The eight preliminary ideas...
For someone engaged on an inner path, it is essential to understand the eight preliminary ideas, to have observed them as realities in oneself - concrete realities - and to keep them constantly present in one's mind.
 
Man, an incompletely developed being, has three possibilities…
1) Evolve by his own efforts, passing from the level at which nature has left him to the level of true man, raising himself in this way toward a higher consciousness.
2) Live and die as he is born, an incomplete being. When this is the case, his successive lives resemble the Hindu and Buddhist conception of man, caught up in the wheel of successive reincarnations.
3) Degeneration, which can proceed up until the very capacity for evolution is lost, in other words, what is referred to as spiritual death.
 
He is capable of evolving...
... since the part of him that is capable of developing already exists in him as a seed.
 
...through conscious and voluntary work… and with sufficient help…
Evolution does not happen automatically, but through conscious and voluntary work - through one's own efforts and through the help of someone who has already developed higher consciousness. A spiritual Master, in connection with a living Teaching, represents a help of this kind.
 
This evolution is not for everyone
Not all people evolve. There is no injustice here, since not all people desire to evolve. Evolution is going to become increasingly rare, since people are going to be increasingly subsumed by the economic, social, and political systems, thanks to which they are going to increasingly resemble machines. Machines they already are, but to a lesser degree, still possessing the seed of the possibility of becoming truly human. But in the future they are going to become machines with even less freedom, even less capacity for individual thought, machines in a world of isolation and illusion.
 
Man does not know himself
He lives under all sorts of illusions about himself, he is unconscious of his own functioning. He acts as an automaton, a programmed machine, and he is not even conscious of this fact. Only when he begins to become aware of this situation does he also begin, gradually, to liberate himself, from his automatisms and from his conditioning to which he has been subjected by his education, experiences, and previous incarnations. Man does no more than react, either to all kinds of stimuli from the outer world or to his own inner impulses.
 
Man is not free
As man does not know himself, it follows that he is not free. He does not have a center, an I that says "I want," without this being a reaction, a response to something coming from the outside or inside.
 
Man is capable of transformation
...if he truly understands what has just been explained. At this moment he is capable of a radical change, he is capable of a transformation. From the state of a machine, a conditioned robot, he can begin to become free and creative. He can begin to pass from the state of ordinary consciousness to a state of higher consciousness.
 

Man is fragmented
Man takes himself to be a unified being, an individual ("individual" is derived from the Latin, "individuum," meaning "undivided," that is to say, unified), whereas this is in fact very far from being the case: man is not an individual. An individual is no longer fragmented, in his life he always functions from the same center, the same I.

School of Psychoanthropology © 2006 - 6 novembre, 2006