NIGHT THOUGHTS

 

 

Aug 18, 2019

 

The human soul is the workplace of an incomplete Lord (Metaphysical Divinity) striving to develop a higher consciousness for itself. When the ‘materials’ of the workplace are exhausted, the souls are ‘recycled’ within the being of the Lord. (How do I know all this? I don’t, I only intuit it. Metaphysical matters cannot be known, they can only be intuited. The consequence of this intuition for Vedanta may be that the formula ‘Atman=Brahman’ should be altered to ‘Atman<Brahman’. But the relationship is forever changing – as is all reality.

 

“Hear O Mankind, the Lord thy God is manifold and everywhere.”  Polytheism is for children, monotheism is for adolescents, panentheism (God is the soul of the universe) is for mature adults. After the intuition of a universal metaphysical divinity comes the intuition of the potential divinity of the human soul.

 

The individual human ego, oblivious of its role in the cosmic drama, is the driving force toward development of consciousness of divinity. It needs training to perform its appointed task. However, destruction of the ego because of its ignorant misdirection, throws out the baby with the bathwater. Egoism, i.e. reverence for one’s soul, is the central feature of the developed human soul. Metaphysical egoism is holy.

 

All the fulminations against polytheism in the Hebrew Scriptures can be equally applied to monotheism. Panentheism is the mark of developed minds; panentheism concentrated on humanity is the mark of morally developed minds. How hard it is to accomplish the latter! (it seems to be beyond my powers.)

 

Jesus of Nazareth was primarily a teacher of Israel and thought ‘teaching’ (proclaiming the kerygma) would accomplish his goals. He didn’t seem to realize that a panentheistic God is the only effective teacher. Later, serious followers of his realized this reality and developed the concept of the Holy Spirit. But by then, Christianity had become an idol-worshipping religion, with ‘Jesus the Christ’ the central idol.

 

Aug 20 –

 

I have been rereading Interior Lights, published by me seven years ago. It is one of my best books, perhaps the best. During this time, I have been unjustly ignoring it due to my own absurd fault. Six years I took the stupid step of purchasing a review for it. I should have known better. As I might have expected, the anonymous reviewer must have been a hidebound academic who had no empathy for my writing and was irritated by its style and substance. He wrote a negative review, concluding with the opinion (expressed sarcastically) that it never should have been published. But the real absurdity was the impact his review had upon me. I was crushed, embarrassed, and unable to open or even mention the book until the present time.  Now I know better. I should have expected nothing less from an anonymous academic reviewer. Now I can appreciate the writing and thank a kind fate that has allowed me to live long enough to make good in my mind my former pusillanimity. What a fool I was!

Melanie and I are thinking about relocating to a smaller, more accessible home. Then what will I do with my library of at least a thousand books? It is painful to me to think about it. My library is the record of my life.

 

It is getting more difficult for me to keep old age at bay. There is my defective hearing, defective vision, a hernia, my worsening hand tremor, my poor balance due to the vertigo attacks. So far, I soldier on with the aid of my devoted wife. But how long can this go on? My mind remains intact although the energy for expression is slipping. At some point, I must call it a day.

            Yet I may have one more geographic life in my quiver!! I won’t reject it, I will welcome it.

 

(later) rejuvenated by worshipping at the shrine of Aphrodite!

 

Aug 28 – Alamos again

 

There is a force within me constantly striving to augment my spiritual being. I think that this force is coextensive in some way with the ultimate metaphysical reality (Divinity). On what do I base this belief? On an intuition that it is the way things are in the metaphysical universe. It is fruitless to attempt to comprehend the details of the connection of one’s own spiritual being with that of Divinity. Enough to intuit (divine?) their involvement with each other without resorting to meaningless speculation, imagination or self-serving commands.

           God lives and grows through my soul’s activity!

 

Sept 1 –

 

When I reread my many books, I feel like “a voice crying in the wilderness” – except I am not proclaiming the way of the Lord, I am merely asserting my belief in the reality of my soul and its connection to God. Unlike the voice of John, however, there is no evidence that anyone has heard my voice. It has not emerged from the wilderness.

            I do not think the Hollywood endings of Christian Scriptures will ever apply to me. Nor would I want them to, given the spiritually degenerate state of my society. I know my fate; it is to disappear from this world without leaving a trace. My books will be recycled into from whence their paper came. But the metaphysical world is another matter. I have high hopes for my soul’s existence there.

