WHO AM I? WHERE AM I?
WHAT AM I DOING HERE?
A TEXTBOOK FOR LIFE, LIVING, AND REALITY
Section 1 - Chapter 5 -- The Learning Process
What better way to start a new chapter than to start with another definition. This time, however, this word was used quite frequently in the last chapter without any special attention to its meaning and/or limitations. This word that I am referring to is that of possession(s). I used this word interchangeably in reference to objects or tangible things, as well as intangible thoughts and ideas. Some people might prefer the use of the word property, instead of possessions. However, property carries too many other connotations. Even this word, possessions, and its usage need a little explanation as to its meaning and its relationship to the individual.
The word possession refers to either an intangible quality or tangible quality which belongs to, or is part of someone or something of a human nature. It only belongs to that person because of some form or bond that holds or connects this item or items and/or a person(s) together. This bond is called a relationship; however, it can also be identified by other limiting descriptive words. This bond or relationship is something which is shared by two or more people or items. This relationship can change, but it does not necessarily change or affect those things involved physically. In fact, these items and/or people involved, gain from an intangible relationship and in a sense, they become one in character, or can be identified as being part of that person or thing because they form or have a beginning and ending.
I think an example may be appropriate here. Let's say that we have a wooden chair. This chair is put together with parts (small beginnings and endings), which are in turn bound together by glue and nails and the efforts of an individual(s). The materials used in the construction of this chair are all tangible items which can be seen and have some monetary worth. In this case, the glue and the nails are the tangible binding substance and the limiting qualities that describe the end result or possession that now has value to someone else. In addition to these tangible substances, the chair is also a result of physical energy and/or labor efforts directed by the individual(s), which are of an intangible nature. In effect the chair under goes a journey from the intangible to the tangible by the efforts of the human relationship.
Now, the bonding relationship does not stop with the end of the construction of the chair, it is only another small beginning and ending. Because the chair was made by someone, it belongs to that person, unless that person is employed by someone else for the purpose of making such things as chairs. In the latter case, the chair belongs to whoever controls that company who employs the worker. But in the latter situation, the chair only temporarily belongs to the company. The chair serves as a means to another relationship end for that company and/or persons involved in the building of chairs. The chair will be sold to yet another person(s) for a monetary sum, determined by the previous relationship.
So you see, there is a bond which identifies the chair to the individual, as there are bonds between the parts to the overall end item. Each has a number of beginnings and endings. The overall efforts of the individual resulted in either the construction or procurement of the chair. The efforts of an individual(s) result in an end item and in that item becoming a possession of someone else. The bond that holds the chair together is tangible and can be easily identified as a specific ingredient or substance of matter which has a function or purpose. Whereas, a chair that is discarded or left unattended, unguarded in a no man's land, has no visible, observable relationship to an individual. There is still a relationship, but it is abandoned and therefore worthless. It has lost its value to man but has begun a new relationship with the elements of nature for its return to its origin.
In the latter situation, the chair may still be recognizable and function, but unless someone can identify the owner or maker of the chair, there is no relationship. Relationships do change over time and space as do possessions. In this case chair belongs to no one. It is only the individual who is not connected to the chair by visible means that is missing. Even if the chair could be identified as a possession of someone, because of its unnatural setting or position in time and space, its relationship is questionable. That is, the chair is beyond the limitations of a possession, even though it was a possession at a time and can still be again, it is now only an unnatural object subject to natural laws and/or destined to be reclaimed as a possession of our physical world of matter.
In the last chapter, we identified the word possession as meaning that which is sought to fulfill wants and desires for the purpose of happiness or the greater well being of all. Then we said that in the western civilization, the possession itself has become the most important form identifiable with the happiness of the individual, but it is also a form which has considerable or variable qualities and depends on the individuals involved and the element of time. In short, the western culture equates happiness to tangible material possessions, or thinks of wealth and/or possessions as happiness. This latter interpretation is slightly different from our earlier variety of the word, possession.
