18. INTEGRATION OVERCOMES IDENTIFICATION

 

Integration of the mind depends on awareness integrated by stable attention., taken to the point which opens the doors to the point where this no internal obstacle to our turning our attention wholly towards proper awareness of the contents of our psyche. This frees our attention to go deeper within us. The key point is where external circumstances allow and the inner activity is suitably reduced, to develop what Palamas once called ˜circular attention'.  (In the Greek of the early saints: kyklike kinesis)

In this context, recognition is the ability to distinguish, with the crystal-clear eye of noetic awareness, between the external knowledge-of-the-world brought to us by the senses, and many different things, within us, such as:

1. Innate knowledge whose origin cannot be perceived.

2. Moral knowledge, found within us in the action of conscience, which feels like remembering something.   

3. Knowledge that has been learned in words, and which has not yet been confirmed by recognition. This includes information that was initially learned from outside us, but can afterwards be confirmed from memory.

The problem is how to achieve the noetic awareness which gives us access to this direct cognition. In our normal state we forget ourselves in the associative activities of our psyche - all of them driven from outside us. To overcome this, we must begin by understanding that the alternative; remembering, in this special sense, can occur in several different ways:

- By an irruption of energies; light, or feelings from a higher level within us.

- By meeting a reminder - either an idea or a memory of previous awakenings, accidentally or intentionally placed among our associations.

- By an irruption of knowledge within us that has no external source.

- By an irruption of knowledge from a higher level, gained from outside us but drawing our attention to innate knowledge that exists within us, an external reminder.

 

Now we shall consider certain steps in this process. traditionally, these are:

 

1. CATHARSIS (or purification)

2. PHOTINIS (or illumination)

3. THEOSIS (or deification)