The Luminous Volumes
Who are you?
I am nothing and nobody. I am not important. I am someone who saw God in a mystical vision, which fundamentally altered everything I knew about existence. Prior to the experience, I was a hardcore atheist. Now what can I do besides believing? For I have seen God with my own eyes. I hope to bring others to the waters, so they themselves might drink from it.
Too many people believe without seeing. They know the words and letters of the scriptures, but they have not gazed upon God with their own eyes. But they must come to do so, so that they too may be transformed, as I myself was transformed by the experience.
Though I am a sinner, I walk in the light of God. God is great, and I am a weak and fragile creature. But by the support of God, I have become strong. I have seen my mind merge with that of God, so that the two have become as though they were one. This experience is open to everybody, and it should be at the heart of religion.
If we do not see God, then how can we truly know? If, however, we have seen, then we know as well. I want to lead you to this vision of God, so that you may truly know, as I know.
What do you hope to achieve by the present work?
The fullest hope of this endeavor is to lead people to believe. We live in an age of darkness, where religion has lost its prominence. Atheism is on the rise everywhere, and the rise of atheism is seen almost as a law of nature. I want to change people by this work, by convincing them with words and arguments, and, ultimately, by them themselves having a mystical vision of God.
I want to establish a philosophy which is both modern and ancient. But I am a reformer as well. Some tenets must go and others must be established. However, I draw my inspiration from masters of wisdom from all sorts of cultures. I am only contingently a Christian. I do not belong to any denomination.
A vision such as I had requires a reinterpretation of the ancients. But it is in the light of the ancients, that this work has come to be. Where they were wrong, I hope to correct them. Almost none of the ancient actually had the experience of God, and so, in the light of this experience, I hope to invent what they could not, because they lacked the experience.
So it is seen that I come from a tradition, but that tradition alone cannot provide all the answers. So, if I am to be remembered by something, it should be as a reformer that shed new light on religion, because of the experience of God that I had.
What authority do you claim?
I do not claim any authority. I am just weak and fragile dust and mud. However, having seen God, who is the ultimate authority, I can lead you to have this vision as well. This present work is inspired by my experience of God, so if there is any sort of authority at all, they must come from my experience of God.
Most people believe without knowing. I however, can say that I not only believe, but know as well. That should amount to some authority. However, I do not claim divine revelation. Sure, being one with God in my soul, this present work is surely inspired by God. I live my life in the shadow of God, so that everything I do must in some sense be inspired by God.
However, I do not want to be seen as someone special. I am not a prophet. I am not a founder of a religion. All I want to convey is the experience I have had, because it fills me with wonder, and I want to give of that wonder to others, so that they too may come to know God as I know Him.
If that is achieved by the present work, or if it was simply illuminating for the reader to read, then my goal has been achieved. But do not make an idol out of me. I point not to myself, but to God. God alone is the supreme, and I am merely a mortal. I am but a shadow. I am merely nothingness that stands in front of God, who is substance.
What Wisdom Is
What is considered to be wisdom?
Wisdom is to know the most common causes well. It is to be well acquainted with the world, so that nothing can surprise the wise man. The wise man is able to adapt himself to the world through his wisdom, and thereby, in some sense, overcome the challenges that life throws at him. That is considered to be practical wisdom.
There are, however, two other forms of wisdom. One of these is theoretical wisdom. The man well established in theoretical wisdom knows and understands reality. Without this knowledge, man are as if blind or a child. The centuries has produced profound theoretical knowledge, and this should be studied, so that the individual may gain this wisdom.
Under theoretical wisdom is the knowledge of God, which is the highest form of theoretical wisdom. Contemplating God is the highest point of human achievement, so that it becomes clear that atheism is the lowest form of theoretical wisdom. Through understanding God, we come to know our own cause, and also destination. For everything comes from God, and everything ultimately returns to God.
The last and highest wisdom is mystical wisdom. Through mystical wisdom, we come to enter into a relationship with God. The letters of the scriptures becomes alive, and the secret meaning is revealed. God comes to make a home in the soul of the mystic, so that the mystic is transformed by the experience. This is the highest wisdom and achievement of humankind.
How is practical wisdom achieved?
Practical wisdom is to understand life and the reality of the universe well. It is the same as sane analysis of the world. Those are considered to be wise, who has attained to a profound understanding of the world they live in. With this knowledge, emerges the property that the universe can be expected to behave in certain ways, and thus the future can be anticipated.
This allows the wise to prepare for the future so that they can meet it well. It also dispels mental suffering, for the wise understands that everything is preordained. Thus they see that everything comes from God, and that, ultimately, everything returns to God. Through this knowledge, calm enters their soul, for they know that they rely on their Creator for their sustenance.
Practical wisdom is obtained through interacting with the world in clever ways. It can only come about if one engages with the world, and climb out of one’s comfort zone. If you stay at home instead of venturing out into it on a quest, you will never gain profound wisdom.
