INTRODUCTION TO WISDOM ENQUIRIES
Upon reading this encouraging book, a receptive person will certainly feel inspired to follow the path Christ set forth for us toward our kingdom within, but will soon enough come to realize that he cannot possibly measure himself by Christ's high, spiritual, standard of being "perfect as your God in heaven is perfect".
However we must not despair, because we can at least achieve a partial-perfectibility, morally and lovingly within our human, individual, capacity. No, we cannot "turn the other cheek," "love our enemies," "give to whoever asks of us," and so forth; but we can approximate such ideals by balancing our humanness (our all-too-human side) with our transcendence (our more-than-human side) by gaining an understanding of the relationship between the two. This relationship we would consider as a human-transcendent wisdom -- our human-transcendence.
partial perfectibility. Put into practice, this self-refining process through the wisdom-enquiries can very well lead us into an awareness of our kingdom within, and even to the grace-experience of the pure-bliss-consciousness experience of It.
So, let us explore our humanness in relation to our transcendence, and rise to our better parts. And it is through an enquiring process, a "wisdom enquiry", that will assist us in attaining this balance between our humanness and our transcendence; and will thereby, make us receptive to approximating Christ's ideal of perfection -- a level not before attainable. In simpler words, let us refine, balance, our ego-sensuality (our humanness) with our ego-sensual refined wisdom (our transcendence). Accordingly, these wisdom enquiries will certainly help lead us to that state of mind and act.
So, we will read, and enquire into, each passage for understanding of our humanness in balance with our transcendence; and from there, ultimately to a consistent spiritual frame of mind amidst our human lives; and hopefully, to the grace-experience of our kingdom of God within us -- our divinity.
We can thank Christ immeasurably for having opened this door for mankind to our kingdom within.
Since Christ's precepts are basically for monks, recluses, monastics, solitar- ies, and the like, what relevance, then, do they have for us who live in the stream and rapids of life? What are we to do who want to reach our kingdom within, but who can in no way live by such strictures, except only partially, randomly? Are we therefore barred from experiencing our God within -- except perhaps only once or twice in a lifetime and by grace alone?
Yes, to the last question; but with this thought in mind: that even those who
live for Christ or God solely, do not experience the bliss of God, of pure con- sciousness (this is well known) as easily as we tend to think because of their religious life style. They can pray, meditate, fast, denude themselves of desire and self, live in a cave, all they want, but those activities alone do not promise the God experience, samadhi, or a life of purity; they are, after all, still human subject to hunger, thirst, pain, pleasure, moods, impulses, urges passions, depressions, irritations, anxiety attacks, hostilities, and the whole host of our frailities. Even if they have fairly subdued these alll-too-human aspects of our human nature, they still lurk in the background of our "id", however subdued they may be. And if it happens that they do actually die to their self so that they are "perfect," as Christ required; then we have to ask, Are they even human anymore? And if not, then, as far as we others are concerned, they can have their "Kingdom of God" here on earth; we'll wait till death for ours.
As for the rest of us, are we left to church religion with its rituals, theologies, myths, mysteries, and all the rest of its paraphernalia it's been, in one religion or another, for thousands of years?
Or can we consider Christ's precepts as ideals only, to strive for, as far as we can humanly, individually? We certainly can gain by "imitating" Christ's wisdom, for approximations of it are not impossible. In which case, we are being Christ-like ideally. Realistically, there is no chance for us; but ideally; that we can do, can strive for, can better ourselves, making us ever more receptive to the God within us. No, we cannot be perfect as our "God in heaven is perfect"; but we can be partially perfect, which in itself can enhance and embold the meaning and passion of our lives.
This way seems more open to us, more plausible, more possible, more re- alistic. In which case, we do not - actually, cannot - live spiritually, but we can transcendently, ever striving to transcend ourselves beyond our ego-sensu- ality, keeping our self-love aligned to, balanced with, our Love self, so to speak; or otherwise stated: balancing our humanness with our transcend- ence. This we can do. In which case, we apply Christ's teachings as a guide, a model, to our moral sense, so that we arrive at an integrity of character, a wisdom of love, to live by. And so, our life takes on a value, a glow, beyond our psychology alone.
