners nor among saints
Neither happy nor unhappy
I belong neither to water nor to earth
I am neither fire nor air

Neither do I know the secret of religion
Nor am I born of Adam and Eve
I have given myself no name
I belong neither to those who squat and pray
Nor to those who have gone astray
I know not who I am

I was in the beginning, I'd be there in the end
I know not any one other than the One
Who could be wiser than Bulleh Shah
Whose Master is ever there to tend?
I know not who I am

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