When in films you see the battle of the crusaders, there are two opposing forces. Each one draws its inspiration from their god. The crusaders battle for the glory of their god. The Muslim forces, at least when they have understood their Quran, battle with the force of their god. With the battle cry: “Allah-u-Akbar” their draw the force of the greatness of their god to themselves from which they can respectively fight.
A Monistic View
This is a fundamental difference. A Christian who prays in front of a statue of Jesus or Mary, asks some outside presence to interfere for a particular reason. A Buddhist, who venerates a statue of the Buddha, hopes that the wisdom will descend or rather ignite. These are two ways of dealing with the transcendental nature of human living.
The Christian perspective is rooted in a dualistic worldview. In the sense that it is assumed that there is an I-unit and that there are outside worlds, respectively a material world and an inner world. Both these worlds are happening to this I-unit. People can speak about ‘my ego’, as if that is something separate of what they are.
The Muslim perspective is rooted in a monistic worldview. Commentators who think from a dualistic worldview often overlook that. Allah is the ultimate of all worlds and at the same time, it is closer than your jugular vein, which means that it is on which your life depends.
The Muslim perspective is closer to the Zoroastrian Ahura Mazda of the ultimate as Wisdom, the Brahman of the Indian traditions and the Dao of East Asia. The Ultimate is unknowable, unnameable and unimaginable, for the simple reason that when it is all-embracing, what we are and what we think is necessarily of it and it cannot be grasped as something graspable, or imaginable.
The Red Thread
This is an ancient realisation which I call the Red Thread. It has always remained the same. It is woven in many different tapestries of cultures and traditions but it remains the same Red Thread. In some traditions it gets lost however. Particularly there where people have a dualistic worldview. When you define the ultimate as a god with these or those characteristics, you place it outside yourself as something that you ‘look at’ or some power that ‘you serve’, it can easily be rejected as false or an illusion, when the way of thinking changes.
When the Ultimate is like a Red Thread on which all living is grafted, you cannot reject it. You can reject the dogma of religion but you cannot reject the essence of what you are. You may define it as this or that, as very physical or subtly abstract, it is nevertheless always what you are. In case you would be an atheist that would not change the fact that you are living. In whatever way you want to confirm it or deny it, there is always the Red Thread.
Inner Life & Outer World
Optimal living depends on how you deal with what you are. From the monistic perspective human living is transcendental. This human living involves both the outer and the inner aspects of living. Thousands of years of investigation have demonstrated that the inner aspects influence the outer aspects.
From a dualistic perspective this is difficult to understand. From this perspective you are an I-unit, that has a physical life and there are thoughts and emotions as aspects of that physical life. There are no questions about what you are. When there are mental problems you try to solve it with medication and when there are emotional problems you try to solve them with therapy.
In the Christian perspective you are a sinner or incomplete creature. In the Quranic perspective you are as a human being, the representative of god. Just imagine the psychological consequence of such a fundamental difference. The former creates guilty creatures, the latter creates people who are in essence good but who through ignorance or lack of attention mess things up.
I think there is no reason to feel guilty because of a myth (or an ideology or a political indoctrination for that matter). Guilt is a psychological tool. In order to reach optimal living it is much more beneficial to start off from the realisation that you are perfect, but that there are aspects of your way of living that ruin that aspect. I have formulated it as the Task of Human Living. By means of living we have to clean up what prevents us from living optimally. Only by living optimally we are in Attunement with our true nature, which I call Abbah.
From a monistic perspective, what is called holistic nowadays, nothing is ever outside, because there is no I-unit. The sense of I is derived from the sense of World. Therefore I call the individual living ‘I/World’. There is however no individual unit called ‘I/ World’. It emerges from a sharing in infinite resonance. This corresponds to discoveries in physics. We should however be courageous enough to admit that the resonance that we consist in extends by far everything that we can be conscious of.
Experience & Awareness
For this reason I make the distinction between Experience and Awareness, again as a skilful means, and not as a description of a truth. It is best to consider everything that ‘I/World’ represents as living as Experience. Also the thinking about the transcendental nature, the thinking about god or the ultimate, with or without holy scriptures, belongs to Experience. Whatever we consider to be ‘sacred’ is of Experience, because we can think about it or talk about it and even write huge libraries about it.
The Red Thread, meaning what is totally unknowable, unimaginable and nevertheless absolutely essential is called Awareness (not to be confused with the use of the word as becoming conscious of something in ‘I am aware of it’). The Red Thread is referred to with the sound ‘Abbah’. Abbah is not a name because there is nothing that can be named.
Whenever as human beings we want to refer to Abbah, relate to Abbah, or open ourselves for Abbah in an eagerness for optimal living in Attunement, this has to go via Experience, just because we are nothing else as existing as humans. In order to make this distinction clear I call Experience in relation to Abbah: ‘Asha’.
