Groking, Second Foundation, and Bearing Witness
So I use â€śgrokâ€ť a lot to explain what I mean by bearing witness. Of course then youâ€™ve got to explain grok. So, in bearing witness I say that thatâ€™s a state in which the observer and the observed disappear, and itâ€™s just the experience itself. That is, thereâ€™s no subject/object relationship. So bearing witness is to grokâ€”to really become one with the situation.
Koan study in Zen was developed to help us experience this bearing witness. That is, there are many koans that the only way to answer them is to become all of the entities in the koan, and show the teacherâ€”or the one you are meeting in the koan studyâ€”that you have become that. If you give commentary on that, that doesnâ€™t work. Thatâ€™s a subject/object relationship. Even if the commentary sounds right, it doesnâ€™t matter. The koan study is aiming for you to experience that situation when the observer and the observed are gone, and itâ€™s just the thing itself. So thatâ€™s â€śgrok.â€ť
Another bookâ€”actually a series of booksâ€”that I loved was Isaac Asimovâ€™s The Foundation. Thatâ€™s a series I think of five or six books. But in it, thereâ€™s a man, Hari Seldon, who comes to the conclusion that the universeâ€”which was large, and many planets, different galaxies, and there was somebody overseeing the whole thingâ€”but anyway, he came to the conclusion that it was going to end in chaos. And he worked out a way to predictâ€”at least statisticallyâ€”how things would flow. And he came up with a way to improve the probability that a stabile universe could occur sooner, if there were some interventions. Without interventions, maybe the whole thing would have gone total chaos in letâ€™s say a billion yearsâ€”I donâ€™t know, a hundred million years. With some interventions, he felt he could lengthen the time by which after the galaxies went chaoticâ€” that they could regain stability. And to do that, Hari creates two different Foundationsâ€”a Foundation and a Second Foundation. And the Second Foundation, nobody knows where it is. Nobody knows anything about it. He keeps that secret.
The First Foundation grows. And itâ€™s very scientific, and itâ€™s based on knowledge. And it goes the way that weâ€™ve seen our planet go. A merchant class arises and takes over. And an information class arises and takes over. And the scientists arise and take over. That sort of repeats the cycle that we understand. And itâ€™s based on knowledge. And it has a limited lifetime, because it has an inherent flaw. And the inherent flaw is that it is based on knowledge.
The Second Foundation are folks that can grok Indraâ€™s net. They can grok the interconnectedness of life. They can grok the whole thing in a way where theyâ€™re not observing the whole thing, but they are part of it. And they can feel and understand the wholeness of the universeâ€”of the world. And as the First Foundation gets into troubles, the Second Foundation groks the situation. And by bearing witness to that situation, comes up with loving actions, which are permutations to move the First Foundation back into some stability.
Sounds familiar for those that know about the Zen Peacemakers, and the three tenets of not knowing, bearing witness, and loving actions.
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