The real difficulty is entrenched delusion. It is the deliberate consolidation of the ephemeral and the finite at the expense of the immortal and infinite in man and Nature. Delusion, or moha, works through a deliberate captivity to a conditioned sense of being, through mindlessness and passivity, through appalling fear and insecurity, through a terrible obsession with success and failure, through slavery to comparative merit and external façades. In this way, illusions become delusions and after a point act as drugs that destroy the life-blood in the astral vesture. Once the circulation in the astral body is shut off from the subtler vestures, it becomes a poison that brings decay and death long before the soul is mercifully freed from the body. This is, of course, an unnatural condition, but it arises through a misuse of the mind, and it can only be corrected and cured by a fundamental metanoia, what Buddha called a turning around of the mind. All thinking is either from the standpoint of the real or from the standpoint of the unreal, from the standpoint of the one or from the standpoint of the many. Thinking is good and valuable, or evil and harmful, to the health of soul according to the ground, the basis, the premises and the presuppositions from which it proceeds. Even a human being who is at a loss in relation to ultimate premises or abstract presuppositions can concretely start with the question ‘Who am I?’ One can seek the basis of an honest concept of oneself, but not just as a bundle of habits or in terms of a series of acts and episodic reactions. One must also take into account all that has been frustrated, all that is potentially present, all that has been locked in and denied speech and denied expression — in one’s eyes, in all the gateways of the human body, but above all through one’s tongue in conversation and utterance. To be truly humble at least towards one’s view of oneself is a starting point which can certainly give a lot of integrity to thinking. One cannot really use that as a basis and a starting point without also including other selves, without becoming concerned with general truths about the human condition, about the relationship of man to Nature, Nature to god, and therefore god to man. Deep thought upon the relationship of the very highest to the very lowest, the most abstract to the most concrete, naturally leads to a search for a principle of continuity that transcends perceptions and conceptions, events and episodic experience, memories and anticipations. Such thought reaches beyond the realm of conditioned being to the deepest ideals, the finest hopes and the most sacred longings of the human soul.
If a human being persists in thinking beyond the realm of the phenomenal and has the courage to investigate the realm of the noumenal, and even to go beyond it, then there may be some hope of a partial mirroring in the lower vestures of the remote potential of the Eye of Dangma. But, to make the Eye of Dangma a central force in human consciousness is impossible without initiation by a perfected Master of suitable pupils at the right time. But such birth without the utter death of the personal self was never part of the program of human evolution, because that would violate the most sacred laws guarding the highest treasures and mysteries which are only opened to the true Eye of Dangma. But, much below this level and even simply in the desire to synthesize and go beyond all polarities, one can look in the direction of the Eye of Dangma, even if in the world of the blind, the deaf and the dumb.
Here it is valuable to actually deeply reflect upon the joy of agnosticism and the joy of recognition of the possibility and meaningfulness of indefinite growth to all beings and to the human kingdom. Through study and through meditation one will come to understand that the only authentic posture towards the Absolute is that of reverential agnosticism, a feeling of the immense sacredness of contemplating the unknown, and the freedom that comes from sensing its fathomless depths. The more one contemplates the highest conceivable wisdom, the more one can appreciate and enjoy the dignity and place of each and every relative truth. The more one draws closer in mind and heart to the highest perfected beings, the more one loves and reveres and sees something sacred and worthy of veneration in every single human being, but also in the entire world of monads in all the kingdoms of Nature, and indeed amidst the hosts of elementals below the mineral kingdom.
To reflect in this way is to increase one’s sheer joy in the process of human growth itself, as well as the unglimpsed prospects yet to be realized and the unknown plateaus yet to be scaled by humanity as a whole. In that sense, the highest humanism and the greatest hope for humanity as a species often comes more readily to agnostics and atheists than to true believers in any and all creeds, which, however grand, become in time like narrow cages and iron boxes. Therefore, the true test of what it is to be humane is to enjoy the achievements of all human beings. The achievements of the greatest human beings may look remote, but they are accessible to us in the act of adoration of all the finest, the greatest, the grandest philosophers, poets, artists, architects, seers, saviors and Sages at all levels, from the highest to the most immediate and simple in the saga of the human race. Joy at the thought of unknown human beings reaching towards the more inaccessible Mount Everest’s in consciousness can itself effectively enlarge the horizon of human possibility. For a lot of human beings who must linger throughout their lives in the darkness and amidst the noise of the plains, this is a true basis for being a member of the human family, for finding meaning and joy in existence. It is a firm basis for unbounded optimism and for a faith that is not only undefeated, but can never be defeated by any possible external event.
Since nothing can proceed from the unknowable Absolute, it would be ridiculous to seek some sign from it to assure oneself that one’s faith is well-founded and that one is progressing in the direction that is pointed to in the teachings. What does make sense, however, is a firm inner trust in those that are pointing out the way. Further, there is at least one simple way in which one could test and discern the authenticity of one’s own sense of active learning in relation to the essence of the abstract idea, ideal and fact of the absolute. One can test oneself by the criterion of what is natural to a human being, which is to look up to that which is above and beyond, to greet and to revere it, to trust it, and to try out in practice what one has learned, putting oneself to the test. Most of all, it is to deepen one’s gratitude and reverence for those who are like forerunners and predecessors, pathfinders and sign-posters, pointers of the way. And any deviation from this is unnatural, self-destructive, and inimical with all growth, and the karmic reaction will quickly give one some sense of the inexorable law that governs all spiritual growth and all spiritual transmission, and which is reflected at all levels, in all spheres of human society.
Sadly, human beings are ceaselessly self-deceived, which means that they largely live to no purpose, with little or no real awareness of the Absolute or even the relative. Now, if one viewed participation in phenomena as a potentially instructive means of developing the power to perceive noumenal, formless, spiritual essences acting within the relative, this would help. In time, one would develop an increasing appreciation of the Absolute and relative, and this would tend to reduce self-deception and even help one to begin living to benefit others. Even though this is true, it is nevertheless not enough to dispel self-deception at the root, because human beings certainly do know this at some level, and yet, in fact, they are chained and enslaved through their deception and delusions. Given the versatility of the lower mind, and given the incredibly powerful and potent nature of the mahamaya, when these two combine with the tendency to deceive oneself within human consciousness, it becomes clear that one cannot make a jump to full authenticity, integrity and self-honesty. Just as in mathematics or music, or in the arts or sciences, one cannot, simply because of trying sincerely, expect to make a conceptual leap to the highest, so too in the broader arena of spiritual life. This is so because of another tendency which affects the actual quality of one’s motive in learning. We may recognize it in extreme poisonous, cancerous cases, but we never or seldom detect it in its early forms in ourselves — in all our habits of thought and feeling, word, speech and deed — and that is the tendency to absolutize the relative.
The Gupta Vidya II