Just to remind you, we said that a possession is something which has a kind of form, either physical or non-physical, and is part of, or belongs to something else, even though it is something in and by itself. A possession is related to an individual in a bond or position of unity because that person has expended some effort or energies in a cause and effect relationship to acquire that something. That is, a possession is the result of an individual's wants or desires after he has identified that which he is seeking as either happiness or his well being and his willingness to part with certain energies and/or tangible efforts. Tangible efforts here, relates to monetary compensation derived from physical or mental energy. Monetary compensation is the most common denominator of tangible efforts.
In short, a possession is or can be considered an end result or entity in itself. This end result, in turn, has a being all its own, but one which the individual exerts a form of control or ownership over for his own use, needs, wants or whatever purpose he desires. A possession belongs to someone or something; therefore, it is related or relative to that person or thing by a bonding element, connection or force, just as an individual relates to a culture or a chair belongs to a person. Therefore, possessions relate and are acquired for the greater well being of that particular individuals well being. Possessions add to or enhance the individual in some way, shape or form first mentally and then physically.
Perhaps, one of the most interesting things about possessions is that they relate to the individual in such a way that they function as the basis of certainty about which the individual patterns his life around either consciously or unconsciously. That is, the individual accumulates possessions for the purpose of trust, comfort, familiarity, and/or assurance from objects and things in a world of constant change and motion. Therefore, even though a possession is an end result or entity in itself, the end result of a possession by an individual is relative to his stability, comfort and peace of mind. In effect, the individual limits or creates his own personal reality from the world about him, through a process of selection and efforts designed to benefit his well being through the accumulation of possessions either tangible or intangible.
These possessions then, serve as a form of patterning or recognition of a designed nature in an otherwise and supposedly hostile environment, for the purpose of the end user or individual so that he can function in the world about him. In a sense, the purpose or intent of these possessions is to share a broad common base of familiar objects with and from which to communicate that individual's being to other people. The broader the base or possessions, the broader the individual can relate to others. One can use or convey his thoughts and feelings through possessions, for possessions are a form of communication, which helps to serve as a communications bridge or common basis for the understanding the world and this relates to the greater well being of the individual and that of his culture.
Now, all of the preceding was a rather lengthy definition and explanation of a simple word called, possession. In fact, I may have overdone it a bit. But, I think this explanation was a necessary evil, because I would like to explain another interesting word that is very similar to possession but has a meaning all its own even though it is related to possession. The word that I am talking about is that of knowledge, or to know. This word also gets a little complicated; however, this word relates to the individual in a slightly different manner. Unlike the word possession, which controls, or limits, or unites someone or something to that of another, knowledge can be used to define or separate the limitations of the physical world in its relationship to the individual. However, both words are meaningless until they are related to someone or something. That is, you cannot have a possession or knowledge without the individual being involved.
Knowledge is a form of possession. To know is to possess. It belongs to, and is controlled by the individual in a specific relationship. Unlike the word possession, knowledge cannot be identified by another singular limiting descriptive word or proper noun. Therefore, to know is to possess, but to possess does not necessarily mean to know totally. That's because knowledge has a quality or form of certainty which cannot be broken down or divided further but where that limit is, is endless. That is, it is the smallest unit that can be identified with a specific beginning and ending. It has certain specific qualities that make it different from all other identifiable things of mind and matter. It is the real nature or quality of a thing and is not dependent on external circumstances or other conditions which create a final result but it does require a form of recognition which is relative to the individual. One does not have to know everything about a possession for it to belong to him, but he does need to know its relationship to himself if nothing more than to acquire items for their worth and/or value sake. That is not necessarily true of knowledge.
Knowledge cannot be achieved as an end result in an indirect relationship as can a possession. Knowledge can only be acquired through the concerted efforts of the individual involved in a direct relationship. That is, the want or desire to know, must come before the end result or possession of knowledge. To acquire knowledge, one must make a determined commitment to comprehend, recognize, and identify its relationship to himself and then work toward that end result. One can be given knowledge, but unless that person is receptive to its relationship or importance to him, he will not retain or possess that knowledge. Knowledge does not belong to an individual because of money or any other common denominator except direct involvement. One must purposely seek knowledge to acquire it, because it requires special focused attention to detail and/or relationships which only an individual can control through possessions.
