consciousness disciplines          

 

                                             CULTIVATION OF PERCEPTIVE INTELLIGENCE OR 'INTUITION' FOR HARMONIOUS LIVING:

                                                                 EASTERN  PSYCHOLOGIES OR 'CONSCIOUSNESS DISCIPLINES'

                                            

theme: There are various 'psychologies' which differ according to the level of consciousness which they emphasize. The ego level of consciousness is emphasized in the traditional western psychologies of the behavioural sciences... the so-called 'higher' mind level consciousness is emphasized in eastern consciousness disciplines. Integration of the two approaches allows for social interaction which is fundamental to education of the whole person i.e. 'holistic education'.

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behavioural sciences as inadequate for studying the eastern psychologies or 'consciousness disciplines'...

spectrum of mental states or 'states of consciousness'...

mind level...

the need to live on the transpersonal level is instinctively realised in a growth process of self-realisation or 'self-actualisation'

harmonious living as source of happiness...

philosophy of Buddhism and happiness as enlightenment


Behavioural sciences as inadequate for studying the eastern psychologies or 'consciousness disciplines'. The Western model is useful in the study of phenomena related to the paradigm of the behavioural sciences but is too limited for the study of the consciousness disciplines. The behavioral sciences ignore those 'psychologies' which present too many difficulties for objective study. The individual who lives within the context of the paradigm of Western psychology is unaware of its limitations and of the mental distortions which affect his perception of 'reality.' Matter is considered to be the primary constituent of 'reality' and consciousness the product of material brain processes. By defining 'psychology' as the 'mental or behavioural characteristics of an individual or group,' behavioural science becomes only one of the many 'psychologies' described by different peoples and cultures of the world. Western scientists have been examining the Eastern consciousness disciplines from the Western point of view. These appear incomprehensible and nonsensical when viewed from the limited Western perspective. They have denied the credibility of other states of consciousness and other perceptions of 'reality.' Not understanding the assumptions of the Eastern paradigms, they have been applying those of the behavioural sciences. Discrediting the 'higher' states of consciousness, they have described practitioners of the consciousness disciplines as pathological, delirious, psychotic and even regressing to infantilism. Without the mental training prescribed by the doctrines of the consciousness disciplines, an individual can be completely unaware of any fixation to the Western 'psychology' paradigm, in itself psychotic behaviour, defined by the behavioural sciences as the lack of recognition of a distorted perception of 'reality.' In order for Western scientists to investigate the consciousness disciplines, they must do several things. They must first recognize that such investigations involve a clash of paradigms - their own with that of the consciousness disciplines. Consequently they must examine the beliefs and models of the paradigm within which they would carry out the investigations. They must be open-minded enough to reject the assumption that the consciousness disciplines are evidence of psychopathology or limited intelligence. They must be prepared to accept the possibility that the paradigms of these other 'psychologies' may be as sophisticated as their own. They must be willing to adapt new research paradigms which serve to concentrate their attention on the appropriate problem areas. As well as being trained in the behavioural sciences, they must be trained in the consciousness disciplines so that they can be aware of the distinction between their central phenomena and any innacurate popular notions. They must in effect shift their viewpoint from the behavioural sciences paradigm to the consciousness disciplines paradigm. They can then apply the methods of behavioural science in an attempt to clarify the paradigm of the consciousness disciplines. The 'objective' study of human mental processes by Western psychology or behavioural science is obscured by the psychological viewpoint of the scientists themselves. In order for Western behavioural scientists to fully understand human behaviour, they need to acknowledge the validity of perceiving the Eastern 'psychologies' as alternative 'lenses' for gaining further insights into the human mental processes.

Spectrum of mental states or 'states of consciousness' According to Eastern psychospiritual systems the consciousness states are (ranging from 'higher' to 'lower') include the mind level, the ego level, the existential level and the shadow level. The existential level represents the individual's level of identity as a psychophysical organism existing in space and time. This level is influenced by the familial and cultural context of experience and is the source of rational thought processes and personal will or 'motivation'. The ego level represents the individual's identification with a self-image and is the source of self-interest and egocentric desires. The shadow level represents facets of the personality which the individual judges negatively because they are inconsistent with the self-image of the ego level.

