Sunday, December 16, 2012

sayings and comment 4

"The nature of god is a circle which the center is everywhere and the circumference is nowhere."
                          (Empedocles ancient Greek philosopher)


The  circle was used as an ancient symbol to help explain the nature of god and the cosmos.  Its configuration so impressed Michelangelo that he said, 'that an artist can claim perfection if he/she could draw, by free hand, a perfect circle.'

A diagram of a circle, in our case, symbolizes the boundless All; it also represents space.  Within this boundless All resides all things that are and could be manifested.  The sages. in an attempt to clarify the meaning of the boundless All, talked about it in  terms of, "fullness."  The possible permutations of manifestation are relatively infinite.  To illustrate, lets take the case of our physical body,  Scientists tells us that the bacteria alone number in the trillions, to say nothing of its cells, atoms, molecules, and sundry other manifested parts of our body.  Now , what if we added all manifestations in our solar system and in our entire Universe,  we have relatively infinite manifestation-fullness.    

When Empedocles says that the center is everywhere, his meaning is that, even though the symbolic circle is marked, there is no real containment because the possible permutations of manifestation are relatively infinite.  Thus the circumference is nowhere.

Now when Empedocles says that the center is everywhere, his meaning is that each unite of manifestation represents a point, a center, and since all possible permutations of manifestation are relatively infinite, all points/centers are everywhere.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

our dualistic nature

Most of our life we feel and react to our dualistic nature without being aware of its innate reality.  In our instinctive reaction, we interpret its felt effect, as some elemental, cosmic effect.  For instance, if we get into a serious car crash, we might blame some vengeful god or say it was god's will or bad luck.  If we won the lottery, we might believe that it was god's will or good luck.  We are for the most part ignorant, that our life is conditioned by a dualistic process.

Within our dualistic process we recognize and relate to the quintessential position we humans are put into many times every day.  Motivated by the evolutionary impulse to progress, our desires and thoughts aggregate to interact, either to attach or repel, with others, (others being , national interests, cultural interests, institutional interests, etc.) desires and thoughts to create conditions with which we must respond.  Our choices are what they always are: doing what pleases us, what offers immediate gratification, to our senses, feelings, self-will or choosing the best consequences regardless of personal feelings or self-benefit. In our Western Culture these universal choices are amusingly portrayed with a devil sitting on our left shoulder whispering, in our ear, ego centric advise, and an angel sitting on our right shoulder whispering, in our ear, celestial advise.

Our dualistic nature has also been the theme of dramas dating back to Sophocles' tragedies and on to J.R.R. Tolken's "Lord of the Rings."  A clear and highly dramatic portrayal of our dualistic nature comes from a contemporary rendition of a movie called, "Excalibur."  This 1980 something movie, shows a scene where Sir Lancelot's, a Knight in King Arther's Count,  dualistic selves are locked in combat.  One self is King Arther's Knight, loyal, noble, courageous, the other self is in love with King Arther's wife, Queen  Guinevere.  There in Lancelot's dualistic condition his struggle begins, and there soon ends with a sword thrust by his noble, loyal self into the side of his passionate ego self.

 We can see clearly that our dualistic nature is played out upon a continuum of extremes: spiritual/physical, good/bad, etc.  There is than a perpetual tension and struggle coursing through our lives.  This perpetual tension is what ignites our self-consciousness, and our self-consciousness must than navigate through the continuum of extremes.  This movement within the continuum of extremes can be thought of as a, "duality of scale."  However, this scale does not always balance because our evolutionary, environment, in which we have our being, is heavily tilted towards the physical side of the spectrum.  This tilt towards the physical/phenomenal side is the direct cause of our ignorance of our spiritual side of the continuum.  Thus we spend most of our energy moving towards our dominate physical side, and the building and sustaining of our ego identity.

Can our ego identity be integrated with the spiritual side of the spectrum?  The quick answer is yes, but aside from placing us at the threshold, of enlightenment, our rational mind is incapable of enlightening us.  All our rational attempts at enlightenment, will invariably, lead to paradox, since it operates through our dualistic process.  Put another way, all the physical bricks and mortar the rational mind uses to build our ego personality must be removed in order for us to be liberated.  There is a Sanskrit word , "samsara" which describes the mortar that binds the ego bricks together.  Samsara means , conditional tendencies, usually negative, and self-willed, to particular ways of thinking and acting.  ..."all beings fall into error by reason of the delusion of the opposites which spring from liking and disliking,"... says Krishna in the "Bhagavad-Gita." 

The path towards spiritual enlightenment is very difficult.  It is said, 'of all those who aspire to enlightenment only one takes the first step, and of all those that have taken the first step, only one succeeds.'

Our spiritual nature impels us to take the first step. So why not comply?  Today is a good day to take that first step.     .