Eros Philos Logos
The Conscious Quantum Leap
I will discuss three well known Greek words, eros, philos and logos. Ordinarily eros is limited to the erotic. I am using the term to signify the attraction and love for beauty. The beauty of the landscape, nature, the human form, the human personality, all the arts including literature, painting, music and dance. The love of beauty is an important part of life and deeply connected to the heart. Eros is also the beauty of the family home, festivals and daily life in all its spleandour. In India there is mention of the dangerous beauty of nature’s expressions through volcanoes, tsunamis and other spectacular manifestions.
We perceive all that is eros through our sense organs: sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. There is also sense pleasure in gourmet foods, physical love and extreme sports. Everything that we can experience through the physical senses belongs to the category of eros. For many this is life, this is happiness, this gives meaning.
We swing between happiness and misfortune. There is also the shadow aspect of eros, when we fail, we are deluded, deceived and disappointed, or when some one dies, we lose a person, a place or an object.
Philos refers to whatever is connected to the intellect, analysis and play with ideas. Philos is about philosophy, science and religion, whether esoteric or exoteric. The esoteric refers to the mystical side. Whereas the exoteric refers to prayers, chanting, rituals, buildings, institutions and religious festivals.
Philos also includes different systems of government. Should there be a kingdom with royal families, and governance by the king, queen, princes and princesses; or should there be democracy, the preferred system of today. Should there be dictatorship, a military junta or tyranny. What system do we choose to govern our society? All these are ideas. In moral philosophy how do we know whether something is good or bad, correct or incorrect? Anything connected with ethics and morality is part of philos. It is important in social life to know and to be connected to our ideas so that we can formulate our values. All this belongs to the category of philos.
For people who life exclusively in eros, it would be a quantum leap to shift from eros into the dimension of philos. Philos is subtle and requires intellectual development, the power of reason and the capacity to perform moral reasoning. We make choices in life. We need to judge who is good, who can be trusted, how we should use money, what is a crime and what is not a crime.
Many remain at the level of eros. Others live in both eros and philos. Some remain in the world of philos and disdain eros somewhat. I once met a physicist who had won a nobel prize for his work. He was an excellent mathematician but could not tie his shoes. He could not manage the tasks of ordinary life and depended entirely on his wife and his university for the basics of living.
Logos is higher than philos. Logos means the word of God, which must be logical, coherent and filled with the highest significance. Logos refers to the sacred aspect of human life and is about contact with the Divine. Logos is a level of consciousness that you encounter rarely. It is mostly the preserve of mystics and those who give importance to the spiritual dimension.
Can develop a level of consciousness whereby we can live at all three levels at once, eros, philos and logos? To be honest, how important is the dimension of logos in your life? Because it is insufficient, our lives lack equilibrium and an anchor. There are energies that bring us down and prevent us from dwelling in logos. We must swim against these currents. Often we are unaware that there is a current that is carrying us away towards philos and eros and that prevents us from rising to the subtle level of logos.
I would like to take up the word perception. In the dimension of eros we perceive physicial reality, people, places, and things through our sense organs. In the inner world of philos, we can perceive the meaning of ideas through the development of our intellect. We must also develop the mind in order to enter the domaine of philosophy, because there is perception of meaning through the mind. To enter the dimension of logos we require spiritual perception. For this we must develop the soul at its deepest level of perception so that through the mind we can perceive the Divine directly.
In the Gita, India’s most revered scripture, a verse says: “There are some who perceive it. Others declare that it exists, and a third group who asks what you are referring to.” Those with access to logos can perceive the Divine. Those in philos accept that logos exists, while those who are totally in eros cannot conceptualise what logos might be.
The soul has faculties. Each soul’s faculties are developed to a different degree. However until you begin the develop your faculties, you remain unaware to what extent they can be developed. Each one has their own limitations which are difficult to exceed.
Anyone can begin a course of study, but very few achieve excellence or virtuosity. Very few become masters. Whether it is cooking, sport, music, dance or medicine. In Hollywood they say for cinema stars, there is 5% talent and 95% hard work.
Our capacity for raising our level of consciousness and achieving the level of logos depends on will power. You need to dedicate time to work regularly and intensively. And as soon as you begin such work everything that lies hidden within the subconscious mind will erupt.
The development of human consciousness does not cost money, so it is said to be free. But that is only at the level of money. There are other costs. It requires attention and time to overcome psychological barriers. In general most people have sustained psychological wounds due to severe shocks experienced in life. These wounds neither heal spontaneously nor with time. They take the form of blockages that are hard to break through. These psychological barriers block our way when we wish to rise from eros and philos and reach the level of logos. Crossing these barriers requires total honesty which is not easy. Those who are the most wounded have difficulty facing and recounting their story, and tend to remain in denial.
Some claim they are not wounded but they display a lot of arrogance. This arrogance takes the form of an impenetrable wall that stands between the self and the attainment of the level of logos. This situation is probably worse that a wound. When the heart and soul are wounded they seek a healing. The arrogant person thinks he or she has everything or knows everything and does not seek to be healed from his or her arrogance. To achieve a healing, it seems to be we have a better chance if we are aware that we carry a wound, than if we are arrogant.
