Hell is the Other

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Bliss of Detachment

Happiness is in acting without acting. There is neither happiness nor salvation in inaction. If the Principle became inactive for a moment the whole universe would collapse instantaneously. Acting without acting is acting without attachment to the fruits of the action. So one must be as detached from the world as a theater screen is from the images displayed on it.

In the plane of multiplicity, to which human action belongs, this disinterested action amounts to the effective coordination of the faculties in response to one’s duties, i.e. harmony within and without the microcosm, or what Plato has rightly called “Justice.”

But justice within microcosm cannot be attained without detachment. A sentimental person, and a sentimental society much like we have in the west, cannot possibly approach justice, let alone realize it, for sentimentality is precisely the glue by which we are attached to things, to names and forms.

You must learn to see with the same eye a mound of earth and a heap of gold, a cow and a sage, a dog and a man who eats the dog. There is another intelligence beyond the mind.” Krishna says to Arjuna in Mahabharata

Names and forms veil the nature of things; and justice is in the nature of things. Illumination is an unveiling of the Real, a negative act. Manifestation is “finding the Real in ecstasy,”* a positive act. The latter projects the experience-of the universe; the former shuts its down, or more precisely it shuts down experience as such altogether. While the positive acts is the production of experience, the negative act is the cessation of experience, or what in various traditions is called Nirvana, Fanaa, Brahmanubhava, Sakina, Godhead, etc.

A man is happy when he is closer to that supreme state, when he has become all-inclusive and universal by transcending his individuality. And this man cannot help but be just and act justly.

So the attainment of justice, which is in the nature of man, is the negative process of purification, of peeling away the many layers of narratives until the Truth shines by itself, until justice becomes one’s permanent station, and only then true bliss ensues. This is the path of maximum action and minimum resistance, keeping in mind that contemplation is the most exalted form of action.

*Ibn Arabi

State of Mind

Our moods and mental states are real only as long as we attend to them. So it is not good to dwell on them, let alone getting caught up in their analysis. Sometimes it is better to simply ignore them instead of looking into them seeking a cause or solution. It is the nature of our consciousness to become identified with the state toward which it looks.

The more we zoom in on a state the more it stands out, and there is no limit to its complexity. In fact zooming in on a state, which begins by first entertaining its idea, brings that state into existence, from potentiality into actuality. So, the quality of our lives depends only on our overall orientation toward reality and not what we do with it. All we need to do is turn the gaze of consciousness toward the state of bliss, or hell if you please; this is very similar to the way we can bring the eye focus on an object by simply turning away from everything else and withdrawing our attention from them. This is easily achieved by continuous practice in which we have to keep bringing our focus back on a desirable state.

Of course in the beginning the mind tends to scatter and steal away our focus but practice makes it easier and finally attainable where we become identified with that state and it becomes a permanent station for us. This is really the simplest thing in the world because it requires no action at all and is accessible at all times and regardless of outward circumstances. We should see that there exists nothing but the mind and that the mind is nothing but emptiness.

What is Religion

Of religion we can say that it is akin to an iceberg only whose tip is visible to the common man while most of it is concealed from view, not so much because of a conspiracy to hide its essential content but because this content, being purely metaphysical, remains inexpressible in mundane terms, and hence it is always reserved for an intellectual elite who are willing to dive in and realize the Truth for themselves, a truth that underlies all outward forms and expressions.

