The Doer, the Happiness and Enlightenment of Self-realization
Do we have a free will? Who is the doer? Creation is a stage pretty much set. Nevertheless we have a limited free will to find our way. This only works if our so-called adult option is respected. We are not children anymore and as adults have to take responsibility for our actions. Thus we wonder who would be the controller of our lives, the so-called doer. Our bodies are controlled by material nature in the form of time. That is how the Person Who is the Universe is directing us and deciding about us. Time is His impersonal aspect and faces us with the relative truth that implies the birth, growth, disease, old age and death of our body. If we forget our inner person we are as fixed in the material world as conditioned beings, as animals in a cage of outer determination without much of a free will actually. But inside seeking the inner connectedness with the Person of the Absolute Truth, there is a way out of the misery of this predicament of being conditioned and subdued. In the relative truth we have fake, temporary happiness, but in the true self of the Absolute Truth above time, we find lasting happiness, it is another dimension, a fourth dimension of consciousness. To attain this is a matter of training one's consciousness to be stable in meditation. Normally we have three states of consciousness, sleep, wakefulness and dreamless sleep. That is part of our natural conditioning. But in meditation one finds relief as in sleep, while being fully conscious with the mind trained down by the mantra toward the consciousness of the Person Above Us All. This fourth state is the special state of consciousness we need in order to live close in service with the Supreme Personality of All Character.
In Inspiration 2 we discussed the integrity of the person as composed of truth, consciousness and happiness. It is the unitary purpose of filognosy, a single purpose maintained for all humans, however much we are divided in the purposes of our specific intelligencies the way they work from different vantage points for the sake of different aims and with different types of logic. We called it the complexity and coined the term epistemology for the discussion of it. Filognosy aims at covering all these forms of logic, beginning with the logic of philosophy and theory of time, in this first book of the twelve we have planned in total. This book is part of the section about the quality of the person, next to two more sections concerning the quantity and integrity of the person to be complete. We realized a preliminary general description of the quantitative and qualitative aspects concerning the basic virtues of the person in Inspiration 5. With the integrity of the person being the final purpose of this study we want to know what we mean by the concepts of truth, consciousness and happiness associated with that ultimate position. Leaving the topographical order of the second position of ego, spirit and soul for what was discussed thus far, we now want to focus on our most desired position of happiness, consciousness and truth. Truth is, filognostically speaking, that what we arrive at when we the first impersonal level depart from ignorance and transcend ego. Similarly consciousness is what we arrive at when we deriving from passion transcend the spirit, while happiness is what we arrive at when we derive from goodness and transcend the individual, localized soul (see the integrity picture at Inspiration 2). On this path of self-realization by transcendence one moves through the three positions of - 1 - time in the sense of the interaction of the modes to - 2 - matter in the sense of the personal topography to - 3 - the position of the person in the sense of his/her essential qualities. The 'vertical' path of the liberation of the person who from the impersonal elevates to the personal level, we later on will discuss, comes after, follows upon, this 'horizontal' path of enlightenment by transcendence in meditation. Meditation is thus a precondition for liberation. Rising above matters in meditation, which we in Inspiration 2 called enlightenment, is not yet the emancipation that entails liberation by elevation and devotion. On the path of liberation one emancipates to the personal level. That is the elevation in filognosy that covers all forms of meditative transcendence at every level of self-realization. The ultimate integrity at the impersonal level 1 we call the Spirit of the Absolute (Sanskrit: Brahman). The ultimate integrity on the local level 2 we call the Supersoul (Paramātmā) and the ultimate integrity after elevation to level 3 we call the Supreme Personality (Bhagavān), or simply the Person. The traditional term 'Supersoul' is a somewhat confounding concept in this, super does not yet mean that it is purely personal. For with the more general local Supersoul in emancipation one arrives in practice at the realization of the more personal omnipresent Soul of goodness and blissfulness of the highest level of the Original Person. But these are functional definitions. There is of course but one soul, one I-awareness, that is realized at different levels because of which one then gets the different names of an identified ego (of an individual soul or jīva), a general Supersoul and an original personal Soul. These filognostic descriptions concerning the ultimate integrity of knowledge offer a context to these terms, but what is their internal structure, their validity and coherence? Relating to this we then filognostically arrive at the distinction between the absolute and the relative truth, between four different states of consciousness and between two basic types of happiness.
