Emmanuel Karavousanos, Guest Writer
Religions have increased in number over the many centuries illustrating a need humans have for spiritual relief. Over this great period of time mysticism has continued to baffle and elude human understanding. The mystical experience and the mystical state have remained just that – mystical. It may very well be that we have overlooked a most significant concept, and direction! Indeed, Christianity and all religions and their followers may benefit from an understanding of why a mystical experience occurs, and how to reach that higher state of mind. After all, the philosophy and spiritual life of people throughout history has always been to discover the divine presence that is accepted as being within each of us. This evasive spiritual gift, the mystical state, is also known as, higher consciousness, ultimate reality, nirvana and more.
The mystic gains knowledge, intuitive knowledge of consciousness through that flash of insight known as the mystical experience, the onset of the mystical state. It becomes quite obvious that if the mystic had not gained sudden insight, then this spiritual gift could not and would not have been attained. And too, if the ordinary individual cannot find interest in seeking this experience, then the mystical state can never become known. Let us consider an explanation for this phenomenon, for with an answer, everyone would choose to seek this greatest of all gifts. Could such an explanation exist?
It was historian James Harvey Robinson who said, “We do not think enough about thinking.” Philosopher Alfred North Whitehead wrote, “Familiar things happen and mankind does not bother about them. It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious.” We know familiar things – our thoughts — are taking place in the mind almost continuously if not continuously. Is it possible that the words given to us by Robinson and Whitehead can be reconciled in such a way so for the first time we can understand why, why mystical experiences occur?
Each of us early in life naturally and understandably takes the thinking process for granted. We simply accept the thinking we do as it is, and move on with our lives generally ignoring the consciousness question. Why bother with something that has no explanation and has always been a mystery! With no explanation and no basis to seek the higher state, we have more or less ignored it. At best, it remains esoteric. Below is a list of quotes providing overwhelming and irrefutable evidence encouraging us to consider the importance of analyzing familiar, obvious and known things and things we take for granted. Why are we encouraged to analyze things we already “know”? Could it be it is because we eventually would come to learn, intuitively learn things known to us only on the surface? It is more than clear that we all know we are conscious, yet we do not know the higher state of consciousness. As noted above, the mystic gains intuitive, intuitive knowledge of consciousness. If we all knew our individual consciousness fully, completely, intuitively, each and every one of us would have already become a mystic.
We begin to see why we must analyze that which is known to us superficially! Rather than just continue to have thoughts, we must consider and analyze our thoughts so in time, they can eventually be recognized, insightfully recognized, and seen for what they are! As Robinson, says, “We do not think enough about thinking.” Yes, it is our arriving thoughts, our individual arriving thoughts that we must focus on and analyze! Knowing why, why a mystical experience occurs provides the incentive to seek that treasured gift – the mystical state. We may begin to see that through analysis of obvious, familiar and known things, and things we take for granted – specifically our thoughts — mystical insight, can be realized.
In his book titled Cosmic Consciousness, Richard Maurice Bucke, a physician and mystic wrote that in order to enter into cosmic consciousness – his term for the mystical state – the seeker must place himself, perhaps not intentionally or consciously, “in the right mental attitude.” Buddha said that enlightenment will come to him who is a lamp unto himself. And, too, we should look at the words given to us by Jesus: “The kingdom of heaven is within.” The wise throughout the ages, have encouraged us to look inward. The trick is to seriously, very seriously begin pondering our very own thoughts!
Simply taking a very few moments – 2 or 3 minutes once or twice a day — and actually analyzing, for those very few moments, the possibility that thoughts just may be interferences or interruptions preventing us from having peace of mind will, in time, trigger the insight announcing the spiritual gift we seek. There is, here and now, more than adequate proof for each of us to begin analyzing our thoughts, those familiar, obvious and known things, and things we take for granted. Now with a most solid basis provided by a number of prominent names, we can strive to reach that highest spiritual plateau.
