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  • Writer's pictureKarey Pohn

Getting Involved

It's very involved, actually, and literally. As we have seen, according to Hindu philosophy, the phenomenal world, which we take to be real, is only a virtual reality created by the Divine from itself. It all begins with the oneness of the Divine, the godhead and devolves, or goes downhill, from there into what we perceive as separate things.

These separate pieces of God then go about a process of cosmic forgetting and develop a sense of individual identity and basically “forget their roots.” In the Jain tradition (an offshoot of Hinduism) these separate pieces would be called jivas—or self-deluded units of consciousness. This does not sound so good. Basically the Divine becomes so involved, that It tricks itself by the perfection of Its own illusion into believing in this separateness. Although the Divine is not only the actor, but also the director and writer of the play, it seems to forget this.

Although “most of the potential loopholes in creation are carefully hidden” to facilitate Watts’s notion of the “taboo against knowing who you are” (Grof, 1998a, p. 193), there are possible ways to discover the true nature of creation. In other words, there is a way out of this seeming separation, and that is to reunite with the Divine through the evolution of consciousness. Grof (1998a) describes the process using the metaphor of the Divine being the ocean and writes that if we imagine one of the ocean's waves becoming caught in a tidepool and then evaporating into the air where it goes up into a cloud and becomes snowflakes or ice crystals, this is like the process of involution. The individual snowflakes look nothing like the ocean and they are all unique, yet they are all pieces of the ocean in a different form and share that. The only way to return to the source, the ocean, is by melting, undergoing fundamental changes in structure and the loss of a separate identity. Maybe that’s what happened to the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz (Fleming, 1939)!

Quantum physicist Amit Goswami (2001b) explains the mechanics of creation using Sri Aurobindo’s model. There are, according to this model five levels or bodies of consciousness. They are, in descending order: Bliss body (limitless and undifferentiated consciousness), Intellect body (supramental level of contexts, categories and laws of movement—archetypal level), Mind (mental level of meaning—ego consciousness), Vital body (level of subtle energy—Sheldrake’s morphogenetic fields) and finally the Physical body. As one descends, limitations occur in consciousness and there is less and less freedom, until one gets to the physical body where freedom is lost. This is known as the process of involution. Only after consciousness gets totally involved can the reverse process of evolution occur, and we can begin the process of reuniting with the Divine. Tom Robbins (2000, online) talks of our part in the cosmic game: “Our great human adventure is the evolution of consciousness. We are in this life to enlarge the soul and light up the brain.”

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