Yesterday we were discussing the two natures, or rivers, that man must inhabit.
The outward river consists of inevitability. We live under the illusion that we are agents who control things; but this is completely untrue. The manifestation of the Reality is inevitable, because it is the perfect and inviolable expression of what the Buddhists call the Dharma, and the Christians call the Mind of God.
As I have explained many times, the force that manifests Reality is the original, or root, expression of Divine Love and Wisdom, which I was writing about before I had ever heard of Swedenborg. (See Chakras and the Enneagram.) I don't bring this up to tell readers how terrific my insights are, but just to point out that this insight is inevitable if one opens in a correct way. It's one of the pieces of territory where disagreement is impossible if a right understanding is formed, because it is naturally sensed through Being, not through the intellect.
Because the manifestation of Reality is inevitable, and we are no more than agents, human beings have a responsibility to meet it fully. Meeting it involves opening to a different energy from an inner point of view and bringing the Divine into contact with the immediate consequences of its own Reality and Being. There are many different levels of alignment along this path, which are congruent with the manifestation of various complex energies, and actually correspond to the levels of heaven and hell. The iteration of the names of God has to do with this matter.
These complex cosmologies, however, aren't necessary in order to understand how to come into relationship with a higher energy.
There is a complete difference between knowledge and intellect as one experiences it now, while one is reading this, and understanding. Understanding is comprehensive and knows everything at once. Through understanding, for example, it's possible in one instant to know within oneself, organically, everything all the mystics ever said, and to be able to predict, for example, exactly what Ibn Arabi would have said on any given subject — because the weave is whole and there is no separation between the threads. Every thread is inevitably connected. Participation in life can take place under two sets of circumstances: unconsciously, whereby there is no awareness of the threads and everything has to be puzzled out intellectually and through complex cosmologies, and consciously, where the awareness of the threads leads one inevitably to understanding from a different level.
It's common in the outward river, the outward world, for people to believe that rankings arise from this. Indeed, there are hierarchies — Swedenborg, Dante, and Ibn Arabi were all correct in that regard — but hierarchies and rankings are not the same thing. Because the Reality is so far superior to all of ordinary manifestation, in a certain sense, everything is equal on this level, and the best and the worst are both nothing more than servants that occupy specific locations. The best could not be the best without the worst; and so the worst plays a role that has been assigned and is necessary, rendering it of essential value, just as the best also has essential value.
In terms of the outward world, it is the responsibility of conscious forces and it ought to be the wish of all sentient human beings to discover the essential value of the best, since this represents a return to the divine and an honoring of circumstances. Nonetheless, there will always be an involutionary or downward force, which must be respected, though it need not be loved.
Above all, we fail to understand the difference between conscious and unconscious participation, and we fail to understand what inevitability means.
Tomorrow, we'll discuss the inner River.