Some are better equipped by nature for obtaining wisdom. There are those who are destined to be fools. But almost everybody attains to some kind of wisdom through age and experience. There are no better knowledge to preserve you unharmed through many challenges than practical wisdom. It is a most cherished knowledge. Through it, men learn how to obtain their desires and to avoid harm.
What is considered to be practical wisdom?
Danger is the initial condition of practical wisdom. If you stay hidden in safe places, you will never come to know the world, for the world is a dangerous place. Thus, you must place yourself in harms way, to some degree, because that is the only way to learn about the dangers inherent in human society and in nature.
It is the breaking of naivety. The naive does not understand that the world is dangerous. Thus he does not prepare even though harm is always near to humans. The fools is a fool primarily because he does not know that the world is dangerous. But life should be seen as a place of combat between egotistical forces. Society and civilization is itself a place of combat, where each person tries to accumulate what he finds valuable.
Though danger is the initial breaking of the fool, love is the making of the fool into a wise person. Love and compassion arises because there is a need for it. This world is filled with suffering and injustice, and that alone beckons forth compassion. Compassion can only arise, when the world is realized. When the fool realizes all of the suffering found in the world, he attains to some knowledge, and this knowledge must bring forth compassion and love, or it is not wisdom.
So if the fool is to be turned into a wise man or woman, he should first of all understand the nature of society. If he does not have a profound knowledge of society, he will remain a fool. When society is known, compassion must be birthed. If the opposite occurs, indifference, then foolishness is not turned into wisdom, but into mental decay. He becomes another problem for society.
The fool must come to know the difference between good and evil. This can only truly come about by experiencing this dichotomy in real life. Also he must go through suffering himself. Suffering actually helps to catalyze wisdom. Suffering itself brings about knowledge of the world. By knowing good and evil, he understands what to do and what not to do, and this is infinitely valuable. Without it, he is as if blind.
What is the use of theoretical wisdom?
Theoretical wisdom dispels ignorance. The difference between a person well learned and one ignorant is that between one who is able to walk and one who is bound to a wheelchair. The ignorant is a mental cripple who does not understand the life that he lives. He may have some knowledge, but this mostly attains to trivial things and events. He cannot look beyond this triviality to discern his place and situation in the cosmos.
With the use of theoretical wisdom, he can contemplate everything. With it, he is able to reach the farthest reaches of the universe, and to even climb out of it mentally. Without it, he must remain in a little world where not much is seen. Among men, the ignorant is a cripple who can never attain what is best.
How does one obtain to knowledge of God?
There are two forms of knowledge of God. One of these is theoretical knowledge. This is obtained by using the intellect and by studying the masters of theology. Through inferring principles, other principles can be inferred, and this leads to knowledge of who and what God is. It is seen that God is the cause of the universe.
This, however, is an inferior form of knowledge. Theoretical wisdom can only lead to concepts pertaining to God. It is true, that without these concepts, we are blind. We do not know, and thus we do not know how to act. Without it, we live in a world that we do not understand, and that is poverty indeed. So it is not to deride theoretical knowledge, only to say that there is a superior form of wisdom concerning God.
For God is not only transcendent. He is able to enter into this universe, and thus become relateable in time and space. God is immanent as well as transcendent. This opens up the possibility for actually engaging with God in a relationship. Instead of having only concepts and ideas pertaining to God, this opens up the possibility for an actual experience of God.
It is possible to live closely with our Creator. To have the seven heavens descend into your soul, and there merge with it and become as if they were one. If this is possible, it is seen how this is superior to theoretical knowledge of God. Theoretical knowledge can make us discern certain things regarding God, but it is only when God descends and enter into a relationship with humans, that He is truly known as He is.
For a theologian who is used to book knowledge, this is an overwhelming experience. He understands how he has been wrong in his assumptions, that those words and concepts are really quite meaningless in front of the reality of God. If this experience happens, he will throw out his books, for he sees how these books could not truly tell of the reality of God. He becomes a mystic who has his home alongside God. He lives with the very possibility of the experience of God.
I call this the highest wisdom, for the highest object of knowledge is God.
Does the object exist independently of the subject?
No, the world (object) does not exists apart from the subject (consciousness). Rather, the entire world, which includes the ego, exists inside of the subject. There are no mind-independent objects. Consciousness is the ultimate substratum of all existence.
There are those who posit transcendental objects, which causes this world inside of the subject. However, there are no such objects. Everything that exists is an object for the subject. Apart from this, nothing exists.
If it were not for consciousness, would the ego or self exists? If there were nobody to perceive the functions of the ego, could it then be said to exist? It is the same with the body, but this takes a bit of effort to understand, as most people assume that the body is a physical object.
However, the body is object for the subject. The body exists inside of consciousness, but consciousness transcends the physical world and the body. If it was not for the subject, that which perceives, then the body would not exist. So the body is not made of matter. The body is made of the basic substratum of all existence, which is consciousness. It is an object for the subject.
