ontos: from Greek on (gen. ontos) = “being” (prp. of einai “to be”)
scopy: from Greek skopos = “seeing,” from skopein = “to watch.”
Some people have been wondering why i named this blog project “ontoscopy 101”, which, of course, i did not choose for no reason.
I had been searching quite some time for a good word that would contain the essence of what i am trying to convey, and i could not find one, so eventually i created this new term. Well, kind of new. A few results showed up on google, but that would have been a silly argument not to use it. Originality is not my concern at all, it was a matter of convenience, and ontoscopy is the best thing i could come up with. My main intention is to have clear communication, with minimized biases and ambiguities, free from connections with the past.
I coined the term because i was not satisfied with the existing terminologies and concepts in the field of cognitive observation. “Spirituality” has become a very dirty word, closely tied to organized religion or some belief system. “Meditation” has got about a hundred different meanings, and it scares off and confuses a whole lot of people, so i’d rather not use it either.
“Mindfulness” should also be mentioned, even though there is a lot of bullshit being spread around that word, unfortunately. That is why i also like to leave this word out of my discourses, it is too “contaminated”.
So, what does it mean then, what’s the difference?
Ontoscopy literally and actually means “the observation of what is”. Nothing more, nothing less. Observation stripped of all judgment and fears*. This might seem as something trivial and simple, but for many people this is not the case. From birth till death, the majority of human beings on this planet remain unaware of what life is really about, creating and recreating society’s illusions, unconsciously adding to the misery. The world is in a state of emergency, for which we humans are solely responsible, and we need to step out of the illusions and confusions as quickly as possible. It is the only way to fundamentally change the course of the world, and i hope more and more of us will start to realize this. The solutions do not lie in new political revolutions or institutions or any new system to be installed, on the contrary. We have been trying that for many centuries and it has only given us technological progress, alas to an enormous cost of health, for every life form in existence.
Psychologically, we have never been in a worse state. Our mental disintegration is the root cause of all ecological, social and economical problems we are facing today. Our disregard (= “not looking”) of what is going on inside and outside, of how we are destroying each other and the world with our separative thoughts has got to end, we have got no other choice. The turning to psychological integrity, wholeness and freedom is the only way out of the destructive patterns of division and unawareness. And this can only be done through individual and collective observation, by seeing the whole, and by acting upon that, instead of putting faith in corrupt politics and harmful traditions, the patterns that got us in this mess in the first place. Second-hand thought is probably the most dangerous threat to life on this planet. A basic and simple fact, but it is as if nobody recognizes this.
My views are a clear example of the radically negative approach, because i am convinced that we can only help each other out by pointing out how not to live, to see and point out what is wrong, instead of creating new sets of rules and ideas and systems. It is absurd to talk about peace and non-violence as long as we remain confused and violent, since all forms of becoming are violent by nature. Religions and philosophies have not made this world a better place, nor have politics, on the contrary. Some things might have gotten better, but mankind has never suffered as much as in this era, the world has never been more divided and damaged. Comfort in some reassuring ideas is only entertainment, distraction. It does not stop the bleeding.
No outer authority can solve our inner problems, no one can dissolve our fears. Like i stated before, we have tried that for centuries, and it does not work. Thoughts, beliefs, i.e. all sorts of images, are continuously applied as safety screens and tranquilizers, while psychological fear can only be overcome through direct observation. The time has come to grow up and to stop making the same mistakes again and again. We have got to go beyond philosophy and religion as we know it, beyond all -isms, leave the past behind and get fully into the present.
religion: a set of beliefs and practices concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe; according to Cicero, derived from relegare “go through again, read again,” from re- “again” + legere “read” (see lecture). However, popular etymology among the later ancients (and many modern writers) connects it with religare “to bind fast”, via notion of “place an obligation on,” or “bond between humans and gods”; another possible origin is religiens “careful,” opposite of negligens
philosophy: from Gk. philosophia “love of knowledge, wisdom,” from philo- “loving” + sophia “knowledge, wisdom”
science: “knowledge (of something) acquired by study,” also “a particular branch of knowledge,” from L. scientia “knowledge,” from sciens, prp. of scire “to know,” probably originally “to separate one thing from another, to distinguish,” related to scindere “to cut, divide”
Observing the world, observing our selves, cannot be categorized as philosophy or religion, even science, as it has nothing to do with superstitions or knowledge, nor with real or imaginary concepts.
Observation can only take place in the present, so ontoscopy by definition is a continuous breaking with the past. The seeing, the openness, the immediate creative thinking, is all there is to it. Since everything keeps on changing, this activity cannot be reproduced or repeated, and it surpasses the limits of wisdom and knowledge.
A truly religious (wo)man does not have a religion, as there are absolutely no thoughts to rely on. It is impossible to rely on the past. Words and ideas have little to no value when viewing life and death as a whole. Likewise, the question of how species evolved is irrelevant to our present problems, it merely creates more division. There are only the ongoing processes of life, of nature, as long as we experience it. Morality, stories about death and afterlife are nonfactual, man made distractions. Only life’s changes here and now are wholesome – holy – and meaningful. We have to continue opening up to observe the world if we want to respond naturally and holistically, and get humanity in a balanced, undivided state. It is our highest responsibility to act upon these observations unconditionally, if we really want to make this planet a better place. This would mean the ending of a whole lot of deteriorating activities of course, and there should be absolutely no fear in doing so. We make the rules.
Unlike religion, science and philosophy, ontoscopy cannot be turned into a system of thought, it cannot be sold, it cannot be marketed, and that is a crucial thing. There are no words, rules, thoughts or concepts to hold onto, it merely turns the attention to the actuality of how we live our lives in this world. There is no hierarchy or authority, only people with different levels of awareness, different levels of clarity of view. The biggest challenge lies in removing the clouds inside our heads.
Every normally functioning human being has the ability to observe life as a whole and hence get free from illusions. Its origin is an inborn quality that most of us lose during our childhood years, but if only we put just a fraction of the energy we have put thus far into technological developments into lifting our awareness, from moment to moment, we could have psychological progress for the very first time in the history of mankind. There have been some minor incidents in the past, but as long as we stick to the existing patterns, nothing will ever change, until all life on earth has become instinct.
Ontoscopy requires attention, awareness, an open mind, a high state of alertness, and it brings about the inevitable destruction of illusion.
In that very fire of perception, through growing insights into the nature of thought and life, the past gets left behind, and one can learn to live fully in the present.
As a way of life, it is the continuous return to life’s reality, the only intelligent and natural way.
* “Choiceless awareness” probably means exactly the same as ontoscopy – observation should operate on its own accord, free from judgment, during any activity.