The Phenomenology of God

It appears to us that we see the world because we are looking outwardly into it; but in truth what appears to be our seeing the world is us being seen by God. The seeing before us is not ours; it is His. Our seeing of the world is God’s seeing us. God is the real subject of all our experiences. It is not surprising that we can never find an I when we look for it. There is no such I. This we ought to keep with us all the time, to know that we are always bare-naked before Him. He knows our darkest secrets and even our prayers before we know them ourselves, because He is the very knowing through which we know what we know. The reality of everything, including our perceptions and apperceptions, derives from His reality.

We often assume a wrong relationship with God. We think He is something that can become an object of experience, be it spiritual experience or otherwise. God is closer to us than we think, or as they say “God is infinitely near to us though we are infinitely far from Him.” In reality God is both the experience and the true subject of experience, and this is so simply because God is but we are not.

God is my worrying; He is my feeling of pain and pleasure; He is the seeing and the hearing before me. He is my suffering, but being blind I look at God but see only the suffering, little knowing that He is God but only looks like suffering; I look at Him but see only the world: We are constantly looking at Him, not because he is the object at which we are looking but because He is the very look itself. That we can say God is wherever you look it is because He is the look through which you see. It is not that He turns into apples and oranges; what is really there is not apple or orange but our experiencing of apples and orange.

We almost always look at things experienced, the objects of experience; this is our fundamental mistake if we seek the truth and its proper place. Instead we must, at least in our hours of silence and solitude, look not at the objects of experience but at our experiencing of object, at the ceaseless flow of experience in which we experience ourselves experiencing the world. From this fresh point of view we can see how science and all its views and images belong to the contents of human experience which is itself something experienced and not outside it. We must see for ourselves that everything that science has to say is absolutely irrelevant to our pursuit of Reality because it comes always after the fact, for science is really something known and operative in and though experience. How can something that is itself experienced come to know experience as an object?! Sciences speak of natural processes and brains producing experience as if they gained this information through a channel other than experience, as if at some point they stepped out of experience and looked at it from above.

Thus, it is a mistake to think that science explains anything when it cannot even explain itself except from within the human experience that it is trying to study. An analogy can make my point clearer: If I compare this world to a video game, science is what is after the rules of the game through trial and error, through observation and movement within the game-world. But the origin of the game is not the rules within the game but the programming code that is operative from without. No amount of worldly curiosity of the scientific kind can ever recover the code, or even realize that it is itself something in the game and not apart from it. Religion and metaphysics, however, are interested in the code itself; thus, whether there was a big bang in the game or that the universe is accelerating is absolutely irrelevant to those seeking the origin. Laws of physics are themselves subject to truth and they originate from it; it would be both the stupidity and arrogance of modern science to think itself capable of such a feet. And this is not a difference in degree but in kind. If the game avatar is at all privileged to know the origin of the game, which is not a historical matter but revelatory, he can do so only upon an inward reflection on him/herself rather than profane curiosities about monkeys in space or gay penguins.

We must return to experience itself, purging it of unexamined and often hidden assumptions added to it, mostly under the tyranny of scientific worldview; and this return can be fruitful and point us to truth only if we don’t presuppose in it anything of sciences, things implying that my experience is a product of brain or something in the world, since brain and its functions are things always already known in and through my, or others’, experience and not from the outside. Science is something experienced, and hence we cannot use anything of science, any finding or idea, in order to understand experience. The point of our practice is to regress back into the primordially functioning consciousness before which my human experience of the world is played out. We must regress back to the extent that all my assumptions about reality are filtered out, and this is a must because an assumption of any kind is by its nature something known within experience and thus cannot account for the origin of my experience.

A very important step of this process is this: I as this psycho-physical constitution with a personality, hopes and desires and beliefs, am something always already known to myself in and through experience. That I know myself as such it is because I am played out before an impersonal consciousness which is irreducible to material or natural processes, for the simple reason that matter, nature, and natural processes are ideas known in and derived from experience and not prior to it. To know, by any means, is a mode of experience. Thus, I must refrain from accepting any of these ideas as sources of my experience. Above all, I must refrain from assuming that I am something inside a world having an experience of an external reality; the very ideas of inside-ness and outside-ness, external world and I being in it, are all taken for granted by me because they are constantly assumed within my experience. The idea of an external world is provided from within my experience. It is in experience that an outside world appears to exist. In other words, the pure experiencing consciousness is not something inside the world because the world is always already something in it, as the content or intention of experience.

Through more reflections it should become clear that it is not I who is having my experience, seeing what I see and thinking what I think. If I were the absolute subject of my experience I could not possibly know that I am the absolute subject of my experience, for this knowledge is possible if and only if it is provided from outside my experience. In other words, the absolute subject of my experience, the true knower of the things that I know, must be transcendent, hence my inability to catch the I. But it must also be immanent throughout experience because it is the all-pervading knower of the content of experience. Its gaze is the ray that lights up the content of experience, hence making it appear as if I am experiencing a world while He is both the known and the knower, and above all, esoterically speaking, He is the very knowing itself.

