Hell is the Other

The man of today is drowning in the ocean of subjectivity, in phenomena, falling for his own shadow, falling a second fall. By continuous feeding of our little desires we have made a mistress out of them; mental and physical needs become more subtle, and we have developed a consciousness for them; we have become too conscious of every disturbance, and we struggle to suppress it one way or another, like a madman trying to calm the waters by pressing down upon waves. But this growth of desire has no end, a shoreless ocean it is; it opens up indefinitely like a fractal.

We are so mesmerized with the dance of forms that we can’t remember our exalted station. Man is a frail and fragile creature, a transient phenomenon; but what is within him, or what animates him, is immortal and indestructible. It is the androgynous perceiver of all the states of reality. It perceives all points of view at once; It sees through all eyes: It is the beholder of every now and then, of every here and there. It is what it is; “I am that I am.”

This universe is a one-man universe. There is no one else in it but you; there is no “other.” It is like when we reenact a situation or lost opportunity in our head, playing all sides and conversations by ourselves! This world, this diversity of subjects and objects, it is one of those situations in the mind of the Solitary One. And you are that One, the One without a second, the only One; and there is nothing like it.

If you see the success of others, why jealousy! In them, in their hearts, it is you; their gaze is your gaze. So their achievements should make you better and happier; their success is yours and their failure too is yours. Who else is in this world!? When you judge you judge only your own perceptions. If you are true to yourself, if you are objective at all, you must realize that you see nothing but your own perceptions. So, if the world is hell for you it is the hell of your own perceptions; and if it is heaven, it is the heaven of your own perceptions.

The otherness of the other is just another perception. The other is a manufactured reality, a notion, an alien interpretation read into the Current of Forms. I am all alone; I am the only reality. The diversity of subjects and objects, giving rise to the illusion of multiplicity, has its cause in a greater and higher intelligence beyond the mind. Being one and alone, It perceives within itself an apparent diversity, much like when a single mind can perceive such diversity in a dream state. As it is in the nature of light to shine, it is in the nature of consciousness to project, to make an image of its ideas. So the reality of the image is not to be found in the image itself but in the consciousness that projects it. All we perceive is light; world, diversity, is an interpretation: “The face of Truth is concealed by a golden vessel.” (Isha Upanishad)

In this world there is no such thing as equality. There are greater men as there are lesser men. What shines in them is the same; the difference is only in what they reflect of that Intelligible Light. The difference is in the degree to which they reflect in the outside world what is reflected within them. It is the matter of concentration and utilization. The psycho-physical constitution of a man, and indeed of this modern people, is such that the intelligence shining in him is mostly dissipated by mundane curiosities and irrelevant information; the attention is leaking out every which way.

As sun shines equally on everything, pure intelligence too shines equally in every being and animates it; but the receptivity of the spirit to this light always depends on our spiritual/intellectual orientation. If your mind-body complex is consuming most of your intelligence, then you are moving toward intellectual dullness and stupidity. Here lies the difference between literacy and knowledge, between mere information and true wisdom: Literacy doesn’t make noble men; it doesn’t impart virtue. Books don’t make men; it is men who make books. We see more crookedness, arrogance, and awkwardness in the merely literate than the illiterate. While literacy concerns itself with the letter, or the most superficial reading of it, knowledge is concerned with the spirit behind the letter, i.e. the transcendent and immutable meaning of things.

The imperative has always been the same: Know thyself. Know, first, that by knowing which everything else is known.

We produce informed but not wise men. We produce readers but not seers. We produce sterile beings. It is by the admission of our scientists and philosophers that “the more we know we realized how little we know.” That this knowledge, this outward curiosity, adds not to knowledge but to our ignorance. Then, how can it be called knowledge when by possessing it we feel less knowledgeable. Simple is the answer: This cannot be knowledge in the true sense of the word if it does not remove ignorance and instead multiplies it. That is why the more we fill ourselves with this world-knowledge, the more empty and arrogant we become. This is the difference between knowledge and literacy; in the latter we accumulate letters, a pile of names and forms, something even a tiny flash-drive can do; while in knowledge we accumulate nothing; we only peel off the many layers of ignorance; we add no more conceptions but stand behind all conceptions. By reaching the ground of Being we stand under everything; then and only then can we say we truly understand.

In true knowledge we add nothing but subtract everything until the true Self shines, until its beams emerge from underneath a pile of forms and letters. Literacy makes a man heavier, less flexible, less immortal; but knowledge, i.e. knowledge of universal principles, makes a man light, more flexible, and closer to immortality. At the summit, when the last veil, i.e. your human cover, drops and His face, your true Self, is beheld, then immortality is realized. And it is the immortal man who hovers over the surface of the waters, the waters in which the literate man of today is drowning to his demise.

Some make their own truths, and some let themselves be made by the truth: To be made is to be hammered.

 

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.

Truth & Reality

World is not something in which we act and think. World is what we think and how we act. The habit of the modern mind, thanks to the reign of scientific worldview, is to assume that world, as a determinate structure, is there before we come to it. But isn’t this thesis itself something somehow arrived at by the mind?!

