Intermezzo 11: Concepts are not facts
Mike: As people who were born into a culture which is basically Cartesian, we adopt concepts and we use those concepts in conversations or in our work as though they were facts. They are not facts; they are concepts, until we embody them. Does that make sense? Kieran has suddenly woken up, what has struck you Kieran?
Kieran: In the morning I went for a walk and we were talking about exactly this.
Mike: There you are you see …
The only way to find out if something really works is to stop treating it as a concept, but become it; then you have embodied it. From that position you can say that this works or it doesn’t work. From the position of conceptualisation you can make no judgement. We are talking about theory not practice.
So what is stillness? Without examining that word very carefully and being fully aware of the context in which it is being used, we accept without thinking a conventional interpretation of ‘what is stillness?’ The conventional meaning of stillness is nothing is moving. The horse is moving; the horse is standing still. The clouds are moving across the sky―there is no wind―the clouds are very still. That is the conventional meaning of stillness.
Another meaning is it relates to non-attachment. Everything is moving; the universe is in motion; the universe cannot help being in motion; the universe and everything in it is in motion. I am still in my awareness of that, and I am not attached and not drawn off by the universe and all its contents. My mind is active; I am meditating; things are coming and going in my mind, but I don’t go with them. I am still in my awareness of what is going on in my mind. I am not trying to be a zombie and have no movements in my mind. I am not trying to be a zombie and have no movements in my body. I am not yet suffering from rigor mortis; it will come soon I have no doubt!