Exercise Time (Thinking)

Any topics primarily focused on metaphysics can be discussed here, in a generally casual way, where conversations may take unexpected turns.

Moderator: Soul_of_Shu

ParadoxZone
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2021 7:59 pm

Exercise Time (Thinking)

Post by ParadoxZone »

Hi all,

In reading and re-reading Ashvin and Cleric's essays and posts, I've come across an issue for me. I've been trying out some of the exercises and something is definitely happening, though I'm not sure I have the words to explain "something" at this stage. I want to continue and deepen the exploration so was hoping someone might help with exercise suggestions.

Some exercises require time and concentration while some don't. If you can give an example that falls into one if those categories, I'd be very grateful. For instance, an exercise that can be done on a busy street while waiting for a bus would fit into the latter category, while one requiring quiet and time would fit in the former.

If your suggestion is a link to an existing post, that would be great too - as long as it gives an indication of the time and concentration required.

Thanks in anticipation.
User avatar
AshvinP
Posts: 2921
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:00 am
Location: USA

Re: Exercise Time (Thinking)

Post by AshvinP »

ParadoxZone wrote: Fri Oct 08, 2021 9:53 pm Hi all,

In reading and re-reading Ashvin and Cleric's essays and posts, I've come across an issue for me. I've been trying out some of the exercises and something is definitely happening, though I'm not sure I have the words to explain "something" at this stage. I want to continue and deepen the exploration so was hoping someone might help with exercise suggestions.

Some exercises require time and concentration while some don't. If you can give an example that falls into one if those categories, I'd be very grateful. For instance, an exercise that can be done on a busy street while waiting for a bus would fit into the latter category, while one requiring quiet and time would fit in the former.

If your suggestion is a link to an existing post, that would be great too - as long as it gives an indication of the time and concentration required.

Thanks in anticipation.

PZ,

I am assuming you are asking for ones that Cleric has not already written about here? If you are wondering if there are some that were posted and you may have missed, then I may be able to help. I was actually thinking of compiling all the ones he has posted here for my own personal practice, but I am happy to share that here as well.
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
User avatar
Cleric K
Posts: 705
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:40 pm

Re: Exercise Time (Thinking)

Post by Cleric K »

ParadoxZone wrote: Fri Oct 08, 2021 9:53 pm Hi all,

In reading and re-reading Ashvin and Cleric's essays and posts, I've come across an issue for me. I've been trying out some of the exercises and something is definitely happening, though I'm not sure I have the words to explain "something" at this stage. I want to continue and deepen the exploration so was hoping someone might help with exercise suggestions.

Some exercises require time and concentration while some don't. If you can give an example that falls into one if those categories, I'd be very grateful. For instance, an exercise that can be done on a busy street while waiting for a bus would fit into the latter category, while one requiring quiet and time would fit in the former.

If your suggestion is a link to an existing post, that would be great too - as long as it gives an indication of the time and concentration required.

Thanks in anticipation.
Hi PZ,

You're quite correct that we need to work differently depending on whether we're in the comfort and quiet of our home or we're swayed by the sensory life.

Our modern outer environment is very turbulent. It is not at all easy to concentrate while in the midst of all this chaos. Most people simply don't possess this kind of inner control. Instead of trying to resist all the dynamics (which can easily crush us) we need to be wiser and find ways to introduce certain rhythm in the temporal unfoldment of the metamorphing panorama. As long as our attention sucked in by the sensory happening, our inner being is practically shattered into pieces. We're totally dissipated and shredded continuously by the worldly happenings. And not only by them but by our own unorganized inner life - conflicting desires, dissatisfaction, worries, confusion. All of these factors lead to what I have elsewhere called highly aliased conscious experience. Our inner state is a salad of superimposed rhythms of the most various origins which are completely out-of-phase with each other - an actual cacophony. In actual musical cacophony we can never make sense of the sound as something holistic. Instead, our attention continuously jumps from one instrument to another, cognizing tiny fragments of each but without the possibility to encompass any rhythmic harmony in the overall soundscape. If we expect that our modern world will instill this harmony from the outside, we're out of luck. In our decisive times we can only do something if we ourselves seek to introduce some rhythms through our own spiritual activity.

