THIS AND THAT ITSELF: The True Gravity of Indian Genius, Delusion, and the Velocity Towards the West

The following is a paper written in the process of creating a talk
for INK, an Indian subsidiary of TED.  From the information contained in this paper, the actual talk
was curated down to 15 minutes and delivered at the INK conference in Kochi,
Kerala from 25-27 October, 2013.

 

OUTLINE:

Introduction: Why am I here?

Basic Question: What are we in?

One Treasure: Many Maps

The Treasure: Achieving the State of Understanding.

The Mandala

True Gravity: From This to That

Darkness: This without That

The Velocity of Delusion


               
chakrasunification

THIS AND THAT ITSELF:

The True Gravity of
Indian Genius, Delusion, and the Velocity Towards the West

William Pennell Rock

            Dear
Friends, I am very grateful and honored to be here, because I love and admire
the great genius of India, and, like many others, I have profited from it
greatly.

            Sometimes
it takes an outsider to see what is truly valuable within a culture.

The people of Naples did not know how to value their native pizza
until they were told it had become the staple of American tables.   But the ancient genius of India
is much more than pizza. It addresses the fundamental existential condition of
being human.  It has clarified an
orientation to and alignment with the source of human existence that humanity
needs now more than ever in its history.

            I
have noticed that many Indians who would be real movers and shakers in the
world tend to rush West with a velocity that leaves their ancient past behind
in the dust.  It seems to have
become fashionable to be ignorant of this heritage, as though it were a kind of
embarrassment.            

            I
am here to ignite the passion for what is anciently Indian, but still within every
Indian, in your very genes.  I want
to point out how valuable it is to understand the wisdom in your own roots, how
it is the only authentic antidote to the condition of the world, how it will
inform and underscore and fulfill your journey through life, allowing you to be
entrepreneurial with true purpose, in service to your own full awareness as you
travel through life, and an inspiration to all those around you.

            My
past lives remain an intriguing mystery, a likely story, but in this life I
have had three Indian incarnations.
In the first I was Senior Research Fellow at the Center for the Advanced
Study in Philosophy at Banaras Hindu University, where I headed a committee of
Indian scholars who studied the Upanishads, the oldest and most important fragments
of the earliest maps to the treasure of enlightenment.  Later, I reincarnated in Pune as a
disciple of the great tantric bad-boy Master now known as Osho.  He gave me a name of Siva, Anand
Veereshwar, and taught me first-hand how to find the treasure.  In a third, I discovered a small
Veereshwar shrine in Gujarat.  The
Mahant, head of the shrine, who subsists on chai and charras, befriended me,
took me to the kumbha mela, renamed me Veereshwardas, and invited me to take up
residence in the shrine complex in an ornate pavilion built by the local
maharajah.  I passed up this
interesting retirement option for my own mini-ashram in California, where I am
the devoted disciple of my sat guru,
my own inborn awareness, because in the end this is the real guide to the
treasure.

            As
long as I can remember hearing about India, I have understood there was a great
treasure there — something that
we all really want, above all else.  But how to find it?  How to identify it?
Studying comparative religions, I became a scholar of maps to this
treasure. Many of these maps, the most psychologically detailed and insightful,
have been created by the wise and holy men of India.   Many, many maps.           

            Starting
with the Beatles, many from my generation and sensibility came to India in
search of the treasure.  I recently
read the biography of another pilgrim, Steve Jobs.  Like many of us, after learning of the treasure in India, he
was later inspired by Japan and Zen, which simplifies everything, including the
treasure, to its essence.  Jobs translated
the treasure, not, unfortunately, into his own inner peace, but into my Macbook
Pro, whose elegance comes from its harmony of design, a simple systemic
integrity, with hardware and software tightly integrated, from source to user.  This particular refraction of the
treasure will interest the materialists among you.  It is worth billions.

            Now
I want to tell you why I think the real treasure is the most important thing in
the world.

What are we in?

            The
nature of the treasure brings us immediately to a basic question of human
existence.  What are you in?  What are we in?

