Extracts

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Seeing with the whole person


essay

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[1 of 9] Plotinus (c. 204-270, Egypt): primary subject "Intuition, inspiration" (search under Inner Life/Love, Positive Emotion, Virtue, Will)": source "Philosophy of Plotinus: Gifford Lectures 1917-1918, vol.1"
The contradictions which become apparent when the intellect treats the things that seem real to the Soul as ultimate realities are one of the means by which the soul is forced upward to the intuitive perceptions of the spiritual life.

[2 of 9] Vivekananda (1863-1902, India): primary subject "Experience, of the higher" (search under Inner Life/Experiences)": detail "‘Notes of Class Talks and Lectures: Lessons on Raja-Yoga’"
Intellectual reasoning is based on facts evident to the senses. Now religion has nothing to do with the senses. The agnostics say they cannot know God, and rightly, for they have exhausted the limits of their senses and yet get no further in knowledge of God. Therefore in order to prove religion — that is, the existence of God, immortality, etc. — we have to go beyond the knowledge of the senses.
 All great prophets and seers claim to have "seen God", that is to say, they have had direct experience. There is no knowledge without experience, and man has to see God in his own soul. When man has come face to face with the one great fact in the universe, then alone will doubts vanish and crooked things become straight. This is "seeing God". Our business is to verify, not to swallow. Religion, like other sciences, requires you to gather facts, to see for yourself, and this is possible when you go beyond the knowledge which lies in the region of the five senses. Religious truths need verification by everyone. To see God is the one goal.


[3 of 9] Vivekananda (1863-1902, India): primary subject "Experience, of the higher" (search under Inner Life/Experiences)": detail "‘Addresses on Bhakti-Yoga: The Need of Symbols’"
We have to go beyond the intellect; the proof of religion is in direct perception. The proof of the existence of this wall is that we see it; if you sat down and argued about its existence or non-existence for ages, you could never come to any conclusion; but directly you see it, it is enough. If all the men in the world told you it did not exist, you would not believe them, because you know that the evidence of your own eyes is superior to that of all the doctrines and documents in the world.

[4 of 9] Vivekananda (1863-1902, India): primary subject "Intuition, inspiration" (search under Inner Life/Love, Positive Emotion, Virtue, Will)": detail "‘Inspired Talks’ August 2 1895"
True philosophy is the systematizing of certain perceptions. Intellect ends where religion begins. Inspiration is much higher than reason, but it must not contradict it. Reason is the rough tool to do the hard work; inspiration is the bright light which shows us all truth.

[5 of 9] Meister Eckhart (1260-1328, Germany): primary subject "Unity, of seer and seen" (search under Inner Life/Experiences)"
The knower and the known are one. Simple people imagine they should see God, as if He stood there and they here. God and I, we are one in knowledge.

[6 of 9] Patanjali (c. 3rd century, India): primary subject "Unity, of seer and seen" (search under Inner Life/Experiences)": source "Yoga Sutras of Patanjali": detail "Book 2, sutras 21,23"
The very essence of things seen is, that they exist for the seer. … The association of the Seer with things seen is the cause of the realizing of the nature of things seen, and also of the realizing of the nature of the Seer.

[7 of 9] Plotinus (c. 204-270, Egypt): primary subject "Unity, of seer and seen" (search under Inner Life/Experiences)": source "Cosmic Consciousness"
In order to perfect knowledge the subject and object must be united, so that the intelligent agent and the thing understood must not be in separation.

[8 of 9] Spira, Rupert (1960-, England): primary subject "Unity, of seer and seen" (search under Inner Life/Experiences)"
There is no difference between our own being and the knowing of our own being, just as there is no difference between the sun and its shining.

[9 of 9] Vivekananda (1863-1902, India): primary subject "Love (heart) as inmost life/will" (search under Inner Life/Teachings)": detail "‘Epistles’ 154"
Learning and wisdom are superfluities, the surface glitter merely, but it is the heart that is the seat of all power. … It is only a few that understand the language of the brain, but everyone, from the Creator down to a clump of grass, understands the language that comes from the heart.