When we meditate in our home or in a peaceful place in Nature, we can go really deep through concentration. Then we begin to perceive in images those inner and outer rhythms that normally toss us around. It is because of our rock stable inner stance that we can differentiate our spirit from some of those rhythms and thus make them conscious. When we're swallowed by these rhythms, we are not conscious of them, we're only conscious of where they carry us and we consider that just randomness. And when these rhythms mix in cacophonic interference, we're literally being thrown around along the shards flying around.

It is not easy, and it is not advisable, to meditate while being busy in the sensory world. We need to develop a good feeling for the context of our waking life. Just as there's right place and time for sleeping (hopefully we don't sleep while driving), so we need to know very well when to detach from the senses and expand our consciousness and when to be firmly connected with our body.

The different modes of inner work are not disconnected - they flow into each other. For example, when in deep meditation we begin to encompass the rhythmic relations of sensory and psychic life as something harmonically interrelated, we already live in a higher stratum of our being. When we're back in the fragmented sensory spectrum, this higher vantage point is only a memory. Yet we know that it exists. And not only that it exists but that there are even higher and higher perspectives, all the way towards the Divine. In our ordinary state this knowledge precipitates in us as a feeling. It's like we're saying to ourselves: "I'm now again tossed around, dragged by projectiles firing in all directions. But I know that there are concealed beneath my aliased perspective, much more comprehensive states of consciousness. These are not even only the states I've experienced in deeper meditation - there are even higher states that I'll have eternity to rise towards. Yet these states exist even now and it is up to me to relate to them. This is the deeper side of prayer as science of spiritual conduct. If I depend only on my sensory input and calculating intellect, I'm very easily prone to error. The perceptions are so fragmentary and incomplete that with great probability my judgments about them will also be incomplete and practically erroneous. But I know that there exist perspectives which have much more comprehensive views, encompassing the rhythmic waves in their far reaching interrelatedness. From my fragmented state I can only address this perspective as and idea which can only be felt. It's the positive trust in something living, actual living being of tremendous wisdom, beneath the tattered surface of my current consciousness. I seek musical resonance with the perspective of this being. Instead of allowing my consciousness to be shattered and torn apart by the projectiles of the sensory spectrum, I turn to that being of Wisdom and Harmony and seek to be inspired by it, such that I can introduce alternative rhythms in my spiritual activity. Rhythms which are sure to bring me closer and closer to the holistic perspective which makes sense of the chaos around and within me. I can only approach this high ideal when I open to it in humility, devotion and deepest gratitude even for things which have not yet manifested in my consciousness but which certainly will at some point."

So this is one very powerful method. To seek in our souls the feeling resonance with the luminous strange attractor, which inflows in us as inspiration, clarity and strength.

Other methods are to spread our Good intentions everywhere we go. While at the bus stop, instead of going through how wicked the world is, we can draw upon the source and imaginatively infuse our environment with the potential which we are certain will benefit the world development. We shouldn't fantasize our imaginative work as actual reality. It is a thinking gesture. Just as the wizard makes hand gestures when he performs his incantations, so we, hopefully as a white mage, make imaginative thinking gestures. These are not the reality, just like the apprentice of the wizard will not have the same result if he simply repeats mechanically the same hand gesture of his master. With our imaginative gestures we avow our intents openly. We send out our most sincere and selfless wish that the unfoldment of reality should be attracted to what is good, harmonious and wisely ordered, even if we don't grasp the big picture at this time. If we don't see the reality of these things today, it is only because every being pulls the metamorphic process in the direction of their egoistic desires, practically canceling each other's efforts.

Another very effective method is music. Music is not just a powerful metaphor for spiritual dynamics. At certain stage, the musical concepts become completely literal images of higher processes. The concept of resonance is one such concept. When we open up for inspiration within our high ideal, it is really a process of musical attunement. The aliased fragments over which our chaotic intellectual thinking hops around, begin to align along the force lines of inner musical geometry, just as iron filings align with the force lines of a magnet. The more the fragments get aligned with this ideal structure, the more our spiritual activity finds ways to cognitively move along the depth of the musical landscape itself.

