Egology IV

This article is the fourth and the last post of the 4 part series Egology.

In Egology I and Egology II we expressed in detail the nature of ego as such and introduced the two types of ego operative, in a hierarchical order, in the constitution of the world and experience: The Transcendental Ego who constitutes/creates the world and its experience, and the Empirical Ego who lives these world experiences and identifies with various roles in it through the narratives it tells itself. While the empirical ego is human, manifold, and exposed to consciousness, the transcendental ego is non-human, the one in the many, and concealed from consciousness. In Egology III we introduced in detail the principal modalities of the empirical ego, the human subject: Empirical ego has two principal modes of vibration or behavior, the Proactive mode and the Reactive mode, which are associated with the types of narratives the empirical ego tells itself and with which it identifies. We also added that the empirical ego can vibrate in the proactive and the reactive modes simultaneously which is really a superposition of the two principal modes. This superposition state of the empirical ego has an important spiritual function to which we have devoted our present post.

In the previous post, Egology III, we stated that the empirical ego can also vibrate in the proactive and the reactive modes simultaneously which makes it somewhat neutral or indifferent to circumstances, for when the reactive mode and the proactive mode superimpose they tend to cancel one another into a relatively flat line which constitutes a kind of passivity or detachment from the ups and downs of a narrative. We call this mode of the empirical ego the superposition state, its detached mode, or the passive mode which is far from a passive personality truly belonging to the reactive mode.

The passive mode, thus, is not really another principal mode of vibration of the empirical ego but rather the result of the two principal modes, proactive and reactive, superimposing on one another. The empirical ego in its passive mode tends to be more objective in the sense that it identifies itself with circumstances with much less intensity than the ego in either of the two principal modes separately; its narrative is more like the life of a monk. Note that the passive mode of the ego does not necessarily imply a passive personality which is a modality of the reactive mode; ego in passive mode may even be a very active person but it doesn’t identify too much with these activities; it is more detached from and less identified with its narrative compared to the other two modes of the ego. A natural consequence of this detachment is that the ego in passive mode is not too much affected by favorable or unfavorable circumstances, by loss or gain. While the ego in proactive mode uses obstacles to its own advantage and in reactive mode laments over them, nonetheless they are both always entangled in the world and its ups and downs, and hence they are naturally always affected by world events and phenomena. The proactive mode tends toward worldly success while the reactive mode tends toward worldly failure, but the passive mode which is neutral and detached from the worldliness tends more toward liberation from the world as such.

Here is a summary of what we said: The empirical ego which is the constitution/creation of the transcendental ego and also the object of knowledge of the Witness has two principal modes of vibration/behavior which are associated with the nature of the narratives the empirical ego tells itself about itself and its surrounding world. The empirical ego can vibrate in the proactive mode in which it situates (narrates) itself in an epic story and welcoming environment. The empirical ego can also vibrate in the reactive mode in which it situates (narrates) itself in a tragic story and a hostile environment. The empirical ego throughout its world-life usually switches back and forth between the two principal modes; however, in each empirical ego one or another mode of vibration is more dominant.

The empirical ego can also vibrate in a mix of the two principal modes. This vibration of the empirical ego, the human person, is called the passive or detached mode, or the superposition state, of the ego whose narrative is more neutral than either of the two principal modes separately. While the detached ego may be a very active ego in the world, it does not identify itself with those actions and the fruits of those actions. The proactive mode tends toward worldly success; the reactive mode tends toward worldly failure; and the detached ego tends toward liberation from the world as such.

It is important to note that in all these cases, the success, the failure, and the liberation are only narratives and not concrete realities: They are only narratives created by the transcendental ego and told by the empirical ego which is itself a narrative constituted by the transcendental ego and experienced in light of the Witness Consciousness, or what in Hindu metaphysics is called Saksin and in Phenomenology The Disinterested Onlooker.

The true essence of everyone and everything is the Witness, and hence the empirical ego, itself illusory in its existence since it is nothing but a narrative, is a fundamentally free agent that can choose to vibrate in the proactive, reactive, or the mixed passive mode. Liberation or Deliverance consists in liberation from the empirical ego as such and hence from all narratives associated with it. Thus, one who is liberated no more perceives itself as an empirical ego in a world of phenomena, and hence it doesn’t vibrate in any of the modes of the empirical ego: As long as we are empirical egos, perceiving ourselves as human beings in a world, we can’t but vibrate in either of its modes or the mix state. Narrative is essential to the life of the empirical ego which is itself only a vibration; there is always a narrative attached to the empirical ego even in its passive and detached mode who tends toward liberation but not yet truly liberated; its narrative in this mode is the narrative of detachment and liberation from the world.

