Science of the Absolute Chapter 5 - Epilogue

 

AN INTEGRATED SCIENCE OF THE ABSOLUTE

 

5. NORMALIZATION

 

EPILOGUE

We have here the fairly difficult task of first fixing the context and correctly appraising the contents of the present chapter. The purpose it is meant to serve must also be fully understood. There are three items according to Vedantic methodology called vishaya-sambandha-prayojana (content-context-purpose) originally laid down by the Purva Mimamsa and fully acceptable to Vedanta. We find here the central notion round which this chapter revolves is the Self (atma). The vital consciousness (caitanya) of the second chapter gave way to the mind (manas) in the third chapter where phenomenological aspects were examined as a unitive vision. In the fourth chapter the reasoning Self (cidatma) was the central notion wherein negativity was found as an epistemological principle. We compared this to a smoky crystal quartz. Continuing the same analogy we could also think of a quartz crystal having a higher degree of transparency. This transparency is first to be supposed as taking place at the extreme negative pole of nescience. Here the ontological Self as the existent is able to participate almost directly with the Absolute. An equation is capable of being established between the ontological Self and its own positive counterpart which is the idea of the Absolute given to contemplation.

 

For purposes of epistemologically and methodologically fixing the position of this chapter this transparency can be legitimately imagined as having a high degree of self-luminosity. As a radioactive substance glows in darkness with a subdued brilliance, so this negative luminosity in the Self becomes more and more pronounced till it is permissible to think of it as putting in the shade all the positive conceptual factors in consciousness. This factor is the basis in consciousness for the emergence of visual objects given to the senses, such as stars. The senses can be viewed from an inner and more subtle standpoint which is that of the Self, able to feel subjectively from inside the presence of the sense organs with their objective data.



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Even when the eyes are shut it is possible to feel their presence in terms of inner experience. The mind, intellect and other subjective attributes of this self-consciousness itself can also be similarly appreciated from within. The gross presentiment and the inner appraisal of subtle factors can both be inclusively comprised within a general sense of unknowing at a deeper negative and verticalized seat of consciousness. What is more, there is also presupposed here the possibility of quick interaction taking place between the perceptual and conceptual aspects of the same consciousness. The degree of subjectivity assumed here is even greater than what we shall presently find when we come to Chapter Six. In Chapter Six we find that instead of the atma or cidatma there is reference to citendriyatma or "the Self of pure reason and the senses". The interaction we have referred to takes place in such quick succession that it resembles an electromagnetic pulsation. Thermodynamics and the biological analogy of heart, or even of osmotic interchange is here inadequate where the pulsation rather belongs to the context of quantum mechanics and wave propagation.

 

We have also to think of emergent configurations like those found in Gestalt psychology where the interaction between physical and meta-physical factors results in emergent configurations together having the status of a "structured whole". In the beginning of this chapter it is shown how these emergent factors are of four kinds, existing as reciprocal duplicates and permitting interaction between them at every point in the structure and at every level of consciousness. The structural analysis of this chapter is a complicated one because each configuration, while belonging to any one of the four duplicated limbs of the quaternion, are said in the very first verse to have the overall possibility of moving within the amplitude of generality or specificity. We shall try to clarify the structure and dynamism as we examine each of the verses.



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The purpose of this chapter is a structural analysis of the psycho-physical dynamism of normal Absolute consciousness.

While considering these preliminary generalities here it will be profitable to remember in advance that the last two of the four limbs of consciousness have an epistemological importance together with an ontological richness. The two first limbs of the quaternion refer to secondary phenomena within total consciousness. In other words the first two belong to an horizontal or arithmetical order, while the second two are more purely vertical or algebraic. The horizontal dimensions are implied in the latter in the same way as multiplication or square roots imply, in principle at least, addition or subtraction. The Self occupies a central position where four correlates meet with their positive and negative factors radiating from the point of origin in four divergent directions. We have to explain here also that the fourth dimension has a comprehensive status by which it absorbs and reduces the other dimensions however numerous into one, which is the vertical.

 

Mathematical convention permits of such absorption of three dimensions referring to length, breadth and thickness into one as Bergson has shown how in our Chapter II on methodology. We are only concerned with Hilbertian and post-Hilbertian mathematics which enable us to put together all the proper and improper elements. Their composability and adequacy vouch for their scientific validity.

 

We have also to explain why we have called this chapter "Normalization" rather than "Consciousness". More positive events in consciousness involving a greater degree of attention will be considered in the form of ratiocination in Chapter Seven. Here it is a more neutral and passive aspect of consciousness that is structurally analyzed into two duplicate reciprocal counterparts coming into quick and intimate interaction. The last of the emergent factors resulting from the interaction envisaged in this chapter is the notion of the Absolute.



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Such a neutral notion, which is capable of being viewed equally well from the positive or the negative side, brings us as near as possible to normalization. When the implicit duality or paradox melts or disappears completely, even the crypto-crystalline structural units tend to be dissolved into the general homogeneity of the liquid matrix. Thoughts with any alternating implications of movement, however delicate, must imply a form when the language of structuralism is still being respected. A perfectly normalized Absolute is like the ding-an-sich of Kant and cannot be distinguished either as known or knowable. This two-sided variety is also referred to in the Kena Upanishad where we read:

"It is conceived of by him by whom It is not conceived of.
He by whom It is conceived of, knows It not.
It is not understood by those who (say they) understand It.
It is understood by those who (say they) understand It not." (1)


Such a perfectly neutralized Absolute is beyond mind, word or thought. It is necessary therefore that a one-sided treatment, however minimal in its implications, has to be adopted by any philosopher who tries to present a consistent vision approximating the fully normalized notion of the Absolute. Narayana Guru takes care in the commentary to the verse to point out that it is the conditioned Absolute that is still the subject-matter of the chapter. Normalization being a process of double correction from the positive or negative side, together or alternatively, allows also for the process of renormalization from whatever side it might be undertaken. In this central chapter renormalization consists in the reduction of all objective non-Self entities into an overall status of equality with the Self. Full normalization results when the equation between the Self and the non-Self is intuitively grasped. When this occurs the meaning of the last phrase in Verse 10 (sad-eva-tat) will be fully understood.