            One
answer might be, “one hell of a mess.”
Collectively as a planet we are in unprecedented and grave danger. Like
a juggernaut, we go on destroying the home that supports life as we know it.  We see strife everywhere.  Every faction is pitted against every
other, with less and less prospect of peaceful resolution. The habitable world
is becoming increasingly uninhabitable, and there is no real prospect of
reversing this

            Individually,
what we are in may be a lot of confusion and psychological chaos.  Everyone is out for themselves, driven
compulsively to consume more. More.
In the West we certainly have more, but no one is really satisfied.  That is why our cultural sensitives
have been streaming to India, where they pass trendy Indians rushing in the
other direction.

            In
fact, there is great darkness abroad, individual and collective darkness.  It is as though the world were a spinning
wheel that has gone off its axle.
It is for this reason that the great treasure to be found in India is
more valuable than ever, because it is the authentic promise of light in the
darkness.

            To
really understand this we must go deeper into the question of what we are in? Your
Indian ancestors understood that our well-being in this life is intimately related to
the way we answer this question and live it out.  The question is not mere philosophical curiosity, but vitally
existential.  Getting it wrong
leads to the suffering we are in today.

            In
Western culture, the prevailing answer to our question is that we are temporary
visitors in the factual world of all and everything that we call the universe
or the cosmos.  We became expert at
studying this world through science and manipulating it through technology. These are enviable achievements, but as
it turns out, not the way to the treasure, because the underlying assumption is
basically erroneous.  In fact the
idea that the treasure can be reached through such objective and empirical
methods is fundamentally misleading.

            Prior
to being in this world we are actually in consciousness.  In the West our academics know very
little about this. Stephen Hawking, the famous Cambridge cosmologist, once told
me we can’t know anything about consciousness, because it is not measurable. Your
ancestors fundamentally disagreed. In fact, one of them, Gautam Buddha, arguably
the greatest of all treasure mappers, gave us to understand that mere knowledge
as such is the booby prize.  When questions
about the nature of objective reality were put to him, he dismissed them
outright: they do not fit the case.

            Well,
what then does fit the case?

            Consciousness
is more basic than the real world.
The world is only actual if it
is present to you, and this actual presence
is what I mean by consciousness. What we are in, the subjective and objective world present to consciousness,
has been called the kosmos, with a k, as opposed to the mere objective cosmos studied
by Hawking, spelled with a c.

            In
fact real existential knowing is not knowledge, as such, but gnosis (skt. Jnan-).  Knowledge is facts: gnosis is existential awareness of your
own being.  Knowledge deals with
facts: gnosis is understanding the awareness into which you were born.

            Your
ancestors understood that attaining the treasure is not a matter of knowing
information, what is to be known, but
of how the real gnosis can take
place.  The Indian genius was fundamentally
pragmatic, practical, because they discovered what works in consciousness, what
works in human existence.  They
discovered the nature of gnosis.

            So
today I want to drive home two basic things about the fundamental pragmatism of
Indian genius.

 

-Truth is not philosophy or science, but a state of being.

-Therefore you have to negate propositions or theories, while evoking
the state of gnosis and showing how to reach it.

One Treasure, Many Maps

            There
is a saying that characterizes the genius of India.

 

            Truth
is one: wise men call it by many names.

            The
great seers of India came up with many, many ways of coming to realize what we
are in. The reality of gnosis, is not attained by science, not even philosophy,
because it cannot be known through empirical research and theory.  It can only be realized through the
cultivation of what you basically already know, but have yet to discern. The
real genius of India was not to state accurately what we are in, but to come up
with the directives for how to intuit and realize it, as that is the only response
that, in Buddha’s words, truly fits the case. 

            Stating
the truth of what we are in is not the real value.  In fact any name for it is always relative.  That is why wise men call it by so many
different names. Truth is not a proposition or theory or metaphysics, but an
experience of gnosis that generalizes into a state of being. Defining and
discussing what we are in is useful only as a map. This is fundamentally different
from the West where knowledge and its technological exploitations are the end
product.  For this reason Western
philosophy can never do justice to the Indian tradition and misunderstands it
— chronically.

