The Process & Epimestology of Knowledge
Conditioning, Knowledge Patterns, Thinking and the Mind
This material presented on this page comprises a series of observations/dialogue referring to the way in which the human mind processes and experiences 'knowledge' and knowing - an intimate exploration of what actually occurs between the ears when a human 'knowledges', and how that relates to the rest of being.
The material originates from voluntary collaborative work, undertaken by a group in pursuance of the exploration of fundamental behaviours, in June 2001. A tidied up synopsis of the material explored is presented followed by a rough, colloquial transcript of the original 'as it happened'.
Although this page will quite adequately 'stand alone', the serious reader may find it useful to study it in conjunction with the closely associated pages on patterning, philosophy and science - all of which are available via the links.
The epistemology of knowing-
What is the process of knowing (process, not content) and how does it function in our everyday lives? This investigation excluded 'philosophy and science', which got investigated at a later date.
a) knowing works by us accessing memory and comparing stored image with current projected image
b) the process is complex, vast and moves like quicksilver
c) the manufacture of image (past or present) may produce accurate or innaccurate forms - memories, and present projections, may be based on flawed information - wholly or partially
d) principal form of image stored in memory (and projected) is visual
e) thinking in visual images is a parallel process and can contain vast amounts of information in one tableau that can show:
i) objects, including backgrounds and scenarios
ii) colour and texture
iii) the relative position and relationship between objects (eg image of a man sat on a horse presupposes several things - all without words and in an instant)
iv) dynamics - the contents of the images can move around
v) zoom in/out: magnification or reduction in imortance of various aspects
vi) trial and error: the relationship between contents of images can be experimented with
f) images can be accessed and manipulated incredibly rapidly in real time
g) images are associative: focussing in on one can lead to access of others
h) verbal audio images (word symbols in hearing form - internal dialogue) interact with visual images as a kind of card index system
j) the magnitude and flexibilty of (parallel) thinking in visual image outsrips that in (linear) internal dialogue by orders of magnitude
k) one view of 'knowledging' is of comparing 'what is or might be' an archive of dynamic paintings: depending on the degree of 'fit' we might say we know OR that something (by similitude) is 'like' something else
l) analogue audio images also play a (interlinking) part in all this - the analogue auditory sense also functioning as 'parallel' - but the pre-eminence of the visual imagination in all this is clearly observable
m) To 'know' very simple things, we need to rely on and assume a lot of other 'known' things
n) knowledge is ALWAYS APPROXIMATE and incomplete (since images will never match exactly, everyone will have their own & the composites will necessarily vary
p) agreement in symbol or 'words' give apparent agreement - but people's understanding of the word's (which ultimately roots in visual image) will differ
q) a useful exercise in observing 'knowing' in a simple fashion is to observe how the mind works (and it's very fast indeed) in determining (say) the physical location of the last book one read a part of where the author's mane began with 'K'
r) memory access is large and hierarchical in that it layers and combines presupposition 'knowing' is not confined simply to 'simple' things, it needs the memory of a lot of other things to support it knowing
s) different people 'know' the same things in different (owing to different supporting memories) it generally occurs extremely rapidly in a virtually 'on line' manner: this indicates parallel brain activity by observation it is closely allied with the sense of vision (vision is a parallel sense & can 'stack' relationships hierarchically in one glance
t) even with sound, the visual imagery appears to predominate: observe what happens - 'What does an electric guitar sound like?'
v) fascinating, presupposition occurring in real time by visual juxtaposition and dynamic.variation. The man rides the horse, and in an instant we can make the horse ride the man.
w) Note that the potential for 'false' images (and therefore knowledge) here is vast - for every accurate , real or practical image that can be constructed for objects thenmeselves (eg a four legged horse) and relationships between those objects, there are potentially and infinite number of fantasy, unreal or innaccurate images (Aside: this gets discussed in other dialogues when the epimestology of philosophy and science is examined)
x) What does the front of your house look like? [observe how your mind responds] How do you get to work? What 's on the top shelf in your fridge? All this is knowledge.
y) What happened when you last drove a car? Yes, this is knowledge. This is how it works - can you remember the last US Election? How do you cook an egg? [long pauses as 'doing it' occurs]
z) the process of internal dialogue is observed not to exist in words alone, but is supported by this huge visual knowledging network
aa) we may have deeply held beliefs (which may be based on accurate or erroneous knowledging) which we continually reiterate by repetition of fixed symbol (word) patterns and thus fixate - see also the patterning texts
bb) different images relating to the same thing can (and do) exist such as to cause internal stress and conflict. Fact is that these images are just that - images [this line of discussion abandoned as 'content' rather than process]
cc) repeated images are more embedded (by repetition) in the central nervous system & consequently more active and amenable to automatic response
dd) interesting with regard to the latter that mankind has always had a close association with the visual arts AND uses drawings and graphics so much in engineering and construction - creation - works
ee) Our visual thinking mechanism - in terms of speed, complexity, capacity and parallel operation dwarfs internal dialogue
ff) We are 'incentivized' to stay in our imagination... "When you wish upon a star" is the national anthem of "let me live in a Disney theme park of my mind", where I can pretend what is my reality.
gg) People make money out of it, yes. Also you are less trouble to the authorities and easier to manipulate by the capitalist advertisers.Yes a culture that says its OK to do that is a big part of it too. "Follow your dream"... that kind of warm and cozy mantra… follow your dream. While people dream, they can be readily manipulated - bread and circuses. Major effort of next sentury to help people in general to determine the difference between fantasy and reality: uphill struggle.
