..:: The Observer
III / Motivation ::..
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
- With Love, Alan -
(Copyright 2009, by Alan Schneider)
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