Adur Alkain wrote: ↑Wed Sep 29, 2021 8:28 pm
So, I only see two possibilities:
a) I don't understand what Cleric is saying, and he doesn't understand what I'm saying.
b) I do understand what Cleric is saying, and he doesn't understand what I'm saying.
I won't address these questions directly. Ultimately it'll be one's word against the other's and nothing will be gained. I'll present things from yet another angle. If they are understood, also the answers to the questions will come by themselves.
Let's first acknowledge that in our age, logic has no power to convince. It's enough to examine ourselves closely, in order to realize that with our thinking we're sitting on the tip of the iceberg of our personality. The majority of our behavior is driven by processes below the surface of consciousness, which bubble up as feelings of sympathy and antipathy, as blind urges, prejudiced ideas and so on. In general, people today use logic only as far as they can justify their life situation. As soon as the logic contradicts how they feel about something or clashes with their habits, they gladly discard logic and declare that thinking is inherently unreliable, that it can not be trusted. Paradoxically, it's the same this unreliable thinking which gladly decides to follow the impulses bubbling from below. Who stops to ask: If my thinking is so unreliable, how can I trust it when it decides it is a good idea to let itself go and flow with whatever flows from the darkness of my subconsciousness? This is the blind spot of thinking at its glory. People imagine that when they decide
to give up unreliable thinking in exchange of the more 'certain' mystical or religious feelings, they do not use that same unreliable thinking but the decision comes as some higher certainty from above. The only reasonable thing to do would be to continuously expand the horizon of thinking, revealing more and more of the harmony of the facts. (by thinking I don't imply building abstract models of reality but spiritual activity that works upon the total spectrum of consciousness). Of course, for most this process stops short very quickly because as soon as the harmony of the facts unveils something that conflicts with the way we feel and act, we're much more willing to declare thinking to be unreliable rather than elucidate and transform the thing in us that causes the conflict.
In general, we always experience some form of consciousness
. Even if it is very dissonant, it's still some kind of "I"-experience with continuity in time. Most people accept the form of consciousness as unquestionable fact. The materialist says "That's how my brain is wired", the naively religious man says "That's how God created me", the flat idealist says "That's what MAL specifically wanted to experience". Fortunately, there are still spiritual schools that take seriously the fact that man is a work in progress
, a unfinished picture. When we understand things in this way we immediately realize that there are elements within us which are not designed by God but are artifacts of misused freedom.
Anyone who has experienced at least some degree of personal development knows that at certain time we become conscious of certain habits, traits, desires, vices. We not only become conscious of them but we are able to transform our conduct such that we no longer express them. Where were all these elements before we got conscious of them? We were merged
with them, they were behind our face, so to speak. They were intrinsic part of the form of consciousness
that we experience. For example, one can say "I'm a jealous person." Fair enough but this only means that the spirit is merged and enslaved by jealousy. The first step is to differentiate
the thinking spirit from it, the second is to transform it, such that we're no longer enslaved by it.
Most traditions pay attention to these things (unless you're Anna Brown and insist that everything happens for no reason at all). These detrimental parts of character are recognized by being thrust from the subconscious into the conscious and methods are used for their transformation (which is an art in itself). When sufficient number of these egoic structures has been differentiated out of our being and thrust to consciousness, where we educate them and put them to work, we more or less say "I'm a relatively good person". Yet we're still experiencing a specific form of consciousness
It's common nowadays that just because people have thrusted some of the egoic structures into consciousness, they imagine that they're now living in a kind of pure formless consciousness, completely transcending the ego. If we are not so self-blindingly assuming, we'll have to admit that our current form of consciousness can be investigated further. We simply need to learn from our own experience. We just have to look back and recognize that most of the structures that we have thrust into consciousness simply didn't exist for us previously - they were completely merged with the subconscious background as a chameleon. Thus they were implicitly producing the form of consciousness
that we've been experiencing on the surface - we've been unknowingly acting them out
like a puppet on a string, in our every thought, feeling and deed. What gives us the confidence that our current
and purified form of consciousness is free of other such, higher level structures, which are again merged in the background?
