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The Double Standpoint

All experience may be regarded from either the practical or the philosophical standpoint, but best of all from the double standpoint.

We use a twofold standpoint in this quest. This is because it is the minimum possible. Yet even this would seem to contradict and negate itself. But each serves a purpose of its own. It is possible, because of the reign of relativity in the universe, even to trace a sevenfold standpoint, all the levels coexisting.

Mentalism says we can make sense of our experiences only if we apply to them, and to our understanding of them, the double standpoint: Immediate and Ultimate, or Appearance and Reality, or Relative and Absolute. The ordinary, normal point of view takes the world as the five senses find it--that is, as it appears to be. This is easy for everyone to understand and accept. But the deepest possible examination and analysis by philosophic intelligence, as well as the highest possible insight of mystic experience, presents a totally different result: The One, That which IS, has undergone no change at all.

Can we ever escape from the relativity which affects everything from an ant to an aeon? In a universe where everything is in process of continuous change and is ever becoming something else, where nothing has a self-existence that is really enduring, where every ephemeral change seems the only reality at the moment, can we hope to find something that exists by its own right and forever exists unchanged in itself? Reality that IS? The answer is provided by philosophy. Our intellects and senses may misapprehend it and perceive form without perceiving its essence. Nevertheless, reality interpenetrates everything and goes out into all things. There is nothing here in this space-time without its share in reality. Hence philosophy bids us see through the multitudinous forms of the world into the unity upon which they are grounded, without, however, letting our consciousness lose, as the mystic loses, the forms themselves. And this unitary substance is none other than Mind-essence itself.

If we think, "I strive to become one with God," or, "I am one with God," we have unconsciously denied the statement itself because we have unconsciously set up and retained two things, the "I" and "God." If these two ultimately exist as separate things they will always exist as such. If, however, they really enter into union, then they must always have been in union and never apart. In that case, the quest of the underself for the Overself is unnecessary. How can these two opposed situations be resolved? The answer is that relativity has taught us the need of a double standpoint, the one relative and practical and constantly shifting, the other absolute and philosophical and forever unchanged. From the first standpoint we see the necessity and must obey the urge of undertaking this quest in all its practical details and successive stages. From the second one, however, we see that all existence, inclusive of our own and whether we are aware of it or not, dwells in a timeless, motionless Now, a changeless, actionless Here, a thing-less, egoless Void. The first bids us work and work hard at self-development in meditation, metaphysics, and altruistic activity, but the second informs us that nothing we do or abstain from doing can raise us to a region where we already are and forever shall be in any case. And because we are what we are, because we are Sphinxes with angelic heads and animal bodies, we are forced to hold both these standpoints side by side. If we wish to think truthfully and not merely half-truthfully, we must make both these extremes meet one another. That is, neither may be asserted alone and neither may be denied alone. It is easier to experience this quality than to understand it.

This is puzzling indeed and can never be easy, but then, were life simple and less paradoxical than it is, all its major problems would not have worried the wisest men from the remotest antiquity until today. Such is the paradox of life and we had better accept it. That is, we must not hold one standpoint to the detriment of the other. These two views need not oppose themselves against each other but can exist in a state of reconciliation and harmony when their mutual necessity is understood. We have to remember both that which is ever-becoming and that which is ever in being. We are already as eternal, as immortal, as divine as we ever shall be. But if we want to become aware of it, why then we must climb down to the lower standpoint and pursue the quest in travail and limitation.

It would be an error to believe that the two standpoints are in conflict with each other; they are not because they cannot be. They can never produce a logical antimony; they are different readings of the same thing, a difference rendered inevitable because referring to different levels of knowledge, experience, and position.

