Saturday, 27 November 2010

First Matter

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."
~~Book of Genesis 1:1

~~The NASA Hubble Space Telescope photo of V838 Monocerotis (February 8, 2004)

Before physicists, the men of science, so to speak, were alchemists. Unlike modern theory today, the doctrine of the alchemists was very much centred around theology. To them, God was not some abstract philosphical concept, but rather, God was understood, and accepted as being something from which everything is made. In other words - God is everything - God is the Universe itself. In this sense, the alchemist was more closely related to the mystic than a scientist.

"Alchemists agree with chemists that there is unity in matter, but whereas chemistry teaches that atomic particles are the smallest units in matter, alchemists believe in an ultimate source they call Ether, or the universal fluid. Matter to the alchemist is therefore compact energy, which can be dissolved into free energy or force. For the alchemist energy and matter are the same thing, namely substance. The substance is the Absolute, the One that Hermes Trismegistus describes in the Emerald tablet. This One is divided into three parts: Intelligence or force, Energy and Matter."
~~The complete book of spells, ceremonies, and magic By Migene González-Wippler

~~The Alchymist by Joseph Wright of Derby (1734-97) 1771

Alchemists hoped to move closer to God by developing a greater understanding of God, not only in the spiritual sense, but in a real, physical sense too. If God truly was everything, and everything owed its existence to God, then it must be possible to find the existence of God in any thing, in any place we care to look. What the alchemist was seeking in all material things, and that includes himself, was the very substance of God. There is a real possibility that some alchemists may have found it. Even the word "alchemy" seems to hint at something of the nature of this substance.

"The word alchemy is derived from the words Al and chemia.

Al is an ancient word meaning ‘God’ in the sense of the ‘All’, the ‘Absolute’. As part of the word alchemy it means ‘divine’ or ‘universal’. The word was used in many ancient languages and cultures, including the Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Hebrew and Celtic. Later, the Hebrew form of the word came to be written as El, which in the Christian bible is translated as ‘God’. In Islam the word appears as Allah.

Chemia is from the Greek word khemia, which itself is derived from the ancient Egyptian word kemit, meaning ‘black earth’."

In other words, the term "alchemy" could be interpreted as meaning "God is black earth." These choice of words to describe God may at first seem a bit off-key - one might have expected something a bit more poetic, more holy, more ethereal - such things as "God is mountain dew," or "God is sunshine." Instead, for those seeking the substance of God, the alchemist tells us to ignore all this fluffy idealism, and points only to the dirt at our feet. According to the Bible, this dirt, or dust is also the same foodstuff which the serpent of Eden is condemned to eat forever.

"And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life."
~~Genesis 3:14

When God banishes Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, God makes a point of telling Adam that the dust of the ground served as the material from which he was created. This at first seems only slanderous, the final insult to be added to Adam's degradation - but this being the word of God, it is told only as a truth. It is intriguing that the only substance required by God to create intelligent life is little more than ordinary dust from the ground.

"By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
~~Genesis 3:19

Thus, a significant clue to the nature of God, and the powers of creation, are all contained in nothing more than a speck of dust. In searching for the substance of God, it is likely that these same thoughts must have occured to the alchemist. If one could gain knowledge of this biblical dust, then one would know the form which God takes before creation. In other words, the dust mentioned in the Bible, woefully unflattering as it is, could be interpreted as being the definitive description for the uncreated substance of God.

"Uncreated Independent Substance: thing that is not dependent upon the causal power of any other thing in order to exist or to remain in existence, and is not a property of any other thing.(The only thing that satisfies this definition of "uncreated substance" is God.)"

The alchemist believed that all material bodies are formed from only one substance, indeed, "the substance." The entire material of the Universe was said to consist of this one single element - the materia prima (first matter.) For some, the materia prima represented God in its most purest form. It represents the primordial matter from which all things, and especially living things, are made.

Using the Bible, Paracelsus and others, connected prima materia to God; "before Abraham was made, I am." (John 8:58) Since prima materia is supposedly the [philospher's] stone, also, this also demonstrated the stone is without beginning or end. Jung noted many Christians hearing this would not believe their ears, but it was plainly stated in the Liber Platonis quartorum, "That from which things arise is the invisible and immovable God."

If the alchemist was able to gain mastery over this substance, then it should, at least in theory, be possible for them to take dominance over the will of God. The forces of God would be subjucated to the whim of the alchemist, giving him/her the power to fulfil all their earthly desires instantaneously. The alchemist would at last become master of their own fate, and the need for a God will have been entirely displaced.

The goal of Alchemy is the Great Opus or the Great Work which is the purification of the lesser or gross and its elevation to the greater or more refined, whether in plants, metals, or inconsciousness. The ultimate goal of the alchemist is to find the Prima Materia or the First Matter of nature as the dark, passive, unformed and raw virgin and universal stuff of creation. Through the alchemical process the alchemist transforms this Prima Materia into the Philosophers Stone. This accomplishment is most commonly known as the transformation of Lead into Gold, the heaviest, darkest, densest most earthbound, least valuable metal becoming Gold: Incarnated Light; the most glittering, luminous, valuable metal; symbol of the sun and of spiritual attainment and consciousness, spiritual illumination as cosmic consciousness which is the ultimate goal of the human evolution.

Certainly, one of the goals of alchemy was to achieve great wealth (after all, regardless of how close they moved towards God, there was always the danger of getting deeper into debt!). Possessing the philospher's stone would allow the alchemist to turn lead into gold, which quite literally, would give them the power to print their own currency. This remarkable prize however, pales in significance when compared to the true treasure which awaits the seeker. It is the one thing which is universally prized by humans, and desired above all other things, though seldom believed possible - the gift of immortality. The alchemist would finally be allowed to lift the veil, and to enter the world hidden from view, and recieve the key which will give him/her the power, and ultimately freedom, to choose the day they die. To become immortal would signify the alchemist's completion of the Great Work.

This philosopher’s stone is a metaphor – which means that it has both an inner and outer reality, neither of which can be taken for granted or understood exclusively. The development of the philosopher’s stone could only occur through a refinement of the initially untransformed base material of the world – the “prima materia” or black earth, which is simultaneously the alchemist’s own psyche, both conscious and unconscious (Jung, 1967, 1978, 1993) 4, as well as the actual underlying physicality of all the world’s substances.

Descriptions of how the philospher's stone appears physically, are understandably evasive, but that does not mean that the stone, "a stone which is not a stone," is necessarily hidden from view. Quite the contrary, it was sometimes said to be a common substance, found everywhere but unrecognized and unappreciated.

As you can see, the importance of identifying the substance of the materia prima is essential to the creation of the philosopher's stone. So, what exactly is the materia prima? Which one of the elements from the periodic table is meant to be the hidden substance of God?

Many thanks:
Alchemy: an introduction to the symbolism and the psychology By Marie-Luise von Franz

Saturday, 6 November 2010


Who appointed their path to sun and stars?
Who but Thou is it through whom the moon waxes and wanes?
Who set the earth in its place below and the cloudy sky
that it shall not fall?
Who established the waters and the plants?
Who yoked the steeds to wind and clouds?
Who, O Wise One, is the creator of Good Mind?
What artificer made light and darkness?
What artificer sleeping and waking?
Who made morning, midday and night,
to remind the wise man of his task?
Is it as Good Mind that thou hast founded thy Dominion?
Who created Devotion, sacred with Dominion?


All other things have a portion of everything, but Mind is infinite and self-ruled. . . . For it is the finest of all things and the purest; it has all knowledge about everything and the greatest power. And Mind controls all things, both the greater and the smaller, that have life.


European history began with the emergence of Athens as the classical cosmopolis of the northern Mediterranean. Athena won a dispute with Poseidon for protective sovereignty over Attica by giving the area the sacred and nourishing olive tree, and her sacred bird, the owl, became the city's symbol. Doubly blest, Athens became the focus of the converging forces that would in a brief time initiate a culture of such creativity and splendour that subsequent generations in Europe would look to her as the source of science, ethics and knowledge of the soul. Athens first drew ideas to herself, and later attracted thinkers, until she housed the schools and traditions that provided the foundation of European thought. Perhaps even before the time of Homer, an incipient anthropomorphic decadence began to undermine the spiritual appeal of Mycenaean and Minoan mythology. The gods as personifications of intelligent forces in Man and Nature were degraded into beings that reflected only the most superficial human traits. As the Mysteries withdrew increasingly from the desecrating gaze of the public eye, though not from public knowledge, thinkers sought for new ways to vivify the deeper meanings of human existence. Early philosophers emphasized either an understanding of nature shorn of its anthropocentric excesses or the ethical dimension in the structure of the cosmos. Pythagoras and Plato brought this latter concern to sublime fruition, and Anaxagoras laid the foundation for experimental method and theoretical science.

Anaxagoras was born in the port city of Clazomenae in Ionia around 500 B.C., though almost nothing is known about his life or the order of happenings. His father, Hegesibulus, was extremely wealthy, and Anaxagoras apparently devoted the early years of his life to leisurely study. Though a Greek city, Clazomenae had fallen to the Persians, and it is likely that the thoughtful Anaxagoras would have learnt the rudiments of the religion taught by Zarathushtra, whom the Greeks called Zoroaster. Ahura Mazda, the Lord of Light, cannot be described in crude human terms, though Vohu Manah, Good Mind, the first aspect of manifest deity, is seen as that which orders and moves all things. Rather than a human form, Ahura Mazda and its seven aspects are best represented by an eternal fire and the seven-branched candelabrum. From the beginning of his active life, Anaxagoras made fire a central theme in his thought. When he was about twenty years of age, he journeyed to Athens, where his wealth (and perhaps his father's connections) gained him immediate entrance into the highest circles where he became good friends with Themistocles and Pericles. Though Pericles was probably never a student of Anaxagoras in a formal sense, he often acknowledged his debt to Anaxagoras for many of his ideas and policies, and eventually their relationship became famous.

