Sunday 30 July 2017

My new meditational practice: knowing that every-'thing' is alive, conscious, meaningful, purposive

Most meditational practices attempt to change the state of consciousness - by inducing a trance, dream, visions or the like; feeling oneself transported to another time, place or reality.

But a meditational practice aiming-at what Owen Barfield called Final Participation or Rudolf Steiner called the Spiritual Soul must be in a experienced state of full thinking-consciousness; a state of clarity and alertness, purposive and memorable.

The objective is to synthesise reality in the process of thinking, with awareness that our thinking participates in the recreation of the world.

I say 'recreation' because this is an active process whereby each thinking person takes mere perceptions and recreates from it truth, universal reality; such that all thinking persons (thinking from their real/ true divine self) are thinking in a universally accessible realm of truth.

Thus, thinking (of this kind) is both subjective - because reliant on the individual and created for himself; and also objective - in that all persons are 'accessing' the same reality. 

Anyway, the aim is quite simple: To experience the world in the same way as we did as young children, that is 'animistically', as a world of living beings, each conscious and purposive. Or, to put it another way, a world where there are no dead 'things' but only alive 'beings'. 

However, when we were children, we passively perceived the world as alive and conscious; whereas now as adults we aim actively to think the world as alive and conscious.

This makes our meditation quite easy! We simply look around us, or think about the world - anything; and we think about every-thing as alive, conscious, meaningful and purposive. Indeed we know the world as alive, conscious, meaningful and purposive.   

That's it. The meditation is that we practise knowing the world as such; we do it whenever we think about it, whenever we have the chance to do it.  

I regard this type of meditation as quite simply practicing, as working on developing a new habit so that it may gradually become automatic, authentic, transformative - we may gradually, incrementally, come to experience the world as composed of sentient beings; and this knowledge will tranform us.

It may be helpful to clarify what not to aim at. We do not aim at perceiving the world differently - we do not try to see visions or auras, do not aim to hear voices or feel forces, we do not try to become transported to live as another world. 

Also, we do not attempt or expect to understand everything; do not expect, for example, to know the content of consciousness, purpose or attitude of everything - but simply to know that they are conscious, do have purpose, do have attitudes.

Nor do we expect to know the exact scope and nature of beings - we do not try to know whether (for example) an individual cloud, blade of grass, tree or hill is 'a being'; or whether the being is instead at a larger scale - the whole sky, a meadow, a forest or range of mountains... Instead we simply focus on the fact that we know that everything is being - and it doesn't matter whether it is is either a being in its own right, or a small or large part of a being.

So, this is my new meditational practice - one based on thinking and knowing; and I find it can be done in many states of mind and many circumstances - I just think about, I just think, I just know something as being not-a-thing but a being.

And it works... Its long-term effect on my life remains to be discovered. 


Epimetheus said...

This is amazing - and it seems so self-evidently correct on some level. I wonder what this would do for depressed persons.

Bruce Charlton said...

@E - My feeling is that this would not be much use for clinical depression - it isn't aimed at alleviating that type of misery.

In fact, I think it is very important to get away from a 'therapeutic' way of thinking about our own lives, because that merely reduces to current feelings.

That attitide in indeed part of the problem, not part of the answer.

I am talking here about a religious discipline.

Epimetheus said...

Prioritising current feelings reduces to hedonism, is that what you're getting at?

Bruce Charlton said...

@E - My point is that this is designed as a spiritual-Christian meditative practice; not a psychotherapy. Its justification is supposed to be 'religious', not 'hedonic'.

(An analogy would be 'mindfulness' which derived from Buddhism where its justification relates to destiny in the cycle of reincarnation; but which is currently being taught in large institutional bureaucracies as a therapy which supposedly makes people happier and more hard-working.)