The Transformative Psychology of Enlightenment.

Author’s Note: This is my 2006 Dissertation for my PhD in Spiritual Metaphysics – which I studied for as an external student through the American Institute of Holistic Theology.  This very much demonstrates my thinking at the time, and was part of a three-year study programme.  After this, I studied for a Certificate in Philosophy of the Mind through Oxford University.  Education (like consciousness) is ongoing, and is very much an evolutionary process.  As it never ends, and considering that it is premised upon and facilitated through the ‘agency’ of ‘change’, our considered viewpoints mature as they become clearer.  This is why Confucius had such a respect for lifelong study and scholarship.  ACW 4.8.15

INTRODUCTION.

It is the intention of this work to fully explore the everyday mind, and through careful analysis, map the transformation of the ordinary state of being, to that of the fully developed and enlightened Mind.  Psychology in the West is a relatively new field of study.  As such, there is no ‘one’ agreed approach to the theory of ‘mind’ in the Western tradition.  Viewpoints vary from that of the neurologist, who views every attribute of human, conscious creativity as being nothing more than a mixture of chemical reactions and electrical impulses, to the psychotherapist, who works with the thought processes, so as to achieve a ‘balanced’ and culturally ‘agreed’ state of mind.  Needless to say, virtually every other view of the mind fits somewhere inbetween these two broad perspectives.  This dissertation will examine the many facets of the mind, as viewed from both the Western and Eastern traditions and the consequence of this combined knowledge for the modern and post-modern human condition.  The full and holistic development of the individual is as much dependent upon the starting point – or, in other words, the ‘life circumstances’ of the individual (i.e., where they find themselves physically and spiritually), as it is on the method used to enhance the growth process.  Mainstream psychology, although interesting and useful, has self-limiting boundaries for the individual, and does not allow the individual to proceed any further than the acquisition of a vague and difficult to define, concept of ‘normality’  The true wisdom that the seeker of wholeness really yearns for, lies beyond these fragile states.  And it is the cutting-edge of Western psychological research that is overlapping with the most ancient wisdoms of the Eastern traditions.   Not only in the realms of psychology does the East and West meet, but also in the scientific world – particularly in the realms of Quantum theory – which, when read from a philosophical perspective, bears a remarkable similarity with the narratives of the highest teachings of both Hinduism and Buddhism, not to mention the ancient Chinese religion of Daoism.

Humanity grows into its individual lives, and those collective lives grow into the universe.  On the surface of perception, this transformative process seems clean and tidy, and almost easy in its logical presentation.  But the developmental process of personal transformation has as many variants as there are human beings experiencing it, with each variant being a product of an individual’s circumstances, personal history and psychology based upon a unique experience of what it means to ‘be alive’.  The process from non-enlightenment to that of enlightenment, although essentially the same process of growth, will unfold in many different and distinct ways, each way eventually leading to the summit of true understanding that encompasses the insight of self-knowledge and the wisdom gained through a universal vision or perspective.  When this change occurs, it is permanent, there is no slipping back into the old deluded, or unenlightened modes of thought and being.  The resounding question is this: What exactly is humanity doing on this planet, in the multiverse?  The idea of a ‘universe’ (i.e. ‘one presentation of creation’) is not valid within the cutting-edge of higher science – which, through the exploration of space – has shown clearly the existence of many universes.  This understanding is essential if we are to begin our quest for self-knowledge and progress upon a path that leads to a spiritually fulfilling journey.  There are multiverses, just as there are multi-beings inhabiting these areas, and of course, there are literally multitudinous human beings alive today (approx: 6 billion), and it maybe imagined just how many human beings have existed since the earliest of times on our own planet Earth.  But despite this diversity, virtually every founder of the great religions, together with many philosophers, (not to mention the intuitive capabilities of ordinary men and women), have all asserted that behind, beneath and underlying this diverse world, in its multitudinous manifestations of life and objects, there exists one ‘unifying’ reality.  And as many millions have felt or experienced this reality, as a philosophical concept, this underlying essence has been called many names, from the ‘One’, ‘God’, ‘Dao’, ‘Universal Spirit’, ‘Great Spirit’, ‘Allah’, ‘Guru’, ‘Gestalt’, ‘All-Embracing’, and ‘Enlightened Mind’, so on and so forth.  Beyond petty ideologies and expedient political considerations, all these terms are absolutely and equally valid.  It is only our ignorance, the ignorance of the unenlightened state that tarnishes this universal concept.  Such ignorance only serves to separate an already disconnected individual being – from the higher aspects of reality.  All religious and spiritual paths were originally designed to reconcile this sense of separation and despair that lies at the heart of the human condition.  These paths maybe considered ‘conduits’ of spiritual, psychological and physical healing.  Today, however, many of these religious paths have been corrupted by materialism and ideology.  All is not lost.  Despite this veneer of human folly, the eternal message of hope still pulsates outward from the numerous Holy Scriptures, like a spiritual beacon for those who can hear it, or want to hear it.  Our modern and post-modern world has also given birth to paths of psycho-spiritual development – part academia, part temple.  A fusion or blend of everything good in both the ancient and modern worlds.  What follows is a careful interweaving of the religious-spiritual, with the cutting-edge of academia.  Such an undertaking is designed to be accessible to the greatest possible cross-section of humanity, and it is the author’s intention that NONE should be left behind.

THE MIND AND THE BRAIN.

