To understand the way that concepts are dreamed up and then drive thoughts and words and deeds, one must understand the way that the “mind” has devolved over the millennia from being an asset to a liability among humankind. (“Mind” is placed in quote marks since it is not real but is just a conglomeration of fictional ideas and beliefs.)
The following description of part of the content of the book There’s No Such Thing as Peace of Mind (There Is Only Peace if You’re Out of Your Mind) addresses the problem of the “mind” as it now functions:
The book explores the history of the human brain, including the fact that for millions of years, human and human-like beings functioned without any mind. The book uncovers the ways that the brain evolved over the ages and developed an ability to store and retrieve memories. It then shows how the original memories were used constructively but how programming and conditioning changed all that and created a "mind" that most often overrules the brain and generates relative-existence harm and destruction.
Similarly, the book shows the way that personality develops during childhood as a means for survival and adaptation but later becomes a liability when those childhood personality traits continue to drive adult thinking and behavior.
Ultimately, the book shows why Advaitin sages for centuries have correctly identified the "problems of the planet" as being rooted in body-mind-personality identification and offers suggestions for being free of all of that nonsense via Realization.
Now that the relative problem with the “mind” is understood, consider the definitions of “concept” in order to understand the distortions that are produced by the “mind / concept” connection:
“A concept is a unit of thought, formed by mentally combining some or all the characteristics of a concrete or abstract, real or imaginary object. Concepts exist in the mind as abstract entities independent of terms used to express them.”
“A concept is something retained in the mind from experience and/or imagination.”
“A concept is something conceived in the mind, as in a thought or notion, especially when it concerns generalization from particular instances.”
“A concept is the mental representation of beings, things, qualities, actions, locations, situations, relations, etc.”
Consider first, “A concept is a unit of thought, formed by mentally combining some or all the characteristics of a concrete or abstract, real or imaginary object. Concepts exist in the mind as abstract entities independent of terms used to express them.”
In the book FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE (A Seven Step Journey to Reality), the transcripts of a series of satsang sessions are offered. The organizer arranged the use of a large meeting room at a church which also hosted twelve-step meetings throughout the week.
The 35-45 minute satsang sessions were to be conducted over several weeks as all seven steps on the "path" to Realization were to be discussed. (As usual, the number of seekers in attendance diminished as the weeks passed, and those attending the last sessions were small enough in number for those final meetings to be conducted at home.)
While sessions were still being held at the church, a member of a twelve-step group heard about what he would characterize as “my blasphemous teachings” going on next door, so he came in to disrupt the sessions and to defend his conceptualized god.
[Note: The teachings in his group’s literature include the advice to “choose your own concept of God.” He joined most persons in such groups who ignore the fact that the same literature says that most of their founders did not consider their “Higher Power” to be a personal god but considered it to be an “inner resource”—not unlike Advaita’s “inner guru”.]
Again, “a concept is a unit of thought, formed by mentally combining some or all the characteristics of a concrete or abstract, real or imaginary object. Concepts exist in the mind as abstract entities independent of terms used to express them.”
So a concept of anything—in this case, of “a god”—is actually nothing more than “a thought” in the “mind” (which is a collection of false beliefs) and results in the taking of an “abstraction” (such as an “imaginary” personal god) and assigning a "concrete" nature to that which is an abstract conceptualization. Then, in “the mind,” that abstract entity is taken to be real and personal and physical and tangible and material.
In that man's group, there can be as many concepts as there are persons: there can be the concept of a mean, vengeful god; there can be the concept of a “celestial-Santa-Claus god” who is kind and giving; there can be the concept of an “absentee god” who operates in the style of the police and is never there when you really need him; or there can be the concept of a dualistic, judgmental god that knows if you've been "good" or "bad" and will reward or punish accordingly.
The man became quite angry when it was pointed out that “choosing your own concept” was tantamount to “just making it up.” And that is the problem with concepts: they are just made up, just dreamed up by persons, and then they are passed along as truth to the masses who accept learned ignorance as fact because of their blind faith that preempts questioning anything taught by an authority figure.