Knowledge requires the individual to use analytical thought processes to separate and isolate that which one is seeking. It requires the individual to identify that particular unit (beginning and ending), and then see what this unit is and how it is connected to or relates to the overall solution to an unknown or unexperienced problem. Knowledge then, is the accumulation of certain identifiable units into their smallest parts and the understanding of how these parts are different, but in turn, relate or connect to one another. It is the knowing of these units and their differences that constitutes knowledge. Knowledge is the recognition of separation or the identification of small beginnings and endings, recognizable by a common union that is related to the individual.
When possessions are the manifestation of matter into useful physical objects of man to use as he pleases, knowledge is the equivalent in the mental state of being. Knowledge is that intangible quality that relates to the real physical world, but cannot be seen. That is, thoughts about the world are first perceived by the mind and are then manifested into physical reality through the application of energy to create new forms of matter that can be controlled. Man takes his knowledge of nature and natural laws to design or re-arrange matter into specific creations for a specific result or possession.
The intangible quality of knowledge makes it much harder to come by or acquire than do possessions. That's because the physical senses are so much more dominate in determining ones environment and behavior than are one's conscious mental abilities. The power of the mind is strong, but the physical senses detect specific physical limitations that affect and control our reality. Mental images and thoughts can easily be changed or altered and may not affect our physical reality. The seeking of knowledge requires the ability to comprehend specific relationships in regard to absolute certainty. The same intangible qualities that make knowledge so finite or absolute, also make it so infinite or limitless. One can never know all there is to know, because one can never relate to or be conscious of all there is.
For a moment, let's go back to our example of a chair and the binding force or relationship of its parts. In that example, it was said that the end result of physical efforts was the construction of a chair, and this end result constituted a possession. Now, how knowledge differs from that of a possession is in the fact that the individual(s) must know ahead of the construction, what the materials will be and how they will be assembled. One has to know how these parts go together, in what sequence, and how to hold them together in a permanent or fixed position for the end result and at what cost. Unless one knows the end result, the work effort does not or should not start.
In a competitive situation, where you have other people making chairs, it is important to know or ensure that the construction or end results are restricted to certain prescribed limitations. That is, one does not normally want his work efforts to exceed the value or cost of the end result. Therefore, one must know in advance what the necessary limitations are in the fabrication of the chair in relationship to his ability to maintain his competitiveness and/or his financial stability or well being. In this case, the knowledge or knowing of the materials to be used, and the shape of the parts, and the finish, automatically limits the individual to certain specific methods of construction and the existing equipment available. The media, tools and the individual involved are all limiting factors in the construction of the end result.
So here you have a chair, a final result or possession. However, this unit was first conceived by the mind to serve a useful purpose. Then that idea was analyzed and broken down from its idealized concept and function to its overall construction, next its parts, then the binding elements, the fabrication methods, the work effort and the cost of these efforts in relationship to the final cost. All of these factors were conceived in the mind of the individual before actual construction even started. Knowledge preceded the end result or possession. Without the accumulation or possession of knowledge, construction could not begin. Again we are confronted by small beginnings and endings that forms an interconnecting union.
All of these explanations were necessary to lead you up to a point in the understanding of relationships. Possessions and knowledge form a relationship, and the relationship of these items to the individual, form in effect, a triangle. These three elements make up what I call the learning process. These three elements make up a complete subconscious pattern or structural unit; however, to bring this structure out into physical reality, two more elements must be considered and they are time and space. So our triangle now becomes a pyramid that has depth or dimension to it. These five elements form the basis of our physical reality and are needed to manifest the world about us. These elements make up our environment and learning process that relates to all.
Now, even though the learning process has been identified, there is still one major element missing. What is missing, is the binding force that holds these five elements together. It is the interior content or space between these elements or corners that is still unknown. But this is simple enough. What else can have form and cannot be identified itself? The answer is understanding. Understanding is that inner content, it is the force that allows man to function in the physical world. It is the unmanifested force that holds and separates everything and relates everything to everything else. It is the understanding of the five elements and their relationship that creates the world about us and allows us to operate and function for that purpose.
