Our thinking, built on the principle of “yes – no”, can be called “dichotomous.” Literally – “division by two.” This thinking has generated the most terrible distortion in the assessment and knowledge of the world. The way of thinking gives rise to existing forms of relations, culture, science, the way of society. To go beyond these forms, means to go beyond the limit of the way of thinking, for which is necessary to change the morality and perception of the world. Moral principles construct thinking algorithms, but the morality that is constantly imposed on us is either Byzantium, or “civilized society”, or by someone else (and in fact always coming from the same source), nothing more than chaos, revolution, tyranny can not bring. Dichotomous thinking dooms all affairs and undertakings to failure since it cannot correctly reflect the world around us. The dichotomy established in the traditions and culture of many nations and set a hard limit for the development of science and worldview of all humanity. Thanks to this type of thinking, Humanity is easy to manage, it is easy to deceive and impose wars, revolutions, tyranny, crises on it.
The origins of tyranny is not in a separate person: in Hitler, Napoleon, Stalin, not in a separate doctrine: communism, fascism, fundamentalism, and even not in a separate nation. The origins of tyranny is due to the way of thinking of people of this civilization, which is formed by existing moral principles. Auschwitz and the Gulag, Hiroshima and Babiy Yar are all the result of one type of thinking, one type of morality. It doesn’t matter what was proclaimed and written on the banners. It is important, what kind of morality was at the basis of all these acts, and what kind of attitude was actually towards a Human.
The result of dichotomous perception is expressed, as example, in fanaticism. Fanaticism is a type of hypnosis, when a person’s mental analysis, his own will and consciousness are turned off for certain thoughts and ideas, but aggression is turned on. In the Middle Ages, this condition was called obsession, in our time it is also called zombification.
From the very nature of the dichotomy follows the depravity of judgment. A person, himself without understanding it, uses a primitive scheme of thinking: dichotomy (bad or good) -> evaluation (judgment) -> denial or attachment. But in Nature there are many interrelationships beyond such primitive thinking!
The question arises: how do we develop ourselves in such a way as to go beyond our stupidity? In the very word of Vipassana, the answer lies: meditation of the attainment of wisdom. But before, I propose to add into analytical thinking such a concept: “I admit that I don’t know everything.” Armed with this concept, a person is able to push back self-conceit or self-importance and childishly watch with curiosity. Keep quiet and learn.
Self-conceit (self-importance) manifests itself in feeling “I am above it” or “it’s too … (uncomfortable, unacceptable, disgusting, low, etc.) for me”, or “who is he / she to tell me that? ! “. As a rule, after such a thought a reaction occurs: aggression or avoidance. The bad news: often in people this is manifested unconsciously. That is, the person acts automatically. Good news: we are already able to see it in ourselves. And since Human is a beautiful and perfect being by nature, we are ready to see and overcome this tendency in ourselves.
There is one more obstacle in a person that impedes self-development. It is the way we learn. Look, since childhood we are all told how the world is and how we should perceive it. Starting with parents, then kindergarten, school, high school: society basically: everything sets us up to receive knowledge about the world from someone from outside. Moreover, the practice of acquired knowledge is almost never accomplished. True assimilation of information does not occur. Therefore, sometimes you can hear the question: “How do you know this?” Or even better “Who told you this?” The very statement of such a question proves what been told above about the world perception of the majority.
Meanwhile, there are three stages in the acquisition of true knowledge: listen to the teacher (read a book) or get knowledge. Think about or realize knowledge. Apply or get direct experience from knowledge. I can talk as much as I want about salt, its color and chemical composition and taste. But until you try the salt, knowledge will remain only information. I can talk as much as I like about the dichotomy of perception, but as long as you do not sit down and do not realize this in practice of meditation, this text will remain only information for you.
Bhante Henepola Gunaratana. Meditation on Perception: Ten Healing Practices to Cultivate Mindfulness:
“The basic process of perception meditation is fairly simple. We use pacification meditation (Samatha) to calm down and center ourselves, and insight meditation (Vipassana) to more clearly understand how we usually perceive our own body and mind, as well as the surrounding world. To our horror, we find that although our way of sensing and understanding our own experiences seems solid and reliable, in fact, it contains several significant distortions or errors. It does not lead to clarity and joy, but to confusion and suffering. This understanding pushes us to continue meditating in order to develop a refined perception in the manner indicated by the Buddha. As a result of these attempts, we are moving forward along a path that allows us to free ourselves once and for all from diseases, delusions and other forms of physical and mental suffering.
The technique of meditation cannot be fully described in words, because true understanding comes only during practice. However, it is so simple that anyone can start. The basis of technology is the silent observation of all the phenomena that the mind can register: physical and mental. At the same time, the meditator says to himself exactly what he is observing. It is necessary for the education of the mind and focus of consciousness.
Physical phenomena are observed in the five sensory “gates” of our body: skin (feel), ears (hear), eyes (see), nose (smell), mouth (taste).
Mental phenomena are observed as “thinking” in general, that the teachings of Sayadaw Mahasi divided into “imagining”, “remembering”, “planing”.
In fact, in the course of our lives, we all meditate. Consciously or not. Every time we concentrate on the work we do, this is Samatha meditation. Every time we sit on the shore of the lake, we meditate: we observe nature: the wind, sounds, smells, our feelings and emotions. This is Vipassana meditation. However, if we are distracted by an endless stream of thoughts, we begin to worry about them or make decisions in imaginary situations without realizing this fact: this is no longer a meditation.
There are many different meditations aimed at developing various aspects of our Mindfulness. In particular, Metta Chanting is a type of Buddhist meditation in which the yogi focuses on the pronunciation of a Sanskrit text. Over time, when the text is learned and the pronouncing of words does not cause stresses of memory, the yogi focuses on his sense of Faith. Namely, understanding the meaning of the spoken one believes that the spoken is done like a spell. He turns his faith to the Macrocosm (Buddha, Jesus, the Creator, Allah, the Universe – call it what you will). However, I would recommend to think about those names not as something personified, but as aspects of the Universe that embodied in the Human body for the fulfillment of a certain mission or remain disembodied beyond the limits of the Human perception.