The Power of Knowledge and Action According to the Kashmir Shaivist Vision
by yoga teacher Dan Bozaru
In this primordial condition of absolute void, the slightest mark of manifestation appears like an intention of God, which can be interpreted as the inner desire of knowing the Macrocosm, meaning that the consciousness in manifestation is focusing on the act of “creation”.
This gradual expansion of the consciousness contains, successively, the various states of resonances, from the state of profound sleep to the state of being awake. The perceptions that appear as a consequence of manifesting the power of knowledge are fully formed and the realm of experience is manifesting in all its splendour.
The two major realms of existence are non-manifestation and manifestation. In the first instance we can also talk about transcendence, while in the second we can talk about immanence. The way perception is realized in these two aspects is different though; in transcendence the consciousness playing the game of creation is perceived, while in immanence the object is the one perceived, limited by form, name, sound and colour.
The power of knowledge, which is atributed to the consciousness, can operate intuitively and lightning fast, understanding the nature of its own counsciousness, and also as an intermediate perception of the particularities of the manifested object. The will of creating represents the first “movement” that appears from the Absolute, meaning the unmanifested condition, going towards the phenomenal and relative state. On the other side, the first “movement” of the consciousness that takes place in the realm of manifestation is the very perception of the undiferentiated totality that is projected into the consciousness by the power of the absolute will of the Supreme SHIVA. Regarding the power of knowledge, this one coincides with the expansion of objectivity in the field of consciousness, which means that knowledge occurs only after objectivity is manifested, after the counsciousness exits the absolute state.
The world of experience is permanently renewed
The power of knowledge, as a highly elevated vibration, thus becomes pure “vigilance” of the consciousness, which makes both the coherence of the perceptions one has possible, maintaining them together, as well as their separate manifestation. These two important functions correspond to the non-manifested and respectively emitting aspect of the consciousness, which together make the phenomenal experience possible. The transcendent, still, silent aspect of the consciousness is the Absolute, the undivided consciousness of God the Father; the emitting aspect refers to the limited manifestation. If the consciousness would always be “withdrawn” in itself, in the supreme state, perception would not be possible and would not take place. Being completely resorbed in the supreme transcendental void, whose nature is undetermined, nothing could therefore be manifested. On the contrary, if the consciousness would be entirely emitting, exteriorizing itself as the manifested universe, it would never be consciously experienced, as there would not be a certain reference point to transcend it. Therefore, the power of knowledge the consciousness has is in fact the ability to oscillate between the two ways of existence. It then selects some of the countless potential forms which exist in its infinite content, in order to make them manifest on the outside.
Then a false separation of certain forms and objects takes place in the consciousness, while it is limiting itself to appear as a subject, which perceives the object as being separated from itself. The perception appears when this limited subject is affected by the “shadow” that is thrown upon itself by the object. Since the pulsation of consciousness is “moving” from its undivided state to a contracted, finite state, in order to come back every moment, newer and newer perceptions are generated in this way, so that the world of experience is constantly renewed. Thus, this energy, as well as the energy of will and action represents the essential creative power of SHIVA, whose freedom is infinite, being in fact the highly elevated vibration of the consciousness, through which He generates all things. This energy of knowledge becomes very obvious, in all its plenitude, especially when the activity of consciousness manifests at the phenomenal level of creation. The creative will of SHIVA represents the very complete freedom of the Absolute and therefore it is equated both by the power of action, as well as the power to “modulate” the various forms of the universe. As an agent of manifestation of the Supreme Being, the power of action represents the essence of the Universal Being, which is present in all things.
SHIVA spontaneously springs from Himself
The action of the Supreme Being is autonomous in any situation and hypostasis. In essence it is an act of consciousness, whose agent is the very supreme Light of SHIVA’s consciousness. The pure action of the Universal Being cannot be limited to the sphere of objectivity. The object is a product of the action of the Supreme Being, who’s subject is the agent performing that action. Only the agent is completely autonomous, existing only through himself. Thus, he is unique and absolute and therefore he could only be SHIVA Himself, who’s action is perfectly free in any aspect. For example, in the Shivaist literature it is often spoken about the subject as being the potter; he is free to mould his pot, because he is an integrated part of SHIVA’s nature, as an agent. Actually, it is SHIVA Himself who is moulding that pot through the potter, just as at a universal scale He is the guide and the animator of the flux of cosmic forces and powers of consciousness. In this hypostasis, the Supreme SHIVA is also called the universal and eternally active agent. He is never defeated by difficulties or by the activity He performs. The Universe is in fact the display of the effect that appears as a consequence of the activity that SHIVA performs; as a supreme agent, He always remains untouched by these effects, perfectly autonomous in His essential nature.
The law of action and reaction, meaning the law of cause and effect enslaves only the ignorant one, because at the inferior levels of creation, such as the level of the physical world for example, the external activity stands in great contrast with the power of being aware of the act. In easier terms, the expansion of the power of action coincides with the withdrawal of conscious vigilance. At a higher level, though, the act of the overflowing of the consciousness in creation, of its expansion is experienced as being the inner Being which is present in everything, which spontaneously springs from itself, without becoming somewhat limited in this way. This is in perfect agreement with the words of Netratantra: “Thus, it is said about the action that there is only one and it springs from its very nature; in this hypostasis, it springs from the very nature of everything. It is SHIVA Himself, the supreme essential nature, which spontaneously springs from itself.”
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