The Ethical Basis of Conceiving

อาจารย์ สุจิตโต

The Ethical Basis of Conceiving

The human mind is endowed with the capacity to think. In this capacity, the act of conceiving can generate an Ideal; but for truth and action, what is important is the ethical basis of the conceiving.

This ethical basis must rest not on idealistic righteousness but on an empathic relationship that is structured around respect and compassion. When we get intoxicated with ideas, that relationship suffers: as with the biosphere, which is ‘conceived’ largely as the object of human needs and interests. Then that objectifying rebounds: other people become objects, and we ourselves become objects of our self-critical minds, anxious, overbearing and restlessly engaged in self-modifying endeavours.

This is because the reality of what happens is never conceivable; its fullness isn’t an object: experience is dynamic and responsive. And it is only through ignoring or stressing this organic and shifting nature that we can work at a pace that is compatible with the machine and its system. Which is what happens as machine logic takes over.

Witnessing that stress, the Romantics and Transcendentalists did give expression to an authentic urge to be natural, a longing for essence that persists as their enduring legacy. However garbled the human voices, it was through them that nature began to speak out against the clamour of the machine and the dazzle of its material benefits.

This reflection by Ajahn Sucitto is from the book, Buddha-Nature, Human Nature, (pdf) pp. 226-227.