One of our online participants brought in some interesting references to reasoning from Vivekananda which I thought would be well worth sharing. So herewith his post, and my response…
Some thoughts on reason from a Yogic point of view are presented by Vivekananda in Raja Yoga from his Complete Works. His approach was rooted in intellectual rigor, and his complete works include 763 instances of the use of the word reason, but he suggested it was an intermediate state to something higher:
I just had a long conversation with one of my daughters, and during the course of our conversation I described the line of enquiry into the reasoning process that the online study groups have taken up. When she asked me if participants had come to anything through these efforts I responded that from their own accounts the answer to that question appeared to be “yes”.
Beelzebub makes an interesting comment on page 437 in the chapter, The Fruits of Former Civilizations. He says,
“You remember that when I explained to you how these favorites of yours define the ‘flow-of-time’ I said that when the organ Kundabuffer with all its properties was removed from their presences, and. they began to have the same duration of existence as all normal three-brained beings arising everywhere in our Universe, that is, according to what is called the Fulasnitamnian principle, they also should then have existed without fail until their ‘second-beingbody- Kesdjan’ had been completely coated in them and finally perfected by Reason up to the sacred ‘Ishmetch.’
Beelzebub gives a clear description of the different gradations of reason, how reason is developed, and many other hints beginning on page 768 of Beelzebub's Tales, in the chapter, HOLY PLANET “PURGATORY”. In the process, he also gives a clear description of what happens after death.
Any real reasoning process will result in a change or confirmation in our understanding, not just in what we think or know. This change in our understanding gives us the possibility for a real change in how we manifest or how we interpret our experience if we're willing to act on that new understanding... as illustrated by the outcome of Belcultassi's reasoning process. Picking up from where we left off in yesterday's post, Beelzebub continues...
Beelzebub provides a vivid example of what might prompt a process of reasoning and how to go about it in the person of Belcultassi. (pages 294-296)
My elucidation of all those inner and outer beingimpulses and manifestations which caused this Belcultassi then to found that truly great society of ordinary threebrained beings—a society which in its time was throughout the whole Universe called ‘envied for imitation’ [the society Akhaldan] —showed that when this same later Saint Individual Belcultassi was once contemplating, according to the practice of every normal being, and his thoughts were by association concentrated on himself, that is to say, on the sense and aim of his existence, he suddenly sensed and cognized that the process of the functioning of the whole of him had until then proceeded not as it should have proceeded according to sane logic.
During our discussion in the online study group on Tuesday we talked about the fact that we each have a cosmology. This is sometimes called a world view or paradigm. Or put more simply, it’s our picture of how the world that we experience from moment to moment really works. Sometimes this cosmology is arrived at through years of study, contemplation, experience, etc. But often it’s just an unexamined collection of assumptions and conditioning. Upon further reflection we might identify three main sources for our cosmology as shown below:
It struck me today that there is an interesting parallel between reasoning and conscience. It’s true that conscience comes from a source in the unconditioned worlds, while reasoning rises out of the world of logic, facts and daily experience. However, they both end up having a quiet, non-coercive influence. We are free to ignore both reason and conscience, and we often do.
Sincerity - the quality of being free from pretense, deceit, or hypocrisy. from the Latin sincerus meaning clean, pure, sound.
Gurdjieff makes clear that any real process of reasoning with ourselves also requires the ability and willingness to be sincere with ourselves. At first glance this may seem like an odd combination, reasoning and sincerity. But everywhere we look; in politics, in religion, and strangely enough especially in science, there seems to be a near total absence of sincerity... with damaging to disastrous consequences.