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1. IMPONDERABLE SUBSTANTIALITY

The precise nature of consciousness has been the subject of both philosophical and psychological discussion by various school of thought. Even in physics the question of a ponderable and imponderable ether is alternatively suggested or rejected for purposes of calculating or explaining what is observed. We have seen in this connection how varied are the suppositions for each theory of relativity where space, time and matter have different grades for the limited, general and unified field theories. (2)
 
Consciousness is generally spoken of as a stream and in certain psychological schools an inner and outer zone is included, the former being an umbra and the latter a penumbra, distinguishing their central or peripheral positions. Empiricists like Russell have also recognized that consciousness is not an objective reality, and that it is neither outside nor inside. The notion of neutral monism is fully recognized both by logical positivists like Russell and pragmatists like James. Although there are slight differences of standpoint between pragmatism and empiricism the imponderable nature of consciousness is a matter generally agreed upon. Philosophers have been intrigued by the paradoxical substantiality of consciousness. The pragmatist position is stated by its so-called founder, Charles S. Pierce as follows:



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"Pragmatism is the principle that every theoretical judgment expressible in a sentence in the indicative mood is a confused form of thought whose only meaning, if it has any, lies in its tendency to enforce a corresponding practical maxim expressible as a conditional sentence having its apodosis in the imperative mood." (3)

 

It is this feature of quickly alternating succession in consciousness between 'indicative' and imperative', between what is physical and what is metaphysical, that gives to consciousness this highly elusive character. It is sometimes referred to as an epiphenomenon. Narayana Guru in his commentary on the first verse as well as in the text underlines this elusive nature of the status of consciousness when he points out that it seems to be inside and sometimes to be both inside and outside and yet on closer examination it is not there at all. The rationalist philosophers postulated a kind of Absolute Thinking Substance having the paradoxical elements of substantiality and non-substantiality or mental status inseparable and somehow combined. The substance of Descartes combines extension and thought within its scope. Spinoza goes further into a substance with a fully absolutist status. The monad of Leibniz, although atomic in size, has some peculiarities of its own and does not constitute mere inert matter. Sufficient reason and pre-established harmony operate through these quasi-substantial monads. Kant also makes use of the notion of substance, though conceived more schematically and categorically.

 

In the first verse we note further that there is a pulsation containing a vibration involving the alternation between the physical and metaphysical aspects of the same paradoxical substance The vibrations are reminiscent of the electromagnetic diffusion of energy. Waves radiate with the velocity of light from one end of the universe to the other without any ponderable ether proved to be involved as its medium. The same paradoxical nature of a conscious substance resides unabolished even at the core of modern scientific thought.



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In Indian philosophy the Jainas, who perhaps represent the oldest school of philosophy in India, when they deal with consciousness leave this question unanswered by their syadvada or principle of possibility and probability. They also prefer to have a series of basic categories for different philosophical viewpoints described as anaikantavada (principle of non-uniqueness of status). This distinguishes their schools as against the Vedantins who insist on tracing everything back to one unique Absolute, under the perspectives of cosmology, psychology and theology. The Buddhist position is more complicated because of their many different schools. The Sautrantikas and Vaibhashikas are both schools of Realism. The Sautrantika position on consciousness and memory is summed up by Vasubandhu in his "Abhidharma-Kosa":

"Consciousness, being in a special condition and connected with a (previous) knowledge of the remembered object, produces its recollection ...  
  1. It is a condition which includes
  2. attention directed towards this object,
  3. an idea either similar or otherwise connected with it and
  4. absence of bodily pain, grief or distraction etc., impairing its capacity. But supposing all these conditions are realized, consciousness nevertheless is not able to produce remembrance, if it is not connected with a previous experience of the remembered object." (4)
The Vijnanavadins or Idealists deny the external reality of the world in association with ideas. The Madhyamikas or Sunyavadins (sunya: the principle of nothingness or the void) treat consciousness and the world as unreal:



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"The object of knowledge in a dream is not seen when one awakes. Similarly the world disappears to him who is awakened from the darkness of ignorance. 
 
One having origination does not originate himself. Origination is a false conception of the people. Such conceptions and (conceived) beings: these two are not reasonable." (5)

 
The Yogacaras or contemplative Idealists say:

"What is the essence of constructive thought? Is it an imagined sensation or some other function? The first is impossible! (An imagined sensation is indeed a "contradictio in adjecto"). Sensation and imagination being the one passive and the other active, (the one non-constructive and the other constructive, imaginative sensation) would be as it were a liquid solid stuff. (Constructive thought or imagination) is a function different (from sensation). The question is whether it operates after (sensation) or simultaneously with it? The first is impossible, because cognition being a momentary flash cannot operate by degrees. Even those schools who deny Universal Momentariness; even they maintain that thought, as well as motion, cannot operate intermittently and therefore (sensation and imagination), cannot operate alternately, (when something is felt and imagined at the same time).

 But if you assume that sensation and imagination work simultaneously, we can admit this, with the proviso that the object is immanent in cognition; because if we suppose that what we feel is (not in us), but out of us, the term "feeling" will lose itself every intelligible meaning." (6)

Here we see how contradiction is transcended by attributing simultaneous states of consciousness.



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A more detailed examination of the position of the Buddhists on this subject presents many secondary problems which we cannot go into here. In Sankara's commentary to the Brahma Sutras (II.2.24) we find him refuting their contentions about the nature of consciousness. He refutes both the Buddhist and Jaina positions in a way which is sometimes too easy and which relies on a subtle form of functionalism. For example Sankara says that:
 
"The real existence of space is to be inferred from the quality of sound, since we observe that earth and other real things are the abodes of smell and the other qualities." (7)


The Upanishads also present many difficulties of a paradoxical nature. In the Svetasvatara Upanishad (V.9) the living Self is supposed to be the size of a hair split a hundred times lengthwise and a hundred times crosswise. It is extremely atomic, yet "partakes of infinity" and should be reduced into nothingness like a non-dimensional Euclidean point. Although locally fixed at a point in space it is meant to permeate space without distinction of limited or unlimited space as an attribute of the Absolute. The minutest atom so conceived is still described as infinite in its own quality of minuteness. This is a paradox hiding at the existential pole of the atom which refuses to be abolished. Various ingenious arguments are advanced by Sankara to explain away this difficulty. His appeal to the conditioning adjuncts (upadhis) of the Self is not very effective. At one place in his arguments he even gives the example of a statue of a human figure which he says can be filled with a kind of pure substantiality non-different from the substance in a living human being. (8) 

 
Sankara here reveals himself as a mathematical structuralist because the geometrical outline of the statue is interchangeable with the space including the vital elements.

 

The Vedantic distinction between ghatakasa (space within a jar, i.e. limited space) and mahakasa (ultimate or unlimited space). also suggests a twofold structure of space which is seen not to be made properly explicit by Sankara.



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The structure of space remains a major problem even to Einstein. who finally decided on a Riemannian space as against a Lobachevskian or a Euclidean space-structure. The more basic or limiting instances of Euclidean or Newtonian space are not altogether rejected by Einstein, but it is the space structure of Riemann that he is most interested in. Thus we see that the difficulties about the substantiality and localization of consciousness are many and have persisted throughout the history of thought. In our own view self-consciousness can be viewed from inside its own central point of origin within the qualitative space located in the heart of living beings. Size does not matter because it is only a quantitative factor. Atomicity of self-consciousness can be thought of as consistent with the negative pole of the vertical axis where existence has a local fixed character tending to be more so in the same direction of negativity. Here space attains to its own infinite or infinitesimal status without violating the structural requirements and without sacrificing any of its implications corresponding to the ghatakasa of Sankara. At the other pole of conceptualization its dialectical counterpart mahakasa can be given its own legitimate structural position. Here space expands like the sky without any conditioning adjuncts except those arising from the impossibilities due to innate weakness of human thought.

