Thought: What is it?

All thought is objectification,
Of what? Of what I am.
I can, therefore, objectify what I am?

Acting via an intermediate object from moment to moment as intermediate subject, that is as 'phenomenal subject', such thought cannot objectivise, or constitute an objectivisation of, what-I-am, since what I am is what thought is: and mediate thought as such cannot think itself.

'Direct thought' Shen Hui termed 'absolute thought', sometimes translated 'thought of the Absolute'. Living according to absolute thought is direct living, what I have termed 'non-volitional living', or wu wei, as the Masters lived.

Living according to mediate (indirect) thought is the life of men who mistake the mediate subject for an entity, because it appears to act, and identify themselves with that, thereby finding that they are in suppositional bondage. Mediate thought objectivises everything, for objectivisation is its function and what it is; it objectivises every thing except itself which is no thing, and that - which is This, or direct thought - it cannot objectify.

But direct - or absolute - thought is the process of objectivisation of what-I-am, which is what we are as sentient beings, which constitutes the apparent universe and maintains it in the apparent seriality which is the temporal aspect of space-time. It can have no other objectivisation of itself than this apparent universe, for it cannot objectivise itself, either directly or mediately otherwise than as phenomena, since itself as such has no objective quality to be perceived as an object. Attempts at self-objectivisation via a mediate subject therefore can only arrive at the percept of emptiness, conceptualised as 'the Void', since what is perceived is void of all objects - which is then the objective appearance of what-I-am. Phenomenally, therefore, what I am, what all sentient beings are subjectively, is voidness of objectivity; utterly non-objective, what we are is the imperceptible source of everything, itself inexistent as a 'thing'.

Suggestions by the qualified concerning its nature never exceed notions such as 'light', 'colour', 'bliss', 'infinite awareness', in Sanscrit 'sat-chit-ananda', implying ineffable self-consciousness devoid of 'form', 'force', 'character', or any quality soever. 'I' might be illustrated conceptually as 'unlimited potentiality', non-manifesting Dhyana becoming manifest via Prajna, its cognising expression, which as 'thought' is the subject of these observations.

When mediate thought is quiescent immediate thought remains, ubiquitous and eternal, and such is what I am, but it could never describe what it is, since itself would then be the describing of what is describing what is being described.

An immediate thought, which is non-conceptual and so non-dual - unsplit into subject and object - itself being what is, can know no bondage.

(© HKU Press, 1966)

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