What is is what it is depending on who we are and how we look in its direction. Things are the way they are because of the way we confront them. To say that reality exists independently of our apprehension of it is itself only a way of confronting reality. What we find in the world depends on our methods of investigation. Or, truth is a function of method. And method is the fixing of values and interests serving a predetermined goal.

That modern science cannot find anything non-physical in the universe is simply because the scientific method was defined and designed from the very beginning to disregard the metaphysical and pick only the physical. When you decide to explore the world using only your hands you will discover all that is tactile but you won’t discover sound, smell, taste, etc., things which don’t lend themselves to your particular methods of investigation, in this case yours hands. To hear sound one must listen, for no amount of touching can apprehend sound; for those who refuse to listen no sound can ever be known to them.

If science cannot prove the existence of God, and won’t ever, it is simply because science is set out to discover empirical phenomena, phenomena that can be subject to control experiments and mathematical quantification. But God is defined to be that which transcends all empirical qualities and quantities. What we fail to understand about science, and hence give it superior status out of ignorance, is that science is just one among the many ways of confronting reality. Science is just one among the many human traditions that have aimed at understanding reality. Science as tradition is a mode of inquiry in which quantity and inference play the fundamental role, while religious and spiritual traditions choose the path of quality and intuition.The methods by which God is recovered are radically different from the methods of science. It is nothing but intellectual fascism to give the scientific truth absolute superiority and call everything else fiction and superstition, and hence not worthy of having a voice. Truth is the function of method.

What happens in science must stay in science. We should not mix up science and our spiritual intuitions. To use science to justify spiritual truths is like using your hand as a means of listening to music. In order to avoid this fatal trap we must remind ourselves that modern science is just a story we keep repeating to ourselves as if it were the only story. Surely science works and has its own truth, but by no means are its truths superior to spiritual truths, let alone absolute. After all, science is itself only a spiritual possibility for mankind. We found science and made it what it is; how stupid of us is it to let science tell us who we are.

Wholes & Parts

The whole is always infinitely greater than the sum total of its parts. Thus, the content of the whole, God, becomes both immanent and transcendent with regard to the manifested content.

One such example is the real line in mathematics. We know from Real Analysis that the interval between numbers 0 and 1 has the same size as the interval between 0 and 1000 or the interval between 0 and infinity! For our purpose we can pick the interval from 0 to 1. Every number between 0 and 1 is a finite number; in fact they are all smaller than 1. But as the length of the interval is infinite, any amount of addition among the numbers within the interval is always infinitely smaller than the length of the interval. Still fascinating is that despite the essential inadequacy of the parts in reconstructing the whole, the size of the interval between any two numbers within a larger interval is always the same size as the larger interval itself. For instance, there are the same amount of numbers existing between 0 and 0.00001 as there are between 1 and 10000.

In number theory we see that the distance between any two infinitely close numbers is always infinitely large, no matter how close the numbers become to one another. Number being itself something finite can never fill the gap between itself and another number. In light of this, every atom is essentially infinitely big as every universe is infinitely small. In terms of size, an atom and the universe are of the same size. Yes then, size matters; but it is either zero or infinite. But we also know that zero and infinity are the two sides of the same coin; one doesn’t exist without the other. Nothingness is God’s back. The choice is ours: Live in His face or die behind His back.

The Tyranny of Narrative

Does a falling tree make a sound when there is no one to hear it?

Of course it doesn’t. Sound is something essentially heard. In the absence of a hearer sound has no existence of its own. The vibrations of the air that transmits sound are there, but sound is not the vibrations though it is associated with them.

The narrative in the mind that keeps telling my story to myself exists in exactly the same way: It exists so long as there is a listener; otherwise it has no actual existence though it may be associated with brain. My narrative derives its existence from me and not the other way around.

The moment my attention is withdrawn from the self-narrative and drawn towards an event, such as music or sex, that narrative ceases to exist for me and I am liberated from its reign. The Real element of my existence is not the narrative but the I: When I am not no narrative can be, but I can be without having a narrative. The moment of orgasm is perhaps the best example of being without being anyone as we are annihilated in the infinite energy of the now. The intense energy is released not from the outside but from the inside; the only thing blocking it, as is always the case, is our narrative. Thus, to get the best orgasm just fuck the narrative.

We Are a Black-hole

There is this thing called the information paradox in black-holes. The idea is this: From conservation laws we know that information can never be lost, created or destroyed; it may only be transformed or moved around. This is of course an alternative way of presenting the energy conservation law. But when it comes to black-holes this laws seems to be violated: Black-holes are by definition structures that suck in information in such a way that we cannot retrieve it. Once information passes the event horizon of a black-hole it cannot be accessed at all, for nothing escapes the event horizon, even light, hence the name black-hole.

Scientists have been trying to figure out what happens to the information that falls into a black-hole. If we say that information is destroyed, then the conservation laws are violated. If we say that it is not destroyed, then what happens to that information?!

