Religion & Love

Religion is architecture in time; but what is seen with the eye of form, that is, the forms that constitute the exterior of religion, is in fact an image reflected in time, a mere shadow of the cathedral of truth. Every human work is a design in time; it is extended between its generation and degeneration, from its generation as an idea to its manifestation in the world, and then to its natural degeneration.

My friends, religion is no human work though humans have to do the work to manifest it. The outward form of the saint is a mere instrument at the service of his inward reality which is essentially identical with God. Unlike human work which is extended in and through time, religion is monument only whose base is in time; it is a monument that shoots from earth to heaven, from time to eternity. It is erected vertically out of every time and every place into the no-place and the no-time. Oh, religion is the alchemy of the soul. But this inner dimension of religion, the hidden cathedral with whose shadow we have busied ourselves, this Sacred Geometry, is concealed to the eye of form, to the vulgar and superficial demands of the servants.

Who is the saint? The saint has become the axis of the world; he is the bridge, the word through whom transcendent meanings are reflected on earth. The saint has a foot in existence and another foot in non-existence, one eye fixed on the veil and another eye seeing through the veil; he slips in and out of existence, for he is the master of both worlds.

Don’t try to make the world a heaven; first find the heaven inside yourself. Know that you are already in heaven only dreaming the world. Don’t change anything yet; first wake up. World is a stream of forms that proves your constancy, your other-worldliness. Let this current polish your soul since that can only make you stronger and more constant. A stream cannot exist without a groove or an unchanging bedrock. Know that you are that unchanging bedrock. Lay down and let the world walk all over you. My child, fear not, for you are only the witness of this passing.

The witness is not really someone or something that is witnessing as if it were one of His faculties; the Witness is witnessing itself and witnessing Itself. The Real is the very act of witnessing; and was He not pure act! But as the whole of Reality is the act of witnessing, and that there is nothing apart from this reality, then that witnessing is witnessing no one and nothing but Itself. Reality is the witnessing of witnessing, i.e. Self-contemplation. Everything that is known to you, even in the depths of your minds and hearts, is really His knowledge; it is in His light that you see and know things. Oh brother, this sight of yours is a borrowed sight; your life is a borrowed life. Drop your stories and find the hidden story-teller. Find Him who tells without telling, He whose telling is Silence and whose face is The Void.

Your telling has concealed His telling; your being has concealed His face. Your reality is a veil over His Reality. Be silent and tell nothing; be no one and nothing. We rather slip in and out of our deaths with every blow. After all, life is nothing but a perpetual slipping in and out of death. We are created anew in every instant. Man is God in revolution: I am because He blows existence into my face, my essence.

Before He turns you toward Himself He turns you toward yourself, so that with His light you see the ugly and the beautiful together. But know that all beauty is His; the ugly!? The ugly is not.

Hey you, who dwell on the other side of existence sitting in the shared heart of all beings, can you hear me?! And He says, “Your voice is the echo of my voice; your seeking me is my seeking you.” Oh Sun, oh Shankara, that faceless Face, I have missed You so much. You have marked me with an eternal wound, that sweet death in Your Face. We cannot stay in this house of existence, for we have our roots in non-existence. The tale of our existence is a wave in the ocean of non-existence. Lift up your head and see the face of He whose shadow, your ego, you have been chasing. Suffer no more of this confusion; confusion and madness lead to His presence, to eternal sobriety. The master said: “Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.” Yes, suffering is only an attitude toward pain.

This world is but a make up on His face. Behold not the collyrium but that annihilating glance, that return Home. Long, long, and long, for longing is the universal currency. Oh God, gather me toward yourself, for my non-existence is scattered into existence.

To perceive His reality one must shut the eye of form and see only with the eye of the heart. The reality of things comes from their meaning and not from their form.

There is really only one thing man can do by himself, which is to annihilate himself, whether physically or spiritually. The rest is His play. As long as you are you see only the play, but when you are annihilated and are no more you will see only the Face. “Everything is annihilated but His face.”

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.

Deliverance From The Middle Class

What is human life but a journey from relative anonymity to absolute anonymity?!

This journey, however, takes place according to the nature of things. It is the path of the initiate, the way toward the Principle. It is perhaps also similar, in idea, to the 2nd law of thermodynamics stating that nature tends toward equal distribution of its resources among all its possibilities which makes nature a perfect communist. From the purely physical point of view this movement is toward chaos, but from a metaphysical point of view this movement is toward the Supreme Principle, the end being the complete reintegration of the manifestation in the principle. The physical order being the reflection of the metaphysical order, and since all reflections obey the principle of inversion, it is no surprise that what we perceive as chaos in the physical order corresponds to the return to the principal state in the metaphysical order.