And so, Christ becomes relevant to us: an inspiration to aspire to within the confines of our humanity We simplify our lives and thereby gain a sensitivity, a loving care, that we otherwise could not experience. And thereby, we become close to the experience of God within us, as pure-conscious-bliss, essentially because we love. And is not God "love," as John stated it in his gospel?
Given all this exposition, how then do we become partially-perfect? As ment tioned through the guidance of Christ's precepts of perfection. Yet these basic precepts are too abstract, too holy, too remote, for us to follow in practice. I mean, if someone slaps us on one cheek, it's hardly likely that we would turn to him our other cheek for him to do the same; especially if our wife or child were watching. So, such action is out of the question permanently for us, and with so many other of Christ's personal requirements for perfection.
And so, again, I ask, of what relevance for us are his spiritual-minded re- quirements? In answer, again: as tablets of ideals of perfection. We will never be able to "turn our other cheek" so long as we are in the stream of life, as a husband and father, or mother and daughter, for example. Yet, there is that tablet of perfection shinning before us, as if in heaven, unreachable. Can we, however, approximate that ideal in some other way? The normal male re -sponse would be, not to turn our other cheek, but to slap him back. But doesn't that follow the very human "eye for an eye" reprisal that blinds us all? So what do we do to salvage our self-respect. We do not fight back, but rather defiantly invite him to slap your other cheek; though this time you protect yourself so that he is not able to slap it. You allow him to keep trying to slap your other cheek, but you do not -- to the death, if need be -- allow his to do so. So it becomes a matter of aggressive-passive defense. He may hit you otherwise; but he is not going to slap your other cheek even though you requested him to. In effect you dared him to slap your other cheek. You saved your honor though it may have cost you serious pain. And, if he goes crazy from frustration, then you have earned the right to take the offensive; since he is no longer in his right mind, but has be- come animal crazed; and as you would protect yourself from an animal's attack -- it's either him or you -- so you would stop him by whatever means necessary.
This situation offers, at least, an idea of what a partially-perfect act would be; and is in keep-ing within a human, as well as transcendent, realistic, sphere of action -- both moral and psy- chological. It is human in the sense that one retains his manliness, within a trans- cendent frame of mind of acting in peace realistically. The normal male or masculine re- would be to fight back; but "violence begets violence," as it is known -- and consequently, there is no change in human behavior; we are no closer to the kingdom of God than we have been throughout man's history.
We have to be strong and receptive morally, psychologically and transcend- ently before we can act genuinely in accordance with Christ's maxims partially perfect. And if we are more ignorant than wise psychologically, morally, and transcendently, then we have a way to go. It will be a struggle but a worthwhile one replete with challenge and accomplishment. As we gain the strength and receptivity humanly and transcendently, then we can approach Christ's per- fectability -- partially, though; and so, be receptive to his kingdom of God. and if we are fortunate enough to have been graced with intimations of this king- dom, if not the actual experience of It, then we'll know we're on the right track; which will enforce our will to continue our quest even though we continue to fail ourselves "perfectly". That is normal enough encased in our "mortal coil" as we are; and normality, minimally, at least, is what we must maintain at all costs. Know that even Christ's master crusader, Paul of Taurus, had his failings as well, and as he confessed: "I don't do what I want to do. Instead, I do what I hate."
As all-too-human" as we are, those of us who aspire to be more-than-human, to be more than normal, more than our ego-sensual selves, then we have a heavy, though welcome, task ahead of us. We must near this partial perfect- ability, and to do so, as mentioned, we must be strong and receptive psycho- logically, morally, transcendently. And through what channel is this process to occur? My answer is: through self-enquiry -- Who am I? What am I? Why am I? It is wisdom through which these questions are answered: both practical and contemplative wisdom (Aristotle). So this process is what I term appropriately as wisdom-enquiries.
