Nirvanasara – Chapter 4







Radical
Transcendentalism and the Introduction of Advaitayana
Buddhism
Da Free John (Adi Da Samraj) – 1982


Table
of Contents


IV

God as the Creator, the Good, and
the Real

Conventional religion originates in
the consciousness that characterizes the earlier stages of
life. Thus, it is ego-based and it serves the functional
desire of the manifest or phenomenal self to be protected,
nourished, pleasurized, and ultimately preserved.

The phenomenal self or egoic
(self-centered) body-mind is the source of conventional
religion as well as all of the other ordinary and
extraordinary pursuits of born existence in the first six
stages of life. Therefore, it is not God but the ego
(perhaps gesturing conceptually toward God) that is the
source and fundamental subject of popular religion as well
as higher mysticism. Real spirituality, true religion, or
Transcendental Occupation begins only when the egoic
consciousness (with all of its mind, emotion, desire, and
activity) is thoroughly understood and inherently
transcended. For this reason, only the radical Teaching of
the Wisdom of the seventh stage of life directly serves the
process of actual God-Realization. All other forms of
doctrine or instruction serve the purposes of the first six
stages of life—all of which are founded on manifest
egoity and conditional attention.

It is the culture of conventional
religion that promotes the conventional ideas about God. The
principal conventional God-idea is that God is the Creator
(or intentional Emanator) of the worlds and all beings. Such
seems an obvious idea to the bodily ego, trapped in the
mechanics of the perceptual mind and the material or
elemental vision. The ego is identified with embodiment, and
the idea of the Creator-God is developed to account for this
fact and to provide a conceptual basis (in the form of the
idea of the ego as God-made creature) for the appeal to God
to Help the ego in this world and in the yet unknown
after-death state.

The difficulty with the Creator-God
conception is that it identifies God with ultimate causation
and thus makes God inherently responsible for the subsequent
causation of all effects. And if God is responsible for all
effects, then God is clearly a very powerful but also
terrible Deity—since manifest existence tends to work
equally for and against all creatures.

Therefore, the Creator-God idea is
commonly coupled with the idea of God as Good (and thus both
opposite and opposed to Evil). If the Creator-God is
conceived to be Good (or always working to positively
create, protect, nourish, rightly and pleasurably fulfill,
and ultimately preserve all of Nature and all creatures),
then the ego is free of the emotional double-bind and the
anger and despair that would seem to be justified if God is
simply the responsible Creator of everything (good, evil,
bad, or in between). Therefore, conventional theology, most
especially as it has tended to develop under the influence
of the Semitic religions of the Middle East, is founded on
the ideas of God as Creator and God as Good (or Good
Will).

But if God is the all-powerful
Creator (without whom not anything has been made), then how
did so much obviously negative or evil motion and effect
come into existence? The usual answer is generally organized
around one or another mythological story in which powerful
creatures (or one powerful creature, such as the Devil, now
regarded to personify Evil) entered (on the basis of free
will), into a pattern of “sin,” or disobedience and conflict
with God, which resulted in separation from God and a
descent or fall into material consciousness, and so forth.
Such mythologes are structured in terms of a hierarchical
view of Nature, with various planes descending from the
Heaven of God. Religon thus becomes a method of return to
God.

Exoteric religion is generally based
on an appeal to belief, social morality, and magical prayer
or worship. The return to God is basically conceived in
terms of this world and, therefore, exoteric or terrestrial
religion is actually a process in which God returns to the
ego and to this world (rather than vice versa), and it is
believed that God will eventually reclaim mankind and the
total world from the forces of Evil. But exoteric religion
is an outer cult, intended for grosser egos and for mass
consumption (or the culture of the first three stages of
life). The ultimate form of conventional religion is in the
esoteric or inner and sacred cult, which is a mystical
society, open only to those chosen for initiation (and thus
growth or evolution into the fourth and fifth stages of
life). Esoteric religion is a process of cosmic mysticism,
or the method of return to God by ascending as mind (or
disembodied soul), back through the route of the original
fall into matter and Evil, until the Heaven or Eternal Abode
of God is reached again. The esoteric religious process goes
beyond the conventions of exoteric religion to develop the
psycho-physical mechanics of mystical flight and return to
God via the hierarchical structures of the nervous system
(ascending from the plane of Evil, or the Devil, or the
“flesh,” at the bodily base of the nervous system, to the
plane of the Good, or God, or the Heavenly Abode, at or
above the brain, via the “magic carpet” of the life-force in
the nervous system).