The irony is that the life of the middle class, those occupiers of ordinary life and entertainers of mediocre ideals, is a struggle precisely in the opposite direction and contrary to the natural order: It is a struggle, and not a journey, from relative anonymity to maximum distinction, a struggle that remains forever futile for reasons of principle. Hence, the individual of this class, who is eventually meant to break the bonds of individuality, remains always in relative anonymity, i.e. in the relative order of things which pertains to the plane of existence. In other words, a struggle to become distinct, to become something as opposed to something else, is a struggle against a natural current that takes all beings toward Deliverance. We must add that salvation still belongs to states of being prior to Deliverance since a desire for salvation is the individual’s desire to be saved and yet remain that individual; in the absence of a desire for keeping one’s individuality being saved has no place and meaning anymore. Hence, salvation is a possible state of the ego while Deliverance is precisely deliverance from the ego as such and altogether. While salvation is a possibility within the individual order, Deliverance is a passage to the supra-individual order.

Body being the most limited and conditioned aspect of the individual is the inverse reflection of the spirit which is the unconditioned source, of course not of the individual, for the spirit already belongs to the supra-individual order if not identical with it. What lies in between, the psyche, is the dwelling place of the middle class and its aspirations which under its substantial inertia lends itself freely to rationalism which we consider to be the “opium of the people.”

In the ternary Spirit-Soul-Body, the soul or psychological aspect of the individual order corresponds to the middle element of the social order, its middle class, since in both cases we are dealing with the seat of opinion and dogma. Middle class plays the same role in the constitution of social order as the psyche does in individual order: It is the opinionated portion of society, for it is on the one hand obsessed with the prestige of being “cultured,” and on the other hand its attachment to ordinary life and mediocre ideals makes it incapable of direct pursuit of truths due to the degree of sacrifice and objectivity required for such a task. Thus, the reality and worldview of the middle class is always dogmatic, for it is an acquisition merely through passive education and media, books and papers, etc. There is no intuition involved in any of its acquisitions, much less an intellectual intuition. This class is also the control valve of the whole society, for it is their opinion that is used as “public opinion” and fashion, whether as its pseudo-intellectual circles such as academia or still lower manifestations such as malls, etc. a public opinion that is deliberately and easily manipulated through media for the simple reason that the opinions of the middle class are, and have always been, those of the media and the governing class, though they are constantly fed from above with the illusion that they actively and consciously acquired their ideas and ideals.

We may quote Rene Guenon here where he says, “The concept of profane culture is indeed very characteristic of the mentality of this middle class, to which, by its wholly superficial and illusory brilliance, it gives the means of concealing its true intellectual nullity, and this same class is also that which enjoys invoking ‘custom’ in every circumstance.” Which is a reference to the primary function of this class as the seat of opinion and fashionability within the social order.

Truth & Intelligence

We superimpose our human rigidity on God, making Him judgmental and ourselves fearful. While we must fear God, our fear of Him should be a humbling awe with utmost veneration before His infinitude rather than a childish fright before His revengeful wrath.

We, and especially we religious and spiritual people, and even more so myself, constantly judge ourselves, and that is our egos behind all judgment since ego is always concerned with my individual perfection, and then we assume this judgment to be God’s as if God expected perfection from that which is essentially non-God, namely creation. God’s infinitude projects in the plane of existence as boundless, unconditional, pure love. God loves us even when we hate ourselves, and He gives Himself to us whenever we call on Him. He forgives us and yet we punish ourselves. When we obsessively judge and slash at ourselves for our imperfections we are in fact judging God’s creation and hence Him by association.

We are by nature imperfect and yet expect perfection from ourselves; God is by nature perfect and He doesn’t expect anything from us. From God’s point of view, as if there were others, we are always already perfect, for we are nothing but the manifestations of his perfection and infinitude. We are deluded into thinking that God has given us an awareness of our imperfections; but what we perceive, due to ego’s self-obsession, as the awareness of our imperfections is in fact nothing but the awareness of God’s perfection. It is only in light of our consciousness of God that we feel small and imperfect.

The awareness of our imperfections, which is the other face of our awareness of God’s perfection, is a saving thread graced upon us to redirect our attention away from ourselves and toward God. When we are instead preoccupied with our spiritual imperfections we are not being spiritual at all, for we are distracted from the Truth and the Way by constantly diverting our consciousness from its sole purpose of absorption in God to absorption in ourselves under the name of spiritual perfection.

God, being Absolute and Infinite, is the endless source of generosity. It is our egos, especially in our spiritual paths, that is obsessed with our own perfection, and particularly with our spiritual perfection, the ego that constantly finds faults with us without ever accepting us the way we are. God, however, accepts us, always and forever, as who we are with all our imperfections and shortcomings, for He is the source of our very Being; God is our very Being itself. We forget this basic truth that our spiritual journey is never about us; it is, and always should be, about God and Him alone: Our spiritual journey begins by finding ourselves in the midst of our imperfections and it ends by losing ourselves in the midst of God’s perfection. Instead of focusing on our own imperfections we must contemplate His perfection.