(Note - in order to prevent confusion - that unless indicated otherwise, the observations and commentaries given above are original to the members of the group who participated in the dialogue.)
A full rough transcript of this particular dialogue is presented below.
The epistemology of knowing-
- Shall we pick up where we left off last night? the epistemology of knowing… how does 'knowing' work in our daily lives. When we got down to it, the sheer scale of the thing - the way we so effortlessly deploy multiple nested presuppositions - utterly overawed me, and still does. when we looked at (the very simple) example of 'Bloggs knows how to change car spark plugs', the vast web of intertwined 'knowledge' (as in memory, recognition - per definition) that supports that statement is astonishing. And I don't want to get into 'philosophy' with all this (that's perhaps another area we should one day study the mechanics, motivation and epistemology of) with all this.
And know, I don't feel 'inadequate', C, just dwarfed by the complexity, aware that I'm not going to grasp this entirity simply - but perhaps I can grasp the process in a practical fashion.
- Considering what the mind does every second with said knowing, that there is ver a sense of inadequacy. (I won't include you). As if hiding from oneself. These limiting factors. Sorry for the aside, the discussion just brought that up.
- One thing that has come to me today is that since that to 'know' even very simple things we need to rely on and assume a lot of other knowledge (as memory in word and image), then 'knowledge', which is necessarily incomplete (and will from person to person as memories and recall vary) will ALWAYS be APPROXIMATE.
We're ultimately after the process, not the content. So, I think I've more or less got myself into a position where I can have a stab at the process, the epistemology ( (the methods or grounds of knowledge of this), but I'd like to hear from you two a bit first. I've spent a little time today (and last night) observing how the process of knowing works in me.
- OK. I know I have a copy of the poem you mentioned the other day somewhere in my room. I recall downloading it, and there are is a pile of papers of downloaded material. A visualisation process is involved which pictures me walking into the room to look through a stack of papers, meanwhile internal dialogue is already ahead of itself retrieving Info to the site where it was downloaded in case it is not there . A guessing process goes on, but walking through it would reinforce the knowledge… visual images come back as well as verbal date small snippets of conversation that would lead me to retrieval or accomplishment of task - all in one fluid movement and not seeming compartmentalised with specific task.
- can you state the process more simply M?
- anybody else care to remark on the process of 'knowing'. I'd like to hear what the rest have to say before I show you mine... The epistemology of knowing - the method or means of knowing it's a process it means memory access that memory access is large and hierarchical in that it layers and combines presupposition 'knowing' is not confined simply to 'simple' things, it needs the memory of a lot of other things to support it knowing
is not exact different people 'know' the same things in different (owing to different supporting memories) it generally occurs extremely rapidly in a virtually 'on line' manner: this indicates parallel brain activity by observation it is closely allied with the sense of vision (vision is a parallel sense & can 'stack' relationships hierarchically in one glance - hence the speed in 'g' below)
- The words can serve as 'markers' to initiate a 'knowing' experience, or mark further part way through and at the end discuss, but the actual 'knowing' job seems to be done by the analogue sense of imaginative sight - to me. I don't necessarily accept that, although one series of 'knowing' can concatenate with others or internal dialogue. You can actually watch this happen. …What was the colour of the door of the last house you lived in? Observe the process… What does an electric guitar sound like?
- If I watch thoughts (which are memory) they just come and go outside of my control, that is what I mean by 'life of its own'.
- One thing for us to learn here, in my opinion, is that VISUAL imaging plays a substantially far greater role in the activity of knowledge than simple linear internal dialogue. This is a salutary lesson to me. I didn't know this until about 15 minutes ago. Fascinating, presupposition occurring by visual juxtaposition and dynamic.
- Are u sure there is no 'subconscious' thinking?
- That's at the heart of knowing, and the words, if we use them in the process, are merely use to (slowly and linearly) describe what we 'see'.
- Yes, if I can see it I know it. Perhaps photographic memory is just and easier facilitation of the images.
- How can I know if there is subconscious thinking in this? All I can do is describe what I observe. What I have related here is what I we have deduced by means of some extended dialogue, and a series of observations. We can only be aware of what we are aware of. So, now to get to the nexus, when I say I 'know' something, what does it actually mean? When I say 'I know X', what does it convey. Does it have any particular validity, intrinsic magic, or is it just a measure of the patterning that's going on between my ears? I say it means: 'I have a [powerful and complex] visual image of X' [perhaps with a few words attached as an index].
- Do you mean you 'see' the words in front of you or you see an image?
- It's taken 3-1/2 hours of dialogue to get that - and a bit of self observation, but I feel it's worth it.
- So no words involved? (please humour me for a moment)
- Words, as said earlier, have a part in directing this, but the core process works in visual images [and I observe this happening in me as I write and consider it]
- It would really help me if you could give me a simple example of what you mean by image.
- Stacked (layer upon layer upon layer)
Dan Scorpio Home
Kinfo Home (Prince and Magician)
Process & Effects of Patterning
Process & Epimestology of Philosophy
Process and Epimestology of Science
Practical Choiceless Awareness
Dialogues on the Nature of Language
Some Conditioning Influences