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The Postulates 31 …

Reference: Course on the Universe

When we apply the method of SUBJECT CLEARING to the general knowledge we inevitably end up with the following postulates. 

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POSTULATE # 31: Underlying an anomaly there is fixation of attention.

COROLLARY: Fixed attention generates anomalies.

Most people have their attention fixated on the body and identity. This leads to fixations on survival and politics. All reactions, as in obsessive-compulsive behavior, are fixations. When you are trying to locate an anomaly, follow the trail of fixation of attention. When you are trying to resolve an anomaly, work out the anatomy of fixations involved. Illusions arise when there are fixations. When you recognize fixations for what they are, you free yourself from them.

Fixations on body appear in the belief that one is just the body. Such a person is fixated on taking care of the body. He rarely have “out-of-body” experiences. Attention gets centered on the body as new sensations are encountered; but when that attention is suppressed it gets fixated there. Attention definitely gets fixated on the body when there are shocks, accidents, and illnesses.

In Scientology, attention gets fixated on individuality when one makes an effort to resolve present and past identities. The attention naturally settles in exploring the environment. For remedies of fixated attention refer to the POSTULATES 26, 27 and 28.

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[To be continued…]

Glossary for the Course on Universe

Reference: Course on the Universe

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AKASHA
(Vedas) Energy on a universal scale that forms the environment

ANOMALY
A discontinuity, disharmony or inconsistency

ATMAN
(Vedas) The integrated awareness of the universe

ATOM
A unit of matter

ATTENTION FIELD
The integrated awareness of the universe that continues to evolve [see ATMAN]

AURA
a subtly pervasive quality or atmosphere (a part of mental matrix) seen as manifested around a person, place, or thing

BODY
A configuration of atoms and monads

COMMUNICATION
The contact and interchange of attention at the most basic level

DEATH
The disintegration of the identity into atoms and monads

FREEDOM
Absence of fixation of attention

IDENTITY
The discrete aspect of a person identified as the body and mind

ILLUSION
Not seeing things as they are, and this creates anomalies

KARMA
(Vedas) The anomalies in the process of resolving themselves

LIFE
The play of karma

MATRIX ELEMENTS
The monads which carry the mental impression of the environment

MENTAL MATRIX
The configuration of monads associated with an identity

METAPHYSICS
The subject that addresses the energy of the internal mental matrix, and all its forms.

MIND
A general reference to the configuration of monads

MONAD
A unit of influence associated with an atom

PERCEPTION
The sensing of the external environment through vision, sound, touch, taste, and smell.

PHYSICS
The subject that addresses the energy of the external environment, and all its forms.

REINCARNATION
New configuration of atoms and monads

SOUL
(Christianity) The identity of the person apart from the body

SELF
The true self is the attention field, but it is generally mistaken for an identity

THETAN
(Scientology) the identity of the person apart from the body

UNIVERSE
A reality that includes everything—physical and metaphysical.

VIEWPOINT
The scope of the attention field associated with an identity

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The Postulates 26 – 30

Reference: Course on the Universe

When we apply the method of SUBJECT CLEARING to the general knowledge we inevitably end up with the following postulates. 

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POSTULATE # 26: The ability to resolve anomalies increases as the viewpoint becomes broader. 

COROLLARY: The viewpoint is as broad as it is not fixated and is free to consider.

The narrowest viewpoint is one that is stuck in some mystery. The biggest mystery is when the viewpoint is unconsciousness. As the viewpoint starts to become conscious it becomes aware of the mystery. It finds itself waiting for something to come up, or happen. As it becomes aware of waiting it starts to feel anxious about its survival, and its attention gets fixated on reproducing itself. As it moves beyond the anxiety of sex, its attention gets fixated on eating. It even consumes thoughts and ideas in their literal, symbolic form. It must then overcome its fixation on  “figure-figure” type of thinking. As it moves beyond this level, it makes effort to collect data and analyze it. Beyond that it simply starts to rely on emotions. As the attention gets freed up from these fixations the viewpoint is increasingly able to see things as they are, to directly know about them, to become aware of what it does not know, and finally, to know fully.

