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With this post I am beginning the series of posts about the 5 categories of DLE for spiritual evolution, which are Intellectual DLE, Awareness DLE, Emotional DLE, Sensual DLE and Life-Style DLE. The division into these groups is arbitrary to a certain degree and there is a lot of overlap between them but I think it is a good start as I have observed that in most cases people have a special liking for one or the other as it seems to resonate with their particular make-up.
Just to summarize and recapitulate, the idea of DLE Dynamic Labile Equilibrium as perfectly symbolized in the Yin-Yang sign as well as all other fundamental spiritual signs is that alternation between the polarities is the basis for health and evolution in all areas of life. Without knowledge and guidance about this fact life tends to crystallize on one or the other pole as this gives a sense of comfort and security or simply is the state of lowest energy. Avoiding DLE leads to decay and eventually death.
Most cultural values at any time promoted strategies to avoid DLE which triggered wars or other destructive phenomena to allow a restart mostly combined with the appearance of a spiritual avatar who established a new culture.
All exercises and life-forms that are originally created to facilitate DLE in themselves will tend to follow the way towards habit and dogma as this again manifests the stagnation on one pole.
In the intellectual sphere of ideas and theories, dogma – polarity in form of controversy, opposition, dispute was culturally oppressed for most of history but was also always experienced as undesirable for personal relationships. New age went to the other extreme holding that every idea is right for someone and that all information has a right to be expressed and that there is no objective truth. This served unknowingly the same purpose to take uncomfortable and transformative polarity out – as fewer are motivated into action or feel stimulated to ponder about controversial ideas – an intellectual insensibility has become the rule, which is often mistaken for an observer role.
Also controversy by itself is not leading anywhere, it just turns energy into heat, however struggling with polarities with the purpose of transformation and creativity is constructive. Another word for controversy is interference which on the physical level is the basis for our ability to experience perspective and dimensionality.
Constructive forms of intellectual DLE
Dialectic is the basis of our western civilization introduced by the Greek philosophers particularly Socrates, and as his authentic insight and method created so much DLE and thus discomfort in his contemporaries he was put to death. Dialectic is usually misunderstood as either controversial discussion as in all politics or as “finding an agreement” as in new age but actually “The dialectical method requires focus on both at the same time. It looks for a transcendence of the opposites entailing a leap of the imagination to a higher level, which (1) provides justification for rejecting both alternatives as false and/or (2) helps elucidate a real but previously veiled integral relationship between apparent opposites that have been kept apart and regarded as distinct. For example, the superposition principle of quantum physics can be explained using the dialectical method of thinking “ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialectic
Most discussions are an automatic movement between Yes and No. Even in the very detailed philosophical treaties it either agrees with the dualistic http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dualism_(philosophy_of_mind) or the monistic http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monism world view. All making the assumption that there is one reality that can be found intellectually that is either Unity or Multitude. However DLE also Intellectual DLE is only the way to come to an experience of existence that is beyond both of them. Both approaches are productive until they become stagnant for example the dualistic discussion of mind versus observed object has become a dogma that is its own dead end.
Adveita http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advaita_Vedanta holds that only the SELF exists – and thus often is misunderstood as a Theory that proves Monism. However the most successful teachers like Nisargadatta Maharaj Ramana Maharshi, Osho did not stop in discussion but gave their disciples sensible possibilities to Sense-their-SELF. More modern advaita teachers like Gangaji http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gangaji do a good job in confusing their listeners so much that some give up trying to find an intellectual solution and thus come closer to a Sense-of-Self. They are basically all building their success of giving a counter pole of our educational overemphasis of left-brain function that is built on analysis, duality, multitude, differences, categories, yes/no, good/bad, wright/wrong, have/have-not a.s.o holding stubbornly that there is nothing to reach – all is already there and there is nothing but you. It is entertaining and useful to the degree that this talk still confuses you – once you think you got it and you have become an objective observer of NON-duality you are stuck. Life becomes useful only once you move between its conception and experience as duality , unity, as trinity and quadtrinity a.s.o.
All forms of repetitive prayer are ways to create an intellectual DLE, because by its nature the mind likes to chat indefinitely, the moment where one forces it into a certain form with a spiritual purpose it creates discomfort mainly because one realizes how often one forgets or has it become completely automatic and this discomfort is the energy that is in the process of spiritual transformation.
Silence, Vipassana, Samatha, meditation
Like repetitive prayer intentional Silence can create powerful intellectual DLE
Self-evaluation, Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius de Loyola, Gurdjieff & Ouspensky
Structured observation techniques create intellectual DLE simply because they resist the automatic chatter with an activity that has a spiritual purpose and that evokes resistance and thus creates energy.
The CoRe system evaluation together with its EMDR and electric, light and magnetic frequency stimulation particularly via Eigen-frequencies http://bioresonance-laeser.com/ is the latest way to facilitate intellectual DLE
And intellectual activity that is already the basis for all of art and creativity, also based on DLE, that will be in the future the most potent way to create spiritual transformation… more about this in a separate post.
