Imagine the unimaginable: The Unmanifest.
Nothing -> no-thing <- the Absolute...
...infinite, omniscient, omnipresent -> beyond attributes...
...the Great Divine, Spirit Supreme...
Imagine from The One to manifest...
...the world of the many in a big bang:
The Absolute throwing itself out into the multiplicity of forms...
The further the many move away from the centre (the One) from which they originate, the more they forget about it, in an illusory separation of the many (all things) from the One (no-thing), through the loss of awareness of this their origin and true nature.
-> universal consciousness is veiled by forgetfulness and thus descends into the total non-consciousness of matter to become the manifest universe. It is the emergence of the manifest world of attributes (the many) from the unmanifest Absolute beyond attributes (the One).
But, as Hegel put it: "God does not remain petrified and dead; the very stones cry out and raise themselves to Spirit.”
The One in true nature, the many are potential universal consciousness, unaware of it, but with an inherent drive towards a realisation of this their true nature.
Therefore we see - within the outward movement of descent from the big bang – an inward movement of ascent back towards the centre -> spiritual evolution.
Matter develops into the body of life. Life evolves consciousness (pre-personal), which evolves “I”-consciousness (personal-> the self). And the growth from “I”-consciousness to universal consciousness (trans-personal -> The Self) is the path of return from the many to The One.
In evolution, Spirit – immanent in every aspect of the manifest world - unfolds from matter to body to mind to spirit, on its ascending path back towards the centre,.... towards Self-realization as being one with The One -> as being the One.
Mankind – self-conscious and potentially Self-conscious - is where evolution has come so far on spirit’s path towards Self-realization:
“What is a human being? A body? Certainly, but anything else? A personality that includes mind, memories, and propensities that have derived from a unique trajectory of life-experiences? This, too, but anything more? Some say no, but Hinduism disagrees.
Underlying the human self and animating it is a reservoir of being that never dies, is never exhausted, and is unrestricted in consciousness and bliss. This infinite centre of every life, this hidden Self or ->Atman, is no less than Brahman, the Godhead. Body, personality and Atman/Brahman – a human self is not completely accounted for until all three are noted.
But if this is true and we really are infinite in our being, why is this not apparent? Why do we not act accordingly? “I don’t feel particularly unlimited today,” one may be prompted to observe. “And my neighbor – I haven’t noticed his behavior to be exactly Godlike.”
How can the Hindu hypothesis withstand the evidence of the morning newspaper?
The answer, say the Hindus, lies in the depth at which the Eternal is buried under the almost impenetrable mass of distractions, false assumptions, and self-regarding instincts that comprise our surface selves. A lamp can be covered with dust and dirt to the point of obscuring its light completely.
The problem life poses for the human self is to cleanse the dross of its being to the point where its infinite centre can shine forth in full display.”
- Huston Smith “The World’s Religions”
The center, the divine ground, from which the divine sparks originate in the big bang... and a person’s infinite center, the “lamp being covered with dust and dirt”, are one and the same -> the origin and the underlying reality of our existence.
Hinduism calls them BRAHMAN and ATMAN: Universal truth - The One - is BRAHMAN; our own inner truth is ATMAN. Both are two sides of the same reality.
The dust and dirt covering our lamp, as mentioned in the above quote, is the darkness of our delusion about this, our true nature.
Does this ring a bell?
From delusion lead me to truth
From darkness lead me to light (Neodämmerung/Brhadaranyaka Upanishad)
We are deluded, because we are bound by the senses and limited by sensory knowledge and sensory perceptions; our senses make us turn outward. Thus we look to the external world and see not our true Self within.
In our Atman, we are one with All, we are The One. But looking to the external world, we perceive ourselves as individuals, each a separate and mortal entity -> our lower self, the ego.
“The problem life poses for the human self is to cleanse the dross of its being to the point where its infinite center can shine forth in full display.”
According to Hinduism, man is essentially a soul that walks the path of return from the many to the One in a sequence of lives (death -> rebirth).
