From Present to Presence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All separation is from Him.

All experience is spiritual experience.

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

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

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

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

 

Be Not

All doubts are removed, all past and future gone, with one sublime glance of the Solitary One. Pray for the unconcealment of that blessed moment in which His glance catches yours and annihilates all separation and duality, and all things merge in one eternal glance.

You mad people of this age, with your heads cut off and running aimlessly with a bleeding soul! Truth is the simplest of all things only if you could See. Alas, Seeing is forgotten. The seeing you take for knowledge is a veil over the unblinking eyes of the One.

There is a seeing that veils and a Seeing that unveils. The seeing that you see veils the Seeing that you can’t see, and you can’t see It because You are It; You are the Seeing: Tat Tvam Asi. 

How can you seek to remove the veil when you are the veil?! Seek not, know not, and be not, for all that appears to exist exists not.

Sakina

This world is in the imagination of a King sitting on the throne. He wonders “what’s it like to be a subject,” and then he becomes a subject; he falls into the damned river of time and finds himself in a world. The King that rules the Void becomes the void, and he became the void so that the void may become the King.

The lost paradise is without this world and yet it is within man. To seek in the world what is above it, this is the madness and the state of our King that wonders and wanders, seeking in vain the very throne on which He is resting in the Great Peace.

All that man wants is to become real. He lends his own primordial reality to the objects of the world and then seeks after them to collect reality. He empties himself of all reality only to fill himself up again; this is the gluttony that comes of the Fall. But to become real one must go to the giver of Reality, to the King himself, only to find that one is the King. One who realizes the One is eternally realized by the One, and this makes him accessible to his devotees regardless of the conditions of time and place; or as the seers said, “he dwells in the heart of the devotee.”

Religion, like philosophy, was never an end but a way, a true way. Philo-sophia, the love of wisdom, was never identical with Wisdom itself. That is heresy when the means is taken for the end. But what is now regarded as philosophy in the west is in fact a history of personal opinions about that Perennial Wisdom that is to be remembered rather than learnt. Thought, in general, was meant to be a flying carpet, a mere instrument, and not a fancy collectible to be hoarded. “There is no salvation to be found in thinking,” says rightly Martin Heidegger. Salvation par excellence, i.e. Deliverance, is a grace to be bestowed upon man by the Pure Intellect, that which perceives the nature of things as opposed to their transient appearance.

The King cannot, and should not, seek; he must instead wake up to that Intellectual Intuition by which the phenomenality of the world is seen through. This world is a transparent veil over the Face of the King. The Eckhartean Breakthrough, the drop of the veil, the most dangerous passage, comes at a price: The King and the subject both die into the Void, and that is the dark side of God that neither knows nor loves; that is Sakina, the Great Peace.

The eye that looks upon God is the eye by which God looks upon us.

The Source of Reality

You are the source of Reality, yet you lend all your reality to the world and drain yourself out of reality. The things you lose in this world derived their reality from you. Reality cannot be lost or gained at the source. These world-objects are but dust passing through your light. Don’t mind their loss, for you are the source of their reality. How can light ever lose itself! You are the King of Light and void is your territory.

Let this rain pour down on me; I am the thirsty abyss of the soul. O Khorshid, pour down your Reality in me. Become one with the void so that the void becomes one with You. Let your Reality wash me away. I must become nothing so that You become everything. I long for that eternal moment where Your glance catches my glance and we become One again. You are the lighthouse and I am the lost vessel. Take me home or wake me up.

The world you see around yourself is but a thin sheet of Prakriti. Seek the moment when He lifts you up and you see through the world and into the void.

The distance between you and the One is created by the mind and filled with thought. The heavy presence you attribute to the world is the presence of His Face. Wherever you look you see nothing and know nothing but The Face. This world is nothing but a transparent veil over His ever shining Face. Don’t look down into the world; look ahead into His eyes so that His Glance may someday snatch you away.

You get only so much Reality that you ask for. To See is to realize, to make real, to bestow reality upon. If you seek infinite Reality, then you must see into the source Itself. One who realizes the source is eternally realized by the source. You will See if you must, for that which you long for also longs for you. Your longing for God is God’s running toward the mirror, toward His image. You are indeed that image. The image can only long for union and should long only for union, for nothing else is really longed for nor achieved except the return of the image to the source of its Reality. Long for that union that is attained the moment you see through the illusion of separation. No unbroken longing remains unfulfilled.