The technique of meditation that helps this broadening of viewpoint is provided at Meditation from Mystery to Knowing. The viewpoint, ultimately, becomes free of all fixed ideas, biases, prejudices and other filters and, knows things in their totality.

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POSTULATE # 27: Meditation with the discipline of mindfulness helps solve anomalies.

DEFINITION: The discipline of mindfulness helps overcome filters that one may be looking through.

Anomalies exist because the viewpoint is unable to get full and clear picture of a situation. This is partly because it is unwittingly looking through certain filters. We know these filters as prejudices, biases, fixed ideas, etc.; but the person is simply not aware of them. In meditation, the Discipline of Mindfulness allows the person to view the subject of meditation clearly without such filters. This discipline is essential when meditating on “mystery to knowing” as covered in Postulate # 26. 

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POSTULATE # 28: Resolution of anomalies is further supported by Subject Clearing.

DEFINITION: Subject Clearing is detecting the basic postulates, assumptions and erroneous ideas present in a subject.

Anomalies also exist partly because the information is not sorted out fully. In the Information Age of today, there is plenty of data available, but skill is required to sort out the relevant data from deceptive, misleading and irrelevant information. One must identify what is really missing and be able to research it. A person can very quickly learn this skill by using the procedure of Subject Clearing. This procedure helps detect and clear up assumptions and erroneous ideas present in a subject. Subject clearing and meditation with the discipline of mindfulness go hand-in-hand. 

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POSTULATE # 29: The attention field continues while the identities disintegrate and regenerate.

COROLLARY: The recycling of identities supports the evolution of the attention field. 

Death is the disintegration of identities into energy. From that energy new identities are generated. This recycling of identities is essential for the evolution of the attention field, which is the true self. Only the discrete identities (made up of bodies and mental matrices) die and take birth. The continuum of attention field, which is the integrated awareness of the universe, never perishes. The true eternal self is the attention field. Anomaly comes about when the self starts to believe that it is an identity. When this happens, the self gets trapped into worrying about life and death.

A soul is the idea promoted by some religions that your identity continues after death. What continues is the attention field. A religion giving hope for a finite identity to survive forever is an anomaly. One should let the identity live and die with dignity.

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POSTULATE # 30: The root cause of all human troubles is the attachment to an identity (individualism).

COROLLARY: Trouble arises when individualism is given priority over the natural goals of family, groups, state, country, mankind, life, and the universe.

Ideally, the goals of an individual should be consistent with the natural goals of family, groups, state, country, mankind, life organisms, etc. When individual goals are in conflict, but still given a higher priority, then we have individualism at play. A good example of individualism is the anomalies in politics that undermine the natural growth and well being of a country. Whenever selfish intentions take priority over the welfare of family and the community, we have trouble. Peace and prosperity arise when individual goals and actions are consistent with the natural goals of family, groups, state, country, mankind, life organisms, etc.

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Durant 1926: The Psychological Problem

Reference: The Story of Philosophy

This paper presents Chapter I, Section 6 from the book THE STORY OF PHILOSOPHY by WILL DURANT. The contents are from the 1933 reprint of this book by TIME INCORPORATED by arrangement with Simon and Schuster, Inc.

The paragraphs of the original material (in black) are accompanied by brief comments (in color) based on the present understanding.  Feedback on these comments is appreciated.

The heading below is linked to the original materials.

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VI. The Psychological Problem 

But behind these political problems lies the nature of man; to understand politics, we must, unfortunately, understand psychology. “Like man, like state” (575); “governments vary as the characters of men vary; … states are made out of the human natures which are in them” (544); the state is what it is because its citizens are what they are. Therefore we need not expect to have better states until we have better men; till then all changes will leave every essential thing unchanged. “How charming people are!—always doctoring, increasing and complicating their disorders, fancying they will be cured by some nostrum which somebody advises them to try, never getting better, but always growing worse. … Are they not as good as a play, trying their hand at legislation, and imagining that by reforms they will make an end to the dishonesties and rascalities of mankind—not knowing that in reality they are cutting away at the heads of a hydra?” (425). 

The state is what it is because its citizens are what they are. Reforms cannot put an end to the dishonesties and rascalities of mankind.

Let us examine for a moment the human material with which political philosophy must deal. 

