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Thread: 'adhyAtmavidyA' in Synthesis: 10. 'dvam-dvam'--The Relative: Mula-Prakrti--Not-Self

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    'adhyAtmavidyA' in Synthesis: 10. 'dvam-dvam'--The Relative: Mula-Prakrti--Not-Self

    mUla-prakRuti or Matter: Not-Self

    WE have dealt with the first factor of the triune Absolute, namely the Self. The second factor is the Not-Self. Its many names, each significant of a special aspect, are:

    an-AtmA, Not-Self;
    a-chit, the non-conscious;
    an-Rta, the false;
    jaDa, the non-intelligent, non-sentient, inert;
    nAnA, the Many;
    jneya, the knowable;
    viShaya, the Object;
    bheda-mUla, root of separateness;
    mUla-prakRti, Root-Nature;
    pradhAna, the chief, the root-base, of all the elements, wherein they all 'subsist';
    mAtrA, the measurer, the measure-setter, the delimiter, the de-fin-ing or finitising principle, the mother, Matter; and
    a-vyakta, the Unmanifest.

    Mula-prakrti and Pradhaana are specially prominent in Sankhya, and of frequent occurrence elsewhere too.

    अनात्मा, अचित्, अनृत्, जड, नाना, ज्ञेय, विषय, भेदमूल, मूल प्रकृति, प्रधान, मात्रा

    Each name is significant of an important aspect.

    The word mAtrA has, regrettably, dropped out of current use somehow; it deserves restoration, being etymologically the same as the well known English word 'matter'.

    It is used in this sense in the Bhagavad-Gita:

    मात्रा स्पर्शास्तु, कौन्तेय! शीतोष्ण सुखदुःखदाः ।

    mAtrA sparshAstu, kaunteya! shItoShNa sukhaduHkhadaaH | (ii.14)

    ("Contacts with the objects of the senses, O Kaunteya, give rise to cold and hot, pleasure and pain.")

    The word avyakta is not specific to the Not-Self, it should be noted; it is used for Pratyag-Atma, or abstract Self, also for Not-Self, and also for mahat-buddhi of Sankhya, the 'great' diffused Intelligence, universal or sub-supra-Conscious Mind, unindividualised by a sheath and un-particularised or unfocussed by an act of attention.

    mahAn-AtmA also occurs, now and then, in the sense of Self plus this Universal Mind. Sometimes AkAsha is also called avyakta, as a substitute for root-matter or 'This', which is the indispensable second basis of universal mind, the first being Self.

    The etymology of Pra-krti, is thus explained in Devi-Bhagavata, IX.i:

    प्रकृष्टवाचकः प्रश्च, कृतिश्च सृष्टिवाचकः;
    सृष्टौ प्रकृष्टा या देवी, प्रकृतिः सा प्रकीर्त्तिता ।
    गुणो सत्वे प्रकृष्टे च प्रशब्दो वर्तते श्रुतः,
    मध्यमे रजसि कृश्च, तिशब्द तमसि स्मृतः ।

    prakRuShTavAchakaH prashcha, kRutishcha sRuShTivAchakaH;
    sRuShTau prakRuShTA yA devI, prakRutiH sA prakIrttitA |
    guNo satve prakRuShTe cha prashabdo vartate shrutaH,
    madhyame rajasi kRushcha, tishabda tamasi smRutaH |

    "The first letter indicates greatness; the next two, activity, creation, emanation; also, the three letters respectively mean the three guNas, sattva. rajas, and tamas."
    Not-Self All-ways Contrary to Self

    This Not-Self is by the Necessity of Negation of it by Self, which Necessity is the very Nature of the Absolute--the opposite of Self, in every possible respect and aspect; as is indicated in the fact that some of its most characteristic names are made up by prefixing a negative to the names of Self.

    Because of this fact,

    • as the essential characteristic of Self is Unity, the very essence of Not-Self is Manyness, separateness; and
    • as the marks of Self are Universality and unlimitedness, so the marks of the Not-Self are limitedness, Particularity, ever-specifiedness.

    As Fichte has said (The Science of Knowledge, p.83 -- Kroeger's English translation): "All reality is in consciousness, and of this reality that part is to be ascribed to the Non-Ego which is not to be ascribed to the Ego, and vice versa ... The Non-Ego is what the Ego is not, and vice versa."

    Or, better, as reported by Schwegler (History of Philosophy, p.246): "Whatever belongs to the Ego, the counterpart of that must, by virtue of simple contraposition, belong to the Non-Ego."

    This characteristic consequence of the opposition of Self and the Not-Self should be carefully considered, together with other aspects of the Nature of the Absolute. Solution of the various difficulties, alluded to before from time to time, hinges upon it.

    • Because nothing particular can be said of Ego, therefore everything particular, all possible particulars, must be assigned to Non-Ego.

    • But yet again, lest the totality of these particulars should become a fact different from the Non-Ego instead of identical with it, even as positive is different from negative, these particulars, are paired off into opposites.

    These opposites, again, because particular and definite, are more than presence and absence; both factors have the appearance of presence, positiveness, as debt and loan, as pleasure and pain. The pain of a debt is as much a positive burden on the consciousness of the debtor, as the pleasure of a loan is a weight on that of the creditor.

    (See Yoga-bhaAhya, ii.5; "a-vidyA is not merely non-knowledge but 'opposite' or wrong knowledge, as a-mitra, non-friend, un-friendly, is not merely 'absence of friend' but a positive foe.")

    Mind, the Only Maker-Unmaker

    When we are dealing with the ultimate universal and pseudo-universal, viz., Self and Not-Self, Being and Nothing, then even presence and absence are adequately opposed; it is enough to prefix a negative particle to Self and Being.

    But when we are in the region of particulars, this is not so:

    • positive cold, in order to be neutralised, must be opposed by positive heat, and not merely by no-cold:
    • a positive debt is not sufficiently set off and balanced by a no-debt, but only by an asset;
    plus is not nullified by zero, but by minus;
    • a colour is not abolished by no-colour, but by another equally positive complementary colour.

