Monday, August 19, 2019

Use the Intellect Honestly

You can't play God from the human perspective. That's what transcendence is all about. To play God from the human point of view causes a lot of suffering. Attempt to see from the Absolute's point of view. That will lessen suffering.

You can't put the intellect, rationality, or logic above Being, but you can certainly use the intellect and logic to grasp at Being. You are Beingness itself! And Being, created the intellect. So use the tool, but use it honestly, not in the defense of the ego. That's transcendence.

The intellect is a tool like any other. Everyone wants an honest carpenter because a hammer can be used to build a house or kill the owner. Like any other tool, the intellect can be used for good or ill. Use it honestly and it will serve you well.

Experience and intuition are not rational processes. But the intellect can analyze and determine the value of an experience. The story of the rope and the snake is the most well known example of this. Unpacking experience in a rational and logical manner can add great value to any experience, and can help you let go of experience that does not add value to your life because it is not true to the fact.

Using the intellect willingly, honestly, look at yourself and how you experience life. Question the validity of how you experience. Are your experiences a valid response to what is? Look at yourself honestly. Inquire into yourself without holding back what the facts are. Isn't this what self inquiry is? The wise saying, "Know thyself," is of paramount importance. But, you have to do it thoroughly and honestly.

Since the intellect is a product Being, it is secondary to Being. Using the intellect well will take you beyond it. But use it well first. Self inquiry is an intellectual task. You can transcend the ego, seeing that it is a construct, a useful tool, just like the intellect.

The hard problem of consciousness was answered long ago. Self inquiry will answer this for you. You will find that consciousness is primary. You are that. Problem solved.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Mystics and Meaning

We can all agree that meaning is essential to human life and health. Culture and religion are methods to provide meaning, providing stories and structures that define values. But what happens to the individual that for some reason doesn't fit with the culture or can't stomach the religion in their environment?

Most people are pretty agreeable and they want to fit in. They don't question too much and join the parade. They can have fairly meaningful lives adjusting to the status quo. The issue of meaning isn't challenged because they adapt to the culture and religion provided. But what happens to the people that can't adjust?

Mystics through the ages have always been somewhat disagreeable. There a hundreds of stories of them being burned at the stake, forced to take poison, or simply banished from their homeland.

It's quite easy to see that for the mystic, accepting what has been handed down without examination or critique is anathema to their being. It's not that their religion isn't pointing to the truth, it's that they want to go deeper, to experience the truth for themselves. They don't want God, or Being, mediated to them by a priestly cast, they want to know God or Being directly.

This insistence most certainly puts them at odds with the culture, especially the religious aspect that has hardened into beliefs. The church says "This is what you must believe to belong, to be good, to be worthy." For the mystics, belief is not enough.

The mystic is the not the "true believer." The mystic is the one whose inside is screaming, "I want to know myself, as I am, in the ground of my Being." This demand cannot be mediated by any priest. It is a journey of the self to the Self. It is a lonely journey, a  journey into the desert, into the wastelands. A journey of discovery.

The mystic's search for meaning goes beneath the platitudes and insists that meaning must come directly from the Source itself. There must be in them some intuition that there is more to this life, this existence, than meets the eye, or is told in the town square.

Spiritual journeys are singular, and much of the journey is not pleasant. But, whatever the individual path, the mystics come to the same Source, the same fountain of profound truth. That is why their writings have been called "The perennial philosophy." The mystic finds that all the world's religious come from a single source, the being of existence itself.

The discovery of the mystic provides the authority with which they speak. The humility of their knowing shows they have transcended the personal self. That combination of authority and humility attracts seekers of wisdom. They do not put a price on sharing. They are available to all.

The mystic has tapped into the ground of Being. They speak of instantaneous knowledge, a direct download from Source. It comes with such authority that to question it seems absurd. Meaning pours through their souls like water after the years in the desert, making their journey worthwhile.

The mystic, knowing source directly, as the Beingness that they are, have the joy of meaning that they need not understand. In other words, knowing they are that which they sought, they know longer need to question their existence or justify it. The world is their creation.

Whatever travails the mystic endured, he comes to know the essence he is, is non other than the being that created this universe. As an individual they know their limitations, and they may not have all the answers, but the answer to the big question is complete. In that they rest.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Meaning and Intent

Meaning has to do with intent. It points to a significant quality. Isn't this what the search for Truth is? Finding what is significant and shows the intent of life?

The lack of meaning in one's life is a sure pointer that one has not found the Truth that satisfies. We're not talking about beliefs here. If one is defensive about one's position, you're standing on shaky ground.

The sages that seem to have the Truth, or a good taste of it, are humble, but speak with authority. They can speak with authority because it is not borrowed Truth, it is known in their bones.

If the universe is a random occurrence, can one find Truth in it? Or meaning. Evidence seems to show that one can. The Existentialists grappled with this. To a large extent they came to the conclusion that the individual had to answer their own question. Many did this without belief or acknowledgment of God.

I was an atheist for many years and found meaning in my life. It was very personal. It worked for me. But this never answered the question of the universe. I was still curious. Why the universe? Why the way it is? Why me?

These questions about the universe imply that as satisfying as my personal life might be, it did not answer some fundamental questions. And the fundamental questions did not just slip out of my psyche like chaff.

The drive to discover the most meaning possible in life remained. And these questions were larger than the personal self. The fact of the need for meaning, although personal to a large extent, points beyond. And it must point beyond because we did not create ourselves.

To my mind, finding myself a created being, could I really be satisfied with having personal meaning that did not include the creator? What was its intention? What was the creation for?

This process led to looking for deeper intent, a more profound meaning, a more inclusive understanding. Existence is. The search for meaning is. This is inherent in the human. Doesn't this make it clear the search is valid?

The sages have made it clear that "You are That." There is a lot of meaning in that statement. It means that you are larger than the small self. It means that although the small self exists, it is just a part of That.

The path from hearing "You are That," to knowing you are "That," is a long process, or a giant leap. The search is nothing but the path to know "That." When the truth of "You are That" dawns, meaning seems to drop like manna from heaven.

Knowing "You are That," makes you the whole. You are the creator of the universe and the purpose is yours. While still being the small self playing the role you are in, you are also the creator, the being of it all. How can you not be at peace with existence? It is you doing your thing. Your intent, your meaning.