No doubt the word religion, along with the word God, has acquired a peculiarly western meaning in that it is understood to be no more than a dogmatic belief in an ideology in competition with other ideologies such as system philosophies, sciences, etc. But if we take religion in this sense, then we have missed its essential content and function, and what is worse we can no more include in this definition some major spiritual traditions. For instance, Hinduism, along with Buddhism, cannot be said to be a religion in the above sense; neither is it a philosophical system, for it is much more than a mere religion or a system: Hinduism is rather a way, or as it is termed by its true practitioners an eternal way, Sanatana Dharma. More alien to this western definition of religion is the esoterism that underlies all religious traditions, an esoterism whose sole aim is the attainment of perfect knowledge of Truth, i.e. the Ultimate Reality. In Buddhism, for example, there is no notion similar to that of God in Abrahamic traditions, and this to the extent that from the point of view of Abrahamic exoterism, Buddhism can be regarded as a more or less agnostic, if not an atheistic, tradition. For this reason, Hinduism and Buddhism, among some other Eastern traditions, are not subject to a clear cut division between an esoteric, purely mystical and intellectual, and an exoteric, purely formal and devotional, department. This division into esoteric and exoteric is more vivid in traditions such as Islam and Christianity, though the esoterism within these traditions is concealed under a predominantly formal and exoteric outlook; in such traditions outward forms are emphasized much more than the essential, metaphysical content which is accessible only through an esoteric understanding. i.e. gnosis. However, esoterism is still and always present in all religious traditions, Abrahamic or otherwise, though access to it may be more or less difficult in some traditions, and this is so for reasons that depend entirely on the collective intellectual capacity of a people insofar as they are the recipients of revelation.

Therefore, in order to have a definition of religion that encompasses all spiritual traditions, i.e. traditions based on revelation, we have to understand what tradition implies in the spiritual context. Tradition, not to be confused with customs of popular origin, is a non-human, i.e. divine, influence that propagates in time and space, using culture and social structure as a medium of its propagation and operation. This non-human influence is nothing but revelation. Thus, a useful picture that can assist us in understanding the nature of tradition is that of a stone producing concentric circles in a pond upon its impact: When a stone, spiritual influence, makes contact with the surface of a pond it creates concentric waves propagating in all directions; its propagation in time is the transmission of the spiritual influence through history and by an unbroken chain of spiritual masters, Guru Parampara, that is connected to the center, the Avatara, i.e. the Son and the Logos; and its propagation in space is the echo of that spiritual influence, namely the truth, that reaches all people in a given historical period. There is not a people who has been left out.

Now, outward forms, which is the only level at which traditions seem to diverge, are no more than means of communicating The Message which has to adopt a particular form in order to speak to a people. Truth is one but has to speak different languages in order to make itself understood to different cultures. Or as Ananda Coomaraswamy says, “different cultures are the different dialects of one and the same spiritual language.” Also, according to Rig Veda, “Truth is one, but sages call it by various names.” Esoterism,  which is the level underlying all forms, is where the differences fade and all these different traditions converge. Thus, one must look at spiritual journey as a path that leads to the summit of a mountain; the summit, the Truth, is one and the same, but it can be reached through different paths starting from the base. It is obvious that as we approach the summit, the different paths become closer and closer together, and it is at the summit that all paths converge to the same point, a point at which there are no more differences because there are no more paths.

The summit, or rather moving toward it and ultimately reaching it, is the inner message or call of all religious/spiritual traditions. This call is none other than the universal invitation to “Know Thyself.” The essential identity of the inner Self with the Truth, i.e. Supreme Identity, is expressed by a Muslim mystic as following: “I searched for myself and found God, and I searched for God and found myself.” Supreme Identity constitutes the essential doctrine of Advaita Vedanta formulated by Shankara: “Brahman is Real; world is illusory: Atman [Supreme Self] is Brahman. This identity, That thou art, is expressed in one form or another in the kernel of all orthodox traditions though gravely misunderstood by pseudo-spiritual movements of the modern age. It should be emphasized that this inner Self has nothing whatsoever to do with this psycho-physical compound we call human being which is only a transient appearance veiling its permanent principle, i.e. the Self. The Highest Point at which this identity is consummated, the Truth, the Ultimate Reality, The Absolute and the Infinite, the Godhead, Brahman, Deliverance or Liberation, i.e. Moksha, Nirvana, Fanaa-al-fanaa, Birth and Breakthrough (Meister Eckhart), Transcendence, Enlightenment, Unconditioned Reality, i.e. Supreme Identity, or the placeless state of Eternal Self-Knowledge, is the supreme goal of human life. It is a point at which, according to Dante’s Paradise, “every when and every where is concentrated into a dimensionless point.”