The individual is encouraged to train or 'discipline' the mind in an effort to raise their consciousness from the ego level to the mind level, thus altering their perception of reality and transcending the limitations of social conditioning. In the practice of meditation and self-exploration, the socially conditioned individual is committed to experiencing directly the deeper nature of their being i.e. their humanness ('intuition') their true nature. Their task is to bring all aspects of their life into increasingly conscious and harmonious alignment with the changing web of relationships which makes up their environment. Only then can they be responsible and live in harmony with their own human nature and with that of others. The human capacity to transcend the limitations of social conditioning and to take responsibility for living in harmony with nature and with others becomes increasingly apparent to those individuals who commit themselves to the self-exploration necessary for direct experience of the deeper nature of their being i.e. their 'human nature'. Human nature involves a broad spectrum of mental states which represent the different levels of expression of the human consciousness or 'consciousness states'... 'rational waking state', 'creative state', 'meditative state', 'dream state' and so on. Mental processes of the various consciousness states are explainable in terms of biological processes and emergent properties of the brain. They are influenced by the organism's state of physical and emotional wellbeing or 'wellness'

The mind level is the highest consciousness state because it goes beyond the usual limits of awareness of the ego level of personality development... it 'transcends' the identity of the self at the ego level. The 'mind level' represents the transpersonal dimension of the human personality ...also known as the 'transcendant level', the level of expanded awareness of 'ego-transcendance' or 'self-transcendance'. The mind level is the most profound state of consciousness and represents the innermost consciousness of the individual's 'supreme identity of humanness'. It is the source of knowledge of the total self or 'self-knowledge'. Self-knowledge is the meaningful appreciation of one's own 'human values... humanity and the humanity of others. For this reason the mind level is the basis for 'social intelligence' (or 'creative intelligence') and the most efficient for human adaptability. Mind level is more adaptive because it produces a perception of the social reality which is more objective because it is global or 'holistic' i.e. 'holistic perception'. Holistic perception is free of the contaminating and distorting effects of subjective prejudices, fears, wishes, and calculations i.e. 'inner freedom'. On the transpersonal level, the individual lives by values which preserve the interconnectedness of human beings: justice, truth, beauty, freedom, generosity, love and compassion.

The mind level  goes beyond the usual limits of awareness of the ego level of personality development. The mind level represents the transpersonal dimension of the human personality ...also known as the 'transcendant level', the level of expanded awareness or 'ego-transcendance'. The mind level is the most profound state of consciousness and represents the innermost consciousness of the individual's 'supreme identity of humanness'. It is the source of knowledge of the total self or 'self-knowledge'. Self-knowledge is the meaningful appreciation of one's own 'human values... humanity and the humanity of others. For this reason the mind level is the basis for 'social intelligence' and the most efficient for human adaptability. 

 The mind level is the state of consciousness which is more adaptive... it produces a perception of the social reality which is more objective because it is global or 'holistic' i.e. 'holistic perception'. Holistic perception is free of the contaminating and distorting effects of subjective prejudices, fears, wishes, and calculations i.e. 'inner freedom'. Perception of reality which is devoid of distortion is objective. Objective perception of the absolute or 'ultimate reality' is described in terms of spiritual values - the same as those described by philosophers, scientists, artists, spiritual leaders and the religions. Wholistic consciousness of the mind level involves the total and integrated functioning of the brain as a whole. The wholistic functioning of the brain involves the 'higher' mental or neural processes which lead to profound insights. It is these insights of brain-based wholistic perception which form the basis for creative and adaptive human behaviour.

 View of consciousness disciplines... the primary constituent of 'reality' is the consciousness and the material world is its reflection... the view of behavioural science which holds the view that the primary constituent of reality is the material world and consciousness is its reflection.

'Enlightenment' as a the most adaptive consciousness state...

