Christina Sarich, Contributing Writer
What is Certain?
“I don’t know whether these people are going to find themselves, but as they live their lives they have no choice but to face up to the image others have of them. They’re forced to look at themselves in a mirror, and they often manage to glimpse something of themselves.” – Antonio Tabucchi
Humankind owes her development to many minds who have shaped its evolution. What 21st century philosophers like Hans Achterhuis (The Legacy of Utopia), Martin Heidegger, Ken Wilber, Andrew Cohen, or philosopher-scientists like Fritjof Capra and Dr. John Hagelin, Amit Goswami Ph.D. (The Self Aware Universe) or Brian Greene (The Elegant Universe) are trying to uncover is the Infinite Mystery of the Universe, and we seek to understand Universal truths in order to better understand ourselves. In the hunt for Truth, buried in the mire of our existence, we sometimes uncover more questions than answers, but could it be that this is the secret in and of itself?
Certainty is defined as the quality of knowing with absolute conviction that something is true. Can we ever have absolute certainty of anything in this world? What is truly beyond the possibility of doubt? That the world is flat, that it is round, that the world exists as we know it at all?
We are, in fact, initiated into our own Mystery school dependent upon the ‘wisdom’ of our times, but in all philosophical attempts to uncover Truth, we experience stumbling blocks and segues, wrong-turns and convoluted imaginings. Ken Wilbur writes in Integral Spirituality, an “assertion that the metaphysics of the great spiritual traditions have been “trashed” not only by the usual suspects—the modern scientific materialists—but even more so by the postmodern revolution, because of the traditions’ inability to stand up to the challenge presented by the insights of postmodernity’s great philosophers.” These insights are both new and ancient, and they are also a mere glimpse into the mechanics behind the machine.
The beauty of the Universe is breathtaking because we stand in awe of its billion-and-one ways to wow us. Like a new lover that has just begun to anticipate how we respond to their touch and reacts to it with a quivering breath, or the wide-eyed wonder of a new born child taking in its mother’s smell, touch and smile, we are dumb-founded with newness. Every second can begin again, in this world, when we rest in the mystery of what is, and stop trying so hard to define it, without letting go of our yearning. The anticipation of making love is just as beautiful as the act, is it not?
“Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should like to stretch out over the whole of time.” – Albert Camus
In fact, how did we move from a purely biological evolution (if it was ever just that) to a socio-cultural and cosmic evolution so that we would yearn for beauty itself? A meme is just an idea – a behavior or a fashion that spreads from person to person within a culture, until it becomes the norm – the 100th monkey effect or the process of critical mass being attained in our modern chaotic mystery – one that yearns to resolve itself to a more pleasant reality. Group dynamics can indeed be shifted by a small, but growing, public opinion. Spontaneous solutions can be achieved while solving the most gnarly mathematical problems. Simple things like meditation and organic living by a few can indeed shift us into a greater understanding of the overarching mystery for the many.
Glimpsing the Possibilities
Our experience is not solely the combination of a bunch of neurons firing in our heads (a purely biological evolutionary process) or by a consciousness, which exists outside of ourselves, or is it? We have to constantly ‘break the rules’ to understand the Mystery because It can only stay inexplicable as long as we have a limited definition of It. The Infinite is not categorized or quantified very easily, even through quantum mechanics or physics, even through the large-language of cellular communication or DNA code-cracking. For example, Fred Gage, of the Salk Institute, found that we are not relegated to the brain cells we are born with, but that we can grow new ones, which means we can build upon the seemingly infinite expanse of brain power we already have. (100 billion neurons exist in the human brain at birth.) Neuronal communication is, however, only one physical way in which we interact with the mysterious Universe. There are inestimable others.
Let us look, though, at the development of a purely physical progress (in the vein of recent studies pointing to 85 million years of hominid evolution) to one of a more ‘mystifying’ nature. How did we get from bipedalism (walking on two feet) to Piaget’s developmental stages to Post-modern metaphysics anyhow? That’s quite a huge leap! Piaget believed that we did not bring knowledge with us into this life, but that we had ‘very powerful’ means of accessing our environment and of learning things about it that could be valuable to us as we grew up. Piaget also believed that learning was just as rooted in biology as any innate idea in the genetic code. He often used a metaphor of digestion: babies’ minds assimilated information the way babies’ bodies assimilated milk. For Piaget, learning was as natural as eating. This idea is the second element in the ‘new’ developmental science but also what can be called first-tier cognition.