Anaxagoras taught in Athens throughout his adult life. Sometime during that period he became the focus of opponents of Periclean political reform. Satyrus wrote that Thucydides, a long-standing enemy of Pericles, found it impossible to confront his opponent successfully, and so attacked him indirectly by bringing charges of asebeia (impiety) against Anaxagoras. Since the Athenians officially held the sun to be a deity, the view held by Anaxagoras that the sun is like a molten stone was construed by some as impiety. But Thucydides also charged him with treason in the Persian wars. Anaxagoras fled Athens and only later returned with full pardon after Pericles had more firmly secured his own position. Sotion, however, wrote that Anaxagoras had been charged with impiety late in life for his teachings about the sun and that he was forced into exile. Whatever the literal truth, Anaxagoras lived in tumultuous as well as glorious times, and it would not have been impossible for him to be exiled twice. Though vulnerable because of his acquaintances, Anaxagoras neither took part in the political life of the city nor paid any attention to the opinion of others. Much to the dismay of friends and relatives, he allowed his extensive inheritance to waste away, either permitting his farmland to return to pasture or giving it to relatives. His concern lay wholly in the contemplation of heaven and earth.

Anaxagoras was not the first Greek to observe nature studiously, though he was an exceptionally careful scrutinizer of phenomena. For example, painstaking observation led him to the discovery that the image reflected in the dark pupil of the eye constitutes the exact field of vision. Whilst others were teaching that the whole eye saw, he correctly identified the pupil as the active window of perception. Observation alone, however, was insufficient to discover the causes of things. Anaxagoras developed the method of experimentation as a means of confirming explanations of natural processes. His observations of wind blowing through trees convinced him that gases exert pressure, but to convince a sceptical Athenian audience, he filled a bladder with air and sealed it shut, and then invited challengers to crush the bag. Since air was trapped inside, he surmised that the air exerted pressure which manifested as resistance to anyone attempting to flatten the bag. Besides observation and experimentation, Anaxagoras recognized the need for a unity of explanation, a coherence of theory, to account for nature. Though he did not emphasize the mathematical nature of the world as did Pythagoras, Anaxagoras drew together the other elements of scientific endeavour, laying down the broad foundations of scientific method used even to this day.

His concern with explaining the occurrence of natural phenomena in terms of invariable laws and not special circumstances – such as the whimsy of capricious deities – along with his reticent form of life resulted in the status of prophet being attributed to him. On the basis of his theory of the stars and planets, he argued that it was possible for rocky material to fall from them to earth. When a meteorite fell to earth at Aegospotami, perhaps during his lifetime, the legend arose that he had predicted it in detail. His grasp of the nature of eclipses enabled him to inform Pericles of the time of a total solar obscuration, and the statesman used that advance knowledge to reassure the Athenians when it occurred. Ammianus Marcellinus wrote that Anaxagoras had gained such knowledge in Egypt. Plutarch asserted that he had mastered geometry and had successfully squared the circle. Satyrus reported that Euripides greatly admired him and might even have been his student. Theodoretus supported the less likely possibility that Socrates as a youth studied with Anaxagoras.

Anaxagoras followed the tradition of his day and taught students who came to hear him discourse, but he did not establish a permanent school. Nevertheless, like Parmenides, he wrote one book outlining his methodology and explanations of nature. Since Parmenides had taught that change was logically impossible, the work of Anaxagoras, taking change as fundamental to nature, became the standard text for nascent Athenian science. Socrates is made to refer to this work in Plato's Apology and to criticize its approaches in the Phaedo, where he does not say Anaxagoras is wrong but rather that his explanations of behaviour are inadequate when applied to human action. The strong motivation to understand nature so profoundly moved Anaxagoras that he renounced concern for his own welfare, exemplified in his abandonment of his large inheritance, withdrew from the exciting public affairs of the day, and remained aloof from personal involvements of every kind. His detachment from worldly involvements became legendary when he responded to a report of his son's death by saying that he knew that his son was mortal from the moment of his birth. When asked why one should be pleased to have been born rather than not, he answered, "In order to contemplate the heavens and the structure of the world-order as a whole." This constitutes the truly happy life, Anaxagoras said, though most people would not think so.

Anaxagoras lived in Athens for about thirty years, a time spanning the golden age of classical Greek culture. He represented the rational approach to understanding events and things, advocating a calm and detached perception supported by an alert mind, freed from the obscuring clouds of unrestrained emotion and self-seeking bias. Near the end of his life he left Athens, perhaps because he was again charged with impiety, and retired around 433 B.C. to the Hellespontine city of Lampsacus. There he was welcomed, surrounded by students and honoured by the citizens. When he died in about 428 B.C., he was given a public funeral, and the citizenry inscribed a tribute on his tomb:

Here lies Anaxagoras, whose picture
of the order of the universe
came closest to the truth.

Shortly before his death his followers asked him what he would consider an appropriate way to honour his memory. He replied that students should be given the month in which he died as a vacation each year. Anaxagoras was so highly respected in Lampsacus that his death was observed as he wished for well over a century.

The scientific philosophy developed by Anaxagoras rested upon two fundamental convictions: that nature and all its operations are rational, i.e., accessible to understanding through reason, and every account of nature must be consistent with and explain observed phenomena. Affirming that "visible things are a sight of the unseen", he did not think that universal order is limited to the empirical realm, but only that any explanation of Nature must take visible nature into account. His physics began with the theoretical assumption that matter is eternal, for without it one has to explain wholly unobserved processes of matter coming into existence from immateriality. Anaxagoras also recognized that the fundamental feature of every aspect of the universe is change. Whilst Parmenides argued from the fact of ceaseless change in nature to a metaphysical conception of the world in which neither change nor plurality is real, Anaxagoras left aside metaphysics and attempted to explain the principles of change and the maintenance of multiplicity. He did accept the sheer logic of the Parmenidean demonstration that nothing comes into being nor passes away and taught that change is due to separation and combination.

Matter for Anaxagoras is eternal and changeless in its essential nature. Since whatever is cannot cease to be, material substances cannot be reduced to fundamentally different elements. Therefore, matter must be infinitely varied in its irreducible parts to account for the vast variety of things that exist. The doctrine of homoiomeria is simply that the parts have the same nature as the whole, and the ultimate parts are eternal. Since living forms must be composed of parts of the same nature, and since they are nourished by food, every object must contain particles of an infinite variety and life must be part of everything that exists. Just as bone is called bone because of a predominance of bone particles, and rock is so named because of a predominance of mineral particles, so living things are recognized as such when the arrangement of particles allows for the expression of life. Given that "in everything there is a portion of everything", if material particles are of any size and of infinite variety, each thing, for example, a loaf of bread, would be infinite in size. If particles are of no size, however, even an infinite number would constitute no size at all. Therefore, Anaxagoras reasoned, particles are infinitesimal.

For of the small there is no smallest, but there is always a smaller; for it is not possible for what is not to be. But of the great there is always a greater also. And it is equal in number to the small, each thing being in respect to itself both great and small.

This ingenious view explains nutrition, for each part of the body extracts from ingested food that which is like itself, and it requires an infinitely large universe to accommodate an infinitude of particles. There is nothing in the nature of particles, though, that accounts for change. Particles are eternal, but structures composed of them come into existence and pass away. All change is the result of motion, and any rational theory of dynamics must aim to isolate one force or principle of motion which can account for every kind of change. Since the rational order of the universe includes change, the only rational entity which meets the required criteria is Nous or Mind. Materially, the macrocosm and microcosm reflect one another exactly; dynamically, the obvious operation of Nous in man, animals and even plants must reflect the universal operation of cosmic Mind. Mind as a rational principle of change manifests throughout nature as Law. Thus the universe consists of eternal, unchanging particulate matter and eternal, unchanging dynamic Mind. Subsequent philosophers criticized Anaxagoras for describing mechanical processes to explain natural phenomena and for not invoking Mind, but Anaxagoras saw clearly that calling on Mind as the direct cause of everything explained nothing, and that the universality of Mind implies that all mechanical processes are expressions of dynamic Nous. Mind, being as vast as the infinite cosmos, cannot be described in the language of secondary and derivative laws; nevertheless, being rational, it makes possible those describable laws whilst remaining an impenetrable yet undeniable mystery hidden behind them.

Whilst mechanistic explanations are sufficient for many natural phenomena, the laws involved cannot be thought of as simply mechanical. Law is the intelligent activity of Nous. Anaxagoras thought that this was shown by a study of perception. When two fluids of the same temperature are brought together, no alteration in temperature is observed. Only when qualitative opposites are conjoined does change occur. Perception involves change, and it too must follow the general principle that observable changes take place only between bodies whose states differ in some way. Universal Mind pervades every area of nature and is responsible for all change. Therefore Nous is qualitatively different from every material substance, and so is incorporeal yet substantial. This utter difference from everything else allows Mind to perceive and know everything. Nothing is hidden from Mind, which thus operates intelligently.