Here was my morning fantasy: The information which is falling into the black-hole is converted into consciousness. After all, information is really meaningless without a consciousness that can be informed. Thus, the information is not lost; instead, it produces conscious experience. In other words, black-holes are conscious; they perceive the universe since the light from all over the place is falling into them. But of course since our modern science doesn’t recognize consciousness as an independent reality as it cannot be measured with a stick, naturally scientists call it a paradox.

A little more of reflection on our own consciousness shows that we experience the world around us as if we were at the center absorbing the light reaching us from all over the universe, hence producing this world-experience that we have. We perceive the world as something extended beyond us into infinity, and this is precisely how a black-hole would experience the light falling into it. The idea is that we are a black-hole who happens to have a human experience. This cosmos is that experience. There is only one black-hole, a singularity, that has come to believe it exploded in a big bang, but that too is just an experience. The singularity that we are never exploded. We have not yet happened. In reality nothing is ever happening.

But now enough with the fantasy.

I must add, considering the internal dynamics of a black-hole, the gravitation tension and torsion, and the stretched space-time in it, for a person who is standing at the singularity it will appear to him/her that everything is accelerating away from him. He/she will experience a rapid expansion of the universe around him which is really nothing but the light that falls into the black-hole. This expansion is experienced from inside the black-hole whether or not the outside universe is actually expanding! Now, this is not fantasy, and yet we believe our universe is expanding.

The Shrouding Cover Called Human

*A must read for the contemplative seeker.

The lives that we live in our everyday world are lived in toto with that world, i.e., the world, as we understand it, is part of what makes us who we think we are; and, conversely, the world is only what it is (what we think it is) by virtue of having us in it, because when we think of the totality of the world, we must remember that it is a totality already containing us thinking it. Hence, we (the world and ourselves) hold each other mutually captive by virtue of what we accept—the acceptednesses—to be true. This reflexive containment is part of what Fink means when he says, “To know the world by returning to a ‘transcendence’ which once again contains the world within it signifies the realization of a transcendental knowledge of the world. This is the sole sense in which phenomenology is to be considered as a ‘transcendental philosophy.’”

With this statement we finally arrive at the core of what Fink means to communicate; the Phenomenological Reduction is self-meditation radicalized. On its face, his statement may seem to involve the presupposition that the self is already estranged from its own essence; however, as Fink points out, “phenomenology does not begin with a ‘presupposition’; rather, by an extreme enhancement and transformation of the natural self-meditation, it leads to the ground-experience which opens-up not only the concealed-authentic essence of the spirit, but also the authentic sense of the natural sphere from out of which self-meditation comes forth.” The ground-experience, furthermore, can succeed “only when, with the most extreme sharpness and consequence, every naïve claiming of the mundane-ontological self-understanding is cut off, when the spirit is forced back upon itself to Interpret itself purely as that ‘self’ which is the bearer and accomplisher of the valuation of every natural ‘self-understanding.’” This view is already made explicit in direct connection with the phenomenological onlooker in Fink’s discussion in Sixth Cartesian Meditation (pp. 39-40). The meditation does not bring the reducing “I” into being; the reducing “I” is disclosed once the shrouding cover of human being is removed. That is, by un-humanizing ourselves we discover the reducing “I”—the phenomenological onlooker who is the one practicing the epoché.

Now we can more clearly grasp the meaning of Fink’s statement; when he speaks of spirit being “forced back upon itself,” the “itself” is the phenomenological onlooker—spirit; and the radicalization of self-meditation is the procedure whereby we discover what Husserl earlier referred to as “I am, this life is.” This is “radicalization” precisely because it is to be done without any reference to the mundane. Let me explain, the world is familiarly and horizonally pre-given to us in its totality; furthermore, we are pre-given in it. So, the mundane-ontological self-interpretedness of the spirit is a moment in the totality of the pre-givenness of the world. Hence, if we use any element of the mundane-ontological interpretedness of the world, we have not exercised a “radical” shift. In order for the shift to be truly radical in Husserl’s sense, no element of the mundane can enter into either the motivation for self-meditation or into the ground of it—in the sense of an understanding of the essence of spirit prior to the ground-experience that brings spirit to itself. What we want to accomplish is a radical shift in which the spirit (phenomenological onlooker) is forced back upon itself to interpret itself purely as that “self” that is the bearer (as the human ego) and accomplisher (transcendental constituting ego) of the valuation of the entirety of the mundane-ontological self-interpretedness.

The radical nature of the Phenomenological Reduction seems to have been greatly underdetermined by some and that we can only get a truly accurate picture of what Husserl means by taking seriously his claim that, not only is the reduction radical, but it is radical in a “new” sense of that term; this “new” radicality is linked directly to self-meditation that has been radicalized—radicalized, that is, insofar as it is a self-meditation that is “forced back upon itself to Interpret itself purely as that ‘self’ which is the bearer and accomplisher of the valuation of every natural ‘self-understanding.’” One practical way to grasp what it means for the self to be “forced back upon itself to interpret itself purely as that ‘self’ which is the bearer and accomplisher of the valuation of every natural ‘self-understanding,’” is to understand this ‘self’ as the “I” in “I am.”

Excerpt from epoche by John Cogan