Exploring the origin and history of concepts

 

I notice I explore the origin and history of concepts in at least three areas:

Historically. For instance, what’s the origin and history of the idea of a split between humans and spirit? The different ideas of God or Spirit in the different traditions? Good and evil? Even good and bad? What we see as right and wrong in our culture? A particular custom? (This is explored through history, archaeology, anthropology, history of religion, history of science, history of philosophy etc.)

In my own life. When did I first have the idea of perfection? Of something being wrong? Of illness and health? (This often goes back to parents, school, friends and/or media, and sometimes I cannot remember and it’s more a matter of guessing.)

Here and now. The two previous ones are conceptual explorations, explored within the world of ideas – of history, time, origins etc. This one is here and now, and a direct looking. How is my experience of my world created? How does [anything] appear in my sense fields? In sensations, images and words, sight, sound, smell, taste? When it appears real, what gives it that sense of reality?

All three forms of explorations have their value.

The historical exploration helps me see that what we sometimes takes as a given in my culture is not really a given. The idea has its history, development, and – if we go far enough back – its origin. Someone – a human being just like me and anyone I know – made it up. And then other people took it on, developed it, perhaps took it as true and real, and passed it on.

The individual exploration helps me see when I took on certain ideas, from whom, and perhaps even why. I see that it was innocent, and from confused love. It was well intentioned, and perhaps somewhat misguided.

And exploring how my world is created here & now is even more valuable to me. It helps whatever stickiness is here soften and eventually release. What appeared solid, real and unquestionable is revealed as created by a combination of words and images, sensations, and images of these sensations.

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– origin of concepts (a) history, (b) own life, (c) now
– concepts vs identification

Origin of concepts

  • (a) historically, origin of basic ideas such as good/bad, god, right/wrong,
  • (b) own life, where came from (parents, school, friends, books)

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