Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Nature of the Mental Process

“In humans, every phenomenon arises from a field of energies: every thought, every feeling, every movement of the body is the manifestation of a specific energy., and in the lopsided human being one energy, is constantly swelling up to swamp the other. This endless pitching and tossing between mind, feeling, and body produces a fluctuating series of impulses, each of which deceptively asserts itself as "me": as one desire replaces another, there can be no continuity of intention, no true wish, only the chaotic pattern of contradiction in which we all live, in which the ego has the illusion of will power and independence. Gurdjieff calls this "the terror of the situation.”…………. Gurdjieff: Essays and Reflections on the Man and His Teaching, edited by Jacob Needleman and George Baker (New York: Continuum. 1996).

If you have stood at the sea shore and carefully observed the pattern of waves, you will realize that only one out of four or five waves is really significant and if you are standing in the water, it can exert a pull on your leg. But out in the deeper ocean all the waves are equally benign and evenly orchestrated except during a storm. The four or five waves that are mere large ripples are due to the fact that they get swamped by the retreating big wave. Why this example is pertinent to what we are discussing, is because our nature of thought exactly follows this pattern. The mind is the primary agent in all our response to life situations. Thoughts, feelings and actions are the results of the mind in operation. As George Gurdjieff, the great Russian mystic and teacher, points out this constant swell and swamping of the mental processes result in a loss of true identity.
Again let us for a moment go back to the ocean. It is only in the shallow waters, near the coast, we have this phenomenon of turbulence. There is not enough water to sustain the force of the large wave and hence it must reverse and feed off the emerging wave behind it. This is the same reason that when a Tsunami strikes the height of the wave in the deeper ocean is not too devastating but as the wave approaches the shallow waters it must pull all the waters ahead to sustain its energy. This is why we see the sea receding before the big wave strikes.
Just as the limit of the shore is its final destination, mental processes find their culmination in illusionary artefacts such as ‘will power’ and ‘independence’. The intimate interconnectedness is lost to our perception when we operate in this mode of mind oriented actions.

As
W. Q. Judge writes in “The Synthesis of Occult Science”
“The Manasic, or mind principle, is cosmic and universal. It is the creator of all forms, and the basis of all law in nature. Not so with consciousness. Consciousness is a condition of the monad (see my article “Units of Consciousness”) as the result of embodiment in matter and the dwelling in a physical form. Self-consciousness, which from the animal plane looking upward is the beginning of perfection, from the divine plane looking downward is the perfection of selfishness and the curse of separateness. It is the "world of illusion" that man has created for himself. "Maya is the perceptive faculty of every Ego which considers itself a Unit, separate from and independent of the One Infinite and Eternal Sat or 'be-ness." The "eternal pilgrim" must therefore mount higher, and flee from the plane of self-consciousness it has struggled so hard to reach.”

Nature can teach us a lot. Only by being people with deep sustaining level of consciousness can we tackle the onslaught of the mind. Spiritual practices must be oriented towards stilling the mind but in today’s world most religious rituals and prayers add to the cacophony already generated by the mind.

Love to you all

6 comments :

  1. The intimate interconnectedness is lost to our perception when we operate in this mode of mind oriented actions.
    Sir then it is for us to stay in awareness or soul consciousness all the while to get away from the en trappings of the egoic self or lower mind! Meditation over long periods of time puts on this path.
    Again as far as Illusions go - in the world of the physicality , we can know one only as a comparison of it's opposite - in communion with GOD by Neale Donald Walsch - he quotes GOD as the 10 Illusions that we create in order to understand our selves better- it is a contextual frame of reference that we ourselves set up , but through ignorance fail to see it as illusions- like a magician who falls prey to his own sleight of hands we get enmeshed in these very same illusions- the first being the illusion of NEED 1 the rest are all a fall out of this first illusion- thus we begin with a need based GOD and a fear based religion ! i hope i have understood some of it - eagerly awaiting further illumination Sir.


    Regards

    venkat

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  2. Thanks Venkat for the illuminative comment. I fully support your view "thus we begin with a need based GOD and a fear based religion"
    This was the reason that Friedrich Nietzsche said "God is dead" and no one understood him. "Religion is the opiate of the people" is one of the most frequently quoted statements of Karl Marx.
    Both were not talking about authentic theism or spirituality.

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  3. Great thoughts! As Venkat rightly emphasized by deep meditation we are becoming a "God-realised" person.

    In the Indian religious context, we can say that a daily discipline of contemplative prayer leads us to "God-realisation", i.e., as we seek His "darshan" (Holy presence) single mindedly, with heart we shall come to experience His presence in our heart. We shall KNOW Him. be filled with Him, and become more and more one with Him.

    He we get a realization of "everything & nothingness" this is what we call "Chithambara Rahasiam" hindu methology. When we attain this nothingness state. We are like the deep sea wherein there are no waves but "nisaptham" silence.
    The cloud of Unknowing where St. John of the Cross taught that "a deep life of prayer in the Spirit comes more quickly to those who are given to solitary prayer.
    "And the Waters / waves keep on running" and God is a fire of Love".

    Thank you TIBS and Venkat,

    With Love,
    Francis Jeyaraj

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  4. Thank you Francis for your insightful comment.
    Just for your information and note, I would like to clarify the following:
    1. 'Chithambara Ragasiyam' is referred in Hindu mythology to the veil of maya due to which the authentic presence of Shiva and Parvathi, the cosmic realm of the male and the female principles, is not comprehended by the devotee. In ritual a special puja is performed which is supposed to eradicate this ignorance.
    2. The "Cloud of the Unknowing" is an anonymous work of Christian mysticism written in Middle English in the latter half of the 14th century.
    3. The famous work of St. John of the Cross is "The Dark Night of the Soul" written in the 16th century.

    I hope I have been useful in providing these inputs.
    Keep those comments coming.

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  5. Respected Sirs ,

    I can see no other way to address you fellow travelers ! lets us ruminate ! even that is wrong for it involves the mind ! the no mind state can be attained or experienced in deep contemplative states that is termed as thuriya ! again subscribing to the deep insights of JK - a charted path in itself is a crutch ! what can lead us towards liberation not a few satori's! or a sustained series of aha ! experiences but an unconditional blending of the individuated will with the divine will- and what better path than self realization- so Meditate , primarily - get on to the path and let go- we are on a cosmic roller coaster ! I HOPE YOU R ARE ABLE TO CONNECT - SORRY FOR EFFACEMENT OF FORMAL ADDRESS ON MY PART- it is a connectedness that we can only experience in its glory!!! - truly Tibs sir ! u think i wrote the above as a conscious act of will !

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  6. in today’s world most religious rituals and prayers add to the cacophony already generated by the mind.- very true sir- a rightly structured religion must begin with mythology or story telling-progressing towards a few rituals for disciplining body-mind,and the tennents of Meditation ought to be introduced leaving the individual to work out and arrive at his own philosophy and working principles ,invariably many get stuck with rituals relating occurrences in life to a particular ritual or its non performance - labeling,judging and try to trace a cause-effect relationship becomes one's preoccupation leaving no room for any kind of spiritual inquiry. Life then becomes a series of repetitive actions day-in and day-out.One just exists and no higher wisdom reaches one's thought process-Meditation takes you on a different trajectory and sustained meditation helps build a critical mass of higher energy -or awareness of the supreme power within is made know and we do log on to this - Life becomes blissful!

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