On Truth & Untruth

Who is He that all the birds sing His name, whose dark light has befallen the fallen! What can be said about Him without whom nothing can be said! What can be thought about Him without whom nothing can be thought? And what name can be given Him who is the Great Pronouncer of all names?!

Are we not closer to Him in our silence than in our words?! In the Face of The Absolute everything burns but the Supreme Silence, that sublime abyss from which we have arisen and to which we shall return, the ever veiled abode of that Sole Dweller of the Void. It is in the seductive charm of that Black Magician that we roam as if freely; we are passing nomads in the imagination of a child.

Behold you tired traveler of time, the path you walk ends in your heart. You are the home you have so much missed. You but not you, You are the veiled face of the One. Drop the mask of time and shine in glory.

I am far too outside this world, of its concerns and consolations. But from the heights of truth, from the mountaintops that pierce the dense clouds of illusion, history and identity, I stand alone and see not what’s below but what is above, the ineffable and ineffaceable glory of Khorshid. Up here even the loudest uproars of the earth can’t reach. You may perceive my shadow but I am veiled with the Light of the Supreme Silence. This world with all its horizontal curiosities and irrelevant questions is nothing but a shadow of a shadow, a refracted Light of the One. Yet here I am standing beyond all reflection and refraction, beyond world and people.

There is a partial truth in the claim, of superficial observers, that religions are means of consolation, but so too are man-made sciences and philosophies: Sciences produce abstract notions and thought stirs them until they solidify into a rigid block of merely accepted beliefs about the world and reality. These abstractions have veiled the face of the One who is Itself the source of all abstractions, and hence Itself the most concrete of all. Religion, too, veils the Face but does so only to protect Its sanctity and also to shield the mass from the fatal radiation of the Face; but unlike tradition the modern veilings introduced by our sciences and scholars made us forget the Face and its sanctity altogether. We mistook the veil for knowledge! This is so because the majority of men rather forget their ignorance than confess to them. But our worldly engagements, no matter how intense they are, will always allow for occasional rifts in which we become world-loose again and remember that despite all appearances we never really know anything at all, that what we think we know is nothing but ideas of our own making. We see, if at all, not only that we are essentially nothing in particular, but that we can never truly become anything, for we are ourselves occasions for all becomings: We ourselves are the veil.

What nowadays passes for knowledge is nothing but the accumulation of verbal notions in the memory; and that is why the learned men and women of today that take so much pride in the size of their baggage of verbal notions are worse off, in their being, than when they started. These so-called educated and cultured men and women come out of their cults, academia, with a flattened intelligence and outlook that cannot recognize, by its nature, anything above their purely horizontal comprehension, or rather incomprehension, that operates only in the plane of subjectivity. Knowledge that doesn’t transform and elevate man’s being, adding to the weight of his presence, an addition imparted vertically and from above rather than learned horizontally and from below, is no knowledge at all. This modern education introduces only mental deformities that pull down the objective intelligence unto its knees, to the level of mere subjectivity and sentimentality which is nothing but the madhouse of competing beliefs and opinions.

The Real, The Absolute, is the most concrete of all; everything else is mere abstraction. Hence, the secretum secretorum: Insofar as I am the individual I do not know The Absolute, and insofar as I know The Absolute I am not the individual.

Oh, deluded man, seek only the consolation of the One. Seek the blessed moment that contains all moments, the permanent actuality of the Self within which we are but crawling possibilities. Behold that blessed moment where His eye burns your “I.” It is that dark light of the Self which conceals Itself by revealing the world. When you wake up in the lower darkness follow the light into the higher darkness where He dwells.

In a phenomenal world man is nothing but a phenomenal man, a passing appearance that veils the permanent essence.

This world is nothing but the bottom of a well. The way out is upwards and not forward. You seek the rope of salvation in vain; you are the rope of salvation. Pull this rope with the longing of the heart. Your ascent is indeed the walls’ descent. Oh my dear essence, you have always been in The Open. The well in which you found yourself was the world you imagined around yourself. You are the sun hypnotized by the lure of its reflection in the well. Lose this petty identity of yours and attain to Supreme Identity.