Virtually all religions, philosophies and spiritual paths agree that the enlightening process does not occur in the body.  Yes, an enlightened Mind[1] can manifest through the body, but the essential work of coming into wholeness, occurs within, or through the Mind, regardless of what we call this process or attribute its power to.  Such concepts as soul, spirit, atman, anatman, God or Allah, are various ways (amongst many), that the enlightening process, and its ultimate achievement, are attributed to.  For any process of psycho-spiritual development to take place effectively, we most use concepts, be clear about what those concepts are and mean, but at the same time, treat the concepts as expedient devices designed to guide us, support us, but in the end, are literally out-grown and left behind.  All concepts are therefore, very meaningful, and at the same time have redundancy built within themselves.  If, on our journey of self discovery, we become attached to our perceived meaning of concepts, then that attachment will hinder our progress and keep us in a perpetual state of arrested development.  As we grow, our perceived understanding changes as we become wiser and more knowledgeable.  What a concept means to us, as our journey unfolds, changes constantly, until the need for the concept itself dissolves or merges into the wholeness of our being.  But the concepts, are not merely concrete, objective ideas, coined by the mind of someone else, far from it, the very way we interpret ourselves is also a concept, one of inner, self production, this too, must ultimately undergo the transformative procedure; ‘Without self-assertion, self transcendence is beyond us.  The insecure person, desperately trying to hold together the fragmented elements of an immature self, cannot undertake the processes involved.’[2]

The processes are of course, essentially psychological in nature.  The mind is far more than just the physical brain. [3] Of course, there is a very real need for humanity to study the physical structure of the brain and how it has evolved into its present form, and how it works, etc.  Such a study is very much underway in the realms of neuroscience and psychiatry, but its details are beyond the scope of this work.  Suffice to say, the Mind is not the brain, but the Mind is intimately linked to the brain, and is so for the duration of the physical existence of our bodies.  And although the Mind extends far beyond the physical limitations of the brain, the brain is, nevertheless, the seat of consciousness, or ‘Mind’.  By ‘Mind’, is meant all the psychological and spiritual processes humanity possess, experience and development.  Our Minds, during the experiences of a lifetime, undergo immeasurable changes, whereas our brains stay more or less the same shape and size.  This insight serves to tell us that what humanity really is, is far greater than we think it is, if we limit everything to the physical realm.   And it is no mistake that the ancient Chinese and Indian sages mapped consciousness as emanating out of the centre of the fore-head, just above and between the two eyes – this area often being referred to as the ‘third eye’, or in Sanskrit, the ‘Ajna’;

The name Ajna is derived from Sanskrit roots meaning “to know” and “to follow”; it therefore means “to command”.  The Ajna chakra may be thought of as the command centre of the whole being.’[4]

The ancient Chinese concept of ‘Dan Dien’, or ‘Centre of Heaven’ energy points, approximately mirror the Indian system of Chakra areas.  The main Dan Dian point is said to be just below the navel, and maybe thought of as aligning with the Svadhisthana Chakra.  However, the Chinese system of qi energy flow recognises many energy channels (that carry qi around the body), and at least three Dan Dien points, one we have mentioned, just below the navel, one that approximates to the heart, and finally one that is placed in the centre of the fore-head.  The Daoist immortals cultivated their qi energy, as the eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar Charles Luk describes;

So while the stove remains in the lower abdomen during the whole process of alchemy, the cauldron changes place rising from the lower Dan Dien under the navel to the middle Dan Dien or solar plexus, and finally to the upper Dan Dien in the brain where it is called the precious cauldron.’[5]

Despite the colourful and rather obscure contextual language of both the Chinese and Indian traditions, the process of  psycho-spiritual development remains essentially the same for all human beings, regardless of culture or circumstance.  The Western world has had its indigenous, pre-Christian belief systems.  They were once even pre-Celtic, but much is lost in the mists of time.  However, the further back the historian plunges, the more it is realised that human belief systems evolved out of a common need for humanity to ‘make sense’ of both themselves, and the environment they inhabited.    This fact explains why the various different cultures of the world have, at onetime or another, shared very similar and common belief systems, before the advent of the ‘modern religion’ and the final alienation of humanity from its essence, or, as Carl Jung would say, the alienation of the consciousness from the unconsciousness.  The early belief systems were holistic in nature and worked from the premise of ‘wholeness’ between humanity and nature, and nature and the ‘soul’.  Jung’s theory of ‘The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious,’ serves as a necessary blue-print for this process to have occurred.    Again, we can look at orthodox science to provide some clues as to why Jung might be right.  For instance, humanity evolved from different and distinct ethnocentric stock, then humanity as it exists today, would only ‘look’ similar, but have very different DNA, suggesting a diverse and disparate origin – modern genetic science tells us that this is not the case.  ALL human beings share exactly the same DNA, regardless of their physical characteristics, or their geographical location – and that this DNA originates in south-easternAfrica, some two hundred thousand years ago.  This strongly suggests a shared origin of the development of physical characteristics, including the human brain and its functions.  For the various human groups to be different in any profound sense, those groups would have to be of different and unshared genetic origin.   When in fact science today shows that there is only one human race, namely Homo Sapien Sapien;

‘According to the Noah’s Arkhypothesis, by contrast, continuity of regional characteristics from Homo Erectus times to the present are not to be expected.  Instead, anatomically modern humans would be found first in one region of the world – the site of the speciation event.  These modern forms would be found later in other parts of the world as they migrated away from the site of origin, replacing existing populations as they went.  Looked at globally, there would be a single point of origin, from which a wave of modern humans would flow in all directions, sweeping all pre-existing human populations into evolutionary oblivion.’[6]

From this perspective, Jung’s theory fits the facts.  The archetypes, or patterns that repeat themselves and manifest in the unconscious minds of all humanity, actually serve as the basis of humanity’s ritual and belief system development.  In other words, what is inside – will invariably manifest in the outside world.  The spirit unfolds – and we can assist this process if we become aware of our individual predicaments – juxtaposed to the universe we inhabit.  Jung is just one of many rationalist Westerners, who have developed a sound intuitive appreciation of the universe, and have been able to convey that intuition through the intellect, but without the usual narrow-mindedness often associated with mainstream Western academia.  The reason is clear.  As human beings, we share the same consciousness and brain structure.  Various cultures have thought to have developed one hemisphere of the brain over the other, one hemisphere representing the rational, whilst the other represents the intuitive.

