Spiritual Philosophy

Spiritual Philosophy

 The following was originally a chapter in my novel Dark Gardening, which was first published as Spiritual Philosophy: the Novel. It was cut from the final draft, but I offer it here as a kind of free companion piece which should enhance both enjoyment and understanding of the complete novel.

By way of further clarification, I should explain that the fictional book ‘Spiritual Philosophy’ by ‘Uncle’ Charles Ellis is a book within the book that is Dark Gardening, and is the ‘Bible’ of the Illumination Movement, the Cult/New Religious Movement that is at the centre of the novel.

 

Extracts from Spiritual Philosophy

By Charles Ellis

 Free Will

Why me?

This is a question that human beings have been asking since the dawn of the Self. Why should it be me who has contacted cancer? Why is it my child who has died? Why is it me who was chosen for redundancy from my job? Why am I alone when it seems that the entire world consists of happy, loving couples? Why should it be me and mine who live a subsistence existence whilst large parts of humanity live in luxury? Even I am not immune from such questioning. Many is the night that I have lain awake pondering why it was I, and I alone, who was chosen to prepare the way for the Coming of the Bringer of Light, to clear a trail in the wilderness, through which he can one day walk.

I have asked such questions countless times since that strange encounter in a Moscow hotel, now so many years ago, even whilst knowing in my heart that there can be no answers. More than that, there need be no answers. The problems of the Universe are not actually problems of the Universe at all. They are problems of humanity. Problems of human perception. The answer always lies within us. That is the beautiful gift that the Universe-God has given us, as an absolute right of our fortuitous human birth. We are not fixed. We can change our world-perspective at any time. We can change the questions that we ask. Why me, cab become quite simply, why not me? Why should I not be presented with this experience, this opportunity to grow? Why should I wish my ill fortune, or my riches, fruitlessly upon others?

 Our lives are quite simply what they are. They could not be otherwise than they are. They are the sum total of a myriad of forces: Our genetic code; our race and culture; our geographical location; whether we are born to a rich or poor family in a rich or poor nation. These are forces outside of our control. But we are also shaped by forces within our control, by the choices that we make on a moment by moment basis. Turn left or turn right. Respond positively or respond negatively to this or that occurrence. And these choices are themselves conditioned by the complex interplay, the never ending dynamic, between our given environment and our previous choices, choices which themselves were conditioned by the same dynamic, on and on and on, creating moment by moment the person that the Universe-God requires us to be.

The historical argument between the respective philosophical proponents of Free Will and Determinism is actually an irrelevance. Even though we may come to realise, through meditation and the exercise of pure reason, that we are nothing more than the sum total of the dramatic dance of contingency and choice, Free Will is still a reality. The choices that we make are real choices. It is still down to us to decide how to proceed from the point at which he or she finds themselves. At any given moment, we may choose to act in accordance with the divine plan of the Universe-God. Or we may choose to place ourselves in opposition to this plan. On this choice, which is itself made up of billions and billions of smaller choices, hangs our happiness, our True Freedom, our Salvation. It may seem like a paradox to say that we are where we are through an inevitable confluence of factors, and yet are free to decide moment by moment the content of our reality. But then maybe existence is paradoxical; maybe the Universe-God does not easily fit the neat, logical categories of even our finest minds.

My life, my circumstances, my choices led inevitably to that Moscow hotel room, to that mysterious stranger. Your life has led inevitably to your reading the words that I have set to paper. My response to the encounter and to the strange events that followed it were freely arrived at and crucial to the future direction of my life, ultimately to the future direction of humanity. Likewise, the manner in which you respond to the words that you are now reading is crucial to the future development of your life and, yes, also ultimately to the future direction of humanity. For what is ‘Humanity’, other than the sum total of the decisions of the billions upon billions of individuals who comprise it? What is the environment that our species resides within, our Earth, other than our own creation? In an Absolute sense, is not the Universe-God itself, also nothing but our own creation, a perfect mirror image of the Self, a projection of the human mind, a reflection of the level of purity that we have freely, through our own volition, attained?

Is not every moment, every crossroads, every Turn Left-Turn Right decision ultimately a choice between Creation and Destruction, between Love and Hate, between Heaven and Hell?

 

 The Universe-God

God does not sit outside the Universe. How can anything exist outside of the One? Our spiritual ancestors, those who we routinely deride as ’primitives’, knew this well, but our modern Western Religions have forgotten, or chosen to ignore it. God is the Universe and is every component part of the Universe; God is the workings of the Universe; God is Nature and God is the Laws of Nature; God is you and is every cell and every thought within you; God is the force that moves blood around your body and causes the river to flow into the sea; God is blood; God is water; God is movement; God is rest. God is Life and that which makes possible the existence of life.

Not only is the Universe-God eternal, but so logically must every single component part of it be eternal: Every leaf; Every mountain; Every ant and everyman; every mountain. every micro-life form and every atom of every micro-life-form; every planet; every star, every sun; every thought; every desire; every act of love and every act of hatred. The Universe-God wastes nothing. Nothing is ever created and nothing is ever destroyed. Everything is endlessly recycled. Everything is now and everything is eternal. Everything is past, present, and future.

Western Dualism and its close relative Materialism, of which I, as a Marxist was once a keen proponent, have obscured the fact that consciousness, thought, emotion are as much ‘things’ in the Universe as are trees or tractors, germs or geraniums

Consciousness too, as an integral component of the Universe-God, is therefore eternal.

