How to attain REAL understanding of the reality?
A thought can NEVER become enlightened. The only difference will be trading one thought that says, ” I am not enlightened” for another thought that says, “I am enlightened.” When enlightenment has actually occurred, there will be no thought present to claim it. Oh, the irony! –Michael Jeffreys
So, what is REAL understanding?
Try to ask yourself this question and you will see that you cannot answer it. You have always confused understanding with knowing or having information. But to know and to understand are two quite different things and you must learn to distinguish between them.
In order to understand a thing, you must see its connection with some bigger subject, or bigger whole, and the possible consequences of this connection. Understanding is always the understanding of a smaller problem in relation to a bigger problem.
There are as many understandings as there are many people. Everyone understands everything in his own way or according to one or another mechanical training or habit; but this is all a subjective and relative understanding. REAL understanding means OBJECTIVE understanding.
The path to OBJECTIVE understanding lies through the change of being.
You can understand only on the level of your own being.
What people do not understand in most cases is the idea of being as quite separate from knowledge; and further, the idea of the relativity of being, the possibility of different levels of being and the necessity for the development of being, separately from the development of knowledge.
We can speak about the being of a stone, the being of a plant, the being of an animal, the being of a man and the divine being. But there is no such thing as the being of a man. Men are too different for that.
The idea of being, entered into the very foundation of thinking and speaking about man in religious thought, and all other divisions of man were regarded as unimportant in comparison with this. Men were divided into pagans, unbelievers or heretics on the one hand, and into true believers, righteous men, saints, prophets and so on. All these definitions referred not to differences in views and convictions, that is, not to knowledge, but to being.
In contemporary thought people ignore the idea of being and different levels of being. On the contrary, they believe that the more discrepancies and contradictions there are in a man’s being, the more interesting and brilliant he can be.
It is necessary to understand clearly what being means, and why it must grow and develop side by side with knowledge, but independently of it.
If knowledge outgrows being or being outgrows knowledge, the result is always a one-sided development, and a one-sided development cannot go far. It is bound to come to some inner contradiction of a serious nature and stop there.
Usually, in life we meet with only one kind, that is, when knowledge has outgrown being. The result takes the form of a dogmatization of certain ideas and the consequent impossibility of a further development of knowledge because of the loss of understanding.
Briefly speaking, Inner Self improvement involves development of the two sides of man simultaneously, also called two lines of possible development. The two sides are knowledge and being. The development of the two sides leads to REAL understanding.
The Inner Self improvement must include spiritual awakening that consequently will lead to Self Consciousness and REAL understanding.
But the question is how can a man awake?
The Gospel teaching demands awakening, but does not say how to awaken.
But the psychological study of consciousness shows that only when a man realizes that he is asleep, it is possible to say that he is on the way to awakening. He never can awaken without first realizing his sleep.
We generally think that we possess self-consciousness, that is, that we are conscious of ourselves, or in any case that we can be conscious of ourselves, at any moment we wish, but in truth ‘self-consciousness’ is a state which we ascribe to ourselves without any right. ‘Objective consciousness’ is a state about which we know nothing.
There are four states of consciousness possible for man: Sleep, ‘waking consciousness,’ self-consciousness and ‘objective consciousness’; but he lives only in two: partly in sleep and partly in what is sometimes called ‘waking consciousness.’ It is as though he had a four-storied house, but lived only in the two lower stories.
Self consciousness is a state in which man becomes objective towards himself, and objective consciousness is a state in which he comes into contact with the real, or objective world from which he is now shut off by the senses, dreams and subjective states of consciousness.
Another definition of the four states of consciousness can be made from the point of view of the possible cognition of truth.
In the first state of consciousness, that is, in sleep, we cannot know anything of the truth. Even if some real perceptions or feelings come to us, they become mixed with dreams, and in the state of sleep we cannot distinguish between dreams and reality.
In the second state of consciousness, that is, in waking sleep, we can only know relative truth, and from this comes the term relative consciousness.
In the third state of consciousness, that is, the state of self-consciousness, we can know the full truth about ourselves.
In the fourth state of consciousness, that is, in the state of objective consciousness, we are supposed to be able to know the full truth about everything: we can study ‘things in themselves,’ ‘the world as it is.’
This is so far from us that we cannot even think about it in the right way, and we must try to understand that even glimpses of objective consciousness can only come in the fully developed state of self-consciousness.
Methods to lead a man to awakening include a guided contemplation, self observation and meditation that consequently leads to creation of permanent ‘I’ instead of the many faked ‘I’s.
The ‘I’ in a real man represents the totality of functioning of his general psyche whose factors have their origin in the results of contemplation.
Only then man can know himself.
Only then man can remember himself.
Only then man is MAN in the true sense of the word.
Only then man can attain the REAL understanding of the TRUE reality.
Only then man can die having understood why he lived.