    It should also be borne in mind, in this connection, that the positiveness of particulars, the reality of concrete things, is, after all, not so very definite and indefeasible as it seems at first sight, but on the contrary, a very elusive and illusive fact.

    In the ultimate analysis its whole essence is found to be nothing else than consciousness; the more consciousness we put into a thing, the more real it becomes, and vice versa.

    That a house, a garden, an institution, falls out of repair, or order, and gradually disappears, loses its reality, its existence, if it is neglected by the proprietor or manager; that is to say, if the latter withdraws his consciousness from it; is only an illustration of this on the physical plane.

    The essential fact is always the same, consciousness upholding itself as well as its object, though the details differ; thus, to maintain its objects on the physical plane, consciousness employs the bahish-karaNa, the 'outer', or physical, senses, organs, instruments and means, for repairs, etc.; while on the mental plane it employs the antah-karaNa,' the 'inner instrument'.

    As in the case of the individual and his house, on the small scale, so, on the large scale, when Brahmaa 'falls asleep' and withdraws his consciousness from it, his brahm-ANda, world-egg or system, disappears.

    Like so many other facts and laws stated by Samskrt metaphysic, these 'world-eggs' or 'eggs of Brahman, the Immense, the Infinite', are literal facts, which need no abstruse science or elaborate thinking to perceive, but can be veritably seen by physical eyes. Earth Moon, Sun, all the 'orbs' and 'globes' of Heaven, i.e.. the Immense Firmament, Boundless Space, are quite obviously 'eggs' of the Infinite.
    We should remember here that the arrangement of materials which is the house, the garden, etc.,

    • is, for all purposes, the creation of the maker's individual consciousness,
    • and that the other arrangements of material which he uses as senses, means and instruments, etc., are also evolved and created by his life or consciousness;

    (that functions create organs, and not organs, functions, is becoming quite a commonplace of at least one school of advanced science now--Compare Chhandogya, VIII.xii.5, "The Self ideating or imagining itself as hearing, seeing, etc., became the ear, the eye, etc.");

    • and finally that, that material, ultimately the Not-Self, over which he as an individual has no power, is the creation of, the result of positing or affirmation by, the Universal Consciousness, the Self.

    If these facts are duly taken into account, then the presence of all possible kinds of mutually-destructive pairs of 'reals', 'concretes', 'particulars', within, and as making up the total of, Not-Self, equivalent to Nothing or Non-being in its totality, will not appear altogether incomprehensible.

    All Creation is Pro-creation

    All creation is a continuation of self. No creation is possible without identification of the producer with the product, (comparatively).

    Every creation is, more or less, a pro-creation, forth-emanation, (as of a child). It is positing of the creat-ure, directly or indirectly, as 'I-(am)-this'. 'My' is the (comparatively) indirect form of positing; it is only a lesser degree of 'I'.

    All dissolution is, similarly, denying that identity; 'I-not-this', or 'not-mine-this'.

    However distant from me, and apparently indifferent to me, yet still the stars, the planets, the earth's poles, the earth's centre--are all 'I' or 'my', or 'not so', though very vaguely. Whatever is of 'interest' to 'me', is related to me in terms of love or hate; therefore, in terms of 'I' and 'mine', aham-ta and mama-ta, or of 'not I' and 'not mine', na-aham and na-mama.

    The Veda hymns, known as cha-ma-ka and na-ma-ka, vividly express this idea: 'The Sun is Mine, the Moon is Mine, Indra is Mine, the Wind is Mine', etc., and again, 'Not Mine, Not Mine'.

    To bring home the fact that 'mine' is only a continuation of 'I', consider this: a person 'creates' a house for him-self; he feels and wishes, 'aham grhI syAm', 'May I become a house-man', (hus-band, houseowner, house-dweller).

    This feeling, this consciousness, converts Arambha into adhy-A-ropa or adhy-Asa; changes creation into self-transformation (which includes pari-NAma);

    It transforms the 'potter' into the theatrical 'actor'. All authors, more or less, put themselves into their creations; authors of even science-books; much more of novels and dramas. Literal and visible proof, of owner and house being identical, are shell-fish, molluscs. In later, higher, forms of life, this house becomes more and more, and then quite, separate, physically only.

    The cause, the force, which creates a book, a machine, a state, an empire, is the ideation-and-will, of some individual self, 'May I be an author, a machine-inventor, a statesman, an emperor'. Birds fly with wings, fishes swim with fins and tails, which are (part of) them-selves; men fly and swim with aeroplanes and ships and submarines which are theirs.

    Yoga-siddhas may re-place the machines which are theirs, by organs which would be (parts of their bodies) them-selves; as telescopes and microscopes may be replaced by keener eyes and clairvoyance. The evolutionist (Lamarckian) view, that 'functions create organs'; the poet's conviction, that 'the Spirit's plastic stress' shapes all things; are only corollaries of the above.

    Incidentally, for a very entertaining exposition and defence of Lamarckism or neo-Lamarckism as against Darwinism or neo-Darwinism, the reader may see Bernard Shaw's Preface to Back to Methuselah.

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    Re: 'adhyAtmavidyA' in Synthesis: 10. 'dvam-dvam'--The Relative: Mula-Prakrti--Not-Se

    Countless Paired Positives

    The negative Not-Self thus appears as a mass of countless paired positives, dvam-dvam, 'two-and-two'.

    • These appear as particular and positive when we view each of the two factors of every pair separately, from the standpoint of the limited.

    • Yet by the fact of their being paired into opposites, by the affirmation and negation contained in the Absolute, they are always destroying each other by internecine controversy, and thereby always leaving intact and maintaining the negativity of the negative, considered from the standpoint of totality.

    In other words, the Whole is the summation, and at the same time the opposite, the abolition and annihilation, of all its parts; as zero is the summation as well as the abolition of all possible plus-figures and all possible minus-figures.