The majority of Western philosophy seems to emerge from the analytical left

          hemisphere of the brain, wherein a hypothesis is logically developed through a

          number of chapters until a conclusion is reached at the end of the book. 

          Chinese classics, by contrast, seem to emerge from the spatially orientated

          right hemisphere of the brain.  These works are, in a sense, holographic: each

          chapter is complete and each reflects the entire book.[7]

A fully rounded individual has to open and explore both hemispheres of the brain, to attain the unified consciousness such a journey ensures.  Ram Dass, (formerly Dr. Richard Alpert), a Harvard trained psychologist, was once a hard-nosed rationalist who believed that Asian philosophy was something one developed whilst fearing the apparent ‘unknown’ of death.  However, after taking LSD, which loosened his mind, he travelled toIndiawhere he met his guru Neem Karoli Baba, who assisted Ram Dass to free his mind totally – without the use of drugs.  At the time of writing, Ram Dass is alive and well and teaching in theUSA.  Ram Dass and Jung, both eminent academics, had transformative events in their lives (Jung’s event was a break-down, which he managed to stay conscious within, whilst experiencing it.  This opened his mind and released his inherent wisdom).  Today, there are many similar people.  They fulfil a vital function of integrating the intellect with the intuition, the East with the West, and the Self and the universe.  Ultimately, their examples serve to unite ‘us’, with ourselves.  The intellect can be the conveyer of the spirit – it does not have to block the intuition.  And the intuition does not have be vague or overly mysterious – it can be precise and meaningful.  When the East and the West communicate, the left and right side of our brain fulfil there true function, namely to perceive the all-embracing oneness of the universe, (our consciousness far exceeding the physical structure of our brain’s biology), without the sense of alienation, experienced by many people living in modern society.

MODERN & POSTMODERN SOCIETY.

Society as we experience ‘it’ does not necessarily reflect the deepest needs of our spiritual yearnings.  Our spiritual DNA blue-print is timeless and ageless, it manifests over and over again in our children and descendents.  These people will physically manifest in random social structures, if one accepts the idea of re-birth and continuous existence.  On the face of it, this is not an unreasonable philosophical position; after-all, modern physics[8] informs us that energy can not be created or destroyed, but can only change state.  This being so – and if this idea of continuous existence is extrapolated into the realm of conscious existence, then the question arises as to the purpose of such an existence?  When the scientific explanations are fully explored and investigated, making use of hundreds of years of academic research, and the experience of hundreds of thousands of years of human existence (in one form or another, if the theory of Darwinian Evolution is taken into account), the human species (that is ‘us’) is left to marvel at the fact that no matter how much knowledge that has been accumulated over-time, and no matter how sophisticated the understanding of the universe has become, humanity, as a species, are still no closer to ‘knowing’ the answer as to ‘why’ we exist in the state we do.  Despite the capacity to ‘know’, a development of the intellect – (that is of the human mind striving to conquer its environment – by literally ‘out-thinking’ any unpredictable event that might occur), it has to be acknowledged that the process of ‘knowing’ lies essentially outside the spiritual state.  That is not to say that ‘knowing’ is outside of the ‘spirit’, it definitely is not.  But the intellect as it stands, in its undeveloped state – literally separates its self from its essential essence.  It is the development of superior thinking in human beings – formed around a spiritual rupture.  It is the need to ‘know’, superseding the need to ‘be’.   The human mind is separated from itself, and this separation continues through human existence and is reflected in every aspect of individual life.  The average human has their intellect separated from their intuition; their mind from their body, their body from their environment and their existence from every other human being.  This situation represents nothing more than a rupture of being.  In this state, human beings exist to be separate and all social and religious institutions and structures, (which calcify around culture), serve to keep this ‘separation’ firmly in place.  Logic is defined into a very narrow ‘thread’ of narrative interpretation.  Things are defined as ‘right’, simply because they are not defined as ‘wrong’.  This is a one-sided approach to living, that clearly defines the rupture around which human modern culture has developed.  And modern culture, stemming from the ‘Industrial Revolution’[9] in 18th centuryEurope,  has been based upon ‘superior knowing’.  Modern Eurocentric science worked from the basis that only that which could be demonstrated to be ‘known’ within a limited and enclosed system of observational logic, could be declared as ‘correct’.  Everything else was declared as ‘outside’ of science, and therefore simply not true.  And although much can be known through the use of modernistic science, the spiritual rupture that defines modern human beings stays very much intact.  And has done so up until fairly recently in world history.

In modernistic society, human beings formed large groups, usually through social class, usually defined as Working-class, Middleclass and Upper-class.  Then there are Nation States and political affiliations.  The Cold War (1945-1989), literally defined the world into two broad political camps, namely the Capitalist, Democratic, West, and the Communist, Totalitarian, East.  Human beings have also been separated into competing ‘races’, a purely arbitrary (and non-biologically supported) categorising of human populations, based upon the erroneous assumption that people of differing skin colour, have differing genetics – when infact ALL human beings alive today are of the same ethnic origin – that is Homo Sapian Sapian – and all originated in Africa, with our common ancestors leaving Africa some 200,000 years ago – and eventually populating the world.  Differences in physical structure are simply developments in the adaptation process of living in differing environments and climates, etc.

