6. Adharo Dhikaranam
The Substance of the Absolute.
The beginning that is not a beginning and the end that is not an end. The substance of the absolute cannot be formed of any substance and so in the absolute we are in the realm of a singularity. It is beyond science, beyond matter, beyond life, and beyond consciousness. It is beyond the known and the knowable nevertheless it is. In creation there is conception from which arises creation but this is only an appearance. In truth there is only the absolute everything else is a reflection of that absolute. In each apparent stage of creation such as matter, life, consciousness and the absolute we move from the apparently solid to increasingly more refined and subtle states. In the beginning we believe what we are told and what we experience are absolutely true. In time what appears absolutely true is found to be absolutely not true and then we move beyond even that. We move beyond these things because these things are only appearances and so do not really exist; they are not true. Whatever appears to be true but is in fact not must inevitably break down and reveal itself. This process of what we take to be true that is in fact not is in the beginning always difficult and likely to be resisted strenuously. In time it becomes easier and eventually we begin to see that as we let go of beliefs that were not true, suffering naturally decreases. Once this is noticed we start to become more and more committed to completing this process. When buddha said ‘I will not move from this place until it is finished’ he was saying in effect ‘I will not move from this place until this process is complete’. It can be likened to a line of dominoes standing side by side as the first one falls it is inevitable that the second and the last will also fall and as this process continues it gets faster and faster and harder and harder to stop. A momentum is built from which there is no turning back but at a certain point we would not wish to turn back. Our early fears and projections of what this process is and where it will lead are inevitable wrong. We fear that we will cease to exist and that all human meaning will be removed. While this is actually true it is not true in the way we think it is. The part of us we call the ego is found to be based on assumptions that are not true. We believe that this ego which is actually composed of beliefs and measurements that have no true existence is all there is and so are terrified of losing it. How can we lose what was never there in the first place. Beliefs and measurements have no true existence or meaning other than what we give to them. Even though these beliefs and measurements do not exist in any real sense they are not lost what is lost is our dependence on them. Beliefs may be useful or not and if a belief is useful why would we discard it. On the other hand if a belief is not useful it will likely produce suffering which becomes a discouragement from believing something that is not true. In the end we find that fear itself does not exist; it exists because we conceive of it and once it is conceived it is created and even proven to be true. If we do not conceive of fear then it is not created and so does not exist. This can only be seen when our beliefs lose their validity. If a coil of rope is seen in a darkened room we may easily mistake it for a snake. Once we have mistakenly identified the rope as a snake we naturally become fearful and this fear is taken to be real and based on something that is perceived to be dangerous but at no point was the rope anything other than a rope. This analogy illustrates very clearly how easily we can make a mistake in perception and then have to live with the result of that mistake. In the case of a rope that appears as a snake when we see our mistake the fear ceases to exist but at no point can the fear be said to exist. We can believe that an error in perception is true but what appeared to be true was not. When the appearance breaks down as it must if it is not true then we see that we have been tricked by our own mind into perceiving something that was never actually there. In this process of moving from the apparently real and solid to the more refined and subtle this learning is very slow, natural and difficult to avoid. Even so learning eventually must take place and increasingly we find that everything that was taken to be true but was in fact not breaks down and as it does our suffering begins to dissipate. It dissipates because suffering like fear does not exist except in our imagination. The whole of this apparent existence is only a reflection of the absolute and what is a reflection must have a source. To find the source we must find our way out of the maze of reflections in which we find ourselves. This maze of reflections has a purpose, a maze with no way out could also have no way in and so would be meaningless. The fact that we are inside this maze of reflections means that there was a way in and therefore also a way out. The way out is to see that the reflections themselves although not real indicate that which created them; the absolute. Within the reflections there seems to be no end of possibilities for mistaking the unreal for the real. Even so the fact that something taken to be real is in fact not real indicates that behind or within the unreal is also the real. In Sanskrit the word maayaa is usually taken to mean illusion but the best translation is more revealing. Maayaa is composed of that (yaa) which is not (maa) so maayaa is that which is not. Life can therefore be seen to be composed of what is and what is not and through the enquiry that leads to revealing what is not we are finally left with what is. The strength of the illusion is due to the mistake of giving meaning to that which has no meaning. Physical sensation has no meaning the fact that we give it meaning is the mistake. If the truth is that physical sensation has no meaning then finding this truth would negate most of the illusions we take to be real. When we come to believe that physical sensations are real we also begin to create states that are not, like anger, fear, sadness, depression,desire and even pain. Without meaning the physical sensations become nothing more than physical sensations that have no meaning. Getting to this point we are free from all the negatives that confuse us so much. Adding meaning to that which has no meaning we become trapped in a world of suffering which must continue until the truth is realised. In the reflections are reflections of the absolute so lying just behind or even within the reflections resides the absolute. In the reflection is an appearance that tells of the implication of the absolute.