The most important point to grasp in the nature of Awakening is that first and foremost one needs to be human.
The first point is that in order to aspire to awakening one must be a human being. The possibility of achieving absolute liberation is offered primarily, according to Buddhism, only to one who is born a man. Not only those who are in lower conditions of existence than the human, but also those who are in higher conditions, such as the devil, the celestial or “angelical” beings, do not have this opportunity. While, on the one hand, the human condition is considered to be one of fundamental contingency and infirmity, on the other it is thought of as a privileged state, obtainable only with great difficulty-“it is a hard thing to be born a man.” The supermundane destiny of beings is decided upon earth: the theory of the bodhisattva even considers the possibility of “descents” to earth of beings who have already achieved very high, “divine” states of consciousness, in order to complete the work…(The Doctrine of Awakening, pg.95-96)
It also needs to be stressed that this “human factor” need not only be reserved exclusively for this particular saha-realm, but for others as well throughout the cosmos. The later Mahayana framework expounds on this realization throughout the sutrayana; indeed, this also includes other sentient-beings that do not share the same genetic-structure as homo-sapiens, but do share similar patterns of Bodhi that can only be accessed by beings worthy and capable of this spiritual ascent. In the early stages of the Ariya even women were excluded for admission into the Buddha’s newly-fashioned Order; thankfully when the later prajnaparamita texts were fashioned both “noble sons AND noble daughters” were included in the fold.
Aside from having the proclivity to digest the Buddhadharma, there also needs to be present a ‘virile energy’ that develops a well fine-tuned “will”—one that abdicates the samsaric will for the will of the Unborn Spirit. This can only be propagated through the spirit of solitude, one that is ‘fit to win’ the spiritual-battles that vie for the Mind-adept’s development. Evola also stresses that this needs to be a “balanced” recognition:
One’s energies must be balanced. The mania of self-exaltation must be overcome, just as the mania of self-humiliation, of self-vilification, must be overcome; Even-minded, fully conscious, one must consider oneself as neither equal, inferior, nor superior to others, one must not place oneself among the middle people, nor among the lower people, nor among the higher people.” (emphasis mine) ibid, pg.99
*Included in this is what Evola refers to as being “indifferent to the demon of dialectics”—yea, a demon that is dominant in many of today’s purported online “Buddhist forums”
What all this entails is that the cultivation of the Ariyan Mind is devoid of all that is not in ‘conformity with reality (Dharmadhatu-inclusion mine), with perfect wisdom.’ This empowers one to…
“…persevere steadfastly without wavering, the mind clear and unbewildered, the senses tranquil and undisturbed, consciousness concentrated and unified.” “With tireless and unremitting energy. with knowledge present and unshakable, with serene, untroubled body, with consciousness concentrated and unified.” “To persist alone, detached, tireless, strenuous, with fervid, intimate earnestness”-this is the general formula used in the texts for the discipline of those who, having understood the doctrine, go on to achieve its supreme end. We are dealing here with predispositions, with qualities and at the same time with achievements-we shall see that among these qualities there are some which, in their turn, are the aim of particular ascetic practices to achieve. (ibid, pg.99-100)
All this goes beyond mere ‘simple discursive intellect’ and reaches ever more deeply into the horizon of the numinous. This also instills a great ‘crystallinity of thought’ that refines Mind beyond simple conceptuality. For any of this to occur one needs to undertake the great ‘departure’. Originally this departure consisted exclusively in leaving home and comfort and leading a strict ascetical lifestyle; this was the origin of the bhikkus. Yet, after the centuries, even though there are still those who continue to live by the “Strict Observance”, there are those today who aspire in the Unborn while still, as it were, living in the world. Yet, as a well familiar spiritual adage puts it: “living in the world but NOT of it.” The “Spirit” must always remain the same—not exclusively wed to any of the affairs of samsara, but rather emphasizing a ‘solitary detachment.’ As Evola points out, today’s solitary ascetic has the “greater challenge” than those bhikkus who traversed the path long ago:
One who is still an “Aryan” spirit in a large European or American city, with its skyscrapers and asphalt, with its politics and sport, with its crowds who dance and shout, with its exponents of secular culture and of soulless science and so on-among all this he may feel himself more alone and detached and nomad than he would have clone in the time of the Buddha, in conditions of physical isolation and of actual wandering. (ibid, pg.103)
This ‘solitary detachment’ must also be reinforced (via daily ascetical exercises) in order to assure the ‘heroic aryian vocation.’ One’s yearning must never be for the conditioned states of samsara, but for the unconditional ‘regions of the transcendental.’
From the technical point of view, the tasks of ascetic action can he described thus. We have said that the stirring and eventual determining of the “heroic vocation” in the individual is already evidence of the awakening also of an extra-samsaric element, panna or bodhi. A world of defense must be undertaken immediately: the most common mental processes must be mastered so that the new growth is not stifled or uprooted. Then the central element must be separated from any adulteration by the contents of experience, internal or external, so that the various processes of “combustion” through contact, thirst, and attachment are suspended; this should also fortify the extra-samsaric-or, let us say, “sidereal”-principle, so as to make it independent and capable of proceeding freely, if it wishes, in the “ascending” direction, toward more and more unconditioned states, and the region where the nidana of the transcendental, preconceptional, and prenatal series act. (ibid, pg 105)
Accompanying the above, as the title of today’s blog states, a “propensity for Buddha-gnosis” must also be present in the adept’s Mind-chemistry. If one is not drawn in this vein then sheer intellectual curiosity will strangulate the deeper-call to apariyāpannnam, or unbounded knowledge. This Unbounded-Gnosis is the key to Self-realization in the Unborn; without it, one is held forever bound to cerebral-concepts and the merry-go-round of samsaric re-becoming (Perpetual Regenesis).