One of the helpful notions which philosophy contributes to those who not only seek Truth through the intellect alone, but also seek to know how they are to live with that Truth in the active world itself, is the idea of the twofold view. There is the immediate view and there is the ultimate viewpoint. The first offers us a convenient way of looking at our activities in the world and of dealing with them whilst yet holding firmly to the Truth. The first tells us to act as if the world is real in the absolute sense. The second viewpoint, the ultimate, tells us that there can be only one true way of looking at everything, because there is only one Reality. Since it deals with the Absolute, where time and space disappear and there is no subject to view, no object to be viewed, there is no thought or complex of thoughts which can hold it; it transcends intellect. Therefore it could be said that philosophy uses duality for its practical viewpoint, but it stays in nonduality for its basic one, thus reconciling both.

What is the practical value of the teaching about time? The full answer to this question would embrace many fields, but here is one of the most important. Philosophy teaches its student to apply the double point of view to the outward happenings of his life as it does to the inward contents of his sense-experience. From the ordinary point of view, the nature of an event determines whether it is a good or an evil one; from the philosophic point of view, the way he thinks about the event will determine whether it is good or evil for him. He should always put the two points of view together and never separate them, always balance the short-range one by the long-range one.

The higher point of view enables him to escape some of the suffering which the lower one would impose upon him. An event which to the worldly man seems staggeringly important and evil from the point of view of the moment, becomes smaller and smaller as the years recede and, consequently, less and less hurtful. Twenty years later it will have lost some of its power to shake him; fifty years later it will have lost still more--indeed, it may have lost so much as to cause him no further pain; one incarnation later it will not trouble him at all. When the student adopts the long-range point of view he achieves the same result in advance and by anticipation of time. It is said that time heals all sorrows; if we seek the reason why, we shall find it is because it insensibly gives a more philosophic point of view to the sorrowful. The taste of water in a jar will be strongly sweetened by a cupful of sugar; the taste of water in a bucket will be moderately sweetened by it; the taste of water in a bathtub will be only slightly sweetened by it; and water in a lake will be apparently quite unmodified by it at all. In exactly the same way, the stream of happenings which makes up time for human consciousness gradually dilutes the suffering which each individual event may bring us.

The student is not content, however, to wait for such a slow process in order to reduce his suffering. By bringing the philosophic attitude to bear upon each event, as and when it occurs, he immediately reduces his suffering and fortifies his peace. Every calamity which is seen from this standpoint becomes a means whereby he may ascend, if he will, to a higher level of understanding, a purer form of being. What he thinks about it and what he learns from it will be its real legacy to him. In his first fresh anguish the unawakened man may deny this; in the mental captivity which gives reality to the Present and drops it from the Past, he may see no meaning and no use in the calamity; but either by time or by philosophy he will one day be placed at the point of view where the significance of suffering will be revealed to him and where the necessity of suffering will be understood by him. This, indeed, is one of the great paradoxes of the human development: that suffering leads him step by step from the false self to the acceptance of the true self, and that the true self leads him step by step back to the acceptance of suffering.

If the worldly man agitatedly sees the event against the background of a moment, if the philosophic student calmly sees it against the background of an entire lifetime, the sage, while fully aware of both these points of view, offsets them altogether by adding a third one which does not depend on any dimension of time at all. From this third point of view, he sees both the event itself and the ego to whom it happens as illusory. He feels the sense of time and the sense of personality as unreal. Deep within his mind he holds unshakeably to the timeless character of true being, to the eternal life of the kingdom of heaven. In this mysterious state time cannot heal, for there are no wounds present whereof to be healed. So soon as we can take the reality out of time, so soon can we take the sting out of suffering. For the false self lives like a slave, bound to every passing sensation, whereas the true self lives in the timeless peace of the kingdom of heaven. As soon as we put ourselves into harmony with the true self, we put ourselves into harmony with the whole universe; we put ourselves beyond the reach of calamity. It may still happen, but it does not happen to nor is it felt by our real self. There is a sense of absolute security, a feeling that no harm can come to us. The philosophic student discovers the mission of time; it heals sorrows and, under karma or through evolution, cures evils. The sage solves the mystery of timelessness, which redeems man.

Philosophy would not be worthwhile if it did not take the view that for the practical purposes of life, it must turn around and adopt a non-metaphysical approach. Thus a twofold attitude is the only complete and therefore correct one which it may approve. We have the right and bear the duty to ask ourselves in what way is a teaching related to everyday living; in what way is it connected with the world we know? If both relation and connection are absent, it is fair to say that the teaching is inadequate and lacks the necessary balance of interests.

