Paul Brunton Philosophic Foundation homepage > Notebooks of Paul Brunton > Category 28: The Alone > Chapter 1: Absolute Mind
Mind alone Is
All he needs to take him through intricate problems of metaphysics is this single masterly conception: Mind alone is.
In the last summation, there is only a single infinite thing, but it expresses itself brokenly through infinitely varied forms.
Philosophy defines God as pure Mind from the human standpoint and perfect Reality from the cosmic one. The time has indeed come for us to rise to meditate upon the supreme Mind. It is the source of all appearances, the explanation of all existences. It is the only reality, the only thing which is, was, and shall be unalterably the same. Mind itself is ineffable and indestructible. We never see it as it is in itself but only the things which are its passing phases.
The ultimate reality is one and the same, no matter what it is called; to the Chinese mystic it is TAO, that is, the Significance; to the Christian mystic it is GOD; to the Chinese philosopher it is TAT CHI, that is, The Great Extreme; to the Hindu philosopher it is TAT, that is, Absolute Existence. It has its own independent, everlasting, invisible, and infinite existence, while all worldly things and creatures are but fragmentary and fleeting expressions of IT on a lower sphere altogether. It lies deeply concealed as their innermost substance, and persists through their changes of form.
Before the personal ego came into being, Being was. "Before Abraham was I am," announced Jesus. Before thoughts, Thought! In its timelessness, Mind is the One without a Second; "in its timed manifestation it is all things."
The REAL is always there: we live in it.
Mind is primary being. It is mysteriously as still as it is self-active.
Absolute mind is the actuality of human life and the plenitude of universal existence. Apart from Mind they could not even come into existence, and separated from it they could not continue to exist. Their truth and being are in It. But it would be utterly wrong to imagine the Absolute as the sum total of all finite beings and individual beings. The absolute is not the integral of all its visible aspects. It is the unlimited, the boundless void within which millions of universes may appear and disappear ceaselessly and unendingly but yet leave It unaffected. The latter do not exhaust even one millionth of its being.
The Great Mind--invisible and untouchable; the host of little minds visible and pseudoconscious; the words incessantly poured out until the Silence descends. The Great Mind again! Yet it was always there but men looked elsewhere.
With every thought we break the divine stillness. Yet behind all thoughts is Mind. Behind all things that give rise to thoughts is Mind.
The One Infinite Life-Power is the ultimate of all things and all consciousness. There is no thing and no mind beyond it.
Within and without the universe there is only a single absolute power, a single uncreated essence, a single primary reality.
The ultimate metaphysical principle of Mind behind all this ordered activity is the same as the ultimate religious principle worshipped as God.
This is the mysterious element which hides as the unknown quantity--the algebraic x--of the universe.
That which is at the heart of all existence--the world's and yours--must be real, if anything can be. The world may be an illusion, your ego a fiction, but the ultimate essence cannot be either. Reality must be here or nowhere.
Mind is the essence in man and the power in the universe.
It is always there, the only reality in a mind-made world.
It is in here and out there, the fundament upon which all universes are structured, the substance of which they are composed, yet it is nowhere to be seen microscopically or measured geometrically. When all else is extinct it remains, indestructible and unique.
There is a principle of life which is conscious in its own unique way, which is the essential being of all entities and the essential reality behind all substances.
The Infinite Being is there and will be there whether universes exist or not.
The essence of all these finite forms is an infinite one.
No one can see the Real yet everyone may see the things which come from it. Although it is itself untouchable, whatever we touch enshrines its presence.
There is but One God, One Life, One infinite Power, one all-knowing Mind. Each man individualizes it but does not multiply it. He brings it to a point, the Overself, but does not alter its unity or change its character.
The One Mind is experiencing itself in us, less in the ego-shadow and fully in the Overself, hardly aware in that shadow and self-realized in the light that casts it.
The term nonduality remains a sound in the air when heard, a visual image when read. Without the key of mentalism it remains just that. How many Vedanta students and, be it said, teachers interpret it aright? And that is to understand there are no two separate entities--a thing and also the thought of it. The thing is in mind, is a projection of mind as the thought. This is nonduality, for mind is not apart from what comes from and goes back into it. As with things, so with bodies and worlds. All appear along with the ultimately cosmic but immediately individual thought of them.
