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Dhamma Niyāma – The Law of Holiness

Dhamma Niyama - The Law of Perfection

As choices become more consistent and as the mind becomes more capable of making intelligent kammical calculations that are in alignment with those choices, individuality reaches its peak. Ultimately the mind will then seek to know, what the worthiest of goals to aspire to is.

Hence it sets out to study life with an aim to acquire knowledge of things unchanging and through that perhaps come to a realisation of life’s meaning and goal.

Consequently, again the mind formulates concepts regarding the good and the bad and the right and the wrong way of proceeding. So becomes good or right, whatever seems to lead to the realisation of higher truths, while bad or wrong becomes whatever appears to lead away from such realisation. And as it starts thus, whatever appears to be an obstruction, is studied for the purpose of overcoming it, whatever appears to be an aid or support on the way to the aimed-at realisation, is studied for the purpose of reproducing it or for the end of being able to make use of it more efficiently.

Studying thus, the mind begins to recognise, that there is some correspondence between the inner subjective world and the outer world of objects. And following that track, it begins to distinguish certain universal elements of experience.

First, its focus lands on matter. And there, for the first time, it begins to clearly recognise, that all matter can be reduced to four primary material qualities.

Earth being the most obvious to be recognised as matter, but water is quickly understood to be a form of matter too. Yet, upon deeper thought, the wind that blows through the world and the fire that, at times may be daily lit, becomes understood to too belong to the sphere of matter.

And as this first truth of nature has been discovered, the mind begins to see, that this truth is not just a truth of the nature without, but equally can be experienced within. Hence it tries to classify new experiences, both in the world without and within, more often in accordance with these newly discovered truths.

Then, as the mind studies thus those elements in nature, it notices, that these elements can exist in a condition of balance and harmony with each other, but occasionally become imbalanced and then begin to work one against the other. And perceiving the former condition in most cases as the preferable one, the mind makes experiments as to how to balance those elements more efficiently and how to counteract the many times threat-full condition of the disruption of the balance.

Consequently, as the mind succeeds with its endeavour to balance those elements and due to that finds itself more often surrounded by conditions of balance, it becomes aware of a yet more subtle universal element, which, too seems to exist both within and without. Thus it starts recognising that there is an element of life. This is what animates matter. This is what makes the human and the squirrel as one, nay, even the human and the shrub and the stem of corn.

Conceiving thus, the mind dives deeper still to investigate what this life actually is that all living creatures seem to share. And thus it learns to observe life as living processes. It learns that all life feeds on something. First of all, all life gets born. But then, all life eats, assimilates what it ate in order to move and to grow, and, once grown, it usually seeks to reproduce itself, to yet in the end slowly diminish in strength and gradually fall dead to the ground. These are the natural processes of life.

Yet, the mind too discerns, that there are more ideal lives, and less ideal ones, more ideal working outs of those processes and less ideal ones. And comprehending that such is the case, the mind makes experiments as to how to improve the natural working out of life both without and within.

As it does so, the mind begins to detect, that there is a mind involved with life. In fact, upon closer observation, it finds, that there is not just one mind, but many minds.

Thus it perceives, that based upon the nature of the life-process, there exists a mind particular to that process. Within, involved with the digestive process or the organs of digestion, there exists some particular mind that concerns itself with food and nourishment. Involved with the organs of reproduction exists another mind that is interested in all things of a sexual nature; involved with each organ of sense, there exist yet different minds, each with its particular likes and dislikes in regards to its respective sphere; while involved with the organ and the processes of the brain there exists still another mind. This one seeks to govern, or put into order all the rest.

And as the mind already realised that the world without and the world within are somewhat equal in their ways, the mind henceforth will look for, or at least believe in minds that may exist also in the processes of nature without.

But as the mind continues its studies of nature and natural processes, it further realises, that although each of those minds has its definite purpose, the last, that is, the ordering and governing one, is the most sublime and important one of all. And as that gets more attention, that slowly grows and develops.

Accordingly, it begins to see, that that mind seeking to order those lesser minds, acquires dominion over them not only in relation to the present, but equally, tries to guide their condition towards an ordered future.

Gradually then, that mind, remembering the past, taking note of the present and thinking of the future, begins to realise certain facts about life. It starts to, more often, witness instances of the great spiritual messengers of life; that is, birth, sickness, old age and death. And it too learns about the duality of good and evil.

And as good is perceived as being distinct from bad, sooner or later it is pursued. And, pursuing good, an inner joy starts to occasionally arise and loftier feelings follow.

Furthermore, with the experience of joy, and with the experience of loftier feelings, the mind’s horizon is progressively expanding. Then, it too feels less of the body, wherefore its identification with the body lessens. Hence, at times it begins to wonder about the possibility of an existence of the mind independent of the body. Consequently, occasionally it undertakes to make certain calculations regarding possible conditions of the mind after death.

One of its earliest investigations leads it to a consideration regarding the difference between a possible after-death-life of an evil mind against one that is good.

But later it too realises other patterns, such as what the difference between a mind inclining towards material things, as opposed to a mind directed at nobler things would mean in relation to an after-death-life world.

Slowly, based on its discernment of different conditions of consciousness, the mind gains glimpses of a hell that is equivalent to a mental condition of utter inner cleavage and suffering, as opposed to a heaven of perfect inner peace and at-oneness. Realising thus, naturally the mind will determine to avoid anything which might lead to the former condition, while the latter becomes the more appealing the more it is understood.

All this our discerning mind perceives as a natural progression of the path towards perfection.

Yet, with the progression of insight, comprehending more and more how present mind-states and intentions relate to future experiences, the mind begins to become more focused on realising the workings of the will.

Little by little it realises the intricacies between willing and experiences and experiences and willing. That is, how the will (directed towards phenomena; that is, mental and material things) creates experiences (that is, phenomena existing as objects for consciousness) and how experiences in turn condition the arising of a will, or more often, of many wills.

And seeing the endlessness and uncertainty of that cycle, the mind sees more and more the suffering nature therein. As a consequence, it begins to more deliberately remove both all wills and all experiences which may lead to undesirable wills and experiences in the future. In that process, it realises that all wills arise from a store of latent dispositions and that by considering experiences in a universal light or in matters of ultimate truth and natural law, seeing the suffering in all things transient, latent wills become purified from the stain of revolving around transient phenomena and a singular illusory self. Thus all suffering and all that is less than perfect becomes gradually transcended.

Yet, this process of purification usually is accomplished in stages. Wherein the first stage is accomplished when, having glimpsed ‘a life’ beyond the personal, the belief in the ‘ultimateness’ of the self is destroyed, doubt about the essence of the spiritual life is destroyed, as well as superstition and all forms of belief in wrong practices for a proposed spiritual development. This accomplishment is called ‘entering into the stream’ (Sotāpatti magga).

Emphasising thus ultimate truth and ever seeking to go beyond the veil of the phenomenal world, gradually the passions, especially of greed and hatred start to diminish. A stage which is called Sakadāgāmī (‘One who returns only once’).

When all the passions related to sense-sphere existence are entirely destroyed, the third stage of enlightenment is reached. And a person who has attained this stage is called an Anāgāmī (‘Non-returner’). After the attainment of this stage, only fetters of attachment to the higher stages of meditation, as well as minor imperfections of character, as restlessness and pride, along with the last bit of ignorance regarding spiritual perfection is left. And when these are eliminated, a person is called an Arahat, a ‘Holy One’.


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