Essays2008 Essays2009 Essays2010














..:: The Observer III / Motivation ::..


Alan Schneider


              At the conclusion of the last essay, reference was made to the influence of the conscious and unconscious regions of the total Psyche on the observational field.  The investigation of this range of effects continues here in The Observer III. 

            As has been noted previously in The Observer Series, the distinction between what is conscious and what is unconscious with regard to the observational field is often anything but clear.  The capability for clarity of observation is not a given in human psychology, but the result of years of personal, social, and spiritual discipline and practice by the individual observer.  The fact that the vast majority of human observers have no idea of the questionable nature of their perceptions, let alone of the need and capacity for improvement in this area,  accounts for the great bulk of human suffering and misunderstanding in the world today.  Hopefully, this essay will create some illumination in this area for the reader.  

            Our deeply involved condition with the body, physical senses, and ego creates a condition under which we can only be neutral about our observations with the greatest difficulty.  Yoga notes this in the nature of the first three Chakras – all are concerned with different levels of functioning on the Physical Plane of existence, regardless of their extended spiritual implications elsewhere in consciousness.  The most truly spiritual level of activity does not begin to occur until we enter the level of Anahata, Chakra Four – the Heart Chakra.  As responsible observers, we must therefore acknowledge our motivational involvements on the Physical Plane as the first step in our understanding of this area.  

            Motivation effects perception, and unconscious motivation determines perception.  Even after we have learned how to conduct responsible observations consciously, thinking critically about the evidence of the senses and conclusions of the ego about this evidence, there remains the question of the extended effect of the unconscious on this process.  Until we have investigated this hidden region of the mind thoroughly,  we cannot say with certainly that we have seen our full identity reflected in the observational field through the observations we make there.  

            Beginning with the Physical Plane and Muladhara Chakra,  the first caveat of observation is that we must assume nothing about the apparent situation before us.  Most of the time, human observers instantaneously filter all of the impressions of the senses through a vast network of memories that are themselves “tagged” with egoic valences regarding their supposed or actual positive and negative personal consequences for the individual – these comprise our network of largely unconscious assumptions about the world and its meanings in our lives.  As we begin to focus on and probe these assumptions, we frequently find that they are quite prejudicial in either the negative or positive sense of the term, may be of great antiquity in experiential origin,  and certainly cannot be regarded as reliable guides for perception in most cases.  Yet, this is the baseline mechanism for human observation, decision making, and interaction.  In many ways, unlearning (or at least understanding) our unconscious assumptions is the most important learning process that we undergo in this life.

            And this tends to be an ongoing process once it has begun, spanning this, and possibly many more, lifetimes of experience on the Physical Plane.  For most of us, Buddhahood is truly a long way away, rooted as we are in the Karmic mix of consciousness in the first three Chakras!   Of course the term “Karmic” is most important here,  because it serves as an indicator of the presence of the Soul and the Logos as the most important determinants of events in the three lower Chakras, regardless of their linkage to direct human experience, and interpretation by the ego. 

            The clear implication at this point in our discussion is that the nature and content of any observations made on, or in conjunction with, the Physical Plane of Expression are necessarily questionable.  Still, we can at least begin to be aware of our assumptions and their effect on our perception.  A partial list of common human assumptions follows below, along with possibly more accurate spiritual observations following each:


1) I am the exclusive focus of my awareness.  In fact, my awareness arguably extends far beyond my personal physical boundaries and mental perceptions, reaching the Soul and the Logos at the greatest extent (in common Mystery terminology) and the Primal Self and collective unconscious in Jungian terms.

2) I am generally correct in my beliefs.  Beliefs are the result of statistical reinforcement across time as determined by cultural motifs.  No one belief system is inherently more correct than any other – and all are flawed as perceptual influences. 

3) My self interest is appropriate.  Possibly, and possibly not.  On the ego level of awareness, our ongoing physical survival depends on the validity of this assumption.  On the other hand, at the higher levels of human involvement, selfless service to others becomes the most important feature of human interaction, and the attainment of this perceptual level remains the ultimate goal and purpose of human life on the Physical Plane.

4) My personal gratification is appropriate.  Again, this is conditional.  If I do not attend at least to my minimal human needs, I will certainly suffer in the near term.  If I become obsessed with the gratification of those needs, I also will suffer in the long term through various addictions.  In fact, the abnegation of gratification, and the desire action associated with it, through Meditation and detachment, is the most intelligent manner of living.  The “laws” of Karma state in part that what we resist persists for us, and what we desire materially is illusory.

5) I will eventually cease to exist.  This depends upon what we see as existence – certainly, there is clear evidence that the physical nature ceases at death.  The question remains “Is the physical sensory system and brain all that exists?”  I personally have a specific ongoing perception of the presence and activity of my  Soul, linked through some extra-physical continuum to many other Souls – i.e. humanly expressed spiritual essences – in a matrix of involvement beyond time, space, and physicality.

6) I must harm others to prosper.  In fact, I must assist others and assist myself to prosper spiritually, and ultimately physically as well. Otherwise, I will live out my days in isolation and darkness, even though I may be superficially physically satisfied.  And even if my Karma today is to be blind to this Truth, that nonetheless establishes the possibility of eventual spiritual insight and attainment later on.

