Lives Journal 14

Rajko Shushtarshich

 

THE TRIVIAL STRUCTURE OF CONSCIOUSNESS

 

The selected excerpt – supplement to the book Revelation to John, Stories about Pilate (for the third edition) is an appropriate induction into the type of state of consciousness, which prepares the spirit for a different kind of communication, dissimilar from everyday communication, to which we are accustomed in conversations among men, and also different from what we are used to encountering in dissertations, treatises, essays or merely pure poetry. Its distinction is that the text cannot be entirely subject to poetic license because it is spiritually lead; nor can it be purely-rationally schematic, because it surpasses schematics. If we discard its expressiveness, communication loses its life. But if we discard the schematism of communication, the spirit slips into free association of emotion and sensation losing dimensions and direction, both of which are vital for these texts.

Spirit is not glorified, nor is it lead towards the incomprehensible, immeasurable, infinite, absolute, though this is its reason and purpose. The thought stops, is lost; values, ideas do not transcend towards the absolute, failing to bring about the deepest possible discussion within oneself, they do not lead to God. Communicating with God or with the deepest in oneself, if you prefer, is in its essence intimate prayer, meditation, comprehension of the incomprehensible. It is therefore not surprising, it is so difficult to comprehend, harder still to express, and even harder to relive by another. Allegories are in essence coded experiences; however, deciphering them does not suffice to achieve deeper communication, because such communication is direct, it is a conversation of a spirit with a spirit; its written record is merely a correlate or mediator of this communication.

 

Symbolically prayer – this deepest communication achievable by man, can be expressed much better, deeper, and more beautifully. The following can be said about prayer: The wounded (seeking, questioning, imploring…) spirit turns to God with a plea to be put in order, comforted, soothed… He never prayed twice in the same way, to him prayer is a conversation with Him.

On a pragmatic level, the sense is of course completely different, along these lines:

Escape from life, lost, hurt; in other words: 

The confused impacted mind turns to irrational thinking; put bluntly: it falls into a religious craze and no earthly power can help it.

 

Any explanation of a (deeply) multi-levelled or vertical structure, of either the text or what it expresses is essentially its disembodiment. The same goes for  horizontal or flat structure of consciousness. »Why do this at all, then?« you would be right to ask. My reason does it, it does not leave me be, until it understands something and so prevents a more profound comprehension. My purpose is therefore to dissect the structure of an esoteric text, in our case Revelation to John, in order to forget this dissection as soon as possible and so perhaps move beyond schematism through communicating more directly. And so, I will mainly dissect variations on the three-level structure of consciousness.

 

The composite symbols, allegories, exemplifications of course comprise many,  practically infinitely more.

For example: »born from the father’s desire« is a symbolical representation of the first level (drives, instincts, desires), the first birth, the bodily birth, or the sensual level. We must begin by distinguishing the overlapping of the three-level and seven-level structures.

The first level of the three-level structure overlaps with the first-through-third or through -fifth levels (depending on context) of the septuple – seven-level vertical structure of consciousness. Formally the difference lay in the proportion, or disproportion between the levels of both structures. I say formally, but I dare note that it is in fact also obvious in the self-reflection of consciousness that the septuple structure is much more rationalistic, it is dominated by the rational aspect, with the sixth and seventh level in constant tendency to become rationalized (more on this later). The three-level structure is dominated by the spiritual level, or spiritual interpretation. This is why in deciphering or comprehending symbolism we must take into account both structures and the freedom of the communicator simultaneously.

 

What is more important than this, and what bares continuous repeating, is that any schematic rigid analytical deciphering or comprehension of symbols results in their reduction and impoverishment, and has its limitations. In such cases, it is only possible to comprehend (decipher) them up to the upper fifth, i.e. rational level. What extends beyond this must be left to either the fantasy of art, faith of religion, or certainty of the mind’s intuition.

 

The very division of levels is always schematic to a degree, in principle the number of levels is unrestricted. But it would be difficult to abandon the predominant role of the tripe and septuple structure of consciousness. The three-level (vertical) structure and three-component (horizontal) cognitive – ethically – aesthetical structure of the facts of consciousness is vital for the comprehension of our text; it is symbolised by three values: truth (or verity), freedom (or liberty), love.  

 

It is sufficiently or even overly dissected in the book’s afterword. We must begin by disentangling the seven-level structure and particularly its conceptually rational or purely abstract level.  

