We shall not cease from exploration.
And the end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started,
and know the place for the first time.

T. S. Eliot

 

 

Much has been written in recent years about the enlightening parallels between modern physical theory and ancient metaphysics. Not only is science finding it increasingly difficult to keep itself separated from philosophical speculation, but as we develop our abstract understanding of the Universe as a whole, the fields of physics and metaphysics seem to be losing their distinction altogether. More than ever, as we examine our field of spacetime from every possible perspective, we probe our consciousness for the mystical Truth.

Throughout the current cycle of recorded history on this planet, the ancient message of nondualistic mysticism has been passed down to us and preserved in various forms of expression and degrees of purity. While the universal principles involved are said to be profoundly simple, they are completely abstract and defy any sort of straight-forward logical expression. Fortunately, the intuitive insight required to understand mystical principles is a special quality of the human mind. This is our gift; and our responsibility.

 

The most fundamental principle of mysticism is transcendental omnipresence, a state of being which is totally independent of spacetime while at the same time is everywhere at once in spacetime. The notion of oneness is intrinsic to the principle since it refers to a single, undifferentiated state of being. The second most fundamental principle is a characteristic of the first, polarity, referring to the dynamic-creative aspect of the transcendental state. It is said to be the essence of consciousness, both at the universal level and the individual level. From these simple principles the entire physical universe is manifest in all its cyclic diversity, from the highest frequencies of oscillating energy to the lazy ellipses of orbiting planets, from the birth and death of stars to the birth and expansion of the Universe itself.

The scientific fields of cosmology and particle physics can at first seem to be remote and unimportant studies as far as the human condition is concerned, yet they actually provide insight into the nature of consciousness itself, our awareness of existence and how we perceive it. Most intriguing, modern science is recognizing that our Universe is not simply composed of separate particles scattered around in space -- it is uncovering a unified state of the Universe, a higher dimension that exists in its unified state at this very moment, not just in the singularity at t=0 of the Big Bang. Our consciousness, our bodies, and every last particle in the Universe are an inseparable part of this higher dimension, as if the physical world were merely a "transient projection" from a pristine higher realm that never changes. The various models of unified field theories in today's physics all point toward the same reality, and we should not get so entangle in their differences that we let it get in the way of the infinitely more important realization that there is in fact a unified reality, a transcendental and omnipresent higher reality which creates our experience of being in a universe in the first place.

 

Is unified field physics a realization of a transcendental omnipresence? Is such "cosmic awareness" actually illuminating our spiritual dimension within a spiritual universe? These questions, of course, will never be answered by physical theory. They are intrinsically beyond the reach of objective expression. It is increasingly obvious, however, that such questions will also never be rendered frivolous by physical theory, which is instead laying the possibilities clearly in the open. The fact that we are actually in a position to see modern physics as a rediscovery of ancient metaphysics is a measure of Mankind's open-minded progress in spite of our shortcomings and blunders along the way. It has been known for a very long time that objective communication does not lend itself to a precise expression of transcendental concept. "The eye does not go thither, nor speech, nor mind. We do not know, we do not understand, how any one can teach it." -- Talavakara Upanishad (I Khanda, 3) *

There is no question that an awakening is occurring on our planet. Earth is experiencing a particularly important period of transformation, and we must "get our act together" for a new age of spiritual awareness. According to the ancient wisdom, the most fundamental problems of the human condition are attributed to the ignorance of who we really are -- a condition called, in Sanskrit, avidya, an ignorance of the true nature of Reality. The "devilness" of the material world is the way it creates the "evil" of ego-centered action, ultimately traceable to the belief that we are separate, when in fact we should know in our hearts that we are not separate. True spiritual awareness transcends all cultures and all religions while appreciating the beauty in every one of them.

 

Because of this paradoxical yet fundamental-to-creation condition, the problems with Creation were to be expected. The separateness and solidity of the physical realm is particularly convincing, and to say we have experienced trials and tribulations in our spacetime would seem an understatement. However, with our new understanding of the physical world and with a new mindfulness of the ancient wisdom, it seems time to awaken to an intuitive understanding of the statement mystics have used for ages to confound and stimulate the logical mind: "There is only That (unified state of Being); we are That."

We may be re-learning an ancient system of spiritual understanding but we have the opportunity to understand it on an entirely new and conceptually very clear level. There seems no reason, then, why we should not just naturally go forth and act accordingly, with a mindfulness of transcendental unity in every moment of our lives. Of course, that is the ideal -- to be spiritually aware in EVERY objective action, thus eliminating selfish motivations and actions, the source of bad karma, suffering, and all the negativity getting in the way of transforming our world into our ideal next age. It is easier to talk of ideal conditions than to live them, but if the beauty of the ancient wisdom can be shared in a new and powerful way we could probably take a big step toward transcending many of today's worst problems.

"There is one mind common to all individual men. Every man is an inlet to the same... Who hath access to this universal mind is a party to all that is or can be done, for this is the only and sovereign agent." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

By Thy Grace I remember my Light,
and now gone is my delusion.
My doubts are no more, my faith is firm;
and now I can say 'Thy Will be done'.

Bhagavad Gita
18,73

 

 

*The reference for this and other Upanishad and Veda excerpts is The Upanishads, translated by F. Max Müller, published originally in 1879 by the Clarendon Press, Oxford, England, and republished in 1962 by Dover Publications, New York, NY. All comments within regular parentheses are Müller's.