Written by Wes Annac, The Culture of Awareness
In our society, the mind’s generally seen as a good thing. Gaining knowledge is very important, and what other way to do so than to use the mind and its practically infinite capabilities?
I have nothing against the mind, and neither do the spiritual teachers we’ll hear from here. Like them, I recognize that the mind can be and is a very important instrument for the expression of consciousness and the gaining of knowledge, and it can take us very far if we know how to use it.
However, amidst our quest for answers to the secrets of our existence, humanity has mistakenly filled our heads with so much knowledge of our physical reality that we’ve forgotten about the greater reality that exists beyond our surface perception.
In our mad dash for answers, we’ve overlooked the greatest truths and secrets that we can discover by exploring our inner perception. Everything changes when our minds are open and we’re attuned to the love that forms and permeates every aspect of our existence.
Our desire for concrete, physical answers ceases, and it’s replaced with a desire to stay open and receptive to the influence of spirit, which, if we let it, will fill our heads and hearts with its omnipotent glory and help us see that something real and pure exists beyond the physical reality we’ve ceaselessly studied.
Only when the mind’s open and we’re freed of empty or meaningless physical knowledge can we perceive the greater spiritual forces at work constructing and sustaining our reality, and the good news is that we have the opportunity to empty our minds and perceive the Source of all existence in a much realer and purer way.
All it takes is the willingness to see that the mind’s incomplete if it isn’t open to the energies and perceptions of the heart, and our spiritual teachers have told us a lot about the importance of emptying the mind of the knowledge that won’t help us spiritually excel.
In order to perceive spirit, the senses have to be transcended in favor of the greater, more powerful inner senses that help us open our third eye. We’ve been given a lot of advice about transcending our seemingly constant drive for outer knowledge and opening up to our sacred inner knowledge, and we’re going to explore some of that material here.
An anonymous teacher describes the ‘darkness’ of unawareness, which we’re currently enmeshed in.
“Do not think that because I call it a ‘darkness’ or a ‘cloud’ it is the sort of cloud you see in the sky, or the kind of darkness you know at home when the light is out. That kind of darkness you can picture in your mind’s eye…. I do not mean this at all.
“By ‘darkness’ I mean ‘a lack of knowing’ — just as anything that you do not know or may have forgotten may be said to be ‘dark’ to you, for you cannot see it with your inward eye. For this reason it is called ‘a cloud’, not of the sky, of course, but ‘of unknowing’, a cloud of unknowing between you and your God.” (1)
Krishnamurti tells us that our endless desire for knowledge tends to stop us from perceiving spirit or Source.
“Our minds are stuffed with so much knowledge that it is almost impossible to experience directly.” (2)
Knowledge alone, he tells us, won’t solve the problems we face or help us create a new world.
“Mere knowledge, however wide and cunningly put together, will not resolve our human problems; to assume that it will is to invite frustration and misery. Something much more profound is needed. One may know that hate is futile, but to be free of hate is quite another matter. Love is not a question of knowledge.” (3)
A lot of seekers are more fixated on ideas than direct spiritual experience, he points out.
“The idea is more important than the fact; the concept of what one should be has more significance than what one is. The future is always more alluring than the present.
“The image, the symbol, is of greater worth than the actual; and on the actual we try to superimpose the idea, the pattern. So we create a contradiction between what is and what should be. … In this conflict between the so-called real and the so-called false we are caught.” (4)
I can attest that a lot of seekers are very attached to certain beliefs and ideas. Understandably, we want to know and learn as much as we can about the spiritual concepts we’ve come to discover and empower, and this tends to lead us on an endless search for answers; for a greater understanding.
This actually distracts us from the bigger picture we could be enjoying, and instead of following ideals and beliefs, we can turn our attention inward and embrace our greater perception instead of finding belief after belief that reminds us of it.
If we try hard enough, we’ll find plenty of beliefs that advocate spirit, and we’ll find that they’re ultimately unsatisfying. The only thing that can really satisfy our hunger for spirit is our direct perception of spirit, and we’ll continue to go on a philosophical merry-go-round until we realize this.