As we’ve learned above, the ultimate goal of this path, The One, is what we truly are, but unaware of...
...and yet striving to grow aware of.
This striving expresses itself as restlessness in mankind:
We philosophize, we walk religious paths, we try to understand our world and our place in it scientifically, we search for a purpose in life...we try to grow...by all means....
Our spirit reality – our soul - is our driving force and our silent partner in our search for our true nature. It depends on material life, on the growth of the consciousness of its body/mind-entity in each particular life, to get there. Throughout evolution, throughout growth, material life and soul walk side by side towards Self-realization:
In the beginning there was man, and for a time it was good...
But what happens when, in our essential striving for growth, we turn the wrong way? When we seek self-realization in wealth, power, luxury etc? When we grow our lower self (ego), trying to find comfort in the realms of the material, rather than trying to unveil our divine Self?
“...But humanity’s so called ‘civil societies’ soon fell victim to vanity and corruption...”
Our striving for growth is essential to us, but in growing through our lower self (satisfaction of ego, possession, power...) we will eventually hit a dead end.
A pyramid can serve as a symbol for growth towards one point (-> the only truth)...
It represents mankind’s essential path - our soul’s striving for our true nature – in spiritual evolution.
In the Second Renaissance we come across a pyramid....
...but here the Great Divine atop the pyramid has been replaced by man’s symbol of power, symbolizing mankind’s attitude:
“...all of mankind was united in celebration. We marveled at our own magnificence as we gave birth to AI...” – Morpheus, The Matrix
This image describes a separation of man’s essential path - our soul’s striving for our true nature...
... and his actual path towards a dead end in the decadence of worldly power as the ultimate goal... Mankind is no longer headed towards it’s own spirit reality,... it begins to separate from spirit; not physically, but in the state and development of consciousness.
“Then man made the machine in his own likeness...”
This separation is metaphorically expressed by the creation of a separate race,... the machines... symbolizing mankind’s underlying spirit reality.
With this metaphor, the Wachowski brothers sneak our spirit reality - and its effect on our lives - almost unnoticed into the materialistic worldview of man.
“But for a time, it was good.”
There is a meaningful metaphor for our spirit reality being the driving force for mankind’s evolution/growth: Spirit building the pyramid, the symbol of growth, for man....
...but as a dead end for spirit in its striving for Self-realization...
...since mankind has placed itself atop the pyramid...
Mankind marvels about its own magnificence; it appears as a self-righteous, complacent, full society, which seeks growth and control on the dead-end path of worldly pleasures and powers, rather than on the path towards realization of its true nature.
“Thus did man become the architect of his own demise...”
The law of karma suggests that a person's mental and physical actions determine the progress of his life on earth; a person's future is his or her own creation.
Man has abandoned the path towards the Divine. He “created” his separation from spirit - expressed by the brothers through a separate race, the machines – in ignorance of his spirit reality....
Spirit strives for Self-realization, but mankind sinks up more and more into the swamp of ego and delusion, struggling with the discrepancy of its essential need for growth and its current state of being stuck on the wrong path.
The more a race falls victim to decadence, desires or worldly pleasures... its sense of individuality... the more a race will alienate from its true Self.
“Thus did man become the architect of his own demise...”
“Banished from humanity, the machines sought refuge in their own promised land. They settled in the cradle of human civilization...”
“A place the machines could call home...”
This place is a metaphorical expression of....what?
We’ll get to that...
But our spiritual reality doesn’t give up that easily; striving for growth and answers is essential to us.
So, in the Second Renaissance, the machines offer peace and cooperation...
... by offering the red apple, the fruit of knowledge.
But mankind rebuffs this offer....
...and the apple is being eaten by worms... this foul apple transforms into a human brain... into a human skeleton... into the Gnostic cross (symbol for gnosis -> intuitive knowledge of spiritual truths)... being covered by darkness (delusion!)... and finally into the earth (man’s world)...
-> Again, the law of karma suggests that a person's mental and physical actions determine the progress of his life on earth; a person's future is his or her own creation.
The separation finally climaxes in...
