Sharpening Our Tools

The following essays or parables get to the very heart of some of the most profound existential questions. It behooves us then, to enter into this dialogue, a dialogue with the Self, with our language “tools” keenly sharpened. So let’s learn something about the key words and relevant meanings of those words in order that we avoid getting lost in the confusing jungle of semantics. In bold face type are dictionary definitions of our key words. Following those dictionary definitions we have fleshed out those words with additional metaphysical meaning.

Dictionary (head):  Having an awareness of one’s own existence, sensations, and thoughts and of one’s environment. Subjectively known or felt.  Aware.
Intuition (heart):  The dictionary definition is typical of how the intellect (head) defines the word “conscious.”  Following is the intuitive (heart) definition of the same word:  The entire thrust of Self-realization comes from a seeking of “awareness.”  All of the energy of humanity individually and collectively, consciously or unconsciously drives us to wake up.  It is the “purpose” of life – it is the answer to the Great Question – Why Am I Here?  We are here to become CONSCIOUS.  Obviously as contemplatives or mystics, we mean something much more than the pedestrian or psychological meaning of being “conscious.” The awareness we are seeking is transcendent and takes us into a realm of consciousness beyond suffering, a wondrous realm indeed.

Dictionary (head):  A critical awareness of one’s own identity. The essence or totality of attitudes, opinions, and sensitivities held or thought to be held by an individual or group, e.g. national consciousness.
Intuition (heart):  This word CONSCIOUSNESS, as you can see in the dictionary definition, addresses the second Great Question—Who Am I? Our challenge in seeking Self-realization is to assume a more profound identity.  (Notice how part of the above definition begins to sound like our description of worldview which is a person’s beliefs, attitudes and values. This same definition also applies to the worldview of groups of any size whether it is a neighborhood club or an entire nation. The worldview of a group we could call a collective worldview. )

Dictionary (head):  The capacity to discern the true nature of a situation, penetration.
Intuition (heart):  To wake up we must become observers of our own personal experience.  Through that process of observation we will gain profound INSIGHTS into the nature of reality. These “breakthroughs” are at the heart of shifting from the relative to the Absolute, from P-B to Simple Reality and the attainment of what Buddha called “right view.” Through right view we arrive into the present moment, the Now. We arrive at the place that we never left and experience it for the first time.

Dictionary (head):  The sum of all that is real, Absolute and unchangeable.
Intuition (heart):  Until we experience Absolute reality (Simple Reality) and learn to distinguish it from the relative or illusory world, we know that we are not experiencing the true Reality.  That which is Real does not change.  The word REALITY addresses the last of the three Great Questions—Where Am I?    

Dictionary (head):  Coming as if from the depths of one’s being. Penetrating beyond what is superficial or obvious.
Intuition (heart):  Whether we call the source of profound wisdom “the still small voice” or “communing with the divine,” or “connecting with the implicate order,” we must learn to listen to that inner guidance as it leads us beyond the old worldview.  We will leave the ordinary world of illusion and enter into a new world of PROFOUND awareness. 

 It always seemed strange to me that the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feelings are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, great acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self interest are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first, they love the product of the second.
          John Steinbeck


For a much more in-depth discussion on Simple Reality, read  Simple Reality: The Key to Serenity and Survival, by Roy Charles Henry, published in 2011.




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