 

Thus by giving three definite and distinct perspectives (gross, subtle and causal) to consciousness and dealing with each of them for purposes of analyzing the dynamism of consciousness, the time-honoured problem is solved. For the purposes of this chapter the alternating vibrations and pulsations within limits of the paradox are retained by Narayana Guru so that consciousness can be structurally analyzed and its dynamism studied. It is therefore still the conditioned consciousness we are dealing with as Narayana Guru points out in Verse 10. Unconditioned Consciousness will be referred to in the beginning of the Chapter VII on active or pure reason.



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2. THE REFINED WORLD OF ELECTROMAGNETISM

The reference in the first verse to the vibrating movement of the wings of the bee and the double reference to inner and outer worlds unmistakably reveals the same world of electromagnetism The world of the red shift and spectral analysis together with quantum mechanics and the implications of relativity theory have at present abolished solidity and distance. The whole attitude began apparently with simple discoveries such as the magnetic field revealing itself on a plane at right angles to the direction of an electric current. Here is an orthogonal structural feature having its counterpart in mathematical equations and correlates. The Pythagorean principle seems to be hiding and lending force to the notion. of the quaternion supposed to be at the basis of the elements.

 

Faraday's discovery of the relation between electric and magnetic forces, when treated together with Maxwell's equations, reveal a world with a double aspect. Interaction between these two aspects results in various combinations of qualitative and quantitative factors of ponderable and imponderable ether. The Lorentz equations still have validity even though the Michelson-Morley experiment was a failure. The Maxwell equations reveal a constant which is the velocity of light, when wavelengths and frequencies are multiplied. The gap between the equations and Faraday's discovery of the structural relation between electricity and magnetism has been filled by other discoveries. Each physicist who is able to formulate a new equation. on the one hand and find a corresponding peculiarity in the fine world of electromagnetism on the other, becomes famous because one more secret resulting from the interaction of qualitative and quantitative aspects of ponderable and imponderable matter has been revealed.



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Radar, television, radio and x-rays are all based on vibrations or oscillations and wave disturbances or diffusion in a kind of elastic substance. Sometimes this substance is compared to jelly and at other times it is spoken of as empty of content.

 

The possibilities of such grades of realities that are being revealed seem to have no limit. More starting discoveries seem to be in the offing. Practice and theory are racing with each other, the one gaining primacy over the other. The impenetrability of matter is no hindrance to cosmic rays and the distance separating the earth from the moon is precisely measurable and stands revealed to the technique of radar. In television, light and sound are both qualitatively and quantitatively mixed to appeal to the ear as well as the eye. Without some mysterious and paradoxical reality the relationship between equations and actualities cannot be explained. Heinrich Hertz, the great physicist who experimentally proved the existence of electromagnetic waves, finds a mystery even in the mathematical formulae so necessary to physics, when he says: 
 
"One cannot escape the feeling that these mathematical formulae have an independent existence and an intelligence of their own, that they are wiser than we are, wiser even. than their discoverers, that we get more out of them than was originally put into them." (9)

 
The relationship between equations and actualities cannot be explained. The notion of the thinking substance remains valid. Besides diffusion there are techniques of reception where minute unit disturbances are caught and amplified by metallic antennas.



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A monadic unit and a unit comprising within its scope the whole of outer space (at least as far as the moon) is now a tangible reality because of electromagnetic discoveries. In some of the Upanishads there are references to the soul being as small as the 100th part of the tip of a strand of hair and again divided 100 times crosswise. Also there is a reference boldly assuming the soul as able to pass through death, reaching the moon and then returning again to take its place in the cavity of the heart. We cannot distinguish here whether science or secret doctrine is the greater fact or a fable. Interstellar space holds the secret of cosmic rays having surprising implications. The quick vibrations of the wings of the bee (referred to in the first verse) imply an alternation between two subtle complementary aspects of time and space. The truth of a mathematical formula answers to the truth of a structurally understood fact. Maxwell was therefore able to confirm what Faraday found, such as the alternating interaction called "participation" between mind and matter. Psycho-physical parallelism can also be fitted into the same structure because the orthogonality at the basis of the structure can have a vertical and horizontal series of parallels with a kind of resemblance between them. Cartesian Occasionalism can take place where the coordinates meet and where apperception takes place.

 

Wave propagation implies something like the formation of smoke rings or soap bubbles (10). Whatever the structure may be there is always a vertical and horizontal component.



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Nuclear physics also reveals the same two components. When Narayana Guru says that the reality of consciousness is both within and without as well as neither within nor without, he is only abolishing in two logically permissible ways the paradoxical relation between such conjugates or antinomies as space-time, mind-matter, natura naturans, natura naturata, etc., Quick vibrations might abolish the perceptibility of vibrations altogether. Low pitched sounds have a different status from x-ray frequencies. The possible varieties can be discussed in principle at least under our four structural elements as in complex numbers or even in the context of logic and semantics. The conceptual and perceptual aspects are the only over-all factors that are always involved in such interaction. The two are distinguished by Narayana Guru as bhana and bhanasraya. Each of them has four divisions and is further subject to intense specification or mild generalization in consciousness referred to as visesha (specific) or samanya (generic).

 

3. THE VISUAL AND AUDITORY FUNCTION OF PURE MATTER

Although the material substance involved in electromagnetism has been variously referred to as waves, elastic or jelly-like, wrinkles, soap bubbles and smoke rings, their particle character has been more elusive. Photographic sensibility is relied upon to fix its nature. The capacity to produce or be the basis of sound or visible phenomena has been more evident than any other attribute of materiality. This must be the reason why Narayana Guru uses the term drisyatam-iha ("lo, here") referring to the status of visibility or sound. Elastic lines of light in physics are a similar aspect of reality. On the other hand vibrations imply a tangible basis where some actual functioning is to be thought of in however abstract a form. Vitality is one of the most basic of functions actually present in the Self of man. In the Upanishads vital tendencies are referred to as pranas, and the dignity and status given to them have puzzled many commentators.



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Laboured efforts are seen to be made in trying to equate pranas with the highest Absolute, rather than referring to them as a principle of Nature (i.e. a prime potent power like pradhana). In spite of such a repugnance to this ontological principle on the part of orthodox Vedantins it is not hard to see in the present chapter how the functional and structural notion is consistently developed.

 

The five pranas have an intimate structural unity at the negative extremity of consciousness. Sometimes this is located in the vectorial space of the heart and at other times in a more negative manner with the atom or anu.