...the destruction of the sky.
“Thus would man try to cut the machines off from the sun, their main energy source...”
“Sunless are those worlds and enveloped in blind gloom whereto all they in their passing hence resort who are slayers of their souls.” - Isha Upanisad (translated by Sri Aurobindo)
Spiritual evolution is the soul’s path of return towards immortality in The One by the means of death and rebirth:
The path of light (of spiritual practice towards Self-knowledge) and the path of darkness (of materialism and ignorance) are thought to be the world’s two eternal paths. The former leads to salvation (immortality in the One) and the latter leads to rebirth (mortality in the cycle of death and rebirth). - Bhagavad Gita 8:26
From delusion lead me to truth
From darkness lead me to light
From death lead me to immortality (Neodämmerung/Brhadaranyaka Upanisad)
path of darkness path of light
The scorching of the sky is symbolic for the path of darkness.
When the humans cut the machines off from the sun, and damn their world to an existence in darkness, they cut their own spirit off from the great Divine. They anchor their souls in the darkness of delusion, in the cycle of death and rebirth.
“Hell is but the flames of God’s love denied” – Ken Wilber, The Matrix Revolutions Commentary
This gets us to the psychology of our spirit reality, as expressed in the Matrix universe:
Spirit is. And spirit is the driving force in evolution. However, what spirit is to us is determined by our attitude towards it.
If we climb up the evolutionary ladder, which is potentially analogous to walking the path towards spiritual awakening...spirit is our friend, and we are headed towards inner peace.
But if a race hits a dead-end on its path of growth...if it stands in the way of spirit’s path towards Self-realization...if a race separates from spirit,... it will face spirit’s destructive capabilities; the karmic retribution.
If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you will not bring forth will destroy you. - Gospel of Thomas 70
To get an idea of the destructive side of spirit, this short description of the Hindu god Shiva may be helpful:
Shiva is a god of anger and destruction. He destroys all that is evil, that is bad and that is wasteful or excessive. Shiva is not a negatively destructive power. His destruction is an essential aspect of creation because without destruction you cannot really create anything. It may sound strange, but it is true that in reality destruction is the other face of creation. Both compliment each other, depend upon each other and initiate each other.
You cannot achieve spiritual progress unless you eliminate many undesirable habits, thoughts and tendencies that are otherwise self destructive and come in your way of creating a better future for yourself. Destruction is therefore an integral part of progress and change. Creation leads to destruction and destruction to creation. And at the end of it all a more lasting death is required for the soul to review its plans and options for its next birth. Shiva is therefore not a destroyer in the negative sense, but a god of immense energies who ensures our material and spiritual progress through inner transformation. - hinduwebsite
As mentioned above, the separation of man and spirit is not a physical separation. It is a separation solely in our consciousness.
Man and spirit are one; spirit is man’s hidden, but true nature. Our inner peace depends from the quality of our relationship with this, our true nature.
Therefore we should not understand the destructive side of spirit, as we witness it in the Second Renaissance, as an egotistic separate entity, but rather as a self-destructive state of our consciousness...an inner war, caused by the discrepancy of mankind’s essential need for growth and its current state of being stuck on the wrong path. This is metaphorically expressed in the Matrix universe by the two separate and hostile races man and machine...
....whose fates are nevertheless inseparably entwined.
This chapter in a sequence of lives comes to a close in the path of darkness (delusion, darkness, death)...
As a man leaves an old garment and puts on one that is new, the spirit leaves his mortal body, and then puts on one that is new - Bhagavad Gita 2:22
The world of man dies a death in delusion ...
...and is reborn into a new world, of which, according to the law of karma, man himself is the creator...
...based on the state of consciousness at his death,...
thou art in the bondage of Karma, of the forces of thy own past life - Bhagavad-Gita 18:59
... to walk again the path towards Self-realization:
The virtues of heaven are for liberation but the sins of hell are the chains of the soul. Grieve not, Arjuna, for heaven is thy final end. - Bhagavad Gita 16:5
To be continued...