Deus Ex Machina

 

We have, in this beautiful planet which we are trying to spoil in any conceivable way, a great number of religions and sectarian movements, and thousands of gods. The faithful would gladly give his life to God - to his own god - the only true god. The truth is that we have in the world as many gods as there are believers in God because, in the last analysis, a god is just the mental image of what the believer believes, or feels, or thinks it to be, nor can it be different if the believer has a rational intellect on which he relies - whether or not he realizes it; nor, for contingent reasons, it can be different: each intellect is his own world independently of apparent similarities with other members of the human species. This is the heritage of our humaneness, of our traditions, of our history, of the fact that most probably we were given, by parental choice, a god while still in tender age without been asked whether or not we liked it, whether or not the god chosen for us would satisfy our understanding, discernment and appreciation. We were forced into our belief and initiated with some preciously unique rite and subsequently, throughout the years, re-enforcing brain-washing doctrinal tenets independently of our likes and dislikes at least until the moment that we felt free, and, possibly unhindered, for some reason or another, to inquire within the awe-inspiring mental image compelling our faith, devotion, and prayers.

On the other hand, when most probably we were given, by parental choice, the personal god to accompany us throughout our life, we were given also our personal Ahriman, or Beelzebub, or Lucifer, or inimical as well as beneficent spirits, jinns, and superstitions. This was not wrong since it was a suitable means to inculcate discrimination between good and evil, to instill into our being those ethical teachings telling us what bounty and wickedness are, within a given social contest, but withal its noble purpose it was a rude and barbarous way to teach us something - a method born of deep and primitive ignorance - since these figures were firmly entrenched in our psyche when it was most receptive, plastic, and susceptible to forceful and substantial thought-forms, shadows teeming with life deep within our psyche which would impinge deeply and solidly on our life.

So we come to the heart of the matter, and whatever I wrote in the preceding pages has little if any relevance at all, it was some sort of more or less healthy mental gymnastics. Humanity's unremitting interrogative since the emergence of reason obviously is: who, what or where is God?

The shortcut answer comes from Gaius Petronius: "Primus timor fecit Deos" [1] but it is not palatable to all, everyone wants a real omnipotent creator on which, with faith and love, he can rely for good or for worst. And so this supernal being is imagined in diverse ways; miraculous, marvelous, extraordinary and providential powers and attributes are given him as well as innumerable names. Opening a book at random I read "Analah -(Sankara) (1) He gives the vital breath to creatures and makes them live. (2) 'Alam' means 'enough'. There is no enough of Him. There is no limit to His conferring benefits etc. on others". [2] Next I choose a name at random in "An Explanation of the Perfect Names and Attributes of Allah" [3] and, number 24 (among 99), I read "Ar-Raafi^ - The Exalter, The Elevator, The One who lowers whoever He willed by His Destruction and raises whoever He willed by His Endowment."
Yes, I do agree with the definitions out of the infinite possibilities His infinity gives us. As for the Christians, they have a "Father" but God is not only Christ's Father since, as we read in Genesis 6:2 [4] and 6:4 [5], He had more sons and, even so, before Adam's creation; and they speak of their God in the sky or paint Him, hoary, usually with a white complexion and large wings, in their churches's chapel. In contrast, Islam's pure monotheism, where Mohamed [6] ) is just the Apostle of God and where no images are allowed, is remarkable. Let's go to Taoist China: "The Tao the can be told of is not the Absolute Tao; the Names that can be given are not Absolute Names." [7] The Chinese Taoist effectively do not have a God, and independent supernatural being as elsewhere conceived, and, if Tao is to be interpreted - as it is often done - as "God", theirs is possibly the best definition of the term, together with the closing quotation in the preceding chapter "I am the Deep. I will not let you hear about it." [8]

The gods of mythology are so different as they are alike - this means with many common traits among them which, as previously mentioned in this work, has given rise to modern, albeit not at all insensate, interpretations based on scientific fields; not a few, however, as unbelievable as possible.

