Elsewhere on this site, I mention the inevitable spiritual tone that emerges from the study of the archetypally primordial patterns of nature put forth within the book All Things Are Numbers. Among all the ideas presented in the book All Things Are Numbers, the concept known as The Absentia is probably the most curious. What this study calls "The Absentia" might, to some minds, be roughly comparable to what some call "Tao" or what others might see as "The All" but... with some subtle differences... at least in how I attempt to describe this indescribable force. In the system of comprehending consciousness being presented everywhere on this site, The Absentia is seen as an ultimate neither. The Absentia is neither material nor ethereal. Yet, at the same time, it is both material and ethereal. It is both Chicken and Egg in one, and neither Chicken nor Egg at all. In this way, it is seen as a beginningless beginning that births the nothingness of our universe, out of which galactic-like spirals of something emerge.
Most philosophies that concern themselves with perceptions of consciousness include some kind of ineffable or unknowable "Godforce" or indescribable "source" that resides beyond all of our human perceptions and concepts of a Universe. But in some cases, some of these philosophies seem a bit misleading in the way they describe this source, or in the way they point us to it