Ultimately ALL metaphysical CONSTRUCTS are rubbish!
God is EVERYWHERE, pervading, ubiquitous in the Universe.
There are entry points in everything everywhere.
Everything IS GOD! Everyone is God! And God is LOVE!
Once you begin to consider the nature of your relationship to the universe and the origin of both, it is quite natural to want to systematize your findings to both share and clarify. Ever since we lost the memory of our absolute nature, we began this process.
In the Hindu tradition this was done through the enlightened inner revelations of great seers, the Rishis and others. SAMKHYA is an amazing repository of such thoughts and has influenced almost every philosophical and metaphysical system in India’s great history.
When you read these books you become aware that there are differences of opinion and arguments concerning the sequence and mechanics of Prakriti’s manifestation of the universe and her relationship to Purusha (the Soul). One venerable scholar even calls another a blockhead!
While I was at first disturbed by these differences of opinion, I realized the truth from reading Abhinavagupta’s PARAMARTHASARA – a Sanskrit word which means the real truth!
Abhinavagupta, the enlightened genius Shaivite, plainly states that all such theories are “mere suppositions and imaginary concepts of thinkers.”
Why? Because – “No diversity is the real truth.”
27. The Buddhist thinkers maintain that the constant flow of momentary consciousness is the only reality. The Vedic thinkers say that the single self, penetrating inside pervading, directing and governing all minds, is the ultimate reality.
Some Upanishadic thinkers take the power of animation as the ultimate truth, while other such thinkers say that one universal ATMAN, shining as all phenomena, is the only reality. Some other thinkers take either the psycho-physical organism or the generalities or lastly the individual as the ultimate truth.
But all such theories are merely dialectical speculations useful in discussions and debates. None among such entities has a real existence, as all these are mere suppositions and imaginary concepts of thinkers.
28. In the same way that matters like piety and sin, heaven and hell, birth and death, pleasure and pain… and so on, do never exist in reality, but appear in the Self on account of delusion (MAYA).
No diversity is the real truth. Its existence is simply apparent. It shines in the ATMAN as reflections shine in a mirror. All this appears to be a bonded being on account of the delusion caused by MAYA.
As I consider Abhinavagupta’s enlightenment to be beyond question, I feel I can draw certain conclusions from his emphatic statements:
*There is Oneness and (my term) non-Oneness or apparent multiplicity.
*The domain of non-Oneness (PRAKRITI) is the ‘appearance’ of transitory multiplicity in the form of the temporal illusory hologram and its matrix (both produced by Prakriti’s GUNA-MAYA).
*Therefore the mechanics of this multiplicity can be described in many diverse ways depending on the consciousness of the experiencer.
Throughout the four Cycles of Time we all have recognizable differences in the way we perceive life. Our holograms are not identical, as I am sure you have noticed. Thus when any one of us goes traveling into the inner worlds of our Soul, we all come up with our own versions of how the universe is constructed and manifested. None of which are any more real than the temporal illusory hologram itself – and none of which is any more real than another. However some do have a higher consciousness and are more useful than others.
Each is a product of the individual’s consciousness based on his or her state of balance among the three gunas. Prakriti’s GUNA-MAYA manifestations are all a part of the illusion of multiplicity – even when they are grand and enlightening illusory thoughts.
If it is true, as Abhinavagupta says, that all such theories are “mere suppositions and imaginary concepts of thinkers” then why should you read these wonderfully arcane and often complex metaphysical systems that take great pains to delineate the mechanics of consciousness?
The study of these metaphysical systems lifts your consciousness up into the higher frequencies out of the mundane and into the ‘sacred’.
These seers are in the higher waveform frequencies that you want to be in. Immersing yourself in their consciousness through reading their thoughts will bring your consciousness closer to theirs.
Consider the simple comparison of the potential influence on your consciousness of a best-seller paperback novel or even the nightly news, in contrast to reading the Bhagavad Gita or Lao Tzu. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the variants of effects here.
