Saturday, September 29, 2012

Universality versus Individuality (Edited June 15, 2014)

Trepidation haunts me in this.  Twice over the past few days I've entirely removed this blog from the web only to put it back.  I'll try to explain.  This post is a synthesis of Professor Desani's foundational teaching as I understand it.  I don't intend to speak on his behalf but to share my personal understanding of his instruction. I say this because I'm unworthy, of course, to attribute my ideas to this great man; I'm a simple 'householder'.  While I have great thirst for Truth I lack capacity.  My most basic instruction is that of any Bhakta; it is to yield.  So I am torn between being nothing but a recluse and presuming to attempt in the way displayed here to keep the memory of Desani alive.  I certainly wasn't recruited, that I know of, to assume this role.  Kindly keep this in mind as you read the following.

What is God?  That by which you have universality.  That is God.  And he cannot be parsed from the whole of reality or creation.  What is Man?  That by which God has individuality, for space time has meaning only if a sentient being is there to experience it.  Concisely, God confers on man universality.  Man confers on God individuality.  It is a very old notion in Western philosophy that matter confers universality while form confers individuality.  See Aristotle. I think of this as another way of saying God sleeps in matter and his awakening involves the emergence of sentient life.  This is, of course, a Hindu as well as a Jewish notion.  Jesus Christ's (Issa of Kashmir?)  life is a metaphor for the idea that God descends into matter in order to reemerge a self realized being.  I touch on this notion here .

Every instance of man (sentient life) is a finite expression of an infinite potentiality.  You can't be God and be a man but, you can't be man and not be a spark of the divine.

The germ of this idea is from Professor who told me once in a quiet moment that man is a device by which the divine creative spirit has self experience.  I recall thinking at the time that I'd just been handed a great secret as to the ultimate meaning and purpose of existence.  I was, and still am, astounded by the simple elegance of this notion and that it was just handed to me.  I don't recall that he said this in response to any query of mine; though certainly he appreciated that I was on a spiritual quest.  It was, indeed, this quest that brought me to him in the first place.  One didn't generally make queries of Desani.  It was something of an affront to interrupt his thoughts.  One just waited and listened generally while, of course, it was acceptable to compliment him on the tea or whatever he was sharing.  In this posting I outline some complimentary notions he graciously shared.