We limit His infinitude with the finitude of the vessels that we are. The traditional man used to view God as the final station to which he had to ascend; but now we look at ourselves and our own level as the final station to which God must descend. We no more strive to rise up to truth but instead bring truth down to our own little and pitiful level. This is the predominant attitude of modernism and symptomatic of all modern educational systems, the insistence on bringing everything down to man instead of pushing him up to truth, the urge to dilute everything great and of high value so to make it suitable for our weak digestion, and hence making it weaker and weaker.

The result is a modern man with watered down intelligence incapable of grasping anything beyond himself, anything beyond the mental and the physical, anything that doesn’t guarantee instant gratification. Modern man, a species reduced to a mere psycho-physical phenomenon, utterly lacks the intelligence and intellectual intuition capable of perceiving eternal truths. The natural consequence, and the more profitable road, is for this modern man to define his/her own commonsense and crooked intelligence as the final and the only truth and the absolute criterion of all other truths, if at all he believes in any truth. In modern man intelligence has hit its rock bottom with a loud bang that we hear as the babbling of its militant atheists and liberals.

This modern man is confused and hopelessly disoriented; he confuses things of the high planes with things of the low grounds, the archetypes with brain chemistry: He confuses true knowledge with mere information, intuition with mere computation, intellect with reason, intelligence with memory and book knowledge, philosophy with sterile mental masturbation, science with dogma, rational judgment with sentimental prejudice, degradation with evolution, regress with progress, and above all he confuses objective truths with his own subjective preferences as a result of which we have been dragged into a new Dark Age, the Age of Dogma, an age marked with the reign of irrational beliefs, superstitious opinions, and wild sentiments, and worst of all an unprecedented treason against human intelligence, and intelligence as such.

Since this modern man, this little man of intellectual and spiritual retardation, cannot conceive of anything above himself he must look for something below himself, perhaps he must be a descendant of apes, and he really is nothing more as long as he considers himself to be that; and what is ironic about this man is that he takes so much pride in boldly standing up for these modern superstitions that pass for scientific facts!

But how can we take serious the sciences of a species which claims himself to be nothing more than a sexually repressed ape of no freewill?! How can we expect any objective knowledge from a species hopelessly conditioned by its animal drives and the purely self-interested motive for mere survival?! You see, this modern man cannot open its mouth and say something without contradicting himself: He claims that he is nothing but a “small phase of an evolution going from the amoeba to the superman,” and yet in some mysterious fashion he can at once objectively know where he stands in all this! He asserts with absolute certainty that there are not absolute truths and yet makes an irrational exception in favor of this assertion itself elevating it to the status of an absolute truth, and hence excluding himself and his sciences from the consequences of his own scientific conclusions!

Modern man performed a miracle that even God cannot perform: He made a fashionable commonsense out of the absurd! This is genius, and in fact his only genius. It is as if he secretly enjoys having come from the ape instead of the apex. His irrational insistence on being closer to chimpanzees than to transcendent archetypes, despite lack of scientific evidence, is really nothing but an adolescence rebellion of a reverse puberty that we know of as the Renaissance and its Age of Enlightenment which gave us the last kick into an irremediable darkness.

This modern man is more arrogant than ever, but this outward arrogance is nothing but the reflection of an inward ignorance and insecurity that befell upon him when he washed off the sense of the sacred from nature and himself and replaced it with the illusion of evolution and endless progress, and hence he destroyed the very ground upon which he was standing. Modern man is not standing anymore; he is crawling like a worm in his own filth made of synthetic ismisms and a whorified consumerism with the sole end of welfare and instant gratification. But we’re being too charitable here, too optimistic in our view of modern man. This modern man’s crawling is in truth a sliding backwards into a Godless oblivion.

World as Divine Symbol

World as the totality of all existence, both in its form and content, is nothing but a symbol. It is a symbol because it always points to something other than itself, to an origin that is itself not in or part of the world, to an origin that is itself other-worldly. Even modern science has secretly come to this same conclusion though it does not explicitly admit it: They claim that the physical world came into being without the need for something outside itself. If we ask why and how, their answer is ” according to the laws of physics!”

However, if Big Bang occurs simply due to these laws, then these laws must preexist the Big Bang itself, if not temporally but surely logically, in order to make it begin; these laws must in one way or another transcend the universe or else our world could not come into existence. On the other hand, laws of physics are not themselves physical entities; they are not made of matter and neither are they tangible worldly phenomena; rather, they are Ideal, invisible forms that can be grasped only through intellectual intuition.