However, the truly liberated one is in fact liberated from the bonds of all narratives, and hence of worldliness and humanity; it is no more identified with an empirical ego and hence is free from all its vibrations each of which is really a narrative mode. The phenomenal world too, which is itself a mega-narrative against which all other narratives of the empirical ego play, vanishes for the liberated one. This is a very logical meaning of liberation or Deliverance: Since liberation is in fact liberation from all narratives, and since the phenomenal world itself is nothing but a narrative constituted by the transcendental ego, naturally the liberated one becomes free of the world-narrative also, and hence the world ceases to exist for the liberated one.

Change, decay, and, mortality which are the essential features of the world narrative and all its constituents do not apply to the liberated one who has already transcended the world. The liberated one achieves immortality, for it is now identified with nothing but the Witness which is its true nature and essence. We said earlier in Egology II that the Witness which lies entirely outside the world-narrative, space and time, and hence unaffected by it is not subject to any change or decay; It is immortal and immutable. Therefore, the liberated one who directly perceives and realizes its essential identity with the Witness, known as The Supreme Identity, becomes truly immortal and immutable.

We always start things from the human state, from the empirical ego. To ascend the hierarchy of states and stations, that is, egos and vibrations, moving up toward the Witness and Supreme Identity we must first move from the proactive or reactive mode to the passive mode of the empirical ego. This horizontal movement from the two extremes to the middle point takes place in the plane of human existence. Once in the passive or detached mode of the empirical ego we begin our vertical ascent toward the Principle, an ascent which requires leaving behind the human state and moving up through all conditioned states and finally merging in the The Unconditioned, The Witness, The Absolute and The Infinite Principle.

Egology III

In our two previous posts, Egology I and Egology II, we expressed in detail the nature of ego and introduced the two types of ego, Transcendental  Ego and Empirical Ego, which are constantly at play in our everyday experience of the world. The former is concealed while the latter, itself created by the former, is exposed to natural consciousness. In this post we introduce the modalities of the empirical ego.

The empirical ego has two fundamental modes and it can, and actually does, switch back and forth between these modes. We can view these modes as the two principal modes of vibration of the empirical ego. The same way that a string of specific length and tension can vibrate only in certain frequencies, the empirical ego too can vibrate only in either of the two principal modes or sometimes in a mix of the two. These principal modes of the empirical ego are its Proactive mode and Reactive mode. We refrain from using the terms proactive ego and reactive ego because proactivity and reactivity are not the nature of any ego but only the two possible modes of behavior, and hence only attributes, for the empirical ego. We remember that the main function of the empirical ego, and any ego for that matter, is constitution of a narrative, context-creation, or meaning-bestowal. Thus, the essential difference between the proactive mode and the reactive mode comes from the essential difference between the structure of the narratives associated with each. We can naturally associate the proactive mode and the reactive mode of the empirical ego with epic and tragic literary genres respectively.

The empirical ego in its proactive mode tells a narrative in which it is a proactive character in the story. In the proactive mode the ego perceives itself and the surrounding world, which is in fact the underlying narrative it tells itself, as a place of opportunities that can elevate him/her; it situates itself in a context in which it is the hero, dominating circumstances and using the obstacles to its own advantage. In other words, this mode of ego is optimistic and not fearful; it doesn’t find the world a hostile and tragic environment. Thus, ego in its proactive mode tells the narrative of goals and achievements rather than failures and negativity or others’ judgments about it. As a result, the ego in proactive mode is less inclined to feel insecure compared to its reactive mode and only because it doesn’t spend time focusing on them. Thus, the proactive mode is more generous; he/she tends toward nobility and courage; his/her life is an epic story.

The empirical ego in its reactive mode tells a narrative in which it is a reactive character in the story. In the reactive mode the ego is always engaged in self-defense, and hence naturally offensive at times because offense is only the outward mode of defense. The reason for this behavior of ego in its reactive mode is that it perceives itself and the world, which is in fact only a story it tells itself, as a hostile and tragic environment. Ego in the reactive mode cannot rise above situations and instead always perceives itself in a losing battle, and as a natural consequence it manifests itself as a defensive type of person. Ego in this mode is focused not on goals and achievements but on flaws and failures only, on the obstacles that keep him from achieving a goal rather than on strategies to overcome them, and on how others perceive and think of him/her.

The ego in its reactive mode tends to feel more insecure, not so much because it fundamentally lacks something but simply because it focuses only on the negative aspects of every phenomenon which are equally present also for the ego in its proactive mode though this ego chooses to respond differently. feeling more insecure, the ego in reactive mode becomes more timid and often offensive and dangerous in unfavorable circumstances. These are the typical characteristics of passive, cynical, or sarcastic personalities who are always either on defense or in the attack mode. An ego in the reactive mode doesn’t tend toward courage, nobility, and generosity which are the main characteristics of ego in its proactive mode. You can imagine how destructive the ego in reactive mode can become when it gains power over others, be it as a husband or wife, or as a leader of a nation. The life of an ego always in reactive mode is a tragic story of loss and failure, not so much because it fails but simply because the narrative it tells itself is focused only on losses and failures, and in general on the negative aspects of the narrative. From an objective point of view, the world is almost equally favorable/unfavorable to the empirical ego, the human person; it is the reaction of the empirical ego to these circumstances that constitutes its proactive or reactive mode. Which mode is adopted is always only a matter of perspective and not of a fixed and rigid reality as if out there.

