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Conscience and Intuition (Sila-,Samadhi-,Pañña-Sikkha)

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Very often people find it difficult to find a point of contact in their own experience with certain ideas that they yet consider to be somewhat important to know about. So in this blog, I try to give some clue about how to consider about two very important faculties of mind: ‘Conscience’ and ‘Intuition’.

Therein ‘Conscience’ means a certain feeling in regards to what is right and wrong. While ‘Intuition’ means a certain knowing that goes deeper than what is presented by the senses.

Anchoring Right and Wrong Regarding a certain Subject into the Body

In order to be able to feel what is right or wrong in regards to a certain subject, one has to learn to use ones bodily feelings as a feedback mechanism of truth.

F.ex. leading an ordained life, first we want to establish right and wrong in regards to the practice of virtuous conduct, then right and wrong in regards to the factors of samadhi and perhaps later right and wrong in regards to the factors relevant for insight and awakening.

When knowledge is thus processed through the tool of the body, the conscious mind can be used for new purposes. On the one hand side, it will make living life much more easy, as one does not have to fear to loose control in a manner, that would cause disorganised behaviour, …leading to undesirable results,….on the other hand, it can be used as a basis for the systematic development of the higher faculties.

When the right (in regard to a certain subject or objective) is firmly established,…that is, it has become automatic,…a flow condition can come about, which in relation to meditation is called Jhāna or Samadhi.

One Example of making a concept of virtue real

You hear from someone that killing other living beings, is bad…but your reason tells you, that if you catch yourself a chicken from the forest, chop off the head and roast it on a nice little fire,… this makes you free, this makes you independent…only good seems to follow… But then, instinct or reason might drive you back into contact with other people, and being in contact with other people, you might perhaps as occasion permits, meet people who appear to be superior to other people…people who are more sensitive and in tune with life..and you may find that each such person holds a similar view in regard to killing other beings,…that is, …rather condemning it… Acquiring a certain sense of admiration towards such person of superior standing, will start to make the idea or concept regarding not killing more of a reality. That is, his organism will start to respond to the thought.

Participating thus in the reality of superior persons, a person starts getting a sense of a freedom that is more lofty than the former one,…a freedom, not of nature and the body, but a freedom of a spirit that is less bound to nature and the body.

This way both the brain (as the receiver and processor of outside impressions) and the heart (or in a more modern way the sympathetic nervous system as a whole)(as the seat of emotions…in the example…wholesome emotions of admiration)) work together …bringing about an experience of a sense of unity perhaps utterly unknown before (It is thus that the spiritual faculties develop).

A similar thing applies with regard to the mind, wherein you might observe either within yourself or even without in other people, the beauty and superiorness of an upright, unconditional and non-judgemental mind and seeing thus certain concepts regarding the mind become more real to you.

Later still you develop right and wrong in regard to view,…wherein you become sensitive as to whether a view is in accordance with that element of purity, that you have trained in beforehand,…whether a view is universal or sectarian…whether it leads to greater understanding or more narrowness, fear and confusion.

If you start feeling unpleasant feelings whenever you do something wrong,.. that is your success in practicing the training of virtue….if you start feeling unpleasant feelings whenever you feel inside yourself feelings of sluggishness or unclarity or non-uprightness, that is your success in the training of mind…And if you start feeling unpleasant feelings, whenever you perceive inside yourself views that are not leading to goodness, to harmony, to greater understanding, that is your success in training in right view.

And equally the other way around, whenever you see yourself doing deeds, which accord with your training in virtue, if you practice rightly, pleasant feelings will arise….whenever you perceive inside yourself states or conditions, that accord with your training of mind, if you practice rightly, there will arise pleasant feelings. And so too with the training in right view,..where, whenever you experience inside yourself views or ways of looking at an issue that accord with your training in right view, if you practice rightly, there will be pleasant feelings arising in you.

From that point onwards, search for truth, always will go hand in hand with purification of body and mind, never solely by reading or listening.

Enquiry

You feel into your body and ask, yourself ‘Am I virtuous?’….if a pleasant feeling arises, that will be your positive answer, if an unpleasant feeling arises, that will force you to make further enquires…’How can I become more virtuous?’ Dependent on knowledge acquired previously, a perception may arise, presenting you with an option of producing a counter-kamma to your unvirtousness.

Of course, this can also be applied in meditation,..for example you get some experience within and you ask yourself, how should I relate to that…and if there is no good answer coming from within you, you try to find an answer without, either in books or by asking knowledgeable people.

Deep self-inquiry is thus precisely this testing things out by this mechanism, establishing a dialogue between mind and body.

If you become thus skilled in your kamma and your training, you will become truly independent. You will be able to truly know yourself.

In a condition of culture, this will establish you as a knowledgeable person and you will know who is superior to you and who is not .

Training thus, a person starts becoming an incomparable field of merit for the world.

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