“When an individual knows and understands that and why Spirit must Exist, and be All that Exists, this person ceases to be centered on 1st-tier cognition. Perhaps we can see why the concept of Spirit is so essential to all versions of Integral. With Spirit, not only do we have something metaphysical from which to deduce, but also we have “nothing-greater-than” from which to deduce. As we know from geometry, deduction (as opposed to induction) enables Certainty.” (source: http://www.integralworld.net/augustine14.html)
“The thing the sixties did was to show us the possibilities and the responsibility that we all had. It wasn’t the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility.” – John Lennon
The idea behind one particular school was to integrate all forms and levels of spiritual practice. We see this method of integration in Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga, also called ‘supramental yoga,” or the union of all parts of oneself with the Divine. Sri Aurobindo defined this style of yoga in the early 1900s as “a path of integral seeking of the Divine by which all that we are is in the end liberated out of the Ignorance and its undivine formations into a truth beyond the Mind, a truth not only of highest spiritual status but of a dynamic spiritual self-manifestation in the universe.” He wrote the Synthesis of Yoga as an explanation of the system as he imagined it:
“…But while the former steps in evolution were taken by Nature without a conscious will in the plant and animal life, in man Nature becomes able to evolve by a conscious will in the instrument. It is not, however, by the mental will in man that this can be wholly done, for the mind goes only to a certain point and after that can only move in a circle. A conversion has to be made, a turning of the consciousness by which mind has to change into the higher principle. This method is to be found through the ancient psychological discipline and practice of Yoga. In the past, it has been attempted by a drawing away from the world and a disappearance into the height of the Self or Spirit. Sri Aurobindo teaches that a descent of the higher principle is possible which will not merely release the spiritual Self out of the world, but release it in the world, replace the mind’s ignorance or its very limited knowledge by a supramental Truth-Consciousness which will be a sufficient instrument of the inner Self and make it possible for the human being to find himself dynamically as well as inwardly and grow out of his still animal humanity into a diviner race. The psychological discipline of Yoga can be used to that end by opening all the parts of the being to a conversion or transformation through the descent and working of the higher still concealed supramental principle.”
As mere animals we had/have the impetus to move toward a realized self, but spiritual evolution arises when we understand that all teachers are trying to take away the veils masking a pure understanding of love, i.e., non-separateness. In this mystery, we are not split solid particles (purely biological basis), but, like James Clerk Maxwell attested, we are wave forms moving in aether. As love, or non-separateness, even light can change! The Michelson Morley theory that light has a constant rate of speed is being turned on its head. Another mystery reveals itself:
“In this new aether physics there is no dualism, no distinction between a material and immaterial thing; it is all energy since energy is all there is! Matter is not a fundamental property of the universe; it is the form not the substance that shapes matter. Now you can take Einstein’s famous formula E=m * c², one step further and really start to understand what this formula implied!
It is not that energy and matter can be interchanged; no, matter = energy!
Therefore matter is an illusion of solidness and separateness. Eastern spiritual traditions have always claimed that the world is Maya, illusion. What they meant by this is that separateness does not exist; there is only the unity at the fundamental level of existence, the unity of Brahman. You will come to see that Eastern wisdom corroborates by modern day science!” (source: http://www.truth-revelations.com/?p=217)
The aether contains the substance through which a wave can ‘bend’ matter, and this is happening from a fourth layer of dimension in space. Our own human heart is the biological conductor of the wave forms we need to transmit in order to remain ‘embedded’ in the mystery of the Universe. In Dan Winter’s essay, he outlines a breakthrough concept to transcend our current biologic versus cosmologic perspective. . . “the (heart) harmonics could “ascend” in the number of frequencies that could dance together non-destructively when the ratio between them was PHI or square root of PHI.” This would eliminate the need for any other type of ‘medicine’ except vibration, and could even heal the planet and its atmosphere!
As we start to understand fourth dimension physics (for example, the findings of Amrit Sorli and Davide Fiscaletti, who attest that time exists completely independent from space) and consciousness, there are other mysteries beyond this even! What once looked like a quantum leap – to go from walking on all fours, to spiritual ascension, will seem like small potatoes.
Is There a Final Resolution?
As we yearn for truth and beauty, as we uncover further mysteries, we will always have more questions, but this is the awe-inspiring nature of ‘reality.’ The ancients in Bolivia, Nepal, Tibet, India, China and Japan knew that the mystery would constantly unveil itself. Just as the earth’s magnetic fields have shifted more than a dozen times in the past several billion years, our understanding of the Mysteries of the Universe will shift – there is no final destination. Our DNA has been proven to change according to the feelings of even the researchers studying it, and our biological processes are inextricably linked to the mystery of the fabric of space and even of time. They are not separate.
Whether you consult the I Ching, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Upanishads or any number of esoteric books, they will only contain part of the mystery, because It will forever hold back its final manifestation from you as long as you are separate from consciousness itself. This is why Sri Aurobindo talks of the ‘descent’ of higher consciousness into the self, and Piaget talked about humans assimilating information like a baby takes mother’s milk. It is as natural as growing from an infant to an adult, but as mysterious as learning to separate time and space conceptually and scientifically. The universe maintains the mystery in its memes, archetypes or ideas, in spite of everything, including evolution, scientific inquiry and even spiritual mastery. It will forever be a budding flower revealing its inner most sanctum to the initiated and the curious, but always playing hide and seek to tempt our greater awareness.
About the Author
Christina Sarich is a musician, yogi, humanitarian and freelance writer who channels many hours of studying Lao Tzu, Paramahansa Yogananda, Rob Brezny, Miles Davis, and Tom Robbins into interesting tidbits to help you Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World.
1972, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry, India.
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