We must note some important points: As mentioned above the proactive and reactive modes of the ego are only the modes of behavior or vibrations of the empirical ego and not its nature. Thus, any empirical ego usually switches back and forth between these modes and not always in one or another mode: An empirical ego, a particular human person, may adopt the proactive mode or attitude in one circumstance and the reactive attitude in another. However, sometimes and for some people one mode is more dominant than the other, the cause of this domination being the intensity of a person’s identification with the proactive or reactive roles in his/her narrative.

It is not that certain people are losers by nature and certain people are winners by nature; in their essence all are the same thing, an empirical ego, the rest being only the narratives it chooses to tell itself, whether of triumph or of failure. All empirical egos are constitutions/creations of the transcendental ego which is one in all; the empirical ego which tells our narrative is itself a narrative being told by the transcendental ego, our life being a narrative within a larger narrative. It is as a result of identification with this mode or the other mode of the empirical ego that our narratives appear to be either epic or tragic. It is always a fundamental choice of the empirical ego to move from the reactive mode to the proactive mode or vice versa. In fact, it is this fundamental independence from these modes, our primordial freedom, that makes change and radical transformations possible.

The empirical ego can also vibrate in the proactive and the reactive modes simultaneously which makes it somewhat neutral or indifferent to circumstances, for when the reactive mode and the proactive mode superimpose they tend to cancel one another into a relatively flat line which constitutes a kind of passivity or detachment from the ups and downs of a narrative. This mixed, or superimposed, mode of the empirical ego has a spiritual function which deserves attention in separation post. In Egology IV, the last of these series, I go into the details of this neutral mode of the empirical ego and its spiritual functions and aims.

Egology II

In a previous post, Egology I, we discussed the nature of the ego as such and the different types of egos at play in our natural, everyday experience of the world. I emphasize that by ego we didn’t mean selfishness or any of its negative connotations, which are only a few possibilities for the ego along with its other possibilities such as kindness and generosity, etc. By ego we mean in general “I” at the center of all our experiences, the center of the acts of consciousness, namely the subject of experience as such. We mentioned that the primary function of any ego is to create a situation around itself, to provide a narrative in which it is also the main character: Ego tells the story, and as in every story there is a set and setting in which the story unfolds. The largest setting in which the ego defines itself and narrates its story is the experienced world. World is the background of ego’s narrative, and hence it is also part of that narrative since every narrative is essentially tied to the setting in which it unfolds. World is the largest context, and ego is the story teller that gives meaning to this context and makes it dynamic. We note that by world here is meant the largest context, that is, the horizon of all actual and possible experiences. So, this world-horizon is not the physical universe of sciences; instead, science and its world-picture, along with religions and philosophies and their stories, are themselves narratives within this larger world-horizon which is always in the background of all experiences and which the ego can choose to accept to reject. Gods, angles and demons, creation and destruction, heaven and hell, etc. are all narratives played against this indefinite world-horizon. Thus, we use the sense of the world similar to its sense when we say “a baby was born into this world.”

We also saw that there are different types of egos at play against the world-background: The Empirical Ego and the Transcendental Ego. The empirical ego is the ego that we experience and are constantly aware of; it is our human self which for us has a character and a personality, an identity which is tied to a definite past and a possible future; it is the ego that lives our everyday life. The transcendental ego is the ego, or act-center, that constitutes (creates) and supports the empirical ego but is itself a concealed agent; it is the ego that provides the existence and experiences of the empirical ego. As empirical egos immersed in world-experience we are not aware of the transcendental ego which is constantly operative in the background and hence constituting us and the world of our experiences. The same way that the empirical ego constitutes a narrative for itself as a person-in-the-world attached to an identity, the transcendental ego constitutes the empirical ego and its world-experiences with which the empirical ego identifies itself.

While the empirical ego experiences itself as an object in the world, the transcendental ego is not a part of the world and instead stands outside it; the world is itself a narrative constituted, or created, by the transcendental ego. Here is an analogy: When you are telling a story, say to your child, your voice is that which keeps the story together and hence meaningful; it is the support of that narrative. Your voice itself is not part of the story, nor is it something entirely detached from the story: The story in its every moment depends on your voice; its existence is derived from the existence of your voice. The moment you stop reading the story it collapses into oblivion. In other words, your voice is something outside the story and yet tied to it, imparting existence and reality to the story. In a similar fashion, the transcendental ego is not part of the phenomenal world, and is not something human, and yet the existence of this world and the empirical ego depends on the continuous operation of the transcendental ego who is the agent constituting the phenomenon of world-horizon and the empirical ego itself as another phenomenon within it.