Here one can answer: I'm confident because I look around and see how everyone else is locked in these structures but I'm free, there's nothing around me to suggest that there's such thing as being even more free than this. And here lies the key to this - we're looking around for the egoic structures that we expect
to see. We're not prepared to see the unexpected
As said, in order to recognize some structure of consciousness we need to differentiate
it. For example, if the temperature of the Universe was completely uniform everywhere, there wouldn't be any sense of warmth. We need to have experienced at least few different degrees of warmth in order to form a concept of temperature. Similarly, when we're merged with a form of consciousness we simply don't have anything else to compare it to. In order to become conscious of my jealousy I must somehow attain to the image of what I would be
if I were not jealous. As long as jealousy is the only degree of 'warmth' that I know, it simply doesn't exist in my consciousness, I act it out as an immutable law of the Universe. When my thinking spirit extricates itself at least partially from the grips of this soul pattern, I attain to the consciousness of being less jealous - that is, I now have a kind of gradient of jealousy - I now have a 'sense' of jealousy. Not only that but this immediately lifts my spirit to a higher degree of freedom, such that I can now move along this gradient with my conscious effort.
Assuming that we're at least partially open to the possibility that we're not pure formless consciousness as soon as we overcome some of our egoic structures, we're faced with the question - what could these other structures be? The only way we can approach them is by asking the right questions, which implies thinking
. For example, why do we have the senses that we have? Why do we have thoughts, feelings/desires, will? As long as we don't ask these questions we live in the singular 'warmth' degree of our form of consciousness. We need to push the boundaries of this form with our spirit, so that we can see what other forms of consciousness are possible. If we subscribe to the idea that once we identify with MAL, we're already the pristine Cosmic Consciousness, this implies that the forms of consciousness possessed by evolved aliens, Angels, Archangels, Seraphim, etc. are pretty much the same as ours. Here one can be their own judge how bold such a statement is. Instead, if we simply read correctly the Book of Living Nature, we'll have to conclude: "Just as my ordinary form of consciousness is unknowingly shaped by the desires, passions, prejudices that I'm acting out, so my purified form of consciousness is still shaped by deeper structures. I can only become conscious of them if they are thrust into awareness and this in itself means that I must find other, higher forms of consciousness where the structures within which I'm now unconsciously flowing are only some of the possibilities.
So after this long introduction, (for those who were able to follow) we understand that we must be active with our spirit if we are to understand what is it that makes our current form of consciousness what it is. As long as we simply merrily flow with it, we have no point of reference to ever be conscious of what we're flowing through. For example, in a culture where jealousy doesn't cause any mischief and disturbances, it won't even be recognized as a conscious structure - it will be completely merged with the background - and as such, the 'enlightened' people in that culture will assume that they're living in the pristine formless aspect of the One - that is, the unrecognized 'flavor' that jealousy adds to the total form of consciousness will be unknowingly assumed to be a natural and inseparable attribute of Cosmic Consciousness.
I'll put a box here because it's so important:
In ordinary life, the conflicts and suffering we meet, more or less hint us at the structures that we're unconsciously acting out. Our current culture doesn't externally give us any impetus to recognize the higher order structures which give the specific form of our human consciousness. We need to be active if we're to discover these. We need to experience ourselves from at least slightly super-human conscious perspective in order to recognize what we're flowing through and acting out in our ordinary state. We can only understand what it means to live in human form of consciousness when we have something to compare it to. This comparison can happen only if we raise towards a higher strata of reality, from whose vantage point the human form of consciousness is only our spirit operating within a flattened constellation of higher forces, currents and deeds of spiritual beings (just like the form of consciousness of the undeveloped man is only a superficial shadow of the passions, opinions, habits that he unconsciously acts out).
Let's now look at things in a little higher resolution. First a simple observation: when we look at, say, a table, we have a visual perception and the knowing that we see a table. If we turn our gaze away we can later summon the image
of the table from memory
and we can think about it. So we have the visual perception on one hand and on the other we have our ability to summon in our imagination images of things that we have previously perceived.
Let's imagine a hypothetical man who doesn't possess this latter ability. He can have consciousness only of whatever he perceives in the moment. While he looks at the table he knows that he sees a table. The moment he turns his gaze away, it's like there isn't and hasn't ever existed any such thing as table in the Universe. Let's further imagine what would happen if suddenly all
the senses of this man were to shut down. Very simple - he would immediately lose consciousness. Since he's lacking the ability to experience images and thoughts about them on the screen of imagination, the moment the sensory screen is pulled beneath his feet, he remains into complete nothingness, there's nothing remaining to be conscious of.