The teaching of nonduality is that all things are within one and the same element--Consciousness. Hence there are no two or three or three million things and entities: there is in reality only the One Consciousness.
Duality exists, but only within nonduality, which has the last word.
If we could raise ourselves to the ultimate point of view, we would see all forms in one spirit, one essence in all atoms, and hence no difference between one world and another, one thing and another, one man and another.
Just as a larger circle may contain a smaller one within it, yet the one need not contradict the other, so the ever-being of Mind may contain the ever-changing incredibly numerous forms of Nature without any contradiction.
The universal reality is neither a unit nor a cipher. Were it a cipher we could never know it, could not even think of it, for then we would not be thinking. Were it a unit it could not stand alone but would mask a host of other units, thus making a plurality of realities. For it can be proved mathematically that the existence of one always implies the existence of a whole series of figures, from two upwards. What is it then? The answer, be it said to their credit, was discovered by old Indian sages. It is nonduality.
The notion of the One belongs to the realms of instruction for beginners; in reality it is as illusory as the Many, because it presupposes the truth of the latter; the reality of number one implies the reality of number two, and so forth. Hence Monism is not our doctrine, but rather Nonduality. There is a vast difference between the two terms.
Nonduality simply means that there is nothing other than the unseen Power, nothing else, no universe, no creature.
This is Absolute Being, where duality does not exist and multiplicity cannot.
In the end, when truth is seen and its relativities are transcended, there is only this: nonduality, nonorigination, and noncausality.
Everything exists in opposing pairs, that is, in twos. Hence the Origin, the Ultimate, is called by Hindu sages "the Not-TWO" (Advaita).
All distinctions between this and that, here and there, before and after, are dissolved in the Absolute.
In the highest Sanskrit texts, the universe is pointed to as "This" and the final reality as "That."
In The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga and The Wisdom of the Overself I unveiled that portion of the hidden teaching which negated materialism and showed the world to be immaterial and spiritual. In this book I unveil the remaining portion which shows that the person himself is devoid of real existence, that the ego is a fiction, and that there is only the One Universal Mind.
There is only the One inexhaustible Source out of which all this vast complex of universal existence emerges. It alone always is; the rest is an ever-changing picture.
Just as the dreamer's mind appears to split itself up into the various figures and persons of his dream, so the One has never really split itself up into the many, but it has appeared to do so.
Levels, phases, functions of Mind
When Mind concentrates itself into the World-Mind, it establishes a focus. However vast, it goes out of its own unlimited condition, it passes from the true Infinite to the pseudo-Infinite. Consequently the World-Mind, being occupied with its cosmos, cannot be regarded as possessed of the absolute character of Pure Mind. For what is its work but a movement of imagination? And where in the ineffable absolute is there room for either work or imagination? The one would break its eternal stillness, the other would veil its unchangeable reality. This of course it can never do, for Being can never become Non-Being. But it can send forth an emanation from itself. Such an emanation is the World-Mind. Through its prolonged contemplation of the cosmos Mind thus becomes a fragment of itself, bereft of its own undifferentiated unbroken unity. Nevertheless the World-Mind, through its deputy the Overself, is still for humans the highest possible goal.
Because of Mind's presence, that which men call God arises, creates, and dissolves entire worlds, kingdoms of Nature; yet Mind itself never moves, never acts, is forever still, is the ultimate of all ultimates, forever the only Unpassing, the only Unconditioned, the untouchable Mystery.
Mind is the essence of all manifested things as World-Mind and the Mystery behind unmanifest Nothing.
The distinguishing quality of Mind is a continuous stillness, whereas that of World-Mind is a continuous activity. In the one there is absolutely nothing whereas in the other there is an infinite array of universes.
Mind is the essence of all conscious beings. Their consciousness is derivative, borrowed from it; they could know nothing of their own power; whereas Mind alone knows all things and itself. When it knows them in time, it is World-Mind; when it knows itself alone, it is the unknown to man and unknowable Godhead.