Armed with these principles of physics, Anaxagoras boldly set forth a theory of origins. Since everything contains everything else, differing only in preponderance of types of particles, Anaxagoras imagined that prior to the activity of Mind, matter abided in a state of chaos in which all particles were evenly distributed. Since nothing would differ from anything in this primordial condition, neither existence nor perception was possible, though matter and Mind were in a kind of timeless Be-Ness. For reasons now impossible to ascertain, Mind began to move matter in an initial rotational motion that tended to gather more dense particles at the centre and lighter particles in the extremes. The vestiges of this initial rotation can be seen in the movements of planets and the turning of the celestial vault. Once the rudimentary separation of material masses had occurred, a second motion, rising and falling, became dominant, as can be seen, Anaxagoras thought, in the convection currents which cause many meteorological phenomena. These motions produced the gross arrangement of the world as presently experienced, and Mind uses numerous more focalized processes to refine the world-order. Mind, being eternal as matter is, cannot perish. Whilst sleep is like death within a lifetime, there is one critical difference between the two.

Sleep comes from weariness of the body. It is a thing undergone by the body, not the soul. And death is the separation of the soul from the body.

Mind is immortal, but observation does not reveal its post-mortem destiny. For Anaxagoras, there is no reason to doubt that Mind continues to experience after the death of the body, remains involved in the ordering of the world, and ever reincarnates.

Since Anaxagoras refused to use Mind as a blanket explanation for every phenomenon, he had to construct explanations of diverse natural processes on the basis of observation and experimentation. Whilst some of his conclusions might appear to be absurd in comparison with contemporary explanations, his fidelity to his rigorous method led him to many remarkable insights. He held that all planets and stars are composed of the same substances of which the earth consists, and that they all follow the same laws. He recognized that thunder and lightning were effects of the same cause, which had to do with fiery etheric forces. He taught that light must travel in straight lines, that lunar eclipses are due to the earth's shadow falling on the moon, and that, unlike the sun which is incandescent, the moon shines by reflected sunlight. Long before Galileo dared to report his telescopic observation, Anaxagoras recognized that the moon is covered with mountains and ravines but is devoid of water. He taught that the Milky Way consists of innumerable stars and that the Nile floods in summer owing to far distant snows melting in the spring. Observation taught him that plants as well as animals breathe. He noted that in humans the father determines the sex of the child. So complete was his commitment to the unity of all life that he could not say the human being differs from animals because he possesses mind: all things are pervaded by Mind. Man is distinguished by his ability to express Nous more fully than other creatures, and this shows up in the human frame. When asked what the human hallmark is, Anaxagoras replied that "Men are the wisest of the animals because they have hands."

Anaxagoras not only exemplified the spirit of the Periclean age; he stood in the forefront of its creators. His faith in reason, reverence for Nature, rigour in method and refinement of experimental techniques earned him a permanent place as one of the early founders of modern science. Because Nous suffused everything, for Anaxagoras the ethical dimension of life is inherent in it, and so he gave no special attention to the subject. Plato saw that ethics had to be made explicit in a society rapidly losing its nearness to Nature, and that Mind in Man, psychology, is also a central study. In refraining from focussing on these critical areas of human understanding, Anaxagoras also adopted an attitude of true scepticism, neither pronouncing upon nor claiming to know anything about them other than that rational enquiry of the loftiest and most precise kind would lead to knowledge here as everywhere else. Whereupon he did focus his gaze, he influenced all subsequent generations of seekers, both in his theoretical methodology and in the experimental practices he laid down. Perhaps it is fitting that historians and philosophers nicknamed him 'Mind'.

Copyright©2010 Theosophy Trust

Prime time

Fame and fortune await the person who cracks the greatest problem in mathematics.
And that could be any day now, says Erica Klarreich

WHEN G. H. Hardy faced a stormy sea passage from Scandinavia to England, he took out an unusual insurance policy. Hardy scribbled a postcard to a friend with the words: "Have proved the Riemann hypothesis". God, Hardy reasoned, would not let him die in a shipwreck, because he would then be feted for solving the most famous problem in mathematics. He survived the trip.

Almost a century later, the Riemann hypothesis is still unsolved. Its glamour is unequalled because it holds the key to the primes, those mysterious numbers that underpin so much of math-ematics. And now whoever cracks it will find not only glory in posterity, but a tidy reward in this life: a $1 million prize announced this April by the Clay Mathematics Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

There are signs that the great prize might soon be claimed, and the most promising approaches come not from pure mathematics, but from physics. Researchers have discovered a deep connection between the Riemann hypothesis and the physical world—a connection that could not only prove the hypothesis, but also tell us something profound about the behaviour of atoms, molecules and even concert halls. One mathematician has followed this lead into a very strange place, seeking a solution in an intricately twisted space with infinitely many dimensions.

Yet the primes seem simple enough at first glance. They are those numbers, like 2, 3, 5 and 7, that are only divisible by 1 and themselves, although 1 isn't included among them. Primes are the atoms of the number system, because every other number can be built by multiplying primes together. Unfortunately there is no periodic table for the primes—they are maddeningly unpredictable, and finding new primes is mostly a matter of trial and error.

In the 19th century, mathematicians found a little order in this apparent chaos. Even though individual primes pop up unexpectedly, their distribution follows a trend. It's like tossing a coin. The result is unpredictable, but after many coin tosses we expect roughly half heads and half tails. The primes get rarer as you look at larger and larger numbers (see Diagram), and mathematicians found that this thinning out is predictable. Below a given number x, the proportion of primes is about 1/ln(x), where ln(x) is the natural logarithm of x. So, for example, about 4 per cent of numbers smaller than ten billion are prime.

So far so good. But that "about" is very vague. Numbers are products of pure logic, and so surely they ought to behave in a precise, regular way. Mathematicians would at least like to know how far the prime numbers stray from the distribution.

Georg Riemann found a vital clue. In 1859, he discovered that the secrets of the primes are locked inside something called the zeta function. The zeta function is simply a particular way of turning one number into another number, like the function "multiply by 5". Riemann decided to see what would happen if he fed the zeta function complex numbers—numbers made from a real part (an ordinary number) and a so-called imaginary part (a multiple of i, the square root of -1). Complex numbers can be visualised as arrayed on the complex plane, with real numbers on the horizontal axis and imaginary numbers on the vertical axis.

Riemann found that certain complex numbers, when plugged into the zeta function, produce the result zero. The few zeros he could calculate lay on a vertical line in the complex plane, and he guessed that, except for a few well-understood cases, all the infinity of zeros should lie exactly on this line.

What does this have to do with the primes? If you plot how many primes exist below a given number (see Diagram above), what you get is a smooth curve with small wiggles added—that is, the 1/ln(x) rule, plus deviations.

According to Michael Berry of Bristol University, you can think of that pattern of deviations as a wave. Just like a sound wave, it is made up of many frequencies. "And what are the frequencies?" asks Berry. "They're the Riemann zeros. The zeros are harmonies in the music of the primes."

Berry isn't speaking in metaphors. "I've tried to play this music by putting a few thousand primes into my computer," he says "but it's just a horrible cacophony. You'd actually need billions or trillions—someone with a more powerful machine should do it."

Riemann worked out that if the zeros really do lie on the critical line, then the primes stray from the 1/ln(x) distribution exactly as much as a bunch of coin tosses stray from the 50:50 distribution law. This is a startling conclusion. The primes aren't just unpredictable, they really do behave as if each prime number is picked at random, with the probability 1/ln(x)--almost as if they were chosen with a weighted coin. So to some extent the primes are tamed, because we can make statistical predictions about them, just as we can about coin tosses.

But only if Riemann's guess was right. If the zeros don't line up, then the prime numbers are much more unruly. As Enrico Bombieri of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton writes on the Clay Institute website ( "The failure of the Riemann hypothesis would create havoc in the distribution of prime numbers." And the havoc would spread further. Hundreds of results in number theory begin, "If the Riemann hypothesis is true, then . . ."

This is why mathematicians long to prove the hypothesis. But how do you prove something about an infinity of numbers?

Researchers have used supercomputers to calculate the first 1,500,000,001 zeros above the x-axis, and millions of other zeros higher up, and so far all of them lie on the critical line. If just one of them did not, the Riemann hypothesis would be killed.

This is heartening, but no amount of computer hacking can prove the hypothesis. There are always more zeros to check. And, cautions Andrew Odlyzko of AT&T Labs, who has spearheaded the effort to calculate zeros, "number theory has many examples of conjectures that are plausible, are supported by seemingly overwhelming numerical evidence, and yet are false."

Some deeper insight is needed. Early in the 20th century, mathematicians made a daring conjecture: that the Riemann zeros could correspond to the energy levels of a quantum mechanical system.

Quantum mechanics deals with the behaviour of tiny particles such as electrons. Crucially, its equations work with complex numbers, but the energy of a physical system is always measured by a real number. So energy levels form an infinite set of numbers lying along the real axis of the complex plane--a straight line.

This sounds like Riemann's zeros. The line of zeros is vertical, rather than horizontal, but it is a simple bit of maths to rotate it and put it on top of the real line. If the zeros then match up with the energy levels of a quantum system, the Riemann hypothesis is proved.

For decades, this idea was only wishful thinking. Then in 1972 came a hint that it could work. Hugh Montgomery, at the University of Michigan, had found a formula for the spacings between Riemann zeros. Visiting the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, he ran into physicist Freeman Dyson at afternoon tea, and mentioned his formula. Dyson recognised it immediately. It was identical to a formula that gives the spacings between energy levels in a category of quantum systems—quantum chaotic systems, to be precise.

Chaos theory applies to physical systems so sensitive to their starting conditions that they are impossible to predict. In the Earth's chaotic atmosphere, for example, the tiny draught caused by the flap of a butterfly's wings can eventually lead to a tremendous storm. Almost all complicated systems are chaotic.

The quantum versions of these systems have a jumble of energy levels, scattered apparently at random but in fact spaced according to Montgomery's formula. Quantum chaotic systems include atoms bigger than hydrogen, large atomic nuclei, all molecules, and electrons trapped in the microscopic arenas called quantum dots. Could the Riemann zeros fit one of these quantum chaotic systems?