This WISDOM ENQUIRIES page concentrates on the deepening of under- standing of our human and transcendent natures; and with this deepening understanding comes a gradual conscious transformation that can translate into one's daily practice, or living patterns. and with the wisdom that transpires from this intellectual process, we become more receptive to the truths of our spiri- tual nature; that is, to the divinity within us, or as Christ stated it, our "kingdom of God."
We can consider the meaning of "wisdom enquiries" as a look into the depths and heights of our human nature and transcendent being. By "wisdom" we mean deliberating and acting well both humanly and transcendently. By "en- quiry" we mean seeking inwardly for both knowledge and truth. We choose "enquiry" instead of "inquiry" because of the added meaning of the 'en' prefix: "cause to be," which is not included in the meaning of the prefix 'in'. The phrase "cause to be" can be used as the source, the "first cause" (compare Aristotle) -- God – as well as its particular meaning ("endear," for example).
So, the process of wisdom enquiries is the search for truths leading from human psychology to human-transcendence. By questioning, probing, delving -- Why? What? Wherefore? -- into the meaning of human knowledge, we are reaching for the abiding truths of our being -- being here alive.
Through this enquiry, we are plumbing our depths (psychology) so that we may reach our heights (transcendence).
Through this enquiring process, we are bringing to our consciousness the truths that we "know" intuitively, but cannot articulate. We are not only making our subconscious conscious of itself, but we are making our transconscious (where essential, universal truths are set) conscious. So, in effect, we are using our reason to make our intuition articulate.
So, wisdom enquiry is a human-transcendent questioning so that we under- stand not only our psychological nature, but our transcendent nature as well - both in relation one to the other. and perhaps from there, we will be closer than ever to experiencing the purity, the oneness, of transcendence itself within ourselves -- our Divinity, our "kingdom of God".
Here, in brief, is how wisdom enquiries proceed.
The enquirist (or facilitator or moderator) chooses a topic of interest or concern, to read from eminent and perceptive persons.
Having read the passage through for an initial understanding, the next step is to under- stand it in its parts as well as its whole in relation to our own under- standing. And to achieve this understanding, we approach the passage from the following four perspectives: through interpretation, association, meaning, and projection.
Through interpretation of the passage, we analyze the meaning of its essential points (where necessary) and synthesize it as a whole. Through association, we name the ideas that we associate with the point of the passage. Through meaning, we ask ourselves what this passage means to us personally. And through projection, we project the meaning of the passage into historical, psy- chological, anthropological, geographical, cultural, political, artistic fields in light of our humanness and our transcendence, and their balance: human-transcendence.
Regarding interpretation, you might ask "What is the main point of this pas- sage?" or "What does that particular statement mean?" or "Why is that?" Re- garding association, you might ask "What ideas and feelings do I associate with this passage as a whole, and/or in particular?" or "What examples might help clarify that particular statement?" Regarding meaning you might ask, "Is what's being stated true, and if so ..." "Do you agree or disagree with the point or message of this passage, and why?" Regarding projection, you might ask, "Would the same idea apply to the Germans, or the Chinese, or the Samo-ans?" Or "How will this idea contribute to our self-understanding, to our trans- cendence?"
This four-fold exploration of the passage I term wisdom enquiries from which the aspirant will most likely have arrived at a truth of wisdom applicable to his-her life. This wisdom enquiry process is, in the abstract, a matter of transforming intuitive, inarticulate knowing to conscious, articulate understanding, and from there, onwards to heights and depths of which we've never dreamed.
So what we have in these wisdom enquiries is not so much an intellectual discipline or study, but rather an intuitional transformation. The task is to bring forth into the light of conscious awareness from our sub-pre-consciousness the truths of our intuitive mind – what I term as our transconscious. From this source derives the wisdom of our species, the eternality of our being, the immortality of our death.
Accordingly, these enquiries, as mentioned, is called wisdom enquiries; and the personal process through which this human-transcendent wisdom will be called self-enquiry.
