Abstract Thinking: [00.02] Preface

Published: 08.08.2006
Updated: 06.08.2008

The world we live in constitutes an alliance of sensuous consciousness and concrete matter. Our knowledge is contained within the circumference of our senses and all material substances subsist within the periphery of speech, form, smell, taste and touch. Five senses with their objects - these constitute our small world. In fact, this world is not so small - it is very extensive. But the power of the senses is very limited. They apprehend only gross material objects. Atoms are concrete enough, yet the senses cannot apprehend them. Innumerable atoms unite to form a mass, which is yet too subtle for the senses to apprehend. They can apprehend only those substances, which are made up of an infinite number of atoms and have developed gross concreteness. Our senses cannot even apprehend the whole of the corporeal world. So the question of their apprehending the incorporeal, intangible world does not arise.

The incorporeal elements are beyond sound, smell, taste and touch. Their atoms are different from those of the material world. Thus the effort of one who seeks to know the incorporeal world through the senses will not be successful. The knowledge of the incorporeal world is a subject of supreme extrasensory perception. Even common extrasensory perception would not succeed. Only supreme extrasensory perception may attain it.

The starting point of religion is extrasensory consciousness. One endowed with only sensory perception cannot appreciate it. Only that person may be said to be religious who is able to appraise both the concrete and the abstract. Man is a social being. He is moulded by society. It is true, from the empirical aspect but not from the transcendental aspect.

From the transcendental aspect, a man stands alone. From the empirical aspect, each man lives in cooperation with others, each providing assurance and refuge to others. But the reality is different. Each soul can provide refuge only to itself through right conduct. Thus our personality is a combination of empirical and ultimate truths.

The empirical truths are directly linked with thought whereas ultimate truths pertain to spiritual knowledge, which lies beyond thought. That marks the dividing line between thinking and non-thinking, between the concrete and the abstract. The Ultimate, too, descends upon the ground of thought, but it still maintains its abstract form. The sphere of both the concrete and the abstract is very extensive, but to those living within the periphery of sensuous knowledge, the field of the abstract does not appear to be large enough. Consequently they do not attach as much importance to abstract thinking as to concrete thinking. The sun of spirituality is generally overcast with clouds of selfishness. For those moving from darkness to light, and for those wishing to move in that direction, it is essential to proceed from the concrete to the abstract. It is this inevitability that the present book manifests.

Samani Sthit Prajna has worked very hard. In the compilation of this book, She has collected material on different subjects scattered in many books, imparting to it all a wholesome unity. For persons afflicted with psychological problems on various counts, this book offers a solution, and for those concerned with the maintenance of mental and emotional health, it could serve as an elixir.

Muni Dulaharajji has edited it so as to set anupreksha, resurrected from ancient tradition, in a new perspective.

We hope that the present volume will further vindicate Ganadhipati Tulsi complete dedication to preksha meditation and the manner in which he has tried to stimulate public interest in it and carry his blessings to the common people.

Acharya Mahaprajna
8 January, 1988
Anuvrat Bhavan
New Delhi

  • Abstract Thinking
    by Acharya Mahaprajna, © 1988
  • Edited by  Muni Dulheraj
  • Translated by Muni Mahendra Kumar
  • Published by Jain Vishva Barati
  • Edition 1999 compiled by Samani Stith Pragya

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Abstract Thinking
  2. Acharya
  3. Acharya Mahaprajna
  4. Anuvrat
  5. Consciousness
  6. Cooperation
  7. Delhi
  8. Ganadhipati Tulsi
  9. Meditation
  10. Muni
  11. New Delhi
  12. Prajna
  13. Preksha
  14. Preksha Meditation
  15. Samani
  16. Soul
  17. Tulsi
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