Path Three to Raising Consciousness – Jnana Yoga

Path three to raising consciousness is the path of intellectual discrimination. Within Hindu tradition, this path is called jnana (or jnani) yoga. This is the path of merging with the Absolute by discovering the true nature of world phenomena by the means of the mind, particularly, the intellect. The followers of this path reject everything that is transient, apparent, and superficial, saying “not this, not this,”(in Sanskrit, “neti-neti”) until finally, by eliminating all that is not Essential, not Real, they come to discovering the Essence – the Absolute.

This path is considered the most difficult of all, calling for tremendous clarity of mind, power of will and intellectual brightness. This path is particularly valuable because it is a secular path and has attracted and led to liberation many remarkable men and women who would otherwise not have embraced spirituality in any other form.

As all other paths to union with the Absolute, the path of intellectual discrimination has its dangers and drawbacks. Some of them are more obvious, while others are subtle; some are more dangerous, while others are relatively harmless. Nevertheless, all of them need to be discussed so that they can be recognized when encountered.

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