 

 

 

SEVEN-LEVEL STRUCTURE OF CONSCIOUSNESS

 

1

affective (arising from drives–instincts)

2

sensory (sensory–perceptive)

3

emotional (composite emotions)

4

Interest-relative (pragmatically–reasonable)

5

conceptually rational (pure rational)

6

spiritual (of the direct facts of consciousness)

7

mental (of the intuition of the mind)

 

Or reversely:

 

7

transcending

6

hermeneutic

5

categorical

4

practical (intelligent, pragmatic)

3

Life-living

2

illusionary

1

elementary

Or also:

 

1

energetic

2

motivational

3

aspirational

4

interest-relative (linked to striving)

5

conceptually–abstract

6

direct (spiritual)

7

a priori  (linked to values)

or:

 

1

instinctual 

2

sensory

3

emotive (linked to feeling)

4

material (reistic, positivistic, utilitarian)

5

purely-reasoned

6

spiritual (linked to ideas, values)

7

absolute (mentally holistic)

 

 

Rational (purely-reasoned) level of structural consciousness (5)

 

A HYPOTHETICAL SYSTEM OF THE CATEGORIES OF REASON, associated in the Absolute *1

 

1. Basic and summary category = EVERYTHING (only it is absolute)

EXISTING :

ESSENCE

THE BEING

ABSOLUTE (Absolute):

»ABSOLUTE« essence

»ABSOLUTE« Being

 

Only EVERYTHING = ABSOLUTE. The rational (purely-rational) consciousness perceives it as the whole world, universe, all-existing, the absolute, universality, as that by which the existing is.

 

Ontological definition:

– the BEING is the primary existing Being, the absolute is the »absolute« Being.

– Essence is the original existing, absolute is »absolute« essence.

Modalities of the basic category

REALITY;

MATERIALITY;

FACTUALITY;

TRUTH;

INEVITABILITY;

IRREFUTABILITY;

DIRECTNESS, ...

as substance – accident; ...

as matter – idea

as form – content

as affirmation – negation

as existence – essence

as body – spirit; ...

 

2. Relative categories (or DIMENSIONS) *2

QUALITY –

QUANTITY

»absolute« intensity –

»absolute« reducibility;

countability – enumeration, counting

measurability – measuring, surveying; ...

DURATION –

TIME

pure duration – (con)temporarity

contemporaneousness – time(lesness)

eternity – (all)temporanousness; ...

DIMENSION –

SPACE

(all)dimension – sizeability,

dimension – (lack of) circumference,

dimension – (lack of) spaciousness,

dimension – (un)spaciousness,

dimension – (non)spaciousness; ...

IDENTITY –

UNIVERSALITY

uniqueness – repeatability

individuality – universality; ...

or also:

 

INDIVIDUALITY–

COMMONALITY

peculiarity – typicality

singularity – distinctiveness, plurality

uniqueness – repeatability

individual – general (communal); ...

3. Relative Categories*3

CODEPENDENCE –

 

CONTRADICTORINESS

(SUMMARY RELATION)

as »absolute« connectedness, orderliness – 

as »absolute«  disarray, chaos; ...

or also:

also:

HIERARHE –

ANARHE

as »absolute«  hierarchy –

abs. anarchy

 

modalities:

 

CAUSE –

EFFECT

as abs. cause, first and last cause –

abs. consequence

ACTIO –

PASSIO

as all-activity –

abs. inactivity

FACT –

POSSIBILITY

as all-materiality –

abs. immateriality, also all-capacity

LAW –

as abs. determinability, all-predictability –

LAWLESNESS

abs. in determinability, abs. in-definitiveness

DETERMINISM –

INDETERMINISM

as abs. determinability –

abs. in-determinability

NECCESSITY –

ACCIDENTALITY

as abs. inevitability, unavoidability –

abs. accidentality, unpredictability

or also:

 

NECCESSITY –

FREEDOM

as abs. destiny, inevitability, dedication –

abs. liberation, self-wilfulness; ...

 

 

 

 

 

_____________

Note*1: At first I followed Aristotle’s and Kant’s categorisation, later I recognized that either our reason or our mind inevitably associates the categories of reason to the absolute (i.e. absolutely); finally I realized (after 40 years) that reason merely categorises facts of consciousness into: direct – indirect, subject-object, subjective-objective, … that reason modifies the system of categories according to its singular, i.e. direct reasoning of the subject (even purely reasonable thinking is only ontologically definable through the individual’s selfhood; in other words it is evaluated by the subject whose original selfhood is individual). But these direct facts of consciousness are directly verifiable in each individual. The same is true in cases where the system is supported by authorities such as the likes of Aristotle and Kant. Social prominence – general consensus of each new thought system of the general public is, of course, another matter.