Thus, we see that science too cannot help but explain the universe by recourse to a set of ideal and other-worldly beings that must necessarily both precede and transcend the phenomenal world. If modern science only apparently succeeded in omitting God from the picture it was also simultaneously forced to replace God with universal laws enjoying an absolute and Godly status. Scientists only renamed that transcendent ground of the world from “God” to “scientific laws”. Apart from the name, the traditional God of religion and the modern laws of science both have the same role and authoritative voice in explaining the phenomenal universe: Without them our universe could not be, and now that it is its every moment and phenomenon is sustained only because the Godly laws keep being what they are without themselves being in need of anything else for their existence.

It is in virtue of its symbolic character that world is a questionable phenomenon, something always in need of explanation, and it will always remain so until we realize that world as symbol cannot be explained in terms of world-phenomena themselves but only in terms of a transcendent principle.

Adi Shankara
Adi Shankara

Adi Shankara, the great Hindu philosopher and theologian of the early 8th century CE, expressed the necessity of a transcendental understanding, and origin, of the world in the following sentence:

Trying to explain the phenomenal universe without reference to the Divine is like trying to explain day and night without reference to the sun.

The advent and development of world’s three greatest intellectual traditions all aimed at understanding the phenomenon of world, namely religion, philosophy, and science, is itself the most obvious indication of the always insufficient, and hence questionable, character of this phenomenon. If world was self-sufficient and had no ground outside itself, then we would never question its being and appearance in the first place; we would simply take appearances at face value and as they present themselves to us in immediate experience without even the idea of a cause or origin, and the need for explanation, coming to our minds.

But man was never satisfied with mere appearances; he believed, and even now secretly believes, even subconsciously knows, that there is something behind appearances, that appearances must stand on something other than themselves, something itself not an appearance, something transcendent to all appearances. This is the always present but often concealed presupposition that initiates and drives all inquiries. This intrinsic referencing of phenomena to something behind themselves, this pointing-beyond which is the root cause of the sense of wonder, this referencing-beyond is always there in all phenomena precisely because this world-phenomenon as a whole is nothing but a symbol. A symbol is a pointer, and world insofar as it points to some ground of existence is nothing but a symbol. The very fact that man can raise questions, that he/she can doubt, and in general the very phenomenon of questioning, is possible only because world-phenomena-in-themselves are by their nature insufficient and questionable, and that man knows from the depths of his heart that there is something above and beyond everything that appears, and thus by his struggle to know he is in fact yearning to return to that absolute ground in which no question and no desire can creep.

Man can raise grand questions and move toward their final resolution because as spiritual being he is equipped with a spiritual instinct, the instinct to scent the truth and return to it: For man the knowledge of truth is always a matter of return to that knowledge, for if man were not somehow intimately familiar with truth he/she could not even begin to form, let alone assimilate, the idea of truth in the first place, and hence he/she could not scent and find it. Thus, man’s questioning is a sniffing around of the divine perfume that is meant to intoxicate him out of the world and into transcendence, namely deliver him from world-bondage.

If man can question the world it is only because this world by itself does not have the character and quality of a final answer. In other words, a self-sufficient and self-contained world cannot develop an organism capable of questioning the existence and adequacy of that world; a world cannot by itself develop and house other-worldly ideas.

Man questions because this world is not the answer

More precisely, world is a transcendental clue. If we take it by itself and in itself, and then set our hopes and interests with reference to world itself, whether these interests are material or spiritual, then we have missed the point. World must be viewed as a means and not as an end in itself. It should be seen as a hanging thread from which we must ascend to the divine instead of descending further down into its inevitable emptiness. A symbol by itself is always empty and devoid of meaning if we overlook its symbolic character and fail to see that it is pointing to something other than itself. The primary cause of the meaninglessness of lives in modern era is that the end toward which this world points is omitted from the picture. We have taken the symbol as that for which it stands and that to which it must lead us. Hence, our lives point to nowhere; we are not anchored in anything transcendent and permanent. We are not anchored at all.

“In the beginning there was Word.” This Word refers to the world, world as the incarnation of meaning, world as word as symbol. But a word must by necessity point to a transcendent referent if it is to mean anything at all, a meaning that is produced when consciousness confronts the symbol, a meaning that is grasped only if consciousness transcends that the word, namely the world, and enters into the realm of pure meaning, naked truth, God Himself. As a symbol without referent is meaningless, our world too without reference to the divine is meaningless: God became flesh so that flesh becomes God. In the present condition in which we are totally forgetful of the Divine Principle we have nothing to become; we have nothing worthy of becoming except what lies beneath and below ourselves; instead we see ourselves as nothing but the becoming of a chimpanzee.

