Let us live most happily, possessing nothing; let us feed on joy, like the radiant gods. - Dhammapada 15.4
Idealist science works with the concept of higher levels existing in potential; they are not caused by material interactions, but rather emerge in the material world under the right conditions. In this emergence an embodied living being is chained to the Earth, the material level of existence. But it is born from above, from higher levels.
In the process of the involution and evolution of consciousness, what happens is consciousness descends into lower levels of reality, gradually dimming as it does, until it reaches the level of matter, which is completely dark and unconscious. By doing so, consciousness guides the evolution in the material of the forms which sustain the higher levels. This process apparently was diagrammed by Sri Auribindo.
The Kabbalist's have the concept of Adam Kadmon, or the Heavenly Man. This is the inner man using the outer body as an instrument for the gaining of experience; it is man as the thread connecting Earth to Heaven. It is in this sense that humans can be understood as "made in God's image" or as the culmination of evolution. Israel Regardie wrote about it and published a comparative analysis of related systems, to which I cannot resist adding Amit Goswami's quantum mechanical model.
|Tree of Life||Theosophy||Vedanta||Hatha Yoga||Rabbi Azariel||body of consciousness
|Keser||Atma||Atma||Sahasrara Chakra||The Point, or Monad|
|Chokmah||Buddhi||Anandamayakosa||Ajna Chakra||The Creative Self||Bliss|
|Binah||Higher Manas||Vijnanamayakosa||Visuddhi Chakra||The Intuitive Self||Supramental Intellect|
|Chesed||Manas||Manomayakosa||Anahata Chakra||The Intellect||Mental|
|individualization||body of consciousness||worlds in the Kabbalah|
|ground of being||Bliss||Ain Sof - The One|
|cosmic||Supramental Intellect||Atziluh - Pure Thought|
|individual, functional||Mental||Briah - Creation|
|individual, functional||Vital||Yetzirah - Formation|
|individual, structural||Physical||Assiah - Manifestation|
What is the fate of this inner man? To wear out the outer body and discard it. If you believe in reincarnation, to wear out body after body in a cycle of birth, death and renewal, with karmic consequences to consider. The Tibetans have an elaborate theory of this process, the bardo model of transmigration.
If individual humans have karma, why not nations or peoples, or even geographic regions? Could a society or country be an evolving disembodied entity, with its own individualized habits and desires, and its own karmic prices to pay? While not a locus of conscious awareness, it might still have a subtle form which is sustained by the experience of its constituent members.
What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! - Hamlet Act 2, Scene 2
This page copyright Steve Barrera 2001-2013