It is the transcendental ego that is constantly constituting the empirical ego and its experiences of the world, while the empirical ego takes this world for granted and situates itself in various roles and identities within this world-horizon, roles like a male or female, a lawyer or a beggar, successful or failed, etc. Transcendental ego constitutes all our experiences as phenomena within world-horizon while the empirical ego identifies itself with these phenomena and creates narratives that strengthen this identification. Thus, the world we experience is a mere phenomenon constituted by the transcendental ego and has no independent existence; like a narrative that borrows its existence and reality from the existence and reality of the narrator, our world too owns its existence and apparent reality to the transcendental ego which within the religious context is known as God or Ishvara.

There is a another level without which the constitutions of the transcendental ego, which are the experiences of the empirical ego, would not be known at all, without which there would not be an awareness of any experience whatsoever. This deeper level is called the Witness: it is associated with pure light; it is the light that shines on the constitutions of the transcendental ego, and hence makes the experiences of the empirical ego possible. It is in virtue of the light of the Witness that we know anything at all. Thus, the source of all knowledge is the Witness which itself is not involved in any constitution or creation at all; it is pure and perfect, and though it shines its light on the constitutions of the transcendental ego, it itself is unaffected by all things and also cannot become the object of experience, for it is itself that which makes all experience possible and thus must always lie behind all experiences which are by nature objectifications of the transcendental ego. To be more precise, the Witness cannot be objectified. Therefore, we can interpret the empirical ego and its world-experiences as the creation, and the transcendental ego as God the creator, and the Witness as the Godhead and the Ground of Being the first and the highest manifestation of which is the God the creator, that is, the transcendental ego.

If we happen to be religious and believers in God, the above descriptions must help us to understand the true nature of our relationship with God: God is not an agent that created the world at some point in time and then sat back entirely outside and detached from the world, watching and judging us as if we had our own wills and choices. In reality, God is at the center of our Being, and we are in our essence one with Him. Every moment of existence, and every state of the world, is actively held together by God. Thus, God is constantly sustaining the world, creating it each moment anew and afresh and according to the fundamental orientation of our empirical egos; He does so from within and not from without. Every moment of our being depends on Him and His light. In truth, there is no moment that God is not within us and not aware of everything inside and outside us; all our knowings are in fact His. It is His knowing that runs through all acts of consciousness, a knowing by which we know the contents of the world and of our minds, even the most private thoughts and feelings. Our true relation to God is that of a character in a narrated story to the voice of the story teller.

In another post, Egology III, I will continue this discussion with focus on the fundamental orientations, or fundamental vibrational modes, of the empirical ego.

Human Being as the site of revelation

(Introductory Note: This post is about Being and beings, so it is necessary to define from the outset what I mean by being and Being. By being, or beings, when written with lower-case “b” I refer to entities as existent things; for instance, a cup, a person, an idea, a thought, etc. which are existent things though each as itself and in a particular mode of presence; a cup as perceived in my perception is a being in the space of perception, in the mode “perceived;” the same cup when imagined is a being in the space of imagination, in the mode “imagined.”  In general, all objects of cognition, whether actual or possible concrete or abstract, are beings. On the other hand, when I use Being with the capital “B” I mean the existence of beings rather than beings themselves as entities. Thus, Being refers to their existence rather than their identities. For instance, when I speak of the Being of beings I am referring to their Being, their existence, their endurance in and through time, an endurance which is always manifest only in the form of an identity. We note that Being is not itself a being but rather it is that in which all beings participate and in virtue of which beings are beings. I borrow this lower-case/upper-case distinction from Heidegger’s convention. The discussion of Being and beings was the life project of Martin Heidegger, the German philosopher. But we approach the subject independently of his philosophy.) 

The intention of this post is to show that the Being of human being, his/her existence, is entirely different from the Being of all other beings. The way and the manner in which we exist is of a totally different character from the the manner of existence of other things in the world. I as this human person am not just another object in the world but instead occupy a very special place among other beings and in the world as a whole.

My Being is different from the Being of other beings because the other beings are exposed to me, I am always aware of a field of beings that are in Being, while my Being as a human being is not exposed to other beings: I always have a world around me, perceived precisely as a world, but a rock does not have a world. Also the Being of the rock as a rock is not exposed to itself; a rock shows no sign of being aware of itself as a rock that is in the ceaseless flow of Being. But my Being is such that it is an exposure to an infinite field of beings while at the same time I am also exposed to my own Being as a human being. Not only am I a human being in the world, I am also aware of my being as a human being in the world; I am aware that I am aware.