Let's now look more closely at the screen of imagination. We can assume we're in sensory deprivation tank or we've passed the second gate so the senses are completely shut. Our imaginative screen is now our whole world, boundless sea of color, sound, smell, touch, etc. except that these now are not attached to specific sensory perceptions but are freely floating and filling the environment. What does it mean that we're conscious of all this? It means that we experience the implicit knowing
that we're perceiving all these things. When these states are approached through proper training we live in something much more structured, we're active in this world and are able to recognize that everything we perceive are impressions of happenings of soul and spirit kind. When these states are attained to through abnormal means, such as hyperventilation, psychedelics, etc. we don't have any of the means to read
the experience. We're only aware that we're witnessing an inexplicable experience.
When the Imaginative realm is approached through proper training we're not simply observing in exaltation but we can also find our activity there. In fact, it is only
through our activity that we can differentiate ourselves in this amalgamation of experience (see the box). This activity gives us something else too.
In purely sensory life we can afford to expect meaning to enter in us together with perceptions. If the perceptions cease, any meaning also ceases. But there's also another possibility. It is possible that we start with the meaning (idea, concept) and project that into an image. It's the reverse
process. In the former, the perception evokes the meaning into our knowing automatically. In the latter, we already
know the meaning and project it into imaginal perception (word, symbol, etc.).
This is not a simple symmetric reversal. When the process is reversed we have the chance to differentiate something which otherwise is always fused together. Some months ago we had long conversations with our friend findingblanks who turns PoF into a grotesque caricature for the simple reason that he insists to experience thought-images only of the first kind - as perceptions that come in inseparable packets with their meaning. He resists with all his strength to experience thought-images as the result
of ideating spiritual activity (something with which PoF beings right from the start. No wonder that from thence on everything becomes turned upside-down).
Only if we engage into active thinking
we have the chance to differentiate between the concept
, the meaning that we experience in our "I" on one hand and on the other - the thought-image
which is really only a symbol, an imaginal testimony for the idea that we live within. It is very different when we enter the Imaginative realm after we have advanced into this active thinking. Without this training everything if flattened for us, we have inexplicable panorama which evokes in us the intense but vague meaning of 'amazing stuff out of this world'. On the contrary, we when have learned to understand the difference between living in idea and the projecting the image out of it, then it becomes possible for us to live within higher order meaning, which elucidates the Imaginative substance. It's useless to sit and wait passively higher meaning to come to us in the images (look at the box). We need to ask questions, to search for the higher meaning that shapes the Imaginative perceptions.
We can use another analogy. The passive observation of perceptions and thoughts that automatically come with them, is like feeling with our hand objects that bump into it. As soon as any bumping stops, all perceptions stop. Now imagine that we can only know our hand when it touches something. This corresponds to the state of passive thinking - we only know thoughts when they come to us by themselves. Conversely, if we learn to feel the movement of our hand even in empty space, we can know meaning even in the absence of things we touch.
This is how things stand regarding the problematic third gate. As long as we haven't developed the ability to be conscious in ideas, even without the support of images, the moment the Imaginative screen is pulled beneath our feet, we drop into unconsciousness. This is the same thing as the analogy with the man who can only be conscious while the senses are active, but on a higher level. We can only have consciousness in the realm of deep dreamless sleep if we have developed our spiritual organization such that we can be active in the realm of pure ideas
This already belongs to the next higher stage of cognition - Inspirative. For Imaginative consciousness we train by learning to live entirely in images, without the support of the senses, we have to eradicate the sensory support (including the support of the brain, through which we can think in linear mineral trains of concepts). For Inspirative consciousness we need to eradicate even the images and remain in pure ideating activity. It's simply impossible to even conceive what this means, unless one has at least tried to experience thoughts for which he feels creatively responsible, thoughts which reflect the living active ideas in the "I". (It'll take us too far to speak also for the highest form of cognition - Intuition)
When we live in this way in the realm of pure meaning, we live in the Spiritual World, the World of Cosmic archetypal idea-beings. As said so many times, the higher worlds are not separate floors of existence that we travel to only after death. At any time, our form of consciousness is a slice
of all Worlds. Recently I tried to give another metaphor. I said that the form of consciousness we experience in the sensory spectrum is like an aliased
version of the higher states. While entangled with the nervous system, it acts like the lowest common denominator, like a functional basis onto which everything else is flatly projected. So we live in the Spiritual World at any instance when we're conscious, when we experience a concept or any meaning, it's only that we experience from this World only what is resonantly compatible with certain pattern of intellectual thinking. In the same way we undress jealousy and find ourselves with our spirit on a higher, freer ground, from whence jealousy is only one of the garments the spirit can flow through, so when we raise through Imagination and Inspiration, we come to live in the world of active idea-beings, which constitute the real structure of ourselves and the Cosmos.
