Washed Onto the Shore

I have not posted anything in a long time; today I checked my blog for the first time in weeks and though I still don’t have much to say, I pushed the “write” button to face the blank page of a draft, perhaps the most courageous act I have done in a while.

Prior to this two-year seemingly dry period I was spiritually active, I read a lot and reflected a lot on spiritual matters; and so naturally I had a lot to say and write. For the past two years, however, I was held down by my own humanity, or by that impulse of human constitution which goes against the spiritual impulse to ascend; I moved against my natural instinct to free myself; I became my own shackles.

I descended to the depths, to where no ray of light could reach, to where corruption ruled, to a city in which degeneration was accepted as exciting the norm. I sat so much with the monsters of this underworld that I became one, and I saw that I was one from eternity.

I passed by beautiful mermaids, drank their wine, and laughed out-loud to my heart’s content; little did I know that what I heard as laughter was the cry of the suffocating spirit. I took with me a land creature to live among the fish.

But let what happened in the sea stay in the sea. I forgot my way back to the surface so I was washed onto the shore in an unconscious state and woke up later by the piercing force of sunlight on my skin. “Oh my Sun,” I yelled “had you forsaken me!”

Was my frightening visit to the underworld a dream of a man falling asleep on the beach? Was it a experimental course in human possibilities? Was it a tour and a lesson initiated by the eternal guide, or was a it detour in the Path because there’s roadwork in my life!? I will never know, but I know what I saw:

We do not become sinners and monsters, nor do we become saints and heroes; we are at once all of it. Which of our faces is seen depends on the mirror into which we stare; what we manifest from this infinitely wide range of possibilities depends on the habitat and the company, on people, places, and things to which we cling. I am that majestic brilliance that shines the color of whatever object lies next to it.

Man contains within itself all the possibilities of good and evil. A man or a woman is at once a potential saint and a potential sinner, at once a monster and a hero fighting the monster. The battle is always between the opposing poles of one and the same Person. Life begins with a broken polarity and comes to its conclusion with a return to perfect balance.

This strange creature that I am contains all the opposites within itself waiting to manifest one or the others. I am a man of a thousand faces, and this world is a mirror I face every morning. And every night when I return to the primordial balance of dreamless sleep, all the opposites within me cancel each other out, and hence the world vanishes. Everyday, nonduality breaks into duality, and duality returns into nonduality. This world, a stage for the dance of strife, appears only when Sakina (the Great Peace) shatters.

And this man, this finite vessel of infinity itself, is in its essence the coincidence of all opposites. Rumi, the Persian saint and poet, defines God as the “coincidence of all opposites,” but he also says that man in his deepest essence is identical with with the divine.

What all this teaches me is vigilance, for although I may be divine by nature, still monsters live in me, monsters that can be released, monsters whose sight scare the shit out of me regardless of whether I am dreaming or not.

The Holy Gaze

World is a mirage in the gaze of the Onlooker.

This world! This world is nothing but the gaze trapped in the maze of its own making. What is is truth dreaming it is man seeking the truth.

The seeker must at once free the gaze that is entangled in its own fantasy, the world.

The point of this existence is to find the gaze and liberate it. The way out of this maze is to realize that we are at once the maze and the one in it.

Liberation Par Excellence, that is to realize there was no bondage in the first place.

The true seeker is not so different from a kamikaze :), for she knows that the gaze is freed only upon her death; she knows that she must die to achieve immortality.

If all this seems paradoxical it is because it is so; and what is paradox but the state of a consciousness trying to grasp the infinite gaze with a finite mind! Paradox is fitting the ocean in the pond. The gaze itself is pure and simple; paradox is only of minds and men.

The seeker who frees the gaze from the bondage of that beginningless acceptedness, that seeker is forever annihilated in all its personal aspects; what remains is neither the world nor the Onlooker but only the gaze itself.

The seeker must die before dying. It will be known only after her death that there was no death in the first place; she was never born to begin with, and in fact it will be known that she never was. It will be known only after that incomprehensible Return that there was no return at all, that we had never left our home, that the sense of separation was itself part of the mirage in the gaze.