World is a sacred symbol descended from above; world as a mundane phenomenon ascending from inert matter makes no sense at all, and this is so besides the brute fact that the ascent of matter to consciousness is both logically and empirically impossible and by all means an irrational position. We could all see this if we used the aid of the infallible intelligence instead of letting ourselves being bullied into irrational opinions by what is intellectually fashionable nowadays.

Facing the truth regardless of public opinion and intellectual prejudice demands courage and refined intelligence. Only a coward accepts anything stupid and irrational simply because it comes out of the mouth of academia or because it is intellectually fashionable. Being intelligent and open-minded is no synonym for blind faith in evolution and the claptrap of the sort. Being intelligent and open-minded has nothing to do with believing and babbling incomprehensible gibberish under the guise of fancy and pseudo-intellectual names and forms and theories. Being intelligent and open-minded has to do with seeing things as they are and regardless of the pressure and the judgmental squint of the prevailing untruth.

Being intelligent and open-minded has to do with seeing pure and simple.

The Contradiction of Relativism

                                                             The Contradiction of Relativism
By Frithjof Schuon

Relativism reduces every element of absoluteness to relativity while making a
completely illogical exception in favor of this reduction itself. Fundamentally it consists
in propounding the claim that there is no truth as if this were truth or in declaring it to be
absolutely true that there is nothing but the relatively true; one might just as well say that
there is no language or write that there is no writing. In short, every idea is reduced to a
relativity of some sort, whether psychological, historical, or social; but the assertion
nullifies itself by the fact that it too presents itself as a psychological, historical, or social
relativity. The assertion nullifies itself if it is true and by nullifying itself logically proves
thereby that it is false; its initial absurdity lies in the implicit claim to be unique in
escaping, as if by enchantment, from a relativity that is declared to be the only possibility.
The axiom of relativism is that “one can never escape from human subjectivity”; if
this is the case, the statement itself possesses no objective value, but falls under its own
verdict. It is abundantly evident that man can escape subjectivity, for otherwise he would
not be man; and the proof of this possibility is that we are able to conceive of both the
subjective and the surpassing of the subjective. This subjectivity would not even be
conceivable for a man who was totally enclosed in his subjectivity; an animal lives its
subjectivity but does not conceive it, for unlike man it does not possess the gift of
objectivity.
Social relativism does not ask whether it is true that two and two make four but from
what social background the man has come who declares this to be the case, and it does so
without ever considering the fact that if the background determines the thought and takes
precedence over truth, the same must apply in every case, which means that every
background determines thought and every thought is determined by a background. If
someone objects that such and such a particular background is favorable to the perception
of truth, we could easily turn the argument around by referring to a different scale of
values, which goes to show that this argument merely begs the question and that even on
the most favorable showing it amounts to no more than an estimate of probabilities
without any concrete significance. The same applies to historical relativism: since every
human thought necessarily occurs at a given moment in time—not with regard to its content
but with regard to the mental process—every thought would have only a relative
value and would be “outdated” and “obsolete” from the very moment of its birth; there
would therefore be no point in thinking since man could never escape duration.
But the object of relativism—what is at stake in its claims—is not always truth as
such; it can be any expression or modality of truth, especially a moral or aesthetic value;
in this way all rectitude may be reduced to some contingent and more or less insignificant
factor, and thus the door may be opened to all manner of misunderstandings,
degradations, and deceptions. When applied to the facts of tradition, relativism is
basically the error of confusing static and dynamic elements: one speaks about “epochs”
or “styles” and forgets that what is in question here is the manifestation of objective and
unwavering data, which are therefore definitive in their own way. In the growth of a tree,
a given stage obviously corresponds to a given moment in time, but this does not prevent
the trunk from being the trunk or branches from being branches or fruit from being fruit;
the trunk of an apple tree is not simply one moment in relation to the apple, and the apple
is not simply some other moment in relation to the trunk or the branch. The epoch
referred to as “Gothic” had of its own nature the right to survive in its part of the world
even to the end of time, for the ethnic givens that determined this epoch have not changed
and cannot change—unless Latin-Germanic Christianity were to become Mongolian;
Gothic, or Romano-Gothic, civilization was not left behind by “evolution” nor has it
ceased to exist through some transmutation of itself; it was assassinated by an extra-
Christian force, the neo-paganism of the Renaissance. Be that as it may, one of the
noteworthy traits of the twentieth century is the confusion, now habitual, between
evolution and decadence: there is no decadence, no impoverishment, no falsification that
people do not try to excuse with the aid of the relativistic argument of “evolution”,
reinforced as this is by the most inappropriate and erroneous associations. Thus
relativism, cleverly instilled into public opinion, paves the way for all kinds of corruption
while at the same time keeping watch lest any kind of healthy reaction might put the
brakes on this slide toward the abyss.
While errors that tend to deny objective and intrinsic intelligence destroy themselves
by propounding a thesis that is disproved by the very existence of the thesis itself, the fact
that errors exist does not in itself prove the inevitable fallibility of the intelligence, for
error is not derived from intelligence as such; on the contrary it is a privative
phenomenon that causes the activity of the intelligence to deviate because of an element
of passion or blindness, though without being able to invalidate the very nature of the
cognitive faculty.
A patent example of the classic contradiction in question here—a contradiction
characterizing for the most part all modern thought—is provided by existentialism, which
postulates a definition of the world that is impossible if existentialism itself is possible.
There are only two alternatives: either objective knowledge—a knowledge that is
therefore absolute in its own order—is possible, which proves that existentialism is false;
or else existentialism is true, but then its own promulgation is impossible since in the
existentialist universe there is no room for an objective and unwavering intellection.

