The word ‘noetic’ means ‘pertaining to or a product of reason’, where ‘reason’ is a general term for the way we think and solve problems (even when it’s more intuitive than rational). Whilst it’s a nice word to have in one’s mental vocabulary, it carries behind it an important implication. The world we perceive – or at least, of which we are cognisant – is one that is created in our minds. Even concepts like ‘God’ are noetic. They are built out of our experiences, and our attempts to make them rational.

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A Better Life

A great many people – perhaps all, at the outset – approach a search for ‘spirit’ as they would for a pair of shoes. It’s to be expected. There is an idea that some contact with, or improved understanding of, this vague thing ‘spirit’ will lead to one becoming a better person: more equipped for life, or maybe more prepared for death. And exactly the same is true for a pair of shoes. The problem – if you’ll forgive me for calling it such – is that we start off seeing everything in life as something to be used. All except ourselves, of course.

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One of the points of parting between Freud and Jung was in how to represent the totality of the functioning of the psyche. For Freud, there were three elements: the Ego (our normal, waking mind), the Id (our unconscious desires and fears) and the Super-Ego (the self-image that we aspire to make real, but never expect to reach). For Jung, both of the last two elements were jumbled together: he thought that even the Id was comprised of self-images that we aspire to make real; that the dark and the light were merely opposite sides of the same archetype, and their relative manifestation depends only on whether we are drawn to the dark or to the light.

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Many Mansions

I have written before that the sacred texts of the world’s religions often contain elements of real truth, albeit overlaid with centuries of interpretation, and sometimes just ‘wishful thinking’. In all of the major traditions, too, there is a blending of ideas that were sloshing around for centuries, even before they were written down. Every time a prophet came, to renew the messages, those who believed were motivated to pass on their teaching: their new interpretation.

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All of our attachments have their origin in some form of pain: at first real (though not necessarily physical) but then mostly imagined. They are ‘habits of hope’, where that hope is the flip side of the fear of recurrence of that which once hurt us. If we want to unwind our attachments, and become free from their mechanical ‘pull’ on our psyche, we have to return to their origin: to the pain that caused the fear of recurrence.

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What Am I?

This question is one that I asked as I began to explore the inner world that, hitherto, had been ‘me’. There were two, clear reasons for asking it. First, there is a Fourth Way exercise called “I Am”; it involves drawing into one’s awareness all that responds to the word “I”, and then making that ‘common presence’ more vibrant – more present – with the word “Am”. Second, I was noticing that a lot of the “I” came with baggage: stuff that I had adopted from my experiences.

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On Will…

I have written, previously, on the topic of ‘free will’. In those posts, and in my last post (Causal Body), I have asserted that the ordinary state of Man does not admit of anything that can properly be called Will. And yet, surely we all have the experience of setting ourselves to achieving some outcome: surely we all know the flavour of this ‘determination’. How can I assert that this is not Will?

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Cost Of Living

Reading the news stories in the UK – even adjusting for the fact that they over-dramatise – one cannot help concluding that there is a real and growing ‘cost of living’ crisis that shows no signs of easing. The causes are various events playing out on a world stage, and no single party anywhere seems to be ‘to blame’. The government has tried to intervene, to a small degree, but it cannot, realistically, use national borrowing to buy the country a way out of difficulty.

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Quietly Into The Night

A race that wants to embrace life must also embrace death. Life is, by its entire nature, a temporary cohesion of forces that deny death – deny a return to mere organic soup. It can pass this ability on, to a child, but only by building a new, young entity: one where the cohesion is still strong. And the old must then go quietly into the night.

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