But first of all we want to learn to know the doer. Who exactly is doing the things we do? We may act from impulse, from conditioning or from a motive for this or that purpose. We are no simple machines that can be copied by a robot. Still there is the question of free will. If we acknowledge a doer we also acknowledge the concept of free will. Like we stated in the beginning, there is a great difficulty in naming any person to begin with, because we do not want to submit right away to the control of such a person or any person other than ourselves. This we call the adult option. Children are less troubled by it, but adults are on the mission to stand their ground and defend their independence. This is the very basis of our freedom we will never want to give up. We as adults have to take responsibility for our own lives and without the concept of free will that makes no sense at all. This is the primary axiom of the personal approach. In the previous inspiration we formulated the concept of liberation as a cornerstone of our basic civil virtue. Also with the other virtues there was a fundamental notion of freedom we cannot do without. Still we question the doer. Whatever freedom we exercise in the material world of our culture, it always depends on societal, legal agreements. Even on an uninhabited island making a new life, we would depend on the rules we carried along like heavy luggage. It is our pride and reason. It is the structure of our sanity. We mentioned the paradox of liberation by restriction. We limit the risks and maximize the benefits and thus enjoy culturally a relative freedom in different fields. The notion of freedom always ships with a framework, a more or less legally settled department, an agreement of mutual consent, a field of action or a certain fundamental virtue of civil conduct.
To understand the reality of our free will, is like looking around in a city while studying the city map. All the connections between its quarters, all its streets, are fixed in a plan that cannot be changed and limits one's movements, unless one aims at reconstructing the entire city. And that does not happen just like that, however much the city depends on our making. Similarly we do have a free will on the condition of respecting some traffic rules and a street plan concerning the cultural framework we created for the person in the course of the millennia of our civilization, of our societal evolution. We cannot desire another connection of streets by our free will in any city, the same way we cannot change our cultural road map just like that. Those who aspire to do so usually end up in destroying others - and themselves also thus - in warfare. Only wars put cities to an end (not counting natural disasters). There is a strong tendency for maintenance, for we need structure and security. Cities evolve but slowly as for their structure, and just like conserving ancient cities for prosperity, we also conserve classical societal mechanisms as fixed by law and custom. Many political dreams therefore will stay dreams for ever, until one has awakened to a new notion of one's sober position in the actual world community, that one cannot subdue by whatever means.
It is like having neighbors in one's neighborhood, you cannot pick the people you are put up with thus, even though one can move - if not flee - to another home elsewhere, which indeed happens sometimes. But we cannot move to another planet, that is for sure, we only have one planet at our disposition and probably for ever will have this one only, being this species of humanoids. There is no place like home, our genes are completely tuned to our own gene pool and planetary conditions. We cannot change anything of that. As such we must accept a lot of order we cannot wave goodbye, without giving up our own life. Thus we live in a kind of evolutionary evolved human framework of cultural and natural diversity with a free will subjected to limitations. Along the roads and highways of this framework one may expect to find only one road sign that at every corner says: 'Warning! Do not impose', for offending the adult option awakens the beast of war. Your free will is there for exploring the different quarters of the city, for exploring the different philosophies of human life, of engaging in different domains or fields of general human interest - as far as your human reason permits, but one cannot set out to defeat one quarter of the city in favor of another one, one is identified with. The enemies in the civil war in denial of these rules - or this one road sign for that matter - have to learn to recognize their self-interest in that of others. We will have to embrace the basic virtues, forms of intelligence and levels of personal integrity, and work for their full realization, but thinking oneself to be the doer of it all is a total misconception of the complete plan of the city we inhabit having evolved thus far with this planet and humanity.
The only reasonable doer we may agree upon is the time that waits for no one. We are all subjected to that mysterious arrow of existence that pushes us from our past into our future while offering us a meagre choice within the present cultural framework as laid down by history. A few changes, a few course corrections are possible - and may effect great change according to some theory of chaos - but even those one cannot directly claim to dominate or call one's own. Like ants in an anthill we are all part of an evolutionary experiment of which the outcome is most uncertain. We might become the glorious survivors who made the right choices of preservation, but just as well may go extinct within a couple of decades, or somewhat longer... So let us first of all agree upon the time, the Absolute of Time, as the doer and maker of our free will, and upon our time cultures of calendars and clocks as the relative of time. They constitute the secondary creators of our bondage, our cultural framework, the creators subjected to evolution that have to learn to respect the greater and inevitable - but also still quite inscrutable - nature of time as is constituted by natural law. For starters we may be glad to have astronomical clocks following the tempo of the passing sun, including properly leaped calendar units of days, weeks, months and years in respect of the same periodicity of the heavenly bodies we always have observed in nature. More about this later.