Modern society has also separated itself into the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, or more succinctly, into those who have money, and those who do not.  The homeless and the affluent, the famous and the ordinary and the successful and the unsuccessful, etc, etc, all serve to demonstrate the essential destructiveness of modern society.  But more than this, the manifested ‘outer’ society (i.e. its structures, institutions, establishments, cultures and political entities), serves  to justify, define, perpetuate and signify an ‘inner’ corresponding ‘psyche’.  This psyche embodies all the required ‘programming’ needed for the ‘outer’ society to be maintained by a willing, but albeit ‘unknowing’ human populace.  The programming is so subtle and deep in the average human mind– that it manifests as ‘pre-choice’, to the extent that the inherited modern societies humanity inhabit, appear to be the only ‘rational’ choice available – even defining how humanity thinks.  On the surface, it seems to be an inescapable double bind.  Outer society can not exist without the corresponding psychology of its inhabitants, and its inhabitants (encumbered with their corresponding psychology), cannot live without the apparent comfort of the predictable and external social structures that are both familiar and at the same time comforting.  But society has changed……

The paradox of tradition is that once it has spoken the tradition is no more what

          its spokesmen claim it to be.  Tradition is invoked for the authority of its

          silence: a silence that neither needs nor brooks argument and which renders all

          argument superfluous, pretentious and impotent.  Yet in order to yield its         

          authority (that is, to be of that use whose prospect had seduced the speaker in

          the first place), tradition needs to be argumentatively established: its silence

          must be broken.  But once it has been broken, its authority becomes of a kind

          altogether different from the now lost, virginal, unthinking allure.  It is now but

          an authority of choice and declared loyalty: of a choice among choices, a

          loyalty among loyalties.’[10]

The post-modern condition permeates across, and around the globe – it is true to say that it sums-up the essential, defining quality of contemporary living.  But what does it mean?  The modern society was based strictly upon what science thought it knew – people and their lives could be measured and moulded into a predictable direction and outcome.  Those who did not conform – were exiled, excommunicated and executed out of established society.  Society was made to mimic the industrial machine of iron and steel.  People became the raw energy or ‘fuel’ used to drive society onward.  Existence emphasised the ‘physical’ only and there was no space for self-development of any kind.  In fact, such behaviour in the industrialised world was considered an aberration to that defined as ‘normal’.  Many attempts to lead an alternative lifestyle, based upon ‘inner’ development, was thought to be a form of mental illness[11].  The exact development of the post-modern condition is open to debate – but most would agree that its development was post World War II (i.e. post-1945).  It is primarily signified by a shift in perception of understanding of human beings as a concept – and their place in the world and universe.  As an academic theory, it denotes a mode of thought that draws scorn upon all the old certainties of modernistic science and philosophical thought.  Under modernistic thinking, what was ‘known’ was considered ‘total’ and beyond both reproach and improvement – in-short, modern ideas were considered perfect and unalterable.  It was thought that everything that could be known was already known, and that society had been duly moulded into a eutopic vision of order and cleanliness.  Charles Darwin had explained how human beings had evolved from an ancient ‘ape-like’ creature.  Adam Smith had explained how capitalism should work, and Karl Marx had explained not only how capitalism worked – but why he considered it unjust.  All these academic ‘narratives’ had usurped the authority of the Christian church and its theological ‘dogma’.  The church, although still existent within Western society, had been replaced by secular logic and its scientific thinking.  Religion, for sometime prior to the Industrial Revolution, had become politically powerful throughoutEurope, but in so doing had moved away from the true spirit of the teachings of Jesus Christ (i.e. Yeshua Ben Yoseph), and had instead become obsessed with maintaining its power over society, its institutions and its sovereign leaders.  A one-sided faith in the secular power of the church, replaced the need for Christians to reconcile their individual selves with the Higher Self – or God.  Humanity’s response to this situation, was to replace one-sided faith with a one-sided ‘knowing’ that freed the individual from the tyranny of the church, and replaced disempowering faith with empowering ‘knowledge’.  However, this move did not alter the situation for the better in a universal sense, but rather merely shifted the emphasis of the problem of ‘separation’ and ‘spiritual alienation’, from one extreme (i.e. ‘blind faith’) to another (i.e. ‘one-sided knowing’).  One-sided knowing serves to obscure any spiritual reality – and blind faith has no direction to ‘find’ spiritual reality.  The award of blind faith is always in some poorly, or ill-defined distant point in time.  Knowing only knows what it ‘knows’ about – it does not, by definition ‘know’ anything about the world that lies outside of its limited remit.  The post-modern condition frees humanity from both of these extremes.  It does not advocate an alternative – but rather clarifies the historical forces (both psychological and sociological) that have bound humanity to this time.  When technology replaced industry, computers replaced factories and the internet replaced the telegraph.  The old certainties of modernistic society have fell away as society disintegrates away and out of its old structures based upon heavy industry.  And the driving force that led to the collapse of modernity is that many notions of modernistic science have been proven wrong.  For instance, as an example of this phenomenon, the so-called Newton’s Laws, should really be re-categorised as Newton’s Theory – as these ideas do not work in space – as there is no gravity – and can not therefore, be truly considered universal laws.  Once previously considered ultimate laws collapsed into relativity – that is just one idea amongst many others, competing for attention and support – the formally unquestioned certainty of modernity was lost.  As the outer structures changed, the inner structures of the human psyche changed in accordance.  Only in the post-modern state, there is no group mentality and society has no comforting group structures humanity can belong too en masse.  National governments rule over a figment of the imaginations (i.e. a ‘country’), a concept made virtually redundant by the internet, global trade and trans-national-corporations.  The old certainties of boundaries and barriers between ‘things’ has gone for good.  And with an ever increasing super-sonic speed, the world has become smaller and our perception of time has altered – the world does not appear as big as it did 100 years ago.  Real time communication via email and mobile telephones has revolutionised personal interaction.  Post-modern freedoms appear from the base-up in society – and national governments are finding it very difficult to regulate from a top-down perspective, when new freedoms are appearing in this way.  Freedoms appear at ground level, and expand outwards.  This freedom has no respect for contrived social structures, or self-limiting psychological mind-sets.  The post-modern state frees us as individuals from the past in all its three-dimensional aspects.  We are returned to a state of perfect, undecided ‘balance’.  Such a state serves as a firm and yet ‘undefined’ foundation for humanity to rediscover its inner essence, and progress on its eternal quest for self-knowledge.  We have been reduced by technology to hyper-individuals, whereby never before in the history of humanity have we been so ‘free’ as individuals, and yet, for many, so unable to use this freedom.