The World-Mind pervades the cosmos; Mind extends beyond it.
Among all numbers, it is the lowest one--1--which is the foundation as well as the constituent of the entire series. But the empty number--nought--is even more important and significant because it symbolizes the inexpressible, ineffable, and inconceivable Power behind all powers.
The term Tao, as used by Lao Tzu, does not refer to the World-Mind, that which is responsible for the manifested universe, but to the pure, essential being of Mind-in-itself. What I have called the World-Mind, he calls Teh.
When Eckhart uses the term God he means the maker and governor of the world. By Godhead he means Mind, the absolute, beyond even the gods.
Whether we see its presence in the untiring activity of the universe or in the complete quiet of the Void, we do not see two different things but rather two phases of a single thing.
World-Mind is only a function of Mind. It is not a separate entity. There is only one Life-Power, not two. Hence it is wrong to say that World-Mind arises within Mind, as I said in The Wisdom of the Overself. Similarly of the Overself; it too is a different function of the same Mind.
The Mind's first expression is the Void. The second and succeeding is the Light, that is, the World-Mind. This is followed by the third, the World-Idea. Finally comes the fourth, manifestation of the world itself.
The Supreme Godhead is unindividualized. The World-Mind is individuated (but not personalized) into emanated Overselves. The Overself is an individual, but not a person. The ego is personal.
What is the meaning of the words "the Holy Trinity"? The Father is the absolute and ineffable Godhead, Mind in its ultimate being. The Son is the soul of the universe, that is, the World-Mind. The Holy Ghost is the soul of each individual, that is, the Overself. The Godhead is one and indivisible and not multiform and can never divide itself up into three personalities.
What is the Holy Trinity? How could it be three Gods? No--It is the Good, the Beautiful, and the True--three aspects of the One, only God.
The holy trinity is truth, goodness, and beauty. For they are leading attributes of the divine soul in man.
Mind in itself stays always in absolute repose: there is then no operation whatever, no movement or manifestation, no creation or communication or revelation; it is forever inaccessible and unknown. This is the "Divine Darkness" of early Christian Fathers, the Godhead of medieval Christian theologians.
The idea of Mind in utter repose, absolutely still, unmanifested in any way whatsoever, is the farthest limit of human finite thought about the Deity.
Mind as such is unconcerned with any world. It is without any limits and could not be confined in any form.
On knowing Why
We are constantly faced by the hoariest of all problems, which is "Why did the Universe arise out of the depth and darkness of the Absolute Spirit?" The Seer can offer us a picture of the way in which this Spirit has involved itself into matter and is evolving itself back to self-knowledge. That is only the How and not the Why of the world. The truth is not only that nobody has ever known, that nobody knows, and that nobody will ever know the final and fundamental purpose of creation, but that God himself does not even know--for God too has arisen out of the Absolute no less than the universe, has found himself emanated from the primeval darkness and utter silence. Even God must be content to watch the flow and not wonder why, for both God and man must merge and be absorbed when they face the Absolute for the last time. (In the symbolic language of the Bible, "For man cannot meet God face to face and live.")
That which IS can be none other than Final Being itself, not dependent on anything or anyone, mysteriously self-sufficient without a shape, yet all shaped things and creatures have emerged from elements which trace back to it. Forever alone, there was none to witness the Beginning.
As Mind the Real is static, as World-Mind it is dynamic. As Godhead It alone is in the stillness of being; but as God it is the source, substance, and power of the universe. As Mind there is no second thing, no second intelligence to ask the question why it stirred and breathed forth World-Mind, hence why the whole world-process exists. Only man asks this question and it returns unanswered.
For all of us, for the witless and for the wise, there are unanswerable questions in life and we must learn to live with them. None of us is a full and finalized encyclopaedia, for however far we may penetrate into the meaning of things we are always confronted in the end by the Unknowable Mystery. We do not know why the whole process of involution and evolution ever started at all: because we find that there is in the deepest metaphysical sense no becoming and process at all, there is only the Real.
