Radical Transcendentalism and the Introduction of Advaitayana Buddhism
Da Free John (Adi Da Samraj) – 1982
Table of Contents
The Three Views of Consciousness and Light
There are three views or orientations relative to consciousness that have historically been adopted by the schools of the Great Tradition. Each of these views is justified as a mode of orientation under one or another circumstance of attention, but each view is only one alternative way of characterizing the same subject. Even so, the historical application of these three views has tended to represent one or the other of them as the only correct view. It is this tendency that has caused the general historical conflict among the schools or traditions that represent the point of view of one or the other of the first six stages of life, and, in particular, it has caused the schismatic conflict among the separate schools of Buddhism and between the traditions of Buddhism and Advaitism.
These three views of consciousness are similar to the views that have been historically proposed (in both scientific and spiritual traditions) relative to the subject of light, or energy. Light or energy is often used as a metaphor for consciousness in the considerations of philosophy. And, ultimately, the subject of light or energy is identical to the subject of consciousness. Consciousness, it will be Realized, is the ultimate Identity or Real Condition of light or energy (and thus all phenomena).
If we can appreciate the considerations of the advanced physics of contemporary science, we can see how the scientific investigation of matter ultimately yields to a description of Nature as light (or energy), transcending matter (which is only a temporary appearance or transformation of energy). And if we can understand that all of phenomenal Nature (subjective and objective) is a complex of energy, then we can transcend the dualism of matter and consciousness. Consciousness, then, is not merely reducible to matter (or material processes) but it is at least a distinct form of the single principle (or energy) that is also appearing as matter (or form). This understanding sets us free to investigate consciousness and mind as dimensions of existence that are equally as real or viable as matter. The investigation of consciousness and of mind (or psyche) is thus just as direct a means for entering into the depths of reality as the investigation of matter. And, therefore, there is just as much justification for the spiritual discipline of self-knowledge and the exploration and transcendence of matter, mind, and self as there is for the scientific discipline that explores the perceptible or material world alone. Indeed, the ultimate philosophical or spiritual process is directly oriented to considerations of greater significance than is the process engaged by merely materialistic investigators. But materialistic science can ultimately go beyond itself into the paradoxes of space-time and light-energy. And when science leads to such profundity, it is at the threshold of the ancient Ways of spiritual and Transcendental philosophy.
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