Related to this issue is the problem of whether liberation is a question of meditative absorption or of intellectual understanding. This issue is a reflection of an underlying clash of discourses. On one hand there are ascetic meditative discourses where liberation is a function of absorption. On the other hand there are wisdom discourses where liberation is a function of intellectual cognition – a flash of comprehensive understanding. Often these signs -absorption’ versus cognition’ – were mixed together generating much confusion.
In order to distinguish between the two types of liberation, I suggest, using a Weberian methodology, that we introduce the sociological notion of ideal types ‘ (Wikipedia link)-abstract and clearly defined concepts we can use to measure reality. Ideal types are like landmarks in nature – fixed, clear and visible points of orientation. Thus one ideal type of liberation would be Meditative Absorption’ and the other type Gnostic Comprehension’ (gnosticâ: based on knowledge). The first is typically found in ascetic-meditative discourses, while the second is found in wisdom discourses. They represent conflicting codes of how we should categorise, initiate and understand significant individual change: through austerities or wisdom.
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