In the late 1980s, Odlyzko picked an assortment of systems, and compared their energy levels with the Riemann zeros. In a discovery that electrified mathematicians and physicists, Odlyzko found that when he averaged out over many different chaotic systems, the energy level spacings fitted the Riemann spacings with stunning precision.

That's still not enough. To prove the Riemann hypothesis, researchers must pinpoint a specific quantum system whose energy levels correspond exactly to the zeros, and prove that they do so all the way to infinity. Which, of all the different systems, is the right one?

Berry and his colleague Jonathan Keating have made one suggestion. In a chaotic system, an object usually moves unpredictably, but sometimes its path will cycle back on itself in a "periodic orbit". Berry and Keating think that the right quantum system will have an infinite collection of periodic orbits, one for each prime number. And last year, Nicholas Katz and Peter Sarnak predicted that the system should have a special kind of symmetry called symplectic symmetry.

Both of these clues should help quantum chaologists zero in on the one system that will prove the Riemann hypothesis. "I have a feeling that the hypothesis will be cracked in the next few years," says Berry. "I see the strands coming together. Someone will soon get the million dollars."

The winner could well be Alain Connes, a mathematician based at the Institute of Advanced Scientific Study in Bures-sur-Yvette, France. Connes has a startlingly direct approach to the problem: create a system that already includes the prime numbers. To understand how, you have to imagine a quantum system not as a particle bouncing around an atom, say, but as a geometrical space. It sounds odd, but it represents one of the weird things about quantum systems: they can be two or more things at once.

Like Schrödinger's cat, which is a peculiar mixture of dead and alive, any quantum object can find itself in a "superposition" of different states. To characterise this messy existence, physicists use what they call a state space. For each kind of possibility (say "alive" and "dead"), you draw a new axis and add a dimension to the space. If there are just two possible states, as is the case for Schrödinger's cat, the space is two dimensional, with three states it is three dimensional, and so on.

Then in the Schrödinger's cat space, you would mark a cross one unit along the x-axis to represent a fully alive cat. Similarly, a stone dead cat would be one unit up the y-axis, and a part-alive, part-dead cat would appear somewhere along an arc between these points.

The "shape" of the space affects how the state moves around in it, and therefore how the system works, including the way its energy levels are arrayed. This depends not just on the number of dimensions, but also on the geometry of how they are stuck together.

Connes decided to build a quantum state space out of the prime numbers. Of course, the primes are a bunch of isolated numbers, nothing like the smooth expanses of space in which we can measure things like angles and lengths. But mathematicians have invented some bizarrely twisted geometries that are based on the primes. In "5-adic" geometry, for example, numbers far apart (in the ordinary way) are pulled close together if they differ by 5, or 15, or 250—any multiple of 5. In the same way, 2-adic geometry pulls together all the even numbers.

To put all the primes in the mix, Connes constructed an infinite-dimensional space called the Adeles. In the first dimension, measurements are made with 2-adic geometry, in the second dimension with 3-adic geometry, in the third dimension with 5-adic geometry, and so on, to include all the prime numbers.

Last year Connes proved that his prime-based quantum system has energy levels corresponding to all the Riemann zeros that lie on the critical line. He will win the fame and the million-dollar prize if he can make one last step: prove that there aren't any extra zeros hanging around, unaccounted for by his energy levels.

That last step is a formidable one. Has Connes simply replaced the Riemann hypothesis with an equally difficult question? Some experts advise caution. "I still think that some major new idea is needed here," says Bombieri.

Berry, for his part, doesn't flinch at the mathematical peculiarity of Connes's system. "I'm absolutely sure that if he's right, someone will find a clever way to make it in the lab. Then you'll get the Riemann zeros out just by observing its spectrum."

Berry and Keating are now turning around this connection with physics, using mathematics based on the Riemann zeta function to predict the behaviour of chaotic systems. Most models of quantum chaos are complicated and difficult to calculate. The Riemann zeros, by comparison, are easy to compute. "We always test our formulae on the Riemann zeta function to see if they work," says Keating.

If Connes or one of the physicists proves the Riemann hypothesis using a quantum system, the link will be firmly established. Then, Berry predicts, the field will blossom. Using the mathematics of the zeta function, scientists will be able to predict the scattering of very high energy levels in atoms, molecules and nuclei, and the fluctuations in the resistance of quantum dots in a magnetic field.

And it turns out that the same mathematics applies to any situation where waves bounce around chaotically, including light waves and sound. So the performance of microwave cavities and fibre optics could be improved, and the acoustics of real concert halls might profit from the music of the primes.

Even so, it is mathematics that will gain the most. "Right now, when we tackle problems without knowing the truth of the Riemann hypothesis, it's as if we have a screwdriver," says Sarnak. "But when we have it, it'll be more like a bulldozer." For example, it should lead to an efficient way of deciding whether a given large number is prime. No existing algorithms designed to do this are guaranteed to terminate in a finite number of steps.

Proving the Riemann hypothesis won't be the end of the story. It will prompt a sequence of even harder, more penetrating questions. Why do the primes achieve such a delicate balance between randomness and order? And if their patterns do encode the behaviour of quantum chaotic systems, what other jewels will we uncover when we dig deeper?

Those who believe that mathematics holds the key to the Universe might do well to ponder a question that goes back to the ancients: What secrets are locked within the primes?

Friday, 5 November 2010

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

In the following passages, you will find the unparalleled words of Nisargadatta Maharaj as seen in the book I Am That, translated by Maurice Frydman from Acorn Press.

Only the dead can die, not the living. That which is alive in you is immortal.

In reality there is only the source, dark in itself, making everything shine. Unperceived, it causes perception. Unfelt, it causes feeling. Unthinkable, it causes thought. Non-being, it gives birth to being. It is the immovable background of motion. Once you are there, you are at home everywhere.

In reality there are no others, and by helping yourself you help
everybody else.

That which you are, your true self, you love it, and whatever you do, you do for your own happiness. To find it, to know it, to cherish it is your basic urge. Since time immemorial you loved yourself, but never wisely. Use your body and mind wisely in the service of the self, that is all. Be true to your own self, love yourself absolutely. Do not pretend that you love others as yourself. Unless you have realized them as one with yourself, you cannot love them. Don't pretend to be what you are not, don't refuse to be what you are. Your love of others is the result of self- knowledge, not its cause. Without self-realization, no virtue is genuine. When you know beyond all doubting that the same life flows through all that is and you are that life, you will love all naturally and spontaneously. When you realize the depth and fullness of yourself, you know that every living being and the entire universe are included in your affection. But when you look at anything as separate from you, you cannot love it for you are afraid of it. Alienation causes fear and fear deepens alienation. It is a vicious circle. Only self-realization can break it. Go for it resolutely.

I see what you too could see, here and now, but for the wrong focus of your attention. You give no attention to your self. Your mind is all with things, people and ideas, never with your self. Bring your self into focus, become aware of your own existence. See how you function, watch the motives and results of your actions. Study the prison you have built around yourself, by inadvertence.

The seeker is he who is in search of himself. Give up all questions except one: 'Who am I?' After all, the only fact you are sure of is that you are. The 'I am' is certain. The 'I am this' is not. Struggle to find out what you are in reality. To know what you are, you must first investigate and know what you are not. Discover all that you are not - body, feelings, thoughts, time, space, this or that - nothing, concrete or abstract, which you perceive can be you. The very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive. The clearer you understand that on the level of mind you can be described in negative terms only, the quicker will you come to the end of your search and realize that you are the limitless being.

Nothing is wrong with you, but the ideas you have of yourself are altogether wrong. It is not you who desires, fears and suffers, it is the person built on the foundation of your body by circumstances and influences. You are not that person. This must be clearly established in your mind and never lost sight of.

What is really your own, you are not conscious of. What you are conscious of is neither you nor yours. Yours is the power of perception, not what you perceive. It is a mistake to take the conscious to be the whole of man. Man is the unconscious, the conscious and the superconscious, but you are not the man.Yours is the cinema screen, the light as well as the seeing power, but the picture is not you.

The source of all has all. Whatever flows from it must be there already in seed form. And as a seed is the last of innumerable seeds, and contains the experience and the promise of numberless forests, so does the Unknown contain all that was, or could have been and all that shall or would be. The entire field of becoming is open and accessible; past and future co-exist in the eternal now.

Only when you realize the true peace, the peace you have never lost, that peace will remain with you, for it was never away. Instead of searching for what you do not have, find out what is it that you have never lost? That which is there before the beginning and after the ending of everything; that to which there is no birth, nor death. That immoveable state, which is not affected by birth and death of a body or a mind, that state you must perceive.

Back To Words Of Wisdom

If you seek reality you must set yourself free of all backgrounds, of all cultures, of all patterns of thinking and feeling. Even the idea of being man or woman, or even human should be discarded. The ocean of life contains all, not only humans. So, first of all abandon all self-identification, stop thinking of yourself as such-and-such or so-and-so, this or that. Abandon all self-concern, worry not about your welfare, material or spiritual, abandon every desire, gross or subtle, stop thinking of achievement of any kind. You are complete here and now, you need absolutely nothing.

I find that somehow, by shifting the focus of attention, I become the very thing I look at, and experience the kind of consciousness it has; I become the inner witness of the thing. I call this capacity of entering other focal points of consciousness, love; you may give it any name you like. Love says "I am everything". Wisdom says "I am nothing". Between the two, my life flows. Since at any point of time and space I can be both the subject and the object of experience, I express it by saying that I am both, and neither, and beyond both.