 

Sept 2 –

 

Now that I have stopped writing except for sporadic entries in this notebook, I notice an element of boredom entering into my life. I am often sleepy for no reason. The saying comes to my mind, from where I don’t remember, “Woe to him who abandons the passions of society.” Is my life becoming woeful? Perhaps it is so. Yet there is still some vitality in my aging corpus. What to do? I must think carefully and deeply on this question.

 


 

Sept 3 –

 

It occurs to me that I am living on experiences of my past life. It is time for me to acquire some new meaningful ones. At my age, these are hard to come by. But I will make the effort.

 

Sept 13 –

 

The Vedanta Society of Houston interests me (we may relocate to Houston where Melanie’s family lives).

 

I have long been Intrigued by the ancient Hindu scriptures. Their main message as far as I can tell is to reach Divinity (Brahman) in oneself. However, I feel the emphasis should be on developing spirituality within the self. Brahman needs the development that individual souls can provide. Thus a purpose is given to human life. Brahman is not ‘perfect’; He needs augmentation of his reality.

            That is my intuitive view. If I have the opportunity, I will discuss it with the Swami in Houston.

 

Oct ł8 –

 

Have been thinking rather than writing this past month. The principle idea I emphasize to myself is the obligation to augment the being of Divinity (God, Brahman. Ultimate Metaphysical Reality) through developing my own soul. This follows naturally from the recurrent intuition of spiritually-minded individuals that the human soul is a part of Divinity. But the soul must be developed.

 

I have finally accepted the fact that I do not belong in any organized church or fellowship. For me, places of religious worship are essentially social institutions and I cannot develop my spirituality through social institutions. I am an independent in every sense of the word. I have found inspiration in written words, not in social interactions or listening to sermons.

 

What is important to me as the essence of spirituality is consciousness and affirmation of reality as I see it. In this way, I contribute to Divinity. Others may contribute in other ways but most do not. I feel my physical insignificance in the universe is not proportional to my spiritual significance and, therefore, to my contribution to Divinity.

 

I firmly resist the temptation to speculate on exactly how I might augment the being of Divinity. It is enough for me to intuit that it can occur. Virtually all the spirit-minded philosophers I read have used their imagination to supplement their intuition. It is impossible to distinguish imagination from intuition in Christian faith-based dogmas. These are grave problems in my opinion and undermines spiritual reliability. Human individuals with their beliefs are limited in the ability to develop consciousness of cosmic realities – material or spiritual.

 


 

Oct 21 –

 

Another way of expressing the principal responsibility of human beings is the need to develop a transcendental consciousness and follow wherever this may lead. Neglect of this responsibility, for whatever reason, is the ultimate sin toward the self. The assumption that there is a God somewhere in the cosmos who knows all and can tell human beings what to think and how to behave is completely erroneous. A spiritual individual is like a pioneer in a vast wilderness who must establish his own worldview and way of life.

            “Purity of heart is to will one thing.” Kierkegaard’s spiritual genius perceived this truth even if the ‘one thing’ he asserted was a bit wide of the mark.

            Contemporary ‘culture’ with its unrestrained materialism is the main hindrance today to spiritual development of an individual.

 

Oct 22 –

 

To say it again, even more concisely, the one thing needful is to become spiritual. It needs saying many times to counteract the crushing robotization of current life. As far as I can tell, it is the same everywhere on this overburdened planet.

            To yearn for a God to befriend one (never mind J.C.), is to evade one’s responsibility. It leads to a false spirituality based upon an imaginary companion. If there is a ‘compassionate’ God in the cosmos, He probably could not concern himself with all the specks of yearning dust. Even if he did, he would not be the pompous Judeo-Christian Jehovah, but something more akin to Spinoza’s pantheistic God or to the Hindu Brahman. These latter, however, cannot be anthropomorphized.

            “Become spiritual” – that is the alpha and omega of the human condition – at least of my condition. God needs my spiritual consciousness. Modern spirituality represents the transition of rational physical creatures to intuitive metaphysical creatures; creatures that intuit and express instead of measure and explain – just as an earlier transition was from instinctive creatures to rational ones.

            (The worst error is to confuse spirituality with morality. Morality may be an element within spirituality but it is not the most important one and the force of one’s broad ego must be respected.)

            This is all forcefully expressed by Mephistopheles in Goethe’s Faust. 1st act, part II:

                        Now I recognize the learned master!

