Spiritual Essays #3

Truths of Existence – The First Universal Law

All knowing is a Rediscovery

The First Law: All knowing is a kind of discovery. It is becoming aware of what is already present in the universe. Our knowing does not create it.


This is the truth. The universe is a store house of information. We can only know, grasp or sense or conceive what already exists in it. In knowing, we simply become aware of what is already present, which may happen through effort or by chance. All knowing is a kind of discovery of the knowledge which is already inherent in the universe either as a reality or a possibility or an idea, which may be known, unknown or yet to be known.

It is the same as in a journey where you may not yet know the destination, and you may not have yet reached it, but it has always been there whether you reach there or not. Perhaps, much of that knowledge will never be known to human beings as our minds are not made to grasp the immensity of the universe or its true dimensions. Unless we invent a superhuman mechanism to discern the knowledge contained in the universe, it will forever remain a mystery to us.

One of the questions that concerned me was this. Does knowledge arise from knowing or does knowing arise from knowledge? Most importantly, which one comes first? In the context of our minds and our lives, unless you go to the origin of your own life, it is very difficult to answer this question. For example, when did you start learning? Where, and exactly how, you got the knowledge which helped you survive in your mother’s womb?

Is some knowledge preprogrammed in you, which does not require any effort to know but is already integrated into your memory and awareness such as how to stay alive in the womb, not to breathe, keep moving your hands and limbs to facilitate growth or blood flow, or using your senses or breathe for the first time when you come out of your mother’s womb? Were you listening to the sounds that were coming from your mother’s body and from the world outside?

As you examine these issues, it becomes evident that a lot of knowledge is inherent in our minds and in the objects and beings of our existence. From that, it follows that knowledge must be inherent in the universe in various forms, and all that we can ever do is to find it or discover it in various ways to improve our lives or our chances of survival and happiness. An inanimate object may not be aware of the knowledge which is hidden in its form and structure, but it made up of that knowledge only

The Upanishads affirm this. They distinguish between manas (lower mind) and buddhi (intelligence or higher mind). The lower mind (manas) is the memorial and instinctual mind. It is a receptacle of information. It receives information from outside, but does not create anything new. (Hence, the rationale that we should not take credit for our knowledge but acknowledge God as the source of all). The higher mind is the thinking or the rational mind. It makes sense of the world by processing the memories and perceptions according to the algorithm built into it. Imagination is a part of it.

The Yogasutras point to the same. They suggest that the mind is a mirroring mechanism. The purer and quieter the mind, with the predominance of sattva, the greater will be its ability to mirror the truths of the universe. Our knowledge may arise from mirroring the information contained in the books or from others or by attuning our minds to the knowledge which is hidden in the universe. The knowledge of the srutis (the heard ones) arises from that only. So are the numerous inventions, which scientists stumble upon.

Perhaps a million lifetimes will not be sufficient to unearth even a fraction of the knowledge which the universe holds in its myriad formations, from the tiniest quantum particle to the largest nebulae. The universe is a vast information system, which contains countless other information systems, and which in turn contain innumerable others. No one can ever catalog all the systems or all the data, which the universe holds in its objects, and which goes into its structure and functions.

The universe is packed with information, or what we know in computer science as data. This data, the extent of which is enormous and unimaginable, is embedded in every aspect, formation and mechanism of the universe. It manifests objectively as forms, structures, patterns, words, sounds, energies, forces, laws, configurations, consciousness, intelligence, mathematical formulas, numbers, processes, systems, reactions, movements, atoms, quantum particles, events, phenomena, and so on. Whatever that you can perceive or conceive is filled with enormous amounts of information, some of which is useful, some not so useful, and some whose relevance we may yet to know.

Whatever that is here is knowledge in its numerous manifestations. Intelligence is the means by which it is known. It is never lost, nor it can ever be destroyed. As physicists are coming to realize that even when a whole galaxy or a star system turns into a black hole, all the matter becomes crushed into a soup of particles, but the information that formed the basis of it before its collapse survives and exists in the event horizon as a copy.

The thing may disappear into another form or state, but the information associated with that thing survives even the worst of destruction. We do not know whether that information becomes the basis for the new objects and systems that eventually emerge out of it in some other time and space, dimension or reality. The indestructibility of knowledge makes possible the idea of time travel or the idea that we can recreate past and future events by travelling back and forth in time.