 

We perceive the ontological or value definition of reason by comprehending or determining ourselves, most often we assume without deliberation one of the two categoric antipodes of the fundamental, or by the actual modality of the fundamental, category as a basis or as the primary fact or starting or originating fact, and the other as a consequent fact. (e.g.: the primary nature of matter: – materialism; of existence: – existentialism; of essence: – essentialism...)

Note*2: Reason relativizes totality (everything) to antipodal dimensions of consciousness, to all or nothing. Abstract thinking does this intensively through extrapolation – restrictive thinking. In other words, thinking (including representational), associates momentarily (unimaginably fast in the direction of nothing and infinity (0 - ?), so into two opposite extreme categoric antipodes, which are themselves unintelligible to it. But it is these extreme antipodes of categories that enable every deduction and by it categoric (pure rational) thinking. From all-dimensionality, infinity to absolute none-dimensionality of space, in short from here to eternity and nothingness is a matter of instantaneous deliberation but of no understanding. He, who is learned through experience, has greater success in understanding quantitative antipodal relative categories measurable in time and space. However, this is a pragmatic, rather than a purely reasoned, ontological definition. It can also be intuitive, but then it is unintelligible to reason and belongs in the field of (synthetic – non-analytical) mind.

Countability (quality) is one thing, counting or enumeration (quantity) another. Time (for example) is not the fourth dimension of space, but rather a different dimension (another relative category)! Space for example, (any tangible or abstract space) is defined and positioned between the 0 and ? of space, between space-lesness and all-dimensionality. … 

Note*3: All the categories are inter-dependent or relative (in relation to each other and dynamically co-dependent in relation to the base or summary category). And so,  Einstein’s relativity of time and space is extremely popular these days; it relates to only two dimensions, or categories if you prefer, but all categories or dimensions are analogously relative or co-dependent. Dimensions or categories and their modalities are perceived schematically, i.e. as a rationally reducible (narrowed) facts of consciousness. »The absolute nature« of antipodes by category is relative! (I aught to persistently mark it as »conditionally absolute«, »absolutely symbolic«, in parentheses).

The problem of social validity of each new thought system – the governing mode of the general public’s thinking (its conflict) – is not resolvable on the pure rational level of consciousness, because it is a matter of the pragmatic-rational consciousness: which is the socially dominant system of thought, how will the dominant outlook be framed (a matter of power, not reason).

 

 

 

The Names of the Seven-level Structure

 

are unessential, a matter of convention, they change relatively; this goes for names, but not their meanings. The seven-level structure of consciousness as a complex symbol, in its essence,  remains what it is, even if we mislabel its constituent parts. We can say this structure is archetypical for people of all times. They will name it in their own way, but one could hardly say a mere few variants do not define it sufficiently that any mind could recognize them. It is therefore directly verifiable! Its origin is, we might say, a product of reason, which may be true up to the fifth level; beyond this, we might call it an inkling of the mind. Precisely the fact that reason can freely construct categorisations, in principle, as many as and in any way it will, shows it may not be trusted. We may assume it falls prey to constructivism because it has no self-exceeding determinacy within itself, i.e. on its level. Here, it invokes intuitive substantiation, which it of course ascribes to itself. This is not even very problematic, however it becomes so once we see that it deadened when it rationalizes this supra-rational determination and becomes poorer for it.

 

The succession of levels symbolises exploring oneself, one’s core, i.e. from the elementary to the transcendent level (e.g.). But if I want to express – symbolise spiritual growth or self-glorification (of my selfhood), self-awareness of essence, or liberation of the folds of the soul (e.g.),  I must list them in reverse simultaneously reading them from the bottom up, as is established with the symbol of the cross. But this is only visual (graphical), in truth, prayer – communication (meditation) arises spontaneously, i.e. from living life, and spontaneously fuses across levels of the mind’s innate structure, all the way to where we say it reaches the transcendent (sphere). Any deductive and contrary inductive moulding is merely the analytical mind’s trivial explanation of that, which it cannot comprehend.

 

The cross is a holistic symbol symbolising the intersection of the vertical and horizontal structure (of the facts) of consciousness on levels of its growth, i.e. from the sensory to the spiritual, or e.g. in the seven-level structure from the elementary to the spiritual level. On the intuitive-mental level (third or seventh) the facts of consciousness transcend, in other words fuse (inculcate), »they are one in Him«. 