Though the fellow in his meetings shared the ways that his god gave him peace and serenity, his words and actions the day he interrupted the satsang sessions proved that there was no validity at all to his claims.
And though his literature suggests casting aside “ideas and emotions and attitudes” (that is, beliefs), it was quite obvious that his concepts, ideas, emotions and beliefs were totally in charge, dis-empowering a person who was convinced that he had power via “his Power.”
And that is always the case when persons are operating under the auspices of their dreamed up concepts and ideas and beliefs: they will be emotionally intoxicated and will walk about in ignorance, believing that they are enlightened (that is, believing that they are being bathed in the light of the noonday sun) though they really cannot see clearly since they are actually standing in the limited light of the dawn. Please enter the silence of contemplation. (To be continued)
[The discussion of the call for de-conceptualization will continue on Friday after having returning from a business trip.]
For more information or to order, click:
DVD or Downloadable computer file versions of the Four-Day Advaita Retreat
SIX WAYS THAT SEEKERS HAVE REALIZED:
1. BY WATCHING the 4-Disk Video (DVD) Set, or the same retreat available as a downloadable file. Either will provide an entire seven-hour retreat / series of satsang sessions showing three seekers being guided through all seven steps by Floyd and can provide viewers with an “experiential,” step-by-step series of satsang meetings that will move the viewers from identification with the I to abidance as the Absolute and then to abidance as That Which Is beyond
Some seekers are already using the computer file version and the DVD sets for meetings in groups in homes, playing the retreat, pausing for discussion, etc.
To find out more or to purchase the DVD set or the downloadable computer file version of the retreat, click:
DVD or Downloadable computer file versions of the Four-Day Advaita Retreat
Option “A” is for the downloadable file version, Option “B” is used to order the DVD set for delivery inside the U.S., Option “C” for international orders.
For the download, Paypal will send me a notice that payment has been received and then I will send by e-mail the downloading instruction, password, etc.
[It is recommended that you watch the video with pen and paper in hand. Write whatever you need clarified. You'll see that there are constant reviews and you might find an answer later in the seven-hour presentation. Then, after you watch it all, there will be a common ground for discussion. Purchase of the DVD’s or the file will include the right to clarifications and answers to your specific questions via e-mail.]
2. BY READING these books in this exact order:
IT'S ALL BULLSHIT (And Why Knowing It Sets You Free)
SPIRITUAL SOBRIETY (Recovering What Religions Lost)
[Those two prepare the seeker to question it all]
THE MEDITATION GUIDES
[Provide a broad overview of the understanding]
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I DIE?
[Begins to free the seeker of body identification and the desire for body continuity]
THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS "PEACE OF MIND" (There Is Only Peace if You're Out of Your Mind)
[Shows the seeker how to be free of the subconscious motivators of the false content of the “mind”]
[Shows the seeker how to be free of the subconscious motivators of personas]
THE ESSENCE OF THE TEACHINGS
[Provides the final preparation for the seeker to be directed along the “path”]
FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE (A Seven-Step Journey to Reality)
[Directs the seeker along the “path”]
CONSCIOUSNESS/AWARENESS: The Nature of Reality Beyond Self-Realization (Peace Every Day When Abiding as The Absolute)
[Allows the seeker to understand the functioning of the totality, the manifestation, and what is involved with the un-manifestation]
FROM THE ABSOLUTE TO THE NOTHINGNESS
[Provides the seeker the wisdom to understand the Noneness as well as the Oneness]
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3. BY ENROLLING in the Online Advaita Classes
For information, visit Information on the Advaita Classes on the Internet
To enroll visit Enroll in the Advaita Internet Course
4. BY ATTENDING an Advaitin retreat for satsang with floyd and being guided through all seven steps. For details of the retreats offered, please visit the retreat information site.
5. BY ARRANGING satsang by telephone in the U.S. or by Skype internationally:
Use the Contact link for details or for information on making arrangements for a session
6. BY ARRANGING for floyd to travel to your location and meet with you or your group. Use the contact link above to discuss details.