3. Dualism versus non-dualism in the synthesis between Tantra and Yoga
An article by Gregorian Bivolaru
In the introduction of this article we stated the synthesis between Tantra and Yoga enables us to solve the opposition between transcendence and immanence, between dualism and non-dualism. In the famous oriental text “Kularnava Tantra” there is a paragraph which goes to the very essence of this problem “The unique BRAHMAN (GOD) consists of two parts, transcendence and immanence, absolute and LOGOS (word). Some understand me in a dualist manner, others perceive me in a non-dualist manner; but my deep reality is beyond dualism and non-dualism”. Thus we realize that in the vision of TANTRA system the supreme reality is a sort of immanent transcendence, an implicit order, and our supreme goal is to completely participate to it. We will further discuss this.
The questions regarding the nature of the Universe, our origin and destiny, require the Answers to be stated with the utmost rigour that reason can afford! And just because of this we assign it an exaggerated power.
The dualist conception somehow adapts much better to the visible world logic.
It is a poor and limited vision but rather reasonable, as concerns the strictly perceivable Manifestation. But the difficulties become almost overwhelming if we try to establish a relation with the un-manifested Consciousness. The phenomenon can be explained but their origin might trigger other problems.
How could we then connect the causality to whatever-lacks-cause? Thus the oriental philosophy SAMKHYA, being excessively careful to appear a complete one, which recognises the emergence of an immaterial principle beyond energy and its specific forms –admits the existence of a Self, of a Conscience. Still it does not reach a real conciliation, an interaction with the materiality, with nature. We may say it found a lame solution, which will stress the antinomy between the two principles.
This is the major problem of all dualistic steps. While restricting themselves to explain the phenomenal world, they can be accepted. But behind this, the conclusions here become radical and may even express some extreme theories like the manichaeism. Here the issue becomes fatal: the world converts itself into an obstacle in the spiritual path, becoming an evil prevailing world, governed by the evil forces! The notions of good and bad also turn into fundamental concepts, same like the moral, and so on… If you take time to consider this, you can see where is it leads!
If the dualists function quite properly in our daily duality, they have genuine problems with the transcendence. As for the non-dualists, they have of course problems related to the world of phenomena. ADVAITA VEDANTA or the classical Buddhism offers a non-materialistic vision which brings advantage to the spirit. Their approach appears to be less naive, more elevated and global. At a first sight, it seems to be “much more spiritual” or serious, but still is in some measure extremely ethereal; for they also lose themselves in useless explanations regarding the possible relations between the One and the multiplicity. From this point of view their concepts are not much more convincing. Their solution is almost always based on hiding the phenomena and the matter, which are thus labelled as unreal. The only reality is BRAHMAN (GOD), the Supreme Absolute endowed with a permanent power to create illusion –MAYA, which allows the world to unveil itself in our eyes as an alienating dream: an evanescence having no consistency, but which our mind and senses take for real. If we had any propensity for polemic we could reply: in a Universe where all the existing forms are unreal, the very assertion and support of the world unreality is antinomic and aberrant.
If we plead that any manifestation is unreal, then this very concept, which is also emanating from our unreal mental, cannot be real! For the mental, the intellect and our thinking processes are surely part of this unreal manifestation. We thus reach a sort of extravaganza which we mask sometimes pretending we raise a judgement “from Sirius point of view”, or better said from the Absolute point of view. But then we forget that the Absolute has no point of view. It has no thoughts, no judgement, no notion and no cause. In His Reality he is both the existent and the non-existing.
In a way or another the two systems thus lead to an identical confusion, namely to repelling the world, but without offering an integral solution.
But let’s not consider ourselves defeated and better start from the premise that in fact any of the two statements above mentioned represents the half truth of the other one.
Some tantric schools, like the KAULA school of Kashmir, propose a vision of the reality where the separation between the Absolute and the world is no longer irremediable. But such schools are rare. They are then based on an extremely coherent argumentation and especially on the direct experience of the yogis who, as they attain the Wholeness, they can see the One in multiple and the multiple in One and live this reality as a “natural state”.
Of course, man doesn’t easily agree paradoxes. He usually finds them too uncomfortable and prefers the abusive simplifications, cause these are much more in accordance to the language of worldly reason and logics.
Indeed, the statement according to which it is indeed possible to integrate “what appears” (we’ll see later on what this expression means) with an unconditioned and subjacent conscience which is simultaneously present outside the phenomena, still being implied in the manifestation – which is functioning from the potential energy until the visible forms and the most dense objects – doesn’t really respond to the norms of the classic logic. More than ever here we get clogged in the limits of language. To realise the truth of this statement we even have to change our logic. In a two dimensions geometry the explanation is no far-reaching but remains correct. In a three dimensions geometry the explanation is broaden but becomes difficult and unsure. But because the universe (MACROCOSMOS) belongs to a mysterious geometry, having multiple dimensions – maybe even infinite – as some scientists already believe, any attempt to explain will be incorrect, if not rather impossible.
The global vision that manifests in case of WISENESS requires a phase of interruption of the psycho-mental processes which, in themselves only allow the knowledge of a universe reduced at two or three dimensions. That’s why they say that mind must be disconnected. This implies a revision and replacement of all our values as well as of our usual functions. The first change means not to identify anymore to our mental processes; because it’s on this error that all the false convictions we have are based, all our half truths which are the results of our relentless need to split, to divide, to reason and reduce everything to concepts.
We will never be able to simplistically integrate the world materiality, the energy, form and space into the bright vacuum of Conscience, the conditional aspects into the unconditional, the personal into the impersonal, the past or future into the impersonal present. We will never be able to see and live the Totality that is simultaneously motionless Conscience and this ocean of moving energy – through a simple intellectual adhesion to some concepts, no matter how perfect these may be. This mere superficial acceptance would not change almost anything of our enslavement condition. Even the most uplifting ephemeral enthusiasms of mind will still let us prisoners of our own physical and mental conditionings, or of psychosis which characterises us. And thus all these mental constructions, all these spectacular scaffoldings, all these cultural and religious traditions, are but accumulated obstacles. We often fabricate them at wish, due to the fear of void and dead. But it seems that, for the social man and for the society, the meaning of the vision of Totality, is finally neither soothing nor desired.
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