Let us recall Whitehead’s words, “It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious.” Until now it did require an unusual mind to reach the mystical state. Why? Because only the individual with “an unusual mind” will analyze what he or she already knows … or believes to be known. In the beginning to analyze thoughts, the mystic-to-be suddenly gains intuitive knowledge of that which was previously only surface knowledge. At some point the answer arrived as a glorious insight – a mystical insight! Importantly, the mystic did not know why that phenomenon occurred. Now, almost certainly for the first time, we have an explanation! We now have the basis for it in the analysis of familiar, obvious and known things and things we take for granted. What is more familiar to us than the fact that we think! We must begin to meditate on what thoughts are and when they are there…. It is time for our world’s religions and all of us to consider this new direction. It is the analysis of those very familiar, obvious and known things and things we take for granted – our thoughts!
In the Introduction to his book titled The Ferryman’s Dream, the author Dr. Stewart Bitkoff explains that some who have attained “spiritual completion” try to teach others how to gain that higher state. Bitkoff writes that these already gifted individuals use tools and faculties termed extraordinary in their efforts to help others. Notwithstanding the instruction he and other spiritual teachers offer, their help is often ignored or, as Bitkoff says, denied or overlooked. Why? It is because people all too often skim over what they read. And too, they skip material that should be carefully read and considered. They therefore miss much of what should have been learned and absorbed. The insight that can be theirs is missed completely. True, time is so important and our busy schedules often prevent us from applying ourselves so we are rushed even when reading. Understandably, the reader moves on often failing to ever gain the importance of a deep, sincere and most meaningful message that may provide penetrating insight or help.
In this brief essay, we discover there is a way to lift ourselves and our world in the grandest way. Here is a path that has been sought since time immemorial. We can recognize that the mystical state can and will be attained — intuitively realized — through the analysis of those familiar, obvious and known things, and things we take for granted … our thoughts! If we apply ourselves, mysticism may no longer be so mystical, for we now know why it occurs.
Evidence Supporting Analysis of the Obvious
Familiar things happen and mankind does not bother about them. It
requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious. -Alfred North Whitehead
Nothing evades our attention as persistently as that which is taken for
granted. -Gustav Ichheiser
The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards. -Arthur Koestler
The obvious is that which is never seen until someone expresses it. -Kahlil Gibran
That’s the way things come clear. All of a sudden! And then you
realize how obvious they’ve been all along. -Madeleine L’Engle
No question is so difficult to answer as that to which the answer is
obvious. -George Bernard Shaw
The best place to hide a needle is in a stack of needles. -Robert Heinlein
There is nothing as deceptive as an obvious fact. -Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
I deal with the obvious. I present, reiterate and glorify the obvious
— because the obvious is what people need to be told. -Dale Carnegie
Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things
for granted. -Aldous Huxley
The obscure we see eventually. The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer. -Edward R. Murrow
I remain a believer that the obvious is harder to grasp than most of us think and easier to lose sight of than most of us are willing to admit. -Aldo Papone
The unapparent connection is more powerful than the apparent one. -Heraclitus
About the Author
For some 50 years Emmanuel Karavousanos, a layman, has engaged himself in his first love, the study of consciousness. He authored “The Gift of Mystical Insight,” a book that for the first time, offers an explanation of why a mystical experience occursand how this precious gift can be attained by each of us. Mysticism, this greatest of all dilemmas has now been clarified and can be understood through that which Whitehead and others described as, “analysis of familiar, obvious and known things and things we take for granted.” Mysticism need no longer be viewed as mystical! It is in creating an atmosphere where each and every individual gains an interest in the study of his or her own consciousness. Knowing one’s self is recognized, more than ever, as something deeply needed by our world. This most profound need is seen in the continual killings that have occurred in the past 2 years or so and are fresh in our minds. Most people seem to operate almost entirely on intellect while ignoring our very deep need for insight. Karavousanos worked in the investigations field for 33 years, which helped him prepare for this breakthrough in the consciousness field. Explaining it logically, the mystical experience, the onset of the mystical state, is no longer a great conundrum. At age 80 Karavousanos’ interest is no longer in money or fame. He lives in Bellerose, NY and devotes his time to his studies, to his 2 children and 6 grandchildren. You can each him at EKaravousa@aol.com.
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