                        What you can’t touch is of no consequence,

                        What you can’t hold, has no meaning,

                        What you can’t calculate, can’t be true,

                        What you can’t weigh, has no weight for you,

                        What you can’t ‘coin’, that, you think, is worthless.

                                                                                    (My translation)

 

Oct 23 –

 

Definition of ‘spiritual’ – concerned with the state of the inner, metaphysical self, the ‘soul’. A spiritual person has reverence for his soul and seeks to enhance and preserve it. In so doing, I believe, he can augment God’s being.

Oct 24 –

 

Today, all the progress of so-called spiritual thought is directed toward relationships with others rather than individual development. The latter is regarded suspiciously as ‘egotism’, the ultimate sin. In a recent colloquium on the Russian philosopher Nicholas Berdyaev, a prominent contemporary philosopher and cleric asserted that “man only arrives at his [true] self through relations with others.”

 

Martin Buber’s famous book I and Thou (Ich und Du – the English translation gives an unjustified archaic quality to it) provided a powerful intellectual basis for this concept. However, in the present age with trivialization of conversation, self-serving socializations and dominance of electronic talk, I – Thou relationships are hard to come by. Professional relationships are primarily means for career development. Church activities, in my experience, are forms of socialization and not of spiritual enhancement. Thus, one is necessarily thrown back alone into his inner self for meaningful spiritual development.

            The Scriptural injunction, “Love thy neighbor as thyself”, has to do with morality; compassionate behavior that is far removed from the spiritual “I – Thou” relationship. This is made clear by Jesus’ ‘Golden Rule’ asserted in the sermon on the mount, “So in everything, do unto others what you would have them do unto you, for this is all the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 7:12). Jesus himself did not seem to have any significant spiritual relationships; his role with his disciples and other followers was that of a teacher and leader.

            It is my considered opinion that the development of self is a solitary activity, far removed from the usual madding crowds. If an individual arrives at a genuine I – Thou relationship, he or she is fortunate indeed.

 

Oct 25 –

 

I do not agree with the sharp tripartite division of human beings into body, soul and metaphysically deeper spirit. To my mind, human spirituality derives from activity, both on a physical and psychical level. I don’t believe spirituality is a gift from God that descends on special individuals. Nor do I think it is only reached through trance-like yogic states. The individual soul and the transcendental spirit are a continuum – and perhaps including the physical body as well. However, given the state of affairs in the world today, dualism is a necessary corrective to the overwhelming materialist mentality that rules everywhere.

            I write all this not to influence my society, which I have learned to be an impossible expectation, but to clarify for myself what I believe.

 

Oct 27 –

 

‘Metaphysics’ falls into two categories: 1) A thinking subject intuiting metaphysical reality and 2) A thinking subject imagining metaphysical possibility. The task of critically significant philosophy is to distinguish between these two categories of thought. In my opinion, most religious beliefs fall into the second category. However, intuiting metaphysical reality is a life-long task undertaken out by very few individuals.

 


 

Oct 30 -

 

It is crystal clear to me that I am profoundly out of touch with the prevailing culture. After over thirty years of writing philosophy, I cannot say there has been one iota of interest in my writings in the culture world – other than my ventures into Nietzsche studies, which do not reflect my own philosophical thought. I believe in independent development; the watchword today is ‘interdependence’. I believe in the reality of the soul; today the world is committed to an electronic type of society where AI and its derivatives are reigning supreme. Academic, celebrity and literary cliques rule literature. There is no place there for me.

            Nor do I have any illusions of posthumous ‘success’. The after-death notoriety of a Kierkegaard, a Nietzsche, a Pessoa will not come my way. So be it. I have led a full life and expressed myself fully within it. That is more than most can say. I have fought the good fight as I have seen fit to fight it. Soon I must lay down all my arms and commend my soul to an unknown fate, hoping fate will deal kindly with it.

 

Nov 4 – Divinity Can Wait

 

I believe the development of consciousness is the essence and driving force of the human condition. “All men by nature desire to know” is how Aristotle began the Metaphysics. Consciousness means ‘knowing’. Animals have the same sensations and activity than have humans, some even more intensely, but they have only the rudiments of consciousness. It is only humans who can develop their consciousness to higher levels of understanding and wisdom.

            According to Eastern spiritual lore, consciousness of the identity of the human and divine spirit is the final goal of human development. However, I think this is very rarely – perhaps never – completely accomplished; nor can it be in my opinion, since I think the purpose of the development of individual human beings is to augment, enrich or further develop the divine spirit, not merely to fuse with it.