Metaphysically, every thing and every thought contains in itself the form of its opposite. We must try not to be attached to one opposite and not to be repelled by the other in a personal way. This does not mean that we may ignore them--indeed we cannot do so, for practical life requires that we attempt at least to negotiate them--but that we deal with them in an equable and impersonal way. Thus we keep free of the bonds of possessiveness. If we try to cling to one of the opposites alone whilst rejecting the other, we are doomed to frustration. To accept what is inherent in the nature of things is therefore a wise act. If, through being personally hurt by it, we are unwilling to do so, if we rebel against it, then we shall succeed only in hurting ourselves all the more. To run away from one of the opposites and to run after the other is an unwise act. We must find a balance between them; we must walk between the two extremes; we must ascend the terrace above the standpoint which affirms and above that which negates: for the entire truth is never caught by either and is often missed by both. For the way in which our consciousness works shuts us up, as it were, in a prison house of relativistic experiences which are the seeming real but never the actually real. To accept both and yet to transcend both, is to become a philosopher. To transcend the opposites we have to cease thinking about what effect they will have upon us personally. We have to drop the endless "I" reference which blinds us to the truth about them. We must refuse to set up our personal preferences as absolute standards, our relative standpoints as eternal ones. To do this is to cease worrying over events on the one hand, to cease grabbing at things on the other. It is indeed to rise to an impersonal point of view and enter into harmony with what Nature is seeking to do in us and in our environment. We have to find a new and higher set of values. For so long as we cling to a personal standpoint we are enslaved by time and emotion, whereas as soon as we drop it for the philosophic one, we are liberated into a serene timeless life.

All concepts are dualistic; each implies its contrary concept. We cannot think them without silently posing their counterparts: the Void and the All, the "I" and the not-Self. This is why we have to abandon dualism in the end for nondualism if we want truth. We cannot have one foot in each camp.

Once the double viewpoint is understood and set up as the necessary starting point, the timed measure and the timeless order fall into his scheme of things. Practical experience carries him through the ordinary existence, and divine experience--the eternal Now--is not displaced by it. Success in living the philosophic life and maturing the mentality it requires makes this possible.

Only by accepting the double standpoint concurrently, rejecting neither the Real nor the Illusory, can we achieve Truth's wholeness.

Unless one looks at life from this double point of view, one can get only an inadequate unbalanced and incomplete perspective. It is needful for the everyday practical routine of living to regard it only at the point of personal contact. Here one sees its momentary, transitory, and finite form. But it is also needful for the satisfaction of the higher interests of mind and heart to regard the living universe as a whole. Here one sees an eternal and infinite movement, cored and surrounded by mystery.

That which IS is not moved, affected, or changed by events or things, by cosmic calamities or human thoughts. For these are all in time, THAT is out of it, has always been out of it and must therefore always be out of it. To us, all is happening in successive moments, but that is the timed view.

Hegel in Germany and the Jains in India taught the relativity of truth. They showed that by taking up different positions different aspects of truth would be revealed. But where the Jains put forward seven positions as covering the range, Hegel put forward three. Any relative truth is limited, one-sided, incomplete, and may even contradict the others. While philosophy endorses the truth of relativity present in both positions, it cannot endorse their exclusive character. It paradoxically adopts a positionless position free from their rigidity and limitations. It comes into no conflict with any sect, system, or religion, with any fixed dogmatism or free-thinking scepticism. It is a rival to none, competes with none. It reconciles the varied expressions of human thought and belief, accommodates them all by refusing their one-sidedness, bias, prejudice, but avoids their errors and incompleteness. It knows what it teaches, the final incontrovertible truth that there is nothing beyond Mind. It experiences the final uncontradictable reality where no distorting ego is present.

