W o K     :     Ways of Knowing

A Snippet

Getting in Touch

There are many ways in which we try to get in touch with ourselves and the world around us.  Science offers us a picture of reality that is based on empirical investigations.  Art offers us ways to broaden our own experience and widen our horizons in different ways.  Religion and philosophy suggest to us ways to view our lives in a different light. Other activities, from sports to travel or going out to watch a movie, also can help us get in touch with degrees of freedom that we otherwise tend to overlook.

What is so interesting and deeply satisfying about discovering new aspects of the world, like discovering hidden chambers in a large house that you thought you knew?  Apart from the usefulness of wider knowledge and insight, there is something involved that is more directly appealing.  There is the joy of getting in touch more directly with what is.

And we don't need to engage in particular activities to taste this joy. Walking on the street, our eyes can suddenly be caught by a ray of sunlight hitting a piece of garbage and showing a wonderful luster. With William Blake, we can suddenly see a world in a grain of sand, although we cannot willfully fabricate such shifts to a wider openness.

WoK aims at exploring the Joy of what Is.  As in science, we want to share the joy of insight in the structure of the world, while trying to avoid the dryness and arrogance that often comes with science.  As in art, we want to find ways to celebrate the presence of what is, while trying to avoid the tendencies of straining to be fashionable or original for originality's sake.  As in religion, we want to regain a childish innocence with which to view the world, while trying to avoid sectarianism and the hierarchy of institutionalized structures.

WoK is about freedom, a freedom that comes with a radical and ongoing series of shifts from what we think we are, but actually have, to what we really are.  Steven and I both have been frustrated by the lack of a vocabulary in our present culture to convey our joy in the face of what is, but we also don't want to start a new vocabulary, which would quickly freeze into a new structure.  Rather, we offer WoK as a market place or playground to meet others who share our aim of getting more in touch with what is. 

Piet, 4/10/06.

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