In this work I used the words "mind" and "life". "mind", which so as I used it can be conceived as an accessory of life which, since so far as we know no one ever came to tell us a tale of what our mind is doing within life itself; we leave it behind when we go back to the earth while "life" was used as meaning the cosmic experience, the life of the cosmos itself of which we are less than the shadow of a speck of the same. And I suggested that, contrary to what we may believe, we do not really experience life but Life it is which experiences us, we might make a distinction by writing it with a capital "L", or "Life". This may imply that our mind, so as we conceive it, will vanish as an individual entity while it will be absorbed and amalgamated into the experience of life defined as cosmic Life. Not dissimilar from the often quoted analogy of the drop returning to the ocean: the drop will be there but it will not be anymore the drop with its own individual entity and so it won't be able to understand the ocean even if it is a part of the same and, furthermore, contributing to the ocean's existence. No ocean could come about if drop after drop do not sum up to form it in its immense vastness. This can be quite understandable but it will, as expectable, anticipate the next question: the God question, i.e., the point where we may reasonably stop in our search as, to quote it once more, "I am the Deep. I will not let you hear about it." [8] and rely on belief and faith. Belief and faith, yes, but in what? In that plethora of gods that we have readily available in our world?

Since "Your gods behind my shoulders I threw." and "Go beyond the beatitude of the Buddha's Nirvana / And the stupor of Rumi's wine cups. / Creatures of the mind they are, / Leave your mind behind." reflects my creed, as written in the first chapter I will have to conceive something greater than my mind (Leave your mind behind) therefore for this purpose and since we cannot do without names I will adhere to the concept of a greater mind, a "Mind" with the capital "M" as distinct from "mind" (human mind) in the same wise that I made a distinction between life and Life. And this Mind obviously will be the ultimate reality, the truth behind Life, to repeat it in Chinese "The Tao the can be told of is not the Absolute Tao; the Names that can be given are not Absolute Names." [7] which simply means that " "I am the Deep. I will not let you hear about it." [8] But this will not deter me from my quest. Insanity? Possibly yes! But if my concept of Life reflects an abstract, albeit intelligent, condition which can have no dimension, while at the same time making our three-dimensional world an apparent, tangible reality flowing in time, how can my human mind try to perceive that which is - I mean Mind - a concept not just behind the abstract concept but its very origin and sustenance? How can a mind dream up anything like this unless this mind is part and parcel of Mind? This last question is its own answer. Its meaning and ultimate task, as stated above: leave your mind behind; by forgetting your mind's creatures - or, should I say caricatures? This will dissolve the Zen master's circle and usher out of existence the mandala which opened this work: one more fable about the infinite.

Psyche and mind

"Psyche" and "mind" are two words used interchangeably, overlapping with no clear-cut boundary as to their intrinsic meaning. Apparently they reflect the same thing in some instances and different things at other times and this is confusing. Concerning the psyche [9] let us try to explain it with the help of an analogy.

Just like a plant's seed potentially is the plant with its genetic memory and its future phylogenesis, even the psyche is a seed; potentially it is the universe itself, sustained by all the cosmic influences, past and to come, [10] of the same.

Due to linguistic inadequacy and inappropriately, just and only for practical purposes, of necessity two words are now going to be used : "incarnate" and "constricted". They are here used used to illustrate the concept following as related to the lines above. Clearly the word "incarnate" cannot apply to the psyche or, expressed in another way, the intangible and the physical cannot inter-relate in modes that can be represented by our understanding and naturally this applies also to the word "constricted". My concept for 'psyche', however is not far removed from the 'Cit' (Sanskrit) or 'Citta' (Pali) of the Buddhist or the Hindu, which are very enlightening so much so that it is fully explained below. [11] Since my tendency however is to make 'psyche' all inclusive, i.e., "human mind, psyche and consciousness as a whole", a new term would do more justice to this concept which, as a further hint, I may visualize as the undifferentiated yin-yang: [13] aptly the psyche as 'seed'.

This may explain to a greater extent - among umpteen other things - also something else. If the psyche - here expressed as the seed's analogy above - does not develop completely its purpose during its "incarnate" existence in life - i.e., if it does not recognize and understands its own origin and its own place in the primal cosmic schema while temporarily "constricted" in a material vehicle like a human being, it will simply manifest again in a subsequent vehicle to achieve its purpose.

However, let there be no misunderstanding: this is not rebirth, or reincarnation, or metempsychosis, as it is normally inferred and understood, since a span of life cannot be attributed to the psyche it being a manifestation of that which sustains the whole, both the perceivable and the hidden laws of the universe.

Rebirth, reincarnation, metempsychosis have been intuitive insights without getting to the core of the matter and hence postulating a soul - an individual soul within the constrictions of time in a material life - choosing another body and a subsequent life with all its karmic appendages in a material environment. Psychical agamogenesis (reproduction without the fusion of gametes) will manifest through the spores of physical existence whatever forms it may take. And not for our sake, that we may be the utmost of creation, but for its own sake in terms of constant creativity beyond the bounds of time and space as we conceive them.