If everything that can rightfully be described as human rests on merely psychological
causes, one can—and indeed must—explain everything by psychology, whence the
“psychology of religion” and the supposedly psychological criticism of sacred texts; in
every case of this kind, we are dealing with speculations in the void because of an
absence of the indispensable objective data—data inaccessible to methods of
investigation arbitrarily defined as normal and inappropriately extended to cover all
possible knowledge.
On the slippery ground of psychologism, the logic of Kantian criticism is now
“outmoded”, all things considered, for “critique” has readily assumed the guise of
“analysis”, and this fact is indeed symptomatic since the very notion of “critique” is
doubtless still too intellectual for the demolishers psychologists intend to be—
demolishers who blithely reduce metaphysics and even simple logic to questions of
grammar. People wish to “analyze” everything in a quasi-physical or quasi-chemical
way, and they would even analyze God if this were possible; indeed this is done
indirectly when an attack is made on the notion of God or the mental and moral
concomitances of this notion, or on the expressions—altogether out of reach as these
really are—of a genuine intellection.
If Freudianism declares that rationality is merely a hypocritical cloak for a repressed
animality, this statement—seemingly rational—falls under the same verdict; if there were
any logic to Freudianism, it would itself be nothing more than a symbolizing denaturation
of psychophysical instincts. No doubt psychoanalysts will say that in their case reasoning
is not a function of unacknowledged repressions; but we do not at all see why this
exception should be admissible in terms of their own doctrine, nor why this law of exception
should apply only in their favor and not in favor of the spiritual doctrines they reject
with such animus and with so monstrous a lack of any sense of proportion. In any case,
nothing can be more absurd than for a man to make himself not merely the accuser of
some psychological accident but of man as such; whence comes this demigod who
accuses, and whence his power to accuse? If the accuser himself is right, this must mean
that man is not so bad and that there exists within him a capacity for adequation;
otherwise it would be necessary to assume that the champions of psychoanalysis are
divine beings unpredictably fallen from heaven—a somewhat unlikely proposition, to say
the least.
Psychoanalysis begins by eliminating the transcendent factors essential to man and
then replaces complexes of inferiority or frustration with complexes of complacency and
egotism; it allows one to sin calmly and with assurance and to damn oneself serenely.
Like all philosophies of destruction—that of Nietzsche, for example—Freudianism
attributes an absolute significance to a relative situation; like all modern thought, all it
manages to do is to fall from one extreme into another, incapable as it is of realizing that
the truth—and the solution—it seeks is to be found in man’s deepest nature, of which the
religions and traditional wisdoms are precisely the spokesmen, guardians, and guarantors.
The mentality created and disseminated by psychoanalysis consists in refusing to
engage in a logical or intellectual dialogue—which is alone worthy of human beings—
and in answering questions by means of insolent conjectures; instead of trying to find out
whether an interlocutor is right or not, questions are asked about his parents or blood
pressure—to confine ourselves to symbolic examples of a fairly innocuous kind—as if
such procedures could not readily be turned against their authors or as if it were not easy,
by changing the mode of argument, to refute one analysis by means of another. The
pseudo-criteria of analysis are preferably physiological or sociological, depending upon
the craze of the moment; it would not be difficult to find counter criteria and conduct a
serious analysis of this imaginary analysis.
If man is a hypocrite, then one of two things: either he is so fundamentally, in which
case no one could take note of the fact without passing miraculously, or divinely, beyond
human nature; or his hypocrisy is only accidental and relative, in which case there was no
need to wait for psychoanalysis to take this fact into account since health is more
fundamental to the nature of man than illness and since, this being so, there have always
been men who could recognize evil and knew the cure for it. Or again, if man is
profoundly sick, it is impossible to see why psychoanalysis should alone have been able
to notice this and why its explanation, which is perfectly arbitrary and indeed essentially
perverse, should alone be the right one; of course, one could try to make sense of things
with the idea of “evolution”, but in this case it would be necessary to blind oneself to the
qualities of our ancestors and the vices of our contemporaries, and this is to say nothing
of the impossibility of demonstrating—or the absurdity of even assuming—that a sudden
burst of intellectual and moral objectivity could ever come about in a merely biological
and quantitative development.
For if a natural development led to a reflexive intelligence—to an act of awareness
that perceived the development for what it was—this outcome would be a reality falling
entirely outside the realm of the evolutionary process; there would be no common
measure between this act and the wholly contingent movement preceding it, and therefore
this movement could under no circumstances be the cause of the awareness in question.
This argument is the very negation of the theory of transformist evolutionism, hence of
every notion of man as a “link” or a “chance”, and so also of every form of mysticism
relating to a generative matter, a biosphere, a noosphere, or an “omega point”.1 Man is
what he is, or else he is nothing; the capacity for objectivity and absoluteness of thought
proves the quasi-absolute—that is, the unwavering and irreplaceable—character of the
creature that thinks; this is what is meant by the scriptural words “made in God’s image”.
This capacity for objectivity and absoluteness amounts to an existential—and
“preventive”—refutation of the ideologies of doubt: if a man is able to doubt, it is
because there is certainty; likewise the very notion of illusion proves that man has access
to reality. It follows that there are necessarily some men who know reality and who
therefore have certainty; and the great spokesmen of this knowledge and certainty are
necessarily the best of men. For if truth were on the side of doubt, the individual who
doubted would be superior not only to these spokesmen, who have not doubted, but also
to the majority of normal men across the millennia of human existence. If doubt
conformed to the real, human intelligence would be deprived of its sufficient reason, and
man would be less than an animal, for the intelligence of animals does not doubt the
reality to which it is proportioned.

