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Five Steps of THINKING to go beyond THINKING

 

 

A: THINKING RIGHTLY corrects wrong thinking: 

 

·    Thought has imprisoned us: thought may release us.” 

                                                  --Paul Brunton  The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga

 

“To imagine is to create.  That which a person thinks, he becomes. 

Rightly thinking himself immortal he attains immortality." 

--Paul Brunton The Wisdom of the Overself: ch 8:

 

NM: First words, then silence.  One must be ripe for silence.  …There is no other way out of misery, which you have created for yourself through blind acceptance, without investigation. Suffering is a call for inquiry, all pain needs investigation.  Don’t be lazy to think. 

                                                                                                   Nisargadatta Maharaj: I Am That                                                            

 

·       Bring reverence, worship, heart: 

It is not merely an intellectual exercise. All the piety and reverence and worship gained from religion are needed here too. We must pray constantly to the Soul to reveal itself.  The Notebooks of Paul Brunton 4:4.5

 

 

B: USING INSPIRED TEXTS:

 

·  keep a quote in mind, think about it, take it into meditation.

The inability to believe in or detect the presence of a divine power in the universe is to be overcome by a threefold process. The first part some people overcome by "hearing" the truth directly uttered by an illumined person or by other people by reading their inspired writings. The second part is to reflect constantly upon the Great Truths. The third part is to introvert the mind in contemplation. 2.5.11

 

The way to use a philosophic book is not to expect to understand all of it at the first trial, and consequently not to get disheartened when failure to understand is frequent. Using this cautionary approach, he should carefully note each phrase or paragraph that brings an intuitive response in his heart's deep feeling (not to be confused with an intellectual acquiescence in the head's logical working). As soon as, and every time, this happens, he should stop his reading, put the book momentarily aside, and surrender himself to the activating words alone. Let them work upon him in their own way. He is merely to be quiet and be receptive.  14.4.149

 

I think that most of you are aware--many of these PB notes are nuggets.  Memorize one occasionally, meditate on it, have a few sessions on it.  And that also could be a form of meditation, again it's not the direct attack but… So why not experiment?” 

… I'm not happy in explaining too many things, because I know that you have to realize them in your own meditations, and then they'll be quite significant.  You have to make the effort to try to penetrate into those depths. Anthony Damiani:  [9/7/83]

 

·       Thinking directed to Overself can evoke a response, or even bring a glimpse,

The object of all this thinking is to awaken within him a mood of soul, a mental atmosphere and even an emotional condition of aspiration toward Truth which will provide an appropriate stage for the entry of illumination. QO 71.

 

Constant reflection on metaphysical and ethical themes reaches a point where one day its accumulated weight pushes him around the corner into a mystical realization of those themes no less surely than meditation might have done. Notebooks 7.7.2

 

·       Words Point: Even to listen to the words has a value:

  although the exact definition and direct explanation of words are  unable to catch the whole of this subtle experience within their  receiving range because they are turned into ordinary human  intellectual emotional and physical experience, they may nevertheless evoke an intuitive recognition of its beauty; they may suggest to sensitive minds a hint of its worth and they may arouse the first aspiration towards its attainment for oneself.”  28.2.59

 

You listen to the words, the words are being decoded by your mind, the mind extracts the meaning from the words, but that is not the end of the words. Then the words go deeper into yourself, and what’s left of the words is the energy of presence that they carry, they become carriers of that and then they awaken the presence in you. …  Are these just words?  yes, the words point--to that.  Eckhart Tolle:   “Flowering of Human Consciousness”

 

·       But Thought by itself is insufficient

Books and discussions can, at best, serve only as guides for the individual inward search. This search for the True Self should be accompanied by efforts to impartially observe, improve, and develop that personal self which is ordinarily accepted as the be-all and end-all of existence. Constant attempts to cultivate and maintain awareness of the True Self--the Overself--together with making it the object of his deepest love and humble worship, are among the qualifications essential to progress.  23.6.18

 

 

C: USING MIND to go beyond mind.

 

·       Using Mind to look into the Mind:   Think deeply and put thinking aside:

... it was the mind which involved him into matter. It is the mind that can set man free again. This is not done by running away to monasteries or mountains and spending one's life there; it is done by USING THE MIND TO ENQUIRE INTO ITS OWN OPERATION.