In closing, the enquirist's comments on these passages are only explorations, interpretations, and impressions, and are not to be taken as necessary truths; nor will every passage be completely thought through. As a matter of fact,
the enquirist tends to raise more questions than to frame answers; thereby, leaving the participant to arrive at his own truths, his own self-understanding. Accordingly, the participants' contribution is, of course, crucial to this process of enquiry, otherwise their intuitive truths remain dormant.
A person who believes himself or herself qualified to preside over a small group, or one per- son, can take the passages from the books on this site -- and to be published – and formulate his or her own enquiries. But I caution those persons to be well prepared to explain the passages they choose for discussion, as well as related and projected matter pertinent to the passage; otherwise the participants will not return. You do not have to know all the answers related to a passage, but you do have to have pertinent questions that will lead to reasonable interpretations by yourself or by the others. These interpretations are not to be patchwork, or random passages but must fall under an overall psychological or philosophical worldview that your fellow participants are interested in.
A SAMPLE OF AN ACTUAL RECORDED ENQUIRY SESSION
[Four young men and women in their early twenties]
[This discussion proceeds after reading a passage on morals with
Joseph as the moderator]
Joseph: We're now going into the realm of morals after our excursions into the "murky" subjects of evil, sex, and the need to be needed.
Now as an introduction, as we look at people in general, I think we can observe three or four basic types: the predominantly intellectual type, the predominantly emotional type, the predominantly active type; and the pre-dominantly intuitive type.
Now most people, as the world is, I would say are predominantly active in the sense that the active life of affairs, work, entertainment, social services, and the like, take up more of their interest than do the affairs of intellectual, emotional, and intuitive matters. By "intellectual," I mean matters of love for ideas as expressed in philosophy, science, literature, and so forth; by "emotional," I mean love of expression of emotions and feelings as felt and expressed through poetry, music, art, dance, drama, and so forth. And the person who is predominantly intuitive is one who is mostly reflective, contemp- lative, meditative, who has a degree of insight and vision into human live, life in general, and existence. Any one of the other types: emotional, intellectual, active, can have a more or less strong strain of intuitive insight. such a person is concerned, whether he knows it or not, more with wisdom than with knowl- edge: meaning that the truths and meaning that he comes to understand about the world, he transforms into a living, practical reality in his life and conduct.
Anthony: [You mean] the person who reads between the lines; not reading the exact words only, not deriving knowledge only, but making the connec- tions from the particular knowledge to a more universal sense of reality.
Joseph: That's right; and applies that knowing to his life so that it can help him turn into the man (or woman) that he aspires to be. This wisdom grows and grows [in him], and be- comes more and more encompassing in his or her life.
So, back to our original point that most people are more active than any- thing else compared to their intellect or emotions. And if these people are concerned with, aspire to, to some degree a spiritual height or widening consciousness, then what would be the connection in their daily activities to get to that higher reality? Goodness, wouldn't you think? Goodness as regards justice, and the other social virtues: generosity, courage, honesty, consideration, sincerity, altruism, patience, integrity, etc. The intellectually predominant per- son isn't as concerned with the virtues as the active person since he tends to live a more reclusive, contemplative life, and so does not prefer to deal with people mostly. Almost similarly with the emotional, sensitive type; he often is too vulnerable to the raw, vulgar realities of life; and so, on that basis, is not balanced enough to live and deal with people in close proximity, or comfortably with people; nor does he know how to very well. He appears to others as an eccentric, ill-adjusted to social propriety and niceties, and the like. But the active person has ample opportunity to deal with people of all types, with behavior of all types; and so if he is concerned with justice and sincerity and honesty, and all the rest of the social virtues, he has enough material to work with in relation to others and to himself; by which I mean: is he going to be generous or stingy in a given situation; is he going to tell the truth or lie; be honest or cheat, be controlled in his anger or give vent to it, and so forth.
