**Note** In this blog I describe “transcendence”. In view of the many uses of transcendence I am now calling my experience a shift in consciousness.
These questions came at the end of the last blog, how do I answer them and relate them to the khandas – rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara, vinnana
Before I answer this I want to stress as strongly as possible that in my view intellect cannot explain all of experience. It is worth giving the historical context for this. Around Bacon he split knowledge into rational and religious. As far as I have interpreted it this was done genuinely, recognising there were two types of knowledge, that which could be explained rationally – through reason, and that which came through experience – notably religious experience. Following on from Bacon the intellectuals took over, marginalised religious experience as dubious, and eventually eschewed religious experience as knowledge. Religious knowledge can be empirically verified but this did not matter, the Church of Reason could not contain it. Experience that was not normal – capable of being understood by the intellect – became known as paranormal and associated with all kinds of shady characters; and as a result of this association fait accompli made it so and it now does attract these shadies.
Many of the above questions fall within this arena of religious experience, or would like to be eschewed so by intellect so that they don’t have to be explained. And it is this I am trying to come to terms with. Intellect however can never understand the truth, and I must be careful not to react to this by coming up with fanciful notions. Why can intellect never understand the truth? It is my contention that the ego associated with intellect creates a barrier to proper understanding. It would be accepted that ego is a barrier to truth but I suspect that many would not accept intellect as a barrier. Intellect is a khanda process, thoughts arise – sankhara, we have perceptions about these thoughts – sanna, and consciousness through logic turns this to an intellectual understanding – vinnana. When intellect develops an ego or self, these khanda processes become a container, and all knowledge and understanding must fit into this container. It is necessary to transcend this container.
It is this ego I determine is one factor of the miseducation that our culture creates for us. The dominant force behind the miseducation is the 1%, without the indoctrination that occurs in miseducation people would become aware of their slavery and begin to try to return their power and responsibility, but this ego is a significant miseducation process because it prevents people from gaining and understanding religious experience. And it is that experience which is one of the greatest gifts life has to offer, rapture, ecstasy, bells and banjos are some of the ways it has been described.
In the West there are a number of cases where people have had “awakening experiences”, in which some form of transcendence has been described; I could classify this as the Tolle group in which I include myself. Because such awakening experiences are so powerful – often accompanied by rapture, people make fanciful claims for what happens. But it is only human nature coming through. That human nature, that I have previously capitalised as the Path, has its own will to live; to a greater or lesser extent it shows in us all. Nature decides on “allocation” – kamma, something that is beyond human comprehension, and we live different paths depending on how much of this Path is shown. When that Path meets ego it is hard for human nature to show through, one example of such ego is the intellectual ego. This intellectual ego feeds itself through study and arrogance, often unwitting arrogance and sometimes obvious arrogance. Higher education institutions abound with examples of this arrogance to such an extent that learning does not always occur at such places whilst the egos fight over chairs, money and other symbols of power. Religious knowledge is particularly eschewed there, and the religious institutions become the sanghas of knowledge supposedly.
I am now going to appeal to a concept I picked up at theosophy, I guess the origins are Hindu. Theosophists have a layer cake that I now don’t subscribe to – described as Septenary in wiki. [Suffice to say that as there is anatta, Atman and Buddhi don’t apply.] But Septenary says:-
“Manas – consisting of Higher Manas, the spiritual, inner, or higher Ego; and Lower Manas, the ordinary mind.”
There are all kinds of capitalisations here – theosophy is where I got the habit from, and the use of “Ego” is to represent a higher self, anatta does not accept this. This dual aspect of mind is helpful to consider. We might consider the higher mind of vedana as muditta, metta and compassion, the lower mind being emotions such as joy and sorrow. We might consider the higher mind of sankhara as wisdom and truth, the higher mind of perception as insight and truth, and crucially the higher mind of consciousness as upadana and understanding as opposed to the lower mind of intellectual apprehension. It is the crossing of this higher mind to lower mind that I contend is transcendence. Such a transcendence is not a requirement but it is a requirement if the ego is too strong and is preventing, and it is breaking through the ego that creates the religious experience or rapture. Why is it not a requirement? What if human nature does not have egos to break through? As the human nature actuates, the attributes of compassion, metta, muditta and upadana, along with truth wisdom and insight are all readily accepted so the transcendence happens without a battle, without rapture.
Just a final note concerning this use of manas. It is an arbitrary division mainly used to explain the transcendence or awakening that so many experience, and yet also explain that such an awakening is not necessary, both are part of human nature actuating one way or another.
How does this fit in with study as a path?
|Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.