Summary of Vedantic Metaphysics

Vector henna tatoo mandala.OM decorative symbol. Mehndi style.

The student: What is the cause of this world?

The master: Ignorance.

The student: What is ignorance?

The master: It is confusing the seer with the seen.

The student: What is the seen?

The master: Everything.

The student: What is the seer?

The master: You are the seer.

The student: Who is confused?

The master: No one.

The student: Then, why is there ignorance?

The master: There is no ignorance.

The student: So how come there is a world?

The master: There is no world. What from afar appears to be the world from near is realized to be the Truth. “The face of Truth is concealed by a golden vessel.”*

The student: But I can see and hear the world!

The master: That Truth is that very seeing and hearing in which you find yourself  wrapped in a world. The seen and the heard are naught; they are like the waves in the ocean, just water like the rest of it. Only water is real; wave is mere name and form, i.e. conditioned emptiness.

The student: Who am I then?

The master: You are the unconditioned Reality, the Knower of that emptiness. You are the answer to your own question. Don’t seek; see!**

The student: Whatever.

The master: Exactly. At once drop all notions and be happy; you are already perfect: You are unconditioned Reality. Notion is condition.

*Isha Upanishad

**Swami Vivekananda

Indifference, Station of Wisdom

Adi Shankara

“One may be indifferent to the enjoyments of this world only in expectation of better enjoyments in the next. This kind of indifference is tainted with desires which bar the door to Knowledge. But the indifference that results from a due deliberation on the evanescent nature of this world as well as the world to come, is alone pure, and productive of the higher good.”

Adi Shankara, 8th century CE Hindu philosopher

The Pride of Goodness

vivekanandasitting

“It is not so easy to be good. What are you but mere machines until you are free! Should you be proud because you are good? Certainly not. You are good because you cannot help it. Another is bad because he cannot help it. If you were in his position, who knows what you would have been? The woman in the street, or the thief in the jail, is the Christ that is being sacrificed so that you may be good. Such is the law of balance. All the thieves and the murderers, all the unjust, the weakest, the wickedest, the devils, they are all my Christ! I owe a worship to the God Christ and to the demon Christ! That is my doctrine, and I cannot help it.”

Swami Vivekananda, Complete Works, Vol. 2., p. 34.

State of Mind

Human Cover

Our moods and mental states are real only as long as we attend to them. So it is not good to dwell on them, let alone getting caught up in their analysis. Sometimes it is better to simply ignore them instead of looking into them seeking a cause or solution. It is the nature of our consciousness to become identified with the state toward which it looks.

The more we zoom in on a state the more it stands out, and there is no limit to its complexity. In fact zooming in on a state, which begins by first entertaining its idea, brings that state into existence, from potentiality into actuality. So, the quality of our lives depends only on our overall orientation toward reality and not what we do with it. All we need to do is turn the gaze of consciousness toward the state of bliss, or hell if you please; this is very similar to the way we can bring the eye focus on an object by simply turning away from everything else and withdrawing our attention from them. This is easily achieved by continuous practice in which we have to keep bringing our focus back on a desirable state.

Of course in the beginning the mind tends to scatter and steal away our focus but practice makes it easier and finally attainable where we become identified with that state and it becomes a permanent station for us. This is really the simplest thing in the world because it requires no action at all and is accessible at all times and regardless of outward circumstances. We should see that there exists nothing but the mind and that the mind is nothing but emptiness.

The Overman

Intelligence

Much has been said of the coming of the Overman. The Overman doesn’t evolve; the Overman descends. It was not Nietzsche that spoke of the coming of the Overman; it was the Overman that spoke through Nietzsche of his own coming.

In Overman the real has become the ideal and the ideal the real since in him the ideal is fully realized. It is at the transcendent summit that idealism and realism stand united, while in the manifest order they appear to be distinct and standing against one another.

But when comes to man, this little worn out image, whose fragmented world is a reflection of his own fragmented soul, the Overman must blow in him again. We are all born and live on a life support machine. What is then the life of man?

The life of man is the journey of a shadow; he rises from nothingness and falls back into nothingness. But the Real Man, the Transcendent Man, i.e. the Overman, that which casts the shadow, remains unmoved throughout this journey, for He is the perfect image of the Unmoved Mover.

The Overman is not an individual; he is no historical figure. The Overman is not in the world; it is the world that is a thought in the Overman. He may take up the mask of Krishna, Christ, or Muhammad and become a bridge; or He may tease us through Nietzsche without giving him a taste of His face, leaving him in the madness and confusion that precedes eternal sobriety; but He can’t be understood in terms only of one or another individual. The person of a saint is nothing more than a passing appearance in which we can see the reflection of Truth, our own real Face shining in eternity. So there is in reality only one saint projecting many images of itself on Nature. The various religions and traditions are the petals of one and the same flower.