Such an active person might concern himself in such social issues as eutha- nasia, abortion, premarital sex, business ethics, and the like.
Now what is the connection between the goodness, the morality, the jus- tice, of an individual and his spiritual sense and quest? Well, if a person, so inclined, acts according to his principles, what he feels to be morally right, he is bound to feel fine in doing so; strong, if in so abiding by to his principles, he has to sacrifice his own good for another's good, or for a worthy cause.
He feels a sense of control over his destiny, a feeling of power over the hap- hazardness of events; his justice has triumphed over injustice, his order has gained a victory over disorder; he is contributing to the good and order of the world. His acts, he feels, are unifying, principled, rational. He is the warrior, the advocate of goodness in the world. There is a beauty to his goodness, a harmony; and this beauty and harmony lead to a sense of love and oneness with mankind. His goodness seems connected to unity in life; and since he sees this unity feels, manifested by the order in and of life, and in and of the universe -- he can easily take the next step into postulating God as the source of this unity, or is this unity Himself (or Itself). And as a man of goodness, this individual feels that in his acts of goodness or virtue, he is contributing, is an agent of, the God of unity. Goodness binds, unifies, harmonizes, human be- ings; and so is a living manifestation of the divine Unity of existence.
I think that this analysis of goodness is related to the philosophy of God as being the Good in Plato's philosophy, because of the basic, cohesive mean- ing of the term "good.
So, this connection between goodness and God indicates the importance of studying morality, virtue, ethics; not only in its practical applications, but in its metaphysical and spiritual meaning -- Note that Spinoza titled his great metaphysical work Ethics -- which is hardly about ethics as we normally think
of it. And so it seems that one who practices justice, one who aspires to goodness, integrity, is living what we might consider a godlike existence; is approximating the nature of God as unity; since, as I've mentioned, goodness is a unifying element in human life.
This matter of goodness is but one side of life and existence; we also have to consider evil as its counterpart; and how it fits in with this notion of God as the Good, or as Unity. This we will get into as we explore the subject of ethics further.
Joseph. Can one's moral ideals, or ideal image, be a hindrance to his well-being? For example, a person who wants to tell the absolute truth because he wants to get close to perfection or certainty, which are offshoot concepts of the Divine,-- would his attitude be a hindrance to his progress toward a higher, broader consciousness of the Soul of the world? Or does he have to realize that in this world of flux, of cause and effect, of oppo- sites and diversity, and contingencies of all sorts, that the truth just can't be told absolutely? Or do you have to be an absolutist in the moral realm to be a spiritual-minded person, a transcendentalist?
It seems that as I'm asking these questions, they're turning out to be almost rhetorical questions, aren't they?
Anthony. In order to be moral, you don't necessarily have to be spiritual; but in order to be spiritual, there has to be morality.
Joseph. Agreed. But a question is: Why do you have to be moral to be spiri- tual? Why can't one be a scoundrel, and evilist, so to speak, Like Genet, and be spiritual?
Anthony. To be spiritual, and I consider myself as such, is to be a disciple of Truth. I'm searching for the Truth; that's my final objective, whatever Truth may turn out to be; the Truth may turn out to be that the whole thing is just a dream, a falsehood, an illusion.
Joseph. Are you talking about truth with a capital 'T', or the truths of life as well?
Anthony. Both. If there isn't a Truth of a God to begin with, or of a supreme, essential Reality, there wouldn't be a capital 'T' with the truth; for the truth would be that there is no final, absolute Truth, with a capital 'T'. And this is my goal.
Joseph I might add, just as a sideline, by your "goal," would that be your intellectual goal, your emotional goal, your intuitive, or active goal? Because if you're primarily an active person, you would find your Truth through selfless action dedicated to this Truth. Or if your goal was mainly intellectual knowledge of this Truth that you're seeking, then you would read and contemplate and discuss the truths of reality, or the Truth of reality, whichever you came to be- lieve the Truth to be: either absolute or relative.
Anthony. For myself, I have all these tendencies that lead to this Truth: the intellectual interest, the emotional feeling, the active doing.