Every science of the soul should be a science of the various orders of limitation or
infirmity; now there are four essential orders to consider: the universal, the general, the
individual, and the accidental.
This means that every man contains a universal limitation or “infirmity” because he
is creature and not Creator, manifestation and not Principle or Being; then a general
limitation or “infirmity” because he is an earthly man and not an angel or one of the
blessed in Heaven; next an individual infirmity because he is himself and not others; and
finally an accidental infirmity because he is beneath himself, unless he is perfect.
There is no science of the soul without a metaphysical basis and spiritual remedies.
———————————————————————————————————————————————
1. Transformist evolutionism—let it be said once again—is simply a materialist substitute for the ancient concept of the solidifying and segmenting “materialization” of a subtle and supra-sensorial primordial substance, in which were prefigured all the diverse possibilities of the a posteriori material world; the answer to evolutionism is the doctrine of archetypes and “ideas”, with ideas relating to pure Being—or the divine Intellect—and archetypes to the primordial substance in which they are “incarnated” as it were by reverberation.

———————————————————————————————————————————————

Thought of the psychological type is always rushing ahead of itself; it sets out to be
dynamic and effective before being true and to be a solution or remedy before being a
diagnosis; moreover it readily indulges in a duplicitous form of reasoning in order to
evade its intellectual responsibility. Imagine someone saying that every man must die, to
which he receives the reply that this is not true because it makes people feel sad or
fatalistic or fills them with despair; and yet this is the way the man “of our time” likes to
reason: his objections to truths he finds disagreeable are always beside the point and
always involve evasions or confusions of level. If a man raises a fire alarm, it is said that
he has no right to do so unless he knows how to extinguish the fire; and if someone
maintains that two and two make four and thus disrupts certain prejudices or interests, it
will be said that this calculation denotes not his ability to count but a complex of
exactitude, contracted no doubt through an excessive attachment to “bygone days”, and
so forth: if these metaphors appear to be caricatures, it is only because of their simplicity
or outspokenness, for the reality is often no less absurd than our simplifications.
Psychoanalysis has succeeded in perverting intelligence by giving rise to a
“psychoanalytical complex” that corrupts everything; if it is possible to deny the absolute
in many different ways, psychological and existentialist relativism denies it within
intelligence itself: intelligence is practically set up as a god but at the price of all that
constitutes its intrinsic nature, value, and effectiveness; intelligence becomes “adult” by
destroying itself.
There is a moral relativism that is truly odious: if you say that God and the beyond
are real, this shows you are cowardly, dishonest, infantile, shamefully abnormal; if you
say that religion is just make-believe, this shows you are courageous, honest, sincere,
adult, altogether normal. If all this were true, man would be nothing, possessing the
capacity for neither truthfulness nor heroism; and there would be no one even to note the
fact, for a hero cannot be extracted from a coward nor a sage from a man of feeble
mind—not even by “evolution”. But this moralistic bias, ignoble or simply stupid as the
case may be, is by no means something new: before it was applied to intellectual
positions, it was used to discredit the contemplative life, which was described as an
“escape”, as if a man did not have the right to flee from dangers concerning him alone
and—more important—as though the contemplative life and withdrawal from the world
were not instead a pilgrimage toward God; to flee God as do the worldly is far more
senseless and irresponsible than fleeing the world. To run away from God is at the same
time to run away from oneself, for when a man is alone with himself—even though he
may be surrounded by others—he is always with his Creator, whom he encounters at the
very root of his being.
The prejudice for reducing religious attitudes to reflexes of fear or servility, hence of
childishness and baseness, is completely in line with this intrusive and simplifying psychologism;
one should begin by proving that religious fears are really ill founded and
then, failing that, seek to understand the real meaning and inward consequences of
devotional attitudes.2 We would point out first that it is not debasing to humble oneself
before the Absolute, neither objectively nor therefore subjectively; but it is also important
to address the issue of “who” prostrates or humbles himself: obviously it is not our
transpersonal nucleus, the mysterious seat of the divine Immanence. In reality it is a
question here of the relative being—the “creature”, if one prefers—becoming aware of its
ontological dependence in relation to that One Being from whom it is derived and whom
it manifests in its own way; this act of awareness will accidentally seem like a
humiliation because of the congenital decadence of man, but this makes the awareness all
the more effective. It is obvious that our deiform and immortal personality includes an
aspect of majesty—quite visible already in the very form of the human body—and the
religions have been the first to call attention to this fact, though they have been no more
pardoned for this than for fostering the opposite attitude; but it is equally obvious that
there is something in man that merits constraint and abasement. It is impossible for the
ego, such as it is in its human animality, to be immune from all celestial reproof;
disequilibrium and fragmentation have a debt to pay to Equilibrium and Totality, and not
the other way round. To be conscious of this state of affairs is the first requirement of
human dignity, which is little understood at a time when demagogy has become a
“categorical imperative” in all spheres of thought.