7) The world as I perceive it is real.  In fact, the world as I perceive it does not really exist at all – it is the result of my beliefs, interpretations, and assumptions.  The only “world” that really exists after all of these has been released through austerity and enlightenment is the Divine Consciousness of the Logos, radiating   forth both from beyond and within space and time as the Supreme Absolute Truth of Omnipresent Light, Unconditional Love, and the I AM Presence

8) My fears are real.  Only Love is real. Fear is the result of separation from God and the indwelling Soul.  My Love is an extension of the Divine Love noted above, not the selfish fixation occurring on an object level with another physical being or process on the Physical Plane. 

9) My suffering is real.  My suffering results from the misunderstanding of Supreme Truth on the Physical Plane.  Once I have released my identification with hedonism, gratification, and desire action – all of which mask my perception of   the Supreme Absolute Truth – I will no longer suffer on any level of observation.

10) Only my God is real.  We do not possess God – God possesses us as the physically conscripted Soul,  existing for Divine service on the Physical Plane.  Any claim to a “right” or “wrong”, or more or less valid experience of Deity is an ego judgment, pure and simple.  There is One God, and we are all the Spiritual Children of that God.

11) I am the most important person in the world.   On the level of Anahata and the Soul, there is no “me” and there is no “world” – only a universal continuum of spiritual experience that transcends the Physical Plane, ego, and senses.  My perception of my “self” as privileged or special is an illusion because my perception of physical events is an illusion – only Love, Light, and God are real, and “I” am One with the All at that level of Truth.

12) I can know the truth.  In the apparent physical continuum, I can only know Maya, the illusion of an existence created by the interaction of the senses and the ego.  By turning away from physical experience through Yoga and meditation, the Truth can and will be revealed to the observer by its Source – the Logos.

13) My emotions are justified.  My emotions are, in fact, the inevitable consequence of my organismic physiology on the Physical Plane, emerging into conscious   perception and observation, and may or may not be justified, or even relevant, depending on the circumstances under which they occur.  As was noted in the    previous SYNERGY essay, emotions tend to have survival value for the organism, but this takes place in the larger context of the illusion of physicality.  From the perspective of human awareness, the emotions are the most “real” of our experiences, and certainly the most intense, but they remain fundamentally illusory in nature – emerging into manifestation in the observational field and then passing away as they are acknowledged by the observer (at least in the absence of significant associated trauma) – important as signposts, but not the journey.


           This list is obviously by no means complete, but it begins to give one a flavor of what assumptions are, and how they can detrimentally influence our observations.  As one probes deeper and deeper into the unconscious, more assumptions, and more complex expressions of assumptions, are revealed to the observer.  What remains hidden controls our perception. Who looks without sleeps, and who looks within awakens.

           I prefer the Jungian model of consciousness mentioned so often in these pages, and featured as an illustration in this essay, because it is such a remarkable image of the Truth of Consciousness and the reality of the observational field.  In this model, the region of conscious waking awareness is shown as a small “bright” spot on the surface of a much larger sphere representing the totality of the observational field – the Psyche.  Surrounding this “Island of the Acceptable” is a “coral reef” composed of the personal unconscious region – the consequence of trauma and conditioning processes.  Beyond these is the great bulk of the sphere representing the Jungian collective unconscious region – the realm of the Archetypes – with the Supreme Archetype at its center – the Primal Self, or more simply just the Self.  It is most interesting that the Sphere of the Psyche is, in fact, inverted, because it is the apparently dark Self at the center that is the source of all illumination and activity within the Sphere, and the ego island on the surface, which appears to be bright, is shrouded in the darkness and illusion of its own interpretation of events created by the Self.

            The assumption is the motivational GateKeeper of consciousness and observation – often acting from the personal unconscious region to control our perception. It is significant that we must do or experience something beyond the ordinary notice our assumptions at work in the observational process – otherwise we remain “asleep” within our perceptual illusion.  For this reason, the chaotic event can, and often will, throw open the Gates of Perception, allowing us to begin to awaken to the presence and action of our assumptions, and the levels of truth lying beyond.  Perhaps the Golden Caveat of observation is the simple expression “Question Everything”, or its corollary, “Assume Nothing”!

             As we move through the personal unconscious region of the Psyche into the deep waters of the collective unconscious, hopefully having more or less successfully sloughed off many of our assumptions and traumas in the process,  we enter the region of the archetypes of the collective unconscious, the subject of our next SYNERGY essay.  This region is the area identified in the Mystery Theories with the Astral and Mental Planes of Expression, and corresponding initially with the Svadhisthana and Manipura Chakras, respectively.  The interaction of observation and the observer at these levels becomes complex, with many convolutions of meaning and interpretation present.  This is particularly important for the observer to comprehend, because it is at this psychological level that we must chose between the Right and Left Hand Paths of Tantra as the Kundalini Energy ascends along the progression of the Chakras.  

            The Kundalini Energy is the single most powerful force in the universe, converging at the level of the Tao to form all that is perceived and observed in any and every sense whatsoever.  The Kundalini Energy is the Soul moving through, and beyond the organism, and is the Logos achieving Creation within, and transcending, the world of form and events.  The Tantric Path selected either inadvertently or intentionally by the observer has a definitive effect on all subsequent observations – Kundalini is the ultimate motivator of human consciousness and perception.


                                                                                  - With Love, Alan -

                                                               (Copyright 2009, by Alan Schneider)


                                                                                      Return to Top