 

The pranas represent nascent tendencies only and do not depend on any quantitative space. If a small metal antenna can receive electromagnetic energy coming from a great distance, such an independence of functioning within a minute area is quite legitimate to presuppose. The five pranas have a definite structural relation between them, while belonging together as a unit in an intimate manner. The prana is the upward vital tendency while the apana is the downward vital tendency. The equalizing vital tendency is samana and the outgoing vital tendency is udana. The evenly spread vital tendency is vyana. There is also the mukhya-prana which is the chief vital tendency and can be placed on the plus side of the vertical axis. This chief vital tendency is often referred to as a king and the other tendencies as his ministers. If we keep these features in mind while reading the following quotes from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (IV.3.7) we see how some kind of consistent status given to elements of consciousness in the context of this chapter is acceptable. In the opening line the word pranas is incorrectly translated by Hume as "senses." We read as follows:



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"The person here who among the senses (rather "vital tendencies") is made of knowledge, who is the light in the heart. He, remaining the same, goes along both worlds, appearing to think, appearing to move about, for upon becoming asleep he transcends this world and the forms of death." (11)

 

In Verses 11 to 14 of the same Upanishad we read about the state of dreaming:

 
"On this point there are the following verses:

Striking down in sleep that is bodily,
Sleepless he looks down upon the sleeping (senses).
Having taken to himself light, there returns to his place
The golden person, the one spirit (hamsa).
Guarding his low nest with the breath,
The Immortal goes forth out of the nest.
He goes wherever he pleases - the immortal,
The golden person, the one spirit (hamsa).
in the state of sleep going aloft and below,
A god, he makes many forms for himself -
Now, as it were, enjoying pleasure with women,
Now, as it were, laughing, and even beholding fearful sights.
People see his pleasure- round; Him no one sees at all." (12)


Next in the Chandogya Upanishad (III.14.2), we come to this interesting verse dealing with the Self and the Absolute:

"He who consists of mind, whose body is life (prana), whose form is light, whose conception is truth, whose soul (atman) is space, containing all works, containing all desires, containing all odors, containing all tastes, encompassing this whole world, the unspeaking, the unconcerned This Soul of mind within the heart is smaller than a grain of rice, or a barley-corn, or a mustard-seed, or a grain of millet, or the kernel of a grain of millet;

This Soul of mine within the heart is greater than the earth, greater than the atmosphere, greater than the sky, greater than these worlds." (13)



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A careful scrutiny of the above verses reveals firstly that small, middling or large size is of no importance in the Chandogya Upanishad. Secondly, this content has mainly to do with light and sound permeated by a form of living intelligence in which the other elementals have their counterparts. These counterparts should be thought of in mental terms and as encompassing the whole of space. Thirdly, there is a reference to more than one world.The first world has an ontological reality and the other belongs to the peripheral limits in the world of values. The world of celestial or astronomical luminaries comes within the range of the entities rooted in the conditioned Self below. The duality is thus bridged by a soul as unifying factor.

 

As pointed out in Verses 11 to 14 of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad the golden person or one spirit is free to enjoy all things whether considered "respectable" or not. On final analysis it is the categorical imperative derived from the opposite a priori pole that must be kept in mind. The reference to sexual pleasure in Verse 13 is just to show its full freedom and unconcern about choice. No moral stigma or implications should be prematurely read into it. Such factors can be given their place in a more unconditioned version of the Absolute which this chapter does not specifically claim to cover. In principle full absolutism is to be attributed even to the present chapter as it is meant to be a vision of the Absolute in the context of consciousness. The possibility of a fully normalized absolutism is included within the scope of this chapter at the end of the last verse.

 

The phrases "appearing to think, appearing to move about" found in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (IV.3.7) indicate the last remnants of a paradoxical character wherein "the person" is to be understood. No unscientific mystification is intended here. Persons temperamentally disposed to seek mysteries can find them even in the multiplication table of the number nine where there is a "fearful symmetry" behind such things as described by the poet William Blake in his poem referring to a tiger and its stripes.



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Verse 14 of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad definitely dismisses the final recognition of any hypostatic or hierophantic divinity or sacred presence when it says, "People see his pleasure ground - Him no one sees at all." This is important to keep in mind. The alternating movements of going and coming back, passing beyond death, etc. have their own particularly pure eschatological implications.

 

The exact status of electromagnetic reality corresponds to the above verse in the Chandogya Upanishad. It corresponds to the third order of consciousness as analyzed in the Verse 5 of the Mandukya Upanishad (see page 626). In the fourth state (turiya) the pure Absolute alone is to be thought of without any conditioning duality whatsoever.

 

4. A UNIT NOTION OF THINKING SUBSTANCE

Every science needs a unit-notion. Like cells in biology, when atoms and quanta familiar in physics are understood in a more philosophical context we have the notion of the monad. Hylozoists have their concept of particles endowed with life. Likewise the Vaiseshikas (atomists) have single, two-fold and three-fold atoms derived from the ultimate atom or paramanu. Thinking and substance referring to mind and matter are necessarily inseparable in terms of Self-Consciousness. Even when consciousness is homogeneously treated as a substance, we can still recognize structural features within it, which are real at least to the extent that they help clear thinking.

 

Even if we agree to there being no duality possible within absolute substance, structuralism exists for semantic clarification and does not interfere with the unity of the thing-in-itself, in the same way as the equator does not physically interfere with ships passing "over" it. Structuralism should never be mistaken for reality but understood as a device for linguistic purposes. It is a proto-linguistic version. of what logistic already recognizes in its scheme of fundamental relations in thought. Nature and inner consciousness obey the same schematic features. It has been analyzed by Narayana Guru in its most nuclear form in Verses 41 and 42 of the "Atmopadesa Satakam" (One Hundred Verses on the Self):



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" In "this is a pot" the initial "this" is the harsh,
While the pot is what makes its specific attribute.
For the mind with its myriad Indra–magic to come,
Understand that this is the basis of functioning

In "This is knowledge" the initial "this" is the same
While its specifying factor is the cognitive consciousness;
For the mind and all else to be effaced for the good path to gain,
"This" is what one should contemplate." (14)


Here we can supply the correlates implied in the coordinates of Descartes for purposes of reference as a quantified unit. A quaternion is compared to a packet or a grain, which is a constant having a quantitative as well as a qualitative unity as a substance. In terms of consciousness when referred to the two axes of reference and related to two typical representative and simple semantic terms such as "This is a pot." and "This is knowledge," we have for our purposes a unit-concept which can be correctly fitted into the epistemological context of the present chapter. Radioactivity and meson decay, etc., are not unlike sparks coming from fire, when light and matter exist together, giving in principle the same status to the spark as to the fire from which it comes. This analogy is accepted by Sankara and other Vedantins and finds a place in the Upanishads. Although there is a structural duality between the fire and the sparks, such a duality can be explained in the light of the teaching of Parmenides or Zeno where the One and the Many are brought together.

 

The verses of the "Atmopadesa Satakam" under reference here help to throw an important sidelight on the subject for the purpose of clarifying the overall structural features worked out in detail in this chapter. We are particularly thinking of the reference in Verse 3 to "I am the body, this is the pot." In "this is the pot" a more fully pronounced objectivity is found and in "I am the body" subjectivity enters to a greater extent. These two cases are meant to be two varieties of horizontal objectivity and can be referred to the two limbs even of the plus side of the horizontal axis.



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"I am the body" is placed nearer to the point of origin. Such units are innumerable and infinite as the eternal waves on the ocean.