Science has pushed forward its exploration and operation into the immense distances of the cosmos without being able to conceive an end to them, as it has penetrated the unbelievably tiny world of the atom with a similar result. This is the mathematical infinite. But there is another. No instruments and no apparatus can be applied to objects of thought which imply its existence, for measurement and quantity are not concerned. That is the metaphysical infinite.

(a) "The one without a second" reappears in the universe as "no two things alike." (b) Nonduality, not two, means mentalism; the world is my idea, in my consciousness, hence not separate from me. There are not two--me plus world.

The World-Mind itself dwells in the Timeless Present, the Eternal Now. But for human beings all things happen, are experienced and observed, in succession.

Why did Emerson remark when he had to examine a quantity of wood he had ordered: "We must see to these things, you know, as if they were real"?

Unless these two standpoints are recognized as necessary, only bewildered minds, confused thinking, and false conclusions will follow. The immediate must be distinguished from the ultimate, the obvious from the profound.

Just as The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga defines Reality as that which is always real and never changing, so Truth is that which is always and everywhere true and not necessarily under certain conditions.

Consciousness can assume different forms, can operate on different space and time levels, so that it is relative. But it can also remain itself and assume no form; it is then what has been called absolute, not relative. But to reject the possible existence of all these other forms, however temporary they may be, as do those Indians who limit themselves solely to the doctrine of nonduality--fascinated as they are by the reality of the Real and the illusoriness of the unreal, so that they forget whether they are real or unreal--is to forget that he who holds the doctrine is himself a human being. He who comes back from the mystic experience of universality comes back to a human form, is himself a human being, however divine in his inmost essence. The Absolute is not a human being and can have no possible point of view, but the human being must have a humanized philosophy and can have a point of view. What is he to do after recognizing the opposition between the absolute and the relative consciousnesses, between the real and the unreal? The answer is and must be the double point of view. Not, mind you, the double nature of Truth, but the double point of view for us, humans: the one being empirical, practical, earthly and rational, the other being ultimate, divine, intuitive.

The enigma of existence cannot be solved on the single basis of the Void alone, nor on the basis of manifestation alone. Both must be taken into account together and at the same time in order to constitute existence for human entities as incarnate individuals.

This recognition of the dual principle governing all manifested existence does not cancel recognition of the Unmanifest as being the Final, the Unique, the Real. For the two are derived from it; into it their appearance and working vanish at last, but they themselves, as part of the World-Idea, never. Each universe follows the Divine Order of Yin-Yang.

The attempt to reduce truth to a single focal point fixed at the highest possible level suffices for the meditator and the dreamer. But it is too limited to suffice for life itself: thought and action, insight and practice, require two distinct points of view--the immediate and the ultimate.

The way out of the to-and-fro wanderings of his moods, to spirit and then away from it, is to accept the double nature of his being and the double polarity of Nature, the double viewpoint of truth and the double aspects of God. Then struggles cease and harmony prevails. There is then no warlike confrontation within himself, but peaceful reconciliation.

We have learned that time is but the succession of our thoughts. We have learned also that in all our experience of time and irrespective of the particular series to which it belongs, whether it run with the rapidity peculiar to dream or with the slowness peculiar to wakefulness, there must exist in us a background of rest, of stillness, against which we unconsciously measure our time-sense. The problem is how to bring this background into the field of consciousness. The answer is partly provided for us by this brief analysis. If the thought-succession were stopped--if awareness were determinedly pinned down to a single immobile point--then we would become enfranchised in the kingdom of Infinite Duration. This, however wonderful it be, could nevertheless only be a temporary process because life itself demands that we return to world-consciousness, to the knowledge of experience in space-time. It is indeed the condition which the successful mystic evidently arrives at, the condition of sublime trance which is regarded by him as the perfection of his quest.

The ultimate truth refers to the essence of a thing, its real nature. The immediate truth refers to its shifting conditions or passing states, the thing as it appears at the moment of perception.

Paradox is the only way to view both the immediate and the ultimate at the same time.

Philosophy says that its highest teaching is necessarily paradoxical because the one is in the many and the many, too, are one, because nonduality is allied to duality, because the worldly and limited points to the Absolute and Unbounded: hence the doctrine of two Truths.