Hence Vico’s maxim: “We can only know what we have made.”

Only upon annihilation it is known that the seeking too never really happened, that nothing ever really happens, that there is nothing to seek as there is nothing lose, that the immortal gaze of the eternal now has been forever free, dwelling in the void and immersed in absolute silence of home.

The Sole Dweller of the Void, that Inexpressible Ray that removes all bondage and ignorance in one glance, that is not a thing; it is pure gaze: It is The Holy Gaze.

The Real Fall

Adam and Eve took a bite from the tree…, and hence The Fall.

Did they fall out? Fall in? Fall through? Fall short? Or Fallujah?

No. They did fall: They fell asleep, dreaming of transgression and expulsion, of life and death, of losing that which cannot be lost. God is tearing his throat to wake us up; but alas, the apple has a long half-life.

My dear Adam and Madam, you are still in the Garden of Eden. Can’t you smell the fragrance from the tree of life?!

The original sin is the forgetfulness of one’s original blessedness¬†

Aphorisms On The Knowledge of Truth

Much of the seeking after truth fails because we seek it as a human beings seeking to find something. Truth is not something to be found or known in any human sense of the word. A man who seeks to find the truth is like a man who is searching his dream trying to find the room in which he is asleep having the dream.

No amount of self reflection can help us find the “I” in us; it is never there. The “I” is never found by seeking because it is the very thing doing the seeking. When we cannot find something we are looking for it doesn’t necessary mean that it is not there; it could also be that what we are looking for is either ourselves or something already in our possession. But if it were never there to begin with, neither with us nor elsewhere, then how on earth did we come to think or talk about it, let alone seeking it?!

If the consciousness of the atheist cannot find God anywhere it could be because God is the one providing the light of his consciousness!

Knowledge of truth is not a human possibility; our humanity is itself the very thing that keeps us from knowing the truth.

One may even say that to know the truth is to know that there is nothing to know, hence nothing to seek, and hence nothing to lose.

How Does The One Become The Many

From time immemorial philosophers and theologians of nondual traditions, those taking the Ultimate Reality to be a one invisible and indivisible whole, have struggled to understand how this One thing appears as the many things of our phenomenal world.

There is no doubt that the world of phenomena is diverse and ephemeral. But there is also no doubt for the mystic and the metaphysician that this world has its root in a One which is undifferentiated and eternal; being such this One is characterized as both Absolute and Infinite. Some may call it God but it is really, if anything, an impersonal principle, though inexpressible under the same principle. The reality of such rootedness is self-evident to the mystic in light of his/her direct perception of the One, and it is also self-evident to the Platonic philosopher by logical necessity. Thus, they can deny neither the Reality of the One which is the most obvious thing to them nor the presence of a phenomenal world. These two brute facts are to be reconciled as far as the metaphysician is concerned. The mystic cannot really care less about this reconciliation; for him/her it is all God; the many is only a word.

This metaphysical question has recently become my serious concern within a different context. My academic research in the field of physics is focused on the foundational issues of Quantum Physics. The problem I am working on is the Identical Particles. Electrons are elementary particles in the sense that they don’t have an internal structure and cannot be divided into smaller parts. Now the problem in quantum physics is that no two electrons can be distinguished from one another. It is not just that they look alike (of course they are not the kind of objects that can look like anything at all; they don’t have a look); they have no individuality whatsoever. If we put two electrons in a box they cannot tell which is which; they have no selves, no identity, no individuality, and this in a fundamental way. This feature of the quantum world is utterly counterintuitive: In our macroscopic world everything has an identity though they may look exactly alike; they have specific histories. A chair remains itself as it endures in time; in other words, a chair is a chair because it keeps being itself as time passes. Maybe the following impossible example can clarify: Assume we have a perfect twin; they look exactly alike, both internally and externally; I mean no one in the world can tell them apart in principle. Now we take these two into a surgery room and put all their memories, somehow, together on a table and shuffle them and then put them back. What happens if we have done everything perfectly is that none of these two twins can know which is which, assuming they have not gone mad yet; they have lost entirely their sense of identity and individuality; they have no sense of “I” or “me” or “mine.” (They would pass as perfect mystics) I know it is an unimaginable scenario but electrons are like that, with the difference that they are so in principle and from the very beginning. Now how is this related to the problem of the One and the many?