If the mind and ego does not exist apart from consciousness, and this is likewise true for the body, then what about the world outside of the self? Can you imagine a world apart from consciousness? This is impossible, for the world is something that appears inside of the subject. The world exists only as object for the subject.
As stated, there are those who posit a mind-independent world, but no such world is possible. They state that we need transcendental objects to produce the world as it appears for us. But this is clearly folly, for there is no causation outside of the world as it appears to us. Causation is something that exists inside of consciousness. This is likewise true for time and space. Time and space exists as property of the objects that exists for the subject.
The confusion arises because there is a structure in the mind between the external world and the subjective world. Those who posit a world outside of consciousness, takes this structure in the mind as having a real existence, when it is in fact only a structure of the mind. Thus they take something illusory and makes it real.
However, the external world is solely a structure of consciousness. It has no existence apart from consciousness. It is simply a way for us to interact with other persons and objects. When an object appears inside of the subject, this entire universe arises. If there were no object, then there would not be a universe.
If everything is object for the subject, then what can be said to be real?
The object has only relative existence. It exists in consciousness. It derives its existence from consciousness. Apart from consciousness, it could not exist. The object depends upon the subject for its existence. So it is seen that what is real, in an absolute sense, is consciousness or the subject.
The object and subject goes together. It is impossible to separate these two except in the thought, and that is what perplexes human beings. They take objects to have an existence inherently, when all objects are really objects for a subject. They cannot be separated. In this sense, they are one, though the object has only relative existence. The object gets its existence from the subject.
So the entire world has only relative existence. This also means that the world is comprised only of ideas and sense impressions.
If there are no external world, then the world that appears to the knowing subject is what should be considered to be reality. Now, what does this world consist of? It consists of what I call ideas and the data that is collected via the senses.
Thus the world is seen to be mental. However, everything mental has only existence because it appears in consciousness. So it has only this relative existence that was discussed. It derives its existence as being object for the subject.
However, if we were to talk about what is real in a relative sense, then it should be seen that the entire universe and everything that appears in it, is merely the phenomenons and ideas that appears to the individuals that comprise the world. Apart from all of this, nothing exists.
What about time, space, and causality?
All objects are conditioned by time, space, and causality. Time, space, and causality are the metaphysical givens of the universe. However, the universe exists only as object of a subject. So it is seen that time, space, and causality is just what conditions the objects found in the universe.
Consciousness itself is not conditioned by time, space, and causality. Only objects can be said to exist in time and space, and to be affected by causality. Thus, time and space does not have an objective existence, because there is no objective world. Time and space is subjective, in that they appear inside of consciousness, and only inside of consciousness. They structure the world that we live in.
They are part of our experience of the world, but there being no mind-independent world, how should time and space have an objective existence? They order our personal cosmos, but apart from that, they have no existence. They make the world into something which can be experienced by a knowing subject. That is their use and function, and they have none besides that.
What is the relation of matter to spirit?
Spirit has primacy over matter. Matter is found in spirit, but spirit transcends matter. Matter is a product of spirit, it is what a spirit does. It produces matter. You cannot separate matter and consciousness. It is the subject and the object, and they are one and the same.
The difficulty arises when we try to separate subject and object. It cannot be done, for the object is something that arises in the subject. There is no duality between them. They are one and the same.
It is in consciousness that all things arises. It is here the gods, the monsters, the people, the students, the moons, and the planets arises.
It is here that everything has its beginning and its end.
So you exists as consciousness. You are the Person.
There are those who posit a world outside of the subject. However, such a world is not possible.
As object, you are one with the subject. You are that which is produced in it. You do not exist apart from the subject. You are that which a subject does.
So it is seen that, in reality, there is no matter. What we consider to be matter is really consciousness.
How should it be understood that the subject and object is one?
The object does not exists apart from consciousness. It is one continuous process. However, consciousness transcends the object, so that the object does not fully exhaust the subject. They are said to be one, since the object exists in consciousness. They are not apart from each other. Thus there is a fundamental oneness to be found at a metaphysical level of existence.
The subject produces objects. This is what a subject does. It produces it in itself, and out of itself. They are one process, and cannot be separated except in thought. The object exists in the subject, and it derives its existence from consciousness, so that it has only relative existence.
There is one difference between the subject and the object, and that is that consciousness has absolute existence, whereas the object exists because of the subject. But they are one process, so that they cannot be separated from each other. They are one in the sense that objects cannot exist apart from consciousness.
Is the world an illusion?
Everything that appears, appears to a knowing subject or consciousness. It is erroneous to assume a world independent of consciousness. Thus the world can be said to be illusory, if it is thought that there is a mind-independent world. There is only what is given to the knowing subject.
Thus, whenever there is a knowing subject, this world of appearances is created out of nothing. If there were no knowing subject, there would not be a world. The world is conditioned by the subject. The world is what appears to the consciousness.
