Selections from the Upanishads

He knew that Brahman is bliss. For truly, beings here are born from bliss. When born, they live by bliss. And into bliss when departing, they enter.

-- Taittiriya Upanishad 3.6.1

The face of truth is covered with a golden disc. Unveil it, O Pushan, so that I, who love the truth, may see it.
O Pushan, the sole seer, O Controller, O Sun, off-spring of Prajapati, spread forth your rays & gather up your radiant light that I may behold you of loveliest form. Whosoever is that person (yonder) that also am I.

-- Isha Upanishad 15-16

I have overcome the whole world. I am brilliant like the Sun.
He who knows this, knows the secret wisdom.

-- Taittiriya Upanishad 3.10.5

Friday, August 22, 2008

On what conditions a philosophy of love would work

It would be truly unfortunate for anyone to conclude that I totally reject each & every idea & value held by Rationalists & Atheists. What may be percieved as "ranting" or "foaming" - as "tirades" & "diatribes" - are directed at specific ideas, and specific applications, not to the vast number of individuals who have accepted the validity of certain systems. I have said, and I shall repeat, that I admire many rationalists & atheists, and even many ideas of the rational-egoists.

I give this clarification, to put my own views in the proper perspective.

I am too conscious, for example, of the immense corruption of, & suffering caused by, organized religion - whether in Europe, or in the Middle East, or in India. I am too conscious of the horrendous use concepts like "Faith", "God's Will", "Karma", "Original Sin", etc have been put to. I do understand the disastrous consequences of philosophies in which the individual is seen as a means to the ends of some other entity, whether God, or the State, or "society" etc. Which is why it has to be reiterated that a philosophy of love is impossible without perfect freedom of the will, utmost respect for individual autonomy, self-determination, & a total rejection of Force (especially non-imposition of Faith) & violence.

What does horrify me, is that the Rationalist-Atheist ideological leaders themselves have their own agenda, and are part of a much larger scheme of perversion of the human mind, & destruction of man's perception of the truth. This is successful only when one stealthily puts in a few false ideas here & there in a meticulously constructed web of indubitable truths & impeccable logic. If it is not so, then they are either unwitting instruments in the hands of invisible forces, or unknowingly cause immense harm to the truth.

The truth is this: A God-affirming spiritual philosophy (I call it a 'Philosophy of Love') rejects the idea that one individual, or any collective, has the RIGHT to make decisions for another individual or community. Not only has he no such right, but HE SHALL NEVER TRY TO ORGANIZE THE WAY OTHER PEOPLE LIVE OR THINK.

The highest moral purpose of his life is HIS OWN SPIRITUAL PERFECTION: PERFECT UNION WITH THE ONE METAPHYSICAL ESSENCE OF EXISTENCE, i.e. GOD - the Totality of the All as One.

The creative expression of his moral values - i.e., the concrete goals he sets for himself to sustain & complete the course of his life - his actions & specific goals of life - are infinite. They may very legitimately be in the field of art or science. (He is also most justified in cutting himself off from the whole world & leading the simple life of a farmer, or shut himself up in a monastery.) They are more likely to be directed at making it possible for men at large to recognize the ultimate truth of life, and move towards that truth, & its perfect integration with their life-actions & life-goals - i.e.,their moral regeneration & spiritual illumination.

But in anything that he does, he simply cannot covet what is undeserved & unearned (since his needs are minimal, his life simplified to barest essentials, he practices austerity, & he has totally abandoned the desire to possess or control) - he cannot use either the force of law or of money to achieve any ends - he cannot take part in politics or trade, two of the greatest corrupting influences, the two-pronged fork of various manipulating forces to pervert spirituality to serve political & commercial agendas, & hence become partisan & sectarian - he cannot, as enjoined by the Dhammapada, "offend by body, word, or thought, and is controlled on these three points".

As Lao Tzu says in the Tao Te Ching: Can you embrace the One with your soul, and never depart from the Way? Can you concentrate your vital force to achieve the gentleness of a new-born baby? Can you cleanse and purify your mystic vision until it is clear? Can you love the people and govern the state without interfering?

We may admit that Lao Tzu's times were radically different from ours, and that new solutions have to be found in new conditions. The essence, however, has to be grasped & imbibed.

The basic principle remains: no imposition by the name of "faith" - no use of force or any form of coercion - absolute non-violence - no propagation of hatred or revenge.

There is no humanitarianism or fruitful mysticism/spiritualism without these crucial values.

An excellent image was created by Victor Hugo in Jean Valjean as an austere, saintly industrialist in "Les Miserables". Hugo opened a whole new vision for men, through that greatest of all novels. The use of the printing press, of the internet, & of various modern technological resources for the spiritual unification of mankind is imperative. And perhaps this is a part of the modern problem. They must be preserved & developed, and yet not be instruments for division, isolationism, and all forms of corruption & exploitation. (For e.g., large-scale corporations solve many problems, & create others: they help in, say, mass dissemination of ideas, & at the same time wield an uncanny, absolute control on the type of information disseminated. The magnitude of scale enables them to spread knowledge wide & far more economically than otherwise, but this brings them the kind of power which makes it possible for them to spread disinformation & untruths.) Modern civilization has to undergo change & will necessarily drop many of its currently-held notions & conceptions. How to bring about an equilibrium between the endlessly inquisitive & imaginative mind - the desire to express all the intellectual & creative powers of man - to solve all the pressing problems of human life & lift it to a new level of relationship with the universe (in intellectual, emotional & physical terms) -- and the perennial wisdom of austerity, non-attachment to material values, concentration on Brahman / Tao/ Shunyata / Ayin-Soph, total dedication to the Union with this One Immortal Being, & absolute, universal love - is perhaps the most crucial problem facing contemporary humanity.

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