concepts, intuitions, experiences, and knowledge

We are mental beings, because we see the world through our mind; any experience, any object, produces automatically thoughts, reactions, memories, and concepts about the world. Even we make concepts about ourselves: I’m tall, I’m clever, I’m an engineer, etc etc. Our concepts model our world, and also determine our actions.

Some concepts presented to us by others, like the ones the reader are reading here and now, may produce in us a sort of resonance, they “sound as true“: something within us recognize the true in them, but they not are fully integrated in our mind because are foreign thoughts, like theoretical concepts that we are not fully realized. We can say we have the intuition that such foreign thoughts may be true, because they produce in us the feeling they must be true. So, there are our own concepts about the world that we fully accept (even when such concepts are inexact o totally wrong!), integrated with our mind at deep level, and there are other concepts that arrives to us from other minds that we also accept but are not deep accepted, integrated. Two different ways of model the world. Both of them can be more or less exact, real knowledge, and also can be more or less false, but accepted (of course, false accepted concepts is more ignorance than knowledge).

 

There is a third way of knowledge about the world: direct experience; here, no concepts are made, instead, we fully live a situation, we perceive it fully awake, fully present and with full awareness, so such experiences are evident, undeniable for us. Sometimes, we don’t fully understand such experiences, in the sense of to be able to relate it with our previous concepts, or make a conceptual framework for model the experience; but even without intellectual understanding, we can’t deny the reality of the experience because, simply, we live it. For example, we can be astonished looking at a sunrise, the mind simply stops their thinking, and we simply are there, living the moment, being one with the scene; no need for model the experience, for thinking about the colors of the sky, or about the rotation of Earth around the Sun that ultimately produces the sunrise, such thoughts are not necessary, even they can produce the lost of the feeling, the disconnection of the feeling, so better don’t think and simply enjoy the experience.

Reflecting about experiences

All of the three ways of knowledge are valuable, and every one can reinforce the others. In reflective meditation, we look deeply at something with the aim of fully understand and realize it. For example, we can meditate about the feelings lived in the sunrise, not thinking about but look at the feeling, searching their source, with a deep look and the solid will of discover, looking for answers. Maybe is not a way for everybody, but only for those who have the urgent need to really understand themselves and the world around them: the big questions, the “why?” about life.  Is the way of Vidya Yoga, the Yoga of wisdom, truth and knowledge; remember “yoga” means “union“, and “vidya” means “knowledge” (by the way avidya means ignorance, the normal state of humankind), so Vidya Yoga means union with knowledge, and this is a precise definition: by practice patient and constant reflection about our experiences, with time, our mind progressively “touch” the knowledge, and then “melts” with them. We and full knowledge become one. Here, “full knowledge” means we have the experience and also the understanding of the experience.

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Deepening within us, why do it?

Exploration and knowledge of ourselves

What does the reader think about his world, about the world he is living in? Of course, there is a close world, the environment of the person, and there is a global world, that which we usually only hear about, perhaps through the news. Perhaps the reader of these lines is a well-to-do person, without serious problems, who looks at the great world problems by distancing himself, or perhaps on the contrary is an activist for human rights, or for world peace. Even the reader may not be enjoying a pleasant nearby environment. We have all the possibilities.

This blog, like many others, is dedicated to disseminating and sharing a certain type of knowledge related to the inner space of the person; In modern advanced societies we tend to be totally turned outside of ourselves, and our inner space is quite forgotten, and therefore these writings are predestined to have almost no audience. Indeed, observing the whole range of possible readers, we can perceive that there are many people who, so to speak, seem to have a well-organized life and a “well-furnished head”, that is, a highly organized mind, and with coherence of ideas. and contents; strongly intellectualized people, natural product of our model of society and education, who have accepted, who have internalized ideologies and a philosophy of life that are useful for navigating through existence.

These people do not seem to suffer for them or for the misfortunes of others, the torrent of bad news that we see daily in the media does not affect them at all; it is not necessarily that they are not empathic, nor that they are indifferent to the suffering of others, which can also be, it is rather that they are “vaccinated” against all kinds of doubts or emotional discomfort, they take a pragmatic, necessarily distant position. Hardly this type of people will read any of the articles of this blog or others of the same style, as much will not pass the owner and the first paragraph, why would they be interested? They will see it simply as a waste of time. Their interior works like a clock, it does not bother them at all, they do not need or want to access it.