 

Even though sparks could have different grades of luminosity or materiality such gradations do not violate the overall structure to which each monadic unit in the four limbs could belong. If we now pass on to the consciousness experienced from inside, making us intuitively feel the presence of the senses, mind, intellect and the five vital tendencies, we find again the kind of gradation referable to the negative limb of the horizontal axis. The five pranas taken together as a unit are capable of bringing up or marking the rear or the extremely subtle negative limit. Each of the items constitutes a monad of its own, consisting of the elements of thought and substance. As for the positive and negative limbs of the vertical axis, the phrase "This is knowledge", when analyzed into "I am ignorant." and "I am the Absolute" represents the negative and positive structural aspects respectively. The general and the specific refer to the intensity or force whereby consciousness radiates positively or outwardly. At the centre of the structure is the Self, the most generalized factor in consciousness. Specificity resides at the fringe or periphery. Alternating pulsations or vibrations imply a quick and intensified succession. All grades or emergent factors can be thought of here. Only those that are directly referable to the limbs of the quaternion are here treated. When we think of the quaternion having its own duplicate implied in the conceptual or perceptual counterparts, and we visualize their alternate or simultaneous interaction, the structural pattern and the dynamism implied become clearly evident. In no case should we confuse an actuality given in life with the emergent four grades of reality found mentioned in this chapter, although each derives its nomenclature from some basic experience in consciousness, one of which is the experience of actual things in the waking state.



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What this chapter treats of is therefore not actuality or objectivity in ordinary life but an emergent vision of the same, basically referable to the actualities and virtualities of ordinary life. The virtuality of the dream state is next to the actuality of the waking state. Then come the immanent (perceptual) and transcendent (conceptual) factors conscious in deep sleep. While we are still on the subject of the unit-notion of structure it will be good to remember that the totality, composability and adequacy of the use of structural language consists of other features than the quaternion and its normalization. The counterparts are partial aspects or cross-sections in two dimensional terms of a structure having any number of dimensions above two. The positive and negative aspects present features familiar to the science of conics where important structural notions of astronomy or laws of nature in general such as the parabola, hyperbola, ellipse, etc. and the equations answering to them naturally belong. Both the ancient Greeks and modern astronomers attach much importance to conic structures. Ancient examples are Plato and Apollonius, classical examples are Kepler and Newton and in more recent times we have the Rutherford-Bohr model of the atom.

 

The four limbs of the quaternion can be interchanged without violating the orthogonality fundamental to their structure. The projective features of the same can be treated as belonging to solid rather than plane geometry. Topology and vectorial and other qualitative aspects of geometrical space or even geometrical things intuitively understood in a purely axiomatic context can all be thought of together in the same context of structuralism. Schematism and structuralism are the same except that the former includes thought-aspects of a non-geometrical order. Thus the notion of structuralism developed by us from the Preliminaries onwards could serve the different requirements of each of the chapters.



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In earlier chapters ontological realism had to refer to the universal concrete and colourful aspects of structuralism. As we proceed these colourful aspects can be discarded because of the purer and purer epistemological gradations in the vision of the Absolute with which each of the later chapters have to deal.

 

In the present chapter, abstraction and generalization have attained to a high degree of mathematical purity. We have been able to think of the duplicate quaternions only to the exclusion of other features. The interaction or mutual correction between these quaternions gives us the notions of normalization and renormalization. This chapter occupies the key position at the centre of the garland of verses and the reader has to look out for valuable methodological implications, particularly in the last four verses. We have also to look for a treatment of reciprocity and a reduction of duality into absolute unity implicit at the end of the last verse as we have pointed out many times before. These various stages of methodology and the structural features corresponding to them are worked out along the same lines by Bergson in Durée et Simultanéité, although he thinks more in terms of a dynamic schéma moteur rather than of any fixed and rigid schema. When a common consciousness is attributed to both the physicist and metaphysician (as Bergson has done) then the full recognition of such a unitive methodology and its implied normalization naturally takes place and in later chapters the twofold structural implications do not become so necessary.



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5. THE HIGH DIGNITY OF THE FOURTH ESTATE

The two vertical limbs of the quaternion as understood in the context of a pure schematismus have a dignity and richness of their own, making them stand out in strong relief, absorbing into themselves the virtual and actual essences of the two horizontal limbs. The lower vertical-negative called causal or karana is still fully ontological within the scope of the present chapter. Its negativity however is not so opaque as in previous chapters. Here besides the transparency found at its positive-vertical pole, the total or absolutist structural entity begins to have a self-luminosity of its own, established from its own negative-vertical pole. The positive and negative aspects of light begin to belong together to the same ontological Absolute. The final equation at the end of the last verse should be thought of as having no duality implied between its reciprocal counterparts. The unitive Absolute is thus fully attained at the end of this chapter, although such unity belongs still to the philosophy of physics rather than that of metaphysics.

 

An equation can be true both ways. Its reversibility is no violation of any mathematical law. The causal limb of the vertical axis has an all- comprehensive status in respect of any grade of effects whatsoever, whether belonging to this chapter or not. We have to put all effects within a circle as belonging to one super-class of effects, and think of causality as implying a high degree of negative absolute independence. When we think of the fourth state, which is the notion of the Absolute, together with the specific factors implied in it, we have likewise to give to this notion the most ultimate positive and comprehensive character, while it remains specific and unique in its lonely dignity. The Self that cognizes such a supreme notion of the Absolute attains to the finalized spiritual dignity marking the culminating point meant to be referred to within the scope of this chapter. At the end of his gloss (didhiti) on Verse 7 Narayana Guru takes care to refer to this experience as "final" and "supreme", by which he wishes to abolish the notion sometimes found in Vedantic texts such as the Yoga Vasishta where reference is made to a state of consciousness beyond the fourth, called turiyatita (beyond the Absolute).



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Such further extension violates fundamental logical notions and confuses the issues for the scientific philosopher who wants to establish a precise mathematical equation between the counterparts. Otherwise a series of equations would be needed to say what one equation could otherwise effectively accomplish. Here the counterparts to be equated are the causal Self and the fourth state of the Absolute. Such an equation presupposes the highly pressurized contemplative mind of the yogi to establish this equation within himself. Narayana Guru also underlines this feature in his didhiti. In the Bhagavad Gita (XI. 8) such specific appraisal of positive absolute value is said to be given only to persons having a "divine eye". An intense practice of correct absolutist contemplation is to be necessarily presupposed here. This aspect will be treated more completely in Chapters 7 and 9. The generic and specific aspects of the causal and absolutist contents have to be carefully distinguished before the final equation referred to above can be established. The Self that says to itself, "I am ignorant" refers to the content of ignorance as its own unique or specific aspect. To feel ignorant in an overall absolutist context is a very high qualification. "The Cloud of Unknowing" corresponds to this noble state of mind which is the essence of mysticism. This is evident in the following:

"There is none other God but He that none may know, which may not be known" says the contemplative soul. "No, soothly, no! Without fail, no!", says she. He only is my God that none can one word of say, nor all they of Paradise one only point attain nor understand, for all knowing that they have of Him." (15)


This state is a globally and emotionally coloured state of inner agony also found in the first chapter of the Bhagavad Gita where the despondency of Arjuna is dealt with. This same conflict or agony is likewise found in the Katha Upanishad where the young Nachiketas quarrels with his father and goes to the god of death for instruction.. This kind of dependency cannot be resolved, as pointed out in the texts, merely by the Vedic values belonging to the three worlds of earth, heaven and the intermediary world. The agony refers directly to the thirst for the knowledge of the Absolute and all despair is dispelled when a glimpse of the Absolute is arrived at. The specificity of the two cases, horizontal or vertical, tends to be polarized in opposite directions from the centre where the Self remains ever the same in its natural glory within wherein all generalization must reside.