How that knowledge arises or comes into existence we do not know. Perhaps it is eternal in the sense that it has always been and will always be there, even when the universe ceases to exist in a state of latency. Perhaps it is what it means when the Upanishads say, “Prajnanam Brahma”, which means Brahman (the universal Self) is pure intelligence. Existence is an aggregate of numerous knowledge systems. They can be known only through intelligence. The higher our intelligence, the greater the knowledge and awareness we possess.

For example, the idea of one plus one equals to two (1+1=2) can never be lost either functionally or conceptually. It will remain forever even if this universe comes to an end and whether the earth exists or not. It has always been a universal truth, whether we know it or not. The sum of the two numbers is always two in our universe. In some other universe it may be something else, depending upon how it is structured or what knowledge exist in it or what number systems will be used in computation. There, it may be 2 or 2.2 or 3 or 10, but in our world, it is always the same. Each universe is a sum of possibilities according to the information which is built into it.

As far as our universe is concerned it appears that whatever exists, shall always exist as an idea even if it is lost. Whatever is possible or probable, and whatever that is known, unknown and yet to be known is already inherent in the universe either actively or latently, and in some form or the other, as a reality, possibility or idea. All knowing is but an unraveling of the mysteries of the universe. We can know nothing, unless it is already present, nor can we create anything which does not exist in the universe as an object, idea, reality or possibility. Even imagination or creativity is a mechanism of the universe only, created and embedded in our minds on the basis of the information which is already available in the universe.

Thus, all knowing is but a kind of discovery. It is a journey from a state of not knowing to a state of knowing some aspect, function, mystery, law or truth of the universe. It is finding, stumbling into or becoming aware of the knowledge that is preexisting in the universe. When it is hidden, we are ignorant. When it is revealed, we become aware and knowledgeable. It is true with regard to self-realization or entering the state of Nirvana. It is true with every journey. We may or may not know the destination yet, but the destination already exists in some form as a reality or a possibility. This, no one can dispute.

The past is never lost. The future is never nonexistent. It is “an idea, whose time has yet to come.” The past is stored somewhere in some form of energy, impression or data. So is future. At this every moment, a part of the universe has been becoming known or becoming conscious or coming to life in our world and in our minds. It does not mean it never existed before. It has always been there, and it will always be there. We just happen to stumble into it and become aware of it through sensing, knowing, mirroring and experiencing.

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis

Spiritual Essays #2

The Eight Fundamental Truths of Existence

1. All knowing is a rediscovery

All knowing is a kind of discovery. It is becoming aware of what is already present in the universe. Our knowing does not create it. We simply become aware of what is already present, which may happen through effort or by chance. It is the same as in a journey where you may not yet know the destination, and you may not have yet reached it, but it has always been there whether you reach there or not.

2. All creation is a mere repetition

All creation is a mere repetition, reproduction or imitation of what already exists or what can possibly exist within the framework of the universe. There is nothing that you can create anew, which is not already present in the universe in some state. Just because you chanced upon it, created it or invented it does not mean that it was not existing before. You cannot think, conceive, create, change or manipulate anything which is not already present in the universe in some form as reality, a potentiality or possibility.

3. All knowledge is self-existing

Knowledge does not arise because of the mind or the senses. Knowledge exists independent of the mind. The mind may know it, not know it or know it imprecisely. That knowing does not alter the universal reality. It is the same with the world. The world did not come into existence when you were born or opened your eyes. It was there before and it will also be there after you are gone.

4. Free will is an illusion

Just because you have the freedom to make decisions and choices, it does not mean that you have a free will. Your free will arises from your mind which in turn is bound to the laws of Nature. Even the choices which are available to you are preexisting. Then, where is the true freedom to think or choose beyond those limitations, without the constraints imposed upon you?

5. Infinity is just a number

Infinity is just a number or a condition which we cannot count, measure or ascertain its beginning or end in our present circumstances. It is infinity for us due to the limitations in our scientific advancement, but not necessarily for the universe or some other intelligence which is superior to ours. Perhaps someday we will find the limits of infinity, just as we can measure the distance between the earth and the sun today, which was inconceivable a few centuries ago.