Joseph. Good. Now what if I said that the only way you could find this Truth, this God, is to go beyond reason, beyond emotion, beyond action; that the direct route to this Truth is through no-thought, and through egolessness -- the dissolving of your ego interests and concerns? Indirectly you might reach this Truth through your intellect, through your emotions, through your good works; but you will not experience the essence of this Truth except through egoless- ness. Now would you take the direct route if I convinced you of what I'm saying about egolessness? and you will find this Truth, and it will "set you free," as Christ said; and you will be able to live your days out in the hands of your God. You don't have to go through all this falderal of intellectualizing this Truth: no speculation, no theories, no metaphysics, no science, no philosophy. All you have do is get in a meditative state of mind for life. Could you do it?
Anthony. No, I would not do it.
Joseph. Now what do we conclude from that?
Geoffrey. That he is one who has to go through the long route, through the labyrinth rather than through the secret door.
Joseph. So, you don't really want Truth as Truth; you want to find the fascinating, colorful ways to the Truth; the ways that give you your sense of meaning, your sense of well-being; your suffering, too; you'll want that.
Geoffrey. But as we said, these are [individual] truths -- [in the plural; truths that he will find. He will get truth out of his search, but not the ground of those truths, the essence of them --Truth itself.]
Anthony. May I ask a question? What makes this way quicker than that way: in the way I'm progressing: living with my thoughts, coming to these discussions, reading spiritual literature?
Geoffrey. Because the way of egolessness, or self-transcendence, goes directly to the Truth; it's an arrow going right to the target, and you don't have to look backwards, and hold a mirror to do it; it would take more time to aim your shot right if you could do that. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and egolessness is that straight line; and so obviously is going to be shorter, quicker, than saying, "Well, I have to spend a month now absorbed in what Nietzsche said; and after I've finished with Nietzsche, then, oh, time to go on to Schopenhauer of course, then to Wittgenstein and 'The world is all that is the case.'" Then after them, you might have to get into Shakespeare, what he meant and connect his King Lear to evil; and from there to Genet, and on and on.
Anthony. That's all intellectual.
Geoffrey. If you have that intellectual bent in you, then you're going to have to go this route, because you deal with all these views that help you out in your progress toward the Spirit.
Anthony. Well, we can eliminate that, because I'm not that bent toward reading books; in fact, reading is rather difficult for me. So that's not my way.
Joseph. So knowledge of the Way, or the Truth, is not so important to you?
Anthony. Yes, it is. Knowledge might help me to express myself in this realm of truth; [though it's not my main way].
Holly. Okay. I want the Truth really bad, and I want to get there the quickest, most direct way. so I tell you, "Yes, I'll start this evening, do whatever you say to get me there, because this is what I want." Now, can you guarantee me that I'm going to reach this Truth? I want It very badly, but I might not have gone through what I have to.
Joseph. You're asking me hypothetically?
Joseph. No, I couldn't guarantee that for you. I would have to know you more, knowing whether you could take a direct route or not. You would have to come to me saturated, intoxicated, dazed, stunned, transfixed, in this Truth before I could are say that you are definitely ready for the direct route; since there could be nothing more you could do but go directly to It. But if you're an average person who wants this Truth, then I can't say, "Well, okay, it's been my way through reading and meditation; and so, that is the way; it works for me, but it may not for you. Are you predominantly intellectual, more emotional, more active, more intuitive, more devotional, more prone to ritual than con- templation, and so forth." This is where psychology comes in . Just where do you fit in relation to your character, your frame of mind? You might take a route that doesn't fit your particular temperament, and you'll be very frustrated. There are variant radiations of this Truth. In most cases, I would say we can't go that direct route of arrow to the target. We do have to go through our humanity and find out who we are in relation to the world, to life, before we can find out who we are in relation to this Truth, this God.