Giving up desire after desire is a lengthy process with the end never in sight. Leave alone your desires and fears, give your entire attention to the subject, to him who is behind the experience of desire and fear. Ask: who desires? Let each desire bring you back to yourself.

Questioner: It will take much time if I just wait for self-realization.
Maharaj: What have you to wait for when it is already here and now? You have only to look and see. Look at your self, at your own being. You know that you are and you like it. Abandon all imagining, that is all. Do not rely on time. Time is death. Who waits--dies. Life is now only. Do not talk to me about past and future--they exist only in your mind.
Questioner: You too will die.
Maharaj: I am dead already. Physical death will make no difference in my case. I am timeless being. I am free of desire or fear, because I do not remember the past or imagine the future. Where there are no names and shapes, how can there be desire and fear? With desirelessness comes timelessness. I am safe, because what is not, cannot touch what is. You feel unsafe, because you imagine danger. Of course, your body as such is complex and vulnerable and needs protection. But not you. Once you realize your own unassailable being, you will be at peace.
Questioner: How can I find peace when the world suffers?
Maharaj: The world suffers for very valid reasons. If you want to help the world, you must be beyond the need of help. Then all your doing as well as not doing will help the world most effectively.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Are We Ready?

"It's a waste of energy to be angry with a man who behaves badly, just as it is to be angry with a car that won't go."
~~Bertrand Russell

Nowadays, the idea that energy could be a substance is actively discouraged, and very often ridiculed. However, reducing the term "energy" to what amounts to nothing more than an abstract concept, is really only a recent development in terms of human history. Before the advent of modern theory, our knowledge was based on traditions, stemming back to ancient times, which percieved energy as a substance. Indeed, it was supposed that the entire Universe is immersed in it. In an enlightening article taken from Centerpointe's newsletter "Mind Chatter" - "What is Reality (and why should you care?)" - Bill Harris, writes a fascinating account of how the mystics came to interpret "reality." As Harris explains, what the mystics percieved as energy, also had a lot to do with what they saw as the Divine. Below, is an extract taken from the article:

"For thousands of years, mystics have said that there is one energy in the Universe, that the Universe and everything in it is the play, the dance, the vibration, of that one energy. Underneath the seeming multiplicity, they say, everything is made of the same substance. This energy, they say, is everywhere and "everywhen." This principle is sometimes described as Omnipresence or God. The Hindus and Buddhists call this principle, Sat-one energy, everywhere, making up everything, always, past, present, and future.

Quantum mechanical physicists, for several decades, have been saying the same thing. They notice that on the sub-atomic level, particles come into being, seemingly out of nothing, and dissolve, and disappear back into nothing, that two or more particles collide, and one, two, three or more particles, of a different kind, appear from the collision, or all the particles cease to exist. There is a "something" that everything comes out of, and returns to, and which makes up, or is the background of, everything.

The mystics, however, went one step further. In adddition to noting that this one energy is Omnipresent, they also said something else that I think is rather startling. They said that this one energy is aware of itself being everything and everywhere and everywhen: that it is conscious, that it has consciousness. The mystics called this second characteristic of reality Chit."

I suspect that one of the reasons as to why modern theory is so reluctant to imagine energy as a substance, is because admission immediately arouses unwelcome religious fervour. Science wants only to deal with the stuff in the Universe that it can quantify, and substantiate - it's not overly concerned with an invisible, intangible God, nor for that matter, any unseen, immaterial, imponderable substances which might, or might not be energy, or consciousness, or whatever. To science, the questions and answers to these concepts are irrelevant - mere distractions from the job at hand. Entering philosophical and theological discourse will quite often do nothing to enhance their sums.

If science were ever tempted to admit energy as a substance, conceding to the idea that it can be quantified in someway, it would fling the door wide open to suggestions that the stuff of energy, which it is weighing, measuring, and collecting, comes very close to being the pure substance of God. It would allow practically every person on the planet to point out to scientists, that the substance of energy, which they are pouring from their flasks into test tubes, also amounts to unequivocal proof in the existence of God. Now, it is not simply energy which we can reach out and touch, all with our very own fingers, but God's personal Being.

I suspect that there are some physicists who are more than familiar with the God-energy conundrum, but are hesitant to openly discuss it - not because they are wilfully obstructive, or even particularly dispassionate - but because they are aware of the chain of events such an admission will unleash. The question which rises to the forefront most is not: is science willing to admit to the existence of God? The question we should really be asking is: is humanity ready to recieve all that power?

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Searching After Truth

Searching After Truth
~~By Aja

Being More Spiritual

Often we hear from someone how they wish to be more spiritual. It usually sounds something like, "I really want to be more spiritual. I should meditate more, or chant more, or read more, or do more service or worship more, or do more yoga, or I should quit watching TV, or quit smoking, or quit drinking, or...." There is always the idea that by adding something to oneself it will make them more spiritual. Or it will make them feel more spiritual. Or, it will make others see them as more spiritual. And generally this is a very sincere desire. People feel that there is something lacking in their lives. They know that there is more to life than making a living, eating, sleeping, and getting little temporary pleasures from this or that. They want real substance, and they know that substance comes from something greater than themselves - love, community, God, spirituality, meaning. But how do you get this? How do you become more spiritual?
The difficulty is in thinking that one can become more spiritual! It is like a man saying I want to be more manly or a woman saying I want to be more womanly, or a human saying they want to be more human. Being a man is intrinsic to men. Being a woman is intrinsic to women. Being a human is intrinsic to a human. Being spiritual is intrinsic to everyone. Who and what you are is spiritual. What are you going to add to yourself to be more a man, more a woman, more a human, or more spiritual. Anything that you add will simply make you less of, or detract from the intrinsic nature. It is like adding red paint and artificial rose perfume to a rose to make it more rose-like. These will only cover what is already perfect. If you wish to fully appreciate the beauty of a rose, don¹t try to add to the rose. Remove that which obscures the pure vision of the rose and keeps you from experiencing it in its perfect roseness. Similarly, if you want to purely experience your own spiritual nature, you must subtract, not add. How can you add to what is already perfect? It is simply a matter of recognition, of stopping the search for something to add to make you more, better, greater.
But this, in itself, can be the most difficult task for it means letting go in every way. Say you have an old chair you have found, and it has layers of old and chipping paint. You can just add something, paint over the old paint, in an effort to make it perfect. But the real beauty comes from stripping away all the old paint until you have only the pure wooden chair and you can appreciate the perfect symmetry and simplicity of the wood. What we see as imperfect in ourselves is not our intrinsic nature. It is what we ourselves have added or layered on to our pure being. By adding more beliefs in the name of religiosity or spirituality, we are only furthering ourselves from the pure, simple, symmetry of our inherent Being. So the key is not in adding, but in subtracting. It is easy to add. It is also easy to continue on exactly as we are. It is more difficult to subtract, because for most people subtracting feels very much like dying. We are maintained by our belief systems. They make up who and what we are, or rather what we think we are. We have built our own reality based on our principles of what is good and bad and right and wrong, and have factored out our real spiritual nature in the equation. The world then is made up of dualities a whole universe created as a means to give one some standing in what would otherwise be empty space. Because if you subtract all your beliefs, all your ideas of good and bad, all of your dualities, everything you hold on to as what you are and what the world is, what are you left with? Nothing. You, as who you thought you were, is dead. If you are no longer a man or a woman, a spiritual person, a doctor, car mechanic, a loner, a people person, an intellectual, or slower learner, a Canadian, a music buff, a mother or father, a sister or brother, a human, an angel, a child of the universe, a... any possible definition you can apply, then what is left. Only "I", without definition, without location, without any parameters, or limits. Suddenly there is nothing to strive for, nothing to fear, nothing to be joyful about and nothing to grieve. And then you recognize that this is your True Self. This is your spiritual Self. This is being more spiritual. It is beyond material, which means outside of all concepts bound by time and space. There is no longer even a past or a future, but only an eternal Now and an unlimited Here.

