one reality

One Reality of Mystics and Spiritual Adepts

The One Reality

“Of all those forms of life and thought with which humanity has feed its cravings for truth, mysticism alone postulates, and in the persons of the great initiates proves, not only the existence of the Absolute, but also this link: this possibility first of knowing, finally of attaining it. It denies that possible knowledge is to be limited 9a) to the sense impressions, (b) th any process of intellection, (c) to the unfolding of the content of normal consciousness. Such diagrams of experience, it says, are helplessly incomplete. The mystics find the basis of their method not in logic but in life: in the existence of a discoverable ‘real,’ a spark of true being, within the seeking subject, which can, in that ineffable experience which they call the ‘act of union,’ fuse itself with and thus apprehend the reality of the sought Object. In theological language, their theory of knowledge is that the spirit of man, itself essentially divine, is capable of immediate communion with God, the One Reality.” ~Evelyn Underhill

Mysticism Postulates

Mysticism isn’t about speculation, of listening to the idea of others, even those giving themselves the title “guru,” but about discovering truth for ourselves. If you pay attention to spiritual groups on social media, you know they are always putting down religion because. According to them, religion is about believing in someone else’s experiences, while spirituality is about having your own. They then go on to prove with that very statement, as well as almost everything else they post, that what they believe and practice is what they have gotten from others, not their own knowledge! Real mystics don’t do that, nor do real spiritual students. And while we are at it, putting down the beliefs of others is also not the behavior of real mystics or spiritual adepts. The fact that we have leaner some things others haven’t learned yet does not make us superior beings, and those who think it does are feeding overblown egos. Continue reading “One Reality of Mystics and Spiritual Adepts”

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Unreal World of Appearance and Opinion

An Unreal World of Appearance

“Why take as our standard a material world where existence is affirmed by nothing more trustworthy than the sense impressions of ‘normal men’; those imperfect and easily cheated channels of communication? The mystics have always declared, implicitly or explicitly, their distrust in these channels of communication. They have never been deceived by phenomena, nor by the careful logic of the industrious intellect. One after another, with extraordinary unanimity, they have rejected that appeal to the unreal world of appearance which is the standard of sensible men; affirming that there is another way, another secret, by which the conscious self may reach the actuality which it seeks. More complete in their grasp of experience than the votaries of intellect or of sense, they accept as central for life those spiritual messages which are mediated by religion, by beauty, and by pain. More reasonable than the rationalists, they find in that very hunger for reality which is the mother of all metaphysics, an implicit proof that such reality exists; that there is something else, some final satisfaction, beyond the ceaseless stream of sensation which besieges consciousness. ‘In that thou hast sought me, thou hast already found me,’ says the voice of Absolute Truth in their ears. This is the first doctrine of mysticism. Its next is that only is so far as the self is real can it hope to know reality.” ~Evelyn Underhill

World of Appearance

Many people do not realize that the world we live in, the world of matter, is not what is seems to be. That is not just the beliefs of mystics, but science—or at least the science of Quantum Physics—agrees with them. It isn’t that the physical world doesn’t exist, but what it actually is may be quite different than what we think it is.

As Ms. Underhill says, the existence of things in this world is affirmed by nothing more than the opinions and the physical senses of ordinary men. Senses and beliefs which are easily fooled. So it is an unreal world because it isn’t what the vast majority of us think it is, not because it doesn’t exist. Of course, there are some spiritual schools and gurus that say that anything that is temporary is unreal, so in that sense, the realm of matter is an unreal world. Continue reading “Unreal World of Appearance and Opinion”

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eternity

Eternity is More than Negation of Time

“Eternity may be regarded as a negation as far as human finitude is concerned, but inasmuch as this finitude is always changing, becoming, that is, negating itself, what is really negative is the world itself and not the eternal. The eternal must be an absolute affirmation which our limited human understanding defines in negative terms. We must see the world in this affirmation, which is God’s way of seeing the world, seeing everything as part of the whole. ‘Living in the light of eternity’ cannot be anthing else.

“B. Jowett, translator of Plato, writed in his introduction to Timaeus: ‘Not only Buddhism, but Greek as well as Christian philosophy, shows that it is quite possible that the human mind should retain an enthusiasm for mere negations. … Eternity or the eternal is not merely the unlimited in time but the truest of all being, the most real of all realities, the moat certain of all knowledge, which we nevertheless only see through a glass darkly.’ The enthusiasm Jowett here refers to is not ‘for mere negations’. … What appears to be a mere negation from the logical point of view is really the is-ness of things.” ~D. T. Suzuki

Eternity as Negation

Why does Suzuki say that Eternity is a negation? That is because people who are used to think in terms of time see eternity as an infinite or unlimited amount of time. So in that sense, it is a negation of the limits of time. But that is only how it appears to those of us trapped in the illusion of time and space. In truth, eternity is not really a negation of time, but the status of a place where time does not and never has existed. That may sound like a negation of time, but it really is saying that eternity is reality, whereas the limits of time are the illusion, therefore it is time which is truly negative, not eternity. Continue reading “Eternity is More than Negation of Time”