Thus far is what we could say about the basic notion of the doer and the time. We, by the authority of our present day, collective belief in science, strive for the respect and authority of Time, as the existential vital backbone for our mondial culture of pacification and unification, despite living with the times we culturally agreed upon as yet, however primitive those agreements might be. Those agreements we need lest we fall in chaos, but we also have to remember to evolve with them for the purpose of the Ideal, the knowing and serving of the Ideal Time and its dual counterpart of the Ideal Person, the Integrity of the Complete Whole.
So in order to be happy, we think of giving up our individual souls for a Supreme one, of sacrificing our individual lives for a collective one, just to attain the harmony that allows us to survive together with the entire planet. But with giving up the control over these matters we do wish to see them preserved of course. And there are a few requirements to meet before we may occupy such a fortunate position of being part of -. The first requirement on this highest level is the one of truth. Truth is the opposite of untruth and the practice of untruth is characterized by illusion. Any warrior in the world dreaming of a victory should remember that illusion is his true enemy, not so much that other bewildered victim of that other cultural option we disagree with. We are all equally bewildered by the deluding quality of material nature that arrived with our vision directed outward. As yet, we could never find any lasting connectedness in the outside world, however much we try with e.g. our digital, latest attempts to be always online. Yes there is ego and collective ego too. But with that ego turned away from other ego there will always be estrangement and false pride. Sooner or later all the politics of material management collide, collapse and fail to serve as a form of connectedness. Our own present culture is the best culture there is of course, just as your wife, your kid, your dog and your car are the sweetest, so to speak. The ones you have are the best you have of course, it is a psychological law of consonance we all obey. One has to pacify with the situation one is in. But really, we cannot be ruled by our psychology, however natural the mechanisms of pride and thousands shades of pink of the glasses of our self-conceit may be. Illusions, or misconceptions of reality, are our true enemy. That is why we have this basic rule of not lying. With lies one violates the truth and creates another world of being mistaken about what is outside our matrix so to speak. The psychiatrist makes a living on failed perspectives of reality, just like the general and the undertaker. There is a complete thriving war industry for making money on people's misconceptions of reality, not to mention the media and the entertainment industry.
Yes, we should not impose, but the problem is that by that rule it is also difficult to help each other out of one's dreams. We say 'dream on' and laugh about each other, meanwhile for ourselves not being completely sure whether our own ways are free from illusion to be honest. Any theory can be an illusion, can be truth. Any speculation might be correct or just as well be a failing vision. So what should we do apart from being certain of the Time that puts and end to us all? What is the ultimate authority on the truth? The eternity of that what is not subjected to time is the logical answer, but that offers the problem of verification. How can we verify something immaterial, even though it defines our innermost self? Considering the fact that everything material is relative and thus at its best is half a truth, while that what opposes it is not and is thus of the complete truth and hence the Absolute Truth, we soon arrive at the peculiar notion of declaring the material world an illusion and the Supreme Person the only Absolute Super Truth there is. Well this is a bit too easy a philosophy. Going back on our tracks we turn out to have forgotten another important rule of thumb. Mind your mind! The problem is in the thinking. The material world is very real, the impartial detached witness of our inner self continuing over time is also unmistakably real. Both are real, it is in the middle position between these two extremes that we get lost in ruminations about the truth. We are no gods or devils but human beings that can succeed or fail. We are not relative or absolute, but compromises that are negotiated.
