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Reply To: Unformulated Experience

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David Filippone

    Photo: ‘Dawn’ by Mirekis – Pixabay



    I love to write, and when I do, I am fascinated by the ‘dawn’.  Of course, the captivating and compelling beauty of the just rising sun… but in particular, the dawning of form… when at the edge of the darkened mind, where the ‘unseen’ fades, inner shadows border the rising’s infinitesimal and rapid movement, revealing a transparent, light-embossing form.  A preverbal realm of swimming symbols and patterns where knowing births felt-meanings that evolve to become interpreted knowledge, or quite often, the words I want to say to express my thought-vision.

    Donnel B. Stern, in his book, ‘Unformulated Experience’, suggests, “We cannot step outside language any more than we can experience stimuli outside the range of our senses… [however]… the nonverbal can be acknowledged without contradiction.” He goes on to suggest:

    “If we pay close attention, there is often a sensation of something coming before language. Whatever this is, it cannot be worded, though sometimes, after the fact, we feel it was there. We often have the sense that the words we use ‘fit’ the shape of what we wanted to say, or do not fit. There is always a vague meaning-shape, a protomeaning that precedes what we say and by which we gage our success in expressing ourselves.”  p. 15 [Emphasis added]

    You might call the point at which the unformulated is formulating the EDGE OF THE FUTURE, Zero, or Nuclear Time. Rinpoche writes:

    There are countless special places where awareness of time can open into knowledge. At the edge of the future, time sparkles; in the richness of feeling and energy, time glows. When we find such special places and learn to let them expand or deepen, we discover time coursing through our bodies and illuminating our minds: a dimension wholly inseparable from our own being. Heightened awareness of time as the future infinitive may lead to a sense of new knowledge making itself available. As we experience this openness, the contrast between a future-centered way of being and one guided by past recordings may stand out strongly.” p. 100  [Emphasis added]

    “When time presents experience as aesthetic manifestation for knowledge to absorb and to savor, the world becomes spacious, active, and accommodating. Present knowing is linked to the sources of understanding available in the past and the visionary knowledge of the future. Time’s momentum discloses knowledge as self-arising, stable, and self-enriching; this greater knowledge in turn gives renewed access to the hidden power of time active in the dynamic of ordinary life. Deepening knowledge unites with what is available to be known in art, in beauty, and in life. The power of knowledge manifests everywhere, unpredictable and irresistible.

    “For knowledge to manifest in this way, it is enough to open up one point fully, allowing the quality of knowing to emerge. Within this openness, space presents space, dissolving the distinction between space and the existent objects space ‘contains’.
    …’Dynamics of Time and Space’, by Tarthang Tulku, p. 398  [Emphasis added]