Paradox is the only proper way to look at things and situations, at life and the cosmos, at man and God. This must be so if as full and complete a truth as mind can reach is desired. To express that truth there are two ways because of its own double nature: there is what the thing seems to be and what it really is. The difference is often as great as that yielded by an electronic microscope with five thousand-fold magnification when it is focused on an ant, compared to the view yielded by the naked eye.

If we question time and matter--those foundations of all our worldly experience--for their real nature, we come up against paradox and contradiction, against irrationality and logical absurdity. The only proposition which can properly be affirmed about them is that they exist and do not exist at the same time.

You cannot put It into any symbol without falsifying what

It really is. Yet you cannot even mention It in any way whatsoever without putting It into a symbol. What then are you to do? If mystics declare, as they so often do, that you should keep silent, ask them why so many of them have failed to obey this rule themselves? In their answer you will find its own insufficiency and incompleteness. For although, like everyone else, they too have to function on two separate and distinct levels, yet the truths pertaining to one level must in the end be coupled with those pertaining to the other.

Paradox is the bringing together of two elements which are antagonistic yet complementary.

The worship of God in the ordinary and personal sense is quite valid for those who wish to practise it, and for the masses who cannot rise to the highest nondual conception of God. If it involves this phenomenal world, and keeps the worshipper in duality and relativity, he is not wasting his time. As soon as the human mind insists on indulging its imagination or its thinking capacity and tries to understand where it ought to stop and let go of its egoistic effort, it must accept such a paradoxical situation as the double standpoint. The sixth-century Chinese philosopher Chi Tsang, in his "Essay on the Double Truth," which accepted both the immediate or relative and the ultimate or absolute standpoints, felt the difficulty but could do no other than accept it.

Its cultivation and application

The necessity of employing the double viewpoint leads to the acceptance of paradox as being the nature of truth. The practising philosopher finds that he must live in time as well as simultaneity, extension as well as infinity, mind as well as MIND. Were he to be simplistic he would create confusion.

He has to practise living on two different planes of being at once, the immediate and ultimate, the short-range and long-range, the relative and the Absolute, not as if they were in eternal contradiction but as if they were one and indivisible.

We have to cope with the world and the problems it brings us with the body and its needs. There is no evading them. Yet on the other hand, we have to recognize that in Absolute Truth there is no world, no body, no problems--only the one infinite timeless Being. How can we meet this enigmatic dilemma? Christian Science denies the dilemma in theory, but is untrue to its denial in practice. This is why so many have passed into its portals only to emerge again in later years. Philosophy counsels us to admit the plain fact, to cultivate a bifocal vision, and to see the relative truth where and when we want it but always fitted into the larger absolute truth.

There are two viewpoints: a qualified truth for the lower stage of aspirants which admits duality; and the complete viewpoint of nonduality for the highest student; thus for practical life, when dealing with other people or when engaged in some activity, those in the first stage must accept the notion of the world being real, because of expediency; yet even so, when they are alone or when keeping quiet, inactive, they ought to revert back to regarding the world, which includes one's own body as a part of it, as idea. Only for the sage is the truth always present, no matter whether he is with others, whether he is working, or whether he is in trance, and this truth is continuous awareness of one Reality alone and one Self alone.

Two simultaneous states of awareness are present in him.

We must perceive unity in diversity, and diversity in unity.

There is no loftier metaphysical standpoint than that of nonduality, but man cannot live by metaphysics alone. He is in the body, which in its turn is in the world. He needs a second standpoint to deal with both body and world. He needs the relative, the finite, the immediate one of personal experience. Metaphysics may tell him that the world, when examined and analysed, is but an appearance, and not even that when it is taken into the deepest meditation; but the five senses tell him that he must come to terms with it.

The world exists in precisely the same way for both the simpleton and the sage, but whereas it exists only as it appears in the first case it exists both as it appears and as it really is in the other.

In order to remember that we are godlike in essence we do not need to forget that we are human in existence.