Human behavior, says Plato, flows from three main sources; desire, emotion, and knowledge. Desire, appetite, impulse, instinct—these are one; emotion, spirit, ambition, courage—these are one; knowledge, thought, intellect, reason—these are one. Desire has its seat in the loins; it is a bursting reservoir of energy, fundamentally sexual. Emotion has its seat in the heart, in the flow and force of the blood; it is the organic resonance of experience and desire. Knowledge has its seat in the head; it is the eye of desire and can become the pilot of the soul. 

Human behavior flows from three main sources, desire, emotion, and knowledge. 

These powers and qualities are all in all men, but in divers degrees. Some men are but the embodiment of desire; restless and acquisitive souls, who are absorbed in material quests and quarrels, who burn with lust of luxuries and show, and who rate their gains always as naught compared with their ever-receding goals: these are the men who dominate and manipulate industry. But there are others who are temples of feeling and courage, who care not so much what they fight for, as for victory “in and for itself”; they are pugnacious rather than acquisitive; their pride is in power rather than in possession, their joy is on the battle-field rather than in the mart: these are the men who make the armies and navies of the world. And last are the few whose delight is in meditation and understanding; who yearn not for goods, nor for victory, but for knowledge; who leave both market and battle-field to lose themselves in the quiet clarity of secluded thought; whose will is a light rather than a fire, whose haven is not power but truth: these are the men of wisdom, who stand aside unused by the world. 

There are men who are acquisitive; others who are pugnacious; and then there are those who yearn for knowledge.

Now just as effective individual action implies that desire, though warmed with emotion, is guided by knowledge; so in the perfect state the industrial forces would produce but they would not rule; the military forces would protect but they would not rule; the forces of knowledge and science and philosophy would be nourished and protected, and they would rule. Unguided by knowledge, the people are a multitude without order, like desires in disarray; the people need the guidance of philosophers as desires need the enlightenment of knowledge. “Ruin comes when the trader, whose heart is lifted up by wealth, becomes ruler” (484) ; or when the general uses his army to establish a military dictatorship. The producer is at his best in the economic field, the warrior is at his best in battle; they are both at their worst in public office; and in their crude hands politics submerges statesmanship. For statesmanship is a science and an art; one must have lived for it and been long prepared. Only a philosopher-king is fit to guide a nation. “Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy, and wisdom and political leadership meet in the same man, … cities will never cease from ill, nor the human race” (478). 

Only a philosopher-king is fit to guide a nation.

This is the key-stone of the arch of Plato’s thought. 

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Durant 1926: The Political Problem

Reference: The Story of Philosophy

This paper presents Chapter I, Section 5 (The Political Problem) from the book THE STORY OF PHILOSOPHY by WILL DURANT. The contents are from the 1933 reprint of this book by TIME INCORPORATED by arrangement with Simon and Schuster, Inc.

The paragraphs of the original material (in black) are accompanied by brief comments (in color) based on the present understanding.  Feedback on these comments is appreciated.

The heading below is linked to the original materials.

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V. The Political Problem 

Image result for The Political Problem

Justice would be a simple matter, says Plato, if men were simple; an anarchist communism would suffice. For a moment he gives his imagination reign: 

First, then, let us consider what will be their way of life. … Will they not produce corn, and wine, and clothes, and shoes, and build houses for themselves? And when they are housed they will work in summer commonly stripped and barefoot, but in winter substantially clothed and shod. They will feed on barley and wheat, baking the wheat and kneading the flour, making noble puddings and loaves; these they will serve up on a mat of reed or clean leaves, themselves reclining the while upon beds of yew or myrtle boughs. And they and their children will feast, drinking of the wine which they have made, wearing garlands on their heads, and having the praises of the gods on their lips, living in sweet society, and having a care that their families do not exceed their means; for they will have an eye to poverty or war. … Of course they will have a relish—salt, and olives, and cheese, and onions, and cabbages or other country herbs which are fit for boiling; and we shall give them a dessert of figs, and pulse, and beans, and myrtle-berries, and beech-nuts, which they will roast at the fire, drinking in moderation. And with such a diet they may be expected to live in peace to a good old age, and bequeath a similar life to their children after them (372). 