    This paired feature of Mula-prakrti is only a reproduction, a reflection, therein, of the essential constitution of the Absolute, the opposition of the primal pair of Pratyag-Atma and Mula-prakrti, which is necessarily the supreme archetype and paradigm for all constitutions within it; there being nothing outside it to borrow from.

    No Arbitrariness
    This being clearly grasped, the famous quill of Krug (p.73 supra) may now be deduced easily. Where everything must be, the quill also may be, nay, shall be; and not only the quill, but the agencies that destroy the quill.

    All arbitrariness, all caprice, is done away with by this one statement. Arbitrariness means nothing more nor less than this: one thing more than another, one thing rather than another, without due reason.

    Where all are, equally, and none more than another; and, further, where everything is with its opposite, with its negation, with its is not, also, at the same time; there, there is no arbitrariness, no caprice.

    Variations 'within' the Unvarying

    If we ask, why this particular thing at this particular point of space and time, the reply is:

    • In the first place, the particular space and time of the question have no particularity apart from the particular thing which defines them; so that the particular thing and the particular time and space are inseparable, are even indistinguishable, almost; are one thing in fact, and not three.

    • In the second place, all possible orders or arrangements, all possible particulars, cannot actually be at the same point of space and time, to one limited Jiva; and yet they are all there also, to him, one actually and the rest potentially, to satisfy even such a demand. And they are there also actually, turn by turn, to that same Jiva.

    • On the other hand, all possible orders and arrangements and things are actually present also at any one point of space and time; but they are so only when we take into consideration all possible constitutions and kinds of Jivas, and see that any one order corresponds to one particular kind of Jiva.

    Thus, the extreme demand that "everything must be everywhere and always" actually, as it of course is potentially, is also justified and satisfied.

    यतावद् एव विज्ञास्यं, तत्त्वविज्ञासुना आत्मनः,
    अन्वयव्यतिरेकाभ्यां, यत् स्यात् सर्वत्र सर्वदा ।

    yatAvad eva vij~jAsyaM, tattvavij~jAsunA AtmanaH,
    anvayavyatirekAbhyAM, yat syAt sarvatra sarvadA |

    "The seeker for the Truth of Self, should find out That which is every-where and al-ways. He should do so by anu-aya and vi-ati-reka; by discriminating between what persists and what changes"; i.e., by the method of agreements and differences, or concomitant variations. See pp.22-23 supra.

    sarva sarvatra sarvadA | --Yoga-Vastshtha

    So far as potential presence is concerned, a biological illustration is supplied by the doctrine of bio-phores, each containing an infinite number of ids or determinants, developing and manifesting by turns.

    Compare also Leibnitz, Monadology: "He who sees all, could read in each what is happening every- everywhere;" where;" and again, "each monad (Jiva) is a living mirror of all the universe."

    Jevons, in The Principles of Science, describes how each atom is a register of all the happenings of all the universe. " What a wonderful revelation to the historian and artist it would be ... if he could stand in a modern gallery and see artists of all ages and generations at work, or talk to writers, dramatists, and philosophers of all times. Yet this is what the scientist possesses in living intensely active Nature"; The Origin and Nature of Life (Home University Library), pp.71-72.

    The word 'gene' is now in vogue in place of Weismann's 'id', but seems to mean much the same. It maybe noted here that such views as Bergson's, of Creative Evolution, and Morgan's, of Emergent Evolution, all assume change, of one sort or another, and do not explain it; while the view, expounded here, explains all possible forms of Change as being always within the Changeless.
    Such is the reconciliation of the opposites involved in samsAra, and explanation of its endless flux, its anAdI-pra-vAha, beginningless flow, as well as its ever-completeness and rock-like fixity, kuta-stha-ta.

    The significance of this will appear more and more as we proceed; for while all laws exist and operate and interpenetrate simultaneously and pervasively, they cannot, owing to the limitations of speech, be described simultaneously. "Speech proceeds only in succession," (vAk kila kramavarttinI--Yoga-Vitsishtha) like all other activities of the World-Process.

    Sempiternity of the Changing: Nothing is Ever Wholly Lost

    We see, then, that the negative Not-Self is a mass of positive particulars, and that, at the same time, because of its being in inseparable connection with Self, it necessarily takes on the appearance of the characteristics of Self, and becomes pseudo-eternal, pseudo-infinite, pseudo-unlimited, so that matter appears indestructible through all its changes.

    अविप्रणाशः सर्वेषां कर्मणां, इति निश्चयः;
    महाभूतानि नित्यानि, भूताधिपति संश्रयात्;
    तेषां च नित्यसंवासो, न विनाशो वियुज्यताम्;
    कर्मजानि शरीराणि, शरीर आकृतयः तथा ।

    avipraNAshaH sarveShAM karmaNAM, iti nishchayaH;
    mahAbhUtAni nityAni, bhUtAdhipati saMshrayAt;
    teShAM cha nityasaMvAso, na vinAsho viyujyatAm;
    karmajAni sharIrANi, sharIra AkRutayaH tathA |

    "No actions, no body-forms resulting from those actions, no elements, are ever completely annihilated. Because they are connected with, because they are ideated by, the Sovereign Lord of All, the Eternal Self, therefore are they also pseudo-eternal, ever-lasting, sempiternal, seeming to disappear, but remaining in potentio in that Ideator, and therefore also re-appearing, endlessly."

    A Sufi mystic, Jili, in his work The Perfect Man, expresses the same fact: 'The existence of God is eternal, and the knowledge (of God) is eternal, and the object of knowledge is inseparable from the knowledge, therefore it is also eternal"; quoted in translation, by R. A. Nicholson, Studies in Islamic Mysticism, p.128.
    Though essentially a-sat, Nothing, Mula-prakrti is yet pseudo-Being, i.e., existent, sat; though many, and particular, and changing, yet it has a pseudo-oneness, and a pseudo-universality, and a pseudo-changelessness (of laws, all-ways); though finite, it is also pseudo-infinite; though dying, it is also pseudo-eternal.