From what we said above we can offer an all-encompassing definition of religion: Religion is the science of Reality.” All orthodox, i.e. true, religious traditions contain within them, and by necessity, the means not only of attaining the knowledge of Ultimate Reality but also of utilizing that Reality for the good of mankind. Note that experience is an essential component of all science. Contrary to the common assumption that religion is only a matter of faith and that its truths can never be verified, religious experience is at the heart of all living traditions. It may be true that religious experience for the beginner is entirely subjective, experienced only at the level of feeling or passing visions. However, at higher levels and when the higher states of the being are realized, we are no more in the sphere of human subjectivity but rather come to the permanent acquisition of states, or stations to be more precise, that are known with irrefutable self-evidence, a degree of certainty alien to the human mind. What is more, the attaining to the ultimate state, the state-less state, i.e. Turiya, is a complete transcending of all contingencies, and hence it is an illumination, a transcendental experience, that comes with absolute certainty in which the doctrine is immediately verified and all doubts instantly removed. This summit of spiritual ascent is none other than the unconditioned state where there is direct experience of the Truth, known as Brahmanubhava in Shankara’s doctrinal expositions. Therefore, faith and belief are only means, or preconditions, that support the aspirant in the path of spiritual realization whereby faith is ultimately transcended and replaced by intuitive and immutable knowledge, for those who can see need not believe. This is the reason that all religious traditions are based on two intrinsic dimensions of Doctrine and Method.

What distinguishes this science from what nowadays passes as science is that religion considers reality as a whole and without limiting it to one particular aspect. Modern sciences, on the other hand, consider only a very limited, and above all the least real, aspect of total Reality, that is, they consider reality insofar as it is sensible and measurable. All modern sciences are blind, from their very inception, to a supra-sensible reality which is inexpressible in terms of quantity. We see only in quantum physics, and yet with an halfhearted understanding, that the idea of material and sensible reality is replaced by the idea of a purely intelligible reality that is not susceptible to commonsense or human imagination. But even quantum physics, along with all other modern sciences, can have no access to unconditioned reality for the simple reason that all these sciences are too human and ultimately subjective, having no intellectual foundation in the self-evident ground of all knowledge, i.e. the Pure Intellect.

Reality in itself, however, can be known only by an objective intelligence, undivided and un-fragmented by the flood of the senses and not defiled by human subjectivity and the facts of empirical consciousness. This objective intelligence is no more a human faculty but a ray of the Intelligible Light, the Solar Ray of all mythologies, emanating from the Divine Intellect. This sort of intelligence, which is the only means of true and objective knowledge, is accessible only in and through orthodox spiritual traditions which include within themselves true philosophies such as those of Plato and Plotinus. The final aim and sole function of all religious practices, all rites and symbols, is to remove from the soul the dust that obscures and dissipates that Intelligible Light, a purification that inevitably leads to an effective knowledge of total Reality, which amounts to the same thing as the summit of all spiritual ascent. In fact, consciousness-of-a-world, i.e. empirical consciousness, which is ignorance rather than knowledge, world being a veil over the Face of Truth, is the result of the refraction of the Intelligible Light, the source of all knowing, by the plane of human mind. In effective spiritual realization which amounts to the withdrawal and gathering of this Light into its source, i.e. mystical concentration or Samadhi, all phenomena, including the universe and the mind, disappear all at once whereby the never-lost identity of Atman with Brahman is immediately realized. Thus, it is never the individual human person who realizes the Truth, for the human person is himself the very veil that hides the ever shining Face of Truth. Instead, it is the nothingness and illusory nature of existence, human or otherwise, that is realized upon the annihilation of all forms and phenomena. This unveiling, which is meaningful only from the point of view of the spiritual aspirant seeking Liberation, is itself found to be illusory from the point of view of the Absolute, for there is nothing but the naked Truth, never veiled and never lost. From this point of view known as Paramarthika, which is the only true point of view, both bondage and liberation are realized to be illusory. In other words, at all times and in all places nothing is and nothing is known but Brahman, the knower and the known both being Brahman, i.e. Satcitananda, being of the nature of Existence-Knowledge-Bliss. Therefore, empirical consciousness, being of the nature of ignorance, is no more than an illusion, a veil known as Maya, superimposed on the just mentioned Truth of Brahman: In truth, and at all times, nothing is known or seen but Brahman, the Ultimate Reality, i.e. the Supreme Essence.