At the ultimate level there is neither purpose nor plan because there is no creation.
Mind, which forever is, can undergo no change in itself and no multiplication of itself. If it could, it would not be what it is--the Ultimate, the Absolute, the Unconditioned, and the Unique. Nor, being perfect, complete, could it have desire, purpose, aim, or motive for itself. Therefore it could not have projected the universe on account of any benefit sought or gain needed. There is no answer to the question why the universe was sent forth.
It is to impose human limitation upon the transcendental Godhead to say that It has any eternal purpose to fulfil for Itself in the cosmos, whether that purpose be the establishment of a perfect society on earth or the training of individuals to enter into fellowship with It and participate in Its creative work. Purpose implies a movement in time whereas the Godhead is also the Timeless. Neither this earth nor the societies upon it can be necessary to God's serenely self-sufficient being. Yet these fallacies are still taught by the theology of theistic orthodoxy.
We know as much, and as little, about the Primal Mind as we know why there was a beginning of the universe--that is, precisely nothing.
Real as self-existent, transcendent, unique
There is That which abides in itself, sufficient to itself, unique, the Consciousness, the Finality. There is nothing beyond it. Before That one must bow in utmost reverence, humbled to the ground.
This is the only thing which is able to subsist entirely by itself, which is independent of and beyond all relations with any other thing. This, considered absolutely, is God.
In the beginning was Being--Mind; the principle of being, living, was inseparable from the principle of Knowing, Consciousness. It was transcendental and eternal. It is only we humans who are compelled to talk of beginnings although there was no such thing. This is why the Absolute is unapproachable, ineffable.
The world is not self-existent but MIND is.
Because it is utterly independent of all other things and entities, it is the Absolute.
It is in Sanskrit Aja, "the UNBORN," the only thing which had no beginning in time and which can have no ending for it is BEING itself.
There were those among the ancient Greek sages who taught with reverence about "THAT WHICH REALLY IS."
It is Self-existent, all-pervading, and boundless in every way.
The huge paradox of life becomes plainer as one becomes older. Nothing stands alone, all things come in couples. But stay!--there is one which is exempt from this law. No law can hold it for it holds them all itself.
Mind is the ever-free, bound by no authority, chained to no law, not even the law of cause and effect.
This is what Lao Tzu called "being-by-itself" but others called "Non-being." These are simply two descriptions of the same thing--one positive, the other negative.
Every other entity or thing cannot not be, but not the Supreme Principle, for it is Be-ing itself.
That which exists through itself is MIND.
This infinite being has the power to support itself--nothing else has.
The Infinite Power can never become exhausted. It is self-sustaining.
This is the ultimate Being beyond which there is nothing.
We are dependent on and dwell in Mind but Mind on the contrary is self-sustained and dwells in itself.
If we say, "God is a Mind," we err greatly. If we say, "God is Mind" we speak more rightly. The introduction of this shortest of short words falsifies our idea of God because it separates, personalizes, and differentiates the Absolute.
Mind, alone, has the right to say, "I AM!" But then, it is forever silent. All others can only say, "I am me," indicating a person.
"Before Abraham was I am!" These words are an expression of the higher mentalism. Note carefully that Jesus did not say "I was." This means that he as the non-personal unindividuated Mind existed before the birth of Abraham. "I am" points to the eternal One where no individual entity ever was, is, or shall be.
Philosophy raises the question of Reality and pursues it until an answer can be found. That answer asserts there is something unique which alone can be the Real, which ever was, is, and shall be.
Philosophy's fundamental postulate is that there is but one ultimate Power, one sublime Reality, one transcendent Being. It is invisible to all, since it is the power that makes the world visible. It is without form, since it is the Substance out of which all forms are made.
The Real is unique--the only undivided, unsplit being beyond which there is nothing else.
There is nothing else either beyond it or besides it.
It is the unique not only because of what IT is but also because two statements concerning IT can be quite contradictory, yet each can still be correct!
One transcends all categories.
