Vector8 Journals

Friday, January 14, 2005

The Uncaused

In a dialogue, Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi is asked:

"Is not all this, the universe and all that takes place therein, the result of Ishwara's (God's will) and if so why should God will thus?"

Bhagavan: "God has no purpose. He is not fettered by any action. The world's activities cannot affect him. Let us take the analogies of the sun and space to make this clear. The sun rises without any desire, purpose, or effort. But directly the sun rises, numerous activities take place on this earth. The lens placed in its rays produce fire in its focus; the bud of the lotus blossoms, water evaporates, and every living object on earth enters upon, maintains, and finally drops its activity. But the sun is not affected by all such laws, has no purpose, and is, merely a witness. So it is with God. Again take the case of space or ether. Earth, water, fire and air are all in it, and have their motions and modifications therein. Yet none of these affects ether or space. The same is the case with God. God has no desire or purpose in his acts of creation, maintenance, destruction, withdrawal and salvation, to which beings (jivas) are subjected. As beings (jivas) reap the fruit of their acts in accordance with His laws (the laws of karma etc) the responsibility of such fruit is theirs, not God's. God is not affected or bound by any acts." ("The Teachers of One" by Paula Marvelly, p. 277)
Yesterday on my bus journey, I was startled out of my sleep by some commotion outside. There were fire engine trucks, police cars and ambulances. There was smoke coming from a building. As I had no interest in looking for a cause, I went back to sleep.

On another bus journey, I heard a young girl, about 16, discussing her legs. She told her friend that her legs only had 50% of the usual muscles compared to her friend's, and that they will gradually deteriorate until she can no longer walk, unless she has an operation. She said her specialist has offered to help with a new operation but she wasn't prepared to be used as their guinea pig. She was seeing her life as strictly cause and effect. She had a physical cause with a physical effect.

It would seem that within the realm of cause and effects there are various causes. If you are materially minded, you see reality as physical and all causes are physical or material. Then there are those who see the universe as composed of light, therefore the cause is light. There are those who see the universe as composed of ideas therefore idea is the cause. To put it another way, if someone has a problem/effect, the cause depends on the individual's paradigm: material, light or ideas/thoughts/beliefs.

But then you realise there is another reality beyond that of cause and effects - the ever-existing, ever-present infinite uncaused reality.

I know that the uncaused cannot change its nature as the ever-existing immortal, just as the sun is not affected by what we do as humans. I don't, however, accept the idea of a state of pure consciousness that one can meditate upon and feel good about that has no practical use. Otherwise I might as well go meditate in a cave forever. I believe that for the uncaused consciousness to be of any use, man has to "lift" himself/surrender to that consciousness. How? By realising he is uncaused now. Man does not have a dual nature i.e. cause and uncaused/soul and spirit. Man has only one nature: uncaused Spirit.

How can one live as the uncaused Spirit? By judging nothing as having a cause, no matter what. See the world/universe as uncaused. See all things as uncaused.

The girl on the bus discussing her legs? There is no cause.
The fire? There is no cause.
The man who has just smiled at me? There is no cause.

If there is no cause to anything, how come people and things seem to exist? They exist because this is how things are in the uncaused. Things come and go. It is the great cosmic illusion. Of course this way of seeing may seem senseless to one who is accustomed to finding causes. It may be difficult to accept someone walking by you as uncaused. He was born, wasn't he? Yes he was born but he is uncaused. This is the tricky part of the illusion. The moment you are sucked into appearances, you try to find the cause. Where did this come from? Where did this go?

It is written in the scriptures:

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." (Genesis 1: 1-3)
This suggests that everything has already existed as formless, empty yet full of infinite ideas of forms, symbolised as "heaven and the earth," that are always present. The scriptures suggests that light brought about the formless into forms but light is what started the illusion in the first place. With light comes the idea of creation and a cause to creation. Perhaps the writer was working on the premise that the universe has a beginning and ending and therefore must have been created. Where there is creation there must be a cause. This illusion gives rise to two universes/paradigms: the caused and the uncaused. The uncaused is very much aware of the caused; while the caused is totally oblivious of the uncaused. The caused believes it is reality and the uncaused knows it is Reality. How to resolve this dilemma? The uncaused lets the caused get on with it. Why do you think people pray and pray but they don't get the desired results? There appears to be no God to prevent catastrophic events like the recent Tsunami disaster. On the contrary, people are getting the desired results for the caused universe can only create a God of cause and effects. So their creator seems to be creating according to beliefs.

In truth, the universe is and always is uncaused, i.e. it has no beginning or end. The uncaused is the only reality whether it is appearing as the manifest universe or not; it is the uncaused Spirit having life. It is NEVER created. Therefore, nothing around us has any cause, nor does my life have a cause. My body is the ever-existing infinite. How can the ever-existing have been born of a woman? One has to be an illusion and it is my birthday. To put it another way, the only cause of all that I am is the uncaused. Since there is only the uncaused, I must also be uncaused.

The uncaused was/is never created; neither was/am I created.
The uncaused is incorruptible; I am incorruptible.
The uncaused is changeless; I am changeless.

My perception of the world is that of a universe with infinite rabbits appearing and disappearing from underneath the uncaused magician's sleeve. I have no idea how this is done, nor do I care to speculate.

In "The Active Side of Infinity" Castaneda goes on a journey with his teacher Don Juan, which takes place within inner silence. Castaneda tries to figure out how they travelled from one place to the next in an instant.

"You're wasting your time," don Juan said, laughing. "I guarantee you that you will never know how we got from the house to the Yaqui town, and from the Yaqui town to the railroad station, and from the railroad station to the house. There was a break in the continuity of time. That is what inner silence does."

He [Don Juan] patiently explained to me that the interruption of that flow of continuity that makes the world understandable to us is sorcery." (The Active Side of Infinity, by Carlos Castaneda, p. 186)
To speculate on how the uncaused is uncaused is pointless. As Don Juan teaches Castaneda, I can only practise being in inner silence, which is the uncaused.

All things are uncaused. That's about all I know or care about.

I am the Uncaused,