Saturday, October 7, 2017

Purusa and Augustinian Time

““Purusa” means “man” “person” “human being” its primal meaning however, is “Pura” meaning “before” and “Isa” meaning “Lord” as in "the Lord who stands before everything” he is the background upon which everything takes place. The “Purusa” is the Supreme being, Krsna, who forms the background to everything, it is that which is before ( pura ) that which is in front ( pura ) and that which is first ( pura ), it is the ultimate reality which stands “before” everything.” ………..James Robinson Cooper
As the title of this article states, I would like to bring to the reader’s attention the commonality of Eastern and Christian thought as expounded by St. Augustine of Hippo. In the above verse the meaning of the Sanskrit word “Purusa” is explained. It is amply clear and a fundamental tenet of Vedic philosophy that Divine consciousness pervades everything. The emanation of manifestation in the world which we witness is from a background of unchanging symmetry, called Divine consciousness.
khya Karika is one of the six philosophical system which expounds  metaphysical dualism consisting of Prakti and purua. Prakti, or Nature, is comprised of three gua-s or attributes. The highest of the three is sattva (essence), the principle of light, goodness and intelligence. Rajas (dynamics) is the principle of change, energy and passion, while tamas (darkness) appears as inactivity, dullness, heaviness and despair. Purua is manifest in a karmic modification and contains among other things the epistemological apparatus of embodied beings (such as the mind, intellect, and senses). This is why unlike Abrahamic religions, where there is only one life, in Eastern philosophical system there is repeated karmic cleansing through various gross bodies until the state of Samsara is reached when the existent state of Purusa attains a state non differentiated from the primal Purusa. A time experienced by the  unique combination of Purusa and Prakti in any manifestation is unique as time is unique to a specific gross body.
In Christian theology, St. Augustine, through his deep reflection, proposed that God was the creator of time and hence before the Big Bang, which was the instant of all creation as conceived by human consciousness, there could have been no such thing as time. This concept could be extrapolated to state that when human consciousness is extinguished at the dissolution of the gross body, time ceases to exist.
Eternity as commonly misquoted as that period which extends into immeasurable past and future. This perception arises from a temporal consciousness. But as Marilyn E. Ravicz, in his article "St. Augustine: Time and Eternity," states: “Eternity, on the other hand, is defined as the "eternal present" or "eternal day" understood as the Abidingness and unchangeableness of God which "embraces and transcends time”
Augustine saw, through his non-dualistic intuition, that eternity existed within time as an eternal present and, rather than being found through outward searching, it is when one turns the attention of their soul, their "inner eyes," toward God, that they are brought into contact with the Light and the Truth. "It is eternity which hides behind the temporal flow, revealed, if at all, within the instant which we cannot capture." ……… Polk, "Temporal Impermanence,"
This concept resulting from non-dualistic dimension could be understood from the point of view that “past” is created through human memory. This rationalistic approach of before and after and the causal relationship to events contribute to the flow of time from the past to the present. Anticipatory and imagined forward causation creates the future.
In St. Augustine’s life, his realization was that his past was mired in darkness that resided within, yet his "inward" turn brought the true light from without. Augustine directly related this illumination as Godly intervention or as the Eastern thought calls it “Enlightenment”. 
This great intuition of St. Augustine was greatly appreciated and Cosmologists today call the period before the Big Bang event as “Augustinian Time”.
If we take a detour and delve into the study of particle physics, it is now clearly understood that all particles are the result of “broken symmetry”. This was predicted by Professor Peter Higgs, after whom the Higgs Boson is named and is aptly called “God particle”. All particle creation or manifestations evolve from this underlying plenum od supreme symmetry which we can call Purusa or God consciousness.
I hope I have been able to give you some thoughts for reflection.

Love to you all.

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