Someone asked, “What is the best way to encourage people to think rationally, unbiased way who mostly run by gut feelings and pure belief?”

You have used “belief” in the pejorative sense and that is sometimes appropriate. That said there are unfounded beliefs but als well founded ones and the word “belief” can point to emotional bias or simply be a way of referencing what a person thinks is true based on reason, intuition, experience, etc. I’ve address the issue of belief somewhat in my Quora answer here: How can I trust my opinions and beliefs?

But about your question, I wrote a related article two years ago titled, “Thinking and Kama-Manas with Special Relevance to Politics and Religion.” I’ve reproduced it at the end of this answer—it defines the problem out of which your question arises and contains some thoughts relevant to an answer. You will find two points in my essay that particularity relate to your “best way.” These I’ve labeled “education” and “Yoga.”

In addition there are a number of practical techniques which, from a communication standpoint, are of value. One of these is “Person Centered Therapy,” because in trying to find the “best way” for ourselves or in recommending it to others we are seeking to be a catalysis for evolutionary change and this is a distinctly therapeutic effort. The video below, Carl Rogers on Person-Centered Therapy, provides a two minute insight in to this:

A more in depth presentation from Rogers with special relevance to the emotional dimension of the problem is here:

Another way of thinking of this in a more directive manner comes from the field of human communication research as it relates to the psychology of persuasion. Here is an 10 minute video on it:

Science of Persuasion

Yet another valuable thing to be aware of when trying to think more clearly ourselves, or encouraging others to do so, falls under the head of “propaganda.” Study the well known principles of propaganda and share them when you can:

7 Propaganda Techniques Used on You Every Day

Finally, below is my article, “ “Thinking and Kama-Manas with Special Relevance to Politics and Religion.”

How do people think and make intelligent choices and decisions, and how it is that so many persons frequently fail to do so? What is the nature of mental phenomena in relation to emotion? What is happening in people’s consciousness and why?

In conversing with many people about the topic of what stands in the way of clear thinking and decision making, it is rare to hear someone voice a good understanding of the ways in which human emotions affect thinking. People may refer to past conditioning or experiences in a general way or to I.Q. or brain function, or to lack of education or training in critical thinking. But the role of human emotions is rarely emphasized or appreciated.

In Eastern thought there is a special term and useful concept: kama-manas. Kama-mans is from the Sanskrit: kama, “desire” + manas, “mind.” It is commonly used as fundamentally descriptive of human nature and underscores the fact people do not, as is commonly supposed, engage in pure thought but rather a fusion of thought and emotion, with emphasis on the emotion.

Edward Abdill summarized the concept: “Since kama is always associated with mind, we use the term kama-manas when referring to our thinking, feeling nature. A prominent Theosophist describes this connection between mind and emotion as ‘flinking,’ a combination of ‘feeling’ and thinking.’”1

“Flinking,” or so-called thinking is actually mind-emotion based, and most commonly with the emphasis on the emotional. As M. Bell expressed it, “From a developmental cognitive neuroscience point of view, emotion and cognition, traditionally considered separate processes, are dynamically linked and work together to process information and execute action…”2

K. Mukerji, address the concept in connection with the social sciences and also touches on the crucial ideal of transcending the limitations of the usual kama-manasic strata in which most humans, including scientists, function:

“…the emotional preferences of the scientist are invariably brought into the methodology of (social and) political science. These (emotional preferences) are unavoidable… This state of freedom from bias or non-attachment, however difficult, is not beyond the capacities of the human mind to attain. How to attain this non attachment in a systematic and consistent way is, I believe, not yet been tried in the West. The Yoga philosophers in India, so it seems to me, had made most interesting and successful efforts. A reliable methodology of political science, in my opinion, demands that the (social and) political scientists should undergo the discipline of yoga, which alone can rescue the human judgment from the siren-like promptings of kama-manas or lower-mind and endow it with the impartial detachment of a self-poised and self-possessed mind ever guided by the light of pure reason.”3

It should be made clear that in most philosophic treatments of the topic of kama-manas, it is not suggested that all human emotions should be transcended. It is rather generally understood that one seeks to transcend the lower emotions which are largely fear-based. So, for instance, in psychological Yoga disciplines, emotions based in genuine love are retained.

If it is true that “emotional preferences” affect scientific endeavors where objectivity is explicitly striven for, then clearly the kama-manasic functioning must be most powerful for emotionally fraught topics like religion and politics. Indeed, it may be argued that for most people, where such topics are concerned, the mind is relative non-existent which accounts for the widespread phenomena of irrational choices in the religious and political realms. Unless and until the practices, (or something resonant with them) suggested by K. Mukerji are put into action, then much of the body of humanity must remain a prisoner of the kama-manasic nature. And, it should be added, this condition–in many cases–is a danger to other humans.

