Philosophizing with Hammer

The topic came up during a midsummer night conversation with a sweet and sensitive spirit, the idea that a purely contemplative philosophy is only the dark half of philosophy, and that a philosophy in its most developed and concrete form must be committed to responsible action in the world. This should be, above all, the final form of any mature spiritual philosophy. A religion or spiritual tradition immersed and lost in contemplative attitude, limited only to monastic or purely meditative form, in other words an armchair philosophy and a cave-bound spirituality, is a halfhearted dogmatic philosophy. Contemplation, however indispensable to the evolution of the Spirit, should be but a stage for concrete action in the world.

Philosophy changes the world by changing the man or woman who philosophizes. But philosophy, the greatest of all goods, is capable of being the greatest of all evils, for it can imprison as much as it can liberate. It can submerge the philosopher by sedating him, by removing him from the sphere of change and action with the false promise of truth and immortality. No one has been so acutely aware of and cautioned us against the perils of such philosophies and spiritual practices more than Friedrich Nietzsche, the demented soul who adored the “Yes-sayers” and despised the “nay-sayers.”

Philosophy must proceed and make way with a hammer, with the rushing forth of the spirit into, and not out of, the world, and with an unstoppable vitality and all-inclusiveness rooted in Ataraxia.

It is essential in the archetype of the hero to return from his retreat to its fortress of solitude, from the mountain like Zoroaster did; he must return with a divine love and tranquility to lift up the shattered spirit of the last man, to lead him out of the cave, or to become a bridge for the becoming of the new type of man. Only in his return the hero becomes full and concrete prior to which he is nothing but an inactive and unrealized ideal.

Before the moment of spiritual realization man is an abstraction, a sleepwalker and a blind drunkard at best: It is by this very realization, in Ataraxia, that he/she becomes real and concrete; and it is again by this realization that he/she is bound to return; and He returns, knowing that Samsara is Nirvana.

Seeing God

God, i.e. that ineffable Ground of all things to which the word alludes, can surely be seen and realized. This ground is not found as long as one is seeking it in the form of an object of consciousness, for It is Itself the source of that objectifying subjectivity that animates all things from behind the veil that is the seeking subject.

God is not found by seeking, for It is the finding itself: It is the will by which one seeks and the light in which one finds. The revealer of all things Itself remains forever concealed.

However, God, the Ground, can be seen and realized though in a manner incomparable to ordinary cognition subject to the trifold differentiation of the knower, the known, and the knowing. Compared to the seeing that sees God, our everyday seeing is sheer blindness.

Knowledge, whether discursive or unitive, has a form proportioned to its content. As knowledge of the relative world is itself relative, knowledge of God, the absolute and the infinite ground of reality, is absolute and infinite knowledge. Since the supreme principle of all things transcends the conditions of time and place, the consciousness that apprehends it is also unconditional; it is an eternal and universal knowledge that brings instantaneous and infallible liberation.

In seeing God, one does not acquire new knowledge but rather realizes the Ground, in the form of a shocking recognition or perhaps a transcendental and permanent déjà vu, as one’s true Self, an essential self stripped of all relative content, of individuality and personality, and in general of conditional existence.

The seer of truth is truly immortalized which by no means implies a prolongation of individual existence but rather freedom from individual existence as such, for he/she has realized within himself the identity of immanent time with transcendent eternity. In light of this supreme realization he comes to know that what is real in him has never stepped into the river of finitude and temporality but that he has been all along but witnessing all this from the throne of infinitude and eternity.

Seeing God is the self-realization of the Unmoved Mover.

In the words of our Sufi master Bayazid Bastami, “I went from God to God, until they cried from me in me, ‘O thou I!’”

Logos From Eidos

“The stupid cannot become wise, and the non-existent cannot become existent, nor can the existent go into non-existence.”

Of all beings in this field, the only one capable of turning away from the incessant stream of phenomena, from mundane existence and the life of the field, is human being. This being roams the field while standing on the fence between the two worlds; facing the world he’s standing against The Abyss. But he is standing against the abyss in such a way that one could even say man is the abyss staring into the world.

Every night after a long day of work in the field, after planting my seeds, I takes off this human disguise and withdraw back into that abyss, I return home.

In every man, woman, and child that wakes up from sleep, in all beings starting from the first cause up until now, I alone have been the one returning from the abyss known to you as dreamless sleep. I am the single mover in all movements. I move all things while myself remaining unmoved. I move by a single glance from the abyss, from my transcendent throne: I am the possessor of all masks. I am the Animator. I dwell in eternity and recur eternally.

There is a type among us whose soul suffers much with every small turbulence, as a sensitive tooth does with every wind. In this suffering soul, a layer of spirit is exposed to the harshness of bare existence. The sober soul understands him not, for he/she has not known the spiritual madness for transcendence. This world has no remedy for such souls except a congregation of souls who understand by gnosis the restlessness of a spirit longing for home. Our suffering fellow isn’t aware that he’s been seeking to be restored to the original and primordial state of his existence, that is, to coincide with the archetype of which he is a projection. A dental appointment doesn’t cure this type; he/she needs a transcendental appointment.

A sensitive spirit has residual memories from the good old times its father’s house. This type, coming from that old city of Eidos in eternity, has no tolerance for time and impermanence. This type is the insane one, and his insanity lies in forgetting that the remedies of this world have only an apparent resemblance to the consolations he found in Eidos. The impregnated abyss has come between him and Eidos. How can one bridge a gap that is not even of the nature of space! How can one reach for the Hidden Door that is at once infinitely near and infinitely far!

We suffer from separation, and our only remedy is a bridge, a Logos from Eidos and not a bridge of our own making.

 

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The Veiled Revealer

What is that thing through which we see everything? Light.

What is that thing which in principle can never be seen? Light.

What is light? Light is the dark revealer; itself veiled, it unveils everything else.

And the light of this world is only the shadow of that Intelligible Light which shines in your dreamless sleep, the home to which you return every night after a day of surfing on the ocean of life. Though you can never describe the dreamless state you know for a fact that it is a state of your reality. You don’t know what it is but you know that it is. Like dreamless sleep, Truth too is beyond whatness: It is but It is free of being anything in particular.

Whoever claims that there is no consciousness in dreamless sleep is claiming two things that contradict one another: First, by saying so he/she admits that there is such a thing as dreamless state, as opposed to a dreaming or a waking state. But then he denies in it the very existence of a consciousness that must be there in order for him to know about such a dreamless state. Exactly how did you “know” that there isn’t consciousness in that state? You must have been there yourself in one form or another! And if you hadn’t, you wouldn’t even know about it, let alone talk about it.

In dreamless sleep there is certainly no cognition going on but consciousness is there ever present as it is in all other states of consciousness. So this state should be characterized with the absence of cognition rather than the absence of consciousness, the latter leading to contradiction.

If there is no experience in dreamless sleep it is because there is no cognition to be illumined by the ever shining light of consciousness. Cognition is entirely conditioned and determined by the psycho-physical constitution of the individual being while consciousness is universal and transcendent to the plane of nature cognition.

Experience arises when the Intelligible Light, i.e. consciousness, is reflected back to Itself off of a non-consciousness, matter or cognition. In the absence of a non-consciousness, of a duality, there is nothing to reflect the light of consciousness so that no experience arises; however, the light is still there.

Same is true of the light of this world: That the outer space is dark, as opposed to our sky, is because there is no air or matter to reflect the light. In fact, the empty space is filled with visible light. We cannot see it because light, Intelligible or worldly, is the dark revealer: It only manifests the face of the Other and not Its own.

Hell is the Other

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Bliss of Detachment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Ibn Arabi