Lectures by
Charlie Lutes:


Lectures by

Charlie Lutes

Charles F. Lutes
Charlie Lutes

"As a result of Transcendental Meditation the senses become more sensuous and they respond to finer and subtler vibrations emanating from the objects of life."

                                                                                                           - Charlie Lutes


The Rebirth of the Senses
(11/12/82)

In yoga there is an abstract process called pratyahara where one is enabled to move from the outer to the inner. Pratyahara is actually where the ascending and descending streams or forces meet. This is a point of convergence of the outer and inner disciplines of life, also known as a process of withdrawal from the outer to the inner.

One on the spiritual path, in order to be successful, must travel lightly on this path. One is leaving a dense atmosphere of life and moving into a very rarefied atmosphere, and unless one divests himself of excess baggage one's consciousness cannot become air worthy.

Yama, niyama, asana and pranayama are the outer instruments of our desire for union or yoga. Yama and niyama are patterns of behavior and asana and pranayama are bodily postures and movements. It is from these points that one departs from one's mundane way of life into a new way of spiritual life. So pratyahara is the common gate where the arrival and departure take place. Thus pratyahara is the culminating point of yama, niyama, asana and pranayama, as well as the starting point of dharana, dhyana and samadhi. The four outer must lead up to pratyahara and the three inner instruments must emanate from the self-same pratyahara; the meeting place of the inner and the outer, the converging of the ascending and descending streams.

When the senses imitate the mind in its act of withdrawal then it is called pratyahara or abstraction. This means to render the senses unresponsive to the outer aspects of life, which is to say that when one is established in the inner, or pratyahara, the eyes, the ears, touch, smell and taste will no longer register any response and the outer world is completely shut off. So what must happen is for the senses to move away from their sensual to a sensuous base.

Pratyahara serves to re-educate the senses so that they may function with a full, unfettered receptivity. The important thing is the gaining of clear perception. In the gaining, three factors are involved, the senses, the brain and the mind. A sensation has no form. The senses are the conveyers of sensations to the brain where they are processed and changed into perceptions. All sensations are transformed into perceptions by the brain.

So, to process the sensations and synthesize them into a form is the function of the brain. So, perceptions depend upon what sensations are supplied to the brain by the senses. If the senses are faulty so are the perceptions. What is transmitted by the senses produces certain chemical and structural changes in the brain. Out of those changes the brain constructs an image and this image constitutes the perception.

Arriving at a perception does not constitute knowledge of the subject. Knowledge comes as a result of having been taught something or having experienced something, and the experience is far more reliable because when we experience something it becomes a fact to us. Out of the myriads of sensations the brain forms perceptions and out of myriads of perceptions the mind forms conceptions. So, our knowledge of the external world is conceptual knowledge.

The real problem lies in impaired senses, or an interrupted flow of sensations to the brain, causing faulty perceptions by the brain. And if this occurs, then the conceptual knowledge has no factual validity. Along with this comes a conditioned mind. What is necessary is a clear perception and also an absolutely unconditioned interpretation for correct orientation to reality. To gain this, one must re-educate the senses so that they become much more sensitive, supplying the brain with innumerable sensations heretofore unknown to the individual.

It is a known fact that we only use one tenth of our brain potential. Therefore, we operate with a brain that is passive, dull and unable to absorb the sensations that come from the senses and transform them into clear perceptions. The brain is like a computer in that the feeding of the sense data into the brain must be uninterrupted; otherwise the perception will be incomplete and therefore faulty. A computer will give a correct answer as long as correct information is fed into it. So, likewise it is with the brain. Correct feeding of information into the brain-computer is necessary for perceiving things as they really are which alone is the true basis for right action or right relationship with life.

In order for the brain to function to its full potential it is very important that the senses be re-educated so that the brain is fed with right data. The re-education of the senses is not the shutting off of the senses to the stimuli of the outer world. It is gaining greater receptivity of the senses so that they consistently feed the brain with sense data that is uninterrupted and no longer faulty.

The meaning, again, of pratyahara is withdrawal of the senses. However, complete withdrawal occurs when the senses imitate the mind in its act of withdrawal. Then one is established in pratyahara. The mind must first withdraw and then the senses follow.

Again, the problem lies in the fact that the mind interferes with sensorial communication to the brain by various sense organs. In this intervention of the mind the sense responses are intercepted and the brain is unable to function at its full potential. In time the brain becomes too passive and the senses become too lethargic in their responses. However, the main reason the mind intervenes is to create this condition for its own purposes. It seeks continuity and security and this can only be realized if the senses and the brain do not present it with new information. When new material is presented the mindís security is threatened, for under a new impact the mind is forced to revise its own conclusions and it does not wish to do this. It feels safer locked into its own conclusions and judgments. This is why one is locked in a certain level of consciousness. As this condition goes on, the senses in turn depend upon the mind for direction and intimations. As a result, vast areas of the universe remain shut off from us as we see and accept only what the mind wishes us to see and know, and in so doing the mind feels safe.

As a result of this, our perception is defective and if we wish to gain right perception the senses must reclaim the initiative and the brain must gain its right to function at its full potential. To do this the senses must function independently of the mind. Meditation accomplishes this and imparts an initiative to the senses and it also effects a re-education of the senses so that they cease to depend upon the mind for their functioning; they function freely without the mind interfering. The mind, in its search for pleasure, very often transforms facts into fiction. This is done by a process of association and identification, which means that it projects its own associations on the facts of life. There are objects of life and objects of the mind. The first are facts and the second are projections of the mind. It is by the process of withdrawal of the mind, by the mind being charmed as a result of coming into contact with bliss in meditation, that the senses become independent.

However, the senses having been under control of the mind for so long feel lost and for a time attempt to bring the mind back, demanding its intervention. So, the senses are, so to speak, reborn; they are re-educated to function in the objects of life and not in the objects of the mind. This re-education cannot be forced; it has to be natural and spontaneous, and in Transcendental Meditation so it is. This is what Maharishi means when he says Transcendental Meditation is a natural process leading to enlightenment. The mind is always seeking a greater field of enjoyment and happiness. As a result of Transcendental Meditation the senses become more sensuous and they respond to finer and subtler vibrations emanating from the objects of life; their range and intensity of response increases greatly. Hence, they are able to communicate to the brain greatly increased data of sensations.

Now, two things are occurring, the senses are being re-educated and the brain is being activated so it begins to function toward its full potential. The brain then functions with tremendous vitality allowing it to remain fresh and energetic and ever ready to learn. So there is a greater resilience of the senses and increased vitality of the brain happening at the same time. The dullness and rigidity of the senses are now gone and the senses are now intensely pliable as they now function in freedom. The mind no longer intervenes and uses the senses as an instrument for its own gratification. Now, however, the senses are no longer sensual as they are now sensuous. They are no longer responding to the mindís indulgences but rather they are now functioning with no intervention by the mind. This is the re-education of the senses.

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