The Life and Understanding
Copyright 1971 By Franklin Jones
All rights reserved
Chapter 20: The Wisdom of Understanding
The following is a collection of essays and brief observations, all of which have been written since September, 1970 and the summary events I have described in my autobiography. They are the product of a daily unfolding in consciousness of the wisdom of understanding. They are written from the point of view of radical knowledge, radical understanding. Thus, they amount to a description of real life as opposed to the life of seeking in all its forms.
This is the intelligence that exceeds and is free of the great search. It is the knowledge available to us in real consciousness. As these essays developed over time, the writing expressed this radical understanding in relation to many different levels of experience. The constant point of view is understanding and radical consciousness, but the form and matter of the expression is continually modified by different levels of perception.
Thus, these writings pass between different degrees and levels of dilemma, different chakras or levels of being, different questions and self-perceptions, and different dimensions in which life identifies itself as physical, vital, emotional, psychic, mental, spiritual, and unqualifiedly real. The wisdom of understanding is never exhausted, but it is always already complete. Its goal is not reality. Its conscious foundation is reality. And thus the wisdom of understanding is as endless as the permutations of experience.
These writings, therefore, do not encompass the totality of the wisdom of understanding. But I have hoped to make them extensive and as comprehensive as possible, to the degree that understanding itself, which is the foundation of it all, right find a radical communication. Therefore, read theme: for the sake of understanding, and you will know the wisdom of it.
“Yoga is the restraining of the mind-stuff from taking various forms.” This statement, by which Patanjali defines the basic purpose and effect of yoga, the science or technique of self-realization, is the core of all spiritual practice and experience. Those who have deeply felt the control which mental tendencies and the whole system of desires that commands repetition of experiences of all kinds exercise over life have also sought to control this mechanism and realize themselves apart from identification with the mind.
However, that which is most desirable from this point of view is also most destructive when pursued with revolutionary intensity. Salvation or liberation may in fact be that which is experienced and enjoyed when the mind is no longer in control over conscious life, but to seek to control the mind, to prevent its modifications in order to know that which is not mind or which is prior to the mind is a false activity, a reaction, a manifestation of the problem itself. Thus, those who pursue this goal, consciously or unconsciously, by virtue of the various spiritual and religious means take a negative position in relation to the mind. They abstract consciousness from mind and pursue a path of effort, control, emptying, resistance and self-abstraction that only brings them to various experiences and degrees of passivity or emptiness. The willful control or abstraction of the mind is a pursuit artificially created by the situation of mental bondage. And those who thus resist, dissolve, abuse, calm and otherwise manipulate the mind in order to achieve a pure state prior to the mind are merely making assumptions based on the analysis of what was originally only an artificial, unreal state. Thus, the path of religious and spiritual life is very difficult, an up and down battle with our own desires,our own self-imagery. Such efforts are desperate and lifelong games of power with life-forces that act like steam under pressure.