The common ground of the mental life of every individual, expressed in the theory of the archetypes or, we may even surmise, through the affinity of the brain structures, the affinity of their complex circuits and works, then becomes clear.

Whatever you may think, the psyche is the infinite revolving around its own causal agency, around its own doing and undoing beyond physical or time-constricted dimensions of what may be thought of as the universal intelligence. Not a passive observer between the painter and the canvas (The brain is the painter, the mind is the canvas, the psyche is the observer) but an active, hence causal element of the triad (brain, psyche, mind) but not individually - with our demise it will vanish as a purely subjective individual entity - but as a contributing tile of the cosmic mosaic. In terms of electronic analogy the individual's psyche radiates its energy enriching the universal pool so long as the switch is on, that is to say, so long as the brain retains its own vitality.

We discovered this intangibility alive and creative something within our being, we gave it a name and built worlds around it, fantastic worlds because we cannot - seemingly - grasp the intangible; not on account of the limits imposed by our physical environment but because of the limits which we impose on ourselves, because we create the mythical seven veils and relinquish our hidden inheritance to imagination as beyond a protective and miraculous shield.

The admonition "Thus far and no further", [14] or "I am the Deep. I will not let you hear about it." [8] could apparently be applied here but it does not beseem us once we understand that reality is that it may be searched down to its ostensibly very recondite heart, no mystery can confront us because we are the mystery itself unveiling it own reality to itself and there can be no limiting process to this paramount uncovering but the limits which our ignorance and sluggishness imposes on ourselves if we don't make a supreme effort to get beyond it. Life is a pain in the neck, we learn to tolerate and get along with it without getting to the source of the problem and curing it. We accept this stumbling block and commit our faith and reliance on the supernatural: a palliative but not a cure. And, distraught, we submit to a revered greater intellect than ourselves' and accept his delimiting bounds, "Thus far and no further". [14] We do have many touchstones to discriminate between truth and untruth and that which we consider true or untrue is none but any of the ensuing criteria in the issue, so as to satisfy our intellect and our quest. We create these standards to suit our mentality: truth itself is silence in eternal evolution.

Might we not be an illusory echo of this silence? [15]

The domain of Mind

That written above, however, reflects mental images - cloudy and complicated - and even carries within some contradictions. The painter and his artwork on the canvas might be perfect, but the active and critical observer has his own naturally imposed limits. Convoluted thoughts - that is, mental images - annotated with other mental images in an effort to make them more understandable. All that jabber is not meaningless but can be greatly simplified and make us ready to go to another kingdom beyond ‘psyche’, ‘mind’ and ‘Mind’.

We can say, without fear of incurring in unforgivable error for the purpose of this essay, that we are extremely complex biological machines, endowed with limited sensors which allow us to perceive our world as it is and that these machines are built in accordance with a specific blueprint. The only thing that differentiate us from robots is that we are not built with the scientific rigor and electronic circuitry which make up a robot, so as we conceive it, an animated but mindless something which obeys unerringly to certain demands but that the blueprint behind our structure is a genetic code which allows some autonomy so much so that, even if we could say that we are robots, not two within an infinity of them obeys exactly - or in the same way - to their own spatiotemporal environment.

Furthermore, the sensors which we are endowed with, our senses, obey specific functions, each within a limited field of the physical frequencies which make up the cosmic environment and, while the perception gained through these sensors may be defined as standard, it is not equally sensitive in any two human beings. This holds also if spatiotemporal restrictions were not to apply, that is, if it were possible for two persons to be at the same place in the very same moment living the same experience. Since we are not wired in the wise of a rigid and unerring electronic schematic our sensors, among diverse humans, do not respond in the same wise to the environmental stimuli confronting the individual and hence the feedback to the central processor - that is, the brain - does not result in the interpretation and response of the same to the input stimuli within a strictly defined set of rules, algorithmically. It follows, hence axiomatically, that there cannot exist two identical human beings or, for that matter, biological robots in any of nature’s biological kingdoms. And here we find and experience both the beauty and the ugliness of our passage on the planet. Each of us is a unique individual, with unique traits and uniquely felt experiences. The genetic blueprint is wonderfully efficient in that it will bring about millions of species with predefined characteristics but with these characteristics not uniquely distributed in accordance with a strict standard. We can build millions of equally wired and machined mechanical robots which serve our purposes and carry on their task unerringly; this cannot happen in the biological kingdoms. Diversely biological life and evolution would have no meaning and no purpose to exist. Moreover, this explains all perceivable affinities in nature and evolution; we can speak of a unique species but within the same each individual is unique notwithstanding the affinity with the rest of its taxonomic group.

