27. Brain, Mind, Universe, Cosmos.

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“How to self-audit transcendent inheritance.”

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Today we are going to take a step back from technical discussions of Tarot Keys or Astrology topics per se. And while we have touched briefly upon Spiritual Alchemy and the theory and practice of Kabbalah, we pause before exploring in further detail these two beautiful self-knowledge horizons. Today is transcendent inheritance self-audit day.

The sub-title of today’s post is “How to self-audit transcendent inheritance.” Was this sentence randomly produced by a computer? It makes no sense! Inheritance--okay. Transcendent inheritance? Nope. Audit–okay. Self-audit—sort of okay. Self-Audit transcendent inheritance? English, please!

Answer: to form an opinion. Question: What is the primary purpose of a self-audit investigating transcendent inheritance?

Audit is an administrative undertaking. It is not of Nature. It is a human artifact, like a ruler or a magnifying glass. Neither is it a wand nor a scepter—also human artifacts, but these artifacts do not measure or magnify transcendence–they symbolize transcendence–as magic and special powers. The wand and the scepter suggest–transcendence is metaphysical—it is not a place. Likely, it is a process.

Meanwhile, Audits are mundane, nearby and often messy. The work of the audit, to form an opinion, draws upon the Brain’s capacity to organize all the facts.

A Cosmic self-audit, while it includes our direct experience of what is “nearby”, it is also sweeping, grand and quintessentially remote. Our Earth bound observations tell us the physical Cosmos, what we think of as natural Universe, is still expanding—some say accelerating. What does this mean existentially? It means Universe is becoming so vast it is gradually getting darker–as light takes longer to reach us.

There are four conceptual landmarks by which we shall navigate this audit: Brain, Mind, Universe and Cosmos. Why this is so should become apparent in a few paragraphs.

We navigate by concept since we cannot know the extent physical Universe directly. Since Einstein it has been permissible simply to infer it.

“The density of matter in the Universe is only 20 drops of water in a billion cubic miles. That’s all the creation the good Lord’s come up with, and it’s no big thing.” John Dobson

Brain, Mind, Universe, Cosmos

Understanding what is meant by “transcendent inheritance” will depend upon our foundation with four ideas and the purposes we assign to them–Brain, Mind, Universe and Cosmos. Keeping them sorted out is going to be important.

In the West it is common practice to presume the Mind is a cognitive function arising from Brain. The Brain would be the transponder, an agnostic device capable of sending and receiving signals; the Mind would serve as the outbound signal; Universe and Cosmos would be incoming signals.

In the modern era it is also common practice to presume Universe and Cosmos to be interchangeable, proxies one for the other. For wisdom studies purposes this is not helpful. We explore why in the next three points.

Point One: Brain and Mind. Each is capable of great feats of cognition. They appear to share a common address–the cranial vault of the human head as tenants in common. Brain and Mind, however, serve very distinct physical and metaphysical purposes in support of an amalgam of direct lived incarnate experience.

Awareness, for example, is requisite to the Mind, but not the Brain. The Brain does not have to be self-aware to perform its important role–to monitor and regulate the involuntary systems of the body. The Brain is also tangible–like the extent nerves, vessels and organ systems which physically link to it. The Mind, as waking and non-waking awareness, is wholly metaphysical.

Point Two: What we know about the natural Universe enters awareness one of three ways–by way of direct input of the senses, by way of instruments we have designed to amplify the senses–and by way of what we can prove with the probative powers of our mathematics.

Point Three. Mind and Brain share sensory infrastructure (sight, touch, smell, taste, hearing) but rely upon very different cognitive modalities to mine the same sensory input data. Each sensory input processing modality has a bias. The Brain’s bias is pattern recognition. The Mind’s bias is gestalt recognition.

Pattern recognition: The Brain is very capable of pattern recognition—the ability to recognize good plant from bad; friend from foe. Pattern recognition is a management function for which the Brain is very well suited. Think: linear.

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Line Segment

Gestalt recognition is an executive (strategic) function made possible by adding Intuition and Imagination to the sensory input toolkit available to Mind. Result: the Mind “thinks” symbolically (in the abstract) and by association allowing it to recognize complex multi-variable patterns and outcomes not predicted by any single input datum considered by itself. Think: recombinant capacity.


Mind: Metaphysical. Executive. Symbolic, abstract, associative cognition (mathematics, music); Imagination, Intuition, Gestalt, Waking and Non-Waking Awareness. Cosmos and Universe.

Brain: Physical. Management. Deductive cognition; agnostic pattern recognition, master administrator of involuntary anatomical systems. No affect. Universe (Nature).

Universe: All the energy and all the matter ever created in Time. Agnostic devotion to all the laws governing matter and energy, Space and Time. No affect. Host to Brain and Mind.

Cosmos: Indigenous Universe–before Time. Pure transcendence. The ineffable dimension of First causes–“the uncaused cause”–what Rudolf Otto tried to describe as the “idea of the holy”. Host to Mind.

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Back to the audit–now that we have given four key concepts a bit of a workout.

Step one: set the facts of sensory experience in order. How? Reason it out. Setting the facts of experience in order is the purpose of the faculty we call Reason. Reason organizes–it does not interpret.

The messy bedroom v the neat bedroom.

