Sunday, September 04, 2005

Knowing Yourself - revisited

Reacting to the post on Knowing Yourself, Segovius comments with his great insights,

"From my point of view there are two distinct issues with the 'knowing yourself' idea and it links in with you thoughts on 'seeing' God.

Firstly, in most mystical and montheistic traditions, it is generally held that God is a 'Oneness' or that there is a 'Unity' at the end of the quest. Knowing this, how can there be an 'I' and also a 'God'? One must be false/illusory. As God (or 'reality' if you prefer) cannot be an illusion then it must be 'I' that is unreal. Perhaps this is why we are told to 'know ourselves' - to find this out.

Of course teachers and wise men could also just tell us that the self is an illusion (and they do) but we need to experience it personally and not as an intellectual belief - hence the quest to know ourselves and find out who we are. thge end of that quest of knowing ourselves is a paradox - we come to 'know ourselves' in the sense that we know we do not exist.

The second point re 'seeing' is an interesting one in my opinion. Of course, no-one can see 'God' because we cannot conceive of God. How can we if we are not real? All the things we conceive of and 'see' (in the usual sense) are also an illusion - and God is not an illusion, He is the sole reality.

On another level, God manifests through all things that appear to exist - He is the reality behind them. People do not realise this, do not 'see' it - even 'spiritual' people like us here! - in our everyday concerns. We are prisoners of the false vision.

If someone works on themselves, or if God is gracious to someone, then that person may get a glimpse of how things really are - a mystical experience or altered state. In such a state (which is usually brief) then things are 'seen' very differently.

I believe this 'seeing' idea is a reference to that as it is quite literal - the things one sees look very different - to all intents they are different things than they normally are: trees, flowers, ashtrays - all appear as never seen before. This is seeing 'God' in all things.

Of course these things are not God but God is in everything - if He is ultimately the only thing that exists then if one sees through the veil of the false things (however briefly) then what you see must be God.

I think the 'seeing' is sometimes meant literally rather than as a metaphor. It is what we see around us with our own eyes when we are temporarily not perceiving the illusory aspect of things. Everything has a false self not just us - objects do too. When we see through that and ourselves we see 'God'."

Visit the beautiful blog of Segovius: Anulios.
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