    It is pseudoeternal, because it is, not only dying, but, ever dying; ever, in order to keep pace, as it must, because of inseparability from it, with the eternal Self. It is pseudo-infinite, because it is, not only finite, but, everywhere finite; everywhere, in order to avoid separation from that same in-finite and omni-present Self from which it may never be separated. The same is the case with all the other characteristics.

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    Re: 'adhyAtmavidyA' in Synthesis: 10. 'dvam-dvam'--The Relative: Mula-Prakrti--Not-Se

    Why the Logion must be taken in Parts, as well as in the Whole
    Two Parts in the Logion

    Let us now pass on to the question why the Legion has to be taken in parts, as well as in the whole.

    By opposition to the Unity and unlimitedness of Self, Not-Self is Many and limited. Under these necessary conditions, Self denies Not-Self.

    But while pure Non-Being, i.e., the whole of Not-Self, in being denied, and in order to be effectively denied, becomes simultaneously affirmed, and so becomes a multitude of passing and mutually-destructive particulars, any one of these particulars, by the very reason of its being limited, being defined in time and space and motion, is, from its own standpoint, incapable of simultaneous affirmation and denial.

    Pure Non-Being may, without objection, be affirmed and denied in the same breath; but a particular limited something, which is a-sat and yet sat, which is sad-asat, existent and non-existent, cannot be both 'simultaneously'. And yet it must be both, for Absolute-Consciousness contains both the affirmation and the negation of it.

    Reconciliation of these contradictory necessities, these two antinomies of the reason, the solution of this apparently insuperable logical difficulty, is found in the 'successive' existence and non-existence of each limited something.

    • Hence the logion appears (and this appearing is the World-Proces-sion), as divided in two parts, first 'I (am) this', and secondly, '(I) this (am) not'; first affirmation, then negation;

    first the positing by Self of its identity with a possible and therefore actual 'this', a piece of matter, and then the denying of that identity with an impossible and therefore perishing 'this' or piece of matter;

    • first birth, then death. This 'succession' is mithyA , mythical, a mere illusion, an appearance; because it is true only from the standpoint of the limited.

    Illusion of Succession: Analogy

    That the World-Process is an illusion, is, like so many other 'metaphysical' laws and facts, visible even to the 'physical' eyes. That which passes, which is at one moment, and is not the next--how else can it be named and described than as illusion? Does it not violate all the so-called laws of thought?

    Science has been described as organised knowledge. But the World-Process is an Organised Process; Nature has an Organic Unity, is a parArtha sanghAta, in the words of Sankhya, 'an organisation for the sake of the Self'.

    Therefore sciences are only descriptions of portions or aspects of the World-Process as so organised. And Metaphysic, the Chief of Sciences, which co-ordinates all the others, is therefore only an accurate description of the essential facts of the World-Process as completely organised and co-ordinated by the Unity of the Self.

    Hence the Chhandogya Upanishat (6.1.6), 'Knowledge of the One is knowledge of the Whole'; (see also Yoga Sutra, iv.31).

    There. is no other mystery than the Mystery of the One Self. The simplest, the nearest, and dearest, is the truest and deepest; as here, so everywhere; as now, so ever; as thus, so al-ways; as the atom, so the solar system; as the microcosm, so the macrocosm,

    There is no break in the Law of Analogy, i.e., of Continuity, i.e., of Unity, anywhen and anywhere and anyway. Once this is realised, all facts, happenings, laws, so-called errors and so-called truths, i.e. part-truths, all become self-evident, (veda, 'seen') matters for mere description. There is nowhere any originality or invention...
    Pass into the non-limitation of the Self, by turning the consciousness inwards, whenever and wherever you like, and thence into the fullness of the Absolute, and there is no succession. The whole of the limited, past, present, and future, is in that un-conditioned thought at once.

    The ever-complete and perfect balance of the Absolute appears, to the limited, and from its own standpoint, as the successive and continuous balanc-ing of things in samsAra.

    And this continuity of succession, this perpetual resurrection and rebirth, repeated life and death, this recurrence of existence and non-existence, this Becoming between Being and Nothing, this equivocation between affirmation and denial, may itself be regarded as a third part in the logion; viz., 'I am not this, but am this other this; and not this either, but this other this', and so on, endlessly completing the triplicity which is found every-where because of the triuneness of the Absolute.

    Safeguard against Surds: Totality of Pluses and Minuses

    But lest this appearance of succession should seem to introduce something new and foreign to the sva-bhAva, the Nature, of the Absolute, the safeguard, already mentioned in other words, is provided.

    While each one of a pair of opposites is succeeded in a later time in the same place (or space) by the other, it is also coexisted with in the same time in another place by that other; for the endless limited positives that make up the pseudo-unlimited negativity or non-being of the Not-Self, in order to do so, must be constantly paired as opposites, so that they always counterbalance each other, and so actually leave behind a cipher only, whenever the totality of them may be summed up.

    Thus a constant balance too appears in the World-Process, wherein the many coexist with, as well as succeed, each other.

    The truth of this may be verified in the daily life of human beings as well as the life of kosmic systems. Life to one means and necessarily implies death to another simultaneously, at the same time, and to that one itself successively, i.e., at a later time. Pleasure to one is pain to another, and, again, to that one, in the same way. So with the rise and decay of the natural kingdoms of minerals, vegetables, animals, men, devas, etc., of human kingdoms or nations, of planets and of solar systems, at the expense and the gain, respectively, of one another.

    That this must be so, is due to the fact that the Totality of paired and opposed Matter (positive and negative) is fixed, once for all, as the Whole, by that unconditioned thought or idea which is the Absolute, and cannot newly be added to or taken away from; that Totality being, as said before, always Zero, equal plus and minus.