Time, space, causality, and matter does not have a mind-independent existence. These are the a priory givens that condition objects, and which makes a knowable world. Thus time, space, and causality is subjective. The world is entirely subjective.
Objects are brought into existence, and then they decay and ultimately vanish. This great act is played out against the background of a knowing subject. This subject is changeless and impersonal. What we know as the ego is not the same as the knowing subject. The ego is something that happens in the world, and thus against the background of consciousness.
Humans, planets, stars, trees, and also such things as the body, the psyche, the mind, the intellect, is the great play of the universe, and it is all object for a subject, and the object cannot exist apart from the subject. There are no things that exists apart from consciousness. Thus there is a fundamental oneness at the heart of reality. The object is one with the subject.
The world is a function of consciousness. It is the very meaning and essence of what it means to be consciousness. Objects appear inside the knowing subject, as that is the function of the subject. Thus it can be clearly seen that the world is illusory, if it is taken to have existence apart from the observer.
Like someone who confuses a rope for a snake, the people of this world think that it exists, when actually it does not have existence. It exists rather inside the subject, so that the subject transcends the object, but that the object is nevertheless found within the subject. They are one. They can only be separated by abstract thought.
But if there is no extra-mental world, is reality not only like a fleeting dream?
This world is taken seriously by men and women, only in so far as they experience pain. Because they experience pain and discomfort, they take it to be real and to have significance. But the world is not real.
It is instead like an illusion. The knowing subject experiences everything, but is not affected by what happens to it. It is the ego that is affected by this illusory world. What happens to the ego, however, cannot affect the knowing subject. Men realize this truth, and by it they become liberated.
Though this world appears to be serious and have validity, it is merely like a grandiose play. God creates this universe, so that beings can come into existence and play with the world. But in the end, the world is without inherent meaning. Consider it merely like a performance of an artist.
How is God related to consciousness and the world?
God is object for the subject, so that there is a silence before God, ontologically speaking. It cannot even be said that it is a void, for it accompanies all voids. It is not nothingness, for then it would accompany pure nothingness, which is impossible. It accompanies all experiences, but is itself not something that can be experienced.
In it, all things exists. Yet, it is beyond them as well. Because of this principle, it is said that everything is one, for nothing exists apart from it, and everything is bound by it, so that there are not two, but only one. Though there are multiplicity in the world, at a deeper level of reality, everything is seen to be one.
Some confuse this principle with God, or even refusing the existence of God, and calling instead this principle the true God. However, this is not so. God is different from this principle, yet He is one with it, as everything else is one with it. It accompanies God in all His doings. It is the eternal background on which everything is played out.
It is eternal in the sense that it is beyond time. It is not found in space, but space is found within it. Likewise, the supreme God is found as an object inside of it.
If it was not for this principle, then nothing would be, including God. So in this sense, and in this sense only, does it have metaphysical priority over God. It is primary, while God is constituted by it.
Knowledge of God
What is God?
First of all it should be understood that God is transcendental. He is beyond this universe as the cause of the universe. He is a person as well. Many moderns prefer to envision an impersonal God, because somehow they are better able to reconcile the impersonal structure of this universe with an impersonal deity. However this properly stems from a misappropriation of the term personal. They mistake it to mean that He is anthropomorphic. It is of course folly to imagine a God who is like a human.
When we say that He is a person, we mean only that He is a mind. However, the mind of God is unlike the mind of humans. We should imagine a super-person, and not something that could remind us of a human.
God is uncaused, and this is important, for if He was not, then we would experience an infinite regress of causes. God is uncaused and is the first cause of the universe. This makes God eternal. There never was a time, when God was not, and there never will be a time when He is not. Actually, there are no time in God. God is uncaused and beginningless.
He is changeless as well. Immaterial. Timeless. Spaceless. Omnipotent.
Being changeless means that God remains the same. In the universe we experience constant change. The universe is constantly becoming, and therefore it is never the same. With God it is opposite. God is eternal being, and He remains the same forever. He is calm, and the world is in a flux.
He is not in time and space. There is no time in God. For God, there is no past, present, and future, but only the eternal now. Neither can it be said that God is “here” or “there”, for He is not in any place at all.
If God is both timeless and spaceless, how can it be said that God is a person?
What this question hints at, is the notion that objects, such as a person, must exist in time and space. But God is different than the beings which exists inside this universe. God is eternal and transcendental object.
God is not like the objects found in this universe. Thus we should not imagine an anthropomorphic God. However, God is still a person. He is not, as some imagine, a silent void. He is not impersonal either. He is life in the fullest meaning of this word. But He is a very special form of life, which is not like the life found in time and space.
We should not take the objects found in this universe, and imagine that they are anything like that of God. They are not. When we think of God, we should imagine a profound mind which contemplates everything. The finite minds of humans are not like the infinite mind of God.
Unlike humans, God is not an animal. How then can we compare anything we know of in this universe with God? Having no extension, how can there be any resemblance between transcendental God and humans?
