Sep 21, 2016
Understanding the Accessory Paths Necessary for Enlightenment
Yesterday, we introduced the concept of the three worlds and the existence of the Noble Organ which is the source of True Conscience. We also noted that human reasoning cannot directly connect with Divine-Understanding, but must connect using the innate connection with the Divine-Heart first. Subsequently, persons who develop the emotional channel to the Divine-Heart , but fail to utilize the channel between the Divine-Heart and Divine-Understanding remain unenlightened. They become attached unreasonably with a particular human created Sacred Image of God which fully absorbs their beings and keeps them trapped in the intermediate world and isolated from the higher world. In other words, the way of Bhakti yoga is suspect, if it remains one dimensional. I call such individuals, ‘foolish godophiles.’
Many believe that liberation or salvation is obtainable using only the human mind to inquire into its own nature and to transcend the mind’s innate tendency to identify with its thoughts and ego personality. This path of knowledge or wisdom is known in Hinduism by the Sanskrit word Jnana.
Conscious development of the mental tools innate to the human mind-brain is a most necessary accomplishment for a seeker of End-State Consciousness. For instance, it is necessary for a seeker to objectively understand his or her current state of spirituality and acknowledge those habits and errors in thinking which are inhibiting progress. One must learn not to hide his or her faults or make excuses for unwholesome behavior. Rather, one must practice being truthful to himself or herself and stop indulging in constant lying.
A seeker must decide to work so to objectively observe his or her thoughts, feelings, and actions and admit when such are wholesome and unwholesome. He or she must note the fruits or resulting consequences of his or her actions. Was ‘I’ indulging in selfishness or altruism? Was my action merely the result of an external trigger and so not under my control? Did ‘I’ identify with another person and so forgot ‘I’ was present and could veto my action? Was my action meant to be considerate of another? And so many more questions needing answers.
Many think that the intellectual and reasoning mind can absorb sufficient facts and benefits from meditative experiences alone so to come to a complete understanding of the universe and more. In truth, such beliefs are contrary to the experiences of accomplished seekers of the Divine. For successful seekers of the Divine have found that factual and theoretical knowledge alone is insufficient. What is needed is to a sound methodology for transforming knowledge into passive understanding and active wisdom.
Those who blindly traverse the path of mind stay lost in the mind and face death no differently than the ignorant, the foolish godophiles, or self aggrandizing hoarders. I call such seekers, ‘blind philosophers.’ [Matt 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.]
The Teachings of the Original Church explain the semantic and pragmatic differences between factual-theoretical knowledge perceived by the human mind-brain and actual understanding of the source and usefulness of such factual-theoretical knowledge. In other words, factual-theoretical knowledge is of little use for conscious evolution until it is transformed into passive understanding and active wisdom.
Fortunately, an ancient methodology exists to solve the above transformation, but first, we must digress for a moment to explain how the Ancient Teachings describe the architectonic structure of a man.
Based upon self-observation, the Ancients taught that a man’s physical body was a creature possessing four separate souls, or selves. The simplest self was the soul which took care of the physiological needs of the physical body such as metabolism, excretion, and procreative urges (our homeostasis system). The next level of soul comprised the skeletal muscular system responsible for body movement (our motive system). The third soul or self was responsible for our emotional responses (our emotive system). The final and highest functional soul was responsible for our cognitive capacity to perceive, recognize, reason, decide, affirm or deny, and so on (our cognitive system).
Moreover, the Ancients understood that all of these souls communicate with each other and perturbation of one system will perturb the others. Moreover, they observed that each of these systems was orientated towards specific categories of work, but much of the time they interfered rather than cooperating with each other effectively. Even worse, most persons were ignorant of the existence of such selves and so remained under the influences of their environmental and social interactions and behave quite mechanically, that is, they knew not what or why they did what they did and when asked confabulated an reasonable sounding explanation.
Fortunately, the simple explanation of the four hypothetical selves residing and interacting in each one of us remains useful for spiritual growth today, regardless of our superior understanding of the neuronal structure and functioning of the human nervous system and our ability to show by brain imaging exactly which portions of the brain are responsible for the hypothetical souls of the Ancients.
Sometimes, the psychophysiological structure of an organic man, developed by stochastic biological evolutionary processes, is shown as a four story building or ziggurat:
Third Floor: The Cognitive System or Mind (L prefrontal cortex and association areas)
Second Floor: The Emotive System or Mind (R prefrontal cortex, angular gyrus, basal ganglia)
First Floor: The Sensory-Motor System or Mind (premotor- motor and sensory cortices, spinal nerves and muscle system)
Basement: The Homeostasis System or Mind (hypothalamus, autonomic nervous, hormonal, and immune systems)
The reason that the Ancients divided up man into a four brain being is that it allows the cognitive mind to observe how each of the system functions under daily living conditions. For conscious or spiritual evolution is impossible as long as these systems function chaotically and without cooperation. The purpose of observing ones systems is to see how they misfunction under various circumstances so that they can be brought into balance as evolution intended.
The “how” of observing and correcting is reserved for future discourses.
Continued . . .