In the Imaginative world we're still our personality because we experience the soul and spirit environment through the impressions they make in our personal Imaginative substance (in the etheric body). This is important - the Imaginations we experience are still our personally experienced symbols for even higher orders of reality.
In the Inspirative world we leave behind the Imaginative mirror of the etheric body. Those who expect their consciousness to be provided by the mirror, simply lose it. Only if we have learned to live in pure meaning we can sustain consciousness, yet this consciousness is not in the least the personal perspective we're used to. We're spirit among spirits, weaving Cosmic Thoughts. Every spirit is a fully individual perspective within that World, but they no longer have personal goals. Their greatest bliss (and ours when we're allowed to witness their World) is the grandiose work of Cosmic proportions. They are busy with creating and supporting Worlds and beings that can experience their awakening and evolution there, and ultimately one day also become Creator beings, sacrificing their ideal body so that it can become the matrix for new waves of evolution. Such is the situation of the human being, who experiences a flattened projection of these Divine processes, onto the screen of the nervous system, the senses and the other organs.
All of these things can be understood. We need Inspirative consciousness in order to live together with the Cosmic idea-beings which constitute, for example, the epochs of evolution. It's like these great epochs (Indian, Persian, Egyptian, Greek, etc.) are ideal inbreaths and outbreaths of these Divine beings who provide gradually the conditions within which the human being can evolve. To evolve means to expand consciousness from its flattened sensory projection and feel the depth of where everything comes from - how the form
of human consciousness comes about. Just as the undeveloped man doesn't question jealousy but accepts it as intrinsic part of existence (even as attribute of the Divine to which he may believe he's identical), so current science doesn't question the true nature of perceptions, thinking, feeling, willing. As we evolve (or for those who move faster ahead through the methods of higher development) the form of consciousness becomes 'delaminated'. The man trying to put some order into his life delaminates from his "I"-experience the jealousy and tries to transform it - from the desire to possess and control for his own sake, he transforms it into the impulse of distributing riches, giving freely and abundantly. The more he gives, the more he is magically compensated from all sides. Similarly, we delaminate our Earthly consciousness and understand that this idea manifests as intersection with that region of the Spiritual World, or this desire manifests from our merging with that being in the astral and so on. With this understanding comes also the possibility for freedom, because we become Masters who can in full consciousness attune, channelize and harmonize the currents that flow from the higher worlds, while completely diverting the harmful ones.
So the answers to the questions are contained in the understanding
of what is said here. And it can
be understood. We need higher cognition to explore these things but once they are found they can be communicated in concepts. When these concepts are experienced in the right way by someone with nothing but healthy thinking, they are the same
concepts which the seer condenses from the higher experience. For example, we need Inspirative cognition to live together with the beings who constitute the rhythms of evolutionary epochs, but when these things are thought about but someone with nothing but unprejudiced and living thinking, he touches and feels with the rays of his human thoughts, the Cosmic Thoughts of the same
beings, with which the seer resonates in much more expanded consciousness.
I know that it may sound insulting to suggest that the absolute nothingness at the third gate (dreamless sleep) is not the actual Fountainhead of Creation but one must simply think about what is here presented. When it's admitted that thinking is never explored, it's no surprise that the distinction between living in ideas and projecting them into images is not seen. If we can't experience cognition apart from images that evoke meaning on their own, is there reason to be surprised that as soon as the screen of Imagination is taken away from us, we also lose the means to reflect the existence of our "I"-being? As long as the screen of Imagination is present, even if the experience is completely inexplicable, there's still some implicit conscious meaning - I'm experiencing this, this is happening. When this screen is taken away, we can't have consciousness that anything is happening, if we expect that the Universe is obliged to always present us with our conscious reflection.
The only way to have self-consciousness in this Spiritual World is by being fully conscious of weaving in pure ideas, without the need of Imaginative reflection. Obviously we can never attain to this stage of consciousness if we haven't trodden the path of Thinking. People refuse to feel creatively responsible for their ordinary thoughts - they want to see them popping up on their own - what's left for Imaginative and not to mention Inspirative cognition, which are ever higher forms of expression of our free Spirit. If we can't find the Spirit in ordinary thinking it's useless to look for it anywhere else. And without the Cosmic "I am", weaving in pure idea, we simply have no consciousness beyond the separation from the etheric body (giving us the support of the Imaginative screen).