Definitions, Knowing and Certainty

Various kinds of mirages in one location taken over the course of six minutes, not shown in temporal order. (WikiPedia)

DEFINITIONS, KNOWING & CERTAINTY

Recently a member of one of the One Garden groups expressed mild customer dissatisfaction at our not having made more progress in the case of definitions. We are primarily about celebrating the Oneness that we feel is beyond the diversity of world-views, especially as seen in interspirituality & perennial philosophy/wisdom, so we probably shouldn’t go too far into philosophy, but……

DEFINITIONS – a few observations

1 Definitions like word teachings in Zen are also just pointers – the map is not the experience.

2a Definitions can be subjective – Pandas are a Disneyesque means for the Chinese to gain massive public relations benefit to take away focus on their appalling human rights record & their increasing world domination.

2b Definitions can be objective; Pandas are;

Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata, Class Mammalia, Order Carnivora, Family Ursidae,

Genus Ailuropoda, Species A. melanoleuca, Binomial name Ailuropoda melanoleuca

3 You can choose between definitions – obvious criteria would include a) the one that makes most sense given you experience, b) the one that is standard in the (scholarly or professional) group in which you operate etc.

Before we go further with definitions relevant to the One Garden ‘field’ I suggest we need to look at ‘knowledge’ & certainty’

KNOWLEDGE

We live in a matrix of (at least) the known and knowable and the unknown and unknowable. For the individual the known is what s/he knows in order to produce a particular desired result. The capital of Ukraine is knowable but I don’t know what it is, but could look it up. The unknown (but knowable) might include a plentiful supply of clean energy n forms as yet untapped. The unknown and unknowable according to some/many religionists includes the Godhead – on the grounds that we (the finite) cannot comprehend that which is infinite. Insert your own examples.

We have been forced into the idea that the only legitimate knowledge is that which is measurable, repeatable etc. But almost all that is important isn’t open to the rules of scientific inquiry. From education the point is made –

” What was educationally significant and hard to measure has been replaced by what is educationally insignificant and easy to measure. So now we measure how well we’ve taught what isn’t worth learning! “ (Arthur Costa)

The job is to ask questions – it always was – and to ask them as inexorably as I can. And to face the absence of precise answers with a certain humility. Arthur Miller

I find myself not satisfied with how philosophers classify knowledge;

TYPES OF KNOWLEDGE – source HERE

Personal Knowledge

The first kind of knowledge is personal knowledge, or knowledge by acquaintance. This is the kind of knowledge that we are claiming to have when we say things like “I know Mozart’s music.”

Procedural Knowledge

The second kind of knowledge is procedural knowledge, or knowledge how to do something. People who claim to know how to juggle, or how to drive, are not simply claiming that they understand the theory involved in those activities. Rather, they are claiming that actually possess the skills involved, that they are able to do these things.

Propositional Knowledge

The third kind of knowledge, the kind that philosophers care about most, ispropositional knowledge, or knowledge of facts. When we say things like “I know that the internal angles of a triangle add up to 180 degrees” or “I know that it was you that ate my sandwich”, we are claiming to have propositional knowledge. Source – HERE

Three conditions must be satisfied in order to possess knowledge belief, truth, & justification.

RP’s ALTERNATIVE (thinking of work such as being a teacher)

In my SunWALK model I suggest classifying knowledge in the following ways – via the ‘4Cs’ –

INTRA-PERSONALLY

1 Caring – heart knowing based on empathy, compassion and bonds

2 Creativity – the subjective knowing the artist acquires to realize and express her voice & vision

3 Criticality – the objective knowing scientists need

INTERPERSONALLY

4 Community – how to achieve desired things, how to build and make and persuade etc.

As Arthur Miller implies not all knowledge is sharp, clear, indisputable & generally agreed. The same goes for definitions. Some are fuzzier than others Living with fuzziness is just how it is.

DEGREES OF CERTITUDE & CERTAINTY

Even major forms of knowledge have to give way at times eg., I assume, pre quantum physics had to give way to quantum physics as it was ‘revealed’ or ‘manifested’!

‘Abdu’l-Bahá distinguishes two kinds of knowledge: “One is subjective and the other objective knowledge – that is to say, an intuitive knowledge and a knowledge derived from perception.”

He also identifies four ways of coming to know – in the sense of have sufficient proof upon which to make a decisions. The four are; senses, reason, authority, inspiration. To these we might add a few others e.g group consultation. Each of these on their own can mislead us. Mirages in the case of the senses. Immaculate logic that is based on a false premise. Inaccurate or deliberately misleading of authorities. Inspiration that is misunderstood/misread because of our ego. See HERE

BUT: To combine the various forms of proof provides us with highest degree of certainty.

-0-

Truth is one – but science is discovered truth and religion/spirituality is revealed truth.

PURPOSE: even greater Awakening;Detachment;Service PRACTICE: smile;breathe;go mindfully

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