The atheist is a man or woman disbelieving in a god of his own understanding. In rejecting God as an absolute principle of reality, he unjustifiably promotes his own fallible reason to omniscience, a station whose very existence he had set out to refute. Atheism, like relativism, is self-contradictory for merely logical reasons. But perhaps we may offer a few more or less intellectual and esoteric conceptions of God, in the sense of Godhead, as food for thought for those who rather see than believe.
“The coincidence of all opposites.” Rumi
“An infinite sphere whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.” Liber XXIV Philosophorum
“The synthetic unity of all antithetic determinations.” Eugen Fink
“The permanent actuality of the Self.” Rene Guenon
“The eternal present.” Don’t Remember
“The undifferentiated and un-differentiable state of consciousness.” Tomaj Javidtash
“Awesome.” Arthur Vandelay
At the heart of all authentic and orthodox spiritual traditions lies the concept of surrender, total surrender to God or the higher power. Self-surrender is not only indispensable to the spiritual path as a means of attaining to the highest goal of life, i.e. Self-realization, it is also one of the spiritual virtues that must be practiced, and so more strongly, even after attaining to the summit of spiritual ascent. However, perhaps no spiritual concept is more misunderstood and misused than the concept of self-surrender. These misconceptions are all rooted in our confusion of total surrender with passivity. As it will be shown the state of a man in self-surrender is not only far from passivity but constitutes the highest activity, not to be confused with external activity which is only one mode of action while the highest mode of action, or the highest activity, is contemplation or intellection which is the only action intrinsic to the Spirit, for the Spirit as the essence of all reality creates and projects by Intellection which is identical with Self-Contemplation. To become clear on this point it is necessary we understand what spiritual surrender means and what it implies in regard to human conduct.
From the traditional point of view, which we take to be the only true point of view, this phenomenon we call Man is a coming together of Spirit and matter, Purusha and Prakriti. However, matter in this sense is more general and not limited to the physical plane. From a metaphysical point of view, mind too is matter but in subtle form. In other words, everything that is other than the Spirit, i.e. pure consciousness, is designated by the name matter. Mind, psyche, and sentiment are matter in its subtle form while body is matter in its gross form.
Matter, subtle or gross, is inert; it has no consciousness or intelligence by itself; it has no will. Will emanates from the Pure Intellect, the Atman or the Spirit, or Purusha which is the active principle of all manifestation. It is the spirit that wills and acts; the mind and body are merely instruments by which the spirit acts, or projects, in the plane of manifestation. Thus, body and mind which are incapable of willing and acting can only be the locus of reactions: They constitute the reaction of Prakriti, the passive principle, to the action of Purusha, the active principle. Thus, as the mind and body are purely passive, the Spirit is said to be pure act. Reaction and passivity always belong together.
In self-surrender, as it is understood in the spiritual context, that which is surrendered is the mind-body complex of the person, and that to whom they are surrendered is the Active Principle of the being, i.e. the Spirit or God. Spirit, being the unmoved mover, acts but doesn’t react; matter reacts but doesn’t act. In self-surrender, by surrendering the mind-body complex to the Spirit we have not become passive at all; this is so because this material compound was no source of will or action to begin with; being purely passive the mind-body complex appears to act only as a result of the action of the Spirit. The mind-body complex without its active principle, i.e. Spirit, has the state of a corpse.
By surrendering the mind-body complex to the spirit, that is, by surrendering the passive element of the being to its active principle, we in fact face away from all passivity and turn toward pure activity. In a man who has totally surrendered himself to the Spirit, the active principle, the Spirit acts through him and he becomes transparent, non-reactive and non-resistant, to the action of the spirit; he becomes devoid of all passivity.
The self-surrendered man has become pure act: He acts but does not react. His conduct is not motivated, like most of us, by the reactions of his mind-body complex to external circumstances but is motivated by the objective demands of the situation at hand. He is surrendered insofar as he is not attached to his actions and acts only according to the need of the moment. Attachment to action is the anticipation of its fruits, a fall into reaction and passivity.
Therefore, to surrender oneself totally is to become totally free of all passivity and perform one’s duties in a detached spirit. It is only when we are detached from our actions and their consequences that we can avoid being reactive and hence passive. When we act without reacting our action becomes pure and objective because it is devoid of all self-interest.