Spiritual ascent is like the ascent to the surface of air-bubbles in water: Your human individuality is nothing but an apparent form, the bubble, while your essence is the air seeking to merge in its source. The liberation of air at the surface coincides with the extinction of the bubble, the form, the human you. Thus, the summit of spiritual realization is the total Liberation of the essence which comes from the total extinction of the form and individuality as such. Fear not reaching that surface, for it is the bubble that bursts, not You. Fear not that Blessed Moment, for your mortality is nothing but a veil over your immorality.

Every object is both a door to heaven and a door to hell. It is a door to heaven through its essence and a door to hell through its form. Through the essence we ascend toward Unity; through the form we fall and sink into diversity. Seek not what is looked at but the source of all looking, that descending ray of The Sacred Look who is captivated by its own eternal Self-disclosure.

Lord, please forgive my forgetfulness.

Transcendental Consciousness & Supreme Identity

We mean by transcendental consciousness a fundamental mode of consciousness as opposed to mundane or natural consciousness. Natural consciousness is our everyday consciousness; it is the consciousness by which we perceive ourselves as human beings in a world, a world that has religion, science, philosophy, art, etc. as phenomena inside it. In other words, natural consciousness is consciousness of a world; it is a mode of consciousness that perceives itself as a finite part inside a whole that it perceives as the world. We must note that this world, which includes me and my attributes, science and its findings, etc. is primarily something phenomenal before it is something material, a fact also discovered by Quantum Physics; this world is first and foremost something known through experience, in and through consciousness, and it is only later that I attribute to it the idea of materiality and independent existence, this attribution itself being something done by and within consciousness. Thus, this world which is essentially phenomenal than material is subject to the laws of phenomena before it is subject to the laws of matter, laws of physics and other modern sciences. The laws of phenomena, and the method of moving from natural consciousness to transcendental consciousness, are derived within the science of Phenomenology and also hinted at in Advaita Vedanta Metaphysics whose final aim is the direct realization of transcendental consciousness which is the same as Deliverance or Supreme Identity in which the individual self realizes that it is essentially identical with the Universal Self, Atman, and that it is in fact our ignorance about this Universal Self that gives the individual self, and the world, the illusory appearance of existence.

It is in natural consciousness that we perceive ourselves as individuals with personalities, thoughts and emotions, hopes and aspirations, etc. This natural consciousness is the consciousness of a phenomenal world. It is important to note that my individuality, my humanity, my thoughts and emotions, etc. are all parts of this world phenomenon, they are all phenomena embedded within the world phenomena; they are all objects of knowledge of consciousness, for after all I am constantly aware of myself as a human being aware of a world and also aware of himself being something inside this world.

Therefore, everything that is, in the broadest sense, is a phenomenon of consciousness, and hence this consciousness cannot itself be a phenomenon or anything inside the world, for if we claim that consciousness is a phenomenon inside the world, then who is it that knows and says this?! An object, or a person, that has always been inside something else and has never been outside it cannot possibly know that it is inside something else. Therefore, the claim that consciousness is a phenomenon inside the world entails that there be a consciousness that is, or at least has been, somehow outside the world, for otherwise it cannot make the above assertion.

This natural consciousness, or the natural attitude of consciousness, which has the same essence as transcendental consciousness is not anyone’s personal possession; it is not the human consciousness, simply because our humanity is itself something experienced in light of this consciousness, itself being an object of consciousness. Thus, by consciousness we do not imply a production of individual brain or something personal, since brain, personality, science, etc. are all things always already experienced as objects of the ever-present consciousness; they are phenomena within an impersonal consciousness that we falsely attribute to our own individual existences.

Transcendental consciousness, which is the nondual state of consciousness, is opposed to natural, or dual, consciousness in that it is no more a consciousness of a phenomenal world. This transcendental consciousness is not a state of my individual consciousness; it is not a higher state of human consciousness as such; rather, my individuality, my personality and all the things I attribute to myself, are only ideas within transcendental consciousness. More precisely, transcendental experience is not a human possibility; rather, it is humanity that is a transcendental possibility; humanity is itself a possibility within transcendental consciousness. As a natural consequence, the transition from natural consciousness to transcendental consciousness is the transition from human state of consciousness to the unconditioned, supra-human and supra-individual, state of consciousness which leaves no trace of humanity or individuality as such. To put it differently, transition into transcendental consciousness amounts to dehumanizing our consciousness, that is, to release it from the bondage of world and individuality.