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6. THE LOGICAL FRAME OR STRUCTURE

The problems of logic are many and complicated. Different schools of philosophy have their favourite forms of logical reasoning whereby various grades of truths ranging from fact-truths to truths of pure reason are established. In the West we have Aristotelian logic with its numerous syllogisms, all classed under four main types. The discovery of these types and their structural implications has led to the analysis of logical structures by modern logicians. Students of logic have the task of recognizing different grades of syllogisms, making the study of logic as intricate as grammar or syntax. The propositional calculus can also be elaborated into all the ramifications of logistics discussed in the "Principia Mathematica" of Russell and Whitehead. It goes to the credit of C.S. Pierce to have penetrated more closely into the nature of and implications between middle terms and major and minor premises, so as to analyze and grade them into classes or groups.

 

In logistics we have the terms "if", "but", "either-or", "neither-nor", etc., along with notions whose subdivisions yield all the different permutations and combinations used in cybernetic information systems. We have already examined some of these mazes where matrices play their part. Thinking machines have to move between two poles of a logical situation offering a range of choice within the amplitude of action and reaction and the homeostatic equilibrium involved.

 

In Indian logic the situation is no less complicated. The Nyaya Vaiseshika system has developed its own highly technical methods of reasoning. What are called vyaptis (inclusive applicabilities) have their own logical field or frame where they yield various grades of certainty. Both East and West know of induction and deduction, and we have seen how the two complementary processes belong to the same context as dialectical reason.



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Buddhist logic has also its own forms of reasoning corresponding to dialectical reasoning. All these matters do not come in for elaborate discussion here because in Chapter 7 different kinds of ratiocination are to be reviewed. In Verse 8 of this chapter an overall structure of logical reasoning is presented to us in advance, because it helps to reveal the structure of thought as a positive and negative alternating process. Such a process alternates between reciprocal counterparts where this interaction yields a normalized and renormalized certitude. Although in principle all equations are reversible in the world of physics, reversibility is only recognized as a methodological principle. Explosion and implosion, evolution and involution, entropy and negentropy, endosmosis and exosmosis are acceptable to theoretical physicists interested in the philosophy of science. We have seen this type of reasoning used by Costa de Beauregard (see page 207) and John A. Wheeler (see page 207). All we have to remember in the present context is how thought has a double movement in the subtle world of probabilities and possibilities. This yields different certitudes within the structural totality where thought lives and moves, always with an implied constant which is none other than the Absolute.

 

The desirable certitude of one school of philosophy may not be accepted by another. Among the Nyaya-Vaiseshika and Samkhya schools a difference is recognizable because the former holds to the reality of the atom and thinks in more concrete existential terms. The Samkhya school is interested in an epistemological ground of a thinner logical order. The terms anvaya (valid consequence) and vyatireka (invalid concomitance) are accepted by both these schools of philosophy. Vedantins however have their own favourite form of reasoning which, according to Satischandra Chatterjee (16) has no use for the combination of the two sides of the anvaya-vyatireka method.



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But Vedanta according to us, when revalued and treated under methodologically graded darsanas as in the present work, profits by this double-sided method of reasoning, especially where structuralism and normalization are concerned. Narayana Guru refers to this type of unitive reasoning so as to reveal the degree of certitude belonging to this chapter, where the structural implications of the total knowledge-situation are not yet meant to be completely abolished. We are still here in the negative dimension of ontology. Perfect normalization abolishes all logical predicabilities and certitudes. The ontological Self represents the Absolute of this chapter. To recognize the Self by itself is a logical impossibility as is seen in Verse 9. The double reasoning here reveals a certain tragic impossibility separating concepts from percepts. The dividing line is still real in this chapter and the double movement of reasoning moves up and down along a logical parameter at right angles to the line where concepts are divided from percepts. Thus there is a horizontal dividing line belonging to the same unit structure side by side with its vertical counterpart which is its own most logical parameter. Thus the vertico-horizontal implications between the reciprocal aspects or counterparts of consciousness as structurally understood in the context of duplicate quaternions become further evident to us. In ordinary reasoning the favourite example taken for the double movement is that of fire and smoke. Wherever there is fire there is smoke and vice-versa. This reasoning holds good only in principle when we think of a red-hot poker or an electric fire where there is no smoke but only fire, where there is a complementary factor not so readily analyzed. Another favourite example of Indian logic is gandhavati-prithvi (the earth having the quality of smell as its unique specific attribute). Water also has this quality to some extent but in principle it does not have it to the same specifying degree as earth. Even if water has an element of earthiness implied in it we have to eliminate it by the argument of vyatireka.



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A similar example favoured by more theoretical philosophers is that of thinkability and nameability. All that is thinkable is in principle also nameable. This follows from the anvaya type of argument where names refer to a reality of a subtle nominalistic order. This is the use in Indian logic for kevalanvayi (pure sequence) and kevalavyatireka (pure non-sequence) treated as disjunct items. (17)

 

The combined method of agreement and difference has no legitimate use for realistic or merely logical systems, but comes into use where a notion such as that of the pure Absolute is to be spoken of as both existent and non-existent. In Vedanta the paradoxical element when cancelled out does not abolish all units into nothingness, but always leaves a residue of a basic ontological substratum. This substratum is the pure Self resulting from the normalization implied in this chapter. Anvaya-vyatireka when applied to the total situation in the context of the pure Self still retains at its core a structural limit of impossibility in that the Self cannot be objectively cognized by itself. The plus and minus aspects meet in neutrality tending to transpose the subject into the object. This transposition which takes place in the deepest seat of self-consciousness is what is referred to in Verse 9. The clinching of the same argument takes place at the end of the chapter, marking the extreme limit to which ontological absolutism can be pushed.



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7. COMPLEX NUMBERS AND PHYSICS

The Pythagorean world of numbers has been looked upon as a mystery from pre-Socratic times. Pythagoras' followers were persecuted and the great philosopher was forced to leave Krotona for the island of Samos. In spite of this we still find groups of Pythagoreans in many big cities of Europe such as Brussels, Paris, London, etc. Even Rome has a secret temple in the basement of a building in the centre of the city where the lovers of Pythagorean wisdom go to acquaint themselves with the divinities and mysteries connected with the world of numbers. Earlier in this chapter we have also referred to the luminous and immortal divinities who enjoy the values of the "two worlds" found in the Upanishads. These entities hold a mystery which at present is being abolished more and more in the name of science. We now have a scheme of complex numbers including incommensurable, rational negative, imaginary and quadrative numbers. All belong to a complex structural pattern consisting of symbols as well as signs no less mysterious than those of Pythagoras´ theories.

