Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Organs of Perception
Essence is the Organ of Perception
The most direct perception and experience is the one of identity, when we are what we experience, when the perception is so direct that what perceives and what is perceived are the same thing. This is exactly the experience of essence. Here there is no inference from something else. It is the most direct experience. The experiencer and the experienced are the same thing. There is no separation between subject and object. The subject and the object are the same: essence. It is not only that there is no inference. There is also no intermediate medium for the perception. Usually there is an intermediate medium that enables a subject to experience an object. When the eye sees an object, the intermediate medium is light, but when essence is aware of itself, there is no intermediary. The object, the subject, and the medium of perception are all the same: essence. Also, the organ of perception is essence itself. There is in the experience only essence. Essence is the subject. Essence is the object. Essence is the medium of perception. Essence is the organ of perception. Essence is the experience. There is no separation whatsoever, no duality and no differentiation.
Shutting Off Organs of Perception
The loss of Essence, the repression of the subtle organs and capacities, the shutting off and distortion of the subtle and energetic centers, and the overall resulting insensitivity, all lead to a general but devastating loss of perspective. The individual no more knows the point of life, of being, of existence. He no longer knows why he is living, what he is supposed to do, where he is going, let alone who he is. He is, in fact, completely lost.
Subtle Centers of the Lataif
Frequently the lataif are referred to as organs of perception and action or as centers of experience and illumination. This is partly because the lataif are not only different forms of consciousness (or manifestations of Essence, in our terminology), but are also subtle centers where these qualities of consciousness operate.
Spacecruiser Inquiry, pg. 100
The Many Human Capacities for Perception
The human organism has in it many capacities for perception. The physical senses are the capacities available to ordinary humanity. However, there are many other organs or capacities for perception that are subtle and, in a sense, invisible. There are capacities for inner seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and so on that have to do with the perception of the inner realm, that of the Essence. There are capacities for intuition, direct cognition, synthesis, discrimination, and so on. All of these capacities are fuelled by the substance of Essence…These organs or capacities are connected to various energetic centers in the body that animate both the body and the mind.
The Process of Living Being Developing Us as Its Various Organs of Perception
The process of Living Being developing us as its various organs of perception has many stages, including the ego stages, the stages of delusion. So saying that delusion is a manifestation of Living Being recognizes this process of Living Being developing its organs. And one of the ways that we as the organs of perception develop is through the process of seeing through our delusions. Many traditions say that enlightenment is the experience of and the transition to recognizing ourselves as this totality and wholeness, rather than as a separate individual. But the view of totality, although it recognizes the truth of that perspective, also sees the truth of the suffering individual identified with the ego self. And the process of illumination becomes an interplay between ignorance, delusion, and sleep on the one side, and enlightenment, realization, and awakening on the other side. Between the two sides there is a dialectic that allows Living Being to recognize its nature more deeply and completely and to manifest more of its possibilities. We have already explored the delusions of motive, goal, causality, and a centered self. We can consider them delusions and, at the same time, we can see that they are different ways that Living Being experiences itself. In other words, we can see them as approximations of its true nature, of its enlightened condition. From the perspective of the purity at the heart of Living Being, everything is perfect and always has been. However, Living Being can only look and see and experience through an individual soul, which is always in various stages and degrees of maturation. It is as if the body were mature but the eyes were still developing and cannot yet see the body clearly. The more the eyes develop and become complete, the more they see the body clearly.
Runaway Realization, pg. 155
The Soft Spot in this Universe
As it appears to me, the world is amazing. Human beings are especially amazing. The body that we have is a sensory organ, an organ of perception that is an eye through which the universe can experience itself. There is the universe—the stars and the galaxies, empty space, earth, ocean, rocks, and all the physical manifestation. Every once in a while there is a soft spot in this universe. This soft spot has become so soft that it perceives its environment. That is what a human being is. Why not look at the world this way? Why look at it as if you are a human being who is born one day, only to die another day, with problems and spouses and taxes in between? Why not look at it as if you were an organ of perception for the universe? There is no other way for the universe to know itself. Whether you choose to call it God or the cosmic being or the universe, there is no way for that existence to perceive, to experience, to live, except through living beings.