Bliss of Non-Being

You are the Bliss of Non-Being You do not exist as you. This is the truth. You have a conception of who and what you are that is an imagination or dream. The truth of who you are is infinitely more profound, yet is only accessed by letting go of all ideas of who you are now - ALL of them. And the conceptions and ideas themselves are nearly infinite in their number and subtlety. This is what makes Awakening so difficult. As long as you have any idea or mental conception of who you are, you are yourself holding the pattern in the field of consciousness that maintains that belief existence. And if you try to let go of the beliefs one by one, you will first find that they are infinite, and secondly that the very idea of someone letting go of their beliefs becomes a very strong new identification that oversees all of the other beliefs. You have superimposed layers of personal beliefs over what is in fact consciousness alone. It has nothing to do with a personal entity. And yet, we literally fight to maintain the very individual existence which is the cause of our bondage and suffering. But the truth is that we do not exist as an individual any more than a mirage in the desert has water. It is due to a combination of circumstances only. Apparently objective experiences arise and we create a subjective entity to whom they are arising. Then we build a whole set of ideologies and conceptions around that apparent subjectivity, based on this primordial misconception, create a universe of duality which is especially attracted to the concepts of right and wrong, and our suffering is confirmed and assured. We must be able to see that the very root cause of suffering and pain are our insistence on maintaining ideologies centered on an individuality that doesn¹t exist. We are exactly like a ball of twine. If you unravel the twine to get to whatever is inside, you only end up with a pile of twine and empty space. When you unravel the ideas and beliefs that hold "you" together, all that remains is empty space. There is no "you" in the way that you think. So the preeminent question arises, "Who are you?" Until you can seriously begin to ask this question of yourself and delve into the depths of consciousness, honestly and courageously abandoning all that is not you, there will continue to be an apparent entity suffering the "slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune".
You are the Bliss of Non-Being However, you immerse yourself in your desires of selfishness. You identify with the river of thoughts and desires that arise in the ocean of consciousness. All desires are selfish. Your actions are based on desires that you think will make You happy. They are selfish. Even if you are trying to save the world, you do so out of selfishness. Even if you are feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, or worshipping God, you are doing it because you think that it is "right" to do so and it makes you happy to think that you are "right". Even those seeking enlightenment, freedom, salvation, liberation, are doing so because it is "right". They seek to end suffering, to attain eternal bliss, to be free from death and bondage. Surely these are noble causes, honorable beliefs, but they are still based on a person desiring something. They are the apparent effect of an apparent ego, struggling in an apparent world, attempting to gain apparent happiness, to counteract apparent suffering. Guess What? It¹s all an illusion - the ego, the world, the suffering, the happiness. It is all a dream state, being dreamed in a cosmic dream. When you abandon the body/mind, what is left? When you give up all identification, what remains? It is only I Am, without any identification. It is the I Am that becomes identified. So first revert to the I Am without identification. Dwell in that and see where it comes from. From what does I Am arise. Even the I Am has no location. It is not located within space and time. You cannot find it¹s beginning or end. It is only consciousness without objects. It is the infinite subjective state without a sense of other. Remove all else and dwell in that. Do not think about it, but simply reside in that absolute consciousness. As one sinks deeper (surrenders) into that pure awareness, even the sense of I Am begins to dissolve, for even it is a part of the dream. There is only empty awareness of non-being. It is pure existence, awareness and, yes, bliss. This is the state which you actually are, always have been and always will be.
You are the bliss of non-being. But if all of this is non-being, from what does it arise? There is no answer in words to that question for all questions and answers arise from duality. But rest for a moment in non-duality and what occurs? There is a spontaneous arising to experience. The bliss of non-being is the spontaneous arising of "That" to experience "Itself". In Sanskrit, the Absolute is termed Sat-Chit-Ananda or Existence-Awareness-Bliss. These are non dual expressions of a singularity. Just as heat and light are non dual aspects of fire - you cannot separate heat and light from fire - so existence, awareness and bliss cannot be separated from the Absolute. They are three aspects of the same singularity. They are not linear or causal in any way, but a simultaneous expression. For the Absolute is existence eternal. It is Being-ness or That which Is. And in its Beingness, awareness Is, for awareness is a symptom of existence. But awareness alone is pure subjectivity only and must by its nature be aware of an object, so expresses Itself as multiplicity in order to experience Ananda or Bliss. So what Is, all that is, for no other reason than the necessity to Be and expand, is Bliss. It is what Is. It is Awareness. It is Bliss. Every moment, every day, every thing, from the most "Holy" to the most "wretched" is the Bliss of the Absolute, expressing Itself infinitely as you, me, the universe, and all of this one thing. But when you create personhood when you make a someone separate, create "a" being separate from the One Beingness, conjure up a someone to try and experience that bliss, you separate yourself from the very Bliss that you already are. Like a spark leaving the fire to experience the heat of the flames, you lose your innate bliss in a vain journey away from your Self.
You are the Bliss of Non-Being And when you are ready to give up your separateness, to abandon the vain and continuous searching for happiness, to free yourself from the limitation of personhood that appear to bind you, then you can again experience the bliss of non-being.

All Is God

When one dives deep into consciousness, what do you find? At first, all seems dark and empty. We are so used to putting our attention on and faith in the mind, our thoughts, our senses and the world, that we would not know what to do if they no longer existed. And yet, how are we assured of the reality of this world in which we put so much faith? What makes it real. How do we know that it is the concrete, tangible thing that we make it out to be?
The truth is that it may not be as certain as we think. Many scientists and the new quantum physics are exploring realms that were once only found in the mystical writings of the East. They are considering the possibility that all this is but vibration. They have recognized that atoms are vast universes of empty space, and that the only tangible parts, the electrons, protons, and neutrons, are really nothing but vibrational nodes, in an ocean of similar material. And that these atoms, dancing around the universe, are all sharing atomic particles with each other, so that the boundaries of one to another, and thus with each "individual" thing in the universe becomes extremely blurred - blurred to the point of extinction. So what the universe tells us through the scientists, and through the ancient mystics, is that there is only One thing. That one thing is doing it all. It is the background, foreground, and the dance itself. So what is this one thing? I like to call it God.
Now the difficulty with names is that they are immediately inaccurate. The moment you name something, you have taken away any reality it had and put a label upon it which makes it a concept. We allow ourselves to define the entire universe with names, and thus lose our ability to directly experience it. This is especially true with all of the experiences which we have within ourselves. We have stopped feeling anything that arises, and have instead replaced the initial signs of something with a name that allows us to stop it in its tracks. Emotions are a perfect example of this. Try to describe fear, what it really is, and you¹ll get more labels like afraid, excited, goose bumps, etc. The moment any particular energy arises within us, we have a box that we put that feeling into that has a label - fear, anger, guilt, sadness, happiness, hunger, and so on. Almost no one stops to actually experience the physical feelings, the thought patterns, energetic pulses, and other signs that arises throughout the day. The moment they come up, they go into a box called fear, happy, pain, and sorrow. In the end all we get is a box called "I¹m fine."
What has happened is that we have developed a duality based judgement of good and bad. We assume, because of our belief systems, most of which have been foisted upon us, that certain things are good and others are bad. And we have this gigantic spectrum which goes from really, really good, and includes things like God, saints, heaven, bliss, love and enlightenment, to really, really bad like Satan, demons, hell, agony, hate and delusion. But all this is the knowledge of good and evil.
Remember the Bible story. What was it that forced Adam and Eve from the Paradise of the Garden of Eden? It was that they tasted from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It was not the tree of good and evil, but the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Prior to tasting that fruit, they had no concepts of some things being good and others being evil. Everything was of Paradise. Everything was of God. They had no reason to doubt the serpent. He was also one of God¹s creatures. But they ate of this fruit, and began to distinguish duality.
When you distinguish duality, you are forced to make judgements that this is good, and this is bad. We do it every day, practically every moment. Even now you may be evaluating what you are reading as being good or bad. But when you stop distinguishing any duality - when you see everything and experience everything, including yourself as Divine, then their ceases to be judgement. Life becomes a great dance. There is only the Absolute. All is One. All is Truth. All is God.
But we must not think of God as that great white-bearded man sitting on His throne in Heaven, judging your every action as good and bad. This is our own projection of God. This is our own judgement of ourselves creating a picture of God as a Being of ultimate love and ultimate anger, rewarding us when we are good and punishing us when we are bad. We must let go of our concepts that hold us to our own ideal of what Reality is.
As long as we have concepts, ideas, belief systems, we are boxed into our own existence. We have allowed our beliefs to create who we are. We have allowed words and language to define us. You must fully experience that you are not a man or woman. You are not a human being. You are life itself. And life is God. You are the awareness which sees all, and yet makes no judgement. The mind makes judgements. The mind compartmentalizes everything, putting it in boxes. The mind separates Reality into pieces, and then decides which are right and wrong, good and bad. When the mind of another seems to have developed different beliefs and concepts than yours, they become wrong. They become the enemy. You see it as your duty to correct them or punish them, or avoid them. If you think you are liberal and open minded, then you decide you will listen with an open mind. But still you are evaluating according to your own beliefs. Or some people accept everything that anyone says, immediately reforming their own beliefs to whatever is the new fashion, the new trend, the new age fad. But you should accept or reject nothing. It is the accepting and rejecting of things which makes you unhappy. It is the accepting and rejection of ideas that makes you bound. If you truly wish to be free, you must stop this judgemental accepting and rejecting. Just stop! You must do it right now, in the moment.
The truth is, if you are seeing some things as good and others as bad, or accepting some while rejecting others, you are accepting, and simultaneously, rejecting God, the Absolute. Because as we have already said, there is only one thing. What is happening is all the Absolute. It is all God. Even if you take a very anthropomorphic view of God as an individual person, scriptures say that in the beginning there was only God, and God created the universes. So from what did He create them? From Himself. Some say the universes are the energies of God, like the sunlight from the sun. But that is also non-different. The energy and energetic are one. They cannot be separated. You cannot take heat or light from fire. Fire IS heat and light. All that arises from God IS God. So abandon all conceptions, all that you hold, and recognize the divinity that is all around you. Deeply experience that there is nothing outside of God, including yourself. Whatever you see, whatever you hear, whatever you smell, taste, or feel, whatever thoughts arise, even the concepts themselves, are God. You are God. Saturate yourself with that reality that there is absolutely nothing except God (or Brahman, the Absolute, Beingness, Divine Subjectivity, etc. etc.) and you will find that you yourself are that Divine Ocean of Bliss!