Thus, religion is the only true science of reality because it aims at the knowledge of ultimate reality, a knowledge which is essentially unitive and nondual, and hence it is attained by identity rather than difference. One knows That Reality by being It rather than reducing it to an object of empirical consciousness, a reduction that is absolutely impossible. Prayer, meditation, invocation, etc. are all means of establishing an effective communication with the source of all reality, a communication by which one can choose either to stay in a spiritual orbit and hence enjoy the warmth of Truth, or to ride the Solar Ray into the Sun and achieve Supreme Identity and immortality. We only add that this immortality is not the same as perpetuity, an indefinite prolongation of one’s individual existence in time or in other planes of manifestation. Immortality par excellence is rather becoming free from the bounds of time and individual existence; it is an attainment, by identity, of the unconditioned Reality, a timeless state not conditioned by existence. Thus, the truly enlightened man, the Universal Man and the Solar Hero, attains immortality by going beyond being and non-being, and He dwells in the Eternal Present, the permanent actuality of the Self, and is no more subject to time or existence in any sense of these words. Religion, as a science of Reality, or more precisely as a Way rather than an end and a goal in itself, provides the spiritual aspirant with all the necessary means for attaining to this unconditioned state, i.e. the perfect knowledge of total Reality, by a sophisticated interplay of doctrine and method without which Truth cannot be known but all of which are to be ultimately transcended in the face of The Naked Truth.

 

Spiritual Practice

I visit my blog less often than I used to. I open the post page to write something because after all the point of having a blog is to blog; but I stare at the empty page because I have got nothing to write. I feel I have a lot to say, or rather a lot to share about what I have learnt from others. But I don’t feel right to write because that would make me a hypocrite. You see, I cannot claim to know anything as long as that knowledge is not assimilated by me and put into practice, by which I mean conformity to what I believe to be true, and I am very weak in that department. I love spirituality, and above all spiritual metaphysics. But it is one thing to read and talk and write about it which does not make one spiritual but only a little prepared for spirituality; and it is another thing to assimilate what I read and use it as a support for my spiritual practice; and without spiritual practice, which is adherence to one or another orthodox religious/spiritual tradition, nothing is ever accomplished.

It is a well-known fact that spiritual life-and life is either spiritual or isn’t life at all-and the journey toward God consist of two fundamental aspects: Doctrine and method. Doctrine is that which directs us; it provides a sense of orientation by giving an outline of the goal, much like a map. Method is the spiritual practice that takes us to the goal, much like the vehicle or instrument that takes us to gates of Heaven. Now, reading and thinking of spiritual matters alone, though it may make us feel good or give us some peace, do not accomplish anything because it can become a sort of obsession with the doctrine at the cost of forgetting the journey itself. Doctrine itself is never the Truth Itself but a pale reflection of it that is meant to evoke in the seeker a forgotten memory of the lost paradise, i.e. the paradisaical state of being and consciousness; thus, doctrine too is no more than an instrument and a support for spiritual realization.

Truth Itself transcends all doctrinal formulations to the extent that we are allowed to say all doctrines are false relative to the Absolute Truth Itself; it is false relative to Truth because it cannot be identical with It, for Truth transcends all formulations and is ultimately inexpressible. But all doctrines insofar as they are traditional and orthodox, i.e. have their origin in a non-human influence which is none other than revelation, have a relative truth to them because they are reflections of That which lies above and in transcendence. However, this relative truth has no value in itself if it is divorced from its metaphysical function, and the metaphysical function of the doctrine is to invoke in the aspirant the longing for the Truth that is reflected in the doctrine, and also to keep the traveler on the right path without going astray. Therefore, we must look at doctrine not as a fancy collectible to be used for decoration but as a rope hanging from the sky. We must climb the rope and not swing with or by it.

The spiritual practice, on the other hand, is meant to purify the soul so that it can reflect the Truth expressed in the doctrine. The soul that is purified by its nature reflects the Truth, for the pure heart knows nothing but God. All other forms of knowledge, including empirical knowledge of ourselves and the world, is a dirt covering the spirit, and spiritual practice is the way to clean up this mirror as a result of which our soul-which is essentially identical with the Spirit in its state of purity-remembers and reflects its transcendent principle, God.

