Mysticism and Ordinary Consciousness
Emmanuel Karavousanos, Contributor
In reading, hearing and watching the news of the day, we learn of the horrors that go on in our world. Though much of the news is all too troubling, there is also some that is good and often, promising. Perhaps the good can be greatly expanded if we, individually, made the effort to become wiser human beings. Wisdom, we know, can only arrive from within the self, for it cannot be taught and certainly not legislated. How wonderful it would be if wisdom was multiplied and spread throughout our world! Is this too idealistic? Let us look at and consider mysticism, a very old concept, in a whole new way.
A mystical experience is a sudden insight. It is an abrupt realization that brings on a whole new awareness and a fresh and healthy mentality. A mystical experience is the onset of the mystical state, commonly known as higher consciousness and often as the ultimate reality! Perhaps now, for the first time in human history, we may finally understand why this precious gift occurs. No longer mystical, we would gain the incentive to seek it for ourselves.
Each of us is aware of this ever-present state of mind we call consciousness, yet the great majority of us forever fail to attain and know what is called higher consciousness. Higher consciousness is simply intuitive, intuitive knowledge of our ordinary consciousness; it is obvious and hardly necessary to say that mystics have realized consciousness as an insight from within — intuitively!
It is here we turn for evidence and a foundation to several prominent names. Alfred North Whitehead said, “Familiar things happen and mankind does not bother about them. It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious.” Little, if anything, is more obvious to us than the fact that we are constantly having thoughts! Hegel gave us these words: “Because it’s familiar, a thing remains unknown.” Our incoming thoughts are familiar to us as anything else we know. Let us add the words of Aldous Huxley, who said, “Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” Perhaps as much, or more than anything else, we take our thinking for granted; this occurs early in life and we then forever fail to adequately study thoughts. The power of Huxley’s statement is strengthened when we hear from psychologist Gustav Ichheiser, who said, “Nothing evades our attention as persistently as that which is taken for granted.” All this can and must be applied to consciousness and to our individual thinking. It is here that each of us can begin to consider the importance of analyzing what we already “know” … or, believe we know! Historian James Harvey Robinson said, “We do not think enough about thinking.” Poetically, Goethe agrees: “My boy I’ll say that I’ve been clever, I think, but think of thinking never.” Indeed, there is nothing in the world more important than to begin the analysis of our very own thoughts … in a whole new way! And now, here and now, we have the basis.
It becomes clear that our individual consciousness is known to us only on the surface. If we knew it fully, we would already have attained the higher state. With this thought in mind, we can easily understand that consciousness must—become—intuitively—realized and not just known on the surface!
It is here that we apply Whitehead’s idea: “…analysis of the obvious.” Yes, there is little more obvious to us than our thinking and our thoughts, yet the higher state of mind eludes us and remains … mystical! Thoughts must be seen for what they are; suddenly, Robinson and Goethe speak to us again… Let us understand that a mystical experience takes place when one realizes that which has been known only on the surface, taken for granted and, for the most part, ignored. It is our individual consciousness! This must be realized intuitively! “Analysis of the obvious” is the tool with which we can now reach for and attain the most precious gift of all. Yes, we know consciousness on the surface, but not intuitively! We devote much time to many things, but precious little on our consciousness dilemma. Now that we can understand why mystical experiences occur, we can and will choose to seek that precious higher state of mind.
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 the mystical 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 writes, denied or overlooked. Why? It is because people all too often skim over what they read and skip over some material that should be carefully read and considered. They therefore miss much of what they should have absorbed.
Sadly, the insight that is so, so valuable and can be theirs is missed, discounted or ignored. True, time is so important and our busy schedules often prevent us from applying the necessary time. Understandably, the reader moves on often failing to ever gain the importance of a message. Here and now we have two advantages. We understand why a mystical experience occurs, and we can understand the importance of not overlooking an important concept that must be carefully read and applied.
At this point, let us add the words of another giant in the world of philosophy, Kahlil Gibran, who gave us these words: “The obvious is that which is never seen until someone expresses it.” In discussing consciousness, let us express the obvious once again: we know ordinary consciousness, but do not know higher consciousness. The higher state of consciousness can and must be intuitively realized from within the self through analysis of our incoming thoughts. Our thoughts must, must be seen, intuitively seen, for what they are…
With the foundation provided for us, we can now appreciate the very deep need to undertake the analysis of our arriving thoughts. Peace of mind is freedom from thought, and it is this gift which awaits. To gain this gift, we must, must examine that which we learned long ago – our incoming thoughts. It should and must be repeated: yes, we know consciousness and we know we think, but it is not intuitive! Again, if these were intuitively known to us, we would already be mystics. Begin a very simple practice of considering, once or twice a day, perhaps morning and evening, for only a moment or two, that all arriving thoughts are actually disturbances or interruptions to peace of mind – “hang-ups”. It’s simple! The gift of mystical insight awaits.
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 occurs and 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 reach him at EKaravousa@aol.com.
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