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ABSOLUTE incomprehension

In a discussion with some very advanced yoga students recently, while I was attempting to explain the the exacting thought processes used by the ancient yogic philosophers, in their search for union with Absolute Reality, I realized that they did not understand the term 'ABSOLUTE'.

In three hours of discussion, I think I explained the concept of absolute, by working from the relative. But, I am not sure. Here, then, is Denis' comprehensive definition of the Absolute (If you understand the following, you will see the joke, in the last sentence.)

The real nature of the Absolute transcends human experience and defies definition. To define a thing is to identify it with something else and there is no something else to identify the Absolute, which can not be described in terms of the relative. Something can not contain within itself the underlying reality of everything! The Absolute is beyond matter, energy, or mind but these things must be within its nature, for they emanate from it. What is manifested must be in the manifestor.

It is difficult for the mind, at least it is for mine, to understand that which is beyond its experience. We must think of the absolute manifestor in terms of its higher manifestations. If mind is higher on the scale of things than matter or energy, we can think of the Absolute in terms of an infinite mind, whose powers and capacities are raised to an infinite degree. Consider it a mind with "a mode of being as much transcending intelligence and will, as these transcend mere mechanical motion", as Herbert Spencer has described it.

Philosophers, theologians, occultists and materialists all agree that the Absolute must have existed forever and must continue forever. The Absolute can not have come from nothing and there is no other cause, outside of itself, from which it could have come. There can be no cause outside of the Absolute which can terminate its existence, nor can we conceive of it dying. The Absolute can only be eternal.

This concept of the eternal is almost unthinkable, though our intellect informs us that it must be a quality of the Absolute. The intellectual difficulty results from the intellectual habit of perceiving everything through the filters of time and the law of cause and effect, which are all phenomena of the relative world. We, also, have difficulty with the idea of a causeless cause because everything which we have experienced in this relative world of the senses has had a cause. Our intellect assumes that nothing can be uncaused. Nothing can be without a preceding cause. As far as things are concerned, our intellect is correct, for all things are relative and therefore caused. Behind all of the caused things there must be an Absolute causer of things, which can not be a thing, nor have been caused. Our minds have no experience of such an Absolute and can not form the mental picture.

A similar mental difficulty exists for conceptualizing eternity, which is above and outside of time. In reality, time only exists in our minds. Time is only an expression of our conciousness of the change in things. A day is the conciousness of the passing of the sun. Hours, minutes and seconds are subdivisions of the day. Time is a construct of the mind, to organize the changes in things. In a universe without changes in things, there would be no such thing as time.

Philosophers, theologians, occultists and materialists all agree that the Absolute must exist as infinite in space, omnipresent. It can not be limited, because there is nothing outside itself to limit it. We find it impossible to think of an omnipresent. Space, like time, has no real existence outside of our conciousness of the relative position of things. This omnipresence of that which occupies infinite space is almost impossible to understand because everything which our minds have experienced has had dimensions and limits. The infinitely minute is as difficult for our minds as the infinitely immense.

Next, is the agreement by the intellect that the Absolute contains within itself all the power that is, because there can be no other source of power and there can be no power outside of the Absolute power. Every manifestation of energy, force, or power must be a manifestation of the power of the Absolute, following laws made by the Absolute.

Similarly, our intellect informs us that the Absolute contains within itself all knowledge or wisdom, because there can be no knowledge or wisdom outside of it. Mind, knowledge and wisdom are manifested by relative forms of life, but must emanate from the Absolute. Otherwise, there would be no mind, knowledge, or wisdom. There is nowhere outside of the Absolute from which it could possibly come.

The Absolute possesses a nature which so transcends human experience that we have no concepts, words or symbols to describe it. However, our intellect postulates its existence, even though we have nothing but human attributes, with which we can describe it. Our human attributes and our words can describe things only in the relative world. We are not equipped to explain , think, or speak of that which transcends our experience.

Philosophy is unable to describe the Absolute, for philosophy is a process of negation, which ultimately can do little but point out huge paradoxes. Science can do no better; as it seeks the Absolute, it enters into agreement with the philosophers. Both reach a point of neti, neti", a Sanskrit term, meaning "not this, not that". According to Gnanni Yoga, this is how the Absolute wants it, because the answer lies within. Man is compelled to look for the Absolute within himself. Once the mind understands that the Absolute is, the mind sees countless bits of evidence of the presence of the Absolute in every part of relative existence. Going within is the most effective way of discerning the Absolute.

Any questions??