6. The universe represents order in chaos

Life can be driven neither by chaos nor by a rigid framework of rules and constraints. The universe offers the finest example of balance between the two. It is a fluidly stable system, built in a fluidly unstable environment whereby it can effectively and efficiently harness the power of order as well as chaos. We are afraid of chaos and uncertainty. However, just as the universe, we can keep our minds open and flexible to take advantage of the possibilities and opportunities life offers to us.

7. Knowledge is known through intelligence

Knowledge is known or put to use by intelligence. In us, the mind (manas) and the body constitute the repository of knowledge. We use it with the help of intelligence (buddhi). Hence, the wise ones say that intelligence is superior to knowledge. Just as our bodies, the universe also possesses supreme intelligence with which it puts to use all this knowledge and gives shape to things. Its presence is evident in the intelligent order, structure and function of the universe. The Upanishads validate it saying that God or Brahman is pure intelligence (prajnanam brahma).

8. Suffering is inevitable and unavoidable

Knowledge without intelligence represents the state of ignorance and delusion. Not being able to discern right knowledge, causes, solutions, methods and approaches or the right way to deal with problems and situations, this is the state of ignorance which according to many philosophers and enlightened masters leads to suffering. Ignorance can never fully be resolved with our limited faculties. Therefore, our suffering can never fully be resolved. However, we can purify and brighten our intelligence to cultivate right awareness and discernment (prajna).

Quaerite Et Invenietis “Seek and you will find”

“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed”

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Keep smiling, keep shining and…

Remember to always treat animals with love and respect.

Seth Kelly Curtis

Selections From The World’s Great Wisdom Traditions #19 The Hindu Tradition

 

 

The Lord, Who is in all things, Is NOT in all thoughts!

“Of the strong, I am the strength devoid of desire and attachment, and in (all) beings,
I am the desire unopposed to Dharma, O Arjuna!” Bhagavad Gita 7:11

“I am that strength which is necessary for the bare sustenance of the body.
I am NOT the strength which generates desire and attachment for sensual objects
as in the case of worldly-minded persons.” Swami Sivananda Saraswati Commentary

This most important verse within the Gita, is also to many the most overlooked and disregarded. For those who fall into this category, the reason is obvious. And their anger when contradicted is also most telling.

In our “modern” times, the fast-food approach to spirituality and religion is a most sought for commodity. This mind-set, technically referred to as Neo-Advaita, is in traditional scripture referred to as pramada – spiritual death. Although the Gita’s fundamental philosophy declares that the Atman does not ever die, the human capacity to reveal and awaken the consciousness of the Atman can be crippled unto death.

The ancient Saintly King Bartruhari, who became an enlightened Sage, used the word pramada in the correct spiritual sense indicated by the Sage Sunat Sujata. He proclaimed:

“Peetva mohamayeem pramada madiram unmatta bhootam jagat”

“This world (its inhabitants therein) has become mad after having drunk the wine of negligence (pramada: laxity towards the spiritual goal), which being of the form of moha (delusion),
has overwhelming power to delude you.” 1

The Sage Sanat Sujata is indicating that the presence of pramada brings about a spiritual death. For the spiritual madness that at first manifests as a fever of willful and angry indifference to the consequences of inattention to and negligence of God, is rendered deadly when it becomes habitual. This madness and anger literally destroys our faculty of discrimination, which before our “disease of pramada” was our guiding light on the path to Godliness.

Sri Krishna clearly states this truth in Chapter 2:63 in the Bhagavad Gita:

“From anger comes delusion; from delusion the loss of memory; from loss of memory the destruction of discrimination;
from the destruction of discrimination he perishes.”

This is not to be defined as forgetfulness of the Self, unless one admits to a willful and belligerent forgetfulness. It is clearly distraction, willfully averting our attention from the consequences of bad habits.

Realization of the Self, as declared by Sri Ramana Maharshi to be the sole goal of life, comes when we overcome and conquer the obstacles that stand before us as enemies in the guise of seemingly insignificant habits. Therefore Bhagavan declares in no uncertain terms:

“The obstacles that hinder realization are habits of the mind (vasanas), and the aids to realization
are the teachings of the scriptures and of realized souls.” 2

The secondary meaning of pramada is procrastination and a distracted laziness, it means not taking any immediate action to rectify this most soul-stripping heedlessness.

