Notes from Sutra Discussion Group 10/16

Thanks again to Mike for his insightful notes.

—A

From Mike:

Various interpretations of the “seven stages of enlightenment” were
discussed, including the following from the book “How To Know God”:
1. realization that the source of all spiritual wisdom is inside
ourselves
2. the cessation of pain through release of attachments and aversions
3. Samadhi: complete realization of, and union with, the Atman
4. a return to consciousness of the external world, but with knowledge
that this world is just an appearance
5. realization that the mind and external world have both ended their
services to the experiencer
6. the stored-up impressions within the mind, and the gunas
themselves, fall away forever
7. the final stage is reached: the state of eternal union with the
Atman

If the goal of the seeker is “that which cannot be named”, or “that
which cannot be described in words”, is the intellect the enemy? Does
the act of describing or discussing spiritual matters take one further
from the goal? Should we send the mind packing?
=> Spiritual study often leads to “ah-ha” moments, where something is
made clear, something is learned
=> These answers are not necessarily revealed through a logical
(analytic) thought process; often, the “answer” becomes clear later, as
something we recognize as true
=> There are times when the intellect is helpful, are there are times
when we need to simply do the practice

It sometimes seems that there should be an underlying simplicity to the
universal truth. If that is true, then why do spiritual teachings
sometimes feel so long, and complicated, and wordy?
=> Maybe the universal truth is simple once grasped, but trying to
reveal this truth is very difficult. Perhaps spiritual teachings
approach this truth from a number of angles, with numerous examples and
metaphors, in the hope that one of these examples will ring true with a
student. Then the “ah-ha” moment comes …

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