Wisdom Path Meditation – Part 2
Wisdom Path Meditation Part Two:
The essential and primary aim of Meditation is to bring about self realization, enlightenment and liberation; karma permitting. We need to look more closely into the two foundation states of awareness required to begin Wisdom Meditation.
The two states we must address first are; Discrimination and Dispassion, Self Realization is impossible without the deliberate awakening and development of these two states. People often think that real Discrimination must surely begin with being super smart, well informed and insightful. First lets remind ourselves of what Discrimination even is:
“Discrimination [viveka]: The sustained cultivation of the ability to discern the true from the false, to differentiate between what is real and eternal “The One Reality” “The Absolute” “An Omnipresent Eternal Boundless and Immutable Principle” and what is unreal evanescent and temporary, everything that appears on any level and then passes away in time”.
Discrimination begins with a commitment to total intellectual and emotional honesty. It is so easy, yet so difficult, for some. The ego personality embedded in modern life is continuously tempted to appear more knowing, more caring and smarter than it is. We tell ourselves that we care about others, when of course we only think we care, and pass our lives having unreal and often dysfunctional relationships with others.
We learn to become scrupulous in these regards, and refuse to pretend to know, and feel things that we don’t. What could be simpler than to say “I don’t know” when you don’t know?
Also we must learn to always credit our sources and not pass off the brilliance of others as our own. A healthy intelligent and discerning mind is an honest mind. This inquiring constantly learning mind never says “thus I know”, but says “thus have I learned”. To separate knowledge from ego personality is one of the first acts of Discrimination.
We learn to separate knowledge from belief. Naturally we are free to believe anything we like, however if we are sensible reasonable thinkers we will hold a very weak belief in Unicorns, and Leprechauns with pots of gold. We may also strongly believe things that we cannot prove; our intellectual honesty reminds us about the lack of evidence or proof for these strongly held beliefs. Beliefs are not the same thing as spiritual faith which is a constant and resides in a completely different part of our being.
The discriminating mind always looks for evidence and has learned to “criticize without praise or blame”. We show a willingness to adjust our views based upon new evidence provided it is solid. A strong reaction of like or dislike towards any idea alerts us immediately that distortion of comprehension is at work. We become aware of our biases and examine both the source of the idea and the source of our reaction to it. Already we can see the relationship between Discrimination and Dispassion.
The cultivation of Discrimination carries with it the central insight that we spend most of our lives pretending and on top of pretending, we pretend that we are not pretending. Everyone is doing this all the time and it is an important component of “consensus trance”. And why is everyone pretending? It is because they are afraid of waking up to reality. It’s really this simple. Discrimination in any real sense of the word cant happen until you face your fear, and stop pretending to be someone that you are not.
Dispassion: Naturally our first impression of the idea of Dispassion is that we are being invited to refrain from feeling anything, but of course that’s impossible. Human beings are not cybernetic entities, we are not Robots. Some people think that Dispassion must involve the suppression of all emotional spontaneity. Perhaps surprisingly, dispassion involves the cultivation of a positive spontaneous emotional life. If you lack a healthy emotional centre which gives you the ability to empathize, feel compassion and love you wont get far in Theosophy.
Dispassion: [vairagya] this is the cultivation of the ability to “detach” oneself from everything that is “temporary”. This simply carries the attitude of dispassionate mind to its natural conclusion. A sense of real proportion enters into all our affairs and we compare everything that we experience to Eternity. The Absolute otherwise known as the “One Reality” which is “Omnipresent Eternal Boundless and Immutable” is that one highest value against which all other values are measured or evaluated. The Absolute is no empty abstraction for Theosophists but is the source of all that lives and the source of this very Self that is thinking about these things. The moment we have the actual Self Realization that we are fundamentally born of Eternity itself we lose all spiritual fear and experience the “home coming”.
Dispassion means not allowing conditioned emotions and reactivity to make decisions. Dispassion means, and this straight from the Meditation Diagram of H.P.B. :
“Constant refusal to think of reality of: Separations and Meetings: Association with Places, Times and Forms. Futile longings, Expectations, Sad memories, Broken-Heartedness”. These conditioned emotions, and habits of thought, constitute a perceptual distortion field of some considerable power in anyone’s awareness and must be understood and addressed in the consciousness of the would be Theosophist.
Dispassion means that we abandon “The Distinction Friend and Foe”. If we automatically approve of everything our ‘friends’ say and do and automatically disapprove of everything our ‘enemies’ say and do we are merely living in a state of dishonest self delusion towards our ‘friends’ and ‘enemies’ alike. When we extend thoughtful fairness and justice towards everyone we move into an entirely different personal and social reality. We have abandoned bias and anger. We become capable of sound judgment.
Discrimination and Dispassion leads us to the discovery that a whole range of attachments, desires and urges that are going on within us have no reality at all. Some of these attachments, desires and urges can be listed as: “Possessions, Personality, Sensation, Greed, Vanity, Gluttony, Selfishness, Remorse, Lust, Ambition, etc”.
When these attachments, desires, and urges, appear within the field of awareness we are sure that they have no reality and in this way we divest them of all energy and influence. We need to be firm about this and make no exceptions our refusal to endow any of these conditions of consciousness with any reality must be constant.
Naturally we feel all these desires and urges which belong to our evolving human nature, our awareness that these desires and urges have no actual reality is what allows us to avoid having our thoughts and perceptions distorted by them.
“An attitude of mind to all existing things which is not love not hate nor indifference“. If the attitude of mind is not these three states what then is it? It certainly leads to discrimination and dispassion but that is only the first stage, In order to discover the deeper meaning of this sage advice one must practice it in order to experience it. However it is easy to see immediately that a mind free of emotional reactivity and at the same time not indifferent to the realities of life would be a fine thing to cultivate.
In Part Three we will look at some of the virtues.
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