To surrender is to be and to act objectively, and as we have seen self-surrender is by its very nature against all passivity, for it is the full cooperation and harmony of the being with its purely active principle, the Spirit.
“‘Universal compulsory education, of the type introduced at the end of the 19th century, has not fulfilled expectations by producing happier and more effective citizens; on the contrary, it has created readers of the yellow press and cinema-goers’ (Karl Otten). A master who can himself not only read, but also write good classical Latin and Greek, remarks that ‘there is no doubt of the quantitative increase in literacy of a kind, and amid the general satisfaction that something is being multiplied it escapes enquiry whether the something is profit or deficit.’ He is discussing only the ‘worst effects’ of enforced literacy, and concludes: ‘Learning and wisdom have often been divided; perhaps the clearest result of modern literacy has been to maintain and enlarge the gulf.'”
An excerpt from The Bugbear of Literacy by Ananda Coomaraswamy
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Traditionalism is not a nostalgia for what came before us but a yearning for what lies above us.
I am not something that exists. I am not something that is known, nor the knower of anything. I am not someone who can be free, nor someone who can be happy. Instead, I am the very condition for the possibility of the existent, the known and the knower, the free and the happy. To be more precise:
I am existence itself. I am knowledge itself. I am freedom itself. I am happiness itself.
As knowledge of a defect does not make the knowledge itself defective, I too am untouched by all defects and imperfections though I may witness them day and night.
As knowledge of misery does not make the knowledge itself miserable, I too am free from all misery and lowliness though I may witness them day and night.
As knowledge of bondage does not entail the bondage of knowledge, I too am devoid of all bondage and ignorance though I may see nothing but them.
As knowledge of mortality does not make the knowledge itself mortal, I too am immune to all death and decay though I may witness them day and night.
I am perfect and pure, wise and immortal, free and happy, blessed and beautiful, for I am forever untouched by all that is unlike my nature: I am the Transcendental Witness.
I am the “I” in all of you. Remind yourself this truth: If you are bounded and miserable it is only because you say so.
Truth, if it exists at all, cannot be formulated or fit into a system. Truth cannot appear in the form of a proposition, for proposition is by definition refutable while truth is by definition irrefutable.
Proposition belongs in the ontic sphere, realm of Being, while truth is essentially meontic, beyond-Being.
Truth cannot be a matter of fact.
Science being a body of facts and propositions is in principle inadequate in the face of truth. Science cannot rise up to truth, for it is science in the world while truth is science of the world.
Philosophy as long as it produces propositions and intellectual convictions is as inadequate as religion in pointing to the truth.
Religion is not about truth in itself and for itself; it is about what man likes the truth to be.
God being the relative absolute is the humanized absolute. Man is relative; the Principle is absolute; thus, man cannot but conceive of the principle in the form of the relative absolute, God and creation.
The perennial philosopher, however, when drops the human cover is able to stand up to truth and grasp the absolute principle precisely as the absolute principle.
God, creation, faith, and man all are worldly for the perennial philosopher. Then man of faith, love and devotion, and worship, the man of religion, wants truth for his own sake, for personal interest, on earth or in heaven. Perennial philosopher wants the truth for the sake of truth itself. He grasps the truth because he has become the truth. The human disguise has to fall for the dawn of truth.
Truth always transcends the many names and forms in which it is expressed. Truth transcends its own expression, for all expression is itself expression by the truth, in the truth, and under the truth.
Proposition is a fact within the grasp of reason while truth transcends reason and is grasped only by pure intellect.
Reason is the fallen intellect.
Fact is the fallen truth.
Proposition is the fallen experience.
Man is the fallen God.
World is the fallen consciousness.
Scientist is the fallen philosopher.
Modern philosopher is the rotten perennial philosopher.
Truth is not an intellectual conviction; it is not a belief or an object of faith. One can believe or have faith in anything one wishes. One can hold any intellectual conviction. Truth, however, transcends the individual choice. It is not about what I like to be the case but about what is. Truth is seen when I am removed.
Truth is always right in front of me; it is obstructed by my own visions of truth. Let go of everything that is about “me” or “mine” and then you shall see the truth right away. Then you will wonder “how could I not see it? How on earth did I miss this?”
Truth is the direct realization of the Supreme Identity: The seeker, the sought, and the way are one and the same.