A rock, or even an animal, has no perception of itself as a being with a well-defined identity among other objects constituting a world. A cow lives but it is not open to its own essence as a cow. Thus, we can summarize our view this way: Human being is that being who has a world, but other beings don’t have a world in the logical sense of the world as a horizon of all actual and possible beings and experiences; that is, other beings don’t have a logic, and hence no world-phenomenon. If we can speak of animals as having a world it is only because we confer upon them our own world-perception. We view the animal in our own image. We perceive the essence of animals, animals precisely as animals and in their characterization as species; but they cannot perceive us as an essence, as human beings with human characteristics and define us as species. In other words, human being is entirely different from other beings in that our Being is equipped with essential intuition, with an insight into archetypes of which all individual beings partake.

The Being of human beings is an opening, a window toward beings and their Being. When we are perceiving we are in fact being open to the Being of beings in the primordial space of perception; we are exposed to beings as perceived, and in this exposure we are also exposed to our own Being as that which perceives. When we imagine, we are making ourselves available to the beings of the imaginal world. It may appear to us that we are creating the imagined objects but in fact we are only exposing our own Being to the phenomena of the actually present and real world of imagination, the world of imagined beings which reveal themselves to us on their own accord. In other words, we do not create or produce thoughts and imaginations; instead we make ourselves open and available to the revelation of thoughts and imaginations. Insofar as we are directed toward the space of thought or imagination, the beings of these primordial spaces naturally and smoothly flow into our Being; all we do is to steer hither and thither within this revelatory flow. We don’t create thoughts out of nowhere; thoughts are always there, always available in infinite forms. In the act of thinking we are in fact making ourselves directed toward, and hence open to, the space of thoughts; this openness allows the revelation to flow in, and then we only steer them around. Notice that whenever and wherever you wish to think of anything the thoughts just flows naturally without you having to put any efforts in producing the form and content of those thoughts, or imaginations; it is only enough for you to adopt the proper orientation after which revelation comes forth and allows you to steer the thoughts, and hence receive that to which you are receptive. In reality, we don’t really think; rather, we let thoughts reveal themselves to us in the manner in which we intend them to be.

Thus, the Being of human being is unique in the sense that man is the site of revelation. Man is an occasion for the revelation of beings in their Being.

We are very much biased by the prejudices of modern philosophy, especially those imposed by the Cartesian divide of the subjective-objective. We are made to think that our thoughts and imaginations are subjective and relative, that they are phenomena in our own heads and without any concrete reality outside of ourselves; we are prejudiced to think this way because we have unquestionably accepted that reality is a fundamentally physical entity from which non-physical phenomena emerge by accident. We have given unquestionable priority to material existence, and hence we take less seriously anything that is not physical, such as our thoughts and imaginations, our spiritual well-being, etc. We think thoughts are just thoughts. But we must remind ourselves that the Cartesian division of reality into the two distinct realms of spirit and matter, subjective and objective, is itself a division made by a subject, and hence it is a subjective division in its character and scope. Beliefs are not just subjective, relative phenomena. They are as real as anything else, and in fact more real than everything else. We must note that the idea that our thoughts are private and subjective, that there is an objective, external world out there which exists independently of our ideas, that our minds and existence and beliefs are immaterial and irrelevant, is itself a subjective belief, a mere conviction, now held by the majority which gives it the illusion of being correct.

If we free ourselves from the sickening prejudice that world is fundamentally physical, then we can see that our thoughts and imaginations are real components of the world: When you think of an object you make that object itself present as itself, however in a particular mode of presence, now as perceived and now as imagined, etc. In other words, to cognize is recognize, namely to make present. By thinking of a thing we make ourselves open to the actual Being of that being; we allow that being to present itself precisely as itself and in its concrete reality, not as something unreal or merely subjective.

To think is to let be. When we think of God we are letting God enter into our Being. We make ourselves open and available to His grace, and God’s grace is nothing but His presence. Thus, in thinking of God we are not exposed to just an idea of God; instead, in thinking of God we expose ourselves to God himself, however he is made present according to the mode and degree of our openness and orientation. In other words, we let God be in any way that we are capable of thinking of Him or imagining Him: He gives himself to us in the manner in which we open ourselves to Him.