That you must hate your soul and put your soul to death is a very true statement because it is this soul as dirt over the spirit that ties us to the belief in our independent existence and separation from God. This nowadays fashionable cult of “love yourself” goes contrary to all traditional values, i.e. to Truth Itself. Instead, you must love your Self which is the Self of all things and is none other than God; but to succeed in loving the Self you must hate yourself and put your self to death, for this inferior self is no more than dirt and darkness. So, to hate yourself is to hate delusion and separation, darkness and forgetfulness, arrogance and ignorance.

When the soul becomes pure as a result of spiritual practice it reflects, by its nature, the Divine qualities which are spiritual virtues of humility, generosity, and objectivity. These virtues are not possessions of the sage but rather belong to God alone. But when the sage has become pure at heart and poor in spirit he has in fact returned to the primordial state in which he was created in the image of God. In that state the spiritual virtues shine by themselves, for it is God Himself along with His attributes that shine through the sage. The humility of the sage is the reflection of God’s transcendence and absolute detachment from the world. The generosity of the sage is the reflection of God’s immanence and infinitude, His unconditional giving through perpetual creation and constant renewal of all things. The objectivity of the sage is the reflection of God’s perfect knowledge and justice. It is not that the sage, the pure in heart and poor in spirit, becomes God or even acquires divine attributes; rather, God’s attributes shine in and through the sage because he is no more himself, and in fact he has become no-thing so that there is nothing in him and with him that can obstruct the Divine Light which is shining everywhere and at all times. The sage has become a channel of grace because he has become nothing, because he hated himself and put himself to death.

All this being said, which is by the way too much considering my present state of literary impotence, all I meant to say was that I feel I cannot say anything of spiritual life unless I am myself in it, and to be in it is to practice it. I try to do my best and pray to God to give me strength and faith so I can practice, that is, to constantly remember Him and conform to His nature. On my own, with this petty human self of mine, I have no faith, no knowledge, no love and no devotion. I am in a state of absolute spiritual poverty and all I can ask Him is to forgive my forgetfulness and minimize my distractions so that I can practice, practice, practice.

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.

What is Death?

If death of a loved one is felt as a finite loss for those left behind it is seen as an infinite gain for the departed. His death is in truth your death, the death of multiplicity and the rebirth into an eternal unity. What is apparently perceived as a loss of a loved one is our loss of his/her glance, the look in their eyes, a look that turns away from you and toward God. If the body is lost, the glance is never lost as it is only turned inwardly and reabsorbed into its immutable source in the Disinterested Onlooker, the Witness.

Thus, a man, insofar as he is identified with his consciousness, never really dies but only looks away, hither and thither, appearing as this or that. In his death and looking away you disappear from his sight more than he disappears from yours: If your thoughts of the them are with you, nothing of you is with them because their apparent death is their waking up to your absolute nothingness. For the departed soul it is you who are departed from his eternal glance, now turned away from you and looking into the void where he always dwells.

The glance is the indestructible center of the soul. If I tell you this it is because I have lived so many lives and died so many times, and all this in a timeless instant, the source of all duration but itself not a duration. This worldly life is for the soul like being buried alive, and the apparent worldly death is but the resurrection of the soul, an emerging from the mass-grave that this world is. You people who roam around as if living and willing are indeed the dead and nothing more.

Your worldly death is in truth the death of the world and worldliness of your glance. Death is the withdrawal of your celestial gaze from its captivation with this world-mirage. This worldly life of yours is but a passing deja vu. You think that when you wake up from a dream your dream characters mourn your departure!? No; no one lost anything, for you only left behind, and below, that which never was.

Your worldly death, being the death of the world, is the death of death, hence an eternal birth and breakthrough into the other side of Darkness. When I die in the world I immediately realize that there has been no world to begin with, no life; how could there be any death?! Thus, my life in the world is a living amongst the dead. What you perceive as life is death, and what you perceive as death is birth, an awakening to the nothingness of the world and creaturely existence. Ontological death, i.e. liberation from suffocating existence, is a waking up to the supra-ontological life in the permanent actuality of the Self, a Self that is infinitely like void as is infinitely unlike it. This you shall See for yourself.