Since the Real is unique, the One without a second and not the One which is related to the Many that spring out of it, it cannot correctly be set up in opposition to the Unreal, the Illusory, the Appearance. They are not on the same level.
That which both Greek Plato and Indian Vedantin called "the One" did not refer to the beginning figure of a series, but to "One-without-a-Second."
It is unique. There is nothing to which it can be justly likened, or with which it can be compared. This must be so since it goes beyond and transcends all things without any exception. It is inexpressible. Whatever is said of it will only succeed in describing an idea in the mind of the sayer, and this goes beyond and transcends all ideas, again without any exception.
You can compare one being or one thing with another but not This, not This!
There is a Mind which is self-existent, unique, unlike anything else, unbegotten.
The universal Mind is also unique in that while comprehending all things, it is itself incomprehensible.
It stands alone, unique, unseen and untouchable. Yet from it emerge all the gods of all the planets which they govern, all the ethical injunctions which men need and must have in the end.
Real as unchangeable
The Real is forever and unalterably the same, whether it be the unmanifest Void or the manifested world. It has never been born and consequently can never die. It cannot divide itself into different "realities" with different space-time levels or multiply itself beyond its own primal oneness. It cannot evolve or diminish, improve or deteriorate. Whereas everything else exists in dependence upon Mind and exists for a limited time, however prolonged, and therefore has only a relative existence, Mind is the absolute, the unique, the ultimate reality because with all its innumerable manifestations in the universe it has never at any moment ceased to be itself. Only its appearances suffer change because they are in time and space, never itself, which is out of time and space. The divisions of time into past present and future are meaningless here; we may speak only of its "everness." The truth about it is timeless, as no scientific truth could ever be, in the sense that whatever fate the universe undergoes its own ultimate significance remains unchanged. If the Absolute appears to us as the first in the time-series, as the First Cause of the Universe, this is only true from our limited standpoint. It is in fact only our human idea. The human mind can take into itself the truth of transcendental being only by taking out of itself the screens of time space and person. For being eternally self-existence, reality is utterly timeless. Space divisions are equally unmeaning in its "Be-ness." The Absolute is both everywhere and nowhere. It cannot be considered in spatial terms. Even the word "infinite" is really such a term. If it is used here because no other is available, let it be clearly understood, then, that it is used merely as a suggestive metaphor. If the infinite did not include the finite then it would be less than infinite. It is erroneous to make them both mutually exclusive. The finite alone must exclude the infinite from its experience but not vice versa. In the same way the infinite Duration does not exclude finite time.
What is Reality? In The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga, I defined it as that unique entity which is not subject to change. But we can look at it from another standpoint and define it as that which would alone remain if every other entity in the universe and the universe itself disappeared.
That which always remains the same, never changes, that is reality.
THAT is real being which is faultless and partless, and without a single one of the characteristic properties belonging to this physical world. It never varies whereas that world is constantly changing. Such everlasting being is incomparable, unique, and beyond human picturization. THAT is the essence of all things, the base whence, eventually, the universe is projected.
That is the Real which not only is not subject to any change but also would still abide even if the entire universe vanished. Everything and everyone else must come out of some prior element which traces itself down even to the first and original element, but the Real alone is self-abiding and self-existing. It has its own independent Being.
There is no period so far off in the future, no time so distant in the past, no area anywhere in space, that will be or has been without Being. If men can find it today, they will find it then as they found it in antiquity. If they commune with it on this earth, or enter into some relationship with it here, they can do likewise on other planets. Moreover it remains ever the Same, the Unchanged and Unchangeable.
Reality being what it is, a gigantic fact which is utterly impregnable against time and change, even the total disappearance of the exponents of that truth which points to it could not alter its own status.
