Sunday, April 24, 2011

Paul Brunton On a Transcendent God-Consciousness

Often we are asked, "How could a loving God allow such and such." Whether it is drought, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, disease or hurricanes, there remains a tacit assumption (at least in the West) that there is an anthropomorphic God pulling the strings of the universe and/or predesignating the tide of human affairs, despite the much-vaunted teleological argument of "free will."

A more sophisticated - and, perhaps, more Eastern - viewpoint, is that a supreme consciousness interpenetrates our world from beyond space-time, and that it is in attuning to this higher, transcendental God-consciousness that the mystics, contemplatives, sges and mystics of all times and traditions have taken refuge from the egoic "self."

Paul Brunton (1898-1981)
In "Relativity, Philosophy and Mind," the philosopher and spiritual pundit, Paul Brunton, addresses these points, writing:

"If the worldly man agitatedly sees the event against the background of a moment, if the philosophic student calmly sees it against the background of a lifetime, the sage, while fully aware of both these points of view, offsets them altogether by adding a third one which does not depend on any dimension of time at all. From this third point of view, he sees both the event itself and the ego to whom it happens as illusory. Deep within his mind he holds unshakeably to the timeless character of true being, to the eternal life of the kingdom of heaven."

"In this mysterious state time cannot heal, for there are no wounds present to be healed. So soon as we can take the reality out of time, so soon we take the sting out of suffering. For the false self lives like a slave, bound to every passing sensation, whereas the true self lives in the timeless peace of the kingdom of heaven."

"As soon as we put ourselves into harmony with the true self, we put ourselves into harmony with the whole universe; we put ourselves beyond the reach of calamity. It may still happen, but it does not happen to nor is it felt by our real self. There is a sense of absolute security, a feeling that no harm can come to us. The philosophic student discovers the mission of time; it heals sorrow and, under karma or through evolution, cures evil. The sage solves the mystery of timelessness, which redeems man."
As Jesus told the Pharisees who were hounding him, "The kingdom of heaven cannot be found by observation. Lo it is not here. Lo it is not there. The kingdom of heaven is within you." (Luke 17:20-21.)

Thus, especially when calamity and disaster appear to surround us, we should "seek first the kingdom" within us, rather than asking why some external God could have stage-managed the seeming 'disaster' in our lives.

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