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.

 

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.

The Overman

Much has been said of the coming of the Overman. The Overman doesn’t evolve; the Overman descends. It was not Nietzsche that spoke of the coming of the Overman; it was the Overman that spoke through Nietzsche of his own coming.

In Overman the real has become the ideal and the ideal the real since in him the ideal is fully realized. It is at the transcendent summit that idealism and realism stand united, while in the manifest order they appear to be distinct and standing against one another.

But when comes to man, this little worn out image, whose fragmented world is a reflection of his own fragmented soul, the Overman must blow in him again. We are all born and live on a life support machine. What is then the life of man?

The life of man is the journey of a shadow; he rises from nothingness and falls back into nothingness. But the Real Man, the Transcendent Man, i.e. the Overman, that which casts the shadow, remains unmoved throughout this journey, for He is the perfect image of the Unmoved Mover.

The Overman is not an individual; he is no historical figure. The Overman is not in the world; it is the world that is a thought in the Overman. He may take up the mask of Krishna, Christ, or Muhammad and become a bridge; or He may tease us through Nietzsche without giving him a taste of His face, leaving him in the madness and confusion that precedes eternal sobriety; but He can’t be understood in terms only of one or another individual. The person of a saint is nothing more than a passing appearance in which we can see the reflection of Truth, our own real Face shining in eternity. So there is in reality only one saint projecting many images of itself on Nature. The various religions and traditions are the petals of one and the same flower.

The Truth cannot fit in a theory, image, or idea; yet every theory, image, and idea is an expression of one of Its intelligible aspects. Art, religion/philosophy, and science/technique, constitute various neighborhoods in the city of Truth. We cannot oppose these to one another because they are united in their principle, the spirit; they are, so to speak, various sense organs by which man confronts reality in the form of a world. They address the different needs of a man. As the eyes cannot touch and the hands cannot see, religion sees but doesn’t build while science builds but doesn’t see. And we all know that the best and the most majestic of architectural masterpieces belonged to periods in which makers were both builders and seers, where wisdom and action were still united.

A science opposed to religion is a like a headless man. Religion by nature cannot possibly oppose science, for religion is about man and reality in an entirely different sense than that used in science. If fans of popular religion and even some religious authorities see an opposition, and sometimes even a competition, between scientific facts and religious doctrines, it is only because they have misunderstood religion altogether; their fundamental mistake is in confusing form with essence: The subject matter of science is form while the subject matter of religion and true philosophy is essence. As the subject matter of each is different, their methods of inquiry are as well different. We cannot apply the methods of one expecting to reject the claims of the other or confirm those of our own. Metaphysics, in its true sense, is the root of both science and religion, and also of art, and is a field of knowledge far from speculative. Metaphysics is the field of self-evident realities and also the source of all evidence in any rational inquiry. We can only say this, that compared to the truth and self-evidence belonging to metaphysics, the degree of evidence in pure mathematics is but a pale reflection. The essential content of art, religion, and science, is always metaphysical.

In Metaphysics we step into a new domain, the oldest reality, where world and man have no place, where the abstract becomes the living and the living the abstract. Sartre mistakenly thought that in man existence precedes essence; but it is known that in man existence is the essence.

Metaphysics is the universal and immutable form of the Real. Thus, metaphysics, the highest form of knowledge, is still a superposition on the surface of the Real. There is a higher stateless state, the Real Itself, in which there is no more metaphysics nor anything else. There is where nothing can creep in, no expression and no man, except total death and annihilation. Even God must die in order to return to the Godhead.

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 Last Illusion

At the closing of Mahabharata, seeing his enemies in heaven and his own family in hell Yudhishthira starts shouting at the gods and condemning their justice. This was the last waystation before he entered Sakina, the Great Peace at the heart of the Godhead. So the keeper of the last dwelling said to Yudhishthira:

“Stop shouting! You have known neither paradise nor hell. Here there is no happiness, no punishment, no family, no enemies. Rise in tranquility. Here words end, like thought. This was your last illusion.”

Religion & Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.