Without understanding, the five elements mean nothing by themselves. It is one thing to know something and another to possess something, but these things alone will not help or add to the well being of the individual. One must understand how knowledge and possessions relate to the physical world before they can belong to or benefit mankind. This is a world of physical matter, and one cannot properly relate to something which cannot be manifested into matter for the use of the individual. It is the triangle that symbolizes the mental learning process and the pyramid that makes this learning process relate to the physical world about us, and it is understanding that holds everything together. These structures represent a relationship of understanding. They are the building processes or systems which must be used by the individual to fulfill wants, needs, and desires. These elements and their relationship then constitute the learning process.
Because man is so accustomed to operating in the physical world about him, he seldom questions or understands this learning process. However, it is there and it does work on a constant ongoing basis. But, it may be extremely difficult for the individual to see this relationship of the elements in the learning process; therefore, I will try to give you a quick example of what is involved. But, before I give you this example, I want you to imagine an unrealistic situation. What I want you to do is to put yourself in an isolated environment. This is difficult to do, because you really have never experienced anything even close to this situation. But let's try.
First, let's start out with something simple. Let's say that you are the only person left on this earth. Now for some reason, you are killed or eliminated. Your demise or removal from the learning process would leave a gap or space which understanding could not fill. Therefore, there would be no need for knowledge or possessions, because they would not really add to or benefit you in physical reality. So, the elimination of the individual from this physical reality and the learning process would virtually eliminate the need or purpose of the process.
Next, let's say that you, the individual, had no possessions. You would find yourself in a world of physical plants and animals, but you would not be able to exercise any control over these objects. You would be without clothes and you would have no food or shelter, because you could not control any part of your environment; therefore, there would be no learning process. Even if you had the knowledge of everything about you, you still could not use these things to sustain yourself. Without possessions, you would find yourself in a relatively hostile environment. Man, or the individual, must have the ability to use energy or nature for his own benefit. This is the purpose of physical existence, or the individual will soon perish and again there will be no learning process.
To know requires the ability to separate or distinguish the world about you into distinct identifiable items or units. Unlike possessions, which binds everything together to the individual, knowledge separates everything. Without knowing differences, one could not distinguish things from one another and would not be able to function. Possessions would not be any good without the knowledge of how to use them in relationship to the well being of the individual. Therefore, one would have to know or have the knowledge of objects in order to use them for his survival and benefit. Without knowledge, again, the individual would soon perish and again there would be no learning process.
Without understanding, these elements and how they relate to one another in space and time, man cannot exist. Without the learning process, life as we know it would not exist. Without one, there would be no need, no purpose and no meaning to life. But, it is the inner content above all that determines or limits our outer world of physical reality. It is the understanding and/or access to alternate unmanifested non-linear realities above all else, that brings meaning to the world about us. It is understanding that shapes our world and gives it some semblance of order and form of a tangible nature.
It is interesting to note that the word understanding and the word meaning are almost the same or synonymous to one another. The word understanding refers to standing among, or to know the meaning or implication; whereas, the word meaning, refers to a degree of importance, or halfway, or to have in the conscious mind. Both of these words basically denote a position or relationship which would put them in between two extremes or center position. This is just where we placed the word understanding in our triangle and pyramid. This implication is important. Like our culture that binds people together in a mutually beneficial relationship, understanding binds people and the physical world together in a greater relationship.
Besides understanding being the binding force in our learning process, it also serves as a value quality. As stated before, the acquiring of knowledge or possessions does not or cannot stand alone, because there is no relationship. As the conscious understanding increases, so do the relationships increase, and that expands the knowledge of things, and that in turn, increases the possessions or abundance of things in the material world. Therefore, the real value of knowledge and possessions comes from understanding and the giving away of this understanding in the form of knowledge or possessions. The quality or value of knowledge and possessions comes with use and understanding. The more something is used, the more skilled or adept one becomes in the understanding of that knowledge or possession. Therefore, value normally increases as understanding increases or one gets close or more accustomed to the patterns. This is true up to a certain point, and then this understanding normally grows or changes into something else in a progressive manner into something of more value, but related to the original. Again, we are confronted with beginnings and endings.