Paul Brunton: The Inner Reality.  Ch. 7 

 

If he does not wish to trouble his head, he can comfortably accept the appearances of things; but then he will be living only in the comfort of illusion. If however he wants to ferret out what is real in existence he must put himself to some trouble. He must persevere, read and re-read these pages until the meaning of it all dawns suddenly upon him, as it will if he does. …21.4.7

 

AD: What you first have to understand, without any doubt, without any hesitation--you have to understand it because you reasoned it out over and over--is that what you experience all the time is your mind.  All that we know directly, indubitably, without any hesitation, is the fact that anything I experience is a thing in my mind. You have to actually get the feeling of that.

Student: Why do we so stubbornly want to think that there is something out there?

AD: Well, that is the nature of any habit.

…when we think that that is a thing out there, independent of my mind, that is a habit.  That is a habit that is ingrained in us for a long, long time.  Anthony Damiani: Looking Into Mind

 

·       Join intuition to thinking

To find your way to the major truths it is not enough to use the intellect alone, however sharpened it may be. Join intuition to it: then you will have intelligence. But how does one unfold intuition? By penetrating deeper and hushing the noise of thoughts. 22.1.37

 

 

D: METAPHYSICS OF TRUTH.

 

… Just as science is a rational intellectualization of ordinary physical experience, so the metaphysics of truth is a rational intellectualization of the far sublimer transcendental experience. It is indeed an effort to translate into conventional thought what is essentially beyond such thought. As expressed in intellectual language, it is scientific in spirit, rational in attitude, cautious in statement, and factual throughout. It is devoted to the relentless exposure of error, the fearless removal of illusion, and the persevering pursuit of truth to the very end--irrespective of personal considerations. It seeks to understand the whole of life and not merely some particular aspects of it. 7.7.19

 

It [the Metaphysics of truth] makes use of abstract concepts which are concerned with the nature of the mind itself and which are furnished by seers who have developed a deep insight into such nature.… 20:4.65

 

·       ultramystic exercises

The ultramystic exercises follow after and are the sequel to ripe reasoned thinking.  They banish thoughts only after thoughts have done their utmost work, whereas ordinary yoga banishes thoughts prematurely.   23.7.3

 

Here, then, is the first practice of the ultimate path: think constantly of that Mind which is producing the ego, all the other egos around, and all the world, in fact. Keep this up until it becomes habitual. The consequence is that one tends in time to regard his own ego with complete detachment, as though he were regarding somebody else. Furthermore, it forces him to take the standpoint of the all, and to see unity as fundamental being. 21.3.88

 

·       You Become Wisdom

Anthony: think of wisdom in the sense that, if the mind is becoming--that let's say the mind is destined to become the universe. If you think of wisdom as the recognition of that, and the application of that. Your mind is becoming the Universe, gradually, little by little, it's becoming the universe. And as it's doing so, it's beginning to understand the various laws that govern manifestation. When it begins to understand this, and it applies it to itself, then this is wisdom.  Anthony Damiani 1984/01/04

 

… after all the greatest joy that a human being can have is to try to fathom the unfathomable. When he gets to the point where he gives up then he gets enlightened -- but he better try real hard in the beginning. Anthony Damiani 1982/03/12

 

 

E: MYSTERY and POETRY

 

Nisargadatta Maharaj  from I Am That

 

What I teach is the ancient and simple way of liberation through understanding. Understand your own mind and its hold on you will snap. The mind misunderstands, misunderstanding is its very nature. Right understanding is the only remedy, whatever name you give it. It is the earliest and also the latest, for it deals with the mind as it is..

 

… There is nothing to seek and find, for there is nothing lost. Relax and watch the 'I am'. Reality is just behind it. Keep quiet, keep silent; it will emerge, or, rather, it will take you in. 99

 

 

There is only one mistake you are making: you take the inner for the outer and the outer for the inner. What is in you, you take to be outside you and what is outside, you take to be in you. The mind and feelings are external, but you take them to be intimate. You believe the world to be objective, while it is entirely a projection of your psyche. That is the basic confusion and no new explosion will set it right. You have to think yourself out of it. There is no other way.  51

 

Ultimately, all you do is based on your conviction that the world is real and independent of yourself. Were you convinced of the contrary, your behaviour would have been quite different.  Ch 95

 

M: Unless you make tremendous efforts, you will not be convinced that effort will take you nowhere. The self is so self-confident, that unless it is totally discouraged, it will not give up. Mere verbal conviction is not enough. Hard facts alone can show the absolute nothingness of the self-image. 100

 

 

M: By all means do feel lost! As long as you feel competent and confident, reality is beyond your reach. Unless you accept inner adventure as a way of life, discovery will not come to you. 96

Q: If the real is beyond words and mind, why do we talk so much about it?
M: For the joy of it, of course. The real is bliss supreme. Even to talk of it is happiness.  85

 

 

Pulling out the chair

Beneath your mind

And watching you fall upon God-

What else is there

For Hafiz to do

That is any fun in this world!