Perhaps one day we might have a type of psychologist who will have the requisite know- ledge of temperament and of human nature in general in relation to the issues, not only of sex and personality dysfunction, but of evil and of need; and have the wisdom to guide people to this Truth or Wisdom according to their unique temperament, constitution, and mind. This new psychologist would have the spiritual psychology as well as the human psy- chology of human nature. He would have to be a very rounded individual. He wouldn't say, "Follow me; I have the answer," for the simple reason that the individual in question might have a different bent than he has. His task is to open the inward spiritual door of the individual according to his own natural self, to offer alternatives, possibilities.
Does that answer your question?
Joseph. Good. Now to return to what I might term as our transcendent psychologist.
There seems to be a need of such a psychologist to treat -- if that's the word -- the growing number of individuals who are spiritual-minded, but who do not, nor cannot, fit into the dogmatic, theological, ritualistic religious mold. They can't regiment themselves to a dogma that they don't need. This is one of the major problems of our day, and one that must soon be dealt with. I remember reading that the great psychiatrist Carl Jung said that most of his patients over forty years old had at bottom a spiritual unresolved problem that he himself could not help them with. To me, this idea of a transcendent psychologist is related to the beginnings of psychoanalysis which began for a specific pur- pose, for the advancement of man's understanding. We could call this trans- cendent psychologist a doctor of the spirit or soul. should such a doctor open an office, or what?
Geoffrey. Take the individual who is 60 to 75 percent transcendent, and the rest humanist; and he is the transcendent humanist. Now what is the perfect occupation for a transcendent humanist? To be a transcendent psychologist. Now, if you're going to be that, then you obviously have to open an office, somewhere so that people can come to you. Is such a new psychology possible? Yes. Important? Tremendously, because there are the individuals who can't go to the priest, and can't go to the psychiatrist, because neither are going to understand his existential situation deeply enough. The transcendent psychologist is the in-between the priest and the psychologist or psychiatrist; and we don't have such a person in today's society. And he's the kind of person who is required for the individual who we [the priest, psychologist, psychiatrist] don't know what to do with.
Holly. Aren't these the people who are joining so many of the new religions, encounter groups, and so forth?
Joseph. Yes, exactly. They join the various cults and sects. They're looking for answers that the mainstream religions can't give them. And many of these people eventually become disenchanted with more methods and ways that are standardized according to the leader of these groups. So this transcendent psychologist has to be able to touch the spiritual nerve of the individual, his particular malaise, melancholy, perplexity.
Now further, does this new psychologist charge a fee? If not, then he is going to have to maintain his practice only part-time.
Holly. There would be a charge, of course; but not a $75 fee that psycholo- gists are charging now. He should be paid enough to support his staying in a modest location; not to enrich himself.
Geoffrey. A fixed fee that goes up with the cost of living. So, if there's a ten percent increase in the cost of living, his fee goes up 10%; so that he's always with what is the minimum cost of living.
Joseph. Which means there is no large staff, no luxurious office and furniture.
It has to be that way. with the psychologist and psychiatrist, we can understand that they have to have the facade and image; but not this transcendent psy- chologist, because his representation is as a man or woman of Transcend-ence, of wisdom. He has to be first and foremost what he is teaching, and that is wisdom, Transcendence; just as Freud was very much of a neurotic (his own admittance to Jung), which made him understand neurosis so profoundly.
So this new psychologist is primarily concerned with his transcendence; so, for him to be concerned for profit by his profession shows more a concern for profit than for his transcendence.
Geoffrey. Such a person would have to begin his training at a very young age.
SELECTED WISDOM QUOTATIONS
The following selected quotations are selected for wisdom enquiries under three main categories: our humanness, our transcendence, and our human-transcendence, and these three, under two sub-categories: eminent persons and perceptive persons from all walks of life, past
I:1 F. Scott Fitzgerald / American novelist
And in the end, we were all just humans...Drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness.
