In the early Zoroastrianism, that of the Gathas, the ultimate, which was called Ahura Mazda, was conceived of as Wisdom. The ultimate was not imagined as an entity of another realm, like a god for instance, but as Wisdom, which is something that descends into you. It is something that happens.
The Love of Wisdom
When Socrates was asked about his god, he replied “Wisdom”. When we consider that the Persians were the neighbours of the Greeks, and because there has always been a lively exchange of thoughts along the ancient trade routes, it is most likely that he referred to the same Wisdom.
It becomes interesting when, as it is being said that ‘philosophy’ means the ‘love of wisdom’, it refers to more than what subsequent Western thinkers have assumed it did. It is more than knowledge and theories. The love that philosophy refers to is the love of the ultimate.
Wisdom is not something that hangs somewhere and descends whenever one is ready. It is something that happens to you; it transforms you. You are basically not conscious of the fact of whether you are wise or not. It is a state of being. However when it is there, at the same time there is absolute Certainty in what you are.
In Indian thinking this state is often referred to as the ‘real Self’, this however is just as confusing as calling it a God. The state of Wisdom transcends both the idea of self as an identification, as well as all ideas about what an entity could be with attributes and characteristics.
Wisdom descends but not into a ‘you’
For a real spiritual endeavour, one that transcends the illusions that are inherent in living, both with regard to the identification of self and with regard to the world of thoughts and speculations, both ‘real self’ as well as ‘god’ create obstacles. When you try to transcend ‘self’ by means of discovering a ‘deeper self’ you most likely end up in a muddle. When you try to transcend ‘self’ by means of an inner image of a god, that is clothed in a religious or spiritual tradition, and which is determined by your conceptualisation of it, you limit the possibility that true Wisdom may descent. Wisdom descends but not into a ‘you’. With the appearance of Wisdom, this ‘you’ disappears.
Abbah & Wisdom
In the way we need tools to move around in the physical world, we need thoughts to organise our inner world of thoughts and emotions. Wisdom cannot have a name as it cannot be described. At best it is ‘expectation’. When I want to refer to this state of expectation, I use the sound ‘A-B-B-A-H’ as a skilful means. It is the sound of an open and closed mouth with respectively A and B and the flow of air represented by H. It has no meaning and can mean anything, but I use it exclusively for indicating ‘Wisdom’. This Wisdom that I cannot know and that, when wisdom descends, annihilates the ‘I’ that could not know, or even wanted to know.
This is the strange paradox of all spiritual endeavour. In the beginning there is an I that wants to know. When Wisdom takes over this I does not suddenly ‘know’. The I that wanted to know is no longer there! It disappears to such an extend that you cannot refer to it any longer. You cannot say for instance “I used to be this and now I am that”. It is replaced by an absolute Certainty about what you are and what the world is. This is a Certainty that is not rational. It rather expresses itself in Attitudes and subsequent behaviour. Making use of ‘Abbah’, I call this state ‘Attunement in Abbah’. This avoids possible confusion when ‘Wisdom’ would be associated with romantic and snug ideas of ‘the old wise masters of the east’.
Attunement in Abbah
For Socrates philosophy is necessary to learn how to die. This means that the stretch between birth and death should be the preparation for dying. You are born in order to die. I think that in this birth there is an inherent task, which cannot be anything else than optimally preparing oneself with the means that the human living provides with its instruments of Body, Mind, Soul and Spirit. Like Socrates concluded, this preparing oneself can best be done by cultivating the ‘Love of Wisdom’ or in other words ‘Attunement in Abbah’.
Nâm is a framework in which different points of attention are presented in order to shape the receptivity for Attunement in Abbah. You do not reach such Attunement by means of effort. Effort may only help to create the appropriate environment for the receptivity. Abbah takes over as soon as Attunement has been reached. This does not happen as something foreign like a medium who is taken over by another entity. The taking over is myriad as expressions, but it is mostly expressed in the unconditional Certainty that emerges. This is a Certainty that engenders a ‘Well-Being’ that does not depend on conditions or a satisfaction of the ‘likes’.
23 July 2023