Modifications of Consciousness

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Modifications of Consciousness

By C.A. Bartzokas

The Downfall Of Self Consciousness

Personal, individualised, consciousness, At the commencement of a great Manvantara, Parabrahman manifests as Mulaprakriti and then as the Logos. This logos is equivalent to the “Unconscious Universal Mind,” etc., of Western Pantheists. It constitutes the Basis of the SUBJECT-side of manifested Being, and is the source of all manifestations of individual consciousness. Mulaprakriti, or Primordial Cosmic Substance, is the foundation of the OBJECTside of things — the basis of all objective evolution and Cosmogenesis.

Ego and egoism, Mind and mentality, Self and selfishness, I-ness and me-ness, Character and charisma, Personal and personality, Individualism and capitalism, they are all one and the same. They are the cause of separateness and all suffering in the world! Mind is “the middle principle, the vehicle of the personal consciousness of JIVA”; explains the Commentary. 2 Mahat (Understanding, Universal Mind, Thought, etc.), before it manifests itself as Brahma or Siva, appears as Vishnu says Sankhya-Sara; hence Mahat has several aspects, just as the Logos has. Mahat is called the Lord, in the Primary Creation, and is, in this sense, Universal Cognition or Thought Divine; but, “That Mahat, which was first produced, is (afterwards) called Egoism, when it is born as . . . “I,” that is said to be the second creation.” And the translator (an able and learned Brahman,3 not a European Orientalist) explains in a footnote (7), “i.e., when the Mahat develops into the feeling of selfconsciousness — I — then it assumes the name of egoism,” which, translated into our esoteric phraseology, means when Mahat is transformed into the human Manas, (or even that of the finite gods), and becomes Aham 4 -ship.5 1 Secret Doctrine, II p. 24 2 ibid., II p. 241 3 [Brahman is the highest of the four castes in India, one supposedl

Can we ever gain Absolute Consciousness?

Consciousness can neither imagine its own cessation nor its own beginning, Complete or true immortality — which means an unlimited sentient existence, can have no breaks and stoppages, no arrest of Self-consciousness.1

“Through the numberless months, years, cycles, aeons, yugas and kalpas, gone in the measureless past and to come in the inexhaustible future, what rises not, nor sets, is this One Self-luminous Consciousness alone.” 2

“Never has the cessation of consciousness been witnessed; or if it has been, then the witness thereof himself remains as the embodiment of that same consciousness.” If I say that the solar system began a thousand million years ago, and will end another thousand million years hence, my consciousness stretches before and behind and comprehends and includes all those years, though, obviously, my body has a very small lifetime. Apart from such metaphysical considerations, mausolea, including some of the greatest handiworks of man, from the Pyramids to the Taj Mahal, triumphal memorials of victories, odes and elegies, and mournings and boastings, are all clear psychological proofs of the perpetuation in consciousness, individual and collective, of the relations of love and of hate and of the objects thereof.3

Though Its contents are of a pseudo-infinite duration. We must not forget that if the whole complicated tree is the result of the seed, the seed, in turn, is the result of a previous whole tree. The seed of life is not merely material, but spirituo-material, and contains pre-existing infinite potencies, and, therefore only, serves as a means of manifesting endless effects. The pseudo-infinite contents of the Universal Consciousness are in the biophore 4 as ids.5

“The quintessence of the digested food is the seed of life, and it is eternal Brahman.” 6

It is the dream that never dies. 1 To see in Nirvana 2 annihilation amounts to saying of a man plunged in a sound dreamless sleep — one that leaves no impression on the physical memory and brain, because the sleeper’s Higher Self is in its original state of absolute consciousness during those hours — that he, too, is annihilated. The latter simile answers only to one side of the question — the most material; since reabsorption is by no means such a “dreamless sleep,” but, on the contrary, absolute existence, an unconditioned unity, or a state, to describe which human language is absolutely and hopelessly inadequate.3

“One has to acquire true Self-Consciousness [Paramartha], in order to understand Samvriti, or the ‘origin of delusion.’” Paramartha is the synonym of the Sanskrit term Svasamvedana, or “the reflection which analyses itself.” 4

Can we ever account for the origin of consciousness? To give a Western student [the sevenfold classification of the Brahmans] is to try to make him suppose that he can account for the origin of consciousness, by accounting for the process by which a certain knowledge, through only one of the states of that consciousness, came to him; in other words, it is to make him account for something he knows on this plane, by something he knows nothing about on the other planes; i.e., to lead him from the spiritual and the psychological, direct to the ontological.5 This is why the primary, old, classification was adopted by the Theosophists . . . 6

Every plane of consciousness creates a different level of illusion. Esoteric philosophy teaches that everything lives and is conscious, but not that all life and consciousness are similar to those of human or even animal beings.7

Everything is maya-illusion. From the standpoint of the highest metaphysics, the whole Universe, gods included, is an illusion; but the illusion of him who is in himself an illusion differs on every plane of consciousness; and we have no more right to dogmatise about the possible nature of the perceptive faculties of an Ego on, say, the sixth plane [Buddhi], than we have to identify our perceptions with, or make them a standard for, those of an ant, in its mode of consciousness. The pure object apart from consciousness is unknown to us, while living on the plane of our threedimensional world, as we know only the mental states it excites in the perceiving Ego.1

