Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Dual Nature of the Enlightened Soul

“Even the enlightened person remains what he is, and is never more than his own limited ego before the One who dwells within him, whose form has no knowable boundaries, who encompasses him on all sides, fathomless as the abysms of the earth and vast as the sky” ................Carl Jung, Book of Job, Para. 758.

I would like to share my view on Jung's statement as some have expressed disagreement on one who has achieved enlightenment could still operate within his limiting ego.
The disagreement centres around the argument that "an enlightened person destroys his/her ego and becomes "one" with God. It is then supposed that this person may "use" the ego in some way in order to live in this world, but considering the view of Meister Eckhart:

"As the soul becomes more pure and bare and poor, and possesses less of created things, and is emptied of all things that are not God, it receives God more purely, and is more completely in Him; and it truly becomes one with God, and it looks into God and God into it, face to face as it were; two images transformed into one." ..............*Meister Eckhart, Meister Eckhart, A Modern Translation, Ed. Raymond B. Blackney.

So the argument goes that the mystic is in a state that is far beyond worldly 'awareness'.

My counter argument to the above is twofold; one, basically is on the concept of 'ego' and the second is on the concept of 'awareness'.

Let me first begin with ego.
When Jung speaks of Ego, we should not assign it a negative connotation based on a common understanding of all the negative attributes of a personal ego. The ego is the sum total of all attributes that results in self awareness but due to the conditioning of the individual consciousness, the negative elements predominate in most of humanity.
In the process of enlightenment one reaches the potential of transcendence beyond the limiting ego.
It is like the "Event Horizon" of Black Hole.
In enlightenment we acquire the potential to travel through into the Divine plenum but as long as we live on this earth, there is a limiting ego to which we return. This limiting ego is the basic the basic derivative of the mind / body matrix through which earthly life manifests.
As the principle argument quoted Meister Eckhart, I would like to quote him in the context of counter argument:

" … The union of the soul with God is far more inward than that of the soul and body…. Now, I might ask, how stands it with the soul that is lost in God? Does the soul find herself or not? To this I will answer as it appears to me, that the soul finds in the point where every rational being understands itself with itself. Although it sinks in the eternity of divine essence, yet it can never reach the ground. Therefore God has left a little point wherein the soul turns back upon itself to be a creature …." ....................... Meister  Eckhart as quoted in Inge's Mysticism in Religion (p. 39)

The second counter argument is the appropriate understanding of "Awareness"
Every individual is invested with a consciousness which is the instrument of self awareness and he or she is also invested with an intuitive awareness which can be invoked from a state of heightened consciousness which we call enlightenment. Here again I would like to quote Meister Eckhart:

"I have occasionally spoken of a light in the soul which is uncreated and uncreatable... This light is not satisfied with the simple, still and divine being which neither gives nor takes, but rather it desires to know from where this being comes. It wants to penetrate to the simple ground, to the still desert, into which distinction never peeped, neither Father, Son nor Holy Spirit. There, in that most inward place, where everyone is a stranger, the light is satisfied, and there it is more inward than it is in itself, for this ground is a simple stillness which is immovable in itself. But all things are moved by this immovability and all the forms of life are conceived by it which, possessing the light of reason, live of themselves." ................Sermon DW 48

Though the language of Meister Eckhart is difficult, the essence of what he is saying is; our awareness has the potential to seek the true source of our being which Eckhart calls "......the still desert, into which distinction never peeped, neither Father, Son nor Holy Spirit (even the concept of an objective nature of God disappears)*. " This is the undifferentiated plenum of Divine consciousness or Paramatma and defined by Eckhart as "a light in the soul which is uncreated and uncreatable"

These two types of awareness are, the one in which we are rooted to the created world and the second is the awareness which is the result of a potential derived through enlightenment wherein transcendence is at hand. Due to this process, a truly enlightened person is able to freely traverse the domain of the world as well as the domain of the spirit.

Love to you all


* Italics by the author

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