Let us go back for a while to the often used analogy of the water drop and the ocean. A water drop falling from the sky, as such, has its own intrinsic reality and individuality. The moment when it hits the ocean’s surface its individuality is lost, dissolved in the ocean. It is no more a water drop, it is the ocean itself – albeit an infinitesimal part of the same immersed in the experience of the whole. It does not move in the ocean but it is the ocean which moves through it. Its individual reality is lost when it touches the surface of the ocean but not the trace that it left within the framework of time. Now we are ready to transfer this analogy to the domain of Mind, where life unfolds and images move, change, overlap. This domain of Mind – let there be no misunderstanding – is not the mind as we conceive it, the human mind with its limited responses within the constrictions of a physical environment. Nor even the psychical makeup of what we conceive or imagine as the human mind to be: a personal gift due to additional brain convolutions and layers of cortex to be found, to our knowledge, solely in the human species. The domain of Mind is like the ocean in the analogy above, we are the water drops. The fact that we are egocentric, however, makes us blind to an all important fact: we feel, think and believe that our mind moves and affects the ocean or, to say it properly, the domain of Mind. We live our life almost unconscious and unaware of the fact that we are like unto the water drop traversing a small space within a short lapse of time to be reabsorbed in the ocean and here we come to the great insight: we are not moving in the ocean but the ocean is moving through us, our mind looses its apparent and illusory individuality in the domain of Mind. It is lost once and forever, that which persists is the mysterious and incomprehensible domain of Mind, the source of life. With the additional experience brought back to the ocean by the returning water drop!

Given the limits of our sensory perceptions, the statement that we live in an illusory world, or that our life is an illusionary state, may be vindicated. What we seldom realize is that we do experience a really tangible perception of unreality. We live through a clouded vision, due to environmental contingencies. Our psyche is made up of the incomplete images transferred and, more or less strongly, recorded on or by the same since we open our eyes to the word. These images, consciously or subconsciously, become our life-guide. The real problem surfaces when we try to explain the incomprehensible and the transcendental with the aid of these images and the problem itself is not that we cannot walk great strides in this mysterious path but that we have been brought up within a specific social/traditional system or, clearly, we have suffered a heavy brain washing – which means an heavy transplant of more or less valid images - from early infancy onward by the family, priests, teachers and our social milieu as a whole. With the emergence of a reason grounded in well established sciences the tendency now it changing towards a more positive and rational view of the world and the cosmos as a whole, we have the means to blot out those images with an irrational burden and face with confidence new horizons even if, society as a whole, is not yet ready for this supreme step and the state of the world or, better said, humanity in the world, speaks for itself. We are still barbarians nailed to useless superstitions and unhealthy traditions with an advanced technology which only spells more danger. We are prey and fodder of our mental images, blindly cultivating and feeding them in mental obscurity.

Elsewhere I wrote: “Lost in the foggy midst of time there is an image, called God, painted with the colors of traditions, superstitions and the fear of the unknown. These colors, furthermore, are tainted by greed, lust, egotism and paramount ignorance. And this image is centered in the ego, in selfishness. It belongs only to your self and to no one else. Whoever you are, this is the plain truth.

With his great natural gifts, the human being in the name of this image has turned himself into the most stupidly noxious being on this wonderful planet; noxious to himself, to his fellow beings, to the lower kingdoms of nature, and to the ecosystem as a whole. It might not be too late to change the heart of man, to restore this image, should a paramount miracle happen, but it is too late to change what he brought about to the present moment.”

The quest of the Transcendental and the Divine, the search of our origins and of the origins of all that which confronts us, from the infinitesimal virus or the subatomic particle to the unimaginable greatness of the cosmos, is as ancient as man himself. We have not found an answer to the problem nor will we ever find a definite answer because we will always lag behind the cosmic evolution and we clearly understand that there is an apparent forbidden boundary which we cannot trespass. Our mind, that human mind which sustained by a healthy brain and with all its great achievements precedes and follows us throughout our life is a fallacy and that is hard to accept: to think of ourselves as empty bags. But we must first empty the bag if we want it replenished again with something more positive, not with more useless images but forcing it through to the domain of Mind.