My human individuality and the world are the two poles of natural consciousness and hence depend on one another. When I enter into transcendental consciousness I lose the individuality, the ego sense and everything superimposed on it; losing this I-pole I also lose the world-pole, the whole of the phenomenal world. Thus, it is natural that upon transition into transcendental consciousness, which is a sudden and discontinuous transition very similar to a quantum jump, not only my individuality disappears but also with it the totality of phenomenal world vanishes instantly, all this being a very sudden and instantaneous change rather than a gradual transformation. The instantaneous and discontinuous nature of this transition stands in sharp contrast with human spiritual or mystical experiences which are gradual transformations and never go beyond the individual order, and hence are essentially natural experiences marked with subjectivity and sentimentality. The mystic even in his/her loftiest states of ecstasy and divine union is still bound to the individual order and far from realizing the Supreme Identity or Deliverance which amounts to the annihilation of his individuality and along with it of all his/her religious, spiritual, and mystical notions including God and union with Him. Transcendental experience, however, by the mere fact that it belongs to the supra-individual order is beyond all subjectivity and is not followed by any human sentiment and spiritual/mystical notions, for in transcendental experience our humanity is already transcended; thus, no human notion or idea, or any individual possibility whatsoever, survives the transition into the transcendental state: Everything has to die for Atman to arise.

When we enter into transcendental consciousness we lose the world; the phenomenal world is no more there. Since our human individuality and all its attributes were parts of world phenomena, they too disappear in transcendental consciousness. In other words, when I enter the transcendental mode of consciousness, which we can also designate as transcendental experience or nondual consciousness, I no more am a human individual in a world, nor am a thing in any sense of the word; I am no more embodied nor do I perceive a world or space-time. Upon entrance into transcendental consciousness everything disappears instantaneously. The only thing that remains is the self-consciousness of Atman, the universal Spirit. It is not that Atman becomes the object of my consciousness, me being something separate from it; instead, in transcendental, nondual, state I am aware of myself as Atman and I am directly perceiving myself as one with it, though this direct perception is not in the natural sense of the word which derives from natural, or dual, consciousness in which perception and its object are perceives as separate things. The direct perception, or Self-perception, in the transcendental state is nondual; there is no separation, nor is Atman perceived like a spatial or temporal object but as the Absolute and Infinite Self of all things. This direct perception is totally veiled in our natural consciousness and hence we cannot think of it or grasp it, even in our loftiest thoughts and speculations, as long as we are in the natural, human state which must be entirely overcome before the veil is dropped.

The world phenomenon and its phenomenal objects only appear to us as a result of a particular point of view, or orientation, of consciousness. It is from a particular angle that world appears to consciousness, and this world, including we in it, will immediately disappear the moment consciousness tilts itself into a different, transcendental, angle. Upon changing this orientation or direction of glance of consciousness the whole world with its objects and my individuality in it disappears all at once.

Time, space, embodiment, worldliness, and all phenomena in general appear to consciousness in virtue of its particular orientation which is not an orientation in space and time but rather a transcendental orientation, entirely outside space and time, which has to do with the way Spirit, or pure consciousness, projects itself. As a result of changing the orientation of consciousness from natural attitude to transcendental attitude the phenomena of time and space too disappear; hence, the “I” becomes naked; it loses its individuality and personality and self-hood; it is no more embodied in space, nor is it something extended in time as if it had a past and a possible future. The transcendental experience of time is wholly different from our natural experience of time in which we apprehend each moment to have a before and an after. In transcendental experience time too is naked; it is not embodied, that is, it is a now that has no before and no after. Time is experienced as an eternal now, a now totally outside the natural time of our natural, everyday consciousness.

As we said earlier, in transcendental consciousness I have already lost my humanity and individuality, thoughts and emotions, ideas of past and future, and in general all world phenomena that I attributed either to myself or to world objects. The “I” that survives, the “I” that is left after entering into transcendental consciousness, is a universal I; it no more has the character of mine or thine; it is not anyone’s “I” but rather it is the “I” that shines through all of us. Since this survived “I” lies outside space and time it no more has such a thing as history, no past or future; therefore, upon entrance into transcendental consciousness it instantly becomes evident, with absolute certainty, that this “I” is never really born and never dies, not because it lives forever but simply because it is no more something in time; it is entirely free from and outside the reach of time; it is no more partitioned and conditioned by time.