Motivation

If we put it this way, in terms of utility, who can be useful to investigate the issue of interior life? Leaving aside the application of attention-mindfulness techniques to increase productivity, which in fact serves only a particular aspect of our interior facets, attention, but only to remain focused on the outside, on the productive, we have the people who they are not fully satisfied with what they see on that exterior, with what they themselves and / or others live. There may be a concern, a desire to know more about the why of things, beyond the descriptions given by science, very detailed, very technical, but superficial in the sense of not answering the question of … why it is so?, or may feel no longer a concern, but a true restlessness, an inability to accept things as they occur, as they seem to be.

Depending on the degree of concern, because in people, as diverse as we are, we find the whole range of concerns to any topic, from total indifference to absolute dedication and even obsession, depending on that degree, the person can be a simple reader with some curiosity, or it can be someone who gets involved and practices Yoga, Qigong, meditation, etc, and this in varying degrees, from sporadic practices seeking a well-being to making practice a way of life. It is this restlessness that motivates the person to submerge in herself, in an unknown inner space, since it has not been explored previously, on the contrary, it has been rather ignored. And when exploring it, it may be that things move, that preconceived ideas fall, ideas about the world and about the person, about their self-image, their own concept of themselves. It is an exploration of unknown terrain that can change you at the root, and the unknown and deep changes always scare, therefore, to explore in depth one’s interior spaces requires courage and determination, demand constancy and a good motivation to move forward.

Deep, strong motivation

Most people interested in cultivating themselves stay on the surface, like those children we see on the beaches who dive into the shallow water with a tube to breathe, and they watch the bottom, only one meter deep. If they entered the sea, they would see that there, below the surface, there is an immense world to discover, not without dangers, of an incredible depth and depth. But to explore it requires a good team and a training, and of course, a strong motivation. This simile of underwater exploration shows us another important aspect of the exploration of ourselves: when we immerse deeply within, what we find is not only our inner space, but the inner space, as well in general; it stops being a local exploration, close, to become global, universal: the deep mind is identical in all people, what differentiates us is the superficial. At great depth, there is unity. Therefore, our own individuality is blurred, we are inseparable part of a whole. For explore at that level of depth, without fear of what you will find, without fear of personal, radical transformation that will happen to you, what kind of motivation is needed? Few people come to venture so far.

Because many are called, but few are chosen. Matthew 22:14

I think that no one will be able to go deep until they lose themselves simply because of a basically selfish motivation, such as being well, increasing one’s well-being, or satisfying a personal desire for knowledge. If your motivation is to do yourself a favor, in any of the many ways to do it, when you reach such a deep level that the “yourself” begins to fade, at that level you will stop, then, what’s the point? continue to the point that the subject seeking his satisfaction disappears as such subject? That will be an insurmountable barrier that will prevent further deepening, because that level implies the disappearance of the subject that wants to know.

So who will be able to continue deepening even assuming the fact that he will lose himself? The only motivation powerful enough to overcome that wall that represents your own dissolution is love, not love focused on yourself, but Love with a capital letter. It is that Love that, according to legend, led the Buddha to abandon his luxurious environment to seek enlightenment, because he was unable to assimilate, to accept, the suffering of others, to see them in misery, in sickness, old age and death, could not continue living as before after knowing it. This non-acceptance of suffering in general, not of one’s own suffering, but of suffering itself, is an expression of impersonal, general Love, and provides the necessary strength to deepen the internal, hidden reality, and reveal it, even at the risk of ceasing to be what you thought you were: the psychological “ego”.

It is a radical nonconformity, the person is unable to accept so much suffering from others; it is to have a connection with everything, together with a wanting to know why. When you have that combination, and you also have a high degree, is when the person forgets himself, his burning desire to know and do something about suffering have the power for to take us to the depths of the Self, and there, at last you will know, and you will understand the why of everything.