    Matter is thus uncreatable as well as indestructible. Therefore what appears as an increase in one place and moment, is necessarily due to a decrease in another place and moment, and vice versa. This will appear further in treating of the Law of Action and Reaction.

    There are some very interesting and suggestive statements in the Pranava Vaada in the connection, thus. Matter has two kinds, "light atoms" and "dark atoms"; as Shakti-energy is "affirmative" and "negative ". In modern scientific writings too there have been speculations about "well-atoms" and "sink-atoms", "light suns" and "dark suns", "vortex-rings" gyrating or spirating in opposite directions, which, when they meet, neutralise each other, and are, to all appearance, annihilated, but still persist in potency, in possibility (and therefore actuality) of revival, as bIja or samskAra.

    A friend asked, "With what negative is this positive book to be paired off?" The reply was, "With the things, wind and weather, heat and dust of summer, damp of rains, worms of many kinds, which are slowly disintegrating it, and will complete its 'non-existence' some day. The book has been formed out of elemental material, and has left blanks, emptinesses, in various places, which are constantly calling for a restoration of the status quo.

    Vast buildings have been raised in all countries, in the passing centuries; walls and towers, as in Babel, temples and pyramids, as in Egypt, India, Mexico, Peru; more recently, thousand, twelve hundred, thirteen hundred feet high sky-scrapers, like Woolworth and Empire Buildings in New York and Lenin Memorial in Moscow. All have been built with materials taken from various places. The positive hollows left in those spots are the negative opposites of the positive buildings, which are the negative opposites of the positive hollows, in turn.

    The forces which raised the buildings are perpetually resisted by the forces which are craving to restore the status quo, to lead back from vai-shamya, heterogeneity, to sAmya, sameness, homogeneity. These latter began imperceptible wearing down of the buildings simultaneously with their erection; and have completed, or will complete someday, the levelling down of them and the filling up of the hollows. It is a commonplace of geology that mountains turn into ocean-beds and vice versa, by slow erosions and fillings and liftings, or sudden cataclysms.
    Why Recurrent Cycles?

    In these facts, coexistent and successsive, combined with the infinity and eternity of Self--against which they are outlined, and which they constantly endeavour to reflect and reproduce in themselves--we find embodied and manifested, continuous movement of all and everything, from place to place and moment to moment; and also recurring return of all and everything, though only in appearance and not in actuality, to the same position (comparatively, never exactly), in coexistent surroundings amidst its companion-objects, and also to the same position in the successive order and arrangement of those objects.

    This thought, if properly followed out, explains the

    Why of Recurring Cycles, in individual as well as kosmic life;
    • why history is always repeating itself, in the main outlines;
    • why every Jiva and all Jivas must pass though all experiences and the same experiences, turn after turn;
    • how every finite thing, even a passing thought, an atom vibration, the most evanescent phenomenon, is pseudo-infinite and pseudo-eternal, i.e., endless and everlasting;
    • why there must be an endlessness of veils upon veils, planes within planes, senses besides senses, and elements after elements;
    • why nothing and no one, atom-dust or solar system, is on the whole, really more important than any other;
    • why and how the immortality of Self is assured to all; and
    • how all are yet always graded to each other and bound up, in ever higher and higher range of Unity, in (every consciousness, because all consciousnesses are equally contained in) the One Consciousness.

    In Puranic pictography, this fact of the 'end-less continuous spiral' of the World-Process is described as the 'coils of An-anta-Shesha', the 'ever-unfinished, ever-remaining' Serpent of a thousand heads who bears a world on each head. See the diagram on p.432 of The Secret Doctrine, III. Shesha means 'that which always remains behind as Residuum'; it also means, in Nyaya, 'the means which look to an end as their residue'. The word is derived from shish, 'to leave a residue; sheshati, 'leaves a remainder'; shishyate, 'is left behind as remnant'.

  4. #4
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    Re: 'adhyAtmavidyA' in Synthesis: 10. 'dvam-dvam'--The Relative: Mula-Prakrti--Not-Se

    Three Mo(ve)ments, Congenial in the Abosolute, but Successive and Synchronous in the Not-Self

    The considerations which explain why the logion is taken in two, or rather, three parts, also explain how three moments are distinguishable in the Absolute.

    • Indeed, the difference between the three parts and the three moments is only the difference between the third person, on the one hand, and the first and second, on the other; between looking at Self and Not-Self as Being and Nothing, or as 'I' and 'This'.

    • The simultaneity of past, present, and future; tbe compression into one point, of behind, here, and before; the absence of all movement; these are congenial to the Whole, but are not possible to and in the part and the particular.

    • The positing, the sup-posing (while denying), of Not-Self by Self, the op-posing (while affirming) of Not-Self by Self; the com-posing of (while negating all connection between) the two by means of Negation; these three facts, while simultaneous in the Absolute, where the whole Self deals with the whole Not-Self, cannot be such where a particular, limited, not-self or 'this' is concerned.

    They can appear only in succession: first sup-posing, positing, moment of jnAna; then opposing (after identifying), moment of kriyA; and, intervening between them, or, indeed, enveloping them both and holding them together, com-posing, the moment of ichChA.

    • Yet, even while so succeeding one another, these moments cannot, as pointed out in the previous chapter, altogether lose the contemporaneousness which belongs to them by right of being in the timeless and successionless Absolute.

    • This synchronousness appears in the fact that when any one comes into the foreground, the other two remain in the background, and that these also come forward, turn by turn; in short, they succeed, not only one another but, each other, and in incessant rotation.

    These facts illustrate the metaphysical 'why' of the continuum of consciousness, in one aspect, the theory of which has been propounded by James Ward, Stout, and others in the West.
    Thus is the World-Process one vast device, or, rather, one vast mass of countless devices, for perpetual reconciling of the opposed necessities of the reason.

    Thing and Thought, Re-al & Idea-l

    Another of the more important consequences issuing from the essential nature, the limitedness, the particularity and manyness, of Mula-prakrti, may also be noted.