Is God immanent in the universe as well? What happens to God when He enters time and space?
If there is to be any communion between God and humans, God must enter the universe, for it is impossible for humans to get out of it. So, yes, God exists inside the universe as well. This He does by His divine energies. He pours out some of His spirit into this Universe, so that it enters into time and space.
So, in some sense, the beginningless God must have a beginning (or birth). The eternal and spaceless God, must go out from His abode, and He must have a point of beginning in time and a place in space. If this were not so, how could there ever be a relation between you and your Creator?
So God is first and foremost transcendental. But He is immanent as well. He has a place in time and space. He has a beginning and an end, but only to that part of Him which is inside this universe. The rest remains forever out of reach for the beings that have their origin in the universe.
Does the universe exist independently of God?
The universe does not exist independently of God.
Everything is under the supreme and perfect control of God. This I call the doctrine of the supremacy of God. By His divine energies, God touches everything and every event found in the Universe. Nothing in this universe exists independent of the will of God. This includes every individual human being. Thus it is seen that free will is illusory. There are no such thing.
This is hard to accept, for there is a supposed dualism between the ego and the world. It seems as though we can control ourselves, but not the outside world. So people assume a duality between world and self. This, however, is not true. There is no duality between the self and the world.
The self is placed inside the universe. It is an event inside the universe. If the dualism was true, the self would have to exist independently of the rest of the universe. God, having supreme command of the universe, commands the self as well.
God, however, is not bound by the universe, but the universe is bound by Him. Nothing exists apart from the will of God. He is not only omnipotent and thus able to do anything, but He is, by His will, in control of everything that happens in the universe.
If everything is under the jurisdiction and control of the Lord, including the minds of individuals, how is morality possible?
First of all, morality has no end by itself. It is its own cause and effect. It does not need anything besides it. If everything is under the control of God, then everything works for the good, for God is infallible.
Though free will is illusory, and this brings with it certain problems for ethics and morality, that just means that there are no beings capable of morality besides God. So it completely takes out the human from the equation and instead ask God the question whether or not he is good or evil.
If God is the only being who is free and therefore capable of practicing morality, then we eliminate this question completely.
Another question can be asked: is love possible without free will? And we will go directly to this and say: the entire man is dead, so how can he be capable of love? It is God who are acting, so if God is capable of love, then love does truly exist, but not among man, for he does not exist.
Everything is subsumed under God. So much so that the identity of the universe vexes between creator and created. But should we ask an average citizen whether or not he is capable of love, he would simply answer yes, for that is his immediate experience. But the philosophers always makes things complicated. In the absolute sense, then, nothing is possible. But in the relative sense, love and morality is definitely still possible.
We are as if enthralled to our personal identity. That is how we live, thinking that we are an acting and thinking substance, when in fact we are not. Yet we do exists, just not as what we thought. We are a will which are subsumed under a higher will. So we are definitely there, mostly we just do not recognize this superior agent. So we have to rethink what it means to be human in the face of this realization.
Everything is new, and therefore unusual and odd to the mind. That is why the thought rebel at the notion of divine supremacy. But this is a benevolent supremacy. It is a close and intimate bond between creature and creator that could seem like love. It is love itself.
If morality is not possible for man, what other areas of his life is under threat?
Not only is morality not possible under divine supremacy, life itself becomes impossible. We must rethink our position as human beings entirely. The feeling of being a choosing entity subsists, but in the intellectual realm we can come to appreciate the truth.
We can know that we are merely clay in the hands of our creator. It is a new way to be human. It is a profound shift in one’s identity. You are shaped in all ways by the spirit of God. This is a huge loss to our sense of identity. We are not who we think we are.
You are still, while God is active. God is the controller. Not just of you, but of the sense-world as well. So he is the instructor of the drama of existence, and you are one of the actors. But you play a role created by somebody else.
Knowledge of the Universe
Knowledge of the Individual
What is an individual?
An individual is an aggregate of body, senses, mind, memory, intellect and reason, ego, will, desire, emotion, and consciousness. He is tied to this aggregate through his self-hood and sense of subjectivity. He has a sense of agency, and feel that he is the doer of activity. However, there is a lot of illusion tied to all of these notions.
An individual is first and foremost a person. All of the notions mentioned above ties themselves to the ego. It is from the ego they spring forth, and it is to the ego that they go. Usually, we consider the ego to be our real self. But there is another Self beyond the empirical self. However, this Self cannot be realized in those who have not crossed the bridge of the sense of being the doer of activity. We think that our self is responsible for our actions, but this is not true. It is an illusion only.
If I am not the doer of activity, who or what is?
The sense of “I am the doer of activity” or agency is something which appears inside of consciousness. It is a grand illusion. The entire world is caught in this illusion, and so they mistake their ego for their Self.
