2 (1) [Jesus says], “Let one who [seeks] not stop [seeking until] one finds. (2) When one finds, [one will be astonished, (3) and having been] astonished, one will reign. (4) and [having reigned], one will [rest].”
5 (1) [Jesus says], “[Know what is before] your face, and [what is hidden] from you will be disclosed [to you. (2) for there is nothing] hidden that [will] not [become] apparent. (3) and nothing buried that [will not be raised].”
Excerpts from The Greek Gospel of Thomas,
The Nag Hamadi Scriptures, edited by Marvin Meyer.
Humankind has been exhorted by the ancients, and their writings, to seek-out knowledge which would elevate them to a higher state of consciousness and being; thereby, bringing a person closer to the essence of that which really ‘is.’
The following is an old Sanskrit verse:
“From the unreal, lead me to the real:
from darkness lead me to light;
from death, lead me to immortality.”
Brhadaranyaka Upanishad. 1.3.28.
So, how is it then, that we who live in this post-Modern world, which is literally filled with distortion, misinformation and fabrication, find that which is real?
It is no easy task to discern the plausible from that which is not! Nothing worth accomplishing is ever very easy to do. It is work. To research, and see through the veil of smoke and mirrors of this Dark Age, of ego and materialism, is often a rough and rugged road. It is, however, a worthy journey that few people are willing to undertake, or invest their time in.
This journey also means that we need to use our minds to critically analyze what we read and see, and ‘not’ just accept anything that is set out before us. Any article, blog, or site may have a tiny seed of wisdom contained within it, which may seem to give the ‘whole’ of its’ information credibility. Yet, this seed may oftentimes be simply a siren’s call. A sirens call which often masks the overall distortion contain within its’ written material.
The ancient wisdom keepers have, however, left us guide-posts to follow, if we but only apply them, and are sincere in our quest for plausible knowledge and wisdom. These guide-posts will, indeed, lead us from the ‘unreal’ to the ‘real.’
One of these guide-posts is known as ‘discernment,’ or in some cases as differentiation, and is a technique that may be used in ascertaining what may be real. Discernment, itself, may be defined as a keen perception of judgment, so discernment is vitally important for a seeker to differentiate between what is plausible and what is not.
Discernment is often said, by some, to be one of several ‘universal laws,’ and governs the evolutionary progress of humankind. It is also viewed as a ‘mental’ law, because it involves ‘thinking.’
In Sanskrit, discernment is termed ‘Viveka,’ and most often means ‘discerning’ or ‘discriminating’ between what is real and what is unreal, and between what is an illusion, or false, and what is true. So, why is it so important to exercise our mental ability? The importance is that through discernment we may gain enlightenment and ‘see’ beyond the illusory world we live in, and into that which is real.
It is said that, “Whatever is evanescent (transitory, or quickly fading away) in Nature is unreal. Forms are related to illusions, whereas the essence that brought forms into existence is the part of Nature that is real. Identifying oneself with what is unreal is ignorance, and prolongs one’s consciousness in a state of slumber. The awakening liberates oneself from the mortal state. The application of Viveka is related to introspection, self-inquiry, and Jnana Yoga. This is reflected in such questions as “Who am I? and “What am I?” By exercising the Law of Discernment, we may eventually transcend the lower planes, and reach into the spiritual dimensions.” The Esoteric Library
Discernment also comes through the practice of making choices by deciding what is rational and makes sense, from that which does not make sense. “Discernment has been central to the life of faith, at least since Biblical times, and is referred to in the Hebrew Scriptures and the writings of the Christian New Testament. It is closely associated with Ignatius of Loyala (1491-1556), the founder of the Jesuit order,” writes Kris Haig.
To embrace ‘anything’ without first thinking about it, applying discernment, or verifying it in some way is called ‘blind faith,’ and there is a reason the word ‘blind’ is used. Michael Simonson says, “My definition of blind faith is to ‘believe’ in something you know nothing about. The act is reckless, senseless, thoughtless, mindless, short-sighted, unthinking, and an absolutely lazy approach to your thought-life.”
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Lao Tzu
Revised: 2012 Roger Allen Baut
This is a companion blog
to the BTR Creative Nexus ninth episode
of 08.11.12 on discernment and the
Look for The Creative Nexus on the side bar, under
the Blogroll, to take you to the ninth episode.