Consider the messy bedroom v the neat bedroom. What is the difference? The “facts” of the messy bedroom have been put in order to become the neat bedroom. Reason, not wisdom, was the organizing principal. Conventions of human understanding serve as the organizing principal of Reason. Think: alphabetize. Alphabetize is a convention not a truth. As a convention it reveals little or nothing about values. The neat bedroom may or may not suggest a transcendental truth. It does dispel chaos.

A preference for the neat bedroom over the messy bedroom may occur. Preference is a form of pleasure, reflecting one’s cultural milieu and associated conventions. Preference is a wisdom pursuit biased for culture. There is no need to conflate convention and truth.

Cosmic Self-audit Observation No 1: Conventions, alphabetical order for example, are rational fictions “that make sense”. Alphabetical order may not rise to the level of a truth but its utility for setting words in order is broadly accepted as reasonable. Brain function is adept at conventional thinking. First step: set the facts of experience in order–“alphabetize” the messy bedroom.

Cosmic Self-audit Observation No. 2: The Brain’s capacity to reason is largely a housekeeping capability—not a crucible for design. We use reason to set the facts of experience in order. Design draws upon Imagination and Intuition, see Self-audit Observation No. 4. Imagination and Intuition are the more “cage free” members of the cognitive family. Each has the ability to “see” apparent meaning amidst the chaos. How? The capacity to free associate.

Symbolic modes of thinking are open source, non-linear, and absent the narrow confines of syntax. Virtually all the hermetic subjects comprising the Western Mystery Tradition are symbol systems, witness: Astrology, Tarot, Kabbala, Gematria, Spiritual Alchemy, Archetypes. The ambiguity this accommodates is both the genius of hermetic systems and the bane of a Brain seeking to put matters in order.

Cosmic Self-audit Observation No. 3: Brain function has no affect. This is why bodily functions and chemistries can rely upon it. Swings of mindfulness or mood, characteristic of waking and non-waking awareness, render the Mind a poor candidate to regulate autonomic physical processes deemed to be life critical. In Cosmic terms, we would not want to outsource to the Mind the efficacy of Gravity or Magnetism or Precession.

Counter-intuitive Unconditional love: The Brain’s capacity to administer everything from enzyme production, to digestion, to wound closing and cell repair, reliably–is an act, by Nature, of unconditional love; it is the envy of the Mind!

Cosmic Self-audit Observation No. 4: The Brain’s ability to to recognize patterns has been noted. Free association of the Mind, however, is well suited for the messy bedroom. Free association is the organizing principal of our faculties of Imagination and Intuition. If it is order we seek the Mind needs the Brain. Computers make this point–they are a product of Mind intent upon emulating Brain as agnostic and reliable.

Intuition and Imagination are exceptionally well adapted for metaphysical terrain and its darling, complex mathematics. Intuition and Imagination single handedly point to the Cosmos, not necessarily the Universe, as the indigenous host for the Mind. Imagination and Intuition awareness may be uniquely human–which is to say expendable to Universe.

Cosmic Self-audit Observation No. 5: To distinguish Mind from Brain, a pseudonym for studying human nature has long been referenced by the term psyche. The jurisdiction of the psyche, including human emotions, is bounded by existential waking and non-waking awareness. Disorders of the psyche, according to the Academy, present as neurosis, including hysteria, paranoia and anxiety. The vernacular to describe the psyche under stress is– “mental”. There is no “brainal” equivalency.

So from here, where are we headed ?

We have set the stage to consider the Mind a cognitive gateway to Cosmos. Should we keep going? To help us connect with concepts as grand as Cosmos and the transcendent we will have to steer towards, not away from, terms like “marvel”, “immensity” and “awesomeness”. Of necessity, a linguistic fallacy awaits: sensing the ineffable to be nearby, we will be entering a realm of Mind where symbols, colors and sounds, not words, are the better beasts of burden. Let us, thereby, consider a pivot, giving Cosmos a rest. We may be intrinsic to Cosmos, but are we important to Universe?

Are we, as Mind, important to Universe?

If we lose our standing on our home planet–if humans join the dinosaurs, for whatever reason or by whatever means, will Universe know or blink?

Our suspicion: Universe will neither blink, weep, nor remember should our role as temporarily animated observers of Universe be relinquished. Why then do we anthropomorphize Universe? We should resist this temptation. What if we make room for the indifference towards human beings exhibited by Universe–and let it become the frontier of “limitless freedom” sought by sages across time? The Brain is ready. The Mind would be well served to dissociate Cosmos from Universe.

The Audit Opinion

Summary: The audit has relied upon the representations of management (Brain). Generally accepted conventions of wisdom studies in the Western Mystery Tradition as they pertain to transcendent self-audit methods have been applied uniformly. In the opinion of the community of self-auditing sorors representing the consulting firm of Hasya, Hasya and Hasya, the following conclusion has been upheld: the legacy of Cosmos to Mind remains the transcendent inheritance of one wildly messy bedroom.

Signed—the sorors of Hasya, Hasya and Hasya.

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We bid you peace, safe travels, and the company of the playful,

Frater A

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Should you have time to consider a musical reflection to accompany this post, we refer you to: Ed Sheeran and Andrea Bocelli performing “Perfect Symphony” (15 December 2017), Licensed to YouTube by WMG (East West Records UK, Ltd.)    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiDiKwbGfIY

A Reference of symbols, charts and definitions important to Western Mystery Tradition studies is listed as Post No. 900. Enter “900” in the Search box to be directed to this location.

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