In reality, the doer of activities is a combination of the physical universe and God. The entire universe is a stage, and we each play our role so much so, that we forget that it is only a role. We mistake the role for our real identity, which is infinite, formless, and impersonal. The author of the role is God. The entire act comes from God, and we are merely caught in it so much so, that we do not realize that we have no control over our destiny.
The entire world is mesmerized to this delusion of agency, and it is only knowledge which can destroy it. In reality, you are the witness to the workings of the mind. You are the observer of your mental activity, but you have no control over it. The control which you think you have is an illusion. The words and actions comes from another source, and not yourself.
Thoughts and desires arises, but they do not come from the self. Mental images are formed in the mind, but you have no control of them. You can only witness their appearance and dissolution. However, you might say that you have some form of control over yourself. There are somethings which you can control, and others that you cannot.
You proclaim this to be your will, and you use it all of the time. However this will is equally something that appears in consciousness, and is therefore objectified. It is here that the illusion truly is. You think that you are this will and that you master it, but you do not see its source which lies outside of the ego. It comes from God. Everything is ordained by God.
When you realize this, this will does not stop working. You still have this sense of being the doer, but you understand that it is an illusion only. When you see how everything that appears in your consciousness comes from God, then the illusion is broken, and you realize the truth of your dependence on God.
What is the difference between the self and consciousness?
It is consciousness which lends reality to the self and the body. Without consciousness, there would be no self and there would be no body, for the body and the self is something that appears in consciousness. It is a projection of consciousness. Everything is object for the subject.
Consciousness is the observer of all mental activity and what lies outside of the empirical self. However, consciousness is never affected by the self and the world. It is untainted by all of the appearances which it lends reality to. Without consciousness, there world be no self and there would be no universe, for everything that exists, exists only insofar as it is observed by someone.
The empirical self appears in consciousness, so that it is object for consciousness. Where the self is determined by forces outside of it, consciousness is ever free and blissful. Nothing can restrain consciousness, for it is unconditioned by the world, and so restraint looses all meaning when applied to consciousness. How should anything restrain consciousness, when it transcends everything?
Consciousness is the field in which this world appears. If consciousness was destroyed, which is impossible, then this entire universe would disappear as well. So it is seen how the self borrows its existence from consciousness.
What is the true Self?
There is another Self beyond the illusory workings of the ego. It is the origin as well as the end. It is not located in time or space. It is not an object, and it cannot be experienced, for it is the witness to all experiences. It is the same as the subject or consciousness itself.
The will and the feeling of agency which follows from it, is something that appears in consciousness. It is not something over which you have any forms of control, only the illusion of it. In reality, you are not this empirical self. You are the observer of the self, and not the self itself.
I call this the Self, because, in reality, there is but one Self and not many. There is only one subject. So in this sense, there is unity at the heart of reality. There are many illusory empirical self’s, but this is seen to be not the true nature of ourselves. “We” are the one consciousness which is the witness to the world and the self.
Consciousness is the material cause of the universe and the basic substratum of all existence. What appears in consciousness, however, cannot be said to be our true identity. There is no actor or doer. You observe your will functioning, but you do not yourself initiate this will. You observe the world and the self, and you transcend it as well.
You are the field in which the self and the world appears, and this field is consciousness itself. It is impersonal. It transcends time and space. It is not an object. It does not have a personality. It is merely the witness to all mental and physical phenomenons. This is your true Self. Be firmly established in that.
What is the difference between conscious and subconscious will?
We divide our self into voluntary and involuntary movement. Some of the activities of the self are seen as arising from the self, while others lies outside of the self. However, what we normally experience as following on necessity is still truly will, just subconscious will.
When I move my arm towards an object and grab it, this we feel is a voluntary movement of the will. Digestion, however, is something over which we have no immediate control. But digestion is still a movement of the will, only here it is subconscious will which are at work.
A perfect example of this duality we find in respiration. It is indeed possible for us to consciously chose to control our breath, yet at the same time, breath takes care of itself. It is the subconscious will which breaths for us.
By the very definition, we have no control over our subconscious will. However, in a mystical state of awareness, when we unite our will with God, it is seen how God master both the conscious as well as the subconscious will.
God is the agent par excellence, and nothing is beyond His reach. When we merge with God, it is our entire being which comes under the control of God.
What happens to the self when it becomes tied up with God during the mystical experience?
First of all, all notions of being the doer is destroyed. When the self merges with God during the mystical experience, the self looses itself so that it no longer thinks that it is in control. Instead it is seen how the self is dependent upon another agency. Thus it is the breaking of the grand illusion which the entire world toils under.
The self is, in some sense, completely destroyed. It must evolve into a new form, which is under the jurisdiction of God. In fact, we are always under the control of the will of God, but during the mystical experience, this fact is experienced.
We can have the knowledge that “I am not the doer of activities”, but when we merge with God, this become a living fact. It ceases to be merely an intellectual form of knowledge, and it becomes experienced by the self.