            In
the ancient West, achieving the state
of gnosis did exist in the great mystery schools: for instance, the hermetic
schools of Egypt and the classical Greek and Hellenic academies, including
those of Plato and Plotinus.  But
with the rise of Christianity, gnosticism in all its forms was persecuted out
of existence or sent underground into esoteric practices still to be found in
the West.   Since the dream of
Christian Empire faded, the West dreams of a final theory or proposition about
the truth, with an eye towards its technological use to alter or modify what we
are in.

            Philosophizing
is the booby prize. You have to “get it”, “grok it”.  Attaining true gnosis is an intuitive process, informed and
led by the above mentioned satguru at
the center of consciousness, the given awareness we all have of our own being,
which must be cultivated through radical and pragmatic intuition.

The Treasure: Achieving the State of Understanding

            Since
truth is a state of being, the question that truly fits the case is how can we realize the truth of what we are in,
that is, experience and exist in a state based on a fundamental understanding
of what we are in. The truth state accords with how things stand with
consciousness. Gnosis is an alignment with the Source producing a natural
rectitude of Being.  You know you
have achieved this state when the frenzy of your addictions grows calm.  You know silence and are content in it,
and above all, you want to be kind.
Realizing and
existing in this state of being is the very nature of true value.            

            Each
religion or path in India was founded by someone who reached the treasure and,
out of compassion for the turmoil and dis-ease of others, set down the map by
which he attained it.  Others
follow him and make of his map a religion or mystical path. India’s infinite religious
paths and disciplines of contemplation may seem confused and bewildering, but
each was once the vehicle by which someone attained the treasure.

            This
brings us to the second point I want to drive home.  Since the treasure is not a proposition or a scientific theory,
you have to discourage or negate the tendency to find and settle upon it
intellectually and instead, evoke the state of gnosis and show how to reach it.

            The
gnosis of what we are actually in can only be grasped intuitively, but those
who have attained this treasure have left us their maps. The truth is one
treasure, but the many names are many paths, many maps. I suspected this by
studying comparative religions and confronting India’s astonishing array of
religions.  But I really honed in
on it by studying the Upanishads, the ancient completion of the Vedas.  Each verse or section suggests a
different way of presenting what we are in and gives a directive for attaining
the treasure.  Many of these
differing perspectives expressed in the Upanishads have been the basis in their own right for established religions
or paths . 

            On
the surface, this is very bewildering, but the very fact that the question gets
approached in different ways is actually an advantage for the serious treasure
seeker, a way to encourage the given intuition of gnosis and discourage engaging
in fabricating mere “know-it-all” theory or philosophy.  Zen deals with this very elegantly. If you
start philosophizing or behaving like a know-it-all, the Master just slaps you.

            I
am going to demonstrate this aspect of Indian Genius: how one intuitive truth
can be expressed in differing ways.

The Mandala.

davincivmanWhen those who see the truth want to display the totality of consciousness, they use a mandala, the figure with a center. The visual metaphor is a wheel on its axis.  In India mandalas are used a great deal in Tantra, which is concerned with achieving the totality of consciousness, and also in the many glorious Tibetan Buddhist tangkas that express their view of the totality of consciousness.

Like all mandalas, this one is only a graphic metaphor, a map intended to show the landscape of what you are in, and to
indicate the way to the treasure, what
you should do
.  This is the essential intention built into the form of the Upanishads. “This is how things stand, therefore do so and so.”  I will illustrate this by showing you several ways of elucidating this mandala. Each map I will describe is a different way of displaying the kosmos, each a metaphor intended to provoke your own intuitive gnosis.

            What
these maps have in common is represented in the basic features of the graphic.  The center orients the whole and holds
it all together. The black square at the center is surrounded by a white circle
enclosed in a larger black square. The central black square is identical in
shape to the outer square.  This
identity is essential to each map and to the way to the treasure itself.  The mandala is static, but it implies a
dynamic, a true gravity, so to speak. Think of the inner square as having a gravitational pull to expand
and incorporate the white circle and fulfill its identity with the outer black
square.  The center is drawn to
unify and contextualize all that is in the circle by realizing its own identity and
unity with the outer black square.
Another way of saying this is that the outer black square draws the
inner square to expand and incorporate the circle, ultimately becoming one with
its outer identity.  The “whole” is
the oneness of the black squares, which incorporates the white circle, as it
were, setting it properly on its axle.  Everything must be aligned with the center. The true gravity of
alignment is the fundamental dynamic of consciousness, and allowing yourself to
be drawn by it is the basic possibility for you to become one.  This union is the treasure.