Singing is a perfect way to introduce rhythm into our fragmentary state. The beautiful thing is that we can sing also in our mind which makes it perfect precisely in situations as waiting at the bus stop, walking in crowded streets and even when we're engaged with trivial everyday activities such as cleaning the house. The more focused we are in our thinking on pronouncing the words in continuous unbroken stream, the more effective the whole exercise is. Music has inherent temporal rhythmic structure which makes it so easy to flow along with our thinking (singing) activity. Interestingly, in the future the fragmented thinking we know today, as mechanical patchwork of thought-fragments, will be outgrown. The more we evolve, the more we enter into the depths of reality, where everything is interrelated mathematically and musically. Then thinking looks like an artistic stream, concentrating beauty, harmony and wisdom. The music of today is only a crude exercise of these future modes of cognition that we can glimpse at today in Inspirative consciousness. Yet they are absolutely necessary exercises. We can't become two meters tall if we first don't pass through the one meter mark.

Not all songs are made equal. The music itself and the lyrics are themselves spiritual structures and when we merge with them we are led in one or another domain of the invisible landscape. There are songs which are especially powerful because they resonate precisely with the High Ideal out of which we must draw inspiration, harmony and strength, that we infuse in our organization and outer world. Here's one example for a song which when sung with concentration can really lift us (lyrics and translation in the description).

User avatar
Cleric K
Posts: 705
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:40 pm

Re: Exercise Time (Thinking)

Post by Cleric K »

ParadoxZone wrote: Fri Oct 08, 2021 9:53 pm I've been trying out some of the exercises and something is definitely happening, though I'm not sure I have the words to explain "something" at this stage.
PS: It is actually best that at this stage we refrain from trying to find the words. The reason is that we're living on the borderline between two forms of consciousness but our intellectual habits are dominant. When we're impatient to find the words, then as soon as we experience something of the "something", the intellect immediately becomes aroused and tries to grasp a concrete concept from the palette it is familiar with (from the sensory world). The result is that we immediately fragment the "something" into concepts that are valid only for the sensory realm. But for the higher realms we need new concepts. The longer we can withhold conceptualizing the "something", the better. In this way it grows, becomes more and more encompassing, even though it's still quite indefinite. It's important at this point to have complete trust that we're growing into something which is always greater than us. No matter at what stage of development we are, our state of consciousness is always an aliased form of an even greater, wiser, more harmoniously interrelated state. It is indispensable to have complete trust that this higher being knows much better than us, what is in our best interest. We are only safe if we feel the presence of this being. If we simply want to project our ego into the astral, that is also possible but I won't be the one to give advices for this. If one doesn't want to be guided by the being which is aligned with the harmonic unfoldment of Cosmic evolution, then other beings will be our guides when we project with our Earthly personality in the soul realm. Except that neither we'll see them, nor we'll know that they are leading us by the nose. It is bad enough when our ordinary thinking is completely in the blind spot and we have no interest whatsoever to understand what forces work in us behind our interests, desires, opinions. It is thousandfold worse if we manage to expand into the astral without the presence of the Spirit Guide. In the physical world, even though we're blind about the forces behind thinking, at least Nature has taken care that our senses are stable enough so that they are hardly influenced by our opinions and preferences. It is not so when we detach from the senses. If we haven't made Truth our highest ideal (and those who don't want to investigate the forces behind their thinking, most certainly don't care about Truth) then it is practically guaranteed that anything we perceive will be nothing but illusions, even if they are charged with the most earth-shattering emotions telling us that that the greatest secrets are being revealed. The same unexamined forces behind our ordinary thinking, which we don't care to know, are those which unconsciously to us project the illusionary imaginations. When we flee from self-knowledge, we think only based on unexamined sympathies and antipathies instead of by ever widening our horizon of cognition and interrelating everything in the harmony of the facts. When we detach from the senses, the beings manifest in these unexamined sympathies and antipathies are the ones inspiring the mighty imaginations according to what we would love to see, and not according to what is true. In the sensory world we at least have the corrective of the stable senses and we're forced to recognize hallucination when we can't go through a wall. In the Imaginative realm the only corrective is our Love for Truth and uncompromising determination to relate everything in the ever expanding harmony of the facts. If we don't enter that world completely filled with this Love, we'll be seeing powerful imaginations of what we feel sympathy for, even if it is completely false (and it's not like we have to search hard to see than in normal life many people are much more apt to seek that which gives them pleasure, even if they must go through a web of lies to reach it, rather than seek what is true). And without external corrective, these illusion can persist for years and years until Karma, in roundabout ways hits us on the head to make up our mind.

