Jan 27, 1994 03:58 PM
by Gerald Schueler
Eldon's message of Wed, 26 Jan 1994 16:09:55 -0500, titled "can only
smile" made me smile to read it. I don't agree with everything, but
overall it is a very nice essay on an important subject.
I agree that there is a state that is higher than estatic bliss
(though few of us ever get even that far). Buddhism teaches that the
material world is suffering and postulates a nirvanic bliss that can
be attained through the Middle Path. The old Buddhist Masters knew very
well that the two concepts of a world of suffering and a world of bliss
will be conceived in the human mind as nothing more than a duality. So
they proposed a Paranirvana that is "beyond Nirvana" to suggest that
the bliss of Nirvana itself must be passed through. This too caused a
problem with students, and the idea of a Mahaparanirvana was proposed.
The problem, of course, is that you can only do this sort of thing so
I agree with Eldon when he says that the ultimate duality is being and
non-being or existence and nonexistence. However, I don't agree when
he says "It is not a duality in the usual sense, not a split that
arises, not the pair of opposites that come into being when a qualitity
manifests itself." Actually, this is exactly what it is. Existence and
nonexistence, or being and nonbeing, are a duality, just like any other
According to ancient teachings in the West, Kosmos rose up from Chaos.
Ksomos is Order and feminine (some say masculine). Chaos is Disorder and
masculine (some say feminine). Kosmos is limited defined light. Chaos
is an endless infinite sea of darkness. This idea, of light rising up
from Darkness, is very old and HBP treats of it very well in the Secret
Doctrine. The idea is that the process of manifestation itself creates
duality. Or possibly duality is a requirement for the process of
manifestation (?). I personally prefer the idea of Self rising up from
Non-Self with the ultimate duality being subjectivity and objectivity.
However we want to view it, virtually all creation myths and ancient
teachings about the world's creation, include the idea of duality as a
It is interesting to note that how we see the sexual elements in this
initial manifestation is historically important. For example, in
Mesopotamia, Chaos was seen as feminine and manifestation as masculine.
Thus we had a lot of male heroes killing female dragons, which many
now say led to our present patriarchal culture. While this was the
general and prevelant view in those days, many occult Sages and Seers
held the view that Chaos was masculine and Kosmos feminine. This way
of looking at creation led to a matriarchal culture. Of course, I am
grossly simplifying things here, but the idea is that we are where we
are largely because of how we view our historical beginnings. Our
sense of identity is rooted in our past and how we view our past.
Anyway, according to Buddhism and other schools, the real Path is not
toward the bliss of the higher planes, but rather to unite all
dualities, including bliss and suffering, and including existence and
nonexistence, which of course implies spirit and matter. However, how
do we go about combining matter and spirit until we have experienced
spirit? How do we unite suffering and bliss until we have experienced
bliss? We have experienced many things in the lower planes, but until
we experience the higher planes we cannot fully unite duality and
attain nonduality. Nonduality is neither existence nor is it
nonexistence. In fact, when asked to define it, we can only smile.
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application