Piet, Heloisa, Maria
I found the following quote from the pragmatist philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce, written in 1904, which I think is apropos of our discussion of the Working Hypothesis (bold-face emphasis added):
The experience of effort cannot exist without the experience of resistance. Effort only is effort by virtue of its being opposed; and no third element enters. Note that I speak of the experience, not of the feeling, of effort. Imagine yourself to be seated alone at night in the basket of a balloon, far above earth, calmly enjoying the absolute calm and stillness. Suddenly the piercing shriek of a steam-whistle breaks upon you, and continues for a good while. The impression of stillness was an idea of Firstness, a quality of feeling. The piercing whistle does not allow you to think or do anything but suffer. So that too is absolutely simple. Another Firstness. But the breaking of the silence by the noise was an experience. The person in his inertness identifies himself with the precedent state of feeling, and the new feeling which comes in spite of him is the non-ego. He has a two-sided consciousness of an ego and a non-ego. That consciousness of the action of a new feeling in destroying the old feeling is what I call an experience. (Letter to Lady Welby, 1904)
[a] Regarding the effortfulness of Trying & Not-trying, Peirce is saying that we don't experience effort unless there is resistance. A few days ago, in meditation, I realized that Not-trying is effortful because it is in resistance to Habit. I also realized that Letting-go is effortless because it sidesteps the resistance of Habit. I think both Piet and Maria expressed a similar idea in their last posts, but with different language.
[b] Regarding Self & No-Self, Peirce is saying that we experience Self as an identification with our past ("The person...identifies himself with the precedent state of feeling"). And, more importantly for our Working Hypothesis, when an unexpected event arises to create a new experience it arises out of No-Self. We all have described exceptional states of consciousness that arose unexpectedly, without effort, without trying, in which we temporarily lost our sense of Self. Indeed, that might well be a good definition of the Working Hypothesis!
So I'd summarize these ideas by saying that our sense of Self is our identification with our Habitual Past, and in trying to break free we experience resistance. But when we open ourselves to new experience, when we allow newness to arise spontaneously, we sidestep our Habitual Past, step out of our Self, and enter into No-Time.
Do you think any of this makes sense in terms of the Working Hypothesis?
... from Rod