We rely on God for our being. Thus it is seen that the world is like an elaborate experiment in which God is manifested. What ever you observe, it all comes from the being of God, so that it is an expression of the personality and will of God. This entire universe is directed from a transcendental Creator. Besides that, nothing exists. The self is illusory, if it is thought that it determines itself. When it is seen how God is the controller, this is what I call the mystical experience par excellence.
Knowledge of Mysticism
God rests beyond this world, and cannot be known by the senses. Is there any way in which human beings can know God?
Ultimately, there are two distinct forms of knowledge of God. One of these is theoretical knowledge. Here the student study’s the nature of God, so that the student comes to have an intellectual understanding of God. Though this is a vital discipline, it is an inferior form of knowledge.
Theoretical knowledge is a field designed for the many. There are one kind of knowledge, however, which is only for the few. This kind of knowledge is only for the initiated. It is thus possible to speak about exoteric and esoteric knowledge. What I am about to discuss is very esoteric, and only for the few.
I mean experiential knowledge. To actually experience God. This brings about the most profound knowledge, that books can never replace. It is here that the letters of the scriptures become alive. There are no other way to truly know God as He is in Himself.
Experience of God is definitely possible. But it is only for the few.
What are the mechanics of such an experience?
In fact, there are many such experiences. The most profound of which is to have the spirit of God being joined with your interior. It is to have God become alive, and to take on form and shape and life, and to come into the inner of your being, your soul, and there stay and to join with your very being, so that the two of you become as if you were one.
In such a state, of course, many things about your psychology is altered. It is a transformation of your inner being, so that God Himself comes and is able to live there. He joins Himself with your will, so that He becomes a part of it. He becomes the controller.
Such experiences brings with them a lot of turmoil. You must experience an inner upheaval, for something must be torn down, if there is to come a new and beautiful building inside of you. So, for a while, you must venture out into a mental wilderness. There you must make your home, and you must come to be acquainted with a lot of strange beings.
Then you must enter into society again, but as a changed man. Now the very spirit of God is inside of you, and you have been reforged. You are a new man, who is part God and part man. You must come to live with God, and in His shadow.
What does it mean to becomes one with God?
It means that the will of God comes and unites itself with your will. Then there are not two anymore, but only one. Yet, God transcends you. He becomes all-in-all in you, but He Himself remain out of reach.
He is in you, but you are not in Him. He is the leader, and you are the follower. It does not mean that you become God. Such a thing would be impossible, for there is an uncrossable chasm separating creature from Creator. So though you become as if one, this does not mean that you become God. Such a thing would be impossible. God exhausts your nature, but you are not in Him.
It does, however, mean that you join for a good reason. Such an event is not a trivial thing. It is infinitely valuable. It means that the very divine person enters this world, and He does so through you. It is a self-manifestation of God inside of your being. It means, that there is something from the world beyond, that spills down into this universe, and there come to enter your being.
It means, in some sense, that you completely lose your sense of individuality. Your self now becomes no longer an individual. It becomes a collective. There resides now not one, but two beings, fiercely united so that they are as if one.
How should this experience be attained?
It is not something that can be attained to voluntarilly. There are those who do rituals and use prayer to bring it about, but mostly the gods do not care. How to convince a god to do something? The god Himself must take notice of you. He must open His eyes and look at you. You cannot bring it about by any deeds.
Meditation does not work. It can only still your mind. It cannot bring this experience and transformation about. You want to invoke the god, but this can hardly be done. Such things can serve only as preparatory exercises. It is not to deride these things, for they have their value. But they cannot bring about the necessary experience. They are tools for other uses.
The only one that can bring the experience about, is God. God must initiate the experience, or it will never happen. That means that there is a purpose to the experience. God comes there with a purpose, or He wouldn’t do it.
If God does not initiate the experience, nothing will.
Does an individual lose his free will when He enter into a state of union with God?
Free will is an illusion. Everything is under the control of God. This includes both the natural world as well as the inner psyche of individual human beings. So it is seen that nothing is not under the control of God. He is the maintainer of this world. This includes human society and all the individuals who form this society.
But there is a further sense of loss of will and agency in individuals who merge with God. The will of individuals is subsumed under a higher agency. In this sense, it could be said, the old self will have to perish. It is a death to that which was prior to the experience. It is the coming of something new.
It can be said that the individual dies, but he is magically reborn, and he comes out a new and better self. He becomes someone who has merged his very essence with that of Gods.
What happens to the identity of such a man or woman who undergoes a mystical experience?
The identity of the mystic is fundamentally altered. There arises in him a new self, which is a mixture of god and man. He must now come to recognize himself as a collective rather than as an individual. The spirit of God resides in his interior, so that the two have become as if one.
His sense of agency is altered, so that he now realizes that his actions are no longer strictly his own. There is another will inside of him, which have united Itself with his own will. It has been subsumed under another and greater will. He is no longer himself, so that it is possible to speak of a complete loss or even death of his identity.