There are different types of wound. A sign of being wounded is fear and anxiety. When someone has experienced extreme circumstances there is always the possibility that simmilar circumstances may recur. It is normal to have fear and live in anxiety. In the face of fear there are two options. One is courage, the other is cowardice and to avoid facing the fear.
People who experience a lot of fear and anxiety often also show a lot of courage. Cowardice does not look good. When someone has passed through extremely difficult situations he or she develops the habit of acting out of great courage. Thus badly wounded people often display great courage. They also have a lot of anger, which is itself a defense mechanism. Anger and violence do not look good therefore they get transformed into courage. Such a person has the tendency to supress negative emotions by shifting into the dimension of philos and going into justification and denial. Deconstructing all this is psychological work. These are barriers which prevent one from making the quantum leap required to cross the glass ceiling and reach the subtle and elevated territory of the dimension of logos. The invisible blockage resembles the struggle of a bee to fly through a window of transparent glass that blocks her passage and she just cannot understand.
Someone who initiates a spiritual practice needs time and space to pass through various stages. The first stage is to put in place certain disciplines. These are exercises which reinforce the muscle of consciousness. Establishing spiritual disciplines creates strength. In the practice of Raja Yoga we begin with certain physical disciplines. For example, if someone claims to be practicing non-violence, then they have to become vegetarian in order to avoid killing what they are about to eat. Some people salivate thinking about their steak, their grilled fish and their chichen nuggets. They would find this discipline hard.
Another discipline is to stop drinking alcohol. Why? Alcohol affects the quality of our consciousness. It puts the individual into an altered state of consciousness then gradually and progressively diminishes their will power. It distorts perception and gradually they lose the power to manage their emotions and feelings. Such a person experiences mood swings and behaviour patterns that become difficult to manage. Other recreational drugs like cocaine, heroin, opioids etc. produce similar effects and the individual gradually becomes a slave to the substance.
Someone who follows these disciplines takes responsibility for managing their own emotions. When their wound is triggered by some ordinary situation they experience an emotional reaction that is abnormally strong. This indicates the area and the origin of their wound. A person who desires to do spiritual work, must dig deep to find the origin of their trauma that has blocked their psychological development. The reaction might be violence, anger, extreme fear or anxiety, inability to manage their thoughts, irrational thinking and production of endless internal films. They experience doubts, fantasies and nightmares that they are unable to control. The experience of war, being in a natural disaster or an epidemic, leaves traumatic scars and psychological barriers that remain in the soul until they are healed.
Psychological work involves neutralising the negative emotions and transcending many toxic patriarchal social attitudes that have blocked a person’s psychological development. For example the inequitable way that men and women are treated.
The dimension of logos provides a completely different perspective on life. It carries us beyond conventional morality. All spiritual powers and virtues are in place. To dwell in Logos, it is important to work through psychological barriers the moment they arise. There is also the matter of karma. The philosophy of karma is complex and difficult to decrypt.
The soul is non physical, spiritual, eternal, it is the animating force in the body and is linked to the sacred. Negative karma generates blocks that stand between the soul and the Divine. These blocks force the soul to remain at the level of eros. Some souls manage to develop the philos aspect in order to avoid everything connected to the heart, feelings, betrayal and the various wounds sustained by the soul. Such people flee into intellectualism.
To make the quantum leap into the dimension of logos one must discern clearly, “What exctly am I, the soul, doing? What tactics am I using to avoid facing the truths that I must face in order to cross my blockages?” Generally people cannot see themselves. They do not see their barricades, but others do see them. Some can see them more clearly than others.
A person that we trust, who can see clearly, has our interests at heart, will tell us what our problem is. For example, “your relationships with people are fear based.” The other will respond, “What, Me?!!! Not at all, I have a lot of courage and I did this and that etc.” Due to passing through many severe situations that person has developed the attitude of courage as a mask to hide their fears. The reality behind the mask is a state of denial, and unawareness.
Fear and anxiety influence that soul and drive their karma, their activities, and the person convinces themselves that their courage is an indication of having already healed. The individual denies that he or she has fabricated this mask of courage to disguise the fear. Then their behaviour patterns are discernibly artificial and contrived.
People who are real have enough clarity to see themselves accurately. They do not have double standards. When there is ego either they consider themselves to be greater than thay are or to be less than they truly are. They oscillate between the two which are anyway both false. They cannot see themselves as they are.
Making a quantum leap of consciousness demands being completely real. The wounded person tends to be hypocritical and artificial. That one needs to listen to trusted people who may tell them painful truths. Are they ready to hear such words? If they take the words as insults then the trusted people will hesitate to speak further.