 

The mind’s further speculation is the entire matrix of three-times-seven fields and we would be hard-pressed to hardly find any language or mode of expression that would unambiguously (un-homonymically) name such dissimilar fields of facts of our consciousness, which we know to certainly exist without precisely naming them. Here, symbolic expression of allegorically poetic consciousness is ungraspable, incomprehensible. But when reason does, namely, deciphers the structure of consciousness, when it constructs the matrix of meanings, it gets a false sense or perhaps conviction that it now understands Everything. But it does not and cannot understand God, it cannot understand more and deeper than its reach allows (range to the fifth level).

 

Reason can, however, easily take all living things beyond its own grasp and deaden them, dissect them, schematically define – arrange them, and so to say, ruin that which is merely inaccessible to it, and bright – holy to other levels. Reason therefore cannot comprehend an esoteric text, and while it can understand it in its own way, it does so by a truly vast reduction of the text’s entire sense. 

 

This is why, for a deeper comprehension of the facts of consciousness, it is best to forget such schematics as quickly as possible; it would only bother us and block us on its fourth or at least fifth level. It will never understand the sixth and seventh levels, at best it will rationalize them. We could say, it understands the lower levels, but it does not emote, feel vividly, or experience them elementarily.

 

The three-level vertical structure of consciousness is deeper, more living, and direct; it leads consciousness into the infinity of its existence. In the end, this structure is likewise schematic, and therefore stiff, in form. It is also worth freeing oneself from it, but only where its schematic nature and stereotypical uniformity are concerned; its living variations are inexhaustible.

 

 

 

A FEW VARIATIONS OF THE THREE-LEVEL STRUCTURE

(schematic, expressive)

first, the expressive:

 

the world                     earthly

the spiritual world       spiritual

the sky                         heavenly

 

or:       

the body                      the body – the first fold of the soul

the spirit                      the spirit – the second fold of the soul

the soul                       the mind – the third fold of the soul

 

expressive – schematic:                                                   

the first fold of the soul –       sensory perceptive (man)

the second fold of the soul –  supra-sensory spiritual (man)

the third fold of the soul –      transcendentally essential (man)

 

continually expressive:

grounded                                existence – growth

irradiated by spirit                  existence – spiritual growth

eternally living                       divine existence – divinity

 

born                            born

second-born                spiritually born

only-born                    born from god’s (mind’s) spark, from the selfhood of self, from his own essence

 

birth                            you are men            

spiritual birth              you are more than this: you are spiritual beings     

eternal life (undying)   and you are more: you are gods           

 

born                             physically born –  son of man

reborn                          spiritually born – son of the spirit

immortal                      only born – son of god

 

ordered by level:

son of man                  Son of man

holy spirit (bright)       Son of the Holy Spirit

Son of god in Him      Son of God the Father

son of man                  Son of Man

son of the Spirit          Son of Spirit

son of God                  Son of God

 

food of the body            

spiritual food, food of the spirit          

divine meal, meal for God       

 

light                             intellectual flash

light of the Spirit         spiritual illumination

knowing of God          divine enlightenment

 

by sign:

word                                    letter

the spirit of the word           the spirit of the letter

the word of God (Logos)     divine inspiration

 

scripture                        

in the spirit of scripture           

the message of God       

 

law                                               signs

the spirit of the law (values)        meanings

the revelation of God’s essence   essences

 

truly

truly, truly (twice truly)

absolutely truly

 

schematic:

the first reality              sensory

the second reality         spiritual

certainty                       intuitive

 

notions, concepts                               reason

ideas, values, comprehensions           direct facts of consciousness

intuitions                                           synthetic (holistic) mind

 

laws                               

values                            

revelations

 

again, the expressive:

eye                                       eyes

spiritual eye                         spiritual eyes

the heart (of the mind)        the mind of the heart

 

utterance of everyday words

internal speech, direct (conversation) speech

inner address

 

expressive - schematic:

speech                          word

inner voice                   the spirit of the word

proto-voice                  the premonition of the mind

 

again schematic:

perceptive, conventional, conceptual world

symbolically allegorical world

transcendent world

 

language, speech           

inner speech                  

the a-priori knowing of proto-memory            

 

senses, reason                                                perceptions, concepts

the facts of the consciousness (of spirit)        ideas, values, comprehensions

premonitions of the mind                               mind perceptions, intuitions of the mind

 

time

duration

absolute contemporaneousness (»eternity«)

 

communication through symbols

direct communication of a spirit with a spirit

meditative communication with the transcendent within the self

 

As previously stated (in the relation of the the seven-level structure), naming is not of the essence, it varies to an almost unlimited extent, changing relatively; however, this goes for names only, not their meanings. What if a change of levels occurs in actual meaning (not merely in name)?