We must never forget that the entire dynamic movement occurs inseparably within a static blessed repose. Becoming is not apart from Being. Its kinetic movement takes place in the eternal stillness. World-Mind is forever working in the universe whereas Mind is forever at rest and its still motionlessness paradoxically makes all activity and motion possible. The infinite unconditioned Essence could never become confined within or subject to the finite limited world-form. The one dwells in a transcendental timelessness whereas the other exists in a continuous time. There cannot be two eternal principles, two ultimate realities, for each will limit the other's existence and thus deprive it of its absolute character. There is only the One, which is beyond all phenomena and yet includes them. The manifestation of the cosmic order, filled with countless objects and entities though it be, does not in any way or to any extent alter the character of the absolute Reality in which it appears. That character is unvarying--is never reduced to a lower form, never confined in a limited one, never modified by conditions, never deprived of a single iota of its being, substance, amplitude, or quality. It always is what it was. It is the ultimate origin of everything and everyone in this universe, yet it remains as unchanged by their death as by their birth, by their absence as by their presence. Everything in the universe is liable to changes, because it was born and must die. We venerate God because He is not liable to change, being ever-existent and self-subsisting, birthless and deathless.
Considered from its own standpoint, the infinite can never manifest as the finite, the Real can never alter its nature and evolve into the unreal; hence the pictures of creation or evolution belong to the realm of dream and illusion. The grand verity is that the Universal self has never incarnated into matter, nor ever shall. It remains what it was, is, must forever be--the Unchanged and Unchangeable.
The infinite has never, can never, become the finite.
The Real is neither the Many nor the Changing but THAT from which these are both derived.
Such a truth will never need to be replaced by a newer one: it will hold its place, and satisfy the searching mind, in a thousand years' time as much as it does today.
Bradley's errors are: (a) to turn the Absolute into a system or a process, and (b) to identify the Absolute with its contents.
Real as Void
If Mind is to be regarded aright, we must put out of our thought even the notion of the cosmic Ever-Becoming. But to do this is to enter a virtual Void? Precisely. When we take away all the forms of external physical existence and all the differences of internal mental existence, what we get is an utter emptiness of being which can hardly be differentiated after we have taken away its features and individualities, its finite times and finite distances. There is then nothing but a great void. What is the nature of this void? It is pure Thought. It is out of this empty Thought that the fullness of the universe has paradoxically evolved. Hence it is said that the world's reality is secondary whereas Mind's reality is primary. In the Void the hidden oneness of things is disengaged from the things themselves. Silence therefore is not merely the negation of sound but rather the element in which, as Carlyle said, great things fashion themselves. It is the supreme storehouse of power.
There is here no form to be perceived, no image born of the senses to be worshipped, no oracular utterance to be listened for, and no emotional ecstasy to be revelled in. Hence the Chinese sage, Lao Tzu, said: "In eternal non-existence I look for the spirituality of things!" The philosopher perceives that there is no such thing as creation out of nothing for the simple reason that Mind is eternally and universally present. "Nothing" is merely an appearance. Here indeed there is neither time nor space. It is like a great silent boundless circle wherein no life seems to stir, no consciousness seems to be at work, and no activity is in sway. Yet the seer will know by a pure insight which will grip his consciousness as it has never been gripped before, that here indeed is the root of all life, all consciousness, and all activity. But how it is so is as inexplicable intellectually as what its nature is. With the Mind the last word of human comprehension is uttered. With the Mind the last world of possible being is explored. But whereas the utterance is comprehensible by his consciousness, the speaker is not. It is a Silence which speaks but what it says is only that it IS; more than that none can hear.
