Higher Reasoning II
A friend asked:
Concerning Higher vs. Lower hierarchy: Isn’t it all one, all at the same level, no distinctions?
Yes and no. The hierarchy “higher” and “lower” is a way of understanding a relationship according to, for example, the classic metaphor of the way gold is to a ring made of gold.
In this metaphor, there is a sense in which gold is more fundamental than a ring made of gold. Gold is a broader, more encompassing category.
Now, what if it was so broad it had no category? What if it was absolutely unique in its totality: in other words, if absolutely everything were made of gold, then the metaphor would be closer to what is being pointed at.
But how does one point to the totality, the non-objective? This is why so many teachings tools, methods, practices, and metaphors are employed. Our linguistic and conceptual tools were invented to deal with the objective though, for the most part (especially in English – perhaps not so much in Sanskrit, from what I understand).
Habits and Tendencies
In addition, humans and animals are creatures of habit. The mind structures have their own tendencies, and can be a bit stubborn. We are each like a whirlpool of energy, with unique patterns that form. Sometimes these patterns get stuck, become rigid. While they may have served as a response to a situation in the seeming past, they can become turgid, crystalized, causing friction, or drama, or sink out of the flow over seeming time, seemingly isolated from the main flow; but like salt crystals, can be dissolved in the calming, syncing flow of the river.
A part cannot grasp the whole. The mind cannot contain it, nor the intellect, nor words, but they can serve to point to what it is not ("non-dual", for example, or the "egoless state"), and use a positive identifier like “Universal Consciousness” or “the Tao”.
So while it’s true there’s no ultimate distinction between the ring and the gold, it’s useful to make one to aid our understanding.
Eventually perhaps we will be secure enough in our understanding, our marriage with the Tao, such that we won’t need the ring, the concepts, unless we want to talk about it when someone asks.
Before I let this one rest… what would you say is the boundary between lower & higher reasoning… when does regular reasoning become ‘higher’?
Where does the whirlpool leave off and the river begin? Where does the ring leave off and the gold begin?
It’s an intellectual puzzle. :))
Another friend asked:
So happiness really only happens when the stuck energy, the solid-seeming whirlpools, are let go of? As soon as there is a sense of solidity of world, there has to be a solidity of me. And that solidity veils the peace.
Is a great river no longer peaceful and beautiful when some set of whirlpools behind a rock become agitated?
I opened Hafiz "at Random":
Remembrance lowers the cup into
His luminous sky-well.
The mind often becomes plagued and can deny
The all-pervading beauty
When the great work of zikr*
I have chained my every dancing atom
Into a divine seat in the Beloved's Tavern.
What I have learned
I am so eager to share:
Every ill will confess
It was just a lie
When the golden efforts of your love
Lift the precious wine
To your mouth.
Remembrance of our dear Friend
Lowers the soul's chalice
Look, my sweet efforts and His Sublime Grace
Have now turned Creation into a single finger
On my hand
Yes the river remains peaceful throughout. Agitation is a local phenomenon, thus it is like a veiling of peace but not a cessation of it.