            Remember,
as you strain to understand these formulaic metaphors, each is saying the same
basic thing and is only a portrayal of what your inborn awareness already
knows. Try to relax into this awareness, rather than strain to understand.


   

            Metaphor
1. Computer: Virtual reality

            This
map uses the metaphor of the reality generated by a computer as it is
experienced by you, the operator.

– The black square is the hard drive and operating
system. 

– The white circle is the software and the data on the
screen. 

– The center of all this is you, the computer operator.

            The
center square as your own awareness corresponds to the outer square as the hard
drive and operating system.  Keep
your eye on this functional identity between the black squares.  This identity is the one so ingeniously
streamlined and simplified by Jobs as he kept aligning user and hardware. 

            So,
what are we in? 

            In
virtual reality, you the operator are in the reality projected by the software
and data, which functions on the basis of the hardware.  But often it gets corrupted.

            What
should you do?

            If
your virtual reality is malfunctioning, you need to reboot, meaning everything
goes back to its given form in the hard drive, because that is its source.

            Please
absorb this metaphor, and let us move on.


                

            Metaphor
2:  Theism

            All
religions featuring belief in a supreme God or deity construe the mandala in
the same way.

– The outer black Square is God, almighty creator and
sustainer.  Expressing True
Gravity, the deity sends emissaries of himself into the world as saviors for
those who, in their own response to True Gravity, place faith in him.

– The inner white circle is the world, or the worldly
reality, created by the God, but largely conceived as vanity, sin, or
suffering.

– The inner black square is the I-self, created by God in
His own image, as reflected in the identity of the inner and outer square
forms. This I-self is sometimes figured as the soul having its own expression
of True Gravity as a longing for God.

            What
are you in?

            You
are an I- self in the Image of God Almighty.  You are in the world or reality. The nature of the world is
vanity, sometimes called sin.  But
it is ultimately and imminently presided over by God Almighty, who issues forth the
means, vehicle, or incarnation by which to “know Him’.

            Such
religions usually depend upon the belief that this is the one and only truth.

            What
should you do?

            You
should forsake the ways of the world and come to know God, through study of the
scripture, faith and prayer.
Prayer is communion with God.
In this, the I-self is often supported by inborn divine awareness (the
Holy Spirit) and by various teachers or champions, who provide the means to
unite with or rectify oneself with God.
This process is expedited by uncompromising faith in the teacher/ helpers/
champions projected to exist in the world, emanations of God such as various
gurus or saints, divine figures such as Krishna, prophets, such as Mohammed, or
special teachers, such as Jesus.

            Union
with God is experienced as salvation, eternal life.  It is celebrated with rituals of communion.  Union with God is expressed in the Old
Testament with the words “I am that I am”.  In Christianity, the unique and fundamental possibility for union of
the I-self with God is Christ.

           
             

 

            Metaphor
3: Your Existential Reality,

This portrays where you stand and what you actually
experience.

– The outer black square is Being, your given nature, which you have in common with all humans, by virtue
of which all humanity is one.  It
is full of potential, but not yet actual.

– The white circle is the reality in which you dwell, all
this – your subjective and objective world — as you experience and understand
it.

– You, the inner square, are the chooser at the center of
your actual reality, your universe, but in a greater context, you are also the
same as the one Being you share with all humanity.

           

            What
are you in?

             You are the center of Being surrounded
by your subjectively understood everyday reality.  However, your everyday must accord with your given reality
as a human being.  Otherwise your
reality is, so to speak, off its axis.

             What
should you do?

            As
your awareness is given and has the form of Being itself, you must develop in
such a way as to accord with Being.
Therefore, expand your awareness to know your Being.  This rectifies your world.

                                          

            Metaphor
4:  Buddhist Mind Only

            This
metaphor portrays the Buddhist idea that only mind exists.  There is no real world at all, no real
facts, only interpretations, only the mind. 