            Individualized life is a learning experience for human beings of all ages and circumstances, for the callow youth as well as the aging octogenarian. The more individuals live their own lives, the more they can develop their consciousness. As long as one is alive, one should not abandon experiential living for any reason whatever, including temporarily experiencing divinity. The ‘I’ is the necessary feature for living fully. “Live till you die!” is my motto. Divinity can wait.

 

Nov 27 – Metaphysical Existence

 

All the great metaphysically-minded philosophers from Plato to Paul Tillich have believed that the ultimate goal of an individual can only be fulfilled through a spiritual connection with Divinity. The same is true of the Vedanta and Buddhist thinkers of India. St. Augustine asserted that the only real questions for philosophy were the soul and God. He might have added, ‘and how the former finds fulfillment through the latter. Divinity is always envisioned as an ‘entity’ (with the exception of Spinoza), albeit infinite in all possible properties and powers. They have based their opinions on the ever present ‘yearning’ of thoughtful individuals to find something fulfilling beyond earthly satisfactions, something more than the day to day pleasures and pains of societal living. This yearning has been interpreted as a desire to ‘find God’.

            I have certainly felt this yearning and have recorded it in my writings. But now, the feeling has come upon me that I am not yearning for connection to a putative divinity, but rather I yearn to enter into a metaphysical dimension of existence beyond the robotic material dimension in which I now live. I imagine that the ‘goal’ of spiritual development is to enter this dimension; physical life may only be the breeding ground for growth of the soul. Perhaps the chief creator and inhabitant of the metaphysical dimension is the Judeo-Christian Jehovah, but the important thing for my soul is to gain access to this dimension. If Jehovah and I communicate and we share our spiritual beings with each other, that is all to the good. If some would like to label the metaphysical dimension of existence as Heaven or Nirvana and set up criteria for entrance, I would have no objection – as long as I and others like me were not excluded.

            I believe I enter into the metaphysical dimension briefly at certain times when I am able to disconnect from the surrounding physical world. Periods of meditation, especially when lying awake at night, are times when this seems to occur. But these are brief and always terminated by either sleep or interruptions from the surroundings. I like to think that death will afford me the opportunity to permanently pass over into metaphysical existence. This may be wishful thinking but something within me says there is truth in it. Just as ages ago certain animals left their watery milieu for the completely different world of life on land, so certain human beings are destined to leave the physical world for existence in a metaphysical one. The analogy is not perfect but there are many similarities.

            My intuition may not solve the great perennial problems of cosmology or theology, but then again there is no reason why my limited being should be capable of solving them. I am content to merely be aware of their nature and adjust my terrestrial way of life accordingly.

 

Dec 1 – Metaphysical Existence (cont’d)

 

I have allowed myself to wonder what metaphysical existence might be like. Doubtless the familiar time and space categories of terrestrial existence by which one experiences the universe will no longer be in force. This can be a frightening thought. But the best comment on the subject is that of Heraclitus, which I have often reread and reflected on: “What awaits human beings at death they do not anticipate nor even imagine.” (Fragment LXXXIV) It is foolish to expect otherwise. One can only await the great event of passing with hope.

            Devout Christians and Jews will think what is missing from these reflections is the Word of God. That is undoubtedly true, but it is because He has never directly communicated with me nor have I been aware of His influence. I can’t trust second hand messages from so-called authorities on these important matters. Consequently, I must create my own worldview without His help. What faith I have is based on a sense of my own intellectual and spiritual powers.

            It must be admitted that I cannot exclude the possibility of an unnoticed influence upon me by an all-powerful God.  Kierkegaard says God is present in the world ‘incognito’. If this be the case, He is well disguised since I have no awareness of His presence. So-called ‘Grace’ (which may be just a pervasive delusion of Christianity) has not descended upon me. Therefore, I cannot ascribe any aspect of my consciousness or will to Him. My intellectual conscience forbids it.

 


 

Dec 5 – Immortality

 

The thought has again forcefully come to me that the essential thing in human life may be not just to ‘find’ God or to merely love and obey Him like a child to a parent, but to so significantly live that upon one’s passage through death, one’s soul may be integrated within Him – thereby augmenting His own reality. This then will constitute a meaningful immortality and it assigns great importance to human life.  While some may dismiss these thoughts as merely imaginative mysticism, they are no more so than the belief in a supreme Metaphysical Reality that is a heritage of most advanced civilizations!