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

Monday, September 22, 2008

Today's notes on a philosophy of love

One fundamental truth about the whole idea of LOVE is that it is totally devoid of FORCE.

Love is the summit of the perfection of the Freedom of Consciousness.

Force, obviously, means more than just violence, i.e. actually physically hurting or depriving another individual. It would also include any form of influence exerted on another individual in violation of his volitional perception & affirmation of reality. For e.g., mind-conditioning, misleading people by spreading half-truths, or misrepresenting facts, or using cunning, apparently convincing but fundamentally false definitions of concepts. It is in this WIDEST sense that I use the term "force". Force fundamentally is a CONSCIOUS or DELIBERATE DISSOCIATION of reality/truth, from an individual's perception of it.

Love, as Jesus meant it, not only frees the individual from the effects of coercion exerted, or mind-manipulation, by others, -- but also the need to coerce or manipulate others.

Love simply cannot be forced: one cannot force oneself, or another, to love. Anything. Whether an idea, a work of art, a flower, a cathedral, a woman, one's own life, one's own self, humanity. It has to come on its own, and is perfect only when a man is fully focused on reality. That is, when a man is fully convinced within himself of the value of the object loved, & of the depth & truth of his own affirmation.

This is why, Love - & all that it entails - CANNOT be legislated, or turned into a Law: BECAUSE LAW IS COERCION, or FORCE, & is based on FEAR - and this is the whole secret of the difference between the vision of Jesus (& all those sages before & after him who upheld Love) - and of the Old Testament Prophets. That is why, Jesus's philosophy logically leads to annihilation of the State, of the Judiciary, of armies & tax-collectors, of priests & bureaucrats. In other words, to a form of "Anarchism". (There are several dubious passages in the New Testament, which makes a selective choice of words & incidents somewhat unconvincing, & a consistent interpretation of the Jesus' philosophy difficult. That's why some people focus exclusively on the Gospel (since certain verses attributed to Paul affirm loyalty to the reigning authority), and some others like Tolstoy focus on the Sermon on the Mount (not that Tolstoy rejects the rest of the NT). For one, I don't affirm a thing simply because words to that effect have been put into the mouths of Jesus & Paul, but what is consistent with logic, with my conscience, & what I understand. I take whatever is truest to the entire spirit of their vision. I am aware that the words of both Jesus & Paul have been tampered with, seriously, to suit the temporal ambitions of the Roman Catholic Church. Many difficulties of interpretation are solved by an ESOTERIC explanation which is not only convincing, but also proper. The incident of throwing the money-lenders out of the Temple, is explained symbolically. But then it becomes difficult to separate incidents which have to taken literally, from those which are to be taken symbolically. It is not news that the New Testament neither consistently nor wholly represents either Jesus or Paul, either Peter or John. One more way of looking at it is to take the most consistent view, & reject those which obviously jar or contradict the general drift of the entire text. Yet another way is to see those portions which exhort the Christians to respect the Roman authority, as intended to make them desist from revolutionary activity. A philosophy of love & forgiveness & spiritual perfection logically REJECTS ALL subversive political activity. If anything, it overally fits in with the rest of Jesus' spiritual vision. In any case, the Christians did NOT compromise their sacred values when it came to the Roman authority, & were persecuted for it.)

It is Jesus' philosophy of Love which totally rejects any form of organized, legalized altruism & collectivism. (I must emphasize that Jesus was NOT the first or last to recognize or glorify this vision. He was one of its greatest exponents, & I also mention him as a symbol of that small group of sages who saw & lived for the truth, across the span of millennia). This is one of the fundamental differences between Christianity & ALL pretentious, false systems which are purportedly based on "love" for humanity, like Socialism. (The innermost difference being the very concept & source of this Love. In Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, or other mystical streams, Love is rooted in, & affirms - God, the Eternal Self, Life Everlasting. Whenever I use the word "Love", I mean it in THIS sense: a spiritual, moral, & psychological state of being, which is based on a grasp of one's fundamental immortality & infinity, of Atma-Brahma; characterized by an ever-growing fearlessness, serenity, & tender affection for All; a constantly deepening sensitivity & receptivity to the universe around us, & a powerful & profound empathy. Logically, the individual personality built on THIS affirmation, is radically different from one built on "rationality" - i.e. rejection of the Eternal, Infinite Self. The demands of such a vision are different; the whole life of an individual changes, takes a different form.)

Indeed, CHRISTIANITY EXPLICITLY REJECTS THE IMMOLATION OF THE INDIVIDUAL FOR THE WELFARE OF THE COMMUNITY (PARTICULARLY BY AN EXTERNAL AUTHRORITY): "Then the chief priests & the Pharisees gathered a council and said, "What shall we do? For this Man works many signs."If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place & nation." And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish." (John 11:47-50)

It needn't be "proven" that Caiaphas is not the Christian ideal.

When I mentioned in my earlier post, that one has to give up the ideal for living for the welfare of others, I meant it in a very specific sense. Socrates was murdered for the "welfare" of the group i.e., the morals of the Athenians (he was accused of corrupting the youth, & of atheism!) Jesus Christ was murdered, for the "welfare" of others - i.e. the group, the collective, the Jewish nation, etc etc. Paul was beheaded by the Romans, for the "welfare" of others: Christianity was seen as a threat to the Roman Empire. The men who sought to liberate the human mind from the clutches of the Medieval Church were burnt at the stake, for the welfare of Christendom (they were seen as potential causes for the perversion of mankind, leaders of chaos & disorder, controlled & ordered by the Church). The Socialists & Communists were hellbent on murdering & looting hundreds of thousands of people, for the welfare of the Proletariate. (In consequence of achieving the same imaginary "welfare of the people" they killed millions of other people, not just the capitalists). The men who began the French Revolution for "liberty, equality & fraternity" - & for the "emancipation" of mankind from the tyranny of monarchism, a decadent nobility & aristocracy - were murdered by other Revolutionaries - in the name of liberty, equality & fraternity - which Revolutionaries in turn were murdered by yet other Revolutionaries in the name of liberty, equality, & fraternity.

In other words, the greatest individuals in the history of mankind have been "sacrificed" - the correct word is: DESTROYED - on the altar of "the welfare of humanity" - the group, the collective, the race, God, the poor, the State, the Nation etc etc.

I shall build on this point later, much more elaborately, but I think I've given a sufficient indication. I never meant INDIFFERENCE or CALLOUSNESS. I do not reject self-sacrifice or charity either. Far from being "marginal", Charity is a cardinal virtue, & it's not an accident that in the Bible, the words "Charity" & "Love" are interchangable. But all of this has to be done by the individual perfectly freely -- without coercion or guilt or regret, or the slightest unwillingness -- or for a special seat in the gallery of paradise. I have come to realize that most forms of social activism - with all their posturing of humanitarianism, "love, peace, & harmony" & "ahimsa" (this is NOT an indirect allusion to Gandhi) - are all insidious, fraudulent activities, built on mind-conditioning, & almost always with ulterior political motives, ultimately initiated, controlled & funded by big business. It is difficult to separate the sincere (though mistaken) people from the frauds, but overally, I personally REJECT ANY form of social activism which, taking its support & power in Law, does NOT focus on the welfare of HUMAN BEINGS. Human Rights obviously is a very crucial concept, & many causes in this respect are valid, & worthy of affirmation, but it is an open fact how miserably & shamelessly this concept has been used to destroy whole nations, and peoples.

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