– Outer Black Square – the Absolute Mind, the almighty base
of all mind common to all humanity.
This source surrounds the…

– White Circle – your relative mind that yields all reality as you understand it.  Effectively, this means anything that
IS, any fact.  If you can say
something IS, you are populating your relative reality. This includes your objective
understanding of the cosmos as well as your personal reality.  This reality is relative to your perspective,
understanding, and the prevailing way that the world is understood. This relativistic
understanding of the world has become fashionable as the basis of Western
post-modernism.

– The Center – your given, inborn awareness.  I have been calling this the sat guru, because it is this given
awareness alone, when cultivated into gnosis, that is capable of bringing
together the reality of the relative mind with the nature of the absolute mind.

            What
are you in?

            You
are the center of Mind. Your innate awareness is the given unity of the
relative and absolute minds.  Your
inborn awareness alone can bring them together in gnosis.  This is your unequivocal responsibility.

           

            What
should you do?   

            Find a means to activate
and cultivate your inborn awareness in order to realize the systemic unity of
the relative and absolute minds.
This is the basic directive of disciplines such as yoga, tantra, and
buddhist contemplation.

chakrasunification

 

Metaphor 5: Vedanta

            This
is the traditional philosophical elucidation of the Upanishads.  Vedanta means, the end or final purpose
of the vedas, which is to discover the treasure.  It has many words for all of these aspects.  I will give a few.

– The black Square – The almighty ground of all reality (brahman) is your true Being.

– The white circle – You dwell in a reality of names and
forms, (namarup).  All of this moves together elegantly through
lifetimes as your reality and infernally as your fate (samsara).  And all of it
is maya, a wonderful word that means
fullness that is actually an illusion.
You are in maya, a fabulous illusion that distracts you from your true
Being, Brahman.

– The center – You are the atman, usually translated as “self.”  In truth, atman is the same as brahman. The two squares are
the same.

            What
are you in? 

            Maya,
an illusory fulness that is a distraction from your true self (atman), which is
actually Brahman.   Maya is the world of names and forms,
which moves together in a grand evolving reality over many lifetimes.  It obscures, conceals, but finally
reveals Brahman.

            What
should you do? 

            Come
to realize through gnosis that you are brahman-atman

This is a very beautiful metaphor for an authentic
experience, but as it is an easy formula, Vedanta tends to become mere know-it-all
philosophy.

 

            Metaphor 6: Actuality

            Upanishad means “sitting at the feet”.  The language in the Upanishads is not
philosophical, but radically simple.
It often plays on linguistic ambiguities inherent in Sanskrit that
ingeniously reflect the actual ambiguity of existence, defying one’s philosophical
tendency to become a know-it-all.
Effectively, it acts like the slap of the Zen master.

– The outer square – That, whose nature is luminous bliss
and clarity, the actual base of consciousness.

– The Inner circle – This, any or all this.  Whatever actually is in your world.

– The center –  This
goes back to what I said earlier, the world “exists” only insofar as you are
conscious of it.  Your
consciousness or presence makes it actual.
You are the actuality of This.  And here is the slap. The word atman is not a noun naming a self, but actually
a reflexive pronoun that means “itself.”
Itself means the actuality of both This and That. Again note the
identical form of the two black shapes indicating the identity of That and
Itself. You are the actuality (the Itself) of This as That.  Does this blow your mind? Slap!

           

            So,
what are we in? 

            Actuality.
You are presently the Itself or actuality of That manifest as any This.  All This is the manifestation of That,
but you do not realize it as such.
You are the Itself of any This, the realization (gnosis) of which
actually reveals That.  

            This
clarifies our basic question while preventing you from settling intellectually.  This Itself of That is the actuality of
“what we are in?  You are That.

            What
should you do?

            Know
That!

            That is
nothingness on the one hand and on the other, the ultimate pure form of our
human consciousness, what we truly are in.  To align with it clarifies everything, all This.  It is clarity upon emptiness.

            Enlightenment
is the light that happens when That is realized as Itself. Knowing or realizing
That Itself is the treasure.

