Mind and Cognition

Shiva

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 … Continue Reading…

Mental Activity

Samara by quapan

One of the curious features of being human is that we assume others experience the world the same way we do. We may expect people to see things the same way also, considering them mistaken if they don’t. We do typically run from the same collective experience of the world around us. But the variations in how we process and interpret that can vary significantly. For example, do you experience the world as dangerous and fearful? Or full of opportunities? Do you have any colour blindness? What about hearing range? Do you have a large social life or live like … Continue Reading…

What is Mind?

Untitled by Joost Markerink

Mind is a big topic. Fundamentally, mind is a kosha or field around our body that is the medium for what we experience as thinking. But there’s a great deal more to it than that. Let’s explore my current take. This field surrounds the whole body but we feel mind is “in the head” because the senses are concentrated there. Mind is the hub that processes and integrates our senses. It also interfaces with the brain and nervous system and emotional body in one direction. And the other way with the intellect, memory, and cosmic mind. The cosmic mind is … Continue Reading…

The Trinity of Self

Atman or the Cosmic Self has a three-fold nature. It has a subject or observer aspect, the process of observation, and the object or observed aspect. I illustrated this here. As consciousness is aware of itself both globally and at every point, it can observe its own dynamics and experience this directly. “Locally” or personally, we experience this as the ego or I-sense, the intellect, and the mind. Samkhya describes how Buddhi (intellect) recognizes self as different from other, creating Ahamkara, the I-sense or ego. This arises in early childhood as a baby distinguishes itself from mother. Manas or mind … Continue Reading…

The Means of Liberation (Yogas)

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13 Verse 24 Some realize the Self by the Self in the Self through meditation, others through Samkhya yoga, yet others through Karma yoga.   Verse 25 Others, however, not knowing thus, sit near Me [Krishna], having heard from others, they also do cross beyond death, devoted to what they have heard. This lays out the Yogas or paths to liberation. The first is Dhyana Yoga, the path of meditation covered in Chapter 6 of the Gita. These days, it is often taught as Raja Yoga or the Royal road. This is why I emphasize an effortless … Continue Reading…

Styles of Enlightenment

As readers of this blog know, I explore various ways of looking at how enlightenment or spiritual awakening is lived. Here, I don’t mean how the changes are experienced but rather the styles of embodying it. The container we experience those changes through. Here is a brief list of some of the distinctions that come to mind: 1) Orientation – Householder or Renunciate 2) Emphasis – Consciousness and Energy 3) Path – Intellect, Heart, and Body 4) Dominant Sense – sight, hearing, touch 5) Lifestyle and Philosophy – how we apply the above 6) Stage & Cycle – our current … Continue Reading…