Awareness relates to Experience in the same way as Abbah relates to Asha. We are talking about the same. The first is expressed in a psychological sense as what is happening to you. The second is a tool of orientation. Living and particularly optimal living is ‘all-in’. Rational concepts like Awareness and Experience are useful as descriptions but not useful as tools.
For optimal living what matters is to what degree the tools that you use are effective for opening Awareness. In Nâm vocabulary it is formulated in such a way that the formulation itself brings you straight away to the essence and you are not diverted by culturally rooted images, opinions or theologies. Totally independent from beliefs and convictions, optimal living depends on the degree in which you allow Asha to reflect Abbah. Or again in other words the degree in which Experience expresses Awareness.
There is no need to analyse this process for better understanding because by trying to understand, you impose on it the limitations of the paradigms of Mind thinking, which is of course Experience. Those who succeeded in opening to Awareness can testify that it is profoundly Certain. It is a Certainty that is immune to doubt because it is not rooted in thinking. It is of an entirely different nature.
Particularly in Awareness the confines of Experience do not apply. When you consider your consciousness with its knowing as the decisive factor, you will never reach the Certainty. When you consider Soul as your identity you are locked in illusion. You have to let go of the restrictions that are imposed by Experience.
Transformation of I/World
The easy and direct way that Nâm proposes is profoundly effective and avoids the traps that an imagination rooted in belief systems and truths, often implies. Instead of stressing the illusion it is better to concentrate solely on the search to find Abbah in Asha.
In a state of Ignorance Soul Identification is natural. You are your culture, your education, your DNA, and the lasting impression of experiences of life. This of course is Experience, it does not reflect what you are as a human being. It is helpful to allow yourself to become identified as the living representative of Abbah; the living representative of the essence. You do not reach that by thinking about what Abbah could be, nor by all the time thinking about what Abbah is according to you. You only reach that by allowing Abbah to take over.
People in a dualistic mindset will consider this difficult or even dangerous, because, as they may claim, you may lose control. But that is particularly why a dualistic worldview is so detrimental. In the Nâm perspective you are already Abbah, so allowing Abbah to take over, you are actually gaining control over your life. You are thereby dissolving Ignorance. You are no longer ruled by circumstances, over which you do not have control, but you are embracing all the movements of life in Affirmation. In this way not only will Certainty take over as a basic orientation, you will also understand the nature of living and consequently will be better able to manage it. The search for Attunement in Abbah can best be guided by first Affirming Abbah as Abbah; ‘what is’ as ‘what is’ even if it is restricted to ‘what is’ as I can witness it. Secondly by developing a concentration in Abbah which, as thirdly, is entirely encapsulated in Asha. While in the fourth place cultivate Attitude: Attitudes and Behaviour that help you to dissolve the obstructions.
In this orientation Abbah can best be approached as an atmosphere in which ‘I/World’ resonates. This atmosphere is cultivated by Attitude. Visually this atmosphere can best be imagined as being behind you. The front of your body is on the circumference of this infinite ballon of Awareness. ‘I/World’ sees itself as an I-unit in an ‘I/World’. This I-unit is nothing more than a focal point in an infinite ballon of Awareness. From the perspective of Experience you are ‘covered’ by Awareness. This ‘cover’ when it comes close to the focal point of ‘I/World’, becomes like the Guardian. Which is a power that causes you to transform living into optimal living.
The Task of Living Optimally
Eventually Experience will fully express Awareness, the Task of Living has been fulfilled and ‘I/World’ has transformed itself into a Beautiful Human Being, who has realised the meaning of life.
What is most important in opposition to the dualistic theology about gods, is that Abbah is interactive. This means that as soon as you have been liberated from the confines of an ‘I/World’ in Ignorance, you will discover that the regularities of cause and effect in material life, are just a reflection of Cause and Consequence which has a much wider implication. Through Cause and Consequence you are a creator of your life.
This does not mean that you create your life as life is considered within a dualistic world-view but you are the co-creator of life as a holistic expression. For instance at present there is the danger of another world war breaking out. This is a Consequence, not of the delusions of certain individuals, but of a disharmony that is Caused by a general ignorance about the holistic meaning of life in a large segment of humanity. At the same time we can also see that as it threatens optimal living as life, a counter current is developing.
In this counter current people are stressing the need to discover new ethics. Such new ethics however are not something that can be constructed with some social engineering. It develops on its own. Beneficial ethics will emerge when people start to discover the value of the Red Thread and the principle role it plays in optimising living, and generate Beautiful Human Beings who carry with their lives the ongoing optimisation of living and respond with their lives this natural tendency inherent in living.
29 April 2023