--Ladinsky Hafiz: I Heard God Laughing : “pulling out the chair”

 

 

 

MORE: full set of quotes on each topic here:

 

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  Comments by Anthony on PB quotes on Thinking [# correlates to PB outline]
 

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10.     But Thought is insufficient.

 

 

29.  To get information, by means of a book of physics, about the undulatory structure of matter is one thing, to experience it without any crystallized conceptualization of the ego is quite a different thing.  To get to know the molecular-luminous structure of the universe is one thing, to consciously experience the rhythm of the Harmony of the “quantum” of universal light is something else.  Raphael  Three-fold Pathway of Fire

 

Books and discussions can, at best, serve only as guides for the individual inward search. This search for the True Self should be accompanied by efforts to impartially observe, improve, and develop that personal self which is ordinarily accepted as the be-all and end-all of existence. Constant attempts to cultivate and maintain awareness of the True Self--the Overself--together with making it the object of his deepest love and humble worship, are among the qualifications essential to progress.  23.6.18


… When reason tells us that God is, it does not actually know God. The antennae of intellectual research cannot penetrate into the Overself because thinking can only establish relations between ideas and thus must forever remain in the realms of dualities, finitudes, and individualities. It cannot grasp the whole but only parts. Therefore reason which depends on thinking is incompetent to comprehend the mysterious Overself. Realization is to be experienced and felt; thought can only indicate what it is likely to be and what it is not likely to be. Hence Al Ghazzali, the Sufi, has said: "To define drunkenness, to know that it is caused by vapours that rise from the stomach and cloud the seat of intelligence, is a different thing from being drunk. So I found ultimate knowledge consists in experiences rather than definitions." The fact that metaphysics tries to explain all existence in intellectual terms alone and tries to force human nature into conceptual molds, causes it to suppress or distort the non-intellectual elements in both. The consequence is that metaphysics alone cannot achieve an adequate understanding. If it insists upon exalting its own results, then it achieves misunderstanding.

Metaphysics proves the existence of reality but is unable to enter into it. Indeed, metaphysics must in the end criticize the desert-sand dryness of its own medium of thinking and not make the mistake of regarding thought-activity as the ultimately real, when it is itself only a section cut from the whole of human experience and existence. The intellect offers a reality which can never be a felt reality but only a described one and then only in negative terms. Intellectual work can only paint the picture of reality; we have to verify this picture by realizing it within our own experience. The final office of reasoned thought is to reveal why reason is not competent to judge reality and why thinking is not competent to know reality.

The moment we attempt to understand what reality is, we get out of our depth because our own thinking must move in a serial sequence which itself prevents us from escaping the particular space-time form which confines us to a particular world of appearance. Just as, because it has entered our space-time experience, we can take hold of an artist's production but not the mind behind it, so and for the same reason we can take hold of the screen which cuts us off. This is because we can think of existence only in a particular shape or relative to a particular thing, not of existence that is formless, bodiless, and infinite. We have to localize it somewhere in space. Because space and time are forms taken by rational knowledge, because they are only conditions existing within personal consciousness, they do not enter into the knowledge of consciousness of that which is beyond both rational thinking and personal selfhood.   …    7.8.1  The Insufficiency of Intellect and Reason (Essay) [[excerpts]] 

 

It seems complicated, and in a way it is. But in a way, it is very simple.

In the end you will reject both. There is no Long Path or Short Path. We have constructed them to conform to what we think. Buddha says in the Dhammapada that you yourself made up this picture you have of yourself, the picture you think is real. It is made by thought and can be undone by thought.

You could also say there is nothing to the whole thing: simply surrender yourself to God. This is true if you can do it.