Interpersonal communication is becoming progressively less authentic as people cannot tolerate painful words. The ego is set off, reacts and adopts defensive attitudes. The mask of pretence remains in place hiding the wound. To repair all this one must engage in psychological work. Many think this is spiritual work, but no, it is psychlogical. It takes time to complete and then begin the real spiritual work. There are steps. First the individual establishes his or her life style disciplines. Secondly he or she begins the deep psychological work, which can take several years. Then the deep spiritual work can be undertaken
It is important to trust those who tell us the truth. These are our real friends. False people never tell us the truth. When we accept the truth that breaks our ego, the false ego can then die and the real self emerges. If we wish to make the quantum leap and reach logos, we have to ask the Divine to send us such friends. Otherwise circumstances such as a disease will arise. Someone sick is dependant and needs others to wash and dress them. The ego prefers to be independent, so such circumstances also break the ego. Severe physical pain and the possibility of death in extreme pain takes a person to and beyond their limits. This also can break the ego and provide the possibility for the person to transcend their limitations and move into the dimension of logos. Some souls manage to develop philos. They analyse their situation dispassionately and consider their past traumas with detachment. Finally the spiritual work can begin.
Consciousness is within, but the soul believes in external reality as we perceive it via the sense organs. This is body consciousness, consciousness of matter. Spirituality orientates us towards the inner dimension. Internal orientation is a practice that requires much time to develop. There are many distractions, things that need doing, etc. When we get bed-bound due to a broken leg there is a chance, but even in such a position there are obstacles, we complain, we watch TV, read books etc. because there is not the political will or determination to to do the necessary work that allows us to evolve spiritually. Determination is the key ingredient that enables us to pass through the glass ceiling and enter into the dimension of logos. This level is also called the Karmateet Stage. Karmateet signifies that the individual has settled their karmic accounts and is free from any burden or debt, they are in their power.
During the period of psychological work we must also settle karmic accounts. This can take the form of conflicts, misunderstandings, and all the many problems that arise in normal human relationships. We might sometimes wonder “what on earth could I have done to deserve this!” This thought indicates that a karmic account is playing out and is in the process of getting settled. Therefore we need to develop substantial inner powers to manage the emotions, tolerate the situations and people who pressurise us, who steal from us and who violate us in various ways.
One option is to consider it as a test. Life is a university. “Even if it is a settlement of karma, I will consider it as an exam. I understand that it reveals the presence of some character weakness within me. This has arisen to teach me something that will strengthen me in that area.” This is a more positive attitude that taking it as a punishment or retribution for some past bad deed.
Through these circumstances we beome more honest with ourselves and with others. The frozen heart begins to melt. We start looking at people directly in their eyes, and become more present for ourselves and for others. We formulate our values on the basis of spiritual principles. These are essential attributes of those who seek to enter into Logos. It makes us more authentic, more real. We have greater self-respect and respect and love for others. At the same time we cultivate our relationship with the Divine.
Our relationship with the Divine needs to be coherent and continuous. Otherwise the relationship is only activated at moments of extreme necessity. Because it is a relationship it must be a living, meaningful and daily communication. Self-respect is findamental In our relationship with the Divine. This divine force, God, is the one that pierces the glass ceiling and allows us to pass through. This new dimension is a completely different landscape, inhabited by real, genuine and pure people who are honest with themselves. Very few people live at this level, but this is where we would like to dwell.
At the time when we are taking tests they seem very hard. Like when a woman gives birth, it is extremely painful, but as soon as it is completed, she is over-joyed to see her child. Sometimes life presents us with terrible trials that we must cross
One of the Laws of Spirituality says that “when we think too much about painful, horrible situations, or some injustice that was done to us, we get attached to those events and these bind us to eros.” When we try to justify our attitude we may reach as far as philos, but we will not reach logos that way. To enter the dimension of logos we must strip ourselves down to the core, and let go of everything we may be holding on to. We have to interpret these events as side-scenes which brought us to this level of logos, and a state of being free from our bondages. This is positive. The idea that the events were negative prevents us from moving forward. It is essential to understand that these scenes belong to the past and they made it possible for us to evolve. Thus they become positive historical facts. We continue the journey of life.
Many stay stuck in the events of the past that they experienced as traumatic, they may seek revenge, they wish the incidents had never happened, and they obsessively and repeatedly run the scenes through their minds. One of the Laws of Spirituality says, “It’s not good, it’s not bad, it just is.” We can use this phrase to neutralise the hold these memories have over us and which seem to overwhelm our spirit preventing us from moving on.
We need to move beyond everything. “I am an eternal soul.” Remind yourself often: “I am extremely valuable, I am loved by the Divine. I have great potential. My life has a sense and purpose that I am just discovering.” The more we make the quantum leap of consciousness and stay in logos, the more the view when we look back on the past, gives us a perspective of acceptance and an awareness that everything was exactly as it should have been. This brings a feeling of fulfillment.
There are no more illusions. Disillusionment is a very unpleasant feeling but far preferable to staying under an illusion. We get past the unpleasant experience of disillusionment and reach clarity. We have made our peace. We accept what was. Then we are in a state of being real, we are in truth. We have passed through our blocks and ego masks. We are on the other side of the glass ceiling. We live in logos. Our relationships with the Divine lets us accept the way life is. Temporary incidents take second place in comparison to logos. Therefore we seek to integrate the level of logos into our consciousness so that we no longer get trapped in the illusion of impermanent realities.