The transcendental “I” which is my true “I” or essence lies outside space and time and hence not subject to temporality or duration of any kind. It has no before or after, and hence from the point of view of transcendental consciousness the questions “where did I come from?” or “where am I going” become completely meaningless and don’t even arise in consciousness anymore since they are not applicable to this “I.” In the transcendental mode I am no more perceiving myself as a thing that has a before or after; even the ideas of before and after become inconceivable in transcendental consciousness since it is by its nature a consciousness transcendent to space and time, hence free from being conditioned by space, time, and causality. As a result, the idea of creation too collapses since in that state one realizes that the phenomenal world never truly existed; there has never been a creation; time and space and causality which are the ideas presupposed in the idea of world and creation are themselves only illusory phenomena and not real, since in the absence of time the notions of beginning and duration become meaningless. Thus, our belief in the world and creation is a result of ignorance, something like an optical illusion.

A brilliant analogy is given by Adi Shankara, the 7th century AD Indian monk and metaphysicist. He says that the appearance of the phenomenal world is a result of a false superimposition of names and forms, Nāmarūpa, upon the unconditioned Brahman. The situation is like when we see a coiled rope and mistake it for a snake, of course because we have in our memory the idea of a snake that can curl itself into the form of a coiled rope. This phenomenal world plays the role of the appearance of snake in Shankara’s analogy: It is in fact Supreme Reality or Brahman that we are conscious of, and directly perceiving in front of us, but we mistakenly, and as a result of superimposing forms and names on it, perceive Brahman to be the phenomenal world. From this analogy, transition to transcendental consciousness amounts to realizing that the object is not a snake but rather a coiled rope. I add that Brahman itself is not something perceptible by sense organs; when I say we are directly perceiving Brahman I mean the direct perception by Pure Intuition, namely the nondual glance of transcendental consciousness which is realized only when we suspend our natural, human consciousness. Thus, Brahman is always before us and we are, as the transcendental “I,” always staring at it; however, we are instead perceiving our sense perceptions as a result of constant recourse to memory which is the depository of names and forms. We fail to perceive Brahman because we are trapped in, in the bondage of, natural, human consciousness. Only the transition to transcendental consciousness by which the whole world disappears can tear the veil, and then the face of Brahman, the face of Truth Itself, appears before us, a face that the transcendental “I” immediately recognizes as its own. This instant is the moment of waking up from the world dream and to the Supreme Reality; it is none but the attainment of the Supreme Identity; it is the instant of Deliverance, namely it is The Liberation Par Excellence.

I emphasize that the manner of Being of the survived “I,” the impersonal, universal “I,” is entirely different from the way I experience existence in natural consciousness. Transcendental consciousness and the transcendental “I” is beyond Being and Non-Being: It is not Ontic; it is Meontic, that is, beyond being and non-being. This “I” and its Self-experience cannot be spoken of, nor can it be understood at all, in terms of our natural consciousness. The natural mind which is the human mind is essentially incapable of conceiving of transcendental experience in which there is no more a subject or an object, no duality whatsoever. Our natural consciousness cannot conceive of an experience in which the subject-object duality does not exist. Therefore, any attempt at understanding or imagining the transcendental consciousness is futile; the only way of knowing it is to actually enter into transcendental consciousness which entails the sudden disappearance of the natural consciousness and the whole of the phenomenal world with it.

From the point of view of transcendental consciousness I have not come from anywhere, nor am I going anywhere, since there is nowhere to have come from and nowhere to go. Since transcendental consciousness is transcendent to all spatiality and temporality, the ideas of here and there, now and then, are entirely meaningless and non-existent. Up there there is nowhere else except the universal Here and no other time except the eternal Now and no one else except the universal “I.” Duality has altogether vanished upon my transition into transcendental state, or the ground state, of consciousness. I have always been there will always be there, for “I” am the only thing that is, however in my absolute, infinite, and unconditioned state: I am Supreme Reality itself.