 

The electrical engineer of modern days cannot perform his duties with any degree of intelligence unless he accepts these complex mathematical and subtle configurations where magnetism measured by Gaussian units and electricity measured by Oersted units enter into the "facing" of complex circuits. The divinities and semi-divinities could now be thought of as being applied or harnessed to actual dynamic situations having an unquestionable physical reality. The mathematical view of complex numbers when treated apart from their applicability seems to be based on conventions developed by the intuition or imagination of gifted mathematicians. But when this same structural pattern has a direct function in the hands of electrical engineers the mystery deepens further and reveals the Absolute where it meets reality from the opposite pole.



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The two realities belong to a common epistemological zone where one exercises a normalizing and corrective influence on the other. We read the following from a working engineer concerned directly with practical aspects of complex numbers: 
 
"Quadrative numbers are just as real mathematically as the negative numbers. Physically sometimes the negative number has a meaning if two opposite directions exist; sometimes it has no meaning where only one direction exists. Likewise, the quadrative number sometimes has a physical meaning, in those oases where four directions exist, and has no meaning in those physical problems where only two directions exist.

In plane geometry, and in electrical engineering when dealing with alternating current phasors, the ordinary numbers represent the horizontal direction and the quadrative numbers the vertical. One horizontal direction is "+" and the other "-", and so also for the vertical. Normally, positive is chosen to the right and upward, negative to the left and downward; but these choices are purely a matter of convention.

In space geometry, and in mechanics, problems often lie in more than three dimensions. In electrical engineering, problems occur which depend on the relations between the currents in three, four or even more separate circuits. For all these, it may be useful to express the relations in complex algebra, using numbers generalized to three or more dimensions." (18)



The bhana and bhanasraya (the conceptual and perceptual aspects of consciousness) here enter into intimate relationship while retaining their quaternion structure. Pythagorean numbers have now a new order of reality because of their applicability as pure mathematical entities or even to actual situations arising in the electric power house.

 

Whether Narayana Guru has this structure of complex numbers in his mind while composing Verse 8 is an open question. The anvaya-vyatireka method, as we have shown, has its own structural implications.



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The logical movement takes place along a vertical parameter and has to pass a horizontal dividing line separating percepts from concepts. In Narayana Guru's commentary on this verse he refers to this implicit structural secret when he says that wherever there is consciousness there is also the object of consciousness. All possible places are thus implied in the word "wherever". In the converse situation of vyatireka he takes care to mention the word 'alone' (kevala), excluding all possibility where there is no dependence of ends on means. It is not therefore unjustified on our part to say that there is a structural difference between the forward and backward processes in the double movement of reasoning. Possibilities and probabilities have to move within a frame of reference where probabilities have a horizontal reference and possibilities a negative vertical descending movement The pattern of complex numbers is thus implicit in the mind of Narayana Guru. It becomes explicit only by the subtle indication of the difference between the two movements in consciousness. Both these movements belong together to the same context, so that the absolute certitude of the ontological Self becomes correctly established. If we also remember that in the negative limb of the vertical axis ontological abstraction reaches its absolute limit, we will have an overall idea of the structural, implications of this chapter.

 

8. THE NON-DUAL SELF

In the last two verses of this chapter we find the duality between the Self and the non-Self still persisting. Ontologically speaking, the Self is the Absolute and cannot have any rival in whatever constitutes the non-Self aspect. Within the scope of the non-Self we have to include everything already enumerated as present in consciousness, from gross objects to objects having a supposed or super-imposed status in pure self-consciousness. Whatever enters consciousness from the objective side does not belong to the true Self and is therefore called adhyastam or supposed. It is by negating this positive and conceptual non-Self entity that the Self attains to its full absolute reality.



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The subtle relationship persisting at the core of ontological subjectivity cannot be abolished. Whatever objective and conceptual factors might be present in consciousness cannot become a distinct factor within self-consciousness. The process of reduction, beginning with the second chapter where a series of verticalized and negative equations always give primacy to the cause, comes to its end here as a Self that is self-sufficient, existing by-itself and for-itself. Absolutism cannot tolerate any rival even for relational purposes. It has to remain the same whatever else it might happen to be related to. Everything outside it has to be non-absolute and therefore false. Such is the broad position implied in the last two verses.

 

We cannot better conclude this section than by quoting from a theological treatise where we find a description of a God of self-consciousness. St. Augustine is generally taken to be a Platonist and his ideas find common ground with perhaps the greatest and boldest of early Christian mystics, Dionysos the Areopagite. Both these mystics have much in common with eastern thought. Whatever might be the source of this theological version of the highest spirit within man it is indeed a rare one to find. The semitic God of Christianity is generally found "above"; "The Kingdom of God Within" is usually ignored or not treated seriously. The translator of Dionysos, C.E.Rolt feels that if Nietzsche had read Dionysius he would not have broken with Christianity. He also thinks Plotinus traveled in the Punjab, although there is no evidence to support this, and expresses his concern about "certain Indian teachings which are now becoming too familiar in the West," being a source of trouble for the missionaries. If we forget the reference to a Christian God here and substitute the absolute ontological Self, what Augustine says fits well into the context of this chapter.



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The following is found in the "Confessions" (IX.25):

"Could one silence the clamorous appetites of the body; silence the perceptions of the earth, the water and the air; could he silence the sky, and could his very soul be silent unto itself and, by ceasing to think of itself, transcend self-consciousness; could he silence all dreams and all revelations which the mind can image; yea, could he entirely silence all language and all symbols and every transitory thing - inasmuch as these all say to the hearer:

'We made not yourselves but were made by the Eternal' - if, after such words, they were forthwith to hold their peace, having drawn the mind's ear towards their Maker, and He were to speak alone, not through them but by Himself, so that we might hear His word, not through human language, nor through the voice of an angel, nor through any misleading appearance, but might instead hear without these things, the very Being Himself Whose presence in them we love – might hear Him with our Spirit even as now we strain our intellect and reach, with the swift movement of thought, to an eternal Wisdom that remains unmoved beyond all things - if this movement were continued and all other visions (being utterly unequal to the task) were to be done away with and this one vision were to seize the beholder, and were to swallow him up and plunge him in the abyss of its inward delights, so that his life for ever should be like that fleeting moment of consciousness for which we have been yearning, would not such a condition as this be an "ENTER THOU INTO THE JOY OF THE LORD" (19)

 

9. CONCLUDING REMARKS

We now give a very short summary of each of the verses of this chapter:

Verse 1. This verse refers to the stream of consciousness resulting from a pulsation taking place between conceptual and perceptual aspects of Self-consciousness. The effect of such a pulsation is an emergent factor neither physical nor mental but a combination of both. It has no location inside nor outside, but belongs to qualitative rather than quantitative space. The pulsation can be intense or mild, ranging between oscillations and quick vibrations, resulting in generic or specific configurations given to the mind. This view is also that of Gestalt psychology where such configurations occupy peripheral or central zones in consciousness. Here they are neutrally held together by the Self.