 

This is difficult to discuss, as wee will always have to come back to the problem of meaning and its definition, this is virtually unavoidable. But a change, or let’s call it different conceptualization, in the level structure is essential – one where (in my opinion) the second and third levels trade places. In this case, the three-level structure as a complex symbol becomes something completely different. Let me try to somewhat frame this issue. The exchange takes place in such a way, that the level of the spirit is perceived in fact as superior to the transcendent level. Example:

 

schematic:                    ordered correctly :

man                              man

transcending man         spiritual man

spiritual man                transcending man

                  

expressive:                    ordered correctly:

body                             body

soul                              spirit

spirit                             soul

 

The exchange of the levels of meaning must be consistent, i.e. consistent in all variations of the triad. Names adhere to this alteration and alter in accordance with it. However, I will not deal with this too much, as it is frequent enough.

Allow me to outline what it means (to me). I could say it hinder our multifaceted exploration of ourselves on the level of the spirit; it cannot enter its essence, the spirit’s power blocks its path. Therefore it extols the spirit, diminishes the soul, the spark of the mind, the individuality of the self, our own selfhood beyond what words can describe. But it glorifies the power of spirit, man’s spirit and the power of man. However, I have dealt with this in detail already in The Treatise on Freedom.

The point of using  (encoding and deciphering) complex (holistic) symbols or only composite symbols of the direct facts of consciousness (e.g. values) lay only in symbolically framing, (»describing«) expressing  values in such a way and to such an extent, they can force or at the least enable understanding, which allows them to come alive horizontally, from the cognitive (discernible), across the ethical, to the aesthetical component of consciousness, and simultaneously – which is even more important – in growth, transition, pervasiveness on the vertical axis of the trivial structure of consciousness!  

 

In different language, we would put it this way:

 

The meaning of the soul (in consciousness) is,

that it expands, deepens, extols;

that it lives its own life;

that it ensures again and again

its transience- intransience.

It must realize itself.

 

Thus, I have broken down the book’s meaning structure as much as I can by myself. If I perhaps saved some analyst a bit of work, even though the self-importance of the intellectual in them may be injured, I merely wished to highlight the inadequacy of the analytical approach to esoteric texts. In fact, I maintain that they can be read on a more profound than the intellectual level. My analysis was not conducted only now to complement the book’s Afterword; it has been weighing on me throughout, I could even say I was at times obsessed by it. Perhaps the only way I can set myself free is by writing it down. As I write this, I feel as though it does not belong here and that the book is read more beautifully, deeply and freely without this breakdown and without the one in the book’s Afterword as well.

 

Perhaps this text belongs in Some Sort of Metaphysical Aesthetics, a book I am writing, and will perhaps one day finish, or more precisely, supplement the one from 1973.

But perhaps this text is more suitable for an entirely different book, which could be titled Some Sort of Aesthetics.

 

One chapter in it could conclude along these lines:

 

»Human beings are truly a strange sort of beings,

they are beings, which belong primarily in the species of curious beings,

and such, which belong more in the species of natural beings,

and such, which belong mostly in the species of admiring

beings.

 

But above all a decision must be made:

is man a mental being of the mind,

is he a being of the mental species

of serial beings?

 

And, as to whether he is predominately a homo politicus

or animal rationale

or homo faber

or homo militaris

or homo religiosus

or homo aestheticus,

let us leave this to rationalists, ideologists, theologians,

or to religious, political, economic, scientific,

militant consciousness, or more precisely: to propaganda and

propagandists, engineers of souls and spiritual leaders.«

 

But it was in vain, all my evasion that is. Now that I have finished

my self-defending disclaimer, a strange unrest is coming over me

I feel that this complement to my afterword

was something I was unable to resist, even before daybreak I

decided a third time, to deliver over, the Testament to John.

 

Ljubljana, in April 1993

 

Translated from Slovenian by Jaka Jarc

 

 

 

Slovenian (gajica)

Slovenian (bohorichica)