            True
Gravity

            True
gravity is the force of innate awareness to know Itself as That.  There is a progression to this
realization.  At first one gains knowledge
of a map.  One discovers a religion
or path that seems true or attractive.
With time, attention, and dedication, one comes to realize the gnosis
behind the map, the intuition of That blossoms and grows.  This leads to a sense of unity with all
life, all sensate beings, as the expression of That.  One becomes compelled by the kindness of compassion for all
humans, all beings. This realization of unity unfolds into bliss, and
finally as Itself, or inborn awareness, unites with That, there is light, there
is splendor.

            The
light or illumination of true actuality
clarifies and simplifies all This, putting everything in proportion.  This profound simplification yields
authentic contentment, the great peace described in Sanskrit with the word Shantih … often repeated to express
the state itself: shantih shantih shantih.

            True
Gravity leads thus to the treasure.

            None
of our metaphorical portrayals of the mandala is the truth, but all point to
the same flowering of intuitive realization.  Atman is your given inborn awareness of the unity of This
and That.  It is subject to its own
form of gravity to unify This with That, which is true actuality, our true home.
 Any real map follows this True Gravity.           

            American
philosophy has come up with the signature methodology of Western success:
pragmatism. America
eschewed grand metaphysical theories for what is effective.
What works
is what is true.  But this is the
pragmatism of This, from science to technology.  Indian genius created a pragmatism of consciousness, the practices
by which Itself is able to follow its true gravity to realize the unity of This
and That.           

            With
keen and passionate insight, the vast Indian tradition, including Jainism and
Buddhism, reveals this gravity by virtue of the incredible variety and richness
of its oral traditions, scriptures, methodologies, and religions. All follow
the True Gravity from This to That.
The variety of maps are part of Indian genius. None really defines the
truth, but all of them point the way.

            Indeed,
there are so many ways in India, that each Indian effectively has their own
unique path, called a sadhana.  Any Indian with a Sanskrit name may
likely find their sadhana hidden in their name.  Osho gave me the name, Anand Veereshwar.  I no longer call myself by this name, but
I have spent years exploring the way it indicated.  It proved to be a directive pointing down a path whose true
gravity led into the ancient wisdom of the tantric practices associated with
Siva, the great god of transformation.

            So,
if you were given a name derived from Sanskrit, I would wager that it is the
trace of a map, from which you can find your unique path.  By following its true gravity you can
make your own way to the treasure. This is likely to mean disciplined
contemplation of one form or another, but I encourage you to follow your true
gravity with enthusiasm.  That is
the Indian tradition.  It is the
genius within your genes.

            The
fundamental directive of the Upanishad is Tat
tvam asi
 (You are That).  This is not a metaphysical statement
intended to puff up your knowledge of all This.  It is a shorthand report of the experience of True Gravity
towards the ultimate human experience and state, the fruition of being human.

            Therefore,
Know That.

            Darkness
– This without That                        

            Now
we have an entirely new way to understand the darkness with which we began to
describe what we are in.  The great
darkness of human existence provokes the urgency to know That.

            As
expressed in the concept of maya, all This is an illusion. Without the
awareness of That, This is pathological, an existential darkness. In fact on
its own This becomes delusional and addictive. Trying to follow the True Gravity
is difficult in the darkness, because all This is demonically seductive and
fascinating.  Look around you:
everyone is enchanted with all This, driven to manipulate a better place for
themselves in it.

            This
truth is elegantly clarified in one of my favorite passages from the Isa Upanishad.

            Those
who do not know are in darkness.

            Those
who think they know are in greater darkness still.

            Unawareness
of That Itself creates a negative vacuum, the abyss of nothingness, whose
essential symbol is death. The more we are focused on This only, the more we
lack our base, our true identity and ground. Turning away from the luminous splendor
of Brahman/ Atman, a vacuum is created that sucks us into fundamental anxiety.  To portray the force and power of this vacuum,
the Indian ancestors came up with all the demons to be found in India’s
mythological traditions.  I think
of Ravana in the Ramayana.  This
demon king represents all the force of this vacuum.

            For
the most part we are largely unconscious of this abyss of nothingness, but we
may be aware of its symptoms. Primordial among these is fear of our own death.
Turning away from nothingness figured as death, your fascination and obsession
with This becomes an end in itself.
You become lost in all This, driven to control or consume it.  As we clutch at sex, money, and power,
we may notice that our existence becomes a compulsive need to fill a vacuum, anything
to avoid facing the fundamental fear.  This generalized state of anxiety occasionally erupts in what
existentialists call angst.  They
consider this angst useful, because it forces you to authentically face the
reality of your alienation from That, a realization that might throw you into
the true gravitational field.

