22s | CR Book VIII, Chapter 4 - Reifications [1940]

the subject of things to the subject of thought or

[page(s) missing(?)]

On the whole, philosophical thought has an emptying
effect on reifications. Intent on having the ob-
ject itself quite by itself, it retains a 'thing'
which is empty of all particular attributes, rela-
tions (Absolute), conditions (Unconditioned) , and 'in-
dividual' which is nothing in particular, and a
'self' which tends to become so 'pure' that it re-
sembles nothing at all. It is indeed only due
to some inconsistency that thought can be preven-
ted to proceed to this final dissolution.

Effective removal of reification in actual living
experience has to rely on the effort to set free
a more desirable self in us (bk 1 ch 4). It goes
hand in hand with the feelings of strangeness which
accompany any prolonged state of introversion, or
withdrawal from outer things. The better self go-
es out of the senses (in samadhi), and their ob-
jects (in mindful decomposition of experience).

When we return to the sensory world of things, or
persons, we see that we don't belong here. When we
transfer our life to the invisible world, we are
correspondingly thrown out of this world. We feel
that we are not at home in it, cannot settle down
here, pass through it as strangers and exiles, ha-
ve fallen into a strange wilderness, and got lost
in it. What we see as things seems an incongruous
foreign, alien environment to that purer self
which recalls how much it felt at home somewhere
else. In consequence, in the process of liberating
ourselves, we must go through a period of estran-
gement from this sensible world, when it appears
as almost unaccountable, when it loses its famil-
iarity, when it is hard to get accustomed to it.

We recognise things as familiar because we re-
member our own contributions to them: If you now
withdraw from things your affections and actions,
the experience and presentation of the 'thing' will
change utterly. If you get yourself out of things,
then what remains seems strange. If you take
yourself out of the contributions you make - see-
ing that they do not belong to you - a like eff-
ect must result. What happens in your environment
is then so much outside yourself that it seems