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Tangled unconsciously

We live continuously receiving a huge amount of information, both sensory and cognitive; we react to some of that information, we ignore the rest, perhaps unconsciously, maybe repressing it. We thought that we were conscious beings, but with the rise of mindfulness – full consciousness – we see that not so, that in fact we are only semi-conscious, because that is what the mindfulness programs are about, that we become more conscious. The vast majority of the population really lives semi-automatically: their thoughts come and go randomly, their emotions arise automatically in reaction to what happens at the moment or to what they are thinking or remembering, even their decisions , so rational that they seem at first sight, they are taken largely unconsciously.
The common person, then, moves, reacts, motivates, excites, thinks, etc. driven by numerous external and internal forces over which it has little or no control, and is not even aware of it, of what is really happening, of what is happening to it. And yet, she is convinced that she is conscious, that she is free in her decisions, impartial in her opinions. This conviction is necessary for psychological stability, provided that the person is identifying with their ideas and opinions. Thus, the more identified you are with your mental schemes and automatic reactions, the more dependent on them you will be, and the more resistance you will oppose to any factor that questions or weakens those schemes. The real person, who is much more than the mere union of his thoughts and automatisms, lives entangled in his mechanisms, moved from one side to another by the forces of existence. When these forces really squeeze, the person goes like a drift, dragged by them.
Living in this way, one can suffer and suffer much, out of sheer unconsciousness, or ignorance, as the ancient spiritual traditions would say.

Partial ideas accepted as absolute ones

The personal fixed idea of “how things should be” when it hits reality produces frustration, pain, insecurity, anger, and other negative emotions. And this is a complicated point, because we need to get an idea of the world, the problem is when we take our personal idea too seriously, imagining that it is an absolute truth, or identifying ourselves unconsciously with it.
Nature knows no political boundaries; places new beings on the terrestrial globe and contemplates the free play of the forces that work on them. The one who is then superimposed by his effort and character, grants him the supreme right to existence. – Adolf Hitler: My Fight –
The previous observation about Nature is at first sight correct, but applied in a generalized manner led to the idea of the elimination of the “inferior races” at the hands of the “superiors”, more “fit” for existence. We must realize that our ability to grasp and model reality with our thinking is very limited, and therefore our decisions will always have a high degree of bias, and therefore may even be unfair. That perception can make us feel insecure, but it is that we are in fact, there are very few things safe in life, a life too dynamic, too immense to be confined in a limited mental framework.
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Boat in bad weather and with an unconscious helmsman!

The only solution to the entanglement of opposing forces in which we live, to insecurity, to the partiality of our ideas and models, is to be more and more aware. For consciousness is a mode of direct knowledge, without previous ideological filters, without partiality; pure observation without judgment allows us to better grasp reality, and if later we need, for practical reasons, to make a judgment about what is observed, we must also judge with full consciousness, without pre-judgments based on previous fixed ideas, and knowing that all judgment, opinion or model is partial.
When we really realize the habitual way of functioning, so unconscious, so tangled, of people, we understand and accept it: we stop fighting against the opinions of others, because to do so is to sink into the same state of unconsciousness, and someone who is asleep is unable to wake up another who is also asleep. First we wake up, and remaining in full consciousness, from that position, observe, listen, speak and act with unbiased or partial knowledge.
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What is “realization”? Types of realization. Meditation for realization.

Meditation is an activity that allows us to train the mind to see the world and ourselves with another perspective. It can be used for practical purposes, such as better sleeping or more efficient, and also to realize aspects of existence that are not obvious, but real. This realization of the non-obvious, the subtle, is what is meant by “realization.”


There are several types of realization, depending on which aspect of reality we focus our mind. Next we see a script of meditation that takes us to the different realizations (the realization of several subtle aspects). We can not pretend to get all the realizations in a few minutes, of course, this script just wants to show a possible way, and by the way defines what each type of realization means. Each person has a tendency to develop some specific aspect, but in fact we can, and it is convenient to do so, to work with all aspects. At first all we can hope to feel is an intuition of truth, something that resonates to us as real, but still distant; with practice, is seen more and more clearly, the mind is opening to new ways of seeing, to subtle knowledge, until finally the knowledge is “fully” realized.

Meditation on the realizations

  •  When the ego is active, love can only express itself as “I want.”
    I love you  because you make me feel good” is what the ego expresses.
    And if you stop being pleasant for that person, you fail their ego, you lose your utility for him. Then that ego says, “I do not love you anymore,” even saying “I hate you because you have failed me.”
  • When the ego is inactive, love shines on its own.
  • Love without ego is constant, demands nothing, does not seek to be useful.
  • If you remain calm with the ego inactive, and watch closely, you will feel your own love, shining in you.
  • The moment the ego reactivates itself, it loses that wonderful sensation, because the ego is incapable of realizing it, he is always waiting to get everything through something or someone, it never gives anything of itself.
  • If you immerse yourself in that feeling of inner love, you will see that it expands, which seems to encompass everything.
  • You will look around and everything will look bright, beautiful, because beauty and love both belong to the same plane, are aspects of the same thing.
  • This state is called the realization of love.