    • The distinctions between thought and thing, ideal and real, abstract and concrete, are all immediately due to this characteristic, and are in reality nothing more than the distinction between whole and part.

    • From the standpoint of the whole, the Absolute, or even from that of the universal Pratyag-Atma, all possible varieties of Not-Self are 'ideal', are 'thought', are parts of the 'abstract' Not-Self, are thought, by the Self, as negated;

    • but each such variety, from its own standpoint, to itself, is 'real', is 'thing', is 'concrete'.

    • The present, to that which is present, is the re-al, while the past and the future are idea-1; but to the eternal, wherein past, present, and future are all present, all is ideal, or all real (the name does not matter).

    Because all is present in the Pratyag-Atma, therefore memory of the past and expectation of the future become possible in the jIv-AtmA. All this will be discussed more fully, later on, in connection with the nature of 'cognition'.

    The Universal Mind of Pratyag-Atma is the sub-supra-consciousness of jIvAtmA, the basis of its memory and expectation, of chittam, the individual mind, which indeed is the individual Jiva (or Jiva-atom). Chittam is that which chetayati, remembers, looks before and after, is conscious, is aware; it is the limited form of the unlimited Chit or Chiti.
    The Special Attributes of Not-Self

    We may now consider those special attributes of Not-Self which stand out with prominence in Samskrt books. They are sattva, rajas, and tamas.

    They correspond exactly to the three attributes of Pratyag-Atma, and arise also from the same compelling necessity of the constitution, sva-bhAva, essential Nature, of the Absolute, as described by the Logion. It is unnecessary to repeat here all that has been said in this reference before. It will be enough to say that:

    • (a) as Sat is the principle of 'action' or activity in Self, so rajas is the corresponding principle in Not-Self, which makes it capable of being acted on, makes it amenable and responsive to all activity, gives it the tendency to active movement, 'mobility or motility';

    • (b) as Chit is the principle of 'cognition' in the One, so sattva is the principle of 'cognisability' in the Many;

    • (c) as Ananda is the principle of 'desire' in the Enjoyer, the Subject, so tamas is the principle of 'desirability' in the enjoyed, the Object.

    They correspond, respectively, to what appears in the particular, i.e., manifest matter, as karma, movement, guNa, quality, dravya, substance; and, again, to the Etat, the Aham, and the Na, respectively, in the Absolute.

    सात्तिवकस्य ज्ञानशक्ति, राजसस्य क्रियात्मिका,
    द्रव्यशक्तिस्तामसस्य, तिरत्रश्च कथितास्तव ।

    sAttivakasya j~jAnashakti, rAjasasya kriyAtmikA,
    dravyashaktistAmasasya, tiratrashcha kathitAstava |
    --Devi Bhagavata, III.vii.26

    The ordinary, current, and, so far, almost exclusively accepted meaning, as goodness-passion-inertia, respectively, of sattva-rajas-tamas, tamas, is different; as in the case of Sat-Chit-Ananda, being-consciousness-bliss, also Gita, ch.xviii, deals largely with these three attributes, of Mula-prakrti: and they are also defined in Sankhya-Kaarika.

    At first sight, there seems to be no connection between the meanings assigned here to the two triplets of qualities belonging longing to Self and Not-Self, and the meaning assigned in current Samskrt works.

    When the ordinary Vedanti wishes to describe the opposites of Sat-Cbit-Ananda, which he vaguely ascribes to Brahma (without making any definite distinction between Brahma and Pratyag-Atma), he speaks of anrta-jaDa-duhkha, untrue-unconscious-pain, as characterising what he, again vaguely, calls samsAra, the World-Process, or Pra-pancha, the 'quintuplicate' or the 'tangled'. This is, for instance, the phraseology employed in Sankshepa-Shaariraka.

    These current acceptations are by no means incorrect, but they are not the 'whole truth'. They are correct only if regarded as expressing one, and a comparatively less important, aspect or portion of the full significance.

    A little reflection will show how they naturally arise out of, and are connected with, the interpretations given here. The following statement of the various senses, in which each of these six words is used in Samskrt, will help to show how thought has passed from one shade of meaning to another:

    • सत्, sat, is being, existent, real, true, good, also asserted or assertable, actual;
    • चित्, chit, is living, conscious, aware, cognisant;
    • आनंद, Ananda, is peace, feeling of satisfaction, joy, bliss, pleasure, realisation of desire;

    • सत्त्व, sattva, is being, existence, truth, goodness, harmony, living being, energy, illuminating power, vital power;
    • रजस्, rajas, is that which colours, dust, stain, blood, passion, restlessness, activity;
    • तमस्, tamas, is darkness, dullness, inertia, confusion, chaos, pain, faintness, sleep.

    Sattvam rajas, tamas, have often latterly been translated as rhythm, mobility, inertia. But these words indicate only one sub-aspect of each.

    sAttvika rajas is rhythm, i.e., harmonious or uniform repetition, and the imposition, thereby, of one-ness on a series of many movements.
    rAjasa rajas is mobility proper.
    tAmasa rajas is inertia, persistent clinging to a state of relative rest or motion.
    Such are the three guNas, rajas, sattva and tarmas, or, in the order in which they are usually mentioned, sattva, rajas, and tamas--the great attributes of Mulaprakrti.

    This usual order has been changed above, in order to make it correspond with the order in which the attributes of Pratyag-Atma, Sat-Chid-Ananda, are usually spoken of; i.e., in order to bring out the reflection-and-alliance, the correspondence, between

    Sat and rajas or action-less Being and alterable movement;
    Chit and sattva, or cognitionless Consciousness and cognisable quality; and finally
    Ananda and tamas, or desire-less Bliss and desirable substantiality.

    Three All-Pervading Inseparables

    With regard to these it has been said that "there is no individual or thing, either on earth here or in heaven amongst the gods, which is free from (i.e. devoid of) any one of these three qualities" (Gita, xvii.40).