Being both immanent and transcendent, the true knower of my experience, the pure subject, that through which I know what I know, is none but the Almighty, the Absolute and the Infinite Principle, the Godhead. It is in this sense, which is the only sense, that we are always bare-naked before God as we were in the Garden of Eden. And it was with this knowledge in mind that Jesus told us that adultery is done the moment we think it. It is true that God is not apart from the very thinking whose content is adultery, but we can always choose to replace that content with something worthy of the form.

17 thoughts on “The Phenomenology of God

  1. As always, thank you, Tomaj. If I didn’t like it so much, I might protest you ripping apart my mind like that. *smirk* Okay, how long did that take for you to write?

    Liked by 3 people

      1. dear specialist in making a movie of absolute consciousness for the sake of followers i salute you from the very unmoved reality. the beauty is the way you struggle to make us know the known. here it may not be out of context to point the more relevant truth that you continue to live a normal life like the wood cutter. salutation to thee.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on WritersDream9 and commented:
    Of late, I have been struggling with how I should understand the suffering that I see around me and in the world at large. Toomaj Javidtash has helped me to gain a good perspective through articles like this one. A blog well worth your while!


  3. Reblogged this on sirgb's Blog and commented:
    I like to read your thoughts, but I don’t like them all, Tomaj! 🙂 Your thoughts are regularly and repeatedly inspiring, with potential of the anticipated serendipity that gives that special drive needed for sail further across the ocean of unknown, however, what is bothering me is how you see and treat science!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. sir sirgb, thanks for expressing the part you do not like or catch. when you know it requires an observer to express what he thinks he observed then only you start the entire chain, when the observer is neutral and has no prior conditioning he will express the same and claim credit of his finding and calling it as end to the finding will not be there. i express this by intellectual words but to know by your own wisdom will throw different experience.
      i take this opportunity to salute Tomajji for giving a platform.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks a lot Sirgb for your kind words. About science too we may have common points. I have been a fanatic in favor of science for decades which is why I chose to study physics. I still do love and respect it. My overall objection, which may not be very much clear in my writings, is not to science but rather to the current scientism which considers scientific truths superior to other modes of understanding, such as art, religion, intuition, etc. I see how in academia this scientism has created a dogmatic core that is resistant to improvements or changes in scientific attitude. My biggest concern is that this trend will end up destroying science itself, as we see whenever a current became dogmatic and totalitarian it began to collapse. It appears that science in the hands of its fanatics will lose its objectivity and hence become weak before the enemies of science. It is one the crowning achievements of human intelligence. Remaining self-critical and open to its own contradictions is its only chance of survival. We should expect science to be what it is and not expect from it what it cannot do. What changed my view of science in the course of time was seeing the contradictions inherent in scientific assumptions, and then my criticism was that we must resolve these issues instead of ignoring them with the excuse that science works. Unfortunately modern science has gained a tendency toward pure pragmatism rather than knowing reality as it is. I appreciate you telling me about this since I need such criticism to make sure I myself don’t fall into dogmatism in my objections to science. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “We must regress back to the extent that all [our] assumptions about reality are filtered out…”
    A very difficult state to achieve, yet one that is an enlightenment in and of itself. Thank you for a very thoughtful expression, this article.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Toomajj: Regarding science and explanation, if you’re not familiar with it, you would enjoy Nobel Prize winning physicist Steven Weinberg’s 2003 essay, “Does Science Explain Everything? Anything?”

    It was inspired by a physicist friend who said to Weinberg, “you know, science doesn’t really explain anything, it only describes.” Weinberg, the good materialist that he is, was horrified and set out to debunk this. He concludes (almost) that his friend was right, but then weasels out of it by making up a new meaning of the word “explanation” and then says, “Well, that’s what science does so it has explanations as good as anything else!”

    I’d love to hear your reaction to his essay:

    I just re-read the opening and am again taken aback by how arrogant he comes across. It’s as though he’s saying, “I don’t give a damn what philosophers have meant by “explanation” for 2000 years or more. We scientists rule the world now, and we can define words to our hearts content!”


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Weinberg is brilliant physicist, but he is no more than a physicist; to expect scientist to understand metaphysics is to expect a blind man to understand color. His arrogant position should be viewed as that of an ignorant child or rebellious teenager who thinks he/she has overnight overthrown the wisdom of his parents. Cannot be blamed for it and we cannot possibly give a damn what a 500 years old physics has to say about perennial problems and questions 😉
      I am going to read his paper and share my thoughts with you. Thanks for sending it to me.


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