‘Because of traditional habits of thoughts that picture time as a flowing stream, a rapid succession of instants in which things come to be and pass away, it is difficult to find the appropriate grammar to articulate the sense of temporality at issue in the narrative identity.  It is misleading to think of the narrating self as being “in” time or existing “throughout” time.  The relation between the self and time is of a more intimate sort.  The self exists as temporalized.  Temporality enters into the very constitution of who the self is.  Temporality thus need no longer be viewed as an external threat to self identity, as a co-efficient of adversity, as that which ruptures the unity of self by pulverizing it into a flux of changing multiplicities.’[12]

Being freed from this temporal past, and the historical narratives contained therein, although potentially very positive in nature, requires a guiding knowledge and wisdom for a sense of developmental direction to be gained and initiated.  Spiritual freedom is complete freedom.  An analogy might be drawn by imagining a person held prisoner in a single room for 30 years, with no interaction with the outside world, or other people, suddenly finding their cell door open, and not knowing what to do about it, or where to go.  They would probably remain in the cell for quite sometime, or rarely venture far outside, if they did explore.   Post-modern society is like this.  It does not define itself, but reveals truth – by removing the barriers to its perception.  Post-modern freedom expands without end, as does the enlightened mind.  Quantum science is beginning to replace classical (Newtonian) science, and one major facet of the former, is that ‘nothing is certain’;

Next, there’s the matter of uncertainty and the vacuum.  As we’ll see in more

          detail later, one of the most important bricks in the building called quantum

          mechanics is the uncertainty principle, first formulated by German physicist

          Werner Heisenberg.  In the quantum reality world of atoms and smaller

          entities, certain values can never be known with certainty.  For example, when

          we look at an electron that is part of an atom, we can measure certain

          properties, such as its position and its momentum.  However, the more precise

          our measurements are of its position, the more uncertain is its momentum.  And

          vice versa.[13]

Quantum theory[14] over-turns the assumption of classical science, which taught that phenomenon could be observed as if it were in a vacuum, unaffected by its surroundings.  A scientist could carry-out an experiment, without apparently affecting the outcome of the experiment in the process.  However, Quantum theory has formulated the ‘measurement problem’.   It has been discovered that by observing the phenomenon – the observer is actually affecting the phenomenon being observed – suggesting that the mind and the universe are intrinsically linked[15].    The old certainties of the ‘modern’ world have collapsed into the uncertainties of the ‘post-modern’ condition.  Uncertainty frees humanity from the philosophical and physical prison of deterministic existence – allowing for multidimensional growth in theory and in practice.

THE ORIGINAL RELIGION.

The dichotomy of the ‘outer’ world, juxtaposed with the ‘inner’, psychological world, keeps humanity firmly trapped between two extremes.  One rebounding off the other – the best most people can experience or achieve in this state of existence, is a ‘balance’ between the two extremes – this balance does not include the extremes, but rather serves to keep extremes at a distance.  A certain limited predictability is achieved in the mind and body, through the repression and suppression of the natural instinct to explore and discover new experiences through the senses.  Such an instinct is probably a vestige of the requirement for humanity’s distant ancestors to migrate to pastures new, to keep ahead of bad weather, find shelter and pursue food.   In the respect of the latter, human beings often migrated by following the animal herds that they relied on for food and clothing.  The animal herds themselves, were moving away from bad weather and tough climates, always following the sun.  The sun was central to early humanity, as its presence defined and denoted the very aspect of survival itself, and explains the central figure the sun plays in many early religions.  For there to be sustained life – it was believed that the sun must shine.  Human endeavour became structured around not only following the sun, but also appearing to encourage the sun to shine and bring abundance to the earth.  Here, we see the basic dichotomy at work.  The sun represents the ‘outer’ world, and humanity’s need (or attachment) for the sun to do what it was believed it should do – represented the ‘inner’ world.  Humanity’s existence was dominated and determined by an outer necessity to physically ‘survive’.  The only inner state worth achieving in this situation, is one of ‘contentment’, when the outer situation appears idyllic and calm.  However, as the seasons of the year are cyclic in nature, it follows that humanity’s psychology developed to represent this cycle of contentment (when times were good), to a fear of losing outer stability, over-time, when times were bad.  Lurking behind a temporary contentedness – was the immanent fear of losing that contentedness.  Humanity’s inner psychology developed to reflect the change in season and climate.  Change was to be feared, as it led to hard times and possibly death.  Good times were to be welcomed – but an over-view of the cycles of existence was lacking to any deep degree.  The need for group survival, took up all the energy available – and in the early times of human existence, there simply was not the sustained leisure time for a philosophical over-view to be developed.  The only reality available and easily accessible, was that humanity was subject to a ruthless determinism based upon physical circumstance that could not be controlled, but only physically placated and psychologically accepted.

This simple dichotomy between the outer world and the inner world (one conditioning and reflecting the other), represents a definite stage in humanity’s psychological development.  What was required in this situation, was a possible ‘third way’ of viewing life and the universe.  This third way could not be limited to either of the already existing extremes, but neither could it not include those extremes for it to be truly representative of humanity’s ability to perceive itself in relation to the universe.  Somehow, an all-embracing perspective had to be developed.