The book Creative Thinking describes the human kama-manasic problem:

“People who live here are the victims of their desires, fears, and resentments. They are the victims of those automatic responses built into their emotional body by the fate of their early environment and education. They can no more rise above them than they can alter what has happened in their childhood, for they are a prisoner within the boundary of emotion which does not know reason.”4

And like K. Mukerji, Creative Thinking underscores the vital importance of transcending kama-manas:

“To become consciously creative, humanity must shift their polarization from their emotional feeling nature up into their mind where reason can be found and used as the springboard of action.”5

The kama-manasic nature of most of humanity–and the extreme dominance of the kama (emotional) aspect in a large portion of that total–results in a difficult communication and educational conundrum. The more mentally polarized person, in seeking to communicate with a largely emotionally polarized one, is apt to think that all that is needed is a presentation of logic and evidence. But if, as is all to common, kama dominates manas, then no amount of reason or reliable evidence will make any impression whatsoever.

Yet still, it is also true that if the mind aspect is sufficiently present, then for many humans, reason and evidence have good effect. Therefore the education of the slowly awakening mind of humanity is of crucial importance, and especially for those who are consciously or unconsciously striving to lift their consciousness from the chaos of the lower emotions into the clear light of the mind.


1 The Secret Gateway: Modern Theosophy and the Ancient Wisdom Tradition, p. 62

By Edward Abdill, Quest Book, 2006

2 Bell, M., & Wolfe, C. (2004). Emotion and Cognition: An Intricately Bound Developmental Process. Child Development, 75(2), 366370. Retrieved from Emotion and Cognition: An Intricately Bound Developmental Process

3 MUKERJI, K. (1955). SOME PROBLEMS OF METHODOLOGY IN POLITICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH. The Indian Journal of Political Science, 16(1), 2332. Retrieved from SOME PROBLEMS OF METHODOLOGY IN POLITICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH

4 Creative Thinking, p. 135, Lucile Cedercrans, Wisdom Impressions, 2007 (CDROM)

5 Creative Thinking, p. 100, L. Cedercrans

 

 

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Someone asked, “How are the ideas of the physical, spiritual, metaphysical, and symbolic related?”

The physical is the limited external face of things and relates mostly to effects and secondary causes. The spiritual is the unlimited higher or deeper reality of things and relates to primary causes. The physical is the symbolic and relatively inadequate representation of spiritual realites. Spirituality is found in awareness of the metaphysical and in the ways evolution unfolds as the the physical becomes a more perfect expression of the spiritual.

The spiritual is the beautiful.

“…beyond the Beauty that is predicated of various forms and relationships, there is a pure Transcendent Beauty, and this is a mode of the very Being of the SELF. This Beauty is not something that is beautiful. It is Self-existent and casts its luster upon all things… Ecstasy is pure Beauty, as well as pure Joy and Knowledge. “ PATHWAYS THROUGH TO SPACE P 47

 

 

Someone asked, “What is your personal interpretation of the human soul?”

Soul is consciousness and intelligence, or more exactly, higher consciousness. “Higher” means a higher dimension or level of energy. The soul is consciousness expressing as love, wisdom, and unity. The soul is inherently conscious of its unity with all other souls. though most persons have only a glimmer of that reality yet by spiritual evolution this consciousness grows.

Soul is the true identity or what we should mean when we say “I.” that is were we speaking from the deepest source of our nature. But when most say “I” they refer to some combination of the body, mind, and emotions with which they are identified. But these three are only very partial extensions or representations of the soul. The personality borrows its sense of “I” from the soul. Spiritual Self-realization makes this relationship self-evident. So, while in incarnation, the soul is the consciousness that functions and expresses a small part of itself through the mind, emotions, and body.

After death and between incarnations the soul has only the mind and emotions as its vehicles of expression. The soul is the coherent and persistent energy field or aura that is evoked by the interaction of spirit and matter. It is that essential consciousness and individuality that reincarnates down through the ages.

The soul is all this and much more, because the soul is not entirely definable in intellectual terms since it transcends the personality-mind (with its terms and concepts) and can only be deeply understood by direct mystical experience.

 

 

Someone asked, “Can someone who has had a spiritual awakening still have friends?”

Of course, and the circle of friends will be expanded. Also, some friends may fall away and new, better and deeper relationships will take their place. Awakening is another way of speaking about the quality of our consciousness, our vibration, our note, and it is that which attracts and repels the people, the groups, the service opportunities and circumstances of our life. We attract those who are like us and who will work with us. We also attract those who need us and those to whom we owe a dept (karma).

