Adi Da Samraj
Perceptual and Conceptual Mind
The right “consideration” of my teaching arguments sensitizes you to the two principal functions of mind, the perceptual and conceptual function of mind.
The first function of mind is the natural and naturally intelligent perceptual awareness of arising conditions, without any necessarily accompanying effort to separate from them.
The second function of mind is the conceptual awareness of arising conditions, and it is necessarily associated with an effort to separate from arising conditions and to exceed arising conditions, because it is always associated with an effort to know about arising conditions.
The perceiving mind knows whatever it perceives. What it perceives, exactly as it is perceived, is what it knows. Perception, prior to verbal, abstract, and interpretive thought, is participatory conditional knowledge.
The conceptual mind knows whatever it thinks. Whatever it thinks, whether or not the thought is informed or confirmed by perception, is what it knows.
Conception, loosely or not at all associated with perception, is abstract conditional knowledge. The right employment of the conceptual function of mind can serve a very useful purpose in the original and general inspiration and guidance of the ordeal, discipline, and practice of the way of the heart. Just so, the activities of the conceptual function of mind generally serve a useful purpose in the common world, which is the communication and development of conventional knowledge and practical invention. Even so, all conceptual knowledge is an abstraction, the purpose of which is to give conditional beings power over themselves, their objects, their environments, and other conditionally manifested beings.
Therefore, if this function of mind is not kept in right perspective, the motives of power and control tend to dominate mind itself . Secondary mind, or conceptual thought, must be disciplined, if it is to be effective in its proper sphere. Likewise, it must be understood, kept in right perspective, and, at will, freely set aside when the analytical and interpretive function is not presently necessary or useful. You must realize the natural ability to set aside the secondary or conceptual function of mind, or else you will be dominated by a compulsive and obsessive effort to think conceptually, to seek knowledge about, to interpret, and to separate from the perceived conditional worlds.
You must enjoy the natural, inherent, moment to moment ability to merely perceive, to feel, to be with, and to wholly participate in the phenomenal conditions of your psycho-physical existence, or else you will not truly understand what arises conditionally, nor will you transcend the limitations of conditional existence.
Through the ordeal of the way of the heart, and by means of self-observation, developing self-understanding, and the progressively awakening natural feeling-practice of mere and always present perception, you must realize the inherent ability to intentionally relax the chronic, compulsive, and obsessive tendency of attention to become associated with the past and the future and even the present.
If moment to moment mere and also perceptible existence is intolerable to you, so that you are unable to perceive each present perceptible moment as it is and to feel and participate in it without recoil, you will exist only in the secondary or reflected world of time and mind.
Chronic, compulsive, and obsessive verbal thinking or abstract conceptualizing is a disease. It is, ultimately, a fruitless or futile effort, and it is a symptom of self-contraction, egoic “self-possession”, and the absence of transcendental, inherently spiritual, and divine realization.
If you recoil from perception, the body contracts upon itself, and the mind begins to function conceptually. In that case, the single body-mind becomes two, or body and mind, or mind struggling with body, and body struggling with mind. Then existence as an apparently conditional self is itself a struggle, a dis-ease, a problem, a dilemma, a question, a search for a solution, or a search for power over the apparent threats to existence. That search, like the original contraction that produces it, is generated by the feeling that existence itself is threatened and can be ended or lost. And that feeling of threat arises from the natural identification with the gross physical body
Ultimately, you must realize inherently perfect transcendence of mind itself, or else you will only be defined by and bound to conditional or phenomenal states. And the total mind is transcended only in the direct intuition of the transcendental, inherently spiritual, and divine condition in which mind, body, and all conditions, relations, and states of mind and body are arising, continuing, changing, and passing away.
Effective and “creative” conceptual thinking is a generally useful and characteristic sign of the human being, but when the efforts of the conceptually thinking mind become compulsive, obsessive, and dominant, so that verbal and abstract analytical thought cannot be relinquished at will, and things and beings cannot be perceived as they are and, ultimately, divinely recognized as they are, then the thinking being is diseased, bereft of wisdom, and separated from reality.
Chronic conceptual thinking is a compulsive and obsessive withdrawal or contraction from perception, from direct experience of natural or cosmic forms, and from sensory or bodily existence itself. Chronic conceptualizing effectively creates an alternative conditional reality and one that is not really physical, not even psycho-physical, or even truly psychic, but most basically conceptual, or made of mental abstractions. And fixed identification with the process of conceptual thinking and the conditional self as conceptual thinker is identification with a false or un-real self, a mere contraction from the real or transcendental, inherently spiritual, and divine self.
Even so, the effort to avoid or to escape conceptual thinking, conceptual thought, or the conceptual thinker is a futile strategy. It is futile because it is itself an expression of the very same effort that is the stressful origin of chronic conceptual thought-mind and the conceptual thought-self.
Therefore, the effort to stop conceptual thinking only intensifies the self-contraction, reinforces the cycle of conceptual thinking, conceptual thought, and the presumed conceptual thinker, and generates despair relative to the ability to stand free of the limiting capability of the conceptual mind.
The cycle of conceptual thinking, conceptual thought, and the presumed conceptual thinker is truly transcended only through the real ordeal of self-observation and effective self-transcendence, which must become the inherent realization of the native condition in and as which the body-mind-self and all of its conditional relations are arising, continuing, changing, and passing away.
You can transcend the conceptual mind, or all analytical interpreting and knowing, by observing, understanding, and transcending the act of self-contraction, to the degree that you relax into simple experiencing.
You can transcend the perceptual mind by utterly not knowing. In the progressive process of self-observation and “radical” intuition, chronic or fixed identification with the conditional self as conceptual thinker or abstract knower is first replaced by the feeling-sense “i am the body”, or “i am the total body-mind”.
Therefore, in the listening stage of the way of the heart, you must truly realize that you, as the ego-“i”, are the total psycho-physical or experiencing self, rather than the merely or exclusively interior or abstract and conceptually thinking or knowing self.
Thus, you must realize that what you refer to as your conditional “i” is the total body-mind. When the conditional self is established as the simple bodily person, or the total body-mind, perception, rather than conception, becomes the basic and dominant mode of conditional existence. When the body-mind relaxes into simple perception, conceptual thinking naturally subsides. And if the body-mind assumes this natural participatory attitude consistently, much basic human energy is released.
Adi Da Samraj