    Their inseparability from each other and from Not-Self, and therefore from Self, follows naturally from all that has gone before. Devl-Bhagavata (,vii,viii,ix.) states clearly and shows how, while one quality may, nay must, predominate in a certain individual, the others are never, and can never be, entirely absent, even in the case of the high gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva; though they are ordinarily regarded as wholly rAjasa, sattvika, and, tAmasa, respectively.

    The manifestations and results, but not the causes, of these gunas , are spoken of largely in the current Samskrt works. Nor are any clear and detailed statements as to the correspondences between these triplets of attributes, Sat-Chid-Ananda, rajas-sattva-tamas, kriyA-jnAna-ichChA, and karma-guNa-dravya, available in the extant books. Of course, it is enough, in a certain sense, to group the contents of the World- Process under the categories of sattva, rajas, and tamas, because, at present, the Mula-prakrti or material aspect is the most prominent in human life; but full understanding of their significance necessarily requires knowledge of the other triplets.

    Sciene Serves Life, Not Life, Science

    This Not-Self, the second of the three ultimates of the World-Process, is not capable of receiving worship, or of being made the basis of religious practice, except in the way of study, as the object.

    But even so, because it is one of the ultimates, it will necessarily lead, in the end, to a recognition of the other two, and so to Peace. To single-minded, disinterested, and unselfish scientists and students of the world of material objects, may be applied the words of Krshna: *They also, ever desirous of the good of all creatures, come ultimately to Me, the Self." (Gita, xii.4).

    Witness the instinctive, recognition of Self, in these statements by a man of science: "Science serves life, not life science"; "The world is an idea, or a sum of ideas"; "The actual problem ... consists not in explaining psychical by physical phenemena, but rather in reducing to its psychical elements physical, like all other psychical, phenomena." (Max Verworn, General Physiology, translated into English by F.S.Lee (1899), pp.2,37,38.)

    It is not surprising that such recognition should often be imperfect and often distorted, as witness this other statement of the same man of science : "... this monistic conception ... alone holds strictly to experience ... and necessarily sets aside the ancient doctrine ... of the wandering of the soul." (Ibid., p.39.)

    Monism includes Pluralism

    Study of physical science, pursued sufficiently far, no doubt leads to monism also; to the realisation that the World-Process is something continuous, unbroken: that the individual is not independent, but part of one continuous whole.

    But the advaita thus reached is generally an external or objective advaita, so to say, one in terms of the third person. Further reflection converts it into internal and subjective; transforms it into terms of the first person.

    To reach advaita is to attain moksha; and vichAra, vivSeka, thinking, is the way: pondering, reflecting, discriminating, meditating, dwelling on any one of the main aspects or factors of the universe, 'consciousness' (see pp.26-29, supra), or 'will', 'cause', 'matter', or 'force', etc.

    In fact, the seeker may start anywhere, but if he only goes on to the end, he will surely arrive at the same goal. But, it should be noted and remembered, the intellectual attitude of abhyAsa, perseverant search, must be accompanied by the ethical attitude of vairAgya, passionate rejection of the selfishness of the personal or individual self; otherwise the Universal Self will remain hidden; for the plain reason that the eye, which is turned to the finite by selfish desire, cannot see that which is in the opposite direction, the Infinite, to which the eye can be turned only by un-selfish desire; but when it is so turned, it simply cannot help seeing It.

  5. #5
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    Re: 'adhyAtmavidyA' in Synthesis: 10. 'dvam-dvam'--The Relative: Mula-Prakrti--Not-Se

    Note: Metaphysic Illuminates

    Such statements as those of Max Verworn, quoted above, have become increasingly common in the half-century that has elapsed since the appearance of that scientist's book. Modern physicists have begun to say, 'Matter is only Force', 'Atoms are vortices of Nothing'; which is, perhaps, going to the other extreme. (See leading scientists' opinions collected in The Essential Unity of All Religions, pp.19-26).

    The Secret Doctrine

    Mula-Prakrti (Matter, mAtrA) and Daivi-Prakrti (Force, shakti, from div, to shine, to play) are not separable; but they are distinguishable. The Secret Doctrine says, "Fohat digs holes in Space"; which holes are atoms. The idea seems to be that if you regard Space as a Plenum, then atoms are to be understood or imagined as holes in it (like air-bubbles in a solid lump of glass), by contrast of 'finite individual' against 'In-finite Universal". Per contra, if you look upon Space as a Vacuum, then atoms have to be thought of as 'solid particles', for the same contrast.

    A brief look into the 500-pages of minute-print Indices (Secret Doctrine, Vol.VI of the Adyar edition), at references to 'Atom', 'Fohat', 'Force', 'Space', 'Plenum', 'Vacuum', will convince the reader of the overwhelming character of the very numerous and very different statements regarding each. After a second and a third systematic reading of the whole work to say nothing of the much more frequent consultation of particular pages the mind remains puzzled and bewildered. At the same time, it also remains convinced that the book is not to be lightly put aside, in hopeless revolt against its 'mysteriousness', but must be pondered over, again and again. Almost every statement, however dis-jointed-seeming, has some important significance; and each successive pondering brings some new and interesting aspect into view.

    Anyway, even one reading of the great work, and of The Mahatma Letters, leaves the reader in possession of a positive general idea, though cloudy and tantalising, of the law of cyclic and spiral involution-evolution, as governing the Whole World-Process, and the subsidiary law of septenates, as governing at least the solar sytem to which our earth and our race belong. It also gives a very encouraging glimpse into, and throws light on, the meaning of Puranic allegories.

    If a few metaphysical principles are drawn from Vedanta, and are firmly held and carefully and diligently applied, they may prove a very helpful clue in the labyrinthine jungle of facts and 'fancies' (allegories), set out in the books. Their complexity only copies the actual World-Process; and the books themselves insist, over and over again, on the necessity of studying Brahma-vidya, Atma-vidya, Vedanta, in order to simplify the complexity, and to understand the Nature, of the World-Process, and also to practise successfully, the wholesome individual and social life of 'Dharma, which brings happiness here and hereafter'. Study of metaphysic is strongly advised in The Mahatma Letters, pp.250,262.