We exist as beings in time and space, but as Being in the Timeless and Spaceless. For an Advaitin to deny the first statement is as futile as for a materialist to deny the second one.

Does this double standpoint mean that there is a constant oscillation between the two aspects, a mind which flutters from one to the other over and over again? Of course not! Just as the small circle can be contained within a larger circle, so the mind can be at once in the practical and the metaphysical yet able to concentrate on the one needed at any moment.

He has a double existence, with the frontal part of his consciousness in time and the real part out of it. All the miseries and misfortunes which may enter into the one part will make no difference to the blessed tranquillity which permanently reigns in the other.

He is to be not only an actor in the world's drama taking part in the events, but also a member of the audience watching them, not only in the very midst of the happenings but also their detached observer. This sounds too contradictory: are the two roles irreconcilable?

His awareness of the relativity of things relieves the philosopher of any compulsion to identify himself with any particular viewpoint. His liberation from dogma enables him to take the viewpoint which best suits the circumstances. This does not at all mean that chaos will enter into his affairs, insincerity into his attitudes, and anarchy into his morals. He is safeguarded from such perils by the link he has established with the Overself's infinite wisdom and immeasurable goodness.

The knowledge of its essence thrusts itself up between him and the world so that the physical sensed-envelope is seen for what it is.

Only by having a philosophic perspective on whatever happens to him, by balancing the day's events against the timelessness of Reality, can he find and keep peace of mind.

He lives in this fixity of consciousness deep within his heart, a fixity which makes the passage of time seem illusory and which makes the happenings of time seem appearances.

Live among men as if the world-appearance is what they feel it to be--the reality--but know for yourself the inner truth about it and about yourself.

Coming down here into the body of flesh and blood is our confusion. Experiencing the sufferings and distresses which we do is our fate. The satisfactions are there also, yes, and induce us to cling to life and return anew after each reincarnation. We need always remember that all this experience which a human undergoes is relative to time and place and must pass on and away. To what? To that higher order of the universe where we are with God as higher creatures.

With this larger outlook comes a larger acceptance of the past, of bygone deeds and thoughts, however one may regret actions or feel guilty or embarrassed about emotions. For if there is to be a forgiveness of others, there must also be forgiveness of one's self. And if one has outgrown one's past self, it should be as if one were looking upon another being, a stranger being.

This duality of his life will go on until he is ready for the Great Truth which displaces all the lesser ones but which he cannot grasp while clinging to them. If he persists in doing so, he will never be able to make the transition to understanding that there is only the One Infinite Life-Power, the One Ever-Existent Mind, and that all else is mere illusion, idea, or dream.

We hear from the East that the world is unreal and that the ego is unreal, or that the world does not exist and that the ego does not exist. It is here that semantics as developed by Western minds may perhaps be of some service in clarifying confused thinking leading to confused statements. The body is a part of the world. Do we or do we not dwell in a body? If we do not then we should stop feeding it and stop taking it to the physician when it gets sick. Yet even those people who make such extraordinary statements do continue to eat, to fall sick, and to visit a doctor. Surely that disposes immediately of the question whether or not the body exists. In the same way and by the same pattern of reasoning we can discover that the world also exists. What then has led these Indian teachers to proclaim otherwise? Here we begin to intrude upon the field of mentalism and as a necessary part of the key to mentalism we must turn to the dream state. If we dream of a world around us and of a body in which we live in this dream world and of other bodies of other persons moving in it, the Indians say that these dream persons and this dream world is seen to be non-existent when we wake up and hence they deny its reality. But the experience did happen, so let us scrutinize it. There was no such thing as this world, true, but something was there; what was there? Thoughts. All this world and all these persons about whom we dream pass through consciousness as thoughts, so the thoughts were there. Whether we consider dream or hallucination, the pictures are there in the person's mind; they exist there, but they exist there only as mental creations. But when we say they are merely mental creations, we are bringing in an attempt to judge them, to judge their nature, what they really are. The statement that they are unreal is therefore a judgement and is acceptable only on the basis of a particular standpoint, the standpoint of the observer who is outside the dream, outside the hallucination. It is not acceptable on the basis of the person who is having the experience at that moment. Thus we see that the existence of the ego, the body, and the world need not be denied; it is there, it is part of our experience, but what we have to do is to examine it more closely and attempt a judgement of its nature. And this judgement does not alter the fact that they are being experienced. This is a fact of our own, of everyone's experience, including the highest sage, only the sage and the common man each has his own judgement from his point of view, from his knowledge. In all these topics we can see how much easier it is to pick our way if we adopt the attitude which was proclaimed in The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga that there is a double viewpoint and a double standard in this teaching in order that we may be clear about our experiences and about our ideas and not get them mixed up. These two standpoints, the immediate and the ultimate, the common and the philosophic, are absolutely necessary in all talk and study about such metaphysical topics. Otherwise we get lost in mere verbiage, words, words, words.

