Mind and Cognition

Mind and Cognition


A question came up I thought would be useful to share here. How do we give words to cognitions if they arise from beyond the intellect?

First: what do I mean by cognition here?

A cognition is a style of experience that is total knowledge about the object of experience, all at once. It tends to be about some fundamental aspect or law of creation.

While everyone can use ritam* to experience what a rishi or seer has cognized, only some people have the gift of cognition.

I define the types of cognition here.

Quite a few kinds of experience arise from beyond the intellect. Some intuition, ritam, the intelligence within experiences, Divine flows, and cognitions all arise from deeper sources. However, once they arise in consciousness, they move up through the layers (koshas) and evolve into an experience. Then mind and intellect can process them, giving words and meaning.

However, there’s a difference between the original arising and the memory of the experience. It’s important to refer back to the original arising for more details.

Cognitions remain in consciousness so can always be referred back to. This is Smriti or cosmic memory, which is quite a bit different from local memory.

Because cognitions are a total form of experience, they can take more time for a mind to unpack. For example, your device screen is simply experienced. But we cognized it, there would be the simultaneous apprehension of its entire history, composition, seeing it from every angle at once… knowing all there is to know about it. Some of that mind and intellect can’t process. But it can still be known by what is deeper.

For most people, our intellect is associated with the mind and acting somewhat as it’s puppet. Mind is under the control of the ego-sense which uses its faculties to maintain it’s self-sense. Something like a cognition can cause us to see through this, so mind & intellect can interfere with full cognition.

After clear Self Realization, the intellect becomes associated with Being (resolute) and becomes much more reliable and useful. It doesn’t impede deep experiences.

Do we eventually only cognize? No. As long as we live in the world, we still have to do taxes, cook, and make use of our talents. Cognitions are designed to unfold the evolution of the universe, so they arise in available vehicles as needed.

Certainly, the mind gets quieter and other styles of being become more prevalent. But this is an expansion of functioning. We lose nothing except limitations.

Even some ancient sages are still functioning on deep levels. They work on multiple levels within themselves. They no longer have a lower mind (that takes a physical or emotional body) but have all the higher stuff to work with.

Everything that arises can evolve into an experience and thus be digested by the mind. Even an awakening. But you don’t want to confuse the experiences with the actuality. Mind just makes a representation.

*Ritam: being able to perceive and act on the finest level of becoming

Last Updated on March 7, 2020 by Davidya

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  1. Nullpolet

    Namaste guruji,
    “Certainly, the mind gets quieter and other styles of being become more prevalent.” yes this is exactly how it feel.
    Question, do you think its related with kumbhaka?
    Ps: Just finished sadhana, when i saw the shiva picture his mudra suddenly i feel strange, like peace and touched, i cant describe this. I just want to say thank you for this post.

    1. Hi Nullpolet
      On Kumbhaka or breath stoppage, this depends on meaning. As a practice or as a result of practice.
      There are some who practice forms of pranayama to encourage breath control and stoppage. While this may have some value, from the perspective here, this is chasing the effect rather than going for the cause.
      Breath stoppage happens naturally in deep samadhi which is easily developed with regular effortless meditation. I wrote on this topic here:
      And yes, this is a picture of a very large statue of Shiva that is being done well enough to express some value of that reality. I enhanced the image a little in Photoshop to bring out the inner light. 🙂

    1. Hi Lorey
      Sorry, I’m not sure which you refer to. It’s the goal of consciousness to know itself completely. It does this by expressing the Divine intelligence flowing through it and then experiencing that from many perspectives.
      Periodically, another aspect is woken through cognition, shifting what is awake in the collective and evolving the laws of nature.
      There are aspects of this process that suggest even the apparent unfolding of time is a mechanism used for this purpose because even global consciousness can’t take it all in at once. Many points of experience fill out the detail.
      There’s some variation in experience around the Divine’s role in this. Does the Divine fully know already? Consciousness is used as a vehicle for knowing through experience. But is this consciousness wanting to know the Divine? Or the Divine wanting to know itself? I favour the first.
      (By Divine here, I mean Divinity beyond consciousness rather than expressions of the Divine we can experience in consciousness.)

  2. Jim

    Hi David – an interesting post. Cognizing seems a pretty fancy word for what has been going on for a long time here.
    For decades I was very confused by the limited perspectives humans employ, particularly in the West. Because they are nearly always presented in an egocentric way, I thought the arrogance and pushiness behind them attested to their authenticity. lol
    Anyway, seeing the bigger picture and finding its practical value has seemed second nature in this life. Integrating it with life on earth has been the ongoing challenge and dharma.:-)

    1. (laughs) Yes indeed. Integrating the infinite into the mundane is the ongoing challenge. It highlights anywhere we’re not yet conscious or are contracted and opens them up too.
      At some point, that becomes increasingly collective. Not my stress but that of the whole, ours.

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