“Process” may not be the right word for this…
by Antonio Dias
We are accustomed to thinking that what we do involves processes.
Let’s stop right there and unpack that statement. “Accustomed” is another term for conditioned. “Thinking…” well, there we go…. So, by the time we get to “process” we’re already in suspicious territory!
What led to this question was a mediation on creativity and its connections with insight, and the ways in which creativity is not made but recognized.
Here’s the insight as it arrived:
Instead of producing what we know, we create what becomes illuminated through insight.
Clarity and letting go of thought creates a space in which this can occur. ‘Progress’ may not be the right word for this…
You see, process implies a precognition of what will be done. A process is a conveyor belt of assumptions about how we operate. Process is also closely linked with progress.
In each case, process ties us to the mechanisms of thought. In this way, process ties us to the limitations of thought. There can be no creativity – which is the creation of something beyond what is already part of our conditioning, our programming – without setting these limitations aside. This, unlike so much of what we’d like to do in this world, is something we can actually accomplish. Thought and its limitations are chosen as a mode of being, or maybe it’s more accurate to say, this is a default way of being given our history; but it is not the only way of being available to us.
It is beginning to appear that there is another mode of access to mind that is not thought. Insight. Insight arrives. It is not made. It ties in with considerations that while the brain is a processor, that is not its only mode of operation. If we look at the intelligence of a number of creatures lacking the weight of brain we have, creatures like cuttlefish and crows, where no scale of brain size to intelligence makes any sense at all; we are opening to another possible function of the brain as a transmitter and receiver of intelligence via insight. This is, to parallel the technological analogy of the brain as computer, to see the brain as a radio. The size of a radio does not correlate directly to the quality of what it can send or receive, only the relative power of its signal.
In this analogy, if we are bedazzled by the power of our programming and the spinning scenarios it entices us with, then we lack the attention to mind its other function as a sender and receiver of intelligence via insight. This is another, brief explanation of why we are prone to the incoherence of thought.
Functioning within this other mode or realm then is not following processes, is it? The entire notion of process is inextricably mired in the incoherence of thought. Our predilection to fall into these usages is an aspect of why thought maintains such a pernicious hold over us even as we begin to see through its fatal flaws.
As soon as we begin to misunderstand what is occurring and see it as another process, we spiral back into the realm of thought. We are functioning technologically. In that we are jumping onto that conveyor belt of expectations and preprogrammed actions in the mistaken expectation that we will arrive at what we seek.
Here is a grand illumination we receive from David Bohm’s insights into the Implicate Order. The explicit takes form – or appears to our perception as if it were actual – out of a sea of implication. Such a world has nothing in common with the expectations thought imparts on us that what we perceive is sure and that we can interact with certainty acting via a direct linkage of cause and effect.
To navigate implication we need to focus our attention on recognizing what is appearing and having some sort of intelligent manner of interacting with it. Insight seems a good candidate for this manner-of-interaction.
For now, let’s stay with this awkward construction, manner-of-interaction, instead of process; and see how that goes….