Exercise 4: Something incomprehensible

Reference: The Discipline of Subject Clearing

If something does not make sense, then recognize that it does not make sense. Do not try to justify it. Justification simply puts the blame somewhere without resolving the inconsistency. When you are faced with an inconsistency, and you feel an impulse to explain it away, then be alert to what you might be taking for granted. At times it may take some out-of-the-box thinking to realize what is going on.


To discern that something incomprehensible could actually be incomprehensible.


Complete Exercise 3: Something Missing.


In this exercise you simply become aware of something that is incomprehensible and do not try to explain it away. You may do this exercise while sipping coffee in a café or strolling along a river. You may even find a place where you can sit comfortably for a while without being disturbed. Then patiently observe the world go by.

Notice the environment and the people in a causal, easygoing manner. See if there is something that does not make sense. For example, Kantian philosophy says that pure knowledge cannot be sensed because knowledge becomes impure the moment it is sensed. Recognize this as Kant’s idea that does not explain how Kant “sensed” it. Do not pretend to understand. Simply become aware of the incomprehensibility of it.

Look more closely and isolate exactly what it is that you do not understand. If this area can be researched using a dictionary, encyclopedia, or Internet then do so. If it is some contradiction or inconsistency, then check your assumptions. Be alert to what you might be taking for granted. Verify any assumptions.

If it is a failure in life that is incomprehensible, then check if there is blame being placed somewhere. Blame pretends to be an answer, but it does not provide solution. Ignore all attempts at blame. If it is an unwanted condition, then check for explanations that are being used. Ignore all explanations that have not led to resolution in the past.

Expand your span of attention and let the physical and mental perceptions pour in. Let the realizations present themselves to you. Do not justify what is incomprehensible.

Continue this exercise for at least 20 minutes. You may repeat this exercise as many times as you wish.

End of Exercise:

When you can discern that something incomprehensible can really be incomprehensible and it does not have to be justified, then this exercise is passed.


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