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  • When the ego is inactive, the mind becomes calm, ceases to seek, it relaxes.
  • If in that state you look attentively you feel the peace of a calm mind.
  • If you look more deeply, you perceive that someone is observing that peace, someone subtle, is not the ego, is not a thought, nor is it material, seems to be nothing, it is purely conscious presence.
  • This state is called the realization of your deep being, or realization of the Self in you, or simply, self-realization.

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  • Keeping the ego inactive, with the mind in deep calm, watch your surroundings closely.
  • You will feel one with everything. The separation between you and the world is a thing of the ego. It is relative, and ultimately false.
  • By observing both the world and yourself, with the relaxed mind, your consciousness is simultaneously containing your environment and yourself, your body, your emotions, your mind, everything is in your consciousness, forming a unity.
  • This state is called realization of non-duality.

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  • Meditating on the functioning of your body, a very complex biological machine, with innumerable cells, living beings cooperating with each other to keep you alive, we see the diversity of life creating an unity of life, you.
  • Breathing, feeling life in you, looking at the life around you, with the calm mind, you feel that all life is one, you are a focus in an ocean of life.
  • This state is called the realization of the unity of life.

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  • Looking, with the calm mind, how the world works out there, so complex, how everything seems to work alone, with mathematical exactitude, governed by natural laws, the whole cosmos functions like a precision clock, you feel there is an intelligence there, subtle, immense, that is in everything.
  • That same intelligence keeps you alive, second to second.
  • Your own personal mind is part of that intelligence,  it is an individual focus of that cosmic intelligence.
  • This state is called the realization of the unity of mind, or realization of the Universal Mind, “the Universe is a creation of the Mind.”

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  • Observing from the relaxed, open, centered mind, the Love that expands and is in everything, the unity of Life, the unity of the Mind, the non-duality of Consciousness, and your very profound being, encompassing all these aspects of reality with your consciousness, you experience a state of total oneness with Love, with Life, with Existence and with Mind.
  • This state is called the realization of the Self.

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The science of the soul

Now, learn that the science of the soul is for join the mind with the unconditional joy which is within us; such joy is the reality, in contrast with the delusion. Yet, not only with the unconditional joy, but also with their inseparable companions: the unconditional beauty and the unconditional love, which are necessary for get the first.

With this aim, the mind must be cleaned of all trash, by an effort of the will. As a dewdrop must be clean of dust for contain a perfect reflection of the Sun, the soul is like the Sun of infinite joy, and a clean mind can reflect it; although the analogy is arbitrary, and only a weak attempt for bring understanding to your mind.

Maybe is more accurate to say that mind have to be saturated with the joy of the soul, and every feeling against this joy must to be separated by the will, like the dust in a mirror is cleaned by the hand of who are cleaning it.

The dust in the mirror of the mind is nothing but the vices and bad emotions which bring sorrow to the human being, which are delusions, without any real content, although seems the contrary, due to the proper delusion. 

So therefore know that, who open their mind for let by the joy of soul, wipe out all the sorrow, like the water moves away from the feathers of a swan, or like the throes of a child moves away from an adult. The Initiate – Cyril Scott

Many years ago when I read this text the words sounded to me like nice and true wisdom, but also sounded theoretical a lot; how we can fill the mind with such inner joy, if we can’t even notice it?

Now a days I know there are many ways to achieve such state of mind. We must notice that the title of this post says about a science, that means, a systematic set of methods that can be reliably applied for build knowledge.  Like any other science, it demands study and dedication. Also, there are so many ways because we the human beings are so different, we can find which method is the best for ourselves.

 Devotional way

The devotional mainstream proposes us to concentrate the mind in the Supreme Creator, trying to quieting it and to fill it with the higher peace; this way works directly over the mind. There are religious practices, retreats, readings and prayers, mantra chants like the ones in Hinduism, etc.

The knowledge way

This mainstream don’t use the Creator concept, instead use other meditation techniques, like mindfulness meditation, concentration in a candle flame, etc. The aim is the same: to quiet and control the mind, for to be able to feel the peace which are beyond thoughts. But When we have strong desires, a unconscious mind full of past frustrations, or a life full busy with work and worries, this way can be unsuccessful for us; even the non trained mind can develop a resistance against our attempts.

Other mainstream is the way of knowledge through mind; instead of try to quiet it, we use it for understand ourselves deeply and deeply, showing ourselves our limitations. Frequently, is a suffering way.