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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Liberation from Forms

“But those who fully worship the unmanifested, that which lies beyond the perception of the senses, the all-pervading, inconceivable, unchanging, fixed and immovable — the impersonal conception of the Absolute Truth — by controlling the various senses and being equally disposed to everyone, such persons, engaged in the welfare of all, at last achieve Me.” ………….Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12 verses 3-4
“While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises.” ………….Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 verse 62
These two verses of Bhagavad Gita fully capture the highest mode of worship of the Divine.
From our childhood we develop a methodology of perception which relies entirely on the input from our senses. This is the inherent nature of human existence. We conceptualize space and time as two separate entities and place our sensory inputs as memories in our conscious brain. The physical brain is designed to store and translate our perceptions as experiences. These individual experiences create an emotional response leading to thoughts and action. Hence our very existence seems to rest upon these sequence of inputs and outputs. This dimension of existence results from strong social, religious and historical legacy.
As the consciousness of humans evolved with the increase in brain capacity to process more and more information, we heavily relied on the wise inputs from teachers and philosophers which could readily give answers to our existential questions. It reached its full expression through Parmenides, a Greek philosopher of 6th century BC and known as the Father of Metaphysics, when he said “For thinking and being is one and the same.” It was further emphasized by Rene Descartes, the 17th century philosopher, mathematician and founder of ‘Continental Rationalism’, When he said “Cogito Ergo Sum” which means “I think therefore I am”
This rational mind set is the main bottle neck in the expansion of our consciousness to a more empowering domain in which true wisdom lies. The sensory field is that which lies before the door step of the infinitely vast mansion where lies all the treasures of spiritual and purifying wisdom leading to the Pleroma of Divine consciousness. Most of us are enamoured by the glitter of antechamber of objective reality that we never attempt to reach the Divine threshold which is narrow as the eye of a needle.
When ritual worship was instituted, starting from the agrarian age (20,000 BC), humans never understood the meaning of rituals and showered their worship to Divine forms that were installed so that the limited human perception could use these symbols, icons or objects as a medium for grasping the supernatural or the unmanifest, we stopped at this very threshold with a false presumption of God as an exterior object and not as an immanent, all pervading essence of all creation including man.
Carl Jung captured this aberration and also pointed to the route through which we can liberate ourselves.
“We move in a world of fantasies which, untroubled by the outward course of things, well up from an inner source to produce an ever-changing succession of plastic or phantasmal forms. This activity of the early classical mind was in the highest degree artistic: the goal of its interest does not seem to have been how to understand the real world as objectively and accurately as possible, but how to adapt it aesthetically to subjective fantasies and expectations." …………….C.G. Jung, Symbols of Transformation
The “plastic or phantasmal forms” which Jung talks of are the result of our conceptual mental maps which have been constructed throughout our lives. But we were not abandoned to be rooted in false reality but were provided strong artistic images and powerful mythologies through which we can invoke these tools in a two way process. The first is by deeply understanding and second is to adapt and transform these inputs to expectations articulated in our inner being,
These objective understanding and subjective experiences can either be processed in a linear fashion or in a holistic nonlinear mode. In the linear implementation, which by far the most common, we understand the implicit surface values and the resulting subjective experience and employ an action rooted in ego satisfaction. But in the holistic, nonlinear mode we are able to leverage the interconnected web of deep wisdom which these seemingly innocuous symbols or images or mythologies portray.
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 verse 62, captures how we are held captive by our attachment to sensory inputs by our debilitating emotions of lust and anger when the ego is denied its own dictates.
From the foregoing deliberations, we need to understand that all forms of worship and rituals must go beyond the mere symbols or icons but should act as a gateway, through a contemplative mind, to a self-transformation.
Love to you all.

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