Saturday, December 30, 2017

On what we value, part IV—the existence of sorrow

It is terribly difficult for a human being to understand that our relationship to God’s consciousness is reciprocal; and that we participate together in what is called obligate consciousness. 

That is to say, the consciousness of man and God is bound together; one depends on the other.

Human beings who don’t want to believe in God (remember, their valuation already begins with themselves) look around them in the world and see awful things happening and say to themselves, “there can’t be a real God or a merciful or loving God, because these awful things take place.” 

This lack of understanding arises because of failure to understand the nature of the obligate relationship of consciousness. 

When God created a reciprocal consciousness, all emanating from himself, within the material universe, that consciousness — which was inevitably a fragment of his own absolute autonomy — demanded autonomy of its own, because the autonomy of God is within His nature. 

God was morally required, due to the obligate nature of the relationship, to release this fragment of his own consciousness from his absolute control and allow it to have its own autonomy. With that autonomy came the potential, inevitably, for rejection and rebellion, because autonomy includes the possibility of difference. 

When God did this, he did it out of absolute Love, understanding that the growth of Being — which is what His aim was in creating the universe, that is, the concentration of responsibility, the gathering of impressions, and the return of them unto the Godhead — absolutely and irrevocably depended on its ability to exercise its own autonomy.

In the instant of creation, God already understood that releasing this force carried the potential for great evil as well as great good; and yet the Love of his creation and its creatures required Him to allow such choice. 

So a great metaphysical gong of anguish was sounded in Heaven at the instant of creation; it was already known that creation would include both good and evil, both creative forces that concentrated responsibility and destructive forces that denied it and tore it apart. Part of the obligate nature of the relationship of consciousness was God’s willingness to allow this; if He did not, it would never be possible for the diffused supreme energy of His Being to re-concentrate itself, because that action had to take place voluntarily, by choice — otherwise it would not be a worthy action aligned with God’s own cosmic intelligence.

In this way, creation and everything that took place in it was automatically granted responsibility for what happened: in the same way that God became responsible for allowing for the possibility of good and evil as described above, human beings and all of conscious creation became responsible for its execution. In a certain sense, the release from absolute moral obligation at this level was required in order for the level to properly reflect both God’s nature and our own potential; yet it was already known in the realms of heaven that this action opened the gates to the potential for staggering disasters.

The universe began, then, with the sounding of the gong of anguish; and the reverberation of that anguish passed through from the heavenly realms throughout all of material creation, penetrating all of material reality with what Gurdjieff called the sorrow of the creator:

And concerning this he once said as follows: “ ‘The factors for the being-impulse conscience arise in the presences of the three-brained beings from the localization of the particles of the “emanations-of-the-sorrow” of our OMNI-LOVING AND LONG-SUFFERING-ENDLESS-CREATOR; that is why the source of the manifestation of genuine conscience in three-centered
beings is sometimes called the REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CREATOR. “ ‘And this sorrow is formed in our ALL-MAINTAINING COMMON FATHER from the struggle constantly proceeding in the Universe between joy and sorrow.’

This sorrow is, furthermore, a material substance of a very fine nature that penetrates everything; and it needs to be of that nature, because it needs to stand perpetually prepared to respond through the loving action of God — His anguish on behalf of his creation — to every evil instance that arises. 

It is on the nature of a metaphysical substance that is already there as the antidote for everything that goes against Love, before the rebellion takes place. In this way, God foresaw the consequences of autonomy in the world of obligate consciousness and placed a mechanism at the foundation of reality to counteract, at least emotionally and through a Love-feeling, the worst of its effects. 

In this sense, any and all sorrow and anguish we can feel are cleansing substances, purifiers, antidotes, and healers of the evil that inevitably arises on this level. God has foreseen the eventuality; and in placing this substance at the root of the cosmos, He has furthermore created conditions that automatically convert all evil actions that take place into good on a much larger cosmic scale:

The mind, unable to penetrate behind the veil, cannot grasp the total plan of the divine providence and, in its characteristically one-sided view of things, finds it equally easy either to approve or to decry; like the Kantian antinomies, the arguments both for and against appear then to be logically valid. As long as this duality of mutual contradiction prevails, it is not possible for the mind to evolve an ethical ideal that will have any eternal value, unyielding to the challenge of temporal or environmental changes. 

…there is also possible an insight into a deeper subjective experience, which in the thick of the blind and maddening rush of events reveals to the heart the unfolding of a secret purpose that can be measured only in the terms of the silent joy of the spiritual blooming of the individual to which the whole cosmic process is made subservient. This spiritual intuition of the good, variously called lila, anandam, or the perfect self-poise of the liberated soul, is the ultimate basis of all ethical standards. But as is usually the case, this supernormal vision at one step further becomes warped by the partial vision of the tendentious mind and gives rise to the current norms of morality, which always contain a seed of violence… 

The mental limitation thus imposed on the integral perception of the spirit can be done away with only when we can live in the higher altitudes beyond mind in the stratosphere of the cosmic buddhi, where the conflict between the universal moral order (rita) and its perversions on the mental plane (anrita) can be so resolved as to secure for the action of the individual a sanction, not of the code of traditional morality but of the direct vision of the divine purpose behind it. 

It is the vision which reveals to the discerning spirit the mysterious ways of the divine action (divya karma) which are evolving the eternal good through apparent evils, the abiding values through the vicissitudes of circumstances, first in the crystal-clear inner vision of the realized man, and ultimately in the totality of the world movement which, however, always remains an enigma to the surface mind.

—Sri Anirvan, Inner Yoga, pos 80-81

It may appear, by now, that we have strayed far from the subject of valuation. But in the next post I will explain how these subjects are tied together.


My new book is now available in paperback, and as a PDF.  While the book, in its first half, discusses Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson at considerable length, it also looks at the nature of the universe in some depth from a cosmological point of view in the second half, The Information of the Soul.

For the text of the introduction, see the PDF link.

Novel, Myth and Cosmos at Amazon (paperback)

PDF file for digital devices cab be ordered at:

Novel, Myth and Cosmos PDF format

An iTunes bookstore version will be available soon.

Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.

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