Life and death are illusions, The reasonableness of Conscious Existence can be proved only by the study of the primeval — now esoteric — philosophy. And it says “there is neither death nor life, for both are illusions; being (or beness) is the only reality.” This paradox was repeated thousands of ages later by one of the greatest physiologists that ever lived. “Life is Death” said Claude Bernard. The organism lives because its parts are ever dying. The survival of the fittest is surely based on this truism. The life of the superior whole requires the death of the inferior, the death of the parts depending on and being subservient to it. And, as life is death, so death is life, and the whole great cycle of lives forms but ONE EXISTENCE — the worst day of which is on our planet. 2

Time is illusion. Time is only an illusion produced by the succession of our states of consciousness as we travel through eternal duration, and it does not exist where no consciousness exists in which the illusion can be produced; but “lies asleep.” The present is only a mathematical line which divides that part of eternal duration which we call the future, from that part which we call the past. Nothing on earth has real duration, for nothing remains without change . . . ; [the “present”] comes from the blurring of that momentary glimpse, or succession of glimpses, of things that our senses give us, as those things pass from the region of ideals which we call the future, to the region of memories that we name the past.3

The illusion of time is produced by the panoramic succession of our states of consciousness. Our ideas . . . on duration and time are all derived from our sensations according to the laws of association. Inextricably bound up with the relativity of human knowledge, they nevertheless can have no existence except in the experience of the individual ego, and perish when its evolutionary march dispels the Maya of phenomenal existence. What is Time, for instance, but the panoramic succession of our states of consciousness? In the words of a Master, “I feel even irritated at having to use these three clumsy words — past, present and future! Miserable concepts of the objective phases of the Subjective Whole, they are about as ill-adapted for the purpose as an axe for fine carving.” 1 One has to acquire Paramartha lest one should become too easy a prey to Samvriti — is a philosophical axiom.2

Time does not exist even in sleep! The consciousness of time, in the present sense of the word, does not exist even in sleep; much less, therefore, can it exist in the essentially absolute. Can the sea be said to have a conception of time in its rhythmical striking on the shore, or in the movement of its waves? The Absolute cannot be said to have a consciousness, or, at any rate, a consciousness such as we have here. It has neither consciousness, nor desire, nor wish, nor thought, because it is absolute thought, absolute desire, absolute consciousness, absolute “all.” 3

All things are real but only relatively real. . . . for the cogniser is also a reflection, and the things cognized are therefore as real to him as himself. Whatever reality things possess must be looked for in them before or after they have passed like a flash through the material world; but we cannot cognize any such existence directly, so long as we have sense-instruments which bring only material existence into the field of our consciousness. Whatever plane our consciousness may be acting in, both we and the things belonging to that plane are, for the time being, our only realities.4

The Infinite can only see Itself through the eyes of the finite. . . . the Absolute, or the Unconditioned, and (especially) the unrelated, is a mere fanciful abstraction, a fiction, unless we view it from the standpoint and in the light of the more educated pantheist. To do so, we will have to regard the “Absolute” merely as the aggregate of all intelligences, the totality of all existences, incapable of manifesting itself but through the interrelationship of its parts, as It is absolutely incognisable and non-existent outside its phenomena, and depends entirely on its ever-correlating Forces, dependent in their turn on the ONE GREAT LAW. 1

When the Infinite cannot conceive Itself by Itself, To know itself or oneself, necessitates consciousness and perception (both limited faculties in relation to any subject except Parabrahman), to be cognized. Hence the “Eternal Breath which know itself not.” Infinity cannot comprehend Finiteness. The Boundless can have no relation to the bounded and the conditioned. In the occult teachings, the Unknown and the Unknowable MOVER, or the Self-Existing, is the absolute divine Essence. 2

How can the finite ever perceive the Infinite? Man, unable to form one concept except in terms of empirical phenomena, is powerless from the very constitution of his being to raise the veil that shrouds the majesty of the Absolute. Only the liberated Spirit is able to faintly realize the nature of the source whence it sprang and whither is must eventually return . . . As the highest Dhyani-Chohan, however, can but bow in ignorance before the awful mystery of Absolute Being; and since, even in that culmination of conscious existence — “the merging of the individual in the universal consciousness,” to use a phrase of Fichte’s 3 — the Finite cannot conceive the Infinite, nor can it apply to it its own standard of mental experiences, how can it be said that the “Unconscious” and the Absolute can have even an instinctive impulse or hope of attaining clear self-consciousness? 4

Such feats are beyond the boundary of human capability. That is why the Infinite is, and will remain forever, Unknown and Unknowable. 1 [The esoteric sevenfold classification] . . . has seven distinct principles, which correspond with seven distinct states of Prajña or consciousness. It bridges the gulf between the objective and subjective, and indicates the mysterious circuit though which ideation passes. The seven principles are allied to seven states of matter, and to seven forms of force. These principles are harmoniously arranged between two poles, which define the limits of human consciousness. 2



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