I:2 Henri J.M. Nouwen / Dutch writer
Addiction might be the best word to explain the lostness that so deeply per- meates society. Our addiction make us cling to what the world proclaims as the keys to self-fulfillment: accumulation of wealth and power; attainment of status and admiration; lavish consumption of food and drink, and sexual gra- tification without distinguishing between lust and love. These addictions create expectations that cannot but fail to satisfy our deepest needs. As long as we live within the world's delusions, our addictions condemn us to futile quests in "the distant country," leaving us to face ains unfulfilled. In these days of in-
creasing addictions, we have wandered far away from our Father's home. The addicted life can aptly be designated a life lived in "a distant country". It is from there that our cry for deliverance rises up.
I:3 Hermann Hesse / novelist
We must become so alone, so utterly alone, that we withdraw into our inner-most self. It is a way of bitter suffering. But then our solitude is overcome, we are no longer alone, for we find that our innermost self is the spirit, that it is God, the indivisible. And suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of the world, yet undisturbed by its multiplicity, for our innermost soul we know ourselves to be one with all being.
I:4 Octavio Paz / Mexican poet-diplomat and writer
It is always difficult to give oneself up; few persons anywhere ever succeed in doing so, and even fewer transcend the possessive stage to know love for what it actually is: a perpetual discovery, and immersion in the waters of reality, an unending re-creation.
I:5 Rumi / Persian poet
Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.
I:6 Nietzsche / German philosopher/psychologist
Did you ever say yes to a pleasure? oh my friends, then you also said yes to all pain. all things are linked, entwined, in love with one another.
I:7 Simone de Beauvoir / French novelist-philosopher
On the day when it will be possible for woman to love not in her weakness but in her strength, not to escape herself but to find herself, not to abase herself but to assert herself -- on that day love will become for her, as for man, a source of life and not of mortal dang- er."
I:8 Dostoyevsky / Russian novelist
Man is a mystery. It needs to be unravelled, and if you spend your whole life unravelling it, don't say that you've wasted time. I am studying that mystery because I want to be a human being.
I:9 Anaïs Nin / American author
There are many ways to be free. One of them is to transcend reality by imagination, as I try to do.
II:1 As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all - the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them.
II:2 A consequence of female self-love is that the woman grows convinced of social worth. Her love for her body will be unqualified, which is the basis of female identification. If a woman loves her own body, she doesn't grudge what other women do with theirs; if she loves femaleness, she champions its rights. It's true what they say about women: Women are insatiable. We are greedy. Our appetites do need to be controlled if things are to stay in place. If the world were ours too, if we believed we could get away with it, we would ask for more love, more sex, more money, more commitment to children, more food, more care. These sexual, emotional, and physical demands would begin to extend to social demands: payment for care of the elderly, parental leave, childcare, etc. The force of female desire would be so great that society would truly have to reckon with what women want, in bed and in the world.
II:3. "You make me laugh, with your metaphysical anguish, its just that you're scared silly, frightened of life, of men of action, of action itself, of lack of order. But everything is disor- der, dear boy. Vegetable, mineral and animal, all disorder, and so is the multitude of human races, the life of man, thought, history, wars, inventions, business and the arts, and all theories, passions and systems. Its always been that way. Why are you trying to make something out of it? And what will you make? what are you looking for? There is no Truth. There's only action, action obeying a million different impulses, ephemeral action, action subjected to every possible and imaginable contingency and contradiction, Life. Life is crime, theft, jealousy, hunger, lies, disgust, stupidity, sickness, volcanic eruptions, earth quakes, piles of corpses. What can you do about it, my poor friend?"
II:4. For one thing is needful: that a human being should attain satisfaction with himself, whether it be by means of this or that poetry or art; only then is a human being at all tolerable to behold. Whoever is dissatisfied with himself is constantly ready for revenge, and we others will be his victims, if only by having to endure his ugly sight.
II:5 The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.
II:6 Who would then deny that when I am sipping tea in my tearoom I am swallowing the whole universe with it and that this very moment of my lifting
the bowl to my lips is eternity itself transcending time and space.
II:7 Time has no dominion over love. Love is the one thing that transcends time.