"The Godhead is as void as though it were not," said Eckhart. "Pass from the station of `I' and `We' and choose for thy home Non-entity. For when thou hast done the like of this, thou shalt reach the supreme felicity," wrote Qurratulayn, a Persian poetess, nearly a century ago. We may begin to grasp the meaning of such statements by grasping the conception that Infinite Mind is the formless, matterless, Void, Spirit. Mortal error is mistaking forms for final realities instead of penetrating to their essence, Mind. Whatever can be said about the unnameable "Void" will be not enough at least and merely symbolic at most. The mystic's last Word is the Freemason's lost Word. It can never be spoken for it can never be heard. It is the one idea which can never be transferred to another mind, the one meaning which can never get through any pen or any lip. Yet it is there--the supreme Fact behind all the myriad facts of universal existence. To elevate any form by an external worship or an internal meditation which should be given only to the formless Void is to elevate an idol in the place of God. Muhammed is reported to have once said that the worship of any one other than the great Allah, i.e., "the Beginningless, the Endless," was the first of major sins. Yet to honour the sublime No-thing by thought or rite is hard for the unmetaphysical. And it requires much metaphysical insight to perceive its truth. The cold impersonality of this idea is at first repelled by us with something like horror. A change in this attitude can come about only gradually at most. But if we perseveringly pursue our quest of truth we shall overcome our aversion in the end. If it be true that Truth is not something we can utter, that the Nameless cannot fitly be represented by any name, we may however continue to use any word we like, provided we keep its limitations clearly in our understanding of it. After all, although the thinking intellect creates its own image of truth, it is the Overself that starts the creative process working. But in the end we shall have to reserve our best worship not for a particular manifestation in time but for the Timeless itself, not for a historical personage but for the impersonal Infinite.
Suzuki says "Suchness" is the Godhead of Eckhart, the Emptiness.
It would be completely false to regard the Void as being a nothing and containing nothing. It is Being itself, and contains reality behind all things. Nor is it a kind of inertia, of paralysis. All action springs out of it, all the world-forces derive from it.
The Void is not a nothing-at-all-ness in the absolute sense, or how could the whole cosmos come forth out of it, how could I myself be released by it, how could the very intellect which thinks this concept appear from it into activity and produce thoughts?
Is this not the greatest of Paradoxes that the origin of all things is seeming Nothingness?
Within that seeming Void lie the vanished planets of yesterday and the evolving worlds of tomorrow.
Since all things are limited in some way or other, or conditioned by some circumstance or other, THAT which is unlimited and unconditioned, which does not exist as they do, cannot rightly be called a thing. It is no-thing, the Void.
There is no other, no thing, no experience of an object for it. It is alone in the Void.
Real as Consciousness
IT is the Principle behind both consciousness and unconsciousness, making the first possible and the second significant. Yet neither consciousness nor unconsciousness, as we humans know them, resembles it.
There is a single Consciousness without beginning or end, ever the same in itself, beyond and behind which there is nothing else.
Consciousness-in-itself, its own pure formless being, is incorruptible; but viewed from our side, our relation to it, universal and collective, we, individual entities, emerge from it and eventually fall back into it. This applies to all who take on an existence, however tiny it be in dimension or however immense in time, however feeble in power or however majestic in rulership.
Although the Absolute is the Unknowable to us, it must be able to know and understand its own being and its own nature.
Consciousness untouched by any thought, picture, or name--this has yet to be studied by our Western psychologists.
Ultimate reality does not lie in this world, nor in that which perceives it, but in that which perceives the perceiver.
Consciousness can exist apart from the world, from the things and creatures in it, and even from the ego, but the world exists only as a projection of consciousness. In this sense the world has no lasting reality but, by contrast, the consciousness has.
What is Spirit? It is that which is the essence of mind and therefore mind in its pure state divested of all thoughts, all personal emotions, and all personal egoism. Therefore, it transcends the human concept of individual being. To ascribe human qualities to it is to falsify it and yet, because it is the essence of the mind, it is the essence of every human being.
The intellect can never understand this point until it understands that the conception of individuality and the conception of existence are separate and different from each other. Individuality may go but existence may remain.
Beyond all forms which consciousness can take is its very essence, consciousness in itself, alone and unique. It can never be transformed or changed and it can never disintegrate.
Pure consciousness is not a mental state, but Mind-in-itself, the Mind when gathered entirely into itself. The mental states are brought about by some kind of mental activity, but not here.
Consciousness-in-itself is something apart from its objects, which are thoughts, feelings, imaginations, things, bodies--in short, experience.
Consciousness stripped of thoughts and pictures becomes bare Being.
Consciousness-in-itself does not vary, but its phases and states do.
It is Mind which not only lights up its own existence but also all other existence.
There are various kinds of consciousness but there is only a single pure Consciousness, one where nothing is put into it--no thoughts, emotions, or objects, even no ego.
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