“The ability of the self, an individual and negative image of the soul of absolute being, to rebound from reflection in repetition and reshape the actuality of nature in that image is inextricably related to the establishment of the negative in existence. The projection of a self-image negates the immediate and innocent relationship with the singularity of absolute being, which is positive, and establishes a reflective relationship with the duality of existence and its relative categories, positive and negative, in the edifice of pagan civilization within the temporal and finite universe. Self-expression is thus an expression of the individual soul’s guilty relationship with the world. Pagan humanism, a belief that deifies the self, cannot accept existence and civilization as a negative projection since such an acceptance must presuppose the positive reality of absolute being and thereby the necessity of a transforming spiritual consciousness of faith in the being of the absolute. This, in turn, demands the discipline of a morality founded upon absolute principles and the rejection of all mere ethics founded upon relative values. The refusal to acknowledge objective, intellectual existence as negative may therefore be considered as the defining mark of the pagan life, a life divorced from the reality of absolute being.”
An acquaintance who reads my blog asked me to define consciousness and I choose my response to this by delineating the difference, as I see it, between consciousness and awareness. Awareness is, in my view, a non-reflective natural consciousness, a consciousness of the immediate actuality of the aware subject and thus the consciousness of all sentient being. Consciousness, as I define it on the other hand, begins with reflection, when the human intellect discovers the duality of existence and begins to distinguish between the positive and the negative in existence, between good and evil, and impose this duality of existence upon the actuality of the natural world, denying the reality of spiritual being. Consciousness, therefore, involves a movement, a descent, if you will, from an immediate awareness of the reality of being into a reflective consciousness of an actuality of existence, human civilization, an artificial actuality projected into nature, which demands the projection of an individual image of being, a self, with which to explore and navigate through this artificial construction, this city of self-conscious human beings.
The highest task of the individual soul within the universe is to express in consciousness its own absolute being, the being of the absolute, subjecting its existence to the transcendent reality of being. The physical universe appears to the existential human consciousness as an expression in lower dimensions of the higher dimensions of being and a consciousness of the absolute appears as the highest form of consciousness, revealed as transcendent to the physical universe and thereby infinite and eternal. The seed of consciousness implanted in the universe is able to transcend the physical limitations of form, passed on through generation, which delineate existence. The existential expansion of consciousness through faith in the absoluteness of all being becomes the direction of the evolution of life within the universe.
The immediately aware soul perceives only the relative actuality of nature, without reflection in the categories of thought, the positive and the negative, good and evil, that define the duality of existence and unconscious of the absolute categories of spirit that express the unity of being. When immediacy is annulled by reflection the soul becomes self-conscious and loses itself in a maze of human invention. This edifice of ethnic and cultural tradition embodies the history of time that began with the fall into reflection and is devoid of consciousness of the absolute categories of being. To enter the reality of being the soul must reject relativity and embrace a consciousness of faith in the absolute categories, in the infinite and eternal void, evolving as a spiritual being with a consciousness that transcends the intellectual categories of existence and the temporal and finite universe.
All anxiety is anxiety about nothing, the absolute nothingness of the void, the spiritual presence at the core of every living being and the reality into which the universe of actualities is expanding. Filling this void at the core of our being with sensual baggage distracts us from its reality and places us within the illusion of relativity, the physical universe of time and space. Anxiety leads to despair, the condition of the soul that has lost its connection with its true being, and despair leads to death, the ultimate illusion of relativity and the ultimate expression of the negative in existence.
The spiritual void which is the ground of each human soul is the same void within which the physical universe is expanding, an infinite, spiritual emptiness. The soul which is consciously grounded in this emptiness is at one with its own transcendent being, absolute being. On the other hand, the soul which spurns the spiritual void and seeks fulfillment within the universe loses its connection to the eternal and wastes its lifetime filling the void at the center of its being with things of only relative value.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT !
On a tortilla spread a thin straight line of tomato paste cheerfully off center. Over this spread a thicker layer of re-fried beans followed with a small sampling of tomato sauce. Cover this concoction with a layer of chopped onion, preferably leek, and add a clove of chopped garlic. Add spices to taste and blanket the whole with a sprinkling of tasty cheese. Roll up the tortilla, bake for five minutes and, lo and behold, you have one of my quite famous burritos.
A Tibetan lama of my acquaintance, a rinpoche no less, that is to say, a reincarnation of a deceased Lama, scoffed at the idea that the universe is expanding, despite the scientific evidence formulated within the last century. “Where can it expand,” he asked, “there is no where that it can expand, there is nothing beyond it into which it can expand, nothing beyond the universe?” This the exact point, which he was unable to grasp due to his belief in an infinite universe. Yet it is precisely beyond the expanding universe that there is nothing, an infinite void which contains only the finite universe, an eternal void containing the temporal universe, a spiritual void confining the material universe, an absolute void containing a universe in which everything is relative.
This material, finite universe is rushing to expand since time, even thirteen and a half billion years of it, is limited. The spiritual void has no cognizance of time. It is infinite and absolute. It is also, however, the living seed within the universe. Every form of life contains this spiritual seed. If merely one seed blossoms to its absolute potential unswayed by the relativity of existence, the universe must be dissolved, the relative negative consumed by the absolute positive, love and hate overpowered by the spiritual void’s absolute love. Our only task is to ally ourselves with this love by believing in love’s absolute power to overcome hate, in the power of the positive, the true power of the spiritual void within life, to annul the false power of the negative, and then, of course, in living by what we believe.
This, of course is the great paradox, that the void is positive and that the negative only exists within the universe, confined within relativity and soon to be annulled by the void’s absolute power, the material dissolved within the spiritual. Yet, the spiritual appears weak within the rational actuality of relativity since rational thought objectifies the material of the universe and refuses to accept a transcendent reality, the spiritual reality of the void. In this regard, also, relatively few individuals have come to terms with the discovery that the universe is finite, preferring the comfort of Newtonian infinity to the theories of relativity.
On a Mediterranean pita bread spread a thin layer of tomato paste and cover with a layer of tomato sauce followed by a thick layer of sliced zucchini. Add spices to taste, cover with grated cheese and a little pepper, black or cayenne, and bake in a toaster oven for ten minutes. A simple, tasteful, vegetarian pizza.
Where I am !
I am, of course, in Alaska, where I came for a brief interlude eleven years ago and where I remain. Alaska is on the planet Earth, the Earth is in the physical universe and the physical universe, where everything is relative, finite and temporal, is in the void which is absolute, infinite and eternal. The void cannot be sensually apprehended or even intellectually apprehended other than following a movement of conscious faith. The void is also, I believe, present at the core of my being, a spiritual presence which renders my being an absolute, infinite and eternal being. The universe is not so. My being transcends the universe and places me in the void. I am, in the void!