When we realize that the beings of the space of thought and imagination, and all cognitive spaces in general, are as real, effective, and affective as anything else in the world, then we are more careful of what we think, of what we say or imagine, etc. The prejudices of modern philosophy regarding the subjective and unreal character of imagination and thought has unfortunately allowed us to be too comfortable with what we let into our minds which is a letting into our very Being, as if it were Ok to think of an unjust act if we didn’t actually commit that act! But this is not true at all. Thinking of committing an unjust act is as real and consequential as actually committing it, though its reality has a different character. The reason we cannot see the truth in this is because we are made to give priority and superior value to physical existence, to physical harm and injury, while we don’t see and acknowledge the more serious and consequential spiritual/intellectual harm and injury caused by impure thoughts and imaginations. Physical damage and death is superficial and transitory and becomes forgotten easily while spiritual damage caused by impurity can cripple our soul forever, and hence the soul of generations to come. But we are so used to spiritual self-injury caused by impure thoughts, itself caused by the prejudice that what’s in our mind is not that important and effective, that we can no more feel our spiritual decay and decadence; instead we carry this decadence around under the guise of physical beauty or well-being. We exercise to keep the heart healthy and we take too much pride in that, but we cannot even begin, and don’t even care, to initiate spiritual exercise to keep the soul healthy. We are made to feel good about ourselves as long as we look good and healthy, thanks to modern slavery and its oppressive consumerism which is nothing short of global genocide against human spirit which deprives man of his/her essential Being and reduces him/her (and more reduces her) to just another being, a universal holocaust designed to destroy the spirit while sparing the body for a lifelong of exploitation and mandatory labor making the rich richer and the poor poorer. It is with this in mind that Christ reminded us that adultery, and any sinful act for that matter, is already committed the moment we think it.

If our Being is an openness to other beings, if our Being is a letting Be of beings, if our Being is a making present the beings that are otherwise suspended in oblivion, then we must take responsibility for the things that we let enter into our Being, whether in the form of thoughts or through any act of cognition. We make the world actually more positive and beautiful when we let only positivisty and beauty enter our Being, a Being which is an opening toward present and presence and hence itself a divine present.

We can make God to be more present in our lives if we think of Him more often, and he makes himself present to us in any way that we expose ourselves to Him, in anyway that we like to perceive Him. God just wants to Be, and more so to Be in our Being; he longs to impregnate our Being, and he can’t care less about how we wish to imagine him and his Being. God becomes present actually and as Himself in any way and through any symbolism that we intend Him. Your thought of God is God Himself. Whenever you think of Him you make Him think of you, and God’s thinking is nothing short of His Being. When He thinks of you in virtue of you thinking Him He makes your Being participate in His Being; He thinks and then you are.

Oh, mind; dive deep into the thought of God.

World is the shadow of God

This world is the shadow of God; it is not a thing, not an existent entity; rather, it is the lack of a thing, lack of light, as are all shadows.

Our relation to the absolute principle is paradoxical from the point of view of our mundane intelligence: First, there is nothing but God; but then, we are separated from Him! How can this be?!

Well, paradox and contradiction did not keep physicists to develop quantum physics which is a very successful science though it will always appear paradoxical to our mind. What seems paradoxical in one level of reality resolves itself into unity in a higher level of reality. God is paradox-free.

How can a shadow understand the object of which it is a shadow?!

We ask: If God is everything, then how can we be separated from Him? Well, from the point of view of God, a contradiction in terms since God is absolute and owns all points of views at once, there is no such thing as separation; even our existence is only a pure possibility for God and never a concrete reality, much similar to the way dream characters are real relative to one another but only subconscious possibilities relative to the dreamer.

God is everything and yet we are separated from Him! But this is not really a paradox since the two situations cannot be realized simultaneously: The second condition follows if and only if the first condition is not fully satisfied, or realized if you will. We feel separated from God as long as we don’t truly believe that He is everything; but once we have realized that God is everything, then we won’t feel any separation; our separation too is nothing but God himself appearing as void.

Our feeling of separation is not a result of God’s absence but an adverse effect of an acute case of forgetfulness: The Fall is nothing but a fall into forgetfulness. Forgetfulness is the original sin; salvation and return to His bosom is a possibility always in the here and now, something immediately realized once we realize He is all that there is, that I am Him, my thoughts and feelings, my pain and suffering, my hopes and worries, my joy and happiness, are all Him and nothing but Him. Then we cease to fight, for any fight would be a fight with Him, a fight with our own being. True surrender is the most intelligent decision we can ever make.

A concise way of articulating our relationship with God is this:

My being is God’s knowing 

Random Reflections

I have been wanting to write something in my blog but I really have nothing to say at the moment, at least the usual stuff that I say. I thought it is a good opportunity to push myself to write when there is nothing to write, that perhaps a new field may open itself up to me which is concealed by what I usually think and say. So I decide to devote this post to free-writing.

I think I have put my mind in an awkward situation: At the same time I have used the analytic part of the mind most of my life, doing only physics, mathematics, and western philosophy. On the other hand, I am inherently drawn to the synthetic language of religion and spirituality. The analytic aspect of me tends to dissolve the whole into pieces, disintegrating whatever comes in its way. The synthetic aspect longs for the shattered whole. No wonder I linger mostly in metaphysics which is the intersection of scientific thought and religious aspirations.

