This question revolves around the following presumptions;
- "What" presumes the existence of a universe of identity. In order for the question "what?" to arise, there is a logical necessity of duality. There must exist a thing and a not-that-thing, a 1 and a 0 at the absolute minimum. It must be possible for a thing to exist and for another thing to be not-that-thing. Call them monads, if you will.
- "Is" is troublesome. The verb in a sentence is not a real entity. Yet it is the necessary component by which to link two non-indentical terms. While it can state A is A or apples are apples, this is not a very helpful statement, and few people ever resort to it except to be ironic. Or mathmaticians. The verb used in the present tense in English is often an attempt at generalization. However, generalization is logically impossible on the basis of impermanence. As it is logically impossible to step in the same river twice, or to ever breath twice the same breath, and it is scientifically demonstrable by the principles of entropy or atomic physics to show that given enough time any seemingly solid object will whither and decay if only by the force of its own molecular movement, it is therefore reasonable to conclude that one can never be entirely accurate in one`s generalizations, and therefore they inherently of their own design, fall apart. "Is" in the context of this sentence connects the concept of a question "what" with the following clause (the "question-of-knowing" of a moment just passed, now remembered) and in effect places the "what" at the junction of the preposition. Thus by changing the preposition, we change the question, and by changing the tense of the verb we change the nature of the relationship of A and B from one of a statement generally, to a past moment specifically. So, since this question is phrased in the present tense, the question asks specifically what caused the arising of meaning at a moment (necessarily) passed.
- To "The" or not to "The", that is the question. The use of the article "The" causes the following noun, in this case, to become an absolute, unconditioned noun. However unconditioned things, obviously cannot exist, and therefore, whatever it is, can`t be existant, though it may be logically true or real. Episteme-ological-ality is an attempt at a nounal treatment of the descriptor "epistemological" which I take to mean "question of knowing of" where "of" leads to a semantic nesting, not unlike those cute, traditional, Russian dolls. (dolls of russia and tradition and cuteness). removing "the" would render the following noun abstract, and conceptual. Including it makes it specific to a specific universe (U as in set theory)
- Epistemologically speaking, this word is an impossibility. For it takes a process to be an entity. Therefore, it must only be used as a logical device, where in purple dragons[sic.] and infinite spaces [sic.] and times [sic.] are possible. AS a logical device, epistemologicality is the mind`s attempt to know itself, thought questioning thought. Where Epistemology is "The theory or science of the method or grounds of knowledge" (OED), and epistemic is "of, having the character of, or relating to episteme, knowledge, or knowing as a type of experience" (Meriam-Webster`s), epistemological pertains thereto, and epistemologicality is the "what" which pertains to knowing prior to knowing. Alternate phrasing used herein will be the awkward hyphonation of "question-of-knowing," not to be confused with a"question-of-knowlege" which is afterall a "fait accompli. "
- "Of" verses "At". Phrased "of, " the question assume that seperate epistimologicalities are possible, or at least that there is a "one episteme" at work, generally we don`t say A of B except to mean that there could be a C of B or a D of B; if there were but one, we wouldn`t properly be asking a question.
- "That" moment, as moments can only be singular at any given time by definition, must be a past or future moment . It is impossible to experience a future moment or else it would then be past, and therefore it is meaningless to ask a what process of coming to know was operating upon a future moment. This would be like asking a chicken to cook and serve itself. So, barring future sight, it is reasonable to assume any moment we are point at using "that" and "is" must have been a moment, probably recently observed.
- Moment is an artificial concept, as in calculus where a point is arbitrarily defined along a curve, There are no moments in nature, for this would assume time travelled in pulses with gaps of no-time in between them. Which, while is possible, seems to me highly unlikely. And a bit daft. Who would create a universe in which time stands still? How irresponsible! The whole universe, all of space would collapse in upon itself and implode as its very fabric was removed not unlike a tablecloth whipped inexpertly out from under a fully set table.
This formation of the question is most relevant to the meditator. Sitting upright, In padmasana, eyes closed, and directed cross-eyed upward, Tailbone tucked in, tongue turned back touching the tonsils, at equi-poise, or perfect posture, and with all thought directed toward the object of concentration, still the mind wanders. Usually to mundane things, but often to points of Dharma... To then ask, at this moment, What is the question of knowing, or in other words, the process of coming-to-know at that moment.
In the construction of Gotamist Epistemology, The world as known arises from the sense, and falls with departure of the senses. The object of meditation is to effect the cessation of the sensory organs resolving generalizations of the world into a world view which perpetuates suffering. However, through meditation, one attempts to stop the world-creating correlary to thought by stopping first the input to the senses. Hence, eyes are closed, one is ideally in a quiet place, or one with repetitive, non-distracting noises (wind in trees, noisy river, dripping in a cave, heavy interstate traffic, a busy marketplace), at a comfortable temperature, with non-distracting smells (fresh air, or incensed air, no smell of food or feces), and hopefully a clean mouth (cleasing with salt is good idea); but more importantly than any of this by a tremendous factor is the cessation of the sixth sense, and the one that goes most reluctantly. In Gotamist philosophy, the brain is a sense organ, and the mind is the sixth sense. Quieting of the mind is treated no differently than the quieting of the ears. But while its easy to ignore background noise externally, it proves to be next to impossible to quiet the background noise internally.
In the Gotamist system, therefore, Asking from whench a thought arose is the methodology of the monk. Following the doctorine of Paticca-samuppada, Because there is an eye there is seeing, because there is seeing there is sight, because there is sight there is sight-contact, sight-clinging sight-craving sight-feeling sight-existence, or a visible object. Consciousness is shown to continue down the reverse process through the practice of meditation. Hence, once one has closed the five sense bases of eye-ear-nose-tongue-skin, one is left only with the brain, and the sensation of though. It stop this, one can ask the question, what is causing the arising of thought at this moment. Or phrased, alternately, what is making me think, despite my best efforts?