One of the hypothesis that has tried to explain the above enigma of the quantum world is the One Electron Universe Hypothesis. The idea is that there are no two or more electrons; there is only one electron in the whole universe but it appears as many electrons that we observe. It says that all the electrons that constitute the substance of the material world are instances of the one single electron. This of course is a pure hypothesis and it is not yet shown that how can the One electron appears as the almost infinite number of electrons in the universe! By the way, it is believed that there are about 15747724136275002577605653961181555468044717914527116709366231425076185631031296 electrons in the observable universe.

This itself is fascinating that one of the fundamental problems of physics may require us answering the same question that was posed thousands of years ago: How Does The One Become The Many!

There are a few observations from metaphysics that may be useful for us here: First, the One never really becomes the many; the One is always the One and the Immutable, and hence never changes or becomes; the many is only apparent; it is said that only out of ignorance we perceive the many. Now there are ways of expressing this situation in the language of mathematics which is being still developed. Of course I have no answer to it for now.

One point to remember is that we are either conscious (direct perception) of the One or the many and not both at once. In other words, we are either conscious of the One or unconscious, ignorant, of the One. Being conscious but not conscious of the One we perceive the many. This implies that our consciousness of the One must lie in a higher plane of existence than our consciousness of the many. The many is not Real relative to the One. Only the One is Real. One must also be careful here not to consider this world to be an illusion: Metaphysically speaking, this world is an illusion only relative to the One which belongs to the plane of the undifferentiated Absolute. Relative to the One we too, our bodies and minds, are illusory; thus relative to us humans this world of multiplicity is real and not illusory. The very mind that thinks the world to be an illusion is itself an essential part of the same illusion. Only relative to the One everything else is illusion and unreal. In other words, the One is absolutely real while the world, including humans, is relatively real.

A familiar example of the one thing appearing as the many is very well known to all of us, namely dreaming: If we look at dreaming from a phenomenological point of view which is more empirical and scientific than the cognitive scientific approach, we see that the one consciousness, say my consciousness, when I sleep can make itself appear to itself as a world of diverse forms with many people in it. My one consciousness appears, when it goes one level down to subconscious or unconscious, as many consciousnesses in a world of many objects. See that this One that appears as the many does not dwell in the same level of reality: The higher One becomes the lower many. When dreaming, being in the unconscious which is the lower level, there is multiplicity; but the moment we wake up and hence come to a higher level of reality the multiplicity of the dream world instantaneously collapses into one single consciousness of my waking state which I call my consciousness. Thus, one consciousness can make itself appear as many things when it implodes within itself (interestingly reminds me of the big bang explosion), or we may say when it falls deeper into itself. Some say that the dream world is a manifestation of the unrealized possibilities of the waking consciousness. This rings true for the metaphysician who sees the world as apparent actualities within God who is All Possibility.

In a similar fashion the multiplicity of this world may be really the basement of a higher mode of reality which is the abode of the Immutable One. It may be that we are just characters in the subconscious of a dreaming God!

To add a note, it seems to me that maybe only consciousness has such property, that it can occupy different levels of reality, being One in a level and many in another. If this be so, then we must after all return to consciousness as the ground of reality. Quantum physics seems to have already taken this leap, though not yet wholeheartedly and by many physicists. But we all know that truth always prevails.

Anyways, the main point of this post was to jot down some ideas about this metaphysical, and recently physical, enigma. Let it be at least a food for thought.

Existence: The Dream of Separation

Life is the dream of separation; it is our reality and God’s nightmare.