The classical wisdom in this says, 'neither this, nor that'. That is how one develops consciousness. Meditating on truth and illusion, on relative matters and absolute matters it turns out to be a matter of consciousness to find a position of indifference. Who cares? Can you be at peace with the world of opposites? Is there a stable witness inside unconcerned about it all? Or is there just a kind of black hole inside that wrings the life out of you? Considering our instinctual drive for survival and material advantage, it is not an easy task to figure this out. But in order to defeat the question of truth and progress towards the goal of happiness, one cannot escape such a position of indifference. One should not become indifferent as a person, we have to say, one should only be in command of such a position as a refuge to withdraw to, to reset one's mind with and make from there a fresh start again. This mantra of 'neither this, nor that' is a good one to meditate the truth and weigh illusions. For certain it is still the person - the Person - making use of this mantra, it is still the doer of free will acting here, and thus we have not lost our way in our quest for happiness. So our next stop after the subject of truth is consciousness. Okay, maybe one is then a bit indifferent for a while in the middle of everything, but it works to find freedom in the transcendence needed. We have to step back so now and then to obtain a clear view, just like a painter does making a painting. And now, what is that consciousness, what do we mean by that term?
One is consciously aware of this or that, or of both without choosing, but exercising for a pure consciousness one soon runs into a little problem. Thus meditating you fall asleep. Is that bad or wrong? No, of course not, if you need sleep you have to sleep. Much of meditation may be necessary because of a lack of relaxation or sleep. Sleep is just another state of consciousness. You are still present, but you are not that alert to the senses anymore. During one's dream state the sleeping brain is offered its freedom, like a dog being taken for a walk. Without that freedom of jumping around in our brain like a happy dog, we go crazy, we even will die. Sleep is absolutely needed to counterbalance our active waking state of consciousness and maintain our ability to learn, our ability to process information. Sleeping there is even one more state of consciousness next to the one of dreaming: deep sleep. That is the state wherein one is fully detached from any active process so that one may restore in one's deepest centers and the body may detoxify. Common man is familiar with all these three states of consciousness. But the sages teach us there is still another state of consciousness, that is neither sleep, nor wakefulness, nor deep sleep. It is a position of full awareness in between covering the best of all three states. It is the state of spiritual integrity. It is like sleeping with one's senses perceiving, while not having a thought or thought image. That state is a special state. It offers a full awareness while at the same time offering a blissful state of unconcern. One's cortex, one's gray matter, one's info bank shows the signs of sleep, but one's deeper centers are alert. To attain this fourth state constitutes an ability one can practice, it constitutes the enlightened state one reaches by one's devotional service to the Original Person. There will be more about this later on. It is important to keep these four states in mind, because that position of full awareness sheds light on the question who we are: we are not the mind, we are not matter, nor are we absent, we are the immaterial presence of pure consciousness... if we meet the conditions for residing in it.
In the end we do not look for happiness anymore, simply because we found it. The fourth state is effortless and offers the full integrity of the Person: an eternal stability of Absolute Truth, a full awareness and a blissful indifference. This is the state of connectedness, the enlightenment we must always keep in mind, or even better the mode of existence we fix and remember in our hearts. That is the foundation of the goodness we need to live in peace and harmony on this planet. When we with success manage to meditate upon the person, the integrity of truth, the consciousness and happiness that is a living presence fully aware, we know the difference between the material happiness of having a good meal, sexual satisfaction, mastery over this or that skill, or a sensual experience of beauty at the one hand and the happiness that is not bound to this or that relative matter subjected to the law of time at the other hand. This is the moment the person contacts the Person. That moment, the full truth of the Person is revealed and the consciousness is expanded beyond the confines of one's material life. This is where the mind stops and the experience, the blessedness, the beatitude, bliss and supreme grace of eternal love and absolute absorption begins. This is the fulfillment we are after. This is the true and lasting happiness we build upon. Once one has tasted from that pot of nectar, one will never give it up to (pre)serve that purpose and testify of it. It is the end and the beginning of another life. Some say you need to abandon your body to go to heaven, but that is not necessary. The body may remain the body, it has its own logic of existence, it comes and it goes, as ruled by time, but the supreme soul of the Original Person is there for ever as the Supreme of Time, the original cause of our existence. The way one deals with this reality is the realization of one's own unique nature. In this personal realization no soul is ever lost however much one gave up on one's individuality. There is always an individual path towards this purpose and that path constitutes one's authenticity. The more one approaches the ultimate purpose, the more sustainable one's ways and the more stable one's realization will be. Everything on this path depends on the condition of respect for the conditions that exist for this victory of one's free and unique will, the drive one is equiped with for attaining the Person.
Source for this Inspiration:
S.B. Canto 1, Chapter 6