From Present to Presence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All separation is from Him.

All experience is spiritual experience.

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

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

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

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

 

The Source of Reality

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

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

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

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

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

On Truth & Untruth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lord, please forgive my forgetfulness.

On True Love & Untrue Love

When we come to the realm of spirituality and metaphysics there are no words more misunderstood, and hence abused than the words love and heart. We attribute the origin of this misunderstanding of love and heart in the context of spirituality to the modern conception of human being as a purely individual phenomenon. Individualism can have no consequence worse than a pure sentimentality which has already contaminated the religious and the spiritual side of man. As a result of this sentimentality, love cannot be understood but as sentimental love which is by no means the truly spiritual and metaphysical meaning of the word. In fact, sentimentality as such constitutes a downward movement away from the Principle; it is in all its modalities the antitheses to effective spiritual realization which entails transcending the individual order and all its defects one of which is sentimentality, the essence of all passions.

All authentic spiritual traditions consider the Heart to be a symbol for the center of integral human being. Heart in its traditional conception has nothing whatsoever to do with the physical organ, nor does it imply sentimental love. In all spiritual traditions this Heart signifies nothing but the Pure Intellect, not to be confused with mind and the rational faculty the instrument of which is the brain. This Heart as the seat of the Intellect, the Divine spark in man, has nothing whatsoever to do with emotions or human sentimentality as such. In short, true spirituality has nothing sentimental about it, for it concerns only the principial truths of a supra-sensible and supra-individual nature.

Consequently and from the traditional point of view, Love which is the principal function of the spiritual Heart, i.e. the Pure Intellect, essentially signifies Intellectual Intuition, the Eye of The Heart, which is the means of direct and inward realization; it is the only means by which man can transcend his individuality, and hence his sentimentality, and obtain a direct knowledge of transcendent metaphysical truths.

Sentimental love comes from attachment while true, metaphysical love comes from detachment, and hence has nothing sentimental about it. Metaphysical love is a direct and logical consequence of seeing all things on an equal footing and from an absolutely detached point of view, not because of a profane indifference but because of a profound intuition into the nature of things as the manifestations of one and the same Supreme Principle. However, since the phenomenal world which is the domain of individuality manifests only diversity insofar as human sensibility is concerned, it is only by means of Intellectual Intuition, the inward realization, that a person can penetrate the veil of multiplicity and see the one Principle behind its diverse manifestations.

Therefore, this Intellectual Intuition which can transcend the sensible multiplicity and grasp the intelligible unity is a necessary requisite for the practice of metaphysical love, precisely that to which Christ refers, which derives only from discernment and detachment rather than sentimentality and attachment. In the absence of Intellectual Intuition love reduces to mere sentimentality, and detachment reduces to mere indifference which is itself but another face of human sentimentality, namely the principal impediments in the way of transcendence and realization.

Egology IV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Egology III

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Egology II

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

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

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

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

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

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

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