Threshold in a nutshell

Convinced that from one moment to another, you could be
enlightened when listening to a chap talking about emptiness
and the illusory nature of the "me"? In that case, the following
could even be more enlightening.

A phenomenon that impressed early humans a lot, is lightning.
The god Thor is a reminder of that. But before lightning occurs,
the electric field must have become strong enough to create a path
of ions (plasma). IOW, once lightning happens, a threshold for
conductivity has been passed already.

Thresholds are so common that they are rarely noticed. In stars,
nuclear fusion happens - when forces of compression exceed a
threshold so the nuclei come close enough.

The daily cases of passing a threshold are too numerous to mention.
When sleeping, a sound has to pass thresholds (loudness and scale
of alarm) in order to wake one up. When confronted with a guard dog,
a threshold has to be passed before the animal starts to bark. Likewise,
a threshold has to be passed before a wild animal starts to trust one.

In climatology, thresholds are relabeled to "tipping points".
The Gaia theory claims,  earth acts as system that tries
to maintain its living conditions. So it acts as a feedback
mechanism that can correct both ways (to lower and higher
amounts of received solar radiation). This system can be
disrupted easiest by chopping tropical forests: once a
threshold of deforestation has been passed, the soil will get
warmer than the surrounding seas hence rain will decrease
till ultimately a desert remains.

The greatest mystery is that of life, how organized matter
(organic compounds)  passes a threshold as to qualify for the
label life form, able to extract energy from the environment,
to use it for replication and adaptation when conditions start to
change. But too fast an environmental change, and a threshold
for extinction is passed. In a sense, the life-force, dormant in
"dead" matter, wakes up once the organization of matter passes
a threshold, to a life of dreaming.

Ancient Western mystery schools taught that consciousness evolves,
passing a set of thresholds from "dead" matter via the simplest
lifeforms to structures that enable self-awareness and then, to the
consciousness that has no content and yet encompasses all. That
this is a far from linear way can be shown easily: pet turtle doves will
interpret their mirror image as another bird whereas ECDs recognize
their mirror image. IOW when domestication passes a threshold,
dumbing down happens to the extent that self-awareness is lost.
Mankind in its present condition has been described as

That consciousness and life-force are two aspects of the same "unknown"
is no secret, Jnanadeva dedicated a poem to the issue (Shiva = Shakti)
that neither needs a comment nor could be improved. Hence what the
Western mystery schools labeled "evolving consciousness" regards the
life-force aspect which had to be hidden because the issue was
(often still is) taboo.

Spiritual teachings aim to assist in passing the thresholds of mere physical
self-awareness. Once a certain amount of thresholds has been passed, the
tendency to "spread the gospel" unveils but the amount of thresholds depends
on both insight regarding the situation and restraint (it can be known ahead
that more thresholds will be passed and insight as a result, will change).

Teachings can roughly be categorized in the following types:

1. Conclusions (for instance that only God is real) are given and the idea is
    that practicing them will ultimately lead to the same frame of mind that
   enabled (birthed) them.  All organized religion  and formal  monastic
   life belongs to this type, often with different interpretation for laymen
   and monks / nuns.

2. Descriptions of phenomena that happen when thresholds are passed
    are encrypted in a language which enables every reader "on the path"
    to decode "what has been passed" and "what is next".
    The Sufi Ibn Arabi wrote a work, dedicated to just this issue, the
     "stations on the path". The N.T., Padmasambhava's biography, several
      works on Kundalini Yoga (K.Y.) and the Patanjali sutras belong to this
     type too. In  K.Y., passing the thresholds is labeled "piercing the knots".
     A Western work on the issue is "The Alchemical Wedding of Christian

3. Description of a frame of mind that, once acquired, by itself results in
    passing all thresholds "on the path" so one is dispensed from learning
    but in the course of events will understand everything that has been
    written on the subject, effortlessly. The Kathopanishad belongs to
    this type, no physical guru is required, nor lectures.

Strictly speaking, only 3. applies for the label "direct path". The reason why
(compared to 1. and 2. ) it is so effective, is that in one go, many thresholds
are passed:
a) Whoever has been interpreted as causing harm has been forgiven
b) Blaming no longer happens so conscience remains blank
c) Transience has been accepted so no bromides of heaven,
     reincarnation, astral and other worlds remain
d) Mind and body are considered instruments and are given proper maintenance
e) the sense of "no return possible" (to the abandoned way of life) is strong, with
     daily reminders

These thresholds passed and the "secret door" opens, a veiled term
that in K.Y. terminology indicates, the life-force has entered the "central"
channel. Because of that certainty, the proverbial three boons granted
by the lord of Death (Yama), and there's no need for details as all
conditions for unfoldment have been set.

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