            Thus
the passage tells us that those who do not know That Itself (that is, most of
us) live in this pathology of darkness, the root of all dis-ease. On a
collective level it is the state of great agitation that characterizes Western
civilization.  As Western culture
has become world culture, we witness this pathological state as the rabid
materialism of the world.  Anything
and everything to fill the terrible void and avoid facing it.  More.  More.

            But
the passage goes further.  Those
who think they know — the know-it-alls who have This all figured out — are
the ones whose suffering is greatest of all, because for all their puffed up knowledge
of This, they are wandering their existence fundamentally unconscious of That.

            To
give up your know-it-all posture and authentically experience darkness is to
understand the value of the treasure.
This is why the existentialists value angst.

           

            Let
us recap to this point. Atman, the actuality or Itself of what you truly are,
is the blissful unity of This and That. Following true gravity is absolutely
essential to well-being, because in actuality, all This is truly meaningful
only in relation to That. The alignment of Itself with That neutralizes its
intrinsically delusional and frantic nature, undercutting the negative vacuum
and filling it with the clarity of Atman and the light of Brahman.  When all This is illuminated with That
Itself, Brahman/Atman, the result is radical simplification, suppleness, and
illumination of all This.  The
wheel is back on its axle, your center has aligned with its axis, and there is
great peace.  Shantih Shantih Shantih

            This
is the treasure.

            The
Velocity of Delusion

            Maya is a wonderful word.  It captures the attractive fullness of
all This, and at the same time, the obsessive distraction away from our inborn
awareness of true being.  In flight
from the angst of the negative void, the desperation and compulsion of emptiness,
it is impossible to see This as it actually is.  We do not grasp its real actuality, Itself.

            Basically
the delusion of maya makes us look for the light of That in all the wrong places.  We call it the pursuit of happiness.
Financial success will do it.
Glamour will do it.  Romance
and sex will do it.  Power will do
it.  There is great velocity behind
these delusional pursuits.

            As
the world has tended to become one, we watch disaffected Westerners wandering
East looking for That.  Know-it-alls,
like Steve Jobs and many others, including myself, have followed the true gravity
by coming East.  In fact, where
East and West really come together, almost every real innovation is traceable
back to the East.

            But
back when I was an academic at Varanasi Hindu University, I observed to my dismay
the counter phenomenon of many Indians wanting to rush West.  The philosophers in my department all
wanted to justify their tradition in terms of know-it-all British philosophy, a
hopeless task, since That is not to be found, much less considered, in British
philosophy, obsessed as it is with the language of This. The young men on the streets
wanted to buy my jeans.  I found it
pathetic that these Indians, heirs to their great tradition, thought the West
had what they wanted. Now of course, this whole trend has flowered into a rush
towards Intelligence Technology and the wealth it brings.  They are bringing it about.  The hotel where this conference is
taking place is just like one in America.

            So
it is with this cultural velocity.  Westerners are rushing East for That: Easterners, rushing
West for This.  We are ships
passing in the darkness of night.

            To
India with Love

            So,
I stand before you in all humility and awe to honor True Gravity.  I encourage intelligent Indians to
respect and revere the genius of your own tradition, which has clarified this True
Gravity as no other.  As the darkness
of all This threatens to overwhelm the planet, That is more urgent than ever.

            You
are heirs to a tradition that holds the keys to the survival of our
species.  You are the stewards of
this heritage. But you are giving tech support when what we truly need is
consciousness support.  

            Start
with your Sanskrit name.  What does
it mean?  What does it really mean?  What is its existential imperative? Follow the True Gravity
of meaning back into the tradition that will reveal your real nature,
which is enlightenment.  Realize
the true ancient genius of India by experiencing this truth within yourself,
thus aligning with your Source. Then, please, bring it to the world.

            In
the darkness we are in, That Itself alone will rectify you with your world and
bring you home into the light.
This is the greatest treasure, vital to yourself and to all of humanity
if we are to survive.