One of the most undermining ideas in our age is the popular understanding of 'enlightenment' as something that will just happen at some point of time and suddenly we'll know all the secrets. It is very well that you say "I'm not sure I have the words" because if there's anything we can compare higher cognition to, it should be - learning a new language. Just as little we can learn a foreign language by sitting and waiting all the words and grammar to pour in us ready-made, so we'll never understand anything of the "something" as long as we expect that somehow everything will become clear by itself. We need at least some general ideas present in books like Theosophy, Outline of occult science, Knowledge of higher worlds .... Without these foundational ideas we're like someone saying "I don't need to know what thousands of years of mathematical development have uncovered. I want to see it for myself, without any prior knowledge." This is precisely the ruling misunderstanding of our times which imagines that things present themselves to us in the higher states completely ready-made. Instead, we can grow only word by word, concept by concept, except that in the higher world we deal with living processes of thoughtfully willed nature. At this time we can express these only in images, metaphors, analogies, comparisons. When we have thought about things like etheric, astral body, etc. then at some point, after the "something" has grown sufficiently, comes a time when something flashes in us and we say "Aha! So this is what is meant! In this area of the "something" I'm weaving with my spiritual activity in the etheric brain. In this other area I'm active in the heart and lungs, and so on." If we haven't thought about these concepts with our normal thinking, it is still theoretically possible that we'll invent them ourselves, just as it is theoretically possible that we can invent Calculus without knowing anything about numbers (because we don't want to be tainted by already discovered ideas). Anyone can be their own judge what the odds are. The common objection to this is that mathematics we can understand but esoteric facts we are taking on blind faith and we don't know if we're not being led into illusions. But this is precisely the greatest prejudice of our times and the complete failure to grasp what 'spiritual world' refers to. People all too easy forget that when we start learning mathematics we don't meet something ready-made. We're faced with symbols and concepts that we don't understand but struggle with them in our thinking. When we understand them, we grow into the mathematical ideal landscape and we can produce the same mathematical thoughts from our own inner experience, we simply describe in symbols what we live through in thinking. Please note this well - to understand mathematics means to expand our cognitive organism into novel ideal landscape and corresponding patterns of spiritual activity. We find new degrees of freedom to our spiritual activity. To do math means to live cognitively through this landscape. It is practically the same in esoteric science. We don't understand the concepts of spiritual science by memorizing some words and repeating them as parrots. In the same way we don't understand mathematics if we cheat on our exam and copy the math symbols from our neighbor without knowing what they mean. When we understand the concepts of spiritual science, this is an actual inner experience - we find new degrees of freedom of our spiritual activity, we find new directions into which our thinking can move within our inner geometry. There aren't too many people who imagine mathematics as a kind of forced upon dogma, as artificially patched together symbols and signs that are memorized and simply mindlessly repeated. Yet this is exactly the type of prejudice that is employed regarding higher knowledge. What is not understood is that through the higher forms of cognition we enter precisely in these regions of which the mathematical landscape is only a mineralized shadow - that is, we enter the regions where our intellectual thoughts are being formed (because mathematics is a form of thinking after all).
ParadoxZone
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2021 7:59 pm

Re: Exercise Time (Thinking)

Post by ParadoxZone »

Ashvin,

Yes, if you are putting together a list, that would be great. Also, I get that not everything is suitable for all situations (see below, I recognise the power of the twin-track approach). It's the imaginative and cognising exercises I am looking for which require quiet and concentration.

Cleric,

Thanks for that post - it seems tailor made for me, to be honest. Also thanks for your patience - I understand that Ashvin and yourself have said all this in so many ways.

That is a beautiful song and it's going on the new playlist I will be compiling. Just reflecting on that I remembered some beautiful songs and hymns in the Irish language which will also go on the list. There's something about listening and singing along (in the head, the world and isn't ready for my singing) in ancient languages which feels like touching something very real.

So at the bus stop tonight I practised all the above. The young people going for their Saturday night out were met with smiles and mental thoughts of "enjoy, stay safe". Maybe I'll just put up some signs in my apartment "Beware the fragmentation" in an effort to remember at times and to try to build that more stable rock. And the bus app was put away for tonight - the bus came anyway.