One may say: “God’s grace is always there, so somehow I will get back on my spiritual feet.” But the fatality of staying “dead level” without motivation to rise up comes upon us as pramada gives birth to it’s only-begotten son. This offspring of pramada is known in Sanskrit as duragraha. Duragraha means the adamant determination to do that which you know you should never do.

The compound spiritual fracture of being indifferent to God and habitually partaking in negative action with utter disregard for the negative consequences creates a karmic bloodletting fatal even to the strongest constitution.
Regardless of whatever label we choose to call this effort of removing bad habits, whether it be deemed purification, removal of defilement, awakening, being in oneness or even becoming still, it should be known that Bhagavan said it is “effort that instills purity” and stressed that without it the goal of vichara (enquiry) will not be reached.
In direct reference to this Sri Muruganar, one of the foremost direct disciples of Sri Ramana Maharshi, heard the following profound statement from Bhagavan and recorded it that our doubts might be cleared:
“Know that the wondrous jnana vichara is only for those who have attained purity of mind by softening and melting within.
Without this softening and melting away of the mind, brought about by thinking of the feet of the Lord,
the attachment to the “I” that adheres to the body will not cease to be.” 3
Can this “thinking of the feet of the Lord”, prescribed by Bhagavan, be anything other than exactly what it says? Therefore, should we not get busy here and now to “fight the good fight” for spiritual attainment?
Let us leave our battle cry to the General of our forces:
Devotee: “Are we to keep anything against a rainy day; or to live a precarious life for spiritual attainments?”
Maharshi: “God looks after everything.”

 

 

Quaerite Et Invenietis “Seek and you will find”

 

“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed”

 

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

 

Keep smiling, keep shining, and always treat animals with love and respect.

Seth Kelly Curtis

Selections From The World’s Great Wisdom Traditions #11 – Hinduism

 

 

One Single Life

Then shall be ended here the Law of Pain.

Earth shall be made a home of Heaven’s light…

The superconscient beam shall touch men’s eyes

And the truth-conscious world come down to earth

Invading matter with the Spirits ray,

Awakening its silence to immortal thoughts,

Awakening the dumb heart to the living Word.

This mortal life shall house Eternities bliss,

The body’s self taste immortality.

 

O mind, grow full of eternal peace:

O word, cry out the immortal litany:

Built is the golden tower, the flame-child born.

 

The supermind shall claim the world for Light

And thrill with love of God the enamored heart

And place Light’s crown on Nature’s lifted head

And found Light’s reign on her unshaking base…

A soul shall wake in the Inconscient’s house;

The mind shall be God-vision’s tabernacle,

The body intuitions instrument,

And life a channel for God’s visible power…

 

 

The Spirit’s tops and Nature’s base shall draw

Near to the secret of their separate truth

And know each other as one deity.

The Spirit shall look out through Matter’s gaze

And Matter shall reveal the Spirit’s face.

Then man and superman shall be at one

And all the earth become a single life.

-Aurobindo, from Savitri

 

 

Quaerite Et Invenietis “Seek and you will find”

 

“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed”

 

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

 

Keep smiling, keep shining

Seth Kelly Curtis

 

 

Selections From The World’s Great Wisdom Traditions #1: Hinduism

  I Would Not Even Care To Be An Emperor

Mother of the Universe,

I have no desire to exercise power.

I would not even care to be an emperor.

Sweet Mother, please grant me

two simple meals each day

and wealth enough to thatch the palm roof

of my clean earthen house,

where I offer dreaming and waking

as red flowers at your feet.

 

My green village dwelling is the abode

of your golden radiance, O Goddess.

What need have I of more elaborate construction?

If you surround me with the complex architecture

of stature and possession,

I will refuse to call you Mother ever again.

 

Oh Kali, give me just enough to serve lovingly

whatever guests may visit me.

Plain metal plates and cups will do.

Daily existence in the heart of my extended family

is the worship beyond worship

that perceives Mother Reality

as every being, every situation, every breath.

 

I will never leave this natural way of life

to become a stern ascetic

or a teacher honored by the world.

There is only one longing this poet’s soul

declares over and over:

“Mother! Mother! Mother!

May every moment of my existence

merge completely with your essence.”

                         -Ramprasad

 

 

Quaerite Et Invenietis “Seek and you will find”

 

“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed”

 

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis