The Two Paths

Posted: 12/12/2015 in Insight
Tags: , ,

point1WARNING 27/2/16

At the time of discussion of “The Two Paths” I was attempting to accommodate an intellectual Path; even whilst doing so I was uncomfortable with it. I tried to focus on the “shift” as described by HHDL but the intellect I was discussing with did not engage with the word – presumably because it was a non-intellectual process. Now that I have accepted mu it is clear that what I am aiming for is beyond intellect, and this whole rationalising of “Two Paths” was just an engagement with intellect. I am keeping this series of discussions on Two Paths on my blog as a warning as to how much the intellect can drag you in the wrong direction.


Earlier in my blog I considered two Paths:-

zbullet The Path of Awakening
zbullet Deep Study leading to understanding

Where do I stand on these now that it is done and dusted? Perhaps the most important thing I have determined is to get rid of this theosophical capitalisation. The capitalisation related to the Unconditioned, some sort of noumenon. The path is what we do, and as such has no direct contact with the Unconditioned. The Unconditioned is, and that is it; we are in the world of conditions, the path is conditioned.


Let’s examine the two paths separately, first the path of awakening. Because I was fanciful concerning the Unconditioned, there was some vague and improper notion of awakening being concerned with the Unconditioned. I described it as a “sort of awakening” because it was that, but mainly it was an awakening from systemic conditioning or miseducation. In Buddhist terms it was breaking through an entrenched atta, the atta of my intellectual ego created by culture and miseducation. I began to describe this as a transcendence from lower to higher manas, it could be from the mundane to the supramundane; I am now going to call this a shift in consciousness, transcendence has too much showbiz attached to it. Somehow the turmoil in my mind at the time of hitting bottom created a jhana that allowed consciousness to emerge. I called this the starting of my path, it was a sort of awakening, but it had nothing to do with the awakening or enlightenment that people associate with the Buddha – I don’t go near that. Other experiences reminded me and reinforced my initial shift, and these experiences I associated with keeping to the path – these experiences were jhanas. So this path of awakening is inaccurately described as a “path of awakening”, it is better described as an insight path. Why insight? Insight comes through jhanas, right concentration, allowing consciousness to emerge. Initially the consciousness was blocked by the atta of miseducation and drink, and the resulting turmoil created a focus of concentration that allowed a shift in consciousness, a development of insight initially followed by gaining insights. This recent process spurred by group discussion online appears to have radically altered the description of this path but from where I look at it I don’t feel so; rationally it looks very different, I think.

Deep Study:-

Following the discussions I have much more time for this approach of deep study but I am completely unhappy with it. Primarily it allows the intellectual to consider they are on the path simply by studying. I contend that this cannot be. Understanding requires concentration and insight, an insight that is not just reasoning, not even unconscious reasoning. It requires “contact with consciousness”, concentration creating the channel for that contact. This might happen through deep study because the concentration might cause it, but if it is then attributed to reason I see the intellectual atta clinging. I think this might be an unconscious path, and therefore similar to an insight path. The intellectual perceives this path as intellect, analysis and reason (because of atta), yet through the study develops the concentration that produces the insight and then attributes that insight to analysis. Does this matter? Yes, because they don’t see a shift in consciousness, they don’t see how much their focus on reason traps them in their mundane realm of analysis. How much they miss out on because of this I cannot know? Maybe nothing, maybe the whole world?

However the two paths are very little different. There is the shift in consciousness, this is very important. Because it is not life-changing like hitting bottom does not mean that it does not happen on the deep study path, but it does not happen in an earth-shattering way. The paths are different by emphasis, ie the words that are used. The insight path focusses on the concentration that leads to the understanding whilst recognising a role for reason, deep study focusses on reasoning.

How important is the turmoil? In Zen they have koans, they want to create the turmoil that produces the jhana. In my hitting bottom the turmoil happened because of my culture and miseducation, for the deep study path this turmoil is not emphasised – maybe it occurs but reason does not want to admit to it because it is not rational. In last night’s realisation LINK the intellectual turmoil was a prerequisite for the jhana, the jhana would not have happened without it, and the understanding would not have occurred.

At one stage in the online group I questioned whether the intellectual asked about their own path, I still feel that. Because they are attached to reason they don’t examine processes like turmoil and concentration, and insight becomes analysis.

Buddhism does somewhere I am sure but I don’t know the Pali/suttas.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.


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