By science of course I mean not modern science which I see as the perversion of the intellect. We should remember that the idea of science as systematic knowledge of totality was handed down to the fathers of modern science, such as Bacon and Galileo, from Aristotle. But in the vision of Aristotle science as systematic knowledge must always contain the two complementary parts, Physics and Metaphysics. Modern science took physics and dispensed with metaphysics, the result being a collection of scattered and mentally challenged disciplines that outwardly behave as science but lack the proper metaphysical foundations. For Aristotle metaphysics is the ground of all science; he called it the First Philosophy, supreme science.

Of modern sciences I like them insofar as they explain phenomena quantitatively but disliked them for their lack of metaphysical foundations. And by modern science I really consider exact sciences; the rest such as psychology, humanities, AI, and even biology and neuroscience don’t even qualify as science; they are awfully misguided in their characters and conclusions because they adopted the methods of physics which deals with inert matter and tried to apply them to totally different kind of phenomenon, life. Their procedures is based on an unfounded assumption that life is nothing but inert matter put together in a complex structure. I cannot see how one can make this unscientific assumption and claim to produce a science out of it!

There is very sharp line between organic and inorganic systems, between life and inert matter. The whole of these pseudo-sciences is based on ignoring this impossible gap between the two kinds of phenomena. We can consider a stone, a piece of wood, water, etc. to be natural phenomena, but we cannot possible consider consciousness too in the same class, for nature and all its phenomena are given to us, and known, in and through consciousness. To say that pure material phenomena and natural processes cause the emergence of consciousness is exactly like saying that the objects in our dream cause the dream experience!

The very basic division that we so take for granted, the objective-subjective divide, is itself a moment of conscious experience. The objectivity that we so much value in science is a possibility within subjectivity. The fact of the matter is that there is nothing but subjectivity; no one can say something that lies outside experience; and even the idea of “outside experience” or “independent of experience” is itself something experienced and cognized by consciousness. Only a subject can think of a world existing independently of him/her; only consciousness can imagine its own absence.

What modern scientific thinking has done was to push everything non-material into the human mind, telling us that imaginations, inspirations, religious experiences, etc. are all in your head, that they are subjective and not in the world. And we have simply accepted this crooked judgment and as a result take our own spirits less seriously compared to the men and women of the golden age. They have created a police state and sent everyone home, into the privacy of your mind. But when science speaks of a God-less, objective world isn’t it speaking of the subjective experiences of a few who consider themselves privileged in their knowledge of what is real and what is unreal?! Isn’t a God-less, objective world itself an idea in the consciousness of those totalitarian institutions known as academia?! What they consider objective reality is really someone else’s subjective experience, the scientists.

We have been raised and educated with this hidden propaganda that the knowledge of reality is only accessible to a few with whose unquestionable verdicts we must agree or else we are superstitious and unintelligent! Their subjectivity is better than ours! Well, if we don’t get caught up in their superficial names and forms we recognize this mentality as almost always present in history: It is nothing but fascism. It has emerged in the realm of religion, race, and now in the realm of intelligence. The dogmatic scientism exercised by many such modern scientists is nothing but intellectual fascism. When you consider your own methods of inquiry and modes of knowledge as superior to others and systematically ridicule and suppress everything that smells of the slightest disagreement, then you are that recurrent fascist who always shows up in history demanding the reign of its own truth and the exclusion and execution of the truths of others.

Modern science is but an abstraction from the immediate conscious experience. To consider these abstractions as the causes of that conscious experience is a self-refutation of science because the results cannot precede the methods by which the results are obtained. Knowledge, scientific or otherwise, is essentially the content of consciousness and cannot account for the existence and form of that consciousness no more that a water in a glass can be the cause of the glass itself. I must add that here by consciousness I mean something broader that the particular human consciousness because our humanity, our mind and consciousness, our existence, etc. are things of which we are aware, and hence they too belong in the content of a more general, universal consciousness who has no personal subject; it is rather subject-less consciousness, or if you like its pure subject is The Absolute, or God. Anything of which we are aware of is always already inside consciousness: We are constantly aware of ourselves surrounded by an external world; thus, we and world with its quality of being give as something outside me are all contents of consciousness. In other words, there is nothing outside consciousness, even the idea of outside-consciousness itself being something inside consciousness.

The problem of course is not with science as such. It is the wrongful role and status that we have assigned to it. We must understand that modern science with its picture of the universe is nothing but an abstraction, however a very practical and beneficial abstraction that can in many ways improve our lives. But this science and its objects have nothing to do with the Reality in itself, reality as it first shows up in our immediate conscious experience, the reality that contains science only as one of its possibilities, a human tradition at best. Science itself is something experienced; it may explain other objects of experience but it cannot explain itself and its own origin and possibility. Modern science as one among the many other human achievements can never understand its own master, the human person, for it is itself produced and conditioned by that person. Therefore, psychology is bullshit.