And this enhanced and permanent state of developed consciousness – symbolised as an expanded awareness – three dimensional and spherical in nature – embracing all the physical matter of the universe AND the underlying essence of the universe, reconciles the two extremes previously discussed, namely that of the physical world and humanity’s inner reaction to it, and literally dissolves the false barrier of dichotomy between the two.  And in doing so, releases humanity from the need to embrace either one extreme or the other.  When freed, the conscious mind may develop to its full potential.  When freed from the need for excessive introversion or an equally excessive concern for the outer world – the combined energy of the mind can be focused to a single-point and directed inward, beyond all concepts of introvert and extrovert.  The human mind is freed from a false dichotomy that hither to limited it from developing to its fullest, spiritual potential.  The original meaning of the Latin word religion (that is ‘religios’), literally meant ‘to join together’.  Thus the original spiritual journey was one of the reconciliation of extremes – into an all-embracing ‘one-ness’.  This required journey is an exact, and yet flexible path of development.  The knowledge of this path was passed on through experiential knowledge – that is what was known, was known through the experiencing of it.  Such knowledge became the wisdom of development.    The journey of development had to be undertaken to be truly understood.  Simply knowing some ‘facts’ about the path, told nothing about the path.  All the founders of religion originally found this enlightenment – they trod the specific and yet flexible path and gained universal understanding by transforming their minds.  These extraordinary people felt the need to teach that spiritual freedom from the extremes of living and how it could be sort and achieved.  And for a time, whilst the founders of the various religions were alive, or for one or two generations after their physical deaths – the path was preserved and followed.  People quietly got on with the job of spiritual development.  In such a state of pure being, compassion serves as the basis of the enlightened mind.  One is freed from the tyranny of extremes – and at the same time imbued with a deep, unfathomable compassion.  The Lord Buddha exemplifies such an example.[16] But there are many more, some known, many unknown.   The original religions advocated direct transformation of the mind and being, and a uniting of the universe with the life forms inhabiting it.  Later, after many thousands of years, the knowledge and wisdom of the true path was either lost or obscured.  Instead, religious paths calcified around ‘dogma’, with the outward observance of arbitrary rules and procedures replacing true spiritual development and insight.  Far from  ‘joining together’, religions that have determinate into exclusive membership clubs – actually serving to separate humanity into mutually alienating and competing groups.  Again, restoring the old psychology of the individual caring more about the outer structures of the physical world – and the inner reaction to these outer structures.  This is the maintaining of the psychology of ‘pre-enlightenment’, or, more specifically, the non-enlightened state.   Religion has become a reflection of the psychology that the original religions sort to over-come.  For many people in the post-modern world, religion is either failing, or has failed all together.  This has led to dichotomisation of religion into two camps; the first being one of irrelevance for many people who do not follow an established religion, and the other of extremism of those who do follow religions.    This extremism is a response to the threat that religious people feel, in the face of what they perceive to be the attack against religion – by those who do not believe in it! 

TRANSFORMATION & BEYOND.

The very concept of ‘transformation’, is, in essence, beyond mere belief.  Belief, although essential on the spiritual path of change and development, must never become the goal in itself – having a static ‘belief’ about enlightenment, regardless of how strong that belief may be, will not cause the necessary inner transformation to occur in the deepest recesses of the mind.  And it is the mind that serves as a doorway (and link) between the ‘physical’ world, and the spiritual ‘universe’.  A conduit of mutual exchange – that can become easily blocked by limited ideas, views and emotions.  Such a blocked condition is called the ‘ego’, or that state of mind that is limited in scope and outlook, and totally self-absorbed and self obsessed.  It cares little about what lies beyond itself – in fact it cares little about that which it does not ‘know’, because to actually ‘see’ what lies beyond itself is nothing short than a threat to its own existence.  Ego, by its very definition, is composed of an artificially maintained and contrived narrow scope of mind and view that permeates out of the individual, through the senses of the body, and out into the environment.  It attempts to influence all that it encounters.  To exist, it must be constantly reinforced from data collected through interaction on all levels; the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual.  The data collected is deliberately interpreted in such a manner so as to ‘sanitise’ its true meaning – (that would see the ego’s end) – into a convenient and easily digestible morsel of information that is made to look something other than it actually is – that is a ‘deluded’ view of reality that appears to support and justify the ego.  The ego misrepresents sense data to appear to be something it is not – whilst the distorted information appears to reflect (and justify) the ego’s existence.  It is a symbiotic cycle of self-reinforcement of deluded perception.

Transformation therefore, is nothing short of dissolving and ending this non-sensical cycle of ignorance.  To trigger transformation, is to be told or shown that there exists another way of viewing sense data (and therefore the universe) – and that this ‘way’ requires a systematic approach to changing that which interprets the sense data – namely the mind.  The Buddhist definition of the senses, teaches that there are infact six senses;  1) Touch 2) Taste 3) Smell 4) Hearing 5) Eyesight 6) and the Mind.[17]

The mind serves to create, generate, collect, organise and categorise data into a worldview that places an individual’s existence into a specific mode of being.  Initially, regardless of culture, geography or ethnicity – this base state maybe described as that of the ‘unenlightened’.  For the mind is not merely a ‘passive’ recipient of gross data – far from it.  The mind does not just ‘perceive’, but also is programmed through experience to actually ‘project’ a meaning onto the environment immediately surrounding itself – be it the body of the individual it happens to inhabit, or indeed the actual, physical world the body inhabits.  For instance, states of mind that constantly encourage anxiety and worry in the physical body – can cause illness in the body.  Cruel and hateful states of mind generate cruel and hateful actions in the physical world.  Degenerative states of mind create thoughts and emotions that act as servants to that which is the base angst in the psyche.  If an individual has suffered terrible outrages to human dignity and well-being, quite often those experiences are stored in the deep recesses of the mind, and the very fibre of the body tissue.  Without prompt, the ego continues to replicate the bad experiences that programmed it in the first place.  The cycle of self-ignorance needs to be broken for the good of the individual and humanity.  Compassion and understanding are pre-requisites for this task.