The Universe-God has no need of the individual self as we usually perceive it. The individual self is really nothing more than a culturally derived set of prejudices, of likes and dislikes, of positive preferences and negative preferences. A compilation of that which attracts us and that which repels us. I am the sort of person who likes this kind of music, this colour, votes for this political party, finds this type of member of the opposite sex to be attractive, is afraid of this or that insect, supports this or that football team and believes in this or that religion. This ‘individual self’ is ultimately trivial and our over identification with it is the ultimate cause of discord and war amongst our species. The whole history of human conflict is packed into the seemingly tiny gap between This and That.

But beyond the triviality which we mistakenly take to be our reality , beyond our misguided tribal identification, beyond the world of this and that lays a much deeper individualism, a true, and hidden Self. It is this pure essence of selfhood that the Universe-God endlessly makes use of, gradually transforming and re-transforming, purifying and perfecting until it becomes fully aware of its own essential Divinity, its’ eternal, conscious unity with Whole.

 Religion

Christianity, Islam and Judaism, the religions of the book, are all Dualistic in nature; they are concerned with separation, not unity: Thus, God is separate from His creation, separate from the Universe. Man is separate from (and incidentally above and superior to) Nature. The Mind is separate from the body. The Soul is separate from the Mind. Spirit is separate from Matter. Consciousness is separate from Spirit.

This stands in contrast to the great, and much older, religions’ of the East - To Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism. These three traditions all emphasise the essential Unity of All, and see the spiritual life as being nothing more and nothing less than a journey towards the full realisation of this truth within each individual.

It is however the case that these philosophical divisions are more apparent than real. All of the great religions have in fact not one form, but two. One is the populist form. The form that takes the essence of tradition and spoon feeds it sugar coated to the masses, essentially as a tool of social order. The other form is the esoteric, philosophical form of the genuine seeker of spiritual truth. The populist form is based around the idea of Faith, of Belief, of adherence to a specific set of moral rules and ritualistic practices. Adherence to these beliefs and practices define an individual as belonging to this particular religious grouping rather than to another. In other words they separate and divide humanity into differing and often warring religious/spiritual tribes. It is because of this populist blurring of the spiritual and the tribal that much conflict has arisen within our species.

It is the second form of religion that is the true spiritual birthright of humanity. This form, which we mat define as the ’Essentialist’ form, is based not on belief, not on ritual, not on any particular practice, methodology or philosophical system. Rather, it is based on directly acquired spiritual knowledge, on a personal uncovering of truth; a Truth that is available to all that sincerely seek it.

If we care to look beneath the outward trappings of the great religions’ of the world to the real Spiritual experiences that stand as their long buried foundation stones, then and only then will we be able to observe their essential unity. Human spiritual experience transcends culture, tradition and epoch. In essence such experiences are virtually identical. They are marked, all of them, by an opening up of consciousness until it becomes aware of itself in its’ true oceanic reality. A reality where the illusion of a separate individual is dissolved in the shattering realisation that All is really One. This great truth has been documented in the writings of mystics throughout the world, throughout the ages. Their words may be different, there descriptions couched in the phraseology and iconography of their own culture, but the message is without fail the same: God is, all is God.

 All of the great religions of the world derive originally from a single source, a Primal Spirituality that arose naturally in man as an expression of his innate knowledge of his essential oneness with the whole, with the Universe-God. Over time, as the faculties of rationality developed and physically manifested themselves through the development of Culture and Civilisation, that original Primal Spirituality began to fade and be replaced by pale, codified, belief and ritual based imitations. These imitations became what we know today as ‘Religion’ and with their development all but a few of the most spiritually adept representatives of humanity lost their original, umbilical connection with the Universe-God.

This separation from our true reality is the real meaning of the myth of the Fall. It is the truth that lies behind the story of Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

The Final Message

Every now and again the Universe-God sends forth a messenger. One whose role is to remind humankind of their original divine unity with the whole of creation, to offer us a way out of the darkness that has enveloped us, to bring light, to offer us redemption. Jesus was one such a messenger.  Zoroaster, Lao Tzu and Buddha Shakymuni are others who came before him. Still others have come since. Muhammad, Rumi, Blavatsky, Gurdjieff, Krishnamurti, Swami Prabhupada and perhaps others whose names have been lost or were perhaps never known to us. Always their message is the same: that all division is illusion. Unity is the only true reality.

   The task of that relatively small band of people who have realised the Truth of Oneness, is to prepare. To prepare first themselves and then the rest of humanity for the coming of the next and Final Messenger. To prepare for the arrival of the Light Bringer of the modern age. To prepare for the coming of the One.

    In times past, the physical/geographical isolation of the peoples of the world from one another meant that the true meaning of the original teachings of the Great Messenger’s became distorted and codified into a dogmatic set of rules and beliefs before they could reach the mass of humanity. The paradox of the modern era is that although the growth of technology has served to further alienate our species from its essential nature, that very growth, particularly the amazing developments in the means of mass communication, has also led to the erosion of tribal loyalty, of blind adherence to this or that religion or system of belief. It is much more difficult now than in former times for an educated man to maintain a position of certainty as to the correctness of his own code of philosophy when he is constantly exposed to the existence of equally fervently adhered to systems of belief emanating from previously distant, hardly known of corners of the planet.

     This power of global communication, crucially, means that the message of the next Bringer of Light, the Universe-God made self-aware flesh, will for the first time in human history be not confined to one tribe, one people, and one nation. It will instead rapidly become accessible to, and become the property of, the whole of humanity. That is why we in the Illumination Movement can say in full and absolute confidence that this Messenger shall be the Final Messenger, and His message the Final Message, the message that shall at last unite the whole of humanity in Oneness and Truth.