In closing, let me add a few more words. All that which I wrote before, I reasonably assume, is not the truth, it is only my real perception of my irreality and as such my mental image - my truth - it appears as an almost blank image on an almost blank canvas since I wiped off the canvas a good many useless concepts. Truth itself is a baffling and unreachable entity, the more you feel close to it the more it recedes, the more it recedes and the more its horizon widens. It might even be the domain of Mind, but once we reach it individuality vanishes; no individual is left to tell the story, to paint its image. Yes, there is still an image on the canvas of my mind which, like the drop originated from the ocean's ascending vapors, now is a falling drop very close to the ocean's surface. It is the image of the drop itself going from unreality towards dissolution into reality. And this brings about a final remark concerning nothingness. Nothingness, the void, the Buddhist's Sunyata denoting the emptiness of the ultimate reality, cannot exist. Nothingness is one more image of the mind, an unpaintable image, an idea about no-ideas, and were it to exist it would not be nothingness. In other words, non-existence per se cannot exist without losing its quality of un-existing.

"The unreal never is: the Real never is not." [16]


 

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NOTES

[1] As I wrote elsewhere "If you were miraculously born in a planet as beautiful as the Planet Earth but without any other human being inhabiting it - just you yourself - would you be religious?... let us set ourselves just from a moment aside from cultural inheritances and Holy Writings, just as if we were, miraculously born, ancestry-less, in a deserted planet as beautiful as the planet earth and once more face the situation: in such loneliness would we or would we not devise something to put ourselves on more secure grounds? Would we not, as rational beings, be curious about our origin and destination and not finding any satisfactory answer incorporate into our rational side something which might even be irrational but which would serve the purpose so as to place us in a secure precinct, a sanctuary which would afford us protection by giving meaning to the two dark extremes of our existence?" - The Bi-dimensional Being - Rational and Irrational
[2] Sri Visnu Sahashranaman (The Thousand Names of God) - Ganesh & Co. (Madras) Private Ltd. - Madras-17.
The quotation refers to His 293rd name but, as we read in the introduction to the above mentioned work,"The name of God is everything". We have also 1000 names of the Goddess - Sree Devi (Mother goddess; supreme power in the universe; wife or embodiment of the female energy of Siva having both beneficent and malevolent forms or aspects) in Sri Lalita Sahashranaman but this work is more concerned with Laya, or Kundalini Yoga in Sri Vidya Cult - Sri Lalita Sahashranaman - Ganesh & Co. (Madras) Private Ltd. - Madras-17.
[3] Downloaded from http://www.jannah.org/articles/index.html
[4 ] Genesis 6:2"... the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were fair; and they took to wife such of them as they chose."
[5] Genesis 6:4 "... when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man, and they bore children to them".
[6] Meaning "Peace be upon Him" - - since no devout Muslim would ever name the Prophet's Name without proper reverence.
[7] Lin Yutang's translation [a] in "The Wisdom of China" - A Four Square Book - The New English Library Ltd.,- Love & Malcomson Ltd. - Great Britain.
[7a] Here you may find 16 translations of the Tao Te Ching (The Book of Tao).
[8] The Egyptian Book of the Dead – BD80 - Edited by Thomas George Allen – (Xerographic copy) - The University of Chicago Press – Chicago – Illinois – 1960.
[9] Psykhé (soul) - The complex of phenomena and functions which enable the individual to form an experience of himself and the world and act consequentially. In the classic tradition, originally identified with the most important physiological function - breathing - hence corresponding to a dematerialized "soul"concept. Originally the principle of life, but used generally as equivalent to mentality, or as a substitute for mind and soul. Also, the self.
[10] I am purposefully avoiding the 'present' in this sentence since the present is our conception of something which does not exist unless we can grasp the time-less, if there exists a static source of time as we experience and conceive it.
[11] "Citta: an important term in Buddhist analysis oh human experience; sometimes translated as ‘Consciousness’, sometimes as ‘mind’. [11a] It is regarded as the characteristic of all beings above level of plant life. [11b] Citta is used as collective term for whole stream or series of momentary mental states (somewhat after the manner of individual ‘frames’ in a film, which, when shown quickly and successively, give impression of continuous action. The systematic analysis of the Abhidhamma [11c] distinguishes in all phenomena three elements: citta; the quality of the citta, or that which ‘accompanies’ it (cetisaka): the material shape or corporeality (rupa).
