Eugene I wrote: ↑Sun Sep 26, 2021 8:07 pm
Cleric, you said it very well, thank you. But raising the cognition level above the intellectual one was part of most spiritual traditions of the West and the East. "The path from the mind to the heart" is how it was described in the mystical Christianity. "The state of no-mind" (=beyond intellectual mind) is how was is described in Zen. I'm sure has also been part of the indigenous traditions, but Lou can tell about it better. So, this is not something unique to Anthroposophy. But the fact that Anthroposophy shares the same path is good, no question about it.
Now, when the intellectual egoic level is transcendent, it does not mean that cognition suddenly reaches its ultimate level and sees the wholeness of the Universal Truth from there. The paths of the abovementioned traditions do transcend the intellect, but still do not arrive to the wholeness of the Ultimate Truth, and still have different perspectives on Reality from those levels that vary between traditions. So, often disputes between people representing different traditions become disputes about which perspective or cognition of the Universal Truth is more accurate or correct. And, when it goes in a bad way, it usually goes like this: "if you would see the Truth like I do from the cognition level above the intellect like I do, then you would definitely see it exactly the way I do, and so, if you do not see the Truth this way, this proves that you still has not transcendent your intellectual level of ego". And, of course, the opponent would turn exactly the same argument back. This is why, as I said earlier, such argument is not a good argument to use in the cross-tradition disputes. And if in such dispute you would want to use any intellectual arguments, you would be immediately accused for approaching it from the intellectual level, which makes such disputes based on philosophical or metaphysical grounds pointless.
So, there is no question that cognizing the Reality from the above-intellect level provides a deeper and higher level of comprehending the Truth as compared to the intellectual level. But the problem is that it still does not open the access to the Wholeness of the Truth, but only to its limited facets, and it is a common mistake to misapprehend the limited perspective on the Truth gained from the above-intellect cognition levels as the Wholeness of the Truth itself.
I'm not asking you to discard your view but to think
about the way
You keep saying that "all traditions explored higher cognition". But there's difference in what the shaman does, what the Zen master does, what even the Christian mystic (not Initiate) does, and what actual awakening in our deeper spiritual activity implies. And there's no need even to speak of different traditions here. All that's needed is to investigate the difference within yourself
. You're a meditator so it shouldn't be a problem.
There's simple difference. Let's imagine our consciousness screen as the surface of a sphere which we experience from within. Our thoughts are experienced as if along that surface. The thoughts have longitude, latitude, they move hither and thither. This is the first position which I'm sure you're very experienced with. It is precisely this surface that we must observe and gently let go of, so that we can raise 'above' the egoic structures.
The second position is to turn attention to the fact (it is a fact) that we can experience to the thoughts not only longitude and latitude but also a radial component
- to and fro the center from which we observe the spherical surface. The crucial thing is that this radial component is not simply some extra attribute but the actual thought ray of our "I"-activity. If we passively observe thoughts we'll never discover even a trace of this radial component. We observe the radial when we experience how it is our own activity
that supports given thought into place. To make this observation we must allow ourselves
to do it, just like a person must allow himself to think mathematically if he is to experience numbers.
(I hope it's clear that I'm speaking in symbols. Yet these symbols are quite literal
expressions of inner realities)
I know that the second position is very antipathetic to you. It basically is the exact opposite of everything you've been training for - to let go of the thoughts and observe their movement longi- and latitudinally but suppress the radial component because it is seen as sign of weakness - it's our false identification with thinking. It's false feedback loop which we imagine as if the planar thoughts somehow delude themselves that there's such thing as radial direction.
It would be perfectly fine if you just admit that you are uncomfortable with the second position, that you're worried it completely inverts what you so far hold to be true. I understand that - it must really sound as blasphemy to suppose that there's such a thing as radial "I"-activity responsible for thoughts. Yet this shouldn't block our thinking. We shouldn't forbid ourselves to understand
the difference, even if we see it as leading away from truth.
The shaman enters the visionary state and observes the enlivened sphere surface where that Natural spirits speak in symbols. The shaman listens, there's no radial component. The Zen master seeks the pure consciousness. He rises above the intellect, he detaches from the sphere surface and observes thoughts dancing longi- and latitudinally driven entirely by the principle of dependent arising. There's no radial activity, God forbid - "I"-activity.
Now before saying again that all traditions explored higher cognition, please think
about the difference. Think which traditions explore the radial component of the "I"-activity.
Why is this aspect important? Because only through our fully conscious "I"-activity we can explore the inner geometry that we can touch and illuminate with our thought rays. If we simply detach from the sphere surface we're left to the will of the Whole. We observe the activity of the Whole but we have no business with it. As with the shaman, Nature could present us with important truths on that screen, warn us of bad weather, tell us where the game is, but all this remains externally given to us (even though on our intimate screen of consciousness). It's Nature's activity but presenting itself to us as finished product. Through the liberation of our own activity we can explore unimaginably vaster palette of possibilities. In this way we can resonate
with Nature's Intelligence and experience the shamanic messages from their 'other side', from the side from which Nature Thinks
these messages - that is, we find the radial
component of Nature's Thoughts. We can only find it because we have found our own
radial component and we have brought it in resonance
with Nature's. We can't experience the Thoughts of Nature if our own thoughts don't become self-similar
to them. If we don't do that, we can experience the effects
of Nature's Thoughts projecting on us but not how
Nature Thinks these Thoughts.
Now before replying, I beg you! - simply tell me if you completely and fully understand the difference
between these two positions. Do you understand the difference between observing
thoughts and thinking
thoughts (the radial component)? If you do, do you understand the difference between the shamanic experience of Nature's symbolic language on the sphere surface and Zen's sphere of dependent arising phenomena on one hand, and living together with the actual Thinking activity of Nature (Nature's radial component) on the other?