Experience and Facts
by David Eide .

Experience limits you the same way the geography of a particular place limits you. You are walking on a plain and suddenly mountains appear and if you want to continue on your journey you have to surmount the mountains. Just as this is true so it is true that if you are confronted with various facts in your own experience they change the direction you are travelling in.

Now, what is the overwhelming experience of technical society? Isn’t it the overcoming of these geographical barriers by technical means?

Does the mind conspire with that which promises freedom?

Isn't this the source of the “rootless” self? Isn't it the mind that replicates the technical excursion over the surface of the planet, now, even outside the atmosphere of the planet. Even from the depths of space.

You don’t even have to ask yourself whether it is good or bad. It is self-evident fact.

And yet, for all that, one is put back into the densities of life. You can’t really escape it. Every new perception is connected to a thousand social facts. The facts create the warp and woof of the on-going self as the mind tries to figure out what the facts mean for it.

One revives and goes outside and is met by the city. Isn’t the city a new fact to be overcome?

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There are several extraordinary tensions that exist in civilized life and play a part in nearly every activity.

The tension between space exploration on the one hand and the threat of nuclear annihilation on the other.

Freedom and limitation are the poles around which these facts constellate themselves. There’s a great amount of hubris in both; one is benign, the other is thoroughly malignant.

These facts exacerbate the “unconscious mind” more than anything else since they resurrect two profound soundings of the spirit; the desire of the spirit to leave the body and the desire of the spirit to merge into the source of itself. One is life and adventure, the other death.

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Another tension exists in the extreme differentiation between the mundane and extraordinary. One travels to England one week and walks the same streets as Shakespeare did, then flies home over the same body of water Columbus sailed and is back gain in the mundane tasks of daily existence.

One is aware of something extraordinary afoot in the world. The movement of people plus vast incomprehensible problems and, as well, the awareness of the singular limitation of the person in doing much of anything without the support of many.

He can even differentiate the many who support his effort and the many who try to pull that support away.

And there is the sharp division between perception which naturally or artificially brings all the facts, scenes, etc to one. Television, for instance, increases the perception of color as long as one doesn’t get indoctrinated on the content.

Radio increases or heightens the perception of sound, voice etc as long as one doesn’t get indoctrinated by the source.

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Perception is the great common denominator.

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I read the diary of a man who has walked or rode a horse through the same area where I have walked or driven a car and his perception, being literate and spontaneous, is the same naked perception I have of the hills, the valleys, the watercourses, etc.

The attention put on the “primitive” on the “native american" on the "naïve" a few years back was to renew perception, to cleanse perception of the accumulated drek that follows absorption in the densities. The drek is transformed into perception- simple perceptions of nature, of sky color, of cloud formation, of mountain ridge, of flower color etc as well as the civilized artifacts; simple, innate, particular perception without any projection into it. Walk in any city with this perception, ignore the weird reactions of others. This begins many things. It’s not important to figure out whether this is “scientific” or “artistic”. It’s not an end in itself. The pleasure it brings is an end but there is a certain pain that it brings as well.

1985


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