For me the intellectual ego attaches to analysis, and this leads to an inability to understand and discern factors. Let me explain initially by what I look at. I ascribe only mathematical analysis to the word “analysis”. As a result there is much that is left unexplained. When I am examining a problem the scope of analysis and reason becomes limited, and I am forced to describe other mental processes to see what is happening. When mathematical analysis and reason come up short, I start enquiry. This brings in additional factors associated with the problem that can be analysed – strictly mathematically. At some point there comes a limit at which enquiry and analysis can develop. At this same point my mind becomes frustrated as the analysis and reason are chasing the same reasons around in a circle. It removes analysis and reason from possible situations and it focusses. This focus produces concentration – jhana – in which I am free from mundane thinking, and am left with understanding and insight. Because I limit the analytical process by definition I clarify understanding of the problem.
Now use a broad understanding of analysis (such as analytical meditation). Obviously this includes the mathematical analysis and reason. Then the meditation begins enquiry as part of analysis, and continues to analyse not by noting that enquiry has led to mathematical analysis and reason but by simply saying continue to analyse. Thinking or contemplating leads to further analysis which might well produce further thoughts that might then be considered insight. So analytical meditation produces insight by contemplation, enquiry, analysis and reason. There is no recognition of concentration and consciousness as described here, understanding comes from analysis and important details of the process are missed out.
Why are they missed out? It could be perfectly reasonable (analytical) to then break down the contemplation into concentration and consciousness but this doesn’t always happen. Why not? Self. Who analyses? I analyse; I contemplate, I enquire, I reason and deduce. The results might be the same as by focussing understanding comes but there is no self. I use the phrase “might be the same” because I feel that the self would prevent the clearest access to consciousness, and so understanding becomes limited.
Therefore the broad description of analysis is not useful as it is vulnerable to clinging. How does one help people avoid the suffering this clinging causes? By asking what is not analysis, what mental factors are not analysis? There are two main factors that I experienced – insight and creativity. Although in my case the insight came first, creativity naturally had jhanas with it so the process to insight using jhana was repeatedly reinforced through creativity. In this way perhaps the analysis atta can be avoided by identifying that consciousness creates, and that creation comes from jhana, and then the process of insight through jhana creates insights and understanding. Wisdom can then be divorced from knowledge and reason, truth cannot be analysed but is understood, and the 4 brahma-viharas are accessed by jhana; the atta clinging to analysis can be avoided.
Maybe the word awareness comes up as an answer to what is not analysis, and then we can get to judgement-free awareness – right mindfulness. Excellent – this just slipped in!!
I have always said analysis has its place, this is a much clearer explanation.