Metaphysics or spirituality (ll)


What is known as metaphysics or spirituality (or non-duality – all of them one in essence) is evidently dressed up in words and concepts, words-which-encapsulate-concepts-which-321060_2813961Zen is all-inclusiverefer-to-what-is real. The referent, reality, be it whatever it is, is  not a concept, although it necessarily becomes a concept (or a sign, a symbol) when thinking or talking  about it. In this sense, metaphysics is one thing, and  ‘realization’ (the end of metaphysics) quite another. Saying it in a different way, realization is beyond words and, ultimately, beyond the mind, though it (and what is referred to by its equivalent terms, awakening and enlightenment) first occurs in the mind, an apparently individual mind. Mystery of the timeless descending, as it were, into time, of the unmanifest becoming manifested, of the limitless appearing to be limited. Words, concepts, are unavoidable and, in this context, ‘experience’ and ‘knowledge’, are irreplaceable (experience-knowledge,  as one description of the ‘event’ – or chit). Consciousness, being the ultimate witness, sums it all up and, in itself, is not a concept. It does not admit of a description and is not relational.

One cannot say that “it is all words, words” – or concepts…  “merely conceptual”, as someone who deprecates ‘doctrines’, or ‘theories’, or any talk about the highest things we can talk about is bent on doing. One could say that philosophy is one thing and mysticism or spiritual science is another. But the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta, to put one example – and, in general, what are recognized as sacred texts –  even though being dressed up in language and thus ‘dual’ are in a different category. There is frequent use in them of metaphors, analogies, and parables or stories in order to evoke, rather than describe what in the end is going to be indescribable. These texts are considered ‘revelation’ or, simply, inspired writings, like those of the ancient risis and (why not?) the contemporary ‘visionaries’ – anyone that becomes identified with reality, ‘what is’. Note that this last expression, ‘what is’, escapes definition, pointing thus to what is beyond words, the ineffable. And this is the richness of language which, being inadequate, as is often said, it can, at least, point to ‘that’ fathomless, inexpressible ‘something’ which underlines everything that can be described or defined and which is, at the same time, not just the most important ‘thing’ for man to realize, to know, but finally the only reality there is. Intuition tells us that there cannot be more than one reality – one overarching truth, one existence, one intelligence. Sat-chit-ananda, or Intelligence-space (chit-akasha), or Intelligence-energy (Shiva-Shakti) are expressions that convey, or try to convey, That which is inexpressible, indefinable.

About amartingarcia

General surgeon (retired). Studied Western philosophy at U of Toronto. Afterwards interest turned to advaita vedanta and non-duality for past 20 yrs, plus a long interlude in Sufism coinciding with that period. Now contributing in ’Advaita Vision’ with regular posts and discussions.
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