Worldliness, Selfishness, and Transcendence


XIII

Worldliness, Selfishness, and Transcendence

The primary practical concerns of the Emanationist tradition
are associated with the not-self (or the relations and conditions
of the self). Because of its original or base orientation toward the Source
of all emanations, the Emanationist tradition is primarily concerned either
with (1) the acquiring of desirable conditions from the Divine Source
or (2) the abandonment and transcendence of all relations and conditions
for or in the Divine Source. The Emanationist schools of
the first three stages of life are associated with the first of these two
orientations—the magical and moral improvement of the relations and conditions
of the self, or all that comes to the self from the Divine Source.
The Emanationist schools of the fourth and fifth stages of life are concerned
with the progressive abandonment of grosser relations and conditions of
self for (or in order to attain) the Divine Source. In that case,
the Divine Source is conceived to be eternally located above all non-eternal
conditions and relations, but the Realization of the Divine Source does
not require the dissolution or transcendence of either the eternal part
of the self or any of the possible eternal relations and conditions of
the eternal self. In contrast to the “idealism” of the Emanationist schools
of the first five stages of life, the Emanationist (or Advaitist) schools
of the sixth stage of life are concerned with the direct transcendence
of all relations and conditions (and thus, ultimately, the conditional
self itself) in the Divine Source (conceived to be the Transcendental
Self behind the self and the not-self).

In contrast to the basic practical orientation of the
Emanationist tradition, the non-Emanationist tradition (epitomized in the
schools of Buddhism) is associated with concerns relative to the self.
The non-Emanationist tradition is not based on the “idealism” of communion
with the Source of self and not-self, but it is based on a “realistic”
criticism of the self as the cause of association with the not-self. Therefore,
its primary practical concerns are not associated either with improving
the not-self (or the conditions and relations of the self) or with returning
the self to a state of absorption in the Source of self and not-self. Rather,
its primary practical concerns are associated with the transcendence of
the conditional self.

Because of these basic differences in the original orientations
toward life and the possibility of ultimate or Transcendental Realization,
the practical concerns of the Advaitist and the Buddhist schools can be
characterized in terms of two distinct and separate attitudes. The Advaitist
schools are, as a practical matter, concerned to avoid worldliness,
or attachment to all the forms or mechanics of not-self (and so the ultimate
Emanationist discipline is the Advaitist discipline of inversion upon the
essence of self). And the Buddhist schools are, as a practical matter,
concerned to avoid selfishness, or attachment to all the forms or
mechanics of self (and so the primary Buddhist discipline involves renunciation
of self-centeredness).

The Way of the Heart is not founded on the worldly or
other-worldly “idealism of Source” that characterizes the Emanationist
tradition. Therefore, it is free of the overt and obsessive concerns for
self-improvement (or improvement of the conditions and relations of self)
that characterize conventional religious desire and effort in the first
three stages of life. Likewise, it is free of the fourth to sixth stage
taboos against worldliness (or full participation in the total functional
life that characterizes the human psycho-physical personality).

The Way of the Heart is, like the traditional schools
of Buddhism, founded on a criticism of the self (although not in the terms
of conventional “realism”). Therefore, it is associated with direct self-transcendence
(rather than with self-fulfillment, self-transformation, or self-inherence).
Even so, since it is founded on moment to moment understanding and transcendence
of self as contraction, rather than on the “realistic” Buddhist method
of strategic self-dissolution and strategic dissolution of self-centeredness,
it is free of the conventional and often fetishistic taboos against selfishness
and “selfness”, or existence as the phenomenal self.

The Way of the Heart is the direct Way of the inherent
transcendence of self and not-self. It is associated with both self-transcendence
and Realization of the Transcendental (and thus Acausal) Source, Self,
Reality, or Condition of all forms of conditional existence. And its primary
practical discipline is the free (or non-problematic) observation, understanding,
and transcendence of the act of self-contraction and all of its limiting
power and effect.

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Wisdom-Teaching of Avatar Adi Da Samraj and the Way of the Heart.

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