“…think what it would mean if you could love everybody–not because all persons in the world are so attractive and lovable that they awaken your love, but because an ever-present consciousness of Love exists within yourselves and, like the sun, rays out in all directions on the and unjust’ alike. “ (Anon)

“The beautiful attracts the beautiful.” (Leigh Hunt)

“Superficial friendliness and participation is sustained by mutual unconsciousness. At the next step, friends become instrumental as testers of moral courage. Then, with sufficient wisdom, one can distinguish true friends from those just passing by, and thus avoid casting precious energy into an abyss. Finally, friends become cooperative in the production of radiance. These new friends manifest an electric network where cooperation and mutual support accords with a divine synchronicity.” Morphing with Light

 

Someone asked, “Some people claimed that they can see the past life, but as we know, our brain can only know things we see or experience in our life. Where did the memory of the past come from?”

Nature has wisely arranged it so that the memory and consciousness of most people is focused primarily in their current life. In fact, most of what is foremost in our consciousness pertains to the current day or week or even moment of life. It would be a great handicap if our subconscious or superconscious came flooding in all the time, and even a flood of conscious memories from the current life would render life unbearable and impractical. (Being able to access the superconscious selectively and at will is another matter that does not have the “flood” problem. And occasional memories and experiences of the remote past can also be OK and useful.)

There are vast realms of the unconscious which includes both the subconscious and the superconsciousness or soul. It is not correct that the brain can only access memories of the current life. Memories exist in the soul and for various reasons can sometimes filter down into the brain. The brain is a terminal that receives impressions from the physical world but also from the psychic and spiritual realms. These subtle realms are real dimensions and energies that under certain circumstances make their presence felt in the brain. External nature and super-nature are in continuity with each other and by evolution they become increasingly so.

It’s necessary to understand that consciousness and memory are not simply physical. They are present in the physical brain but that is not their origin. The origin is essentially and initially transcendental.

The Brain

Does Consciousness Depend on the Brain?

Consciousness Without Brain Activity…- Dr. Bruce Greyson

Out-of-Body Experiences: All in the Brain?

People have NDEs while they are brain dead

Consciousness Independent of the Brain

Dr. Charles Tart’s Study of Verified Perception in Out-of-Body Experiences

People See Verified Events While Out-Of-Body

See also: Reincarnation–Parapsychological Research and Articles

 

Someone asked, “Will the Universe become lifeless in the future because, eventually, all living beings will get moksha (nirvana)?”

The universe is never lifeless. A material universe is a temporary cyclic manifestation of Life. Alive and not-alive is an arbitrary division. The physical universe is not a thing apart from life, rather it is the external and limited face of life, life itself being infinite and unlimited. Forms on many levels—and the universe as a whole—periodically cease to exists in their current state and the life that ensouled them moves on to new forms. A universe eventually concludes and following that a new universe begins on the next turn of the infinite spiral of life.

“And within me, deep and deep, Universes wake and sleep.”

Kenneth Morris

Big Bang Abandoned in New Model of the Universe

Pralaya – Wikipedia

Nirvana – Theosophy Wiki

 

Quora

Someone asked, “What is the difference between thinking about an enlightening realization after the fact and feeling or really knowing the realization?”

They are very different though one can, to a degree, spill over into the other. Realization is a trans-personal experience which means that it is above and beyond the body, emotions, and thought. At the same time it directly affects all three of these.

Notice that there is much difference between remembering a sunrise we saw a week ago and the actual immediate experience at the time. This is also true of remembering the experience of enlightenment only far more so. However, there is some difference here because the sunrise memory is evoked by external events whereas spiritual experience is relatively independent of a phenomenal events. Because of that there is more of the possibility of, to some degree, transcendence of the time/space factor such that the spiritual experience can be recovered. Actually, the only way to fully be in touch with what happened spiritually is to recover it in the present moment. Looking back at a peak time of enlightenment by means of ordinary memory is amazing in itself, but even more momentous is the recovery of that energy and its re-manifestation in the present moment. The memory of great events are permeated with a mystical aura so that to truly look and remember is to be once again transformed.

This poems catches the spirit of remembering the spiritual yet not being fully in touch with it:

TOMORROW

I knew so many useful things
And now I have forgotten them all.
Like a robbed traveler.
Like a beggar who has lost his possessions.
In vain I remember the riches
That long since were mine;
I remember unexpectedly, not thinking,
Not knowing when the perished knowledge
Will flash.

Only yesterday I knew much
But during the night everything dimmed.
It is true the day was great.
The night was long and dark.
Came the fragrant morning.
It was fresh and wondrous
And illumined by the new sun.
I forgot and was deprived of that
Which I had gathered.
Under the rays of the new sun
All the knowledge melted.
No longer can I distinguish
An enemy from friends.
I do not know when danger
Threatens. I do not know when
Night will come. And the new sun
I shall not be able to face.
All that I once possessed,
But now I am orphaned.
Pity it is that I shall again regain
The needed not earlier than tomorrow.
But today’s day is still long.
When will it come—
The tomorrow?”

Flame in Chalice, Nicholas Roerich

Flame in Chalice by Nicholas Roerich

 

Morphing with Light