The Truth cannot fit in a theory, image, or idea; yet every theory, image, and idea is an expression of one of Its intelligible aspects. Art, religion/philosophy, and science/technique, constitute various neighborhoods in the city of Truth. We cannot oppose these to one another because they are united in their principle, the spirit; they are, so to speak, various sense organs by which man confronts reality in the form of a world. They address the different needs of a man. As the eyes cannot touch and the hands cannot see, religion sees but doesn’t build while science builds but doesn’t see. And we all know that the best and the most majestic of architectural masterpieces belonged to periods in which makers were both builders and seers, where wisdom and action were still united.

A science opposed to religion is a like a headless man. Religion by nature cannot possibly oppose science, for religion is about man and reality in an entirely different sense than that used in science. If fans of popular religion and even some religious authorities see an opposition, and sometimes even a competition, between scientific facts and religious doctrines, it is only because they have misunderstood religion altogether; their fundamental mistake is in confusing form with essence: The subject matter of science is form while the subject matter of religion and true philosophy is essence. As the subject matter of each is different, their methods of inquiry are as well different. We cannot apply the methods of one expecting to reject the claims of the other or confirm those of our own. Metaphysics, in its true sense, is the root of both science and religion, and also of art, and is a field of knowledge far from speculative. Metaphysics is the field of self-evident realities and also the source of all evidence in any rational inquiry. We can only say this, that compared to the truth and self-evidence belonging to metaphysics, the degree of evidence in pure mathematics is but a pale reflection. The essential content of art, religion, and science, is always metaphysical.

In Metaphysics we step into a new domain, the oldest reality, where world and man have no place, where the abstract becomes the living and the living the abstract. Sartre mistakenly thought that in man existence precedes essence; but it is known that in man existence is the essence.

Metaphysics is the universal and immutable form of the Real. Thus, metaphysics, the highest form of knowledge, is still a superposition on the surface of the Real. There is a higher stateless state, the Real Itself, in which there is no more metaphysics nor anything else. There is where nothing can creep in, no expression and no man, except total death and annihilation. Even God must die in order to return to the Godhead.

From Present to Presence

Time warp, traveling in space.

The moment is always free due to its nature, like a balloon that tends to fly away. It is the ego who apparently ties it down to a particular situation/narrative, i.e. a complex of name and form. The now is the vessel of total reality; we have broken it into pieces and call them past and future. We were once gathered in Adam, but he fell into subconscious and shattered into existence, into us. Each is seeking the paradise for him/herself; we have forgotten that we are the very pieces of paradise. We are the petals of one and the same flower.

We fell from His presence to His presents, from essence to attributes, from Adam to the world.

This man falls for the fruit again and again. For the boldest and thirstiest of all men, the saint, who renounces all presents for a glimpse of His presence, this market does not have what he seeks. Here they sell only images; here everything and everyone is an image. The saint, though he appears to be, he is not.

The body seeks the stench of the world while the soul follows the scent of Truth . Oh, there is a rose garden in the heart. This world is a distraction; this marriage is an affair. The soul is His eternal bride.

Everyone is saying the same thing and everything is singing the same song; they are just putting it differently.

He gave us a choice, as to our fundamental orientation, whether we want to see His face or His back!

I seek solitude not because I enjoy isolation; I seek it because I hate isolation.

All separation is from Him.

All experience is spiritual experience.

In this courtyard I may be one among the many, but on the throne and with my Lord I am the one in the many.

Ignorance, the primordial vice, is the support of existence.

Spiritual realization does not consist in escaping the world but in seeing it as it is.

Of the metaphysical transparency of phenomena we can say this: Every phenomenon has a metaphysical root whose universal form is reflected in the phenomenon itself, so that the outward form is only an image or reflection of the inward meaning or essence. The manifest part of a tree, i.e. its trunk and branches, has the same form as the unmanifest part of the tree, its root. Thus, the soil, or that which separates earth from heaven, is really the plane of reflection through which the unmanifest essence projects itself into the manifest form. This portrays the universal architectonic of Reality which regenerates itself, much like a fractal, beginning from the Godhead and repeating itself all the way up to the most mundane aspect of any phenomenon. This universal form, i.e. the polarity of principle and projection, is the origin of all dualities: Essence and form, mind and matter, subject and object, ego and world, lord and the servant, heaven and the earth, creator and creature, up and down, north and south, wave and particle, the I and the other, happiness and misery, profit and loss, friend and enemy, union and separation, good and evil, with and without, inward and outward, light and darkness, life and death, mortality and immortality, here and there, now and then, right and left, me and you, etc. Now you get to make only two moves, either toward your root and principle, i.e. your first cause, or away from it, to become whole or remain a hole. To perceive in all these pairs the presence of one and the same principle, one and the same meaning; this is the metaphysical transparency of phenomena, that is, to see the painter in the painting.