Wherever he goes, he is no longer alone. He always carries within him someone else. He has become the host of the spirit of God. He has become a new man. He also realizes that his acts now carry within them a new double meaning. Though he stills acts as before, he now see how it simultaneously comes from this compound of man and God.
So there is a fundamental change in his perception of himself. He understands that he is no longer himself. Rather, he is a new man. He now contemplates himself as being two that are as if one. There are still two distinct beings, but they are chained to each other in the deepest pockets of his soul. His soul has undergone a revolution. What was old has been torn down. Something entirely new has come.
“Agency” is an important word in this regard. How are we to understand the agency of such a person? For if there are two, then who is responsible for the act? If the mystic is no longer himself, then neither is he responsible for his acting. Actually, he cannot be said to be an actor anymore. This is because he no longer exists as such. The new entity is, rather, responsible for his actions.
So it is seen that the individual person can no longer be said to be in control. Actually, he has died and no longer exists. The new that has come is responsible. God is ultimately responsible, for it is His will which has subsumed the lower will under Him. So the person or mystic acts in an entirely new way. It is God which are acting through him.
Can it be said that a new form emerges when God unites with the human soul?
A new and revolutionary form must emerge before the mystic can become one with God. Everything that was old in the person must die and undergo a profound transformation, before this event can take place. The solitary individual must become plural. Yet though it seems to be a compound of two beings, these two beings are at the same time seen to be one.
The mystic is an explorer of what the mind is capable of. He is something rare and quite fragile. He knows and understands that what is considered to be normalcy can at anytime break and reveal an entirely new structure. But only through an inner and violent upheaval. He must be torn apart before he can get reassembled into a new form.
What emerges is something rare indeed. And it is curious that the soul holds this potential. It has within it the potential for a fundamental shift in its own perception of itself. It gives way to this inner manifestation of God. It becomes what was thought impossible and even ridiculous by most people. In some sense of this word, it becomes deified. How else to explain this state?
The old form breaks apart. The old form was the individualized sense of self. Now a form emerges which is part God and part man, and those two are joined by their wills. It is a will which is joined by another will, so that they become one, though not a simple oneness, but a complex oneness, like the human body has many parts, but it is still only one body.
It is a superior form which emerges. The old self was weak and fragile, but the new self is strong and sturdy. It holds powers which can only come from God. God being omnipotent, what is impossible for such a man?
What happens to the moral agency of such a man who has entered into a union with God?
It becomes tied up with Gods moral agency. When the union happens, there are now not two distinct beings, but only one being which is a compound of two beings who are linked together. So it must be seen as though there are two beings who are united. This means that it cannot be said that only God bears responsibility. Gods responsibility becomes tied up with the individual human mystic.
As stated, they are a composite. They are woven together, so that they exists as one. But the will of the mystic is subsumed under that of Gods, so ultimately God bears most of the responsibility. But it can further be deduced that God and the mystic are no longer two beings. Therefore the mystic are responsible as well.
So there is a gradual dialectic in this question. Not the one, and not the other one either. As it is not a singular oneness but a plural oneness, a composite of two beings, responsibility falls on the composite, meaning both taken together as one. The one does not exist without the other.
How can anybody act morally without free will?
It should, first of all, be said that it is impossible to act morally without the use of free will. If you are forced to act in a certain way, then the blame or praise cannot befall you. But since we are talking about a profound oneness, it should be seen that there is no loss of free will. There comes a new being who preserves his free will.
The old person must verily die. So how can this old person still act? It is impossible. Something new comes, and this new thing is definitely free to act as It pleases. What this question hints at is the dread connected with the loss of the old self.
It is feared that the person will no longer be able to act. That he becomes merely a machine. But the person is always engaged in the acting. He is just now tied up with God, so that the two comes and acts as if they were one being.The two of them acts under the commission and supervision of God. But the old self who was alone in his soul can no longer act. So there is a dead involved, and this dead brings with it an anxiety that it is no longer able to have its free will, which it of course cherishes above all things.
So the mystical experience of oneness with God is not for everybody. There are those who will fear to lose their sense of agency. But the blessings that arises from this connection with God far surpasses the fact that the old self must die. This relationship with God brings with it gifts that are not from this world. One of these gifts is that the sense of agency is fundamentally altered.
It becomes tied up with God. Now God is infinitely wise. Do you not think He will provide you with outer worldly gifts? It is a blessing the like of which cannot be imagined. This fear of loss of agency quickly diminishes once the experience starts. It is not that you cease to exists entirely. You just become a new being, like how a caterpillar is transformed into a beautiful butterfly.
What is the purpose of the mystical experience?
The main purpose of the mystical experience is the self-manifestation of God inside of the universe. Through these mystics, God reveals Himself to humanity, so that they may come to have faith. The mystics becomes Gods tools on earth. Through them, God wields His power over His creation, so that it is transformed into His image.
Knowledge of Human Suffering and Liberation