Thus, the idea of the Creator-God
leads to the idea that God is Good (or the Good Will), which
leads to the idea that creatures have free will, which then
accounts for the appearance of sin, suffering, evil, and
loss of God-consciousness. And conventional religion then
becomes the means (through structures of belief, sacramental
worship, mystical prayer, yogic or shamanistic ascent, and
so forth) for the re-exercise of creaturely free will in the
direction of God, Good, the triumph over Evil and death in
this world, and the ascent from material form and
consciousness to spiritual, heavenly, or Godly form and
consciousness.

All the popular and mystical
religious and spiritual traditions of mankind tend to be
associated with this chain of conceptions (or the
characteristic ideas of the first five stages of life). It
is only in the sixth and seventh stage traditions that these
ideas begin to give way to different conceptions. It is only
in the sixth stage of life that the egoic basis of the first
five stages of life is penetrated. And it is only in the
seventh stage of life that the ego is altogether transcended
in the Real Divine. The theological and general religious
conceptions I have just described have always been subject
to criticism (or at least simple non-belief) on the part of
those who are not persuaded by religous and theological
arguments. Atheism has always opposed theism. But atheistic
ideas are the product of the same fundamental
self-consciousness that otherwise produces theistic or
conventional religious ideas. Atheism is the product of the
ego (or the phenomenal self, grounded in elemental
perception), and so also is theism. Atheism, like exoteric
religion, extends itself only into the domain of the first
three stages of life, whereas esoteric religion and theism
provide a means for entering, mystically and spiritually,
into the evolution of the fourth and fifth stages of
life.

Atheism regularly proposes a logical
view of life that has its own dogmatic features. It does not
propose a God-idea but instead, founds itself on and in the
perceptual and phenomenal mind alone. Atheism concedes only
a universal and ultimately indifferent (or merely lawful)
Nature (not God), and so there is no need to create a
religious “creation myth” to account for suffering. (And
atheistic thinkers thus generally confine themselves to
constructing a cosmology, based on material observations
alone, that merely accounts for the appearance of the
manifest events of Nature.) Indeed, just as conventional
religion or theism arises to account for suffering, atheism
arises on the basis of the unreserved acknowledgment of
suffering. And if there is no idea of God, there is no idea
of Man as creature (or Man as the bearer of an immortal or
God-like inner part). Nor is there any need to interpret
unfortunate or painful events as the effects of Evil.
Therefore, the atheistic point of view is characterzed by
the trend of mind that we call “realism,” just as the
conventional religious or theistic point of view is
characterized by the trend of mind that we call “idealism,”
but both atheism and theism arise on the basis of the
self-contraction, or the ego of phenomenal
self-consciousness, rather than on the basis of direct
intuition of the Real Condition that is prior to self and
its conventions of perception and thought.

The realistic or atheistic view is
just as much the bearer of a myth (or a merely conceptual
interpretation of the world) as is the conventional
religious or theistic view. Atheism (or conventional
realism) is a state of mind that is based in the phenomenal
self and that seeks the ultimate protection, nourishment,
pleasure, and preservation of the phenomenal self (at least
in this world and, if there should be an after-life, then
also in any other world). Therefore, it is simply an
alternative philosophy to theism and conventional religion,
based on the same principle and consciousness (the
phenomenal ego), and seeking by alternative means to fulfill
the manifest self and relieve it of its
suffering.

Atheism, or conventional realism, is
a state of mind that possesses individuals who are fixed in
the first three stages of life. It is a form of spiritual
neurosis (or self-possession), as are all of the
characteristic mind-states of the first six stages of life.
Esoteric religion and theism provide a basis for certain
remarkable individuals to enter the fourth and fifth stages
of life, but the commonly (or exoterically) religious
individual is, like the athiest, a relatively adolescent (if
not childish and even infantle) character, fixed in the
egoic neuroses of the first three stages of life.

Atheism proposes a myth and a method
for ego-fulfillment that is based on phenomenal realism,
rather than spiritual idealism (or the culture of the
conventional God-idea). Therefore, atheism is traditionally
associated with the philosophy of materialism, just as
theism is associated with spiritualism, animism, and
Emanationism. And the realistic or atheistic view tends to
be the foundation for all kinds of political, social, and
technological movements, since its orientation is toward the
investigation and manipulation of material Nature. Atheism
is realism and materialism. It is about the acquisition of
knowledge about Nature and the exploitation of that
knowledge to command (or gain power over) Nature. And it is
this scheme of knowledge and power (expressed as political
and technological means of all kinds) that is the basis of
the mythology and quasi-religion of atheism. The atheistic
(or non-theistic) view of life is ego-based, organized
relative to Nature as an elemental or perceived process, and
committed to knowledge and power as the means of salvation
(or material fulfillment of egoity).

