These types of exercises are intended to develop individual self-cosmology, that is, to
develop the cognitive picture that each individual holds in his/her mind of themselves in
relation to their universe. We could also call this self-cosmology the worldview or the
Sounds heavy, right? And it is,
which is why these exercises tend to be the most "religious and mystical", the
wierdest, of all the classes of exercises. I think of this class as the Exercises of
Orientation (as in, using a compass to orient yourself to the east.)
However, even small improvements in ones worldview can
quickly lead to huge personal benefits in terms of stress rteduction, conservation of
energy, and the attendant increases in personal effectiveness. That is, you stop worrying
about things you can't control, and concentrate your efforts in the areas where you do
have some control, and you relax a bit, all of which I at least experience as very
pleasent improvements indeed.
There are, besides these fairly selfish personal benefits a
bunch of important self-development benefits, but their full scope and effects won't
become apparent as quickly as the "improvement in worldview" effects.
Therefore, successfully using these orientation exercises,
or more accurately successfully developing ones own individual system of Orientation
practices, is I would say the central task of basic training.
The central task of basic training. The central task of
basic training. The central task of basic training.