For the past 6 years, I have been handling pieces of knowledge like a teller handles groceries at the check-out cash register. My life is full academic papers, they are everywhere, stacks of them. Over past years, I have been trained to read them actively and to structure my own writing in the same way. Essentially, to utilise scientific arguments as points in the every growing web of knowlege in my mind where scientific facts, studies, conjecture, hypotheses, and topics are compared, sorted and linked in an instance.
It wasn’t always like this, my younger days started out in art school, which is a very different intellectual playing field than university. It does have its own quirks, some minor some major, though the need for consensus is less pounded into you. When I first came to uni I was living in Belgium, there I went to the Wallonian university in Bruxelles to complete my master degree. I was in the humanities department and pretty much left to my own devices. My professor was on his way ‘out’, he was becoming more interested in curatorship rather than his academic position. In the department I was supposed to be in the company of others who were interested in contemporary art history but I never met anyone else with my time period, my colleagues were mostly geared towards Middle Ages and Renaissance. So I mainly studied from home when I wasn’t at my job working to make a living. My intellectual partners were two friends who were completing their PhD’s in economy and Lacanian psychology.
I do remember my early days at uni here in the UK where I subsequently started my Dphil. I do remember feeling very much out of place, not understanding the terminology and the discussion threads. I realised I had a lot of studying to do. But I also realised that it was impossible to talk to these people outside their boxes. They were like trained monkeys to me because everything that was discussed, even outside of academia, was seen from this one perspective. I swore to myself that I wasn’t going to be assimilated in the same way. I seem to have managed some distance because I encountered Desteni.
On the other hand, I have not speared myself from the system. Once again, I made this very clear in my last post, I don’t stand as one and equal to knowledge. I stand as inferior when I get into these high-swinging places, where I suck energy from a piece of knowledge because it happens to coincide with my outlook. In addition, these strong feelings will promote the urge for knowledge dissemination, so that “others can benefit as well”. I know this is nothing else than attachment to a mental object, and the ego doing its part by wanting others to know that it knows. It’s a wave I ride or not, depending on the quality of the intellectual material. This is also encapsulated in the fondness I have for the work I do, something I worked hard at in carving out my little intellectual abode against all the odds. I mean my thesis did not come easy, not only did I create a practical piece, instead of an experiment, because I wanted to to pay homage to my past, but also dug deep into the conceptual realm because I wasn’t going to conform with something I wasn’t interested in. I have invested in this with time, emotions, dedication, money and hardship. My mind knows this and wants to justify it with attachment. I cannot let this happen.
I will have to revisit this point when my thesis is written, defended and done with. For the moment I can only see this aspect of attachment but I know that there is more which I’m unable to grasp at this time.
For now I can say this, I am letting go of the ‘meaning’ I have ascribed to knowledge. It is just that, knowledge as mind construct, it happens to be my current work, but it cannot make any difference to what is life.
I forgive myself for allowing myself to feel excited by knowledge.
I forgive myself for allowing myself to judge pieces of knowledge for their content, presentation and validity.
I forgive myself for allowing myself to hide behind knowledge.
I forgive myself for allowing myself to seek safety in knowledge.
I forgive myself for allowing myself to link emotions to knowledge.
I forgive myself for allowing myself to feel bored by some knowledge.
I forgive myself for allowing myself to admire and respect certain scholars.
I forgive myself for allowing myself to use knowledge as a way to front the world.
I forgive myself for allowing myself to be a slave to knowledge and what it represents in our society.
I stand as one and equal to every piece of knowledge that enters and exists my life and see it for what it is.