Excerpt About Nonconceptual
Total Innocence of MindIt is important to recognize that what we mean by “nonconceptual” here is not what most people, including philosophers, mean by this term. Usually, nonconceptual describes something that is not mental, but is rather immediate experience, like a feeling or sensation. So the scent of a flower will be seen as nonconceptual, the texture of the orange is nonconceptual. I refer to this level of experience as basic knowing, not as nonconceptual perception. In the way I am discussing things here, these experiences and perceptions are still conceptual, because there is knowing in them, and knowing always involves concepts, even when the concepts are those of gnosis—that is, spiritual immediate knowing. What I am calling nonconceptual here is beyond immediate and nonrepresentational knowing. It is beyond basic knowing or gnosis. It is not a knowing at all, and there is no recognition of anything; it is total innocence of mind, perceiving but not recognizing what we are perceiving.