…transformation …entails …that problems of knowledge …be seen in connection with the wider questions pertaining to human life. …why are we inquiring in the first place? As Midgley (2004) points out: “thinking out how to live is a more basic and urgent use of the human intellect than the discovery of any fact whatsoever, …the considerations it reveals ought to guide us in the search for knowledge, as they ought in every other project we pursue” (p. 161).
This statement, once read in black and white, appears to be self-evident. How could we justify any other way of proceeding? Yet we do. This is an ethos with a vanishingly small constituency.
In general we’re unaccustomed to asking why on any fundamental level. The basis of the strength of our assumptions is expected to remain unchallenged. Why is assumed.
Yet these assumptions are a form of dreaming. They are a kind of sleepwalking. They mask our relations with what-is.
Not the sort of thing that happens when we fall awake.
There are various ways to arrive at why.
We are accustomed to answering why with an explanation. The explanation refers back to a plan, a model, a reason – story – for why things are to be the way they are. The way we want to see them.
This channels our actions back into the same failed pathways we’re attempting to get loose from.
We fall back on blaming our short-comings on “human nature.” Yet we have no idea what human nature might encompass. As with anything actual, it is a mystery beyond conception. What we call human nature is this habit of short-circuit. Familiar patterns are tenacious. They find ways of re-establishing themselves. Reinforced by our very habit of seeing them as unavoidable.
The most salient aspect of falling awake seems to be a matter-of-fact attitude towards what we perceive and how we respond or react. Awake, there is a loosening of programed reactions that tend to return us to our vicious cycles.
It’s not about getting a better plan.
It’s not about understanding more facts, building better models, achieving more minute, or faster, analyses.
Recognize when a dream-state is intruding. Suspend habitual tendencies to follow them as they lead us away from awareness and into a multitude of intoxications.
The rest just happens. It comes about as we remove impediments to our ability to receive/perceive. To act in response in ways that are not merely stereotypical reactions to what we think we see.
Imagining how this might feel, or what it might lead to; any version of the countless ways this can be twisted around and turned into another slightly novel version of our usual dream; will only keep us from falling awake.
We suffer from a narcolepsy of awareness. Our accustomed modes of being/acting resist any attempt to fall awake, to stay awake.
Falling awake is something we allow to happen, but cannot attempt to control.
The “controller” an illusion, after all. No more real than a rainbow.
Why fall awake?
Sleepwalking has proven a dead-end. The proof all around us. The misery, suffering…. Destruction and death-worship.
Everything awaits our awakening from this troubled sleep.