Good night.

The Many Faces of The I

Truth and our fundamental relation to it creeps into our everyday language whether we want it or not. This is so because in a manner of speaking we are the truth, though we may be oblivious to this truth. Let us take a look at the way we express our actions in the present tense, exactly where we always are:

I say “I am thinking,” “I am imagining,” “I am remembering,” “I am going,” etc. If we pay attention to the structure of these expressions we see that they can be viewed and meant from a different perspective:

I am the thinking; I am the imagining; I am the remembering; I am the going. etc.

I am the thinking because I have become that thinking, being the thinker and the thought at once.

I am the imagining because the “I” has transformed itself into the form of imagination.

I am the remembering because I am transformed to the memory.

That is why at each moment I am at liberty to withdraw myself from these regions, and upon my withdrawal, the withdrawing of my attention, those regions too disappear: The imagining and the remembering cease once I stop being the imagining and the remembering. It is never the case that the imagination is still there whether or not I am imagining anything.

In all these cases the formless “I” which is never grasped in itself has become the perceptible form; I perceive the “I” now as thought and then as imagination, etc. because I can at will flow into the space of perception or imagination, hence making, i.e. projecting, forms that appear to have become the objects of knowledge. In all these instances, it is the “I” that projects itself into this or that form. This ability to project oneself into forms has been known as the creative power of Gods, i.e. their Maya. The “I” at the center of human experience has this power due to its being constituted in the image of God, hence inheriting the power of projection from the Lord, and the human form itself is nothing but a projection of the “I.” With projection comes concealment, the two being the sides of the same coin. It is the projections of the “I” into this or that form that conceals the essential identity of the “I,” i.e. Atman, with its principle, i.e. Brahman. This Supreme Identity is realized immediately and with absolute self-evidence the moment the “I” ceases to project itself, the end of projection being coincident with the end of the “I” as empirical ego.

The I which is the abode of infinity can project itself into various regions of beings: It can project itself into the space of perception and become the perceivable object; I then say “I am seeing the desk” which is really “I am the seeing of the desk,” for I have become the seeing of the desk. Projecting itself into the space of perception the “I” produces the appearance of a perceived world; it produces the perceivable objects from its own depths. We must only add that this becoming is only apparent from the empirical point of view, while from the metaphysical, i.e. transcendental, point of view there is no becoming, for all things exist in their potential form in the simultaneity of the eternal present.

The objects of sight are embedded within the seeing; it is not as if seeing just bumps into objects in the world. The objects are always already constituted within the ceaseless flow of seeing before we make the abstraction that they exists outside our seeing. The objects of sight are made of seeing and not of atoms. The objects of touch are made of touching, those of thought are made of thinking, etc.

The “I” can also project itself into the space of thought and appear to us as the thinking. The space of thought is a region of Being whose beings, objects, have the form “thought.” When we are thinking we never have to inspect a thought to make sure if it is a thought and not a perception or a smell, etc. The thoughtfulness of a thought is self-evident, and its self-evidence comes from the self-evidence of my “I” to myself.

We may suspect the reality of the objects of consciousness but can never suspect the reality of the acts of consciousness. When we are seeing we cannot doubt that we are seeing, though we may doubt the reality of what is seen. You may think that the seen object before you is a fantasy, an imagination, a dream, etc., but when you are seeing you cannot doubt that you are involved in the act of seeing. The reason that acts of consciousness are indubitable is that they are transformations, i.e. projections, of the indubitable “I.” We cannot doubt an act of consciousness because it enjoys the same absolute certainty and self-evidence as the “I.” It is my own “I” that in each and every case appears as perception, imagination, etc.

The world is constituted in and through the acts of consciousness. it is always in consciousness that we know the world, whether as laymen or as scientists. Even the idea that “the world exists independently of consciousness” is itself an idea produced and held in place by an act of consciousness, in this case by the act of thinking and abstracting and theorizing. Everywhere we look, whether with the eye of everyday commonsense or with the eye of modern science, we are in fact looking at perceptions, thoughts, abstractions, experimentation, etc. all of them being acts of consciousness performed within the manifold of conscious experience out of which we can never step, and this because there is no out of experience, this idea being itself a production of consciousness and hence already inside experience. And these are nothing but the transformed “I.”

When you fear you are fearing only yourself, for nothing exists but the contents of your consciousness.

When you are looking at the world know that you are looking at your own infinitude appearing to you as this boundless world. Everywhere you look you are seeing yourself, for you are the seeing itself, the seer itself, and the seen itself. And know that when you seek you are indeed seeking yourself. To be found is to stop seeking.