Category Archives: M-Beginning

Neti Neti

Nothing

Reference: Mindfulness Approach

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As explained in Wikipedia, in Hinduism, and in particular Jnana Yoga and Advaita Vedanta, neti neti (नेति नेति) is a Sanskrit expression which means “not this, not this”, or “neither this, nor that” (neti is sandhi from na iti “not so”).

Thus, neti neti is negation of “something” to get at the esoteric understanding of “nothing”. This understanding of nothing is recognized in Hinduism as “Brahman”, and in Buddhism as “emptiness”. “Something” has a beginning. So, Brahman or emptiness lies at the root of the BEGINNING.

NOTHING is “absence of manifestation.” In other words, Brahman and emptiness also represent the absence of any and all manifestations.

Science cannot go into the beginning of universe as long as it presupposes SOMETHING to exist before the beginning. This is the limitation of science.

Western religion cannot go into the beginning of universe as long as it presupposes CAUSE to exist before the beginning. This is the limitation of western religion.

Logic, Mathematics and Philosophy cannot go into the beginning of universe as long as they presuppose THOUGHT to exist before the beginning. This is the limitation of Logic, Mathematics and Philosophy.

To describe the beginning of the universe then, one may speculate upon the nature of NOTHING, BRAHMAN or EMPTINESS. But that would give us another universe. This is where mindfulness comes in.

Mindfulness is “seeing things as they are”.

At the basis of mindfulness lies the recognition of something or nothing.

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Emptiness

heart-sutra

Reference: Mindfulness Approach

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The Heart Sutra in Buddhism defines EMPTINESS as no Birth no Death, no Being no Non-being, no Defilement no Purity, no Increasing no Decreasing.  In other words, in emptiness there is complete absence of any phenomena.

The viewpoint of emptiness is just that. It is totally fresh. It is completely clean. There are no preconceived notions, no fixed ideas, no bias, etc. In short, the concept of emptiness is not viewed through any filters. It is simply what it is.

From a scientific viewpoint, this is the ultimate reference point from which all phenomena is perceived objectively. No other reference point is required to understand emptiness. This is like the zero of a scale from which all values on that scale are measured.

A reference point aligns everything that follows, into order. In the absence of a reference point things devolve into confusion. It is common to assume an arbitrary reference point just to avoid the immediate confusion, even when it can’t resolve everything.

The Semitic GOD and the Scientology STATIC are arbitrary reference points. They are assumed to resolve the confusion of physical reality. But they cannot resolve the reality they represent. To understand the reality of GOD and/or STATIC a more basic reference point is needed.

The ultimate reference point is inherently understood. No further reference point is needed. Emptiness has that property of being inherenly understood because it denotes the absence of all realities. From this reference point it is possible to give an objective meaning to any phenomena.  Emptiness itself is not a phenomenon, just like zero is not a value.

EMPTINESS is the ultimate reference point from which all phenomena can be understood objectively without any pre-conceived notion.

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Universe, the Beginning

Reference: The Creation Hymn of Rig Veda

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Here we have the Ancient Creation Hymn along with a modern scientific rendition.

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There was neither non-existence nor existence then.
There was neither the realm of space nor the sky which is beyond.
What stirred?
Where?
In whose protection?
Was there water, bottomlessly deep?

Prior to the universe there was no idea of existence or non-existence.

There was no awareness of matter, energy, space or time.

The universe seems to arise from some disturbance 

Of what? We do not know.

There was neither death nor immortality then.
There was no distinguishing sign of night nor of day.
That One breathed, windless, by its own impulse.
Other than that there was nothing beyond.

There was no idea of death or immortality then.

There was neither day nor night.

There was only the slightest awareness

Of motion appearing by itself

Darkness was hidden by darkness in the beginning,
with no distinguishing sign, all this was water.
The life force that was covered with emptiness,
that One arose through the power of heat.

Lack of motion was hidden by lack of awareness

Nothing was distinguishable, everything was the same

The motion that arose was surrounded by no motion

There alone was the power of awareness.

Desire came upon that One in the beginning,
that was the first seed of mind.
Poets seeking in their heart with wisdom
found the bond of existence and non-existence.

It was the desire that was the disturbance

It was the beginning of the mind

There was then the awareness of existence

That also brought the awareness of non-existence.

Their cord was extended across.
Was there below?
Was there above?
There were seed-placers, there were powers.
There was impulse beneath, there was giving forth above.

Scale was formed from physical motion to metaphysical awareness, 

All opposites, such as below and above, had a scale as well.

There was concrete reality, and the abstraction underlying it

There was desire below,  and there was change above.

Who really knows?
Who will here proclaim it?
Whence was it produced?
Whence is this creation?
The gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe.
Who then knows whence it has arisen?

Before the beginning of awareness

There was non-awareness

Before the beginning of motion

Who would know what was there?

Any knower came afterwards with the creation

Who then knows how disturbance came to be?

Whence this creation has arisen
– perhaps it formed itself, or perhaps it did not –
the One who looks down on it,
in the highest heaven, only He knows
or perhaps He does not know.

The beginning of the universe is there

Perhaps it formed itself, or perhaps it did not

Maybe the broadest viewpoint of it

Could reveal the secret of the beginning

Or, perhaps, it may not.

 

Summary

  1. We do not know what was there prior to the beginning of the universe. So, we shall call that state BRAHMAN as referred to in the ancient Vedas. This is also the “noumenon” of Kant.

  2. The universe seems to arise from the disturbance of this earlier state of BRAHMAN, or absolute zero. This beginning is characterized by motion and awareness. This is also the “phenomenon” of Kant.

  3. When there is motion there is also awareness. When there is no motion there is no awareness. Thus, motion and awareness present two different aspects of disturbance.