Lets not forget the aim of all this is to give practical indications of what it actually means to “Know your SELF”, “Know Thyself”, “Realize your Self”, “Self-awareness”
A list of what eminent man had to say about this topic (partially reproduced below) was compiled in the mode of a good accountant by Asaf Braverman http://thyselfknow.com/ – however one important and very practical quote to this topic escaped him :
A Study of History
|Unless we can bear self-mortification, we shall not be able to carry self-examination to the necessary painful lengths. Without humility there can be no illuminating self-knowledge.|
And this is a common issue with all those who primarily try to reach Self-knowledge though book-learning. The mind creates very week energy compared to the senses and emotions so it is easy to fool oneself and overlook the blind spot in knowing oneself. “Papier ist geduldig” – “Paper is very tolerant” and thoughts are create very little pain compared to senses or emotions. But as Toynbee very truly states without the ability to bear pain you will not be able to endure very long as this also leads to the prime pre-requisite for any true SELF-Knowledge which is “humility”.
it becomes easily obvious how abstract and unspecific most is without this quality:
A few give practical indications about what to do in order to get there, but all remain very abstract and general :
Afdal al-Din Kashani: Strive and become near to whatever you know to be better for self, and flee and seek distance from everything you recognize is bad for self.
Alexander Pope: Know then thyself, presume not God to scan, the proper study of Mankind is Man. cd
Benjamin Franklin: Observe all men; thy self most. cd
Confucius: When we seen men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves. cd
Lao Tsu: Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. cd
Lord Chesterfield: Study the heart and the mind of man, and begin with your own. cd
Meher Baba: To know reality is to become it. According to the law that governs the universe, all sufferings are your labor of love to unveil your real self. The ‘I’ has to get rid of the falseness before it can realize who it is in reality. The mind creates false impressions and makes the real “I” think itself false. When you surrender all falseness you inherit the Truth that you really are. cd
Petrarch: I shall be content, if I succeed in knowing myself. To reach this end I strain my eyes. I never loose sight of it, nor do I cease praying the Gods, that they may teach me toknow myself, and grant, as the wise ought to desire, that I always be mindful of my goal. cd
Pindar: Learn what you are, and be such. cd
Plato: The essence of knowledge is self-‐knowledge. I must first know myself, as the Delphian inscription says; to be curious about that which is not my concern, while I am still in ignorance of my own self would be ridiculous. I may be a simpleton, but in my opinion, only that knowledge which is of being and of the unseen, can make the soul look upwards. If man’s attention is centered on appetite … all his thoughts are bound to be mortal and he can hardly fail to become entirely mortal. In every man there is an eye of the soul, which is more precious than ten thousand bodily eyes. cd
Socrates: The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. I am not yet able, as the Delphic inscription has it, to know myself; so it seems to me ridiculous, when I do not yet know that, to investigate irrelevant things. Care first about the greatest perfection of the soul. What I want to discover at present is the art which devotes its attention to precision, exactness, and the fullest truth. cd
William Shakespeare: Of all knowledge, the wise and good seek most to know themselves. Thou sleep’st: awake, and see thyself. The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool. This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man cd
Others speak about the effect of a lack of Self-knowledge without stating what it is in itself :
Nazarius of Valaam: Pride settles into a man when he does not yet know himself perfectly. cd
Paracelsus: Our uncertainty about ourselves is at the base of our uncertainty of all things. cd
George Gurdjieff: “Know thyself.” These words, which are generally ascribed to Socrates, actually lie at the basis of many systems and schools far more ancient than the Socratic. The first reason for man’s inner slavery is his ignorance of himself. Without self-‐knowledge, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave. This is why in all ancient teachings the first demand at the beginning of the way to liberation was: ‘Know thyself’. cd
Peter Ouspensky: To know oneself—this was the first principle and the first demand of old psychological schools. We still remember these words, but have lost their meaning. We think that to know ourselves, means to know our peculiarities, our desires, our tastes, our capacities and our intentions. The most fundamental thing is to know oneself, although if certain things do not change you cannot know yourself. To know oneself is a long process. First we must study. Very soon after starting to observe himself, a man will begin to distinguish useful features and harmful features in himself, that is, useful or harmful from the point of view of his possible self-‐knowledge, his possible awakening, his possible development. He will see sides of himself, which can become conscious, and sides which cannot become conscious and must be eliminated. cd
Rodney Collin: There is a state—like that of a small child or a shipwrecked man washed up naked on an island. In trying to answer the question: ‘Who am I?’, one may come to certain answers which produce almost the same effect. cd
Sir Joshua Reynolds: And he who does not know himself does not know others, so it may be said with equal truth, that he who does not know others knows himself but very imperfectly. cd