As Krishnamurti also tells us, the desire for mental and physical security can cut us off from our inner perception.
“There can be freedom from knowledge only when the process of gathering, the motive of accumulation, is understood. The desire to store up is the desire to be secure, to be certain. This desire for certainty through identification, through condemnation and justification, is the cause of fear, which destroys all communion.” (5)
We can transcend this desire by keeping in mind that we’re already exactly where we intend to be. This is an idea I’ve been struggling with lately, and it can be difficult to open our eyes and see that we already have everything we could ever hope for, physically and spiritually.
Source is revealed to us to the degree that we’re willing to open up and attempt to perceive him/her, so if you think about it, we already have everything we could ever need. We can clear away the cloud of darkness that separates us from Source in any moment if we’re particularly dedicated, but we don’t realize we have this freedom.
We don’t see that we can deprogram the matrix and step away from all of this mess at any time by taking an inner journey via meditation or various other tools, so we endlessly search for things in our physical reality that validate the inner knowledge we can already access.
It’s quite a contradiction, and by searching and striving so hard to find Source or a greater inner perception, we actually cut ourselves off from both.
Krishnamurti then tells us that knowledge is a means to an end, but it can never be solely used to reach the conclusion we intend to reach: spiritual enlightenment.
“Knowledge is a flash of light between two darknesses; but knowledge cannot go above and beyond that darkness. Knowledge is essential to technique, as coal is to the engine; but it cannot reach out into the unknown.
“The unknown is not to be caught in the web of the known. Knowledge must be set aside for the unknown to be; but how difficult that is!” (6)
He and various other spiritual teachers don’t intend to attack knowledge, he tells us, but to communicate that focusing wholly on accumulating it can surround us in illusion and keep us from our goal.
“We are not attacking or defending knowledge, but trying to understand the whole problem.
“Knowledge is only a part of life, not the totality, and when that part assumes all-consuming importance, as it is threatening to do now, then life becomes superficial, a dull routine from which man seeks to escape through every form of diversion and superstition, with disastrous consequences.” (7)
In our final quote, Krishnamurti tells us that fear and physical knowledge must be transcended if we want to perceive Source.
“Fear exists only in the relationship between the known and the unknown. The known is ever trying to capture the unknown; but it can capture only that which is already known. The unknown can never be experienced by the known; the known, the experienced must cease for the unknown to be.” (8)
Clearly, we have to forget every outdated notion we have about experiencing spirit, because even experiencing it is an apparent illusion when compared to truly perceiving it. I think this quote intends to communicate that we’ll need to transcend our limited, human version of ‘experience’ to perceive spirit, along with all of our human concepts and perceptions.
I think it’s important to remember that we’re spiritual beings having a human experience, and the human aspect of our consciousness is infinitely tiny compared to the rest of us. Our consciousness travels far beyond the finite human vessels we’re incarnate in, and our limited physical perception just isn’t sufficient enough for us to really perceive spirit.
This is why transcendence is so important, and to reach our destination, we’ll have to give up any preconceived concepts of what reaching it will be like. We’ll have to empty ourselves of anything that constitutes finiteness or an inability to be open to spirit, and only when we’re open and our perception is blanked will we find what we’ve been looking for.
‘Zero point’ consciousness is necessary to perceive our inner realms, but beyond this blanked perception, a whole new realm of glorious, blissful vibrations awaits our delight. We just have to be willing to give up everything that’d keep us from attaining this inner heaven, and keeping in mind that we’re already there will help quite a lot.
- Anon., The Cloud of Unknowing trans. Clifton Wolters. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1978; c1961, 58.
- J. Krishnamurti, Commentaries on Living. First Series. Bombay, etc.: B.I. Publications, 1972; c1974, 61.
- J. Krishnamurti, Commentaries on Livinq. Third Series. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1970; c1960, 3.
- J. Krishnamurti, Commentaries on Living. First Series. Ibid., 85-6.
- Ibid., 26-7.
- Ibid., 26.
- J. Krishnamurti, Commentaries on Livinq. Third Series. Ibid., 3.
- J. Krishnamurti, Commentaries on Living. First Series. Ibid., 89.
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