In our time, this materialistic,
realistic, and non-theistic philosophy of ego-fulfillment is
represented by the world-culture of scientific,
technological, and political materialism. The entire race of
mankind is now being organized by the cultural movement of
scientific materialism, while the alternative cultures of
theism, mystical esotericism, sixth stage Transcendentalism,
and the ultimate or truly radical philosophy of the seventh
stage of life are tending to be systematically suppressed
and propagandized out of existence. Scientism (or the
culture of realistic or materialistic knowledge) and its two
arms of power (technology and political order) are the
primary forces in world-culture at the present time. And
humanity at large is thus tending to be reduced to the robot
acculturations of orderly egoism in the limited terms
represented by our functional development in the first three
stages of life.

Conventional and popular human
culture has historically been limited to the conflicts and
alternatives represented by theism and atheism, or egoic
idealism and egoic realism. And the large-scale ordering of
mankind has always tended to be dominated by the politics of
materialistic knowledge and power. It is simply that in the
twentieth century we are seeing that materialistic culture
approach the achievement of a world-wide mass culture in
which all individuals will be controlled by a powerful and
materialistically oriented system of political and
technological restriction.

The usual or most commonly remarked
criticism of theism is based on the evidence of suffering
and material limitation. Therefore, the common arguments
against religion and theism are generally those proposed by
the point of view of atheism. Likewise, the common arguments
against atheism are generally those proposed by theism (or
an appeal to egoic acceptance of the evidence of religious
history, cultic revelation, mystical psychology, and psychic
experience). For this reason, there may seem to be only two
basic cultural alternatives: atheism and theism.

But theism and religion are, at
base, the expressions of egoity in the first three stages of
life, just as is the case with atheism and conventional
materialism. Therefore, whenever theism or religion becomes
the base for political and social order, it inevitably
becomes the base for knowledge and power in the material
world. And theistic regimes have historically been equally
as aggressive in the manipulation and suppression of
humanity as have atheistic regimes. Theism is, at its base,
egoic and fitted to worldly concerns. Therefore, when it
achieves worldly power, it simply adopts the same general
materialistic means that are adopted by atheism. Knowledge
and power are the common tools of egoity, not merely the
tools of atheism. It is simply that theism and religion can,
via the exercises and attainments of saints and mystics,
apply knowledge and power to purposes that extend beyond the
first three stages of life. But in the terms of the first
three stages of life (or the common and practical social
order), theism and religion are inclined to make the same
demands for social consciousness and to apply fundamentally
the same kind of political and authoritarian techniques for
achieving obedience and order as are applied by atheism and
scientism.

This is evident in the popular
theistic (and now almost exclusively exoteric) cultures that
have come out of the Semitic tradition of the Middle East.
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are the principal theistic
religions (in terms of worldly power and numbers), and they
are all based on similar idealistic conceptions of God and
creature and salvation, but each of these cults has also
historically sought and achieved the general power to
command the social order. And, in the process, each of these
cults became a political State, controlling the forms of
knowledge and power. As a result, over time these religions
developed more and more of a secular, materialistic, and
worldly character. Each of the three cults claims absolute,
independent, and exclusive religious and worldly authority,
and the historical conflict among these three (and between
their claims and the equally absolutist and absurd claims of
other and atheistic or non-religious systems, such as
communism, democratic capitalism, and technological
scientism) has now become the basis for idealistic State
politics and political conflicts all over the world. And the
seemingly more important or esoteric matters of spiritual
wisdom, mystical knowledge, and the magical power of
sainthood or Adeptship are as much in doubt and disrepute in
the common religious circles of theism as they are in
scientific and atheistic circles.

All of this is to indicate that
conventional religion and theism share a root error or
limitation with atheism and worldly culture. That error or
limitation is the ego itself, or the presumptions and the
seeking that are most basic to the conception of an
independent phenomenal self in a less than hospitable
phenomenal world. What is ultimately to be criticized in
religion or theism is the same limit that is to be
criticized in atheism and materialism. It is the ego, the
phenomenal self-base, from which we tend to derive our
conceptions of God, Nature, life, and destiny.

It is only when the egoic root of
our functional, worldly, and religious or spiritual life is
inspected, understood, and transcended that self, and world,
and God are seen in Truth. Therefore, it is necessary to
understand. It is necessary to aspire to Wisdom, Truth, and
Enlightenment. All occupations derived from the ego-base are
necessarily limited to egoity, and all conceptions that feed
such egoic occupations are necessarily bereft of a right
view of self, world, and God (or the ultimate and
Transcendental Reality and Truth).