 The psycho-spiritual systems of the Eastern 'psychologies' emphasize the more profound and more adaptive 'mind level' of consciousness.... Buddhism

Harmonious living as source of happiness Harmonious human relatedness is the source of 'happiness'.  Happiness is the productive realisation of human potential.The true source of happiness is productiveness and creativity which derives from harmonious living. Productiveness and creativity are the source of the strength and freedom from which happiness is derived. The person who has prudence and foresight and who is able to reject immediate gratification for the sake of permanent and tranquil satisfaction is happy. Happiness is the greatest human achievement because it means that one has resolved the dilemma of the 'human condition'. Happiness is the response of the total personality to a productive orientation toward oneself and the world. It is preserving the integrity of the self and being one with the world. Happiness is peace of mind and absence of fear or 'serenity'. Happiness as serenity has a biological function which is connected with the evolution of the human organism as a social organism. Whereas pain results from actions which are injurious to the organism pleasure and happiness result from actions which are conducive to the welfare of the organism.

Social intelligence depends on fulfillment of spiritual needs i.e. 'metaneeds'

The expanded awareness of the transcendant level is reflected in a quality of life which is based on seeking harmony with nature - inner harmony with one's human nature and outer harmony of socialization in which the individual lives by the spiritual values which preserve the integrity of the self and at the same time the interconnectedness with other human beings - freedom, truth, goodness, justice, beauty, love, compassion etc. The spiritual values are biological needs for the value life i.e. spiritual needs or 'metaneeds'. As human needs, the metaneeds describe the ultimate nature of humanity i.e. 'human nature'.    

The need to live on the transpersonal level is instinctively realised in a growth process of self-realisation or 'self-actualisation'. The self-actualized person engages life consciously and directly, experiencing the connections with all of life. They feel responsible for the larger community and find it impossible to withdraw from worldly responsibility. The person experiences the 'other' as 'self' and has no desire to impose their will on others but acknowledges their responsibility for morality and service. They prefer a life of simplicity and experience life and living as an unbroken pattern of interconnection even in the minutest details of daily existence. They have few desires and are immune to the pressures of advertising and consumerism.    

On the transpersonal level, the individual lives by values which preserve the interconnectedness of human beings: justice, truth, beauty, freedom, generosity, love and compassi


 Philosophy of Buddhism and happiness as 'enlightenment': So-called ‘Buddhist practice’is primarily concerned with the ‘training of the mind’. The individual must live on the transpersonal level of consciousness, beyond the ego and existensial levels, in order to confront and reconcile life with its apparent inevitabilities of loss and death. According to the First Noble Truth of Buddhism, all life is imbued with suffering... this is the 'human condition'. There are three truths which lead the way out of the dilemma of the human condition... first, 'the cause of all suffering is attachment', second, 'the relief of suffering comes from the cessation of attachment', and third 'the cessation of attachment comes from following the eightfold path, a prescription for ethical living and mental training aimed at attaining full enlightenment.

The following is based on conference of Sogyal Rinpoche: The path of buddhism? The term 'buddhism' is unfortunate because buddhism is not an 'ism'. We use the term is 'dharma' which means everything which exists and doesn't exist ...on the ordinary level. Dharma is the intrinsic nature of everything, that which supports. The essence of the buddhist path is deep and transforming compassion towards all living things coupled with wisdom... penetrating insight into the nature of reality not external reality but internal reality...the reality of intrinsic human nature... the nature of mind is the same as intrinsic nature of everything.The essential of Buddha teachings ... don't commit a single unwholesome action... this avoids harm, cultivate a wealth of virtues, train the mind to achieve peace of mind... this is buddhadharma ....involves practice of the way we conduct our lives the ethical way of being and meditation.

There are two types of meditation: Analytical meditation (using reason) to examine the mind very deeply to see its effects on itself ... love compssion and patience give inner strengt, confidence and courage which liberate the mind allowing for the understanding of its true nature... One-pointed focused meditation. The problem is distraction. The mind must first be settled. Ego-consciousness... egotism... is the root cause of all our problems. With deep analytical meditation you realise the non-existence of ego..  with mindfulness practice you can remove the harmful ego. Helping others must not involve ego. Being one good person is the greatest contribution to wor:ld peace. Remove the harm within yourself .... interior disarmament... is the first step.  

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 Implications for education Education for adaptability is education for realization of human potential and happiness or 'enlightenment'. Education for enlightenment is education for complete personality development beyond the ego level of self-interest and egocentric desires to include the wholistic perspective of the mind level.   'holistic education'

Learning is enhanced by an alternation of the different states of consciousness.

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 The Western definition of 'psychosis' ... is itself psychotic