The illumined person must conform to the double action of nature in him, that is, to the outgoing and incoming breaths. So his illumination must be there in the mind, and here in the body. It is the two together which form the equilibrium of the double life we are called upon to live--being in the world and yet not of it. In the prolongation of the expiring breath, we not only get rid of negative thought, but also of the worldliness, the materialism of keeping to the physical alone. With the incoming breath we draw positive inspiring remembrance of the divine hidden in the void. Hence we are there in the mind and here in the body. We recognize the truth of eternity yet act in time. We see the reality of the Void, yet know that the entire universe comes forth from it.

The exterior reality being Maya, our universe becomes both an enigma and a paradox until nonduality is accepted as the final and only solution.

The difficulty in accommodating the practical and philosophical views of existence is understandable. However, these dual views should not be mistaken for contrasting and opposing ones. The ultimate insight synthesizes them although it cannot prevent the continuance of their seeming variations. It is as though the foreground of the mind must hold the practical view while the background simultaneously holds a philosophical view. This is true for the developed aspirant, but in the adept there arrives, after long practice and profound experience, a condition of illumination which treats all experience for the idea that it is and at the same time keeps bright the light of the ever-burning lamp of reality--Pure Mind.

The idea of illusion is a necessary discovery for the beginner, but with deeper knowledge he discovers that the illusion is also the real because it is not apart from reality. The truth is that reality is attainable.

The philosophic view does not depose the empiric everyday view of the world. For practical purposes, the rules of the latter will always remain dominant.

To live in the ego is to live in time, to live in the Overself is to live in timelessness. But because man must live in both to live on earth at all, let him learn the art of resting in the eternal Now, the continuing moment which opens on to eternity.

The double viewpoint doctrine is as useful as it is convenient, for it enables the philosopher to live among the ignorant who believe they inhabit a totally real world as if he shared their belief. Otherwise they might segregate him from his fellows on a charge of insanity and put him in the special institutions built for such cases.

We live in the limitations of relativity but pursue the freedoms of divinity. Only later do we discover both are counterpart ideas--to be transcended.

The statement "to be" is to be "in time" or "in timelessness." Most limit its meaning to the first phrase only. But the more enlightened know that the higher possibility has been realized by some.

Where time is dismissed as unreal, attention to historic change must necessarily wane, and where form is regarded as illusory, the need of a cosmogony will not be felt. The correctness of this position cannot be argued away but its one-sidedness can. For we still have to live in time and form, with our bodies at least.

So long as you think there is variety, as in dream you feel the differences are real, you are in the illusory plane. In the unenquired stage, when you don't enquire into the reality of your experience (as in dream) you hold the illusive view.

The practical standpoint cannot be dispensed with because it is not humanly possible to find time to gather all the facts and so we have to take many matters on trust or on authority. We use it with confidence because it is based on a fairly uniform experience. The fact remains, however, that the knowledge it affords is not true but only probable knowledge.

World-Mind has truly made an image of itself in man who has his pure Mind state in sleep and his active state in waking. Hence space-time relations are introduced only with manifestation and not in Mind. The eternal stillness of Mind is broken by the birth of a cosmos, but it is broken only from the low standpoint of human ignorance.

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