All higher religion and philosophy point toward the same undeniable truth – namely that individual existence, and the universe are innately linked and joined from the very beginning.  The popular religions may have lost their focus on this issue, but if you examine scripture, sutra and text long enough, with an open and deep mind – exactly the same enlivening message recurs through the thousands of many different words, of  the many different languages that inhabit the earth.  Although the outer differences of the various religions have become the be all and end all of distinction and debate for many people, what the founders of those religions discovered was the one-ness of all creation – without exception.  This truth supersedes the need to follow a structured religion.  Deep inside the very being of humanity, there lies the universe, pristine, unspoilt and largely unknown to the conscious mind.  Yet it serves as the very basis being.  For many, there is definitely a small voice in the background, calling to them to realise their true nature;

How does the one called respond to the call and to its content?  The first effect    

          of the call is of course the awakening from the deep slumber of the world. 

          Then, however, the reaction of the one awakened to his situation is revealed in   

          the call and to the demands made upon him can be of different kinds, and

          significant dialogues between the called and the caller may ensue.[18]

And it is this dialogue – different for everyone – that will take the spiritual explorer on many different inner and outer journeys.  The mind does not just ‘reflect’ the world – the mind creates both itself AND the world.  The world can not exist without senses to ‘know’ it, and senses would have no meaning whatsoever without a conscious mind that not only interprets the data sensed – but actually serves to create the very senses in the first place.  The essence, or seed of life exists in the centre of the universe, and this universe is the human spirit or ‘Mind’.  From this force, the circumstance that literally ‘pulls’ physical matter together (i.e. ‘karma’, or the never-ending cycle of cause and effect on all planes of existence), creates the physical mind and a corresponding body to encase and surround it.  At exactly the same time that the mind and body are created, a world is created to encase the physical body.  The outer world of sense data – directly reflects the sense organs of the body.   Karma, or the direction that the physical world manifests (and our physical bodies are part of the physical world), will provide the framework for our psycho-physical environment.  Just as energy can neither be destroyed nor created – life can never be destroyed or created – it can only change state – or, manifestation of being.   The limited mind of ordinary existence can either look inward or outward – whereas the enlightened mind manifests in all directions, at all times and knows no hindrance whatsoever.

CONCLUSION.

The term ‘psychology’ (Greek: lit ‘science of the soul’), has come to mean simply the functioning of the mind in its everyday capacity, to serve as an interface between the individual ego and its physical environment.  This limited definition deals with two distinct aspects – namely behaviour on the physical plane, and how one ‘feels’ and ‘thinks’ on the inner plane.  A balanced individual reacts internally to external stimuli, in such a way that is endorsed and encouraged by his/her prevailing culture, with its existing norms, values and belief systems.  An imbalanced individual is defined as one who reacts inappropriately to external stimuli, and/or experiences unacceptable thoughts and feelings.  Unacceptable behaviour or responses vary from relatively mild eccentricities, to the totally dangerous, manic and unpredictable.  However, as culture serves to define acceptable behaviour, it is reasonable to conclude that not all culturally unacceptable behaviour is ‘wrong’ in the philosophical sense.  For instance, an example of the relative nature of culturally acceptable ‘norms’ may be deduced from the example of a person in the USA or the UK, living in a homeless state, wondering from place to place and begging for food, shelter and possibly protection.  In the West, such a state of existence is viewed as culturally abhorrent and dysfunctional from that behaviour which is accepted as ‘normal’ in polite society.  However, in a country such as India, whose religious culture has often advocated austerity and the giving-up of worldly pre-occupation and concerns, such a behaviour is not only viewed as acceptable, but is even seen as necessary as a step on the spiritual path toward enlightenment.  The point being that if humanity is to develop and grow, it has to give-up and transcend everything it thinks it knows – and it does not matter whether what it knows is right or wrong, simply hiding behind presumed knowledge is a barrier to growth as it serves to maintain the situation of ego existence and limited perspective.  Psychology in the post-modern world must have a definition that not only attempts to explain the ego state (i.e. the ordinary waking mind), but also allow for the idea of growth ‘beyond’ the balanced mind – beyond the ego – and to also attempt to acknowledge and facilitate this growth as wholesome, correct and noble.  Higher spiritual paths such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Gnostic Christianity, Sufi Islam and the myriad New Age rediscoveries of ancient wisdoms – should all be integrated into the remit of the ‘science of the soul’, so that the very idea and ideal of the ‘soul’ be placed back into the realm of psychology.  This is not a new idea, but for many, it is an obscure idea.  People such as Erich Fromm, Carl Jung, William James and Carl Rogers (amongst many others), have acknowledged the need for the recognition of the spiritual in any work that attempts to explain the human mind.  And people such as Dr. Richard Hawkin and Dr Richard Alpert (i.e. Baba Ram Dass), both eminent academics, continue to lecture and express free energy in the physical world.  And when energy is expressed at a certain resonance, it has the affect of freeing those who come into contact with it – regardless of personal circumstance.  Infact, this is the very basis of the Tantric teachings of ancientIndia, whereby it is taught that the underlying essence of all phenomenon is ‘emptiness’ (i.e. Sunyata).  And emptiness is the universe unhindered by limited perception.  From this perspective, the ‘psychology of transformation’ is in fact the transcendence of all arbitrary definitions that serve as barriers to reality.  Psychology must allow (as a philosophical concept) for that which exists beyond its own particular scope of narrow expertise.  The notion of ‘balance’ must be expanded to include spiritual development – which occurs through the mind as a matter of necessity.  The intellect is transformed from the mere function of ‘knowledge’ to actual practice of ‘wisdom’.  The character of the individual expands to include all of life – and the base emptiness of the universe, is actually a vibrant compassion that is not dependent on physical behaviour or circumstance to exist – but rather it exists as its own support, in all places and at all time.  And in times of changes, humanity does not have to avoid change, but rather penetrate to the still essence of all change, as described in the Chinese Book of Changes (i.e. Yi Jing).