Doorway to Heaven

What is our definition of Heaven, the Absolute, or Enlightenment? What does that look like for you? What is it according to the saints of the world who have realized Truth? Everyone assumes that they know the truth that it automatically corresponds to what they believe it to be, as if the fact that they believe it makes it a certainty. Obviously, this has been the cause of religious wars throughout the centuries.
Now, of course, we are in a more enlightened state and we recognize that all of the worlds religions hold some portion of truth. It would be politically incorrect to suggest that one belief system was more true than any other. And since we are broad minded and open to all of them, certainly we are more fully conversant with the ultimate truth. Now we are enlightened in the great mysteries of spirit. We see that truth is like a great diamond with many facets. We understand and accept that there is one truth with many paths to reach it, and we honor each path and the people who choose to accept it.
But the path is not the goal, and while there are many paths that lead to that enlightened state, what does it look like once you get there? And if we don¹t know what it looks like when we get there, how do we even know that the path we are on will ultimately arrive at where we want to go? The difficulty is compounded by the fact that the enlightened state has been characterized as beyond definition, unspeakable, un-nameable, unknowable and beyond thought, beyond concepts and beyond mind. So any definition or name that we attribute to it is simply that - a name, not "It". This leads the aspirant, almost by necessity, to explore what is not "It" in hopes of finding "It". Since we are, to a great extent, motivated by, influenced by, and limited by our own conceptions of the Absolute, we will study and aspire for those things which match our conception of what "It" is, too often in a vain search, waiting for an experience which will prove to us that we have reached the "unknowable", "indescribable" "It".
The situation is very much like an analogy that was recently shared with me. If you had two doorways, a doorway to heaven and a doorway to a lecture about heaven, you would find the vast majority of people lined up before the doorway to the lecture about heaven. Often we aren¹t as interested in experiencing the divine as we are in being able to Œknow¹ about it, talk about it, and impress people with our astounding depth of information about it. And what if you could actually open the doors and look in? In the doorway to the lecture about heaven, you would find a room full of beautiful people, drinking organic tea, talking about Gods & Goddesses, doing energy work, singing songs, meditating together, discussing the pros and cons of various paths and spiritual techniques generally having a great time. On the other hand, when you opened the door to heaven, standing outside and peering in, you would see nothing. It would appear empty, dark, unattractive - because through that door there is nothing for the mind to know, nothing for the body to experience, no concepts or beliefs to grasp and certainly nothing that would "attract" our mind, unless annihilation was attractive. For to enter into the absolute is to be totally beyond the mind and ego.
But the good news is that there is nowhere to go, no doorway to step through, in fact, no pathway to follow. You, who you really are, is already That. For you are pure awareness, being-ness. You are what precedes mind, beliefs, concepts, ideas, hopes, struggles, body and ego. You do not need to find heaven. You are heaven.

Seeking a Spiritual Path

Seeking a Path In this day and age, knowledge of spiritual practices has become common, so much so that by simply plugging into the internet, one can access some of the most secret, ancient, and esoteric spiritual practices. Often these are practices, mantras, and rituals that were handed from teacher to disciple in strictest confidence, preceded by preparatory rites and given only with understanding and agreement to never reveal them. Now you can find them in about 2 minutes on the world wide web.
This has been both a great boon, and a curse. It has been a boon, because it reveals for the first time the depth of commonality between the world¹s religions and philosophies. It allows us to explore in greater detail the richness of spiritual teachings that were unavailable to a world without airplanes or internet. And in a time and culture when the village priest, guru or shaman is not quite as readily available, we can still find the teachings we seek. But there is a down side. One of the primary things that has been taken from us with this wealth of knowledge is the simplicity of knowingness. Our life has been turned topsy turvy with choice. Where we once knew where our destiny lay, what our path was, and what was required of us to gain the graces of the divine and enter into our conceived heaven, now we flounder in an ocean of choices. We painstakingly search through the plethora of spiritual options, dabbling in a little of this, trying a little of that. Our desperate hope being that we will find the perfect path, a saving grace that will fulfill all our material and spiritual desires, and conform with our own conceptions of the Truth.
But this too reveals to us that there must be something wrong if we need to choose one religion or path over another, assuming the correctness of one and the imperfections of another. Perhaps all of them fall short of the mark, the glory of God, the unnameable absolute. Perhaps it is our very search for an answer outside of ourselves that must be questioned. Perhaps not knowing is a blessing after all. For what is it that we can fully rely on? What can we know for certain? Any opinion that we maintain can always be refuted by someone else. Any set of rules, ideas, techniques, philosophies, theories, vows, ethics, will always clash with that of another. Our existence in the world is always accompanied by polarities of opposites, especially when it comes to beliefs.
But again, what can we know for sure? Even the existence of anything outside of ourselves can not be ascertained. God, heaven, hell, truth - are not provable to oneself from an outside source. In fact, the existence of the world itself, as a tangible reality, is unprovable. For instance, you could be dreaming at this moment. Few people are able to distinquish dream from reality while in a dream. Or perhaps your whole worldly existence is some kind of a projection as if a movie, like if you were merely a brain in a bell jar somewhere. Even many scientists suggest that this so-called reality may be much more spacial illusion than hard fact, and that we may be more floating in an ocean of nothingness, including our own bodies, than a concrete realm.
But the world is filled with such ideas, many ancient and many new, but the truth, such as it is, can only be found in one place. It is the only thing that can be taken as a certainty. It is the one thing that everyone shares in common. That is the fact of their own existence as awareness. Each person knows that they are. They have always known that they are. Each persons experience of themselves as existing has remained constant for as long as they can remember. Certainly the ideas they hold, the goals they strive for, even the complexity of their thoughts has changed, but the fact of their very existence is a constant that is never questioned. It is the questioning of this existence that must take place. It is the only thing that we can really be sure of, and it must be investigated thoroughly and continuously.
What is the method for this inquiry? One must investigate as to what is this "I". Prior to everything is the simple sense of existing as "I". But what is it? Where is it? When and where does it begin and end. Remember here, you¹re not seeking your ideas and thoughts, but that I-ness which witnesses all thoughts. What some might call "I Am" the simple, pure awareness which witnesses and perceives all. Delve into this! Rest in this! And you will find the only true path which means anything your Self!

Truth Beyond Belief
A Subjective Inquiry into Life

Belief. Everything we do is based on it. In fact, everything we say, think, or feel is centered around our own belief system. But what is belief? The first definition given in Webster¹s is: " a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing." Okay, it¹s a state of mind, or worse yet, a habit of the mind. I believe it¹s a nice day. I believe in the inherent goodness of people. I believe in God. I believe that people should be kind to each other. I believe that chocolate is better than vanilla. I believe that early to bed and early to rise make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. I believe that hush puppies are ugly shoes. I believe that the movie Gandhi is more spiritual than Ferris Beuller¹s Day Off. I believe that for every drop of rain that falls a flower grows. Big deal. Every single one of these and the literally millions of other beliefs I hold as a habit in my mind can be directly refuted by someone, probably many people. Their logic, reasoning or emotional appeal regarding their beliefs may or may not be better than mine. However, their beliefs are also nothing more than a state, or habit of mind.
Now what about religion? (You may substitute faith, philosophy, ideal life-style, etc.) All great religions (etc.) are based in Truth. However, they are practiced as a belief. Let me say that again. All great religions are based in Truth but are practiced from belief. Truth and belief are not the same thing. The Truth is absolutely beyond beliefs. Even if the beliefs correspond to the Truth, the belief is but a dim reflection of the Truth. For instance, the Tao Te Ching says (more or less) "The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao." The Bhagavad Gita tells us that, "There is a banyan tree with its roots up and branches down. The real form of this tree cannot be perceived in this world." In other words, this is the world of misperception, and as long as we exist within this world we are bound to persist, as a habit of mind, in the realm of misperceptions and concepts. The mind is like a lens through which the light of Truth may shine. The more colored gels and filters there are over that lens, the more tainted is the light that shines through. Now what happens in the mind is similar. It is filled with concept gels and belief filters that obstruct the direct flow of light. Worse yet, the mind itself is an obstruction to direct experience of Truth as it must perceive Truth as an objective thing. I¹m told God is in Heaven. Sounds good to me, and I take it as a belief. However, each word is a concept to me, not Truth. I have a concept about God. God is the creator, therefore He must be real old. God is everywhere. Everything is God. God is in your heart.. Even more concepts about God. Now where is Heaven? It¹s up there. It¹s everywhere. It¹s where you make it. It¹s where dreams come true. Heaven is within. More concepts. Where is within? What is in? For that matter, what is "is"? Every word is a concept. It is a symbol or representation for what, in fact, is. There is a very distinct differentiation between an object, its name, and our mental image of that. And the mind, by nature, is objective. That is, it sees and describes objects apart from itself and therefore cannot in actuality, in Truth, experience that object as it is, in a subjective way. An objective experience is indirect. A subjective experience is direct. Let¹s give an analogy. I can describe to you what it is like to ride in a sports car. I can describe it in such detail that you can practically feel the wind in your hair, smell the upholstery, experience the vibration of the tires against the road. All concept. Thought patterns in your mind simulating Truth. Objective experience. Or I could put you in a sports car, give you the keys and say, "have at it," and let you directly experience those things. Subjective experience. In Truth, that so called subjective experience is also an objective experience, because it is taken in through our senses and mind which are themselves barriers to the direct experience, and thus we perceive ourselves driving the car objectively. But this is just an analogy. How about another? This is more along the lines of a direct experience. I can either hand you an orange and say, "smell it, feel it, eat it," which is an indirect experience, objective, or I can say, "be this orange. Directly experience it." Now this is a subjective experience, if you can do it. Actually, even the word experience throws us off because it implies a subject/object relationship. Someone or something is experiencing someone or something else. So - be an orange.
Truth is the same way. I can tell you what I believe Truth is, what God is, what the world is. I can quote from great authorities and from scriptures around the world. I can present evidence with startling logic and reasoning, until you too are absolutely convinced and ready to give your life for my cause, but it will only be a belief, a concept, an objective perception or misperception of the Truth. I may or may not have experienced the Truth, but no matter how many people I convince through non direct means, they will be experiencing beliefs, not truths.
Now what has generally happened in the past is that someone has experienced the Truth. The Truth, being outside of the confining world of language, is self evident to that individual, however it must be communicated, and for the most part is communicated in words. Occasionally, someone will communicate in a different way, such as Buddha holding up a flower or Jesus feeding the multitude. But for the most part what we get is words. We grab onto those words and hold on for dear life. Like trying to grab the reflection of the moon in a pond, it "ain¹t" the real thing.
Truth, however, is available to us. It is as close to us as our breath or our heart beat. It is the very fabric of life. But, unless you directly experience this (be the orange) it is just another concept, a belief. There are methods for directly experiencing Truth, and many of the better religions and philosophies have those methods built within them, although they are often lost within the dogmas, concepts and personality cultism. The problem is that many of these methods are themselves indirect, unclear, and often very, very slow, taking maybe years, decades or lifetimes to achieve the goal. There actually is a method by which one can directly experience the Truth, Self, Enlightenment, God, the Kingdom of Heaven within, the Christ Consciousness, whatever you want to term it, in a very short time, in fact, instantly, in this moment. It¹s called Self Inquiry and is really no method at all, but really a stopping of all methods, all techniques, all searching after Truth, and inquirying into the source of "I", awareness itself beyond concepts and misperceptions. It is a quantum shift in consciousness to a direct, subjective experience of Truth. Truth beyond belief!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