It was mentioned several times before, that value comes from effort. In the preceding explanation, we said that value comes from use. I don't think that there is any contradiction here, because use requires efforts of some kind. But, through understanding, the effort can become less and less as the understanding increases. That is, the more one knows about something, the easier and faster it is for him to achieve the proper end result. Therefore, understanding can vary the effect of knowledge and possessions, but understanding requires great efforts and energies and patience which few individuals seem willing or able to expend. That is, understanding seems to take a lot more energy than most people are willing to spend, are unable to spend, or for some unknown reason, don't want to spend. The problem with understanding seems to be that it takes much too much time to focus on a concerted effort, or attention to detail and/or relationships, the ability to recognize and above all, patience.
Because the human body is composed of physical matter, he can best relate to things which are also of physical matter. His senses are equipped to identify and feel the physical forces of matter around him. So, he can respond much quicker and easier to things of a tangible nature. Therefore, his efforts and energies are directed to things of this nature which have limitations or beginnings and endings. The knowledge of things of an intangible nature such as alternate unmanifested non-linear realities is relatively unimportant or secondary to that of physical matter, because matter can directly affect the body and/or physical senses. That is, one can see what one is up against with physical matter and can choose to join or avoid that which is confronting him in his immediate environment; whereas, things that cannot be seen are basically ignored.
Another possible reason or problem concerning understanding and knowledge is that efforts in this direction, usually do not necessarily have an immediate end result or benefit to the individual. People are normally reluctant to do things without something in return. That is, people want to see some sort of response or return for their energies and efforts. Apparently, the element of time is very important to the individual and affects a lot of his judgments and decisions to select one thing over another. Most people no longer want to wait or lay careful long range plans, but want to experience things right here and now, thereby satisfying the physical senses immediately.
The same problem that affects knowledge and understanding, is the same problem that limits the individual. That is, it is the self imposed limitations of conscious understanding and knowledge that constitutes the world of the individual in relationship to his environment. His physical reality is only as big as his triangle of conscious understanding, or his learning process. Man restricts himself. He will learn only as much as he wants to learn. He can do and function only as much or as far as he wants to learn. He can do and function only as much or as far as he is willing to expend his conscious energies to expand his learning pyramid. The alternative or consequences of his actions, is to live within his triangle or existing framework of his self imposed limitations and to be comfortable or know how to accept that which he indirectly expects and/or is willing to tolerate.
As mentioned earlier, understanding occupies the center position of our learning process. But, this does not necessarily mean that the individual will always chooses this position, nor does it assure him of proper learning or growth. Man limits or restricts himself; therefore, he can also position himself anywhere within the triangle or learning process. The ideal location would naturally be in the center where he could share an equal balance of understanding knowledge, self, and possessions in time and space. But the individual exercises judgment and free will. That is, he evaluates that which he wants to experience, either consciously or unconsciously. Therefore, he can select or choose those things which he considers important, useful or beneficial to himself. It is his selection, based upon his value judgment, of what he consciously or unconsciously wants or desires, that determines his position within the learning process.
Let me repeat that again for my own sake. The individual first has wants and desires, which were basically a result of previous selections. Please remember that, it's important. Then, he selects certain absolute knowledge which relates to or leads to a position in relationship to a specific end or desired result. Through his conscious knowledge and understanding of relationships, which is in effect the connecting of short beginnings and endings, or the knowledge of groupings of similarities, the individual sets out to change, alter, or influence things in a cause and effect manner. That is, he selects the proper relationship or position that again connects to or leads to his hoped for or expected end by using energy and effort to create a predictable (within limits) desired result. This selection process is primarily a system of elimination which narrows or limits the mental and physical actions of the individual and/or material manifestation.
That means, that man uses energy to create mental thoughts and images of his desire first. Then he consciously goes about bringing these intangible qualities into physical tangible reality. Subconsciously, man has the ability to access all probabilities in unmanifested non-linear realities. However, man chooses patterns based upon physical reality and the understanding of certain positions of relationships that he somehow connects to and identifies with and exhibits certain variable qualities. Therefore, man unconsciously develops controls and/or possesses these thought patterns or mental routines which becomes part of his behavior, and all of that constitutes the learning process. It is a process of understanding of expansion and growth and the recognition of knowledge and possessions.