We get over-educated, have to rationalize everything and spend time writing books and reading books which are not altogether worthwhile.--January 1979   23.5.56

 

 
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12.    Ultramystic Path of Thinking and not Thinking into Reality

 

                                                                     

Reality is to be found neither by thinking alone nor by not thinking at all. This high path which opens to the philosophic student is one of unwavering deeply abstract concentration of the mind in the real, whether the mind be thinking or not thinking, and whether the individual be acting or not acting.    (20:4.99)

 

This is the paradox that both the capacity to think deeply and the capacity to withdraw from thinking are needed to attain this goal. Vol 7.1.68

 

The ultramystic exercises follow after and are the sequel to ripe reasoned thinking.  They banish thoughts only after thoughts have done their utmost work, whereas ordinary yoga banishes thoughts prematurely.   23.7.3

 

Thinking can, ordinarily, only produce more thoughts. Even thinking about truth, about reality, however correct it be, shares this limitation. But if properly instructed it will know its place and understand the situation, with the consequence that at the proper moment it will make no further effort, and will seek to merge into meditation. When the merger is successfully completed, a holy silence will pervade the consciousness which remains. Truth will then be revealed of its own accord.(P)  28.2.111

 

Here, then, is the first practice of the ultimate path: think constantly of that Mind which is producing the ego, all the other egos around, and all the world, in fact. Keep this up until it becomes habitual. The consequence is that one tends in time to regard his own ego with complete detachment, as though he were regarding somebody else. Furthermore, it forces him to take the standpoint of the all, and to see unity as fundamental being. 21.3.88

 

 

 

The topic with which all such metaphysical thinking should end after it has pondered on mentalism is that out of which the thinking principle itself arises--Mind--and it should be considered under its aspect as the one reality. When this intellectual understanding is brought within one's own experience as fact, when it is made as much one's own as a bodily pain, then it becomes direct insight. Such thinking is the most profitable and resultful in which he can engage, for it brings the student to the very portal of Mind where it stops activity by itself and where the differentiation of ideas disappears. As the mental muscles strain after this concept of the Absolute, the Ineffable and Infinite, they lose their materialist rigidity and become more sensitive to intimations from the Overself. When thinking is able to reach such a profound depth that it attains utter impersonality and calm universality, it is able to approach the fundamental principle of its own being. When hard thinking reaches a culminating point, it then voluntarily destroys itself. Such an attainment of course can take place deep within the innermost recesses of the individual`s consciousness alone. 28.2.99

 

Now an extraordinary and helpful fact is that by making Mind the object of our attention, not only does the serenity which is its nature begin to well up of its own accord but its steady unchanging character itself helps spontaneously to repel all disturbing thoughts.  23.7.10

 

 

 
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11.     Metaphysics of truth.

… Just as science is a rational intellectualization of ordinary physical experience, so the metaphysics of truth is a rational intellectualization of the far sublimer transcendental experience. It is indeed an effort to translate into conventional thought what is essentially beyond such thought. As expressed in intellectual language, it is scientific in spirit, rational in attitude, cautious in statement, and factual throughout. It is devoted to the relentless exposure of error, the fearless removal of illusion, and the persevering pursuit of truth to the very end--irrespective of personal considerations. It seeks to understand the whole of life and not merely some particular aspects of it. 7.7.19

 

The use of metaphysical thinking as part of the philosophic system is a feature which few yogis of the ordinary type are likely to appreciate. This is both understandable and pardonable. They are thoroughly imbued with the futility of a merely rational and intellectual approach to reality, a futility which has also been felt and expressed in these pages. So far there is agreement with them. But when they proceed to deduce that the only way left is to crush reason and stop the working of intellect altogether, our paths diverge. For what metaphysics admittedly cannot accomplish by itself may be accomplished by a combination of metaphysics and mysticism far better than by mysticism alone. The metaphysics of truth, which is here meant, however, must never be confused with the many historical speculative systems which exist.  (20:4.64)

 

The activity of analytic thinking has been banned in most mystical schools. They regard it as an obstacle to the attainment of spiritual consciousness. And ordinarily it is indeed so. For until the intellect can lie perfectly still, such consciousness cannot make itself apparent. The difficulty of making intellect quite passive is however an enormous one. Consequently different concentration techniques have been devised to overcome it. Nearly all of them involve the banishment of thinking and the cessation of reasoning. The philosophical school uses any or all of them where advisable but it also uses a technique peculiarly its own. It makes use of abstract concepts which are concerned with the nature of the mind itself and which are furnished by seers who have developed a deep insight into such nature. It permits the student to work out these concepts in a rational way but leading to subtler and subtler moods until they automatically vanish and thinking ceases as the transcendental state is induced to come of itself. This method is particularly suited either to those who have already got over the elementary difficulties of concentration or to those who regard reasoning power as an asset to be conserved rather than rejected. The conventional mystic, being the victim of external suggestion, will cling to the traditional view of his own school, which usually sees no good at all in reasoned thinking, and aver that spiritual attainment through such a path is psychologically impossible. Never having been instructed in it and never having tried it, he is not really in a position to judge.(P)    (20:4.65)

 

 
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