When the mechanics of egoity are
transcended in our understanding, then it becomes obvious
that life (or manifest phenomenal existence) is simply a
play of opposites. Neither “Good” (or creation and
preservation) nor “Evil” (or destruction) finally wins.
Nature, in all its planes, is inherently a dynamic. The play
of Nature, in all its forms and beings and processes, is not
merely (or exclusively and finally) seeking the apparent
“Good” of self-preservation (or the preservation and
fulfillment of any particular form, world, or being), nor is
it merely (or exclusively and finally) seeking the apparent
“Evil” of self-destruction (or the dissolution of any
particular form, world, or being). Rather, the play in
Nature is always in the direction of perpetuating the
dynamics of the play itself—and, therefore, polarity,
opposition, struggle, alternation, death, and cyclic
repetition tend to be perpetuated as the characteristics of
phenomenal existence. Therefore, the play of Nature is
always alternating between the appearance of dominance by
one or the other of its two basic extremes. And the sign of
this is in the inherent struggle that involves every form,
being, and process. The struggle is this dynamic play of
opposites, but the import of it is not the absolute triumph
of either half. Things and beings and processes arise, they
move, they are transformed, and they disappear. No thing or
being or process is ultimately preserved. But neither is
there any absolute destruction. Nature is a transformer, not
merely a creator or a destroyer.

To the ego (or present temporary
form of being) self-preservation may seem to be the
inevitable motive of being. Therefore, a struggle develops
to destroy or escape the dynamic of Nature by dominating
Evil (or death) with Good (or immortality). This ideal gets
expressed in the generally exoteric and occidental or more
materialistic efforts to conquer Nature via worldly
knowledge and power. But it also gets expressed in the more
esoteric and oriental or mystical efforts to escape the
plane of Nature by ascent from materiality (or the Evil of
the flesh) to Heaven (the Good God above the consciousness
of Nature).

But when the ego (or
self-contraction) is understood and transcended, then Nature
is seen from the point of view of Wisdom. And, in that case,
the egoic struggle in Nature or against Nature is also
understood and transcended. Then the Way of life ceases to
be founded on the need to destroy the dynamic of Nature via
conventional knowledge, power, immortality, or mystical
escape. The world is no longer conceived as a drama of
warfare between Good and Evil. The righteousness of the
search for the Good as a means of self-preservation
disappears along with the self-indulgent and
self-destructive negativity of possession by Evil. In place
of this dilemma of opposites, a self-transcending and
world-transcending (or Nature-transcending) equanimity
appears. And in that equanimity there is an inherent
Radiance that transcends the egoic dualities of Good and
Evil (or the conventional polarities of the self in Nature).
It is the Radiance of Love. And in that Free Radiance,
energy and attention are inherently free from the ego-bond,
self-contraction, or the “gravitational effect” of
phenomenal self-awareness. Therefore, dynamic equanimity, or
the free disposition of Love (rather than the egoic
disposition in the modes of Good or Evil), is the “window”
through which God may be “seen” (or intuited)—not in
the conventional mode of Creator, Good, Other, or Heavenly
Place, but as the Real, or the tacitly obvious Condition of
all existence.

The ultimate moment in the play of
Nature is not the moment of egoic success (or the temporary
achievement of the apparently positive or “Good” effect).
The ultimate moment is beyond contradiction (or the dynamics
of polarized opposites). It is the moment of equanimity, the
still point or “eye” in the midst of the wheel of Nature’s
motions and all the motivations of the born self. The Truth
and Real Condition of self and Nature is Revealed only in
that equanimity, beyond all stress and bondage of energy and
attention.

This disposition of equanimity (or
free energy and attention) is basic to the conceptions of
the sixth and seventh stages of life. In the sixth stage of
life, it provides the functional base for the ultimate and
final investigation of the ego and the dynamics of Nature.
But in the seventh stage of life, fundamental equanimity is
native and constant, expressing prior Transcendental
Realization. It is in the seventh stage of life that God,
Truth, or Reality is directly obvious, prior to every trace
of egoity, dilemma, and seeking. Therefore, it is in the
seventh stage of life that God is truly proclaimed, not in
the conventional mode of Creator, or the Good, but as the
Real. God is the Transcendental Truth, Reality, Identity,
and Condition of self and Nature. In the seventh stage of
life, That is tacitly obvious, and there is not anything
that must be escaped or embraced for the Happiness of
God-Realization to be actualized. It is inherently so.
Therefore, the Way of the Heart is not any egoic means for
attaining God-Realization. The Way is God-Realization Itself
(prior to the methods of the first six stages of life). God,
or the Transcendental Reality, prior to self, world, and the
conventions of religion and non-religion, exotericism and
esotericism, is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Nirvanasara Table of
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