    Why and How of Fohat

    The reader is invited to peruse carefully, pp.79-83 of the Proem (in Vol.I, of The Secret Doctrine, Adyar edition), at this stage, and consider whether the preceding chapters of the present work help to make any clearer, the connotations of, and the relations between,

    • (1) "Para-brahman, the One Reality, the Absolute, ... Absolute Consciousness, ... Absolute Negation, ...
    • (2) Spirit (or Consciousness) and Matter, Subject and Object. ...

    • (3) Pre-cosmic Ideation ... fons et origo
    • • of (3-a) Force and of all Individual Consciousness; ...
    • • (3-b) Pre-cosmic Root-substance (Mula-prakrji), ... that aspect of the Absolute which underlies all the objective planes of Nature;" (p. 80).

    • • On p. 81, it is said: "Just as pre-Cosmic Ideation is the root of all individual Consciousness, so pre-Cosmic substance is the substratum of Matter in the various grades of its differentiation...

    • • Apart from Cosmic substance, Cosmic Ideation could not manifest as individual Consciousness, since it is only through a vehicle that consciousness wells up as 'I am I', a physical basis being necessary to focus a Ray of the Universal Mind...

    • • The Manifested Universe, therefore, is pervaded by Duality, which is, as it were, the very essence of its Ex-istence as 'Manifestation'. But just as the opposite poles of Subject and Object, Spirit and Matter, are but aspects of the One Unity in which they are synthesised, so, in the Manifested Universe, there is that which links Spirit to Matter, Subject to Object.

    • This something is called by Occultists, (4) Fohat. It is the 'bridge' by which the (4-a) Ideas existing in the (5) Divine Thought are impressed on Cosmic substance as the 'Laws of Nature'. Fohat is thus the (6) Dynamic Energy of Cosmic Ideation, or, regarded from the other side, it is the (7) intelligent medium, the guiding power of all manifestation, the 'Thought Divine'...

    • Fohat, in its various manifestations, is the mysterious link between Mind and Matter, the (8) animating principle "[prAna in one aspect, jIva in another] "electrifying every atom into life."

    (The figures 1 to 8, in brackets, have been put in by the present writer, in the above excerpt.)

    • 'Absolute Negation', 'Absolute Consciousness', 'I am I', the Why and the How of the origin of Duality in or from the 'One Unity'; the metaphysical crux of such a Relation between Subject and Object, Spirit and Matter, as will not falsify the Absoluteness of the Absolute Negation;--all these may perhaps be better understood if 'Absolute Negation' and 'I am I' are interpreted in the light of 'I-am-(Not Not)-I'.

    • So, too, Fohat, as 'that which links Spirit to Matter' as 'dynamic energy of Cosmic Ideation,' as 'intelligent Medium, the Thought Divine' and as 'the animating principle'--all this may, perhaps, be better understood, if 'I-(am)-Not-Not-I' is seen as the Supreme Logion (or Logos), mahA-vAkya, Great Word, the whole of Cosmic Ideation, Thought Divine, and the One Supreme Law of Nature; if it is seen as the Necessity of the whirling wheeling round and round each other, in mutual succession, of 'Am' and 'Am-Not', as 'Dynamic Energy'; and if the Desire-Will aspect of 'Am' and 'Am-Not' is seen as 'animating principle', and the subordinate Laws of Nature as 'subsidiary necessities', issuing like corollaries from the One Primal Necessity hidden in the Supreme Logion, and expressed by minor mahA-vAkyas. The succeeding chapters may perhaps help to make the nature of Force-Shakti a little clearer.

    The all-important facts or concepts of Space, Time, and Motion, also naturally figure prominently, and are referred to frequently, in H.P.B.'s great Work (as the Index indicates amply). But the metaphysical Why and How of them does not appear to have been expounded in it. An attempt is made in this work, in the preceding, and further endeavour will be made in the succeeding, chapters, to supply this, as well as a few other thoughts or things, out of Samskrt scriptures.

    The Mahatma Letters and The Secret Doctrine

    In connection with this topic, of de-finite a-tom (indivis-ible, from Gr. a, not, and tonein, to cut, to divide) and In-finite space, the following quotation from The Mahatma Letters, pp.77-78, may be helpful to bear in mind:

    "The whole individuality is centred in the middle, or 3rd, 4th, and 5th principles. During earthly life it is all in the 4th (kAmarUpa, sometimes called kAma-manas), the centre of energy, volition, will."

    Veda Upanishats say, kAma-maya eva ayam puruShaH '(in-divid-ualised) Man is Desire only', i.e., Desire is the in-divid-ualising, focussing, finitising, defining, de-limiting, principle.

    Now, that which is Desire-Force in the mental, ideal, 'spiritual', or 'subjective' aspect, that same manifests as Fohat-Force in the physical, real, 'material', or objective aspect, and makes the in-divid-uai in-divis-ible a-tom.

    Fohat 'focusses' the Universal, concentrates it, brings It to a point, makes it an in-divid-ual, (as a magnifying glass does the diffused sunshine). It does this by linking, binding (bandha), the whole and Universal I with a part-icle, a part-icular 'this', an 'a-tom', an up-Adhi, 'l-am-this'.

    The Secret Doctrine defines and describes Fohat and its doings in dozens of ways (vide Index); but this metaphysical idea will probably help to synthesise them all. The chapters which follow, attempt to expound this idea further. The Science of the Emotions deals in extenso with the view that 'the individual man is essentially Desire', and Cognition and Volition-Action are adjuncts; and that the fading away of Desire is, per contra, the re-universalising of the individual, the resolving and dissolving of the whirlpool, its moksha, releasing, back into the Ocean.

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