  4. The dimension of disturbance may be represented by a ‘concrete-to-abstract’ scale with concrete motion at one end also appearing as abstract awareness at the other end.

  5. This scale may be formalized as physical motion that is getting increasingly abstracted as metaphysical awareness.

  6. Thus there is a gradient of abstraction from PHYSICAL to METAPHYSICAL just like there is a gradient of temperature from HOT to COLD.

 

The Creation Myth

creation
Previous: The Human Existence
Next: The “Six Days” of Evolution

The main topic of mindfulness discussion in the sixth class on Mindfulness Course is THE CREATION MYTH.

  1. Creation myths address questions deeply meaningful to the society that shares them, revealing their centralworldview and the framework for the self-identity of the culture and individual in a universal context.

  2. In these creation myths, deities represent natural forces and phenomena; symbolic narratives describe them; and ritualistic appeasements try to control them.

  3. Today, we have scientifically precise language available to accurately describe the natural forces and phenomena. We know that workable methods to control these phenomena come from consistency among observations and the precise abstraction provided by the language.

  4. So, we are going to look at the traditional stories in their symbolic form and see what their modern abstract version is going to be like when everything is made consistent with observations.

  5. A well-known example of creation myth is the one found in the Bible. This and many other creation myths fall in the category of creatio ex nihilo. Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_nihilo

  6. The classical tradition had been “creation out of chaos”. This tradition first came under question in Hellenistic philosophy on a priori grounds. Ex nihilo, meaning “creation out of nothing” seems to be a second-century theological development.

  7. Direct observations seem to support the classical tradition of “creation out of chaos”. There is no “absolute nothing”. There is only “relative nothing”. God is the concept of divine order, balance and harmony.

  8. The ancient creation hymn of Rig Veda seems to suggest “creation out of chaos”. Reference: https://vinaire.me/2011/04/08/the-creation-hymn-of-rig-veda/

  9. We may define CREATION as follows:

    SUBJECTIVE DEFINITION: Creation is “something out of nothing”. 

    OBJECTIVE DEFINITION: Creation is a CHANGE from chaos to order.

  10. This universe is essentially a UNIVERSE OF CHANGE.

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THE BEGINNING

sistine_chapel
Reference: The Creation Hymn of Rig Veda
  • There was neither non-existence nor existence then.
  • There was uniform awareness that appeared as undisturbed space.
  • There was no name, shape, form or even consciousness.
  • There was mere continuity without any distinguishing features.

The fundamental principle is continuity and harmony. This principle underlies the universe.

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  • Disturbance arose in awareness and space.
  • It was the seed of desire that appeared as time.
  • Disturbed awareness appeared as consciousness.
  • Disturbed space appeared as electromagnetism.

It seems that the earliest consciousness appeared as electromagnetism. Desire was buried in it as time.

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  • Consciousness then propagated throughout awareness.
  • It appeared as electromagnetic wave propagating through space.
  • The field of consciousness appeared as the electromagnetic field.
  • Disturbance of all different frequencies played in that field.

The fundamental consciousness seems to arise when uniform awareness is disturbed. However, our view of consciousness is human-centric. 

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  • The characteristic of discreteness came about with frequency.
  • Frequency gradients then provided the distinguishing features.
  • A universe was now taking form and could be so identified.
  • That primary beingness was simple, continuous and harmonious.

The universe started out very simple and then grew to be increasingly complex. Human characteristics are very complex that grew out of much simpler characteristics.

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  • The universe was initially one continuous and harmonious form.
  • But complexity soon brought about fundamental dichotomies.
  • Outward concrete appearance came to be known as “physical”.
  • The internal abstract essence came to be known as “spiritual”.

In Christianity, the outward appearance was broadly identified as the “world”; and the internal essence was idealized as “God”. In Scientology, the outward appearance became MEST, and the internal essence became THETA.

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  • Increasing complexity introduced complex forms.
  • These forms were endowed with complex functions.
  • These functions provided a gradient of life and aliveness.
  • Complex nature of individual forms came to be known as “self”.

Physical forms with their spiritual essence range from simple to complex. The form and essence are deeply integrated. They are two sides of the same coin. It is an error to think that the essence creates the form, or that the form traps the essence as believed in Scientology.

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  • The physicality ultimately becomes fixed as discreteness of matter.
  • But the physicality of electromagnetic field remains fluid.
  • Similarly, the spirituality ultimately becomes fixed as discreteness of “self”.
  • But the spirituality of consciousness remains fluid as well.

There are dynamic and fluid fields underlying matter and self. Ghosts may be a phenomenon of fluid fields that are immaterial and interact with human consciousness.

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  • Death makes body disintegrate into molecules, atoms and fields of forms.
  • It makes “self” disintegrate into “molecules”,”atoms” and “fields” of essence.
  • The idea of a fixed and eternal identity, like “soul” or “thetan”, is a myth.
  • Only thing eternal is the uniform awareness of undisturbed space.

Humans are most concerned with the phenomenon of death. This phenomenon lies at the core of all religions. Lots of myths have built themselves around the subject of death.

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  • A new body starts with elements of previous bodies coming together.
  • A new “self” starts with elements of previous “selves” coming together.
  • It is not the same “self” or body that passes from one life to the next.
  • The reincarnation modifies the “self”, just as it modifies the body.

On the other hand the phenomenon of birth attracts similar human concerns. Each birth is a reincarnation, but the “self” is a recombination of spiritual elements, just as the “body” is a recombination of physical elements. 

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  • It is not agreement that restores continuity and harmony.
  • It is the reduction of inconsistencies that restores them.
  • All the rest may just be speculations.
  • But this last conclusion is not.

Spiritual growth lies in the direction of gradual reduction of inconsistencies as one comes across them. This would ultimately lead to continuity and harmony on a universal scale.

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