Observe here the passing reference to the control of population (by infanticide, presumably), ‘to vegetarianism, and to a ”return to nature,” to the primitive simplicity which Hebrew legend pictures in the Garden of Eden. The whole has the sound of Diogenes the “Cynic,” who, as the epithet implied, thought we should “turn and live with the animals, they are so placid and self-contained”; and for a moment we are likely to classify Plato with St. Simon and Fourier and William Morris and Tolstoi. But he is a little more skeptical than these men of kindly faith; he passes quietly on to the question, Why is it that such a simple paradise as he has described never comes?—why is it that these Utopias never arrive upon the map?

Justice is not simple because men are not simple.

He answers, because of greed and luxury. Men are not content with a simple life: they are acquisitive, ambitious, competitive, and jealous; they soon tire of what they have, and pine for what they have not; and they seldom desire anything unless it belongs to others. The result is the encroachment of one group upon the territory of another, the rivalry of groups for the resources of the soil, and then war. Trade and finance develop, and bring new class-divisions. “Any ordinary city is in fact two cities, one the city of the poor, the other of the rich, each at war with the other; and in either division there are smaller ones—you would make a great mistake if you treated them as single states” (423). A mercantile bourgeoisie arises, whose members seek social position through wealth and conspicuous consumption: “they will spend large sums of money on their wives” (548). These changes in the distribution of wealth produce political changes: as the wealth of the merchant over-reaches that of the land-owner, aristocracy gives way to a plutocratic oligarchy—wealthy traders and bankers rule the state. Then statesmanship, which is the coordination of social forces and the adjustment of policy to growth, is replaced by politics, which is the strategy of party and the lust for the spoils of office. 

When land ownership became the privileged class we had aristocracy and statesmanship. As mercantile bourgeoisie arose aristocracy gave way to a plutocratic oligarchy, and statesmanship was replaced by politics.

Every form of government tends to perish by excess of its basic principle. Aristocracy ruins itself by limiting too narrowly the circle within which power is confined; oligarchy ruins itself by the incautious scramble for immediate wealth. In either case the end is revolution. When revolution comes it may seem to arise from little causes and petty whims; but though it may spring from slight occasions it is the precipitate result of grave and accumulated wrongs; when a body is weakened by neglected ills,· the merest exposure may bring serious disease (556). “Then democracy comes: the poor overcome their opponents, slaughtering some and banishing the rest; and give to the people an equal share of freedom: and power” (557). 

Every form of government tends to perish by excess of its basic principle. 

But even democracy ruins itself by excess—of democracy. Its basic principle is the equal right of all to hold office and determine public policy. This is at first glance a delightful arrangement; it becomes disastrous because the people are not properly equipped by education to select the best rulers and the wisest courses (588). “As to the people they have no understanding, and only repeat what their rulers are pleased to tell them” (Protagoras, 317); to get a doctrine accepted or rejected it is only necessary to have it praised or ridiculed in a popular play (a hit, no doubt, at Aristophanes, whose comedies attacked almost every new idea). Mob-rule is a rough sea for the ship of state to ride; every wind of oratory stirs up the waters and deflects the course. The upshot of such a democracy is tyranny or autocracy; the crowd so loves flattery, it is so “hungry for honey,” that at last the wiliest and most unscrupulous flatterer, calling himself the “protector of the people” rises to supreme power (565). (Consider the history of Rome.) 

Democracy also ruins itself by excessively promoting the equal right of all to hold office and determine public policy when people are not equipped by education to select the best rulers and the wisest courses.

The more Plato thinks of it, the more astounded he is at the folly of leaving to mob caprice and gullibility the selection of political officials—not to speak of leaving it to those shady and wealth-serving strategists who pull the oligarchic wires behind the democratic stage. Plato complains that whereas in simpler matters—like shoe-making—we think only a specially-trained person will serve our purpose, in politics we presume that every one who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state. When we are ill: we call for a trained physician, whose degree is a guarantee of specific preparation and technical competence—we do not ask for the handsomest physician, or the most eloquent one; well then, when the whole state is ill should we not look for .the service and guidance of the wisest and the best? To devise a method of barring incompetence and knavery from public office, and of selecting and preparing the best to rule for the common good—that is the problem of political philosophy. 

It is dangerous to presume presume that every one who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state.

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