The Mother of God

~~An extract

On the question "Who created the Universe and who created God?" Return of the Aryans quotes Sindhu Putra, the spiritual leader of 5,000 BC, to reply, "God created the Universe, but before Him was She -- the Mother!" This reply conforms to the Hymn of Creation as it was then known in Bharat Varsha, which Return of the Aryans quotes as follows:

Hymn of Creation

Then nothingness was not, nor existence then,
Nor air nor depths nor heavens beyond their ken
What covered it? Where was it? In whose Keeping ?
In unfathomed folds, was it cosmic water seeping ?
Then there was no life, no birth nor death,
Neither night nor day nor wind nor breath,
At last One sighed " a self sustained Mother,
There was that One then, and none other,
Then there was darkness wrapped in darkness;
Was this unlit water, unseen, dry, wetless ?
That one which came to be, enclosed in naught,
Arose, who knows, how, from the power of what !
"But after all who knows and who can say
Who, how, why, whence began creation's day ?

"Gods came after creation did they not ?
So who knows truly, whence it was wrought!_.
"Does that first Mother Herself know, now?
Did She create or was Herself created somehow;
She, who surveys form the heavens, above us all,
She knows " or maybe She knows not at all.

"Did She Herself create the one god !
And gladly gave Him the Creator's rod !
But so re- fashioned Time and Space
That He was more, and She was less ?
"Did She turn future into past ?
So He came first and She was last!
"But surely, She told Him all, all!
Then how could He not know at all?
"Or perhaps He knows it not, and cannot tell
Oh! He knows, He knows, but will not tell...

(Return of the Aryans, p.124-125)

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The Circle of Nature

~~An extract

"The ancients had a striking mythical image called the Ourobouros that represented the totality of the alchemical process—a dragon or snake swallowing its own tail. It is a symbol of the great circulation of Nature: what was above as the very subtle spirit descends and becomes—by adaptation through a process of heat and digestion—the below, or earthy and fixed. Then by reversing the process, what is below—fixed, heavy and earthy—ascends and gradually becomes volatile and subtle as the above. By this great circulation of Nature, from above to below and from below to above, the circle is closed. Homer, the Greek philosopher, called it the golden chain because Nature is in reality a chain, in itself like a circle, where each link supports the other, thus making a chain from Heaven to Earth.

In alchemy, this chain is the series of substances and chemical states that appear in the course of the alchemical process. It also refers to the chain of alchemical adepts, who link Heaven with Earth, beginning with the great Egyptian alchemist Hermes Trismegistus, who wrote on his Emerald Tablet, “Make that what is above become like what is below, then what is below returns to what is above, thus creating the miracles of one thing.” In these few simple words he concealed and summarized all of the knowledge, practice and mysteries of the Hermetic (alchemical) science."

Monday, 11 October 2010

OM, baby!

Transcendental and Krishna consciousness: experiencing the eternal self: Bhagavad Gita truths
excerpted from OM, baby! a pilgrimage to the eternal self, by Jack Haas

I suppose it was this immense intent and determination of mine, as well as Krishna's benevolent descent upon my consciousness, which soon took me out and away farther than I could ever have imagined- for such a distance cannot be imagined, because it goes far beyond everything, including imagination.

This transcendent exodus began on the train as my soror and I departed Calcutta, while I was tearing myself away from the energetic constraints of the dark Mother, heading south towards a mountain renowned for its cosmic communion with the ever-free Father- Mt. Arunachala.

On that train ride I slowly but undeniably became untangled from the Mother's clutches, and therefore became assimilated into absolute, liberation consciousness. At least this is what I called it at first, for I had never experienced such a tremendous release from all that is.

I had floated out of this paradigm, out of humanity, out of the world, and had entered a subtle consciousness which goes far beyond anything that exists. Anything. For there is nothing which exists which is as subtle as this non-existent, liberated consciousness. It is pure awareness, nothing more, and it is not bound by anything within this realm or any other.

I had been taken across the great divide by Krishna himself. I had received the benediction of transcendental consciousness. I was now outside of all that is, was, or will be. I was free.

It was an incredible experience to receive this initiation while humming southward on a crammed and noisy Indian train. It was truly incredible to be a part of such a profane, involved, manifested milieu which existed on that train, and yet to be totally apart from it as well. I had entered the subtle realm of eternal, transcendental awareness, and suddenly all the words that I had read years earlier in the Bhagavad Gita, and the Uddhava Gita- in which Krishna expounds the actuality of this transcendent realm, which is beyond everything that exists, no matter what- made sense, and I realized that I had arrived in the unbound place of which he was talking.

I knew then that in order to get there you have to take all things that exist in any realm, visible or invisible, physical or metaphysical, obvious or obscure, material or mental, and, enclosing them into a singular event, step outside of that event altogether; in doing so you become the subtle, transcendent consciousness which lies outside of the one event of all that is. You have to let go of everything to go beyond everything. This is detached peace.

Nothing but conscious clear space and peace lies beyond all realms, beyond all ideas and understandings, beyond self and source, beyond being and non-being, for beyond everything is the realm of eternal, transcendent consciousness.

To enter transcendental consciousness is to become the tranquil, reactionless space. To get to that liberated space you cannot associate yourself with the plane of manifestation, nor with the mind, nor with any spirit of force, no matter what, for liberation consciousness is not in any way related to worldly or even otherworldly actions or non-actions; it is absolutely independent of all realms.

Whereas this plane embodies all dualities that are yet one- the invisible and visible, male and female, good and evil, etcetera- transcendental consciousness is beyond all duality, and cannot be compared, or related to anything, however sacred or profane.

Neither can transcendental consciousness be apprehended by the senses nor the mind, for it is absolute, inviolable, effortless, identitiless awareness.

In order to get there, as I have said, you have to let go of everything. You have to let all of manifestation be, and you have to penetrate through and beyond it, for transcendental consciousness is far more subtle than any form of manifestation or thought. Beyond self and source lies this liberated, eternal awareness.

This liberation is different than enlightenment, because enlightenment is caught up in the idea of wisdom, of understanding; but with the attainment of liberating, transcendental consciousness you don't necessarily understand anything, and yet you are free.

Transcendental consciousness is peace, and is a peace unlike any peace in the relative field, for it is not associated with nor mirrored by unpeace. Transcendental peace is absent of all qualities; it is a nothingness that yet is.
This is the realm of unity, of oneness, which is beyond anything that is composed of definition, duality, or opposition.

The mind and the eyes inherently divide and fragment the world which lies before us, and therefore cannot be used as tools to realize the One. The One, subtle, eternal, transcendental consciousness lies neither within nor without. It is apprehended only when anything that can be thought of or experienced is released.

As the self emerges out of form, out of the duality of existence and non-existence, of life and death, it enters the timeless space of eternity.

I look back now on earlier years along my path, and see how this transcendental consciousness was attempting to come through to my awareness by penetrating the thick cloud of my unwitting dilemmas.

In fact, as a young man I would often 'liberate' my paradigmatic consciousness by inwardly acknowledging to myself a de-affirmation of this human paradigm; I would do this through a subtle method, by consciously perceiving that reality is "not-I, and, not-this".

Although I never experienced anything, at that time, like I was experiencing now, somewhere in the dark recesses of my eternity I knew that I had to go beyond everything in order to be aware of my true, subtle, immortal nature.

Krishna had granted me an immense boon by assisting my attainment of transcendental consciousness. And yet, perhaps I was destined to arrive at this liberating awareness at some point anyway, because I had often categorically stated many times in the past that I did not want to come back to this plane nor this paradigm, ever again. I had become incredibly discontented and bored with the whole mad show, and I wanted to be done with it once and for all. I wanted to leap off of the cyclic wheel of becoming, only I did not know how. But now it had happened. I had become liberated through my blind ambition not to be sucked back into the dark Mother's great gravity. Krishna had heard my call, and had carried me into the vast reaches of the eternal void of awareness. I had attained eternal, omnipresent, transcendental consciousness.[1]

To become eternal is to awaken to that which is beyond anything bound to time. To go beyond time is to go beyond becoming. To go beyond becoming is to be, but not in the sense of anything that has a being, for this eternity is a subtle awareness which ought never be compared nor confused with any partiality, any thing, or any event. Only the negation of all that is will offer a glimpse of that which cannot be negated.

[1] In fact, I had unconsciously documented the growing seed of this subtle, transcendental consciousness in some of the art pieces I had produced over the years. My mandala The Tree of Life, shown at the beginning of this book, is a perfect example; I now know that the two eyes present in behind the main design represent the subtle, eternal, unbound awareness of which I am speaking. Many of my earlier drawings contained such eyes, though I had no clue that these were subconsciously representing the subtle awareness that is beyond all form and thought.