Mar 22, 2012

Idealism and stages of the way

1. The baby idealist: the aesthete 

The baby idealist is enchanted with idealising the senses. They seek mind-altering experiences, take concepts to the extreme (since consciousness is one of the senses), and glory in their escape from the conventions, narrow-mindedness, and shabby materialism of the society in which they are always found.

An artist, completely inventing new values, and worshipping freedom from mediocrity's brain-dead relationship to the sensory world, this stage is characterised by heavenly highs, exploration of many kinds of trances (not necessarily those created by drugs), and by the confidence and world-conquering egotism of a hero.

This is the aesthetic stage, where perfection is sought in what is beautiful. The mind is seeking a "something" to satisfy a deep primitive feeling of finding "home".

 To avoid stagnating, the idealistic aesthete must guard from losing themselves in thinking infinite ideas about perfection, instead of realising their meaning. There are countless ideas: but do you want to be a mere puzzle-solver, instead of a genius? The old aesthete is one who was afraid of the consequences of dancing apart from the herd, and fell back into escapist pleasures in art, music, dance, drugs, literature, inventions, and science.

2. The youthful idealist: the discriminator 

If an aesthete loves conceptual coherence, then the teenage idealist is born, who loves true ideas. Now the mind seeks reason as the guiding light, and the stage of right discrimination has begun.

But love of reason takes great courage as well. Ordinarily, many people have a small degree of discrimination, but because they lack the courage to discriminate inwardly, all their judgments lack quality. They are loud-mouthed and opinionated, but have no rational consistency. They fail to find the great treasure of reasoning in solitude, and their discrimination is fruitless.

The stage of discrimination is a deeply disciplined, serious-minded, earnest invention of new values for oneself, and the consistent application of these values.

The discriminator's idealism is about truthfulness, in having a perfect conscience, in consistency of mind. Because of seeking to ground and reground themselves privately in reason, consequently, the suffering of introspection and self-examination is more easily born, and, also, because of this deeply inward and centralised character, they are able to transcend the fears of being mistreated by others, and misunderstood. So the discriminator is also characterised by a profound solitude.

 Yet the discriminator faces pitfalls. The very weakest cannot bear the demand of truth to empty themselves of egotism at the same time as being judged by the egotistical masses: they become hermits, monks, political activists, and fathers. Such as these have insufficient faith in reason, so crumble when under the egotistical pressures of their fear of others.

The mentally stronger, more internally collected, do not yet have a complete desire for perfect wisdom. They still hold some desire for recognition, for a reputation, for mental relief, for egotistical rewards, for a rare companion, and other psychological stimulation. Perfection is yet a long, long way off. So, they are not truly ready for spiritual trial, for absolute solitude over a lifetime, 24/7/265. Most of these rare individuals find ways to sabotage their spiritual goals in various ways, and fall back into subtle mental pleasures or coarser pursuits.

3. The empty idealist: the disciple 

The last stage of idealism, in which "something" is still sought, is extremely rare. Very few enter this, the longest and highest stage of idealism: that of discipline.

Knowing deeply the importance of reason as a corrective, and striving to correct all subtle delusions, such as the desire for recognition, for mental relief, for companions on the way, and for various psychological rewards or stimulations, the disciple is "locked-on" to the goal of perfection, guarding their mind minute-by-minute like a wound, from every falsehood.

This rarity seeks the goodness of emptiness, of non-attachment, of perfect wisdom. The more fully immersed in these attainments, the less capable of suffering and relapse into lower states. To achieve the highly conscious, perfectly logical mind of samadhi, there must be an absolute willingness to drop the desire for achievement of mindstates and states of perfection, instead seeking only Reality.

But very few can bear such boundlessness and selflessness, and the weak not only prolong this stage, but typically avoid it.

To be a disciple is to acknowledge the greatest war known to the human mind, where all the inherent cunning of one's mind is reinvented and reintensified, to prevent progress. The genius is the one with the greatest capacity for evil, because the greatest awareness; the genius is therefore the only one who is capable of being a disciple, and has the enlightened skill to combat each subtle lie, whether an entrenched cherished habit, or a newly developed version of old lies, with the means uniquely designed for each problem.

The genius as disciple has the will to love Reality and sacrifice themselves into emptiness and selflessness, over and again, no matter how difficult or tedious the process. The subtlest of errors now become the pitfalls of the disciple, including the desire for goodness or to achieve truthfulness. He transcends truthfulness not by being false or thoughtless, but by realising what truthfulness is; so his truthfulness is Reality which does not depart.


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