I won't prattle on. Much gratitude.
User avatar
AshvinP
Posts: 2921
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:00 am
Location: USA

Re: Exercise Time (Thinking)

Post by AshvinP »

ParadoxZone wrote: Sat Oct 09, 2021 9:27 pm Ashvin,

Yes, if you are putting together a list, that would be great. Also, I get that not everything is suitable for all situations (see below, I recognise the power of the twin-track approach). It's the imaginative and cognising exercises I am looking for which require quiet and concentration.

Right, and Cleric just about said it all above. You may have read before that he started out sort of thrust into the imaginal realm by psychedelics, and he is still "undoing the damage" from that 'unlawful' trespass. So we are really fortunate to have first come across Steiner and Cleric's writings to build the conceptual foundation of learning this new language of higher cognition. From my experience, prayerful and sober trust in the Spirit is really a fruitful endeavor. It is not something random and magical, as Cleric highlighted, but something that naturally arises from the structure of spiritual Reality itself. He gave all the details, but suffice to say that, for me, it became pretty clear to me when I needed to start making a transition from amassing the conceptual foundation towards developing the imaginative cognition. It became clear when a new sort of effort was needed to strengthen the soul further and begin moving 'vertically' with thoughts. We could say there is a 'law of diminishing returns' on pure horizontal (intellectual-conceptual) thought, which is really quite obvious in the world at large. But it is the Spirit who truly guides us to this new effort to complement the prior effort when the time is right. Knowledge of the Higher Worlds is a great resource in this regard.
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
nils kdc
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2021 7:02 am

Re: Exercise Time (Thinking)

Post by nils kdc »

Hello all
Out of interest for BK's work, I have been reading this forum, now and then, for quite a time now, with more or less ease as english is not my mother langage. This is my first post, springing from a feeling of gratitude I want to express here because, Cleric, I find a very deep interest and resonance in your posts. I had, at first, to go through what seemed to me an uncommun use of words (thinking as spiritual activity etc.) but a cross reading of your posts gives me progressively a better felt sense of the ideas you share.
Thanks also Ashvin for your essays, wich I certainly will dive into when a little bit more time will be granted to me. And indeed, as so many posts are scattered on this forum, I too would gladly welcome a compilation of exercises and key posts ;-)
So again, with appreciation, many thanks to all
User avatar
AshvinP
Posts: 2921
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:00 am
Location: USA

Re: Exercise Time (Thinking)

Post by AshvinP »

nils kdc wrote: Sun Oct 10, 2021 7:39 am Hello all
Out of interest for BK's work, I have been reading this forum, now and then, for quite a time now, with more or less ease as english is not my mother langage. This is my first post, springing from a feeling of gratitude I want to express here because, Cleric, I find a very deep interest and resonance in your posts. I had, at first, to go through what seemed to me an uncommun use of words (thinking as spiritual activity etc.) but a cross reading of your posts gives me progressively a better felt sense of the ideas you share.
Thanks also Ashvin for your essays, wich I certainly will dive into when a little bit more time will be granted to me. And indeed, as so many posts are scattered on this forum, I too would gladly welcome a compilation of exercises and key posts ;-)
So again, with appreciation, many thanks to all

Hello nils,

Thanks for the comment. Let me see what I can put together for the exercises. I am glad you enjoy the imaginative experience of Cleric's posts as much as I do :)
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
User avatar
Cleric K
Posts: 705
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:40 pm

Re: Exercise Time (Thinking)

Post by Cleric K »

Thanks PZ and Nils!

I'm sorry I'm taking so long with the Schrodinger essay but new things keep coming and as I try to include them it's become four parts already :o . It could take another week or two (since I don't get the chance to write every day). I really hope it will be of use to those interested! Certainly I learned new things as I write it :D
ParadoxZone
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2021 7:59 pm

Re: Exercise Time (Thinking)

Post by ParadoxZone »

Ashvin,

No need to do any of this on my behalf anymore. I've found what I needed from here in terms of imaginative exercises (and forgot to catalogue them for others, next iteration I'll do that).

In terms of bus stops and busy streets, I'm finding little nuggets here that can be kept in mind without losing any alertness (increasing it actually) about what's going on around me. The latest was from you yesterday about evil being truth out of season, so I'll stick with that for a few days anyway.

Cheers.
Post Reply