Every citta., or individual momentary state of consciousness, is characterized by pain, pleasure or indifference: sensation of sight, hearing, taste, etc.; whether morally wholesome or unwholesome, etc. cittas are distinguished also according to whether they are ‘states of consciousness’ in the material-sensory world (kama loka), the world of pure form (rupa loka), world of formless (arupa loka), or transcendental world. According to the Theravadins Abhidhamma there are altogether 121 different types of cittas. Each of these is capable of occurring in combination with any of 52 mental properties of concomitants (cetisaka), thus making possible a great variety of possible mental events.
In Mahayana Buddhism, citta is identified by the Yogacarins with the ‘store-consciousness’ or alaya-vijñana. [11d] It is thus, according to the Lankavatara Sutra, that which ‘gathers up karma’; ‘karma is gathered up by citta.’ In general, in Buddhist use, citta is virtually a synonym of vijñana, also translated ‘consciousness.’ [11] - [12]" - S. Z. Aung. Compendium of Philosophy, Pts. 1910 (repr. 1956) - D. T. Suzuki, Studies in the Lankavatara Sutra (1930), pp. 176, 180 ff., 398-402.
[11a] Basic mental consciousness; the heart and mind of consciousness especially the emotive mind; reservoir of past impressions or storehouse of memory. [11e]
[11b] As used in this work, however it is regarded as the characteristic of universal life.
[11c] Thematic arrangement and logical development of Buddha’s teaching. (Sanskrit: Abhidharma).
[11d] Receptacle of Consciousness: Every action, either physical or mental, every movement occurring either on the plane of gross matter or on the plane of the mind, causes an emission of energy... it produces a 'seed' (in Tibetan sabon, in Sanskrit: bïja.)" [9f]
[11e] Glossary of Sanskrit Terms in Sri Aurobindo’s Works – Compiled by M. P. Pandit – DIPTI Publications . Sri Aurobindo Ashram – Pondicherry-2 – All India Press - India - 1973.
[11f] Alexandra David-Neel and Lama Yongden - The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects - City Light Books - San Francisco, California. - 1969.
[12] A Dictionary of Buddhism – Edited by S. G. F. Brandon - Charles Sribner’s Sons – 1972.
[13] Undifferentiated yin-yang as applied to this concept: without the testa, or episperm; that is, visualized without the protective outer layer of seeds of flowering plants and beyond the constricting bounds which our mental images cannot create: the infinite and dimension-less.
Yin : the dark negative feminine principle in Chinese dualistic cosmology; Yang: the bright positive masculine principle in Chinese dualistic cosmology .
[14] - Baha’u’llah - The Hidden Words. # 77, Persian - London -. Baha’i Publishing Trust -1975.
[15] "The entire world is said to be born of Sábda (sábda-prabhava) ... it is sound as uttered by the Absolute Ear and as uttered by the Absolute Tongue ... by Absolute Ear is meant the power (Shakti) of apprehending sound in itself or as such without subjection to the varying conditions of Time, Place (i.e., Plane) and person." - Sir John Woodroffe - The Garland of Letters - Ganesh & Co. - (Madras) Private Ltd. - 169.
"Sábda", i.e. the primordial sound and a key concept in Hinduism, is here quoted to be compared with: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John - 1:1) - "And the mind wanted to perform a deed through the word of the invisible Spirit. And his will became a deed and it appeared with the mind; and the light glorified it. And the word followed the will." - (The Apocryphon According to John - Selection made from James M. Robinson, ed., The Nag Hammadi Library, revised edition. HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1990. Downloaded from http://www.webcom.com/~gnosis/naghamm/apocjn.html and my "illusory echo" since, from this "Sábda" - or the Biblical "Word" we may surmise the emergence of man as an illusory echo of the infinite, the intellectual being - sapiens sapiens - trying to penetrate the mystery of silence in evolution.
From this concept of the primordial sound, Sábda, evolved, mostly in its Tantric form what is called, by those who do not understand it, meaningless jabber; to the Indian devotee and faithful - Hindu or Buddhist - it is a form of devotion (just like prayer may be in other religions - but prayer is mantra only if properly understood); to the initiate a way of power (for example, the Buddhists' Mantrayana and Vajirayana Schools). Mantra is yoga, a discipline concerned with inner vibration, breath cultivation, deep psychical exercise, besides overall meaning and faith and as such mantra is holy; this is its spiritual character and mystic power: "God never shines in the human soul unless he is insistently invoked, almost constrained by violence." [15a]
[15a] Giuseppe Tucci - The Theory and Practice of the Mandala - Rider & Company - London - 1961.
[16] The Bhagavad Gita - 2:16

Introduction
Lady of the Two Lands in the Shrine is Thy Name
The Mooring Pin
Life and brains
Brains and Life
No-Brain and No-Mind
Deus Ex Machina
 

This essay is in the public domain.