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Verse 2. The principle of the quaternion representing the correlates implied in Descartes and in complex numbers is in evidence here. Its duplicate form refers to the physical and psychic aspects of consciousness. Both use the same names or monomarks to signify in each of the four limbs. The fourth limb called turiya absorbs and abolishes every other specific item in consciousness.


Verse 3. The gross configuration belonging to the first limb is defined in this verse. Visibility is an attribute, though merely of the order of a Gestalt configuration. It refers to an emergent presentiment within consciousness, rather than to any physical actuality. In the case of the pot and the body, the former is more peripheral and specific than the latter, which is generic and nearer to the source in the Self.


Verse 4. This verse further elaborates the specific and generic aspects of each of the monadic units belonging to the horizontal plus side. The actuality of the pot or body is the specific attribute while the pronoun whether personal or not covers more vertical generalities.

 

Verse 5. Experience here is not what is given overtly to the organs, but is to be included within the scope of consciousness. What is actually seen is not important.



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Verse 6. This verse passes from simple arithmetic to a richer and more abstract order having a more generalized and abstract axis of reference. This axis is the vertical also found in mathematics. The I-sense is here qualified by a negative attribute giving it its specific character. Specificity is here given a revised direction within total self-consciousness. Whatever is specific has to be an event in consciousness, and as such has to be considered a positive factor. The bottom of the vertical axis in mathematics consists of extracting negative roots and the neutral Self is the point of origin rather than the negative extremity. The causal ego, when it sinks in deeper and deeper sleep into negativity, comes to feel more and more clearly the specific attribute of ignorance. A phenomenological reduction and bracketing has to be kept in mind. The negative vertical limb is the one referring to the richest ontological aspect of the Self.

 

Verse 7. This verse directly refers to the turiya where all relativism is absorbed into the unity of absolute Self-consciousness. Strictly speaking this Self-consciousness should not have any division of subject and object. It is anterior to all predicability, but as Narayana Guru explains, this fully unconditioned status of the Self is not intended in this present chapter. Full normalization of the Self takes it beyond the scope of any analytic description in the same way as the named Tao is not the Absolute Tao. Rare instances of yogis who by constant practice of a certain type of meditation attain to this consciousness in the form of "I am the Absolute" is permissible only in principle, as Narayana Guru explains in his short commentary.

 

Verse 8. The double method of agreement and difference has a structural implication with the same four limbs where the alternating pulsations of reasoning take place within consciousness and move along a logical parameter alternately revealing the interlacing of vertical possibilities and horizontal probabilities. This eternal alternating process when fully normalized within consciousness helps us to attain to the Absolute. It is the point where consciousness alternates that is most important and not its horizontal elements or features.



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Verse 9. In the alternating process described in the previous verse ontological realities within the Self occupy opposite epistemological poles. At the negative pole consciousness is absorbed into its own general ontological matrix. On the plus side individual concepts stand out in relief, like sparks from a fire. They are relation-relata units having the same structure. The purusha or Golden Person who is immortal has this conceptual status on the plus side. He cannot come into consciousness on the minus side in the same way as the eye or "I" cannot see itself. You can write the word "red" with a red pencil, but the ontological redness of the pencil is not of a conceptual order. What enters consciousness as an event has necessarily to be outside consciousness.


Verse 10. The same idea of a basic antinomian principle lurking within consciousness is further clarified in this verse. Going one step further it abolishes the plus side in favour of the minus side by calling it asat or non-existence. Perfect self-identity is attributed to the ontological Self having attained to its own self-sufficient and absolutist status. This marks the limit of the chapter as well as of the first half of the work. It is important to note that the final phrase sad-eva-tat, "That is Existent." is the mahavakya (great dictum) though stated in reverse syntactical order.



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FOOTNOTES

[1] "The 13 Principal Upanishads" by R.E. Hume, P.337
 
[2] Regarding the unified field theory, we read in the "Encyclopaedia Americana" (1966 edition) about the dominant theme in Einstein's work after receiving the Nobel Prize in physics for 1921: "Thereafter the dominant theme of Einstein´s work was a search for a unified field theory that would weld theories of electromagnetism and gravitation into an organic whole. Although one of the founders of the quantum theory, Einstein did not feel that its probabilistic approach was the right road to ultimate insight. His last proposed unified field theory was explained in an appendix to his book, "The Meaning of Relativity". (5th ed., rev., 1956) (Princeton, N.J.)

 

[3] Runes, p. 245

 

[4] Th. Shcherbatsky, "Buddhist Logic", New York, 1962, Vol.III p. 343.

 

[5] "Mahayanavimsaka of Nagarjuna", trans. V. Bhattacharya, Calcutta,1931, p.14 (Verses 15 & 16).

 

[6] Shcherbatsky, Vol.II, pp.364-365.

 

[7]Ved. Sut. Comm. Sank. Vol.I, p.412.

 

[8] Ved. Sut. Comm. Sank. Vol.II, p.44

 

[9] Danzig,p.78

 

[10] We read the following on pp.69-70 of Edna Kramer: "To understand such usage, think of wave propagation as being somewhat like the blowing of soap bubbles one after another at uniformly timed intervals, each bubble to expand at the same speed forever in our mind's eye unless some obstacle is encountered. If our 'waves' are electromagnetic, then the bubbles can be pictured as having a speed of radial expansion equal to 186,000 miles or 30,000,000 meters per second. We can in. imagination blow one bubble each second. Then as the bubbles expand, their radii will always differ by 186,000 miles. If, in our mind's eye, we blow 2 per second, the radial difference will be 93,000 miles. If we blow 3, the difference will be 62,000 miles. The number blown each second is called frequency of the radiation, and the radial difference is-called the wave length."

 

[11] Hume, p.134

 

[12] Hume p. 134-135

 

[13] Hume, p.209-210

 

[14] "One Hundred Verses of Self-Instruction", comm. Nataraja Guru, Narayana Gurukula,Varkala, India, p. 148-151
 
See our Commentary on this verse in: Narayana Guru: "One Hundred Verses of Self Instruction" (Atmopadesa-Satakam); and also in the article "The Philosophy of a Guru, VI. The Universe of Contemplative Discourse," Values, Vol.X:No.10 (July 1965), pp.765-766.

 

[15] "Mysticism", Evelyn Underhill, Meridian Books, NY,1956,p.337.

 

[16] See "The Nyaya Theory of Knowledge", Univ. of Calcutta, 1950, pp.270-272

 

[17] See the following for discussion: Chatterjee, pp-268-270; S.Barlingay, "A Modern Introduction to Indian Logic", Delhi, 1965, pp.134-137; and B. Atreya, "The Elements of Indian" Logic, Bombay, 1948, pp.91-94.

 

[18] P.L. Alger, "Mathematics for Science and Engineering" New York 1957, pp. 60-61, 67 resp.

 

[18] St.Augustine's "Confessions", IX. 26