You will still have to ‘experience’ what you read. Just reading or hearing the truth is not enough. You must intuitively perceive, know, and feel these teachings in your soul. They must become a part of you deep inside – experientially. This is why so many diverse forms of spiritual practices have developed. These practices are an effort to allow you to make the knowledge a reality that has the power to release you from bondage of delusion.
Enlightenment can only come when you are fully engaged in the SATTVIC GUNA. You need to train your mind, body, and being to remain in a state of harmony and balance, a sort of focused alert intelligence that studying these teachings can give you. If you are restless (rajas) and lazy (tamas) you will not be able to access the waveform frequencies that open the door to liberation (moksha).
The aspirant needs to have some knowledge (jnana) of what you are going through. JNANA is knowledge that removes suffering brought about by ignorance. What are the rules of the universe and your relationship to it?
If you don’t understand the experiences your long hours of meditative practice are bringing you, then you will not be able to fully utilize their value. Without the knowledge of understanding, your hard earned inner revelations will wither on the vine and dissipate.
You must have a users manual of some sort.
Pick the one you resonate with.
An Evolving Synthesis
I will here paraphrase the enlightening thoughts of the brilliant and wonderful French Sanskrit scholar Alain Danielou from his classic book ‘The Gods of India’: The modern western world prefers to be analytical and to place religious and philosophical ideas in separate compartments.
In Hinduism the preference is cosmological. The tendency is to relate any new system of thinking to their ancient traditions – particularly to the Sanskrit texts the Vedas, the Mahabharata (which contains the Bhagavad Gita), the Upanishads and the Puranas. This cosmological approach to new ideas reflects a desire to embrace all knowledge as being an ever-evolving Wholeness.
Thus fresh evolutions of the ancient understandings and primordial traditions are accepted as additions to the total body of knowledge and incorporated into the whole. Seers and enlightened beings that came along with their unique and insightful revelations were accepted because they were viewed as useful clarifications on the ancient roots of these primordial traditions.
In other words, a new version of truth was accepted as long as it emerged from the older venerated truth and if it brought new light into the world because of its relevance to current times.
The enlightened revelations of such sage beings often take the form of commentaries on the principle texts. For example the Shaivite (Shiva) Abhinavagupta and the Vaishnavaite (Vishnu) Ramanuja both wrote their brilliant reflections on the Bhagavad Gita and both commentaries are insightful and useful to the reader.
As Alain Danielou explains, it is only in the Kali Yuga (our current Age of Conflict & Confusion) that religions become mutually exclusive. This isolation of creeds brings out the worst in man – “My god is God!” – and has led to endless horrors of war, and demented monstrosities such as the Inquisition, that have left their trail of suffering and blood across the pages of written history – the duration of the Kali Yuga.
Hinduism is based on what it calls SANATANA DHARMA a Sanskrit term that means the eternal religion. This principle recognizes the truth that expressions of our relationship with our Creator and that which is sacred within each of us will evolve, change, and develop relative to each of the Four Cycles of Time, and the cycles within cycles of each age.
As Krishna says in the Uddhava Gita:
‘In any one part, the other parts are present.’
V. Susan Ferguson / 2004
Essence of the Exact Reality or
PARAMARTHASARA of Abhinavagupta
With English translation & notes by Dr. B.N. Pandit
Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers; 1991, New Delhi
Abhinavagupta’s Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita
Translated from Sanskrit with Introduction & Notes by Boris Marjanovic
Indica Books; 2004, Varanasi India
The Gods of India: Hindu Polytheism
Alain Danielou, 1964
Inner Traditions, 1985
While the Gods Play: Shaiva Oracles & Predictions on the Cycles of History and the Destiny of Mankind
Inner Traditions, 1987
The Bhagavadgita in the Mahabharata
Translated by J.A.B. van Buitenen
University of Chicago Press, 1981