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Hunger For Reality Can Be Satisfied

“It is doubtful whether any two selves have offered themselves exactly the same image of the truth outside their gates: for a living metaphysic, like a living religion, is at bottom a strictly personal affair—a matter, as William James reminded us, of vision rather than of argument. Nevertheless, such a living metaphysic may—and if sound generally does—escape the stigma of subjectivism by outwardly stretching itself to a traditional school; as personal religion may and should outwardly attach itself to a traditional church. Let us then consider shortly the results arrived at by these traditional schools. …

“The most obvious and generally accepted explanation of the world is Naturism, or naive realism. …Naturism states simply that we see the real world, though we may not see it very well. It congratulates itself on resting in the concrete; it accepts material things as real. …

“Such an attitude as this may be a counsel of prudence, in view of our ignorance of all that lies beyond: but it can never satisfy our hunger for reality.” ~Evelyn Underhill

Image of Truth

It is very likely true that each of us has their own image of what the physical world is. However, that doesn’t mean there are many different physical realities, each of them real. It means that we each interpret the reality differently, but it is only one reality. While it is true, according to quantum physics, that the observer affects the observed, it is but a mask of reality that is observed, and it is only that mask which is altered by the observer. The actual reality is not affected.

A Living Metaphysic

I agree with Underhill that a valid metaphysical philosophy must be a living one. Religion also must be living. That means that all religious truth cannot be locked up in a book, the Bible, Koran, Upanishads, or any other. The books can only hold a temporary truth. In a living religion, things change. Likewise, a metaphysical philosophy cannot be locked up in a book, tablet, or ancient scroll. While we can find much of value in them, a living reality constantly changes, so the philosophies must be able to change as well. Such changes are never drastic, yet they are real. So a living metaphysical philosophy is one based as much on actual experience as on books and scrolls.

Naturism

Naturism is the philosophy that says what we see around us is essentially reality. While there may be some slight distortion or things that we can’t see, what is see is what is there. At least, that is what it generally meant when Ms. Underhill wrote of it and that is the definition we will go by for this article. Today, it is more often considered a synonym for nudism.

Today we talk of Materialism and Pantheism as being essentially the same as what was called Naturism. Materialists believe that matter is reality and the only reality. There is no spirit worlds or invisible worlds beyond matter. They may believe in a god, but it has to be a material being of some sort. Pantheists believe not only that the physical world is the one and only real world, but that it is divinity itself. The universe of matter is their god. A Naturist could be part of either philosophy today.

Hunger for Reality

Despite the firm belief by many in these forms of materialism, the hunger for reality remains. Many feel that there must be something more to life than what they are experiencing, or aware of with their physical senses.

The more materialistic among them may feel that it is a lack of material possessions that causes this hunger. They then make all possible effort to collect as much matter around them as possible, often throwing ethics and morality out the door in the process. Yet despite the accumulation of matter that is the envy of many a black hole, they still feel as if something is missing.

The more fanciful among them are often found in Facebook spiritual groups expressing the idea that they are Starseeds, aliens from planet X, or just asking “Am I the only one who thinks he doesn’t belong on Earth?”. That question generally gets dozens of “No, me too” type of responses. But no matter the approach, the hunger for reality remains.

Fill the Void

People try many different ways to fill the void, the emptiness they feel. Greed is just one false path taken by many. Another is sex. Making frequent sexual encounters, often casual sex with no commitments may feel good when you’re doing it, but just like collecting material goods, collecting sex partners never solves the problem and the void remains. And sex addiction, whether with one partner or many, depletes your supply of life energy preventing you from rising to something higher, something that can satisfy that hunger for reality.

The only thing that can truly fill the void and satisfy the hunger for reality is a spiritual awakening. The recognition that there is more to reality than matter is the starting point. You do have to accept that as a possibility, of course. If you can’t at least be open-minded about it, you will never find the truth. But once you have accepted that a spiritual realm might exist and that you can awaken your own spiritual faculties to allow you to experience those realms, you are on your way to satisfying the hunger for reality.

Many spiritual schools today teach that the only way to awaken those faculties is with meditation. While there is nothing wrong with practicing meditation, the idea that it is the only or even the best, way to awaken the spirit and soul is debatable. Nearly all spiritual people recognize the concept of a third eye, a spiritual eye which is usually believed to be the pineal gland. This tiny gland in the brain is activated with light. That is a known fact. Does meditation fill that gland with light? No, it does not. So something else is needed. That something has become popularized as “Sun Gazing”. But not all sun gazing is equal. Snakes and birds look at the sun but never become spiritual. You have to look at it in the right way and with the right attitude. In short, you have to attune to the proper frequencies. Then sun gazing can awaken those spiritual faculties and satisfy that hunger for reality. The awakened all know that the spiritual is reality because it is permanent and not veiled. The material is constantly changing and is temporary. So awaken to the permanent world of spirit.

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