          The master said:

          Life leads the thoughtful man on a path of many windings.  Now the course is

          checked, now it runs straight again.  Here winged thoughts may pour freely

          forth in words.  There the heavy burden of knowledge must be shut away in

         silence.  But when two people at one in their inmost hearts, they shatter even the

         strength of iron or of bronze.  And when two people understand each other in

         their inmost hearts, their words are sweet and strong, like the fragrance of

          orchids. [19]

In the heart of change resides the stability of the universe.  And post-modern science – through the research carried-out by such eminent scientists and philosophers such as Rupert Sheldrake, David Hawkin, Dean Radin and Robert Jahn, etc – continues to collect data that suggests that the human mind, and the world of matter are intrinsically linked at the essence.  Philosophy and science come together on the cutting-edge research – the boundaries that have until recently been assumed to be solid, real and forever valid, are slowly dissolving into a new realisation.  What religious people, philosophers and visionaries have been saying for millennia, based upon their conclusions from a journey that is essentially ‘inward’ in nature, is now being confirmed by Quantum Science – which is essentially a path of exploration of the ‘outer’ world of matter.  The further into matter one explores, the more vacuous and ‘less’ real the solid matter that presents itself to us through our senses, seems to be.  And conversely, the further inward one seems to travel into the mind, the more of the universe is perceived.  When any entrenched view of an ‘inward’ and ‘outward’ path is given-up as literally redundant, the individual merges with the universe, and the universe merges with the individual.  All beings are linked by the fact that at their very essence lies exactly the same universe.  The physical brain is also the ethereal mind.  Here, we see the actual link between physical ‘matter’ that makes-up the

brain, and the ‘conscious’ processes that make-up the human mind.  It could be observed, that scientists study the structure of the brain (i.e. physical matter), whilst spiritual seekers utilise the conscious processes of the mind.  The brain/mind dichotomy is the doorway to the universe and all higher learning.  Through the recognition of this dichotomy – and a thorough exploration of both sides – a unifying consensus of realisation can be attained.  But this realisation is much more than a mere fact written on paper, or a vague idea stored in the mind – it is far beyond this symbolic representation.  And as humanity strives to move forward and develop, the distinction between the ‘subjective’ and the ‘objective’ becomes less and less vivid.  And it could be that science develops a deep spiritual base, and the spiritual path will develop a sound appreciation of ‘fact’ to augment its clarity and freedom.


[1] For the duration of this chapter, the ‘Mind’ with a capital ‘M’ denotes enlightened consciosness in its entirety – as opposed to ‘mind’, which denotes merely the physical brain and limited function.

[2] Crook, John  & Fontana, David.  Space In The Mind: East West Psychology & Contemporary Buddhism.  Shaftsbury: Element Books Limited, 1990 – page 48.

[3]Sheldrake, Robert.  The Sense of Being Stared At: And Other Aspects of the Extended Mind, Hutchinson, 2003 who suggests, from a sound academic grounding, that the ‘mind’ extends far beyond the physical organ of the ‘brain’.  Sheldrake’s designs tests to collect empirical data to back-up his assertions.

[4]Ozaniec, Naomi.   The Elements of the Chakras:. Shaftsbury,  ELEMENT – 1997, Page 98.

[5]Luk, Charles.  Taoist Yoga.  London, Rider & Co – Page xiii-xiv.

[6]Leakey, Richard & Lewin, Roger.   Origins Reconsidered. London, ABACUS, 2000 – Page 215.

[7] Wing, R.L.  The Tao of Power.  Northamptonshire, The Aquarian Press – 1986 – Page 16

[8]First Law of Thermodynamics’. < http://www.secondlaw.com/two.htm> (10th January 20.06)

[9]The Industrial Revolution <http://www.blupete.com/Literature/Essays/BluePete/IndustRev.htm> (10th January.2006)

[10]Heelas Paul, Lash Scott & Harris, Paul.  Detraditionalization: London, Blackwell. 1999 –– Page 49 – Quoted from ‘Morality in the Age of Contingency’ By Zygmunt Bauman.

[11]Dr William Price (1800-1893) <http://www.100welshheroes.com/en/biography/drwilliamprice> (10th January 2006)

[12]Schrag, Calvin O.  The Self After Post modernity. Durham,YaleUniversity Press, 1997 – Page 37.

[13]Davies, Joel.  Alternate Realities. New York &London.  Plenum Trade – 1997 – Page 163

[14] Measurement in Quantum Theory: <http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-measurement/> (15th January .2006)

[15] For an in-depth examination of how mind and matter are intrinsically linked, see;

Radin PhD, Dean.   The Conscious Universe.New York, HarperCollins Publishers,  – 1997,

[16] The Original Buddhism.  Adrian Chan-Wyles. <http://ezine.kungfumagazine.com/ezine/article.php?article=626> (11th January 2006)

[17]Snelling, John. The Buddhist Handbook. London, Century Hutchinson Ltd, 1987 –  Page 74 – See the discussion entitled ’Dependent Origination – and the twelve links contained therein.

[18]Jonas, Hans.  The Gnostic Religion. Boston, Beacon Press.  1991 – Page 86.

[19]Wilhelm, Richard.  I Ching or Book of Changes.  Reading, Cox & Wyman Ltd. 1984 – Page 305-306.

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