Relativism engenders a spirit of rebellion and is at the same time its fruit. The spirit
of rebellion, unlike holy anger, is not a passing state, nor is it directed against some
worldly abuse; on the contrary it is a chronic malady directed against Heaven and against
everything that represents Heaven or is a reminder of it. When Lao Tzu said that “in the
latter days the man of virtue appears vile”, he had in mind the rebellious spirit that
characterizes our time; but for psychological and existentialist relativism, which by
definition always seeks to justify the crude ego, this spiritual state is normal, and it is its
absence that amounts to disease, whence the abolition of the sense of sin. The sense of sin
is the consciousness of an equilibrium surpassing our personal will and operating
ultimately for the benefit of our integral personality and that of the human collectivity,
even though occasionally wounding us; this sense of sin goes hand in hand with a sense
of the sacred, which is an instinct for what surpasses us—for what should therefore not be
touched by ignorant and iconoclastic hands.

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2. The association of ideas that links childhood with fear overlooks the fact that there are fears peculiar to adulthood and conversely that there are illusions of safety belonging to childhood.

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Of course, the idea that one may merit damnation by “offending the divine majesty”
is acceptable only if one feels what is at stake or knows it: Divinity is impersonal before
determining itself as divine Person in relation to the human person, and on the plane of
impersonality there is only an ontological and logical relationship of cause to effect between
God and man; on this plane there can be no question of “goodness”, for absolute
Reality is what it is, and pure causality has nothing specifically moral about it. But it is
on the plane of revelation as divine Person that Mercy can intervene, the Mercy that is the
most marvelous of all the mysteries; it is precisely this intervention that shows us that the
Absolute is not a blind power. Given their indolence of spirit and lack of imagination, it
is true that men are only too ready to prescribe a stupid kind of humility, but this is no
reason for believing that God requires it and that there is no possibility of manifesting our
consciousness of causality and equilibrium in an intelligent way; nonetheless God prefers
a stupid humility to an intelligent pride—a pride nourished, in other words, on an abuse
of intelligence.
As limited and degraded as man undeniably is, he yet remains “the proof by
contraries” of the divine Prototype and of all that this Prototype implies and determines in
relation to man. Not to acknowledge what surpasses us and not to wish to surpass
ourselves: this in fact is the whole program of psychologism, and it is the very definition
of Lucifer. The opposite, or rather the primordial and normative, attitude is this: to think
only in reference to what surpasses us and to live for the sake of surpassing ourselves; to
seek greatness where this is to be found and not on the plane of the individual and his
rebellious pettiness. In order to return to true greatness, man must first of all agree to pay
the debt of his pettiness and to remain small on the plane where he cannot help being
small; the sense of what is objective on the one hand and of the absolute on the other does
not go without a certain abnegation, and it is this abnegation precisely that allows us to be
completely faithful to our human vocation.

Studies in Comparative Religion, Vol. 7, No. 2. (Spring, 1973) © World Wisdom, Inc.
www.studiesincomparativereligion.com

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.