We are characters in the subconscious of a daydreaming God. As all characters of subconscious are expressions of the tendencies within one consciousness, we too though appearing separate from one another are one n spirit and essence and only different in temperaments and inclinations; or we may metaphorically say that “you are me in a parallel world.” This is allowed because we can view each person as the ground of a world-perspective; I can see you but I can never view the world from your perspective; at best it will be your perspective from my perspective! Your perspective, your subjectivity, is strictly inaccessible to others. But this inaccessibility entails the existence of other egos within all perspectives; in other words, my perspective always includes other egos with inaccessible perspectives: Although you are transcendent to me, your transcendence is immanent in my consciousness. However, I as this ego am something defined and known strictly within my own perspective. All the egos, including myself, are mutually exclusive alternatives, or parallel ego-worlds, coexisting within an absolute consciousness that contains all possibilities at once. ¬†This ground from which all perspectives emanate is both immanent and transcendent; this ground is the eternal Godhead. Thus, human egos, which are world-perspectives, constitute a spectrum of mutually exclusive alternatives or world-narratives. We all exist within God as all possibility: We are real relative to one another and the world; but relative to God we always remain pure possibility, and this being necessitated by God’s infinitude, unity, and unicity.

Let us restate this paradoxical state of affairs: We exist only as pure possibilities within God; but being pure possibility relative to God we are real relative to ourselves; we interact with one another in a shared world! We as pure possibilities can become conscious of and interact with one another while remaining pure possibility relative to God. This state is no more a metaphysical mystery. It is the cornerstone of Quantum Physics: What makes the quantum world so strange is that the pure possibilities, though not yet observed, interact with one another and create real, observable effects! This is the very nature of the underlying reality, a reality which is always a whole and never divided.

We are always united whether we want it or not, for there has never been a division to begin with.

This world with all its joy and suffering, love and hatred, laughters and beheadings, is just a dream, something of the nature of pure experience. If not, then our planet must be another planet’s hell*.

It is of utter ignorance wrapped in arrogance if one presumes all religions and spiritual disciplines have been the results of man’s mere fancy, expressions motivated only by animal drive and without any objective value. If this be the case, then science too which is a human expression must be devoid of all objective value, and hence its assertion about the futility of religion cannot be scientific, that is rational, at all. For according to science, science itself can only be the expression of scientist’s repressed animal drives, as if the adolescent who isn’t physically and mentally strong enough to respond to bullies and attract the opposite sex learns to overcome his/her insecurity by making it the object of investigation and reducing the strong to mere physiological constructs! This was letting science have a taste of its own medicine. If we take science seriously, then we must admit that scientific theories and conclusions cannot have any objective value since they are through and through motivated and biased by scientists’ repressed animal drives.

Thus, ignoring those ignorant men and women wrapped in arrogance we must admit that there lies a perennial truth of which all religions and spiritual disciplines are different expressions. This of course is an admission by the benefit of doubt. But we are more serious than that, for we know of thousands of mystics who have actually seen that truth directly. A truth that cannot be seen can never be known to exist, let alone being the only thing that exists.

If certain people choose to believe in truth, that is if they like the divine perfume of faith and devotion, truth will expose and unfold itself according to their desire. But if there are those who must see the truth, those who are not inclined toward faith, the born philosopher, then truth will, by necessity, reveal itself to them directly, appearing in its infinite glory before the eyes of the seeker; but one must beware that the seeker who sees that truth will melt in its ego and personality before the Holy Radiation: They lose their earthly eyes for the sake of the vision of truth, for the eye that sees the truth cannot be the eye of anyone but truth itself.

Now, there is no way to explain this supernatural seeing to the seeker who hasn’t yet experienced it, no more that one can explain what it is like to see to a blind person. Here lies the grand leap of faith, the only faith, that the born philosopher must take: He/she must have faith that there is a truth and that he/she will see it. The very ability to have such faith is embedded in man’s spirit: It is our instinct to seek the truth, and the reason we do so with such iron faith is that we are the truth. Thus, our relation with truth is one of forgetfulness. God, the essence of our spirit, has fallen asleep dreaming it is man seeking God. This constitutes the irony of our existence, that which has made both comedy and tragedy a possibility, that which shows that our humanity is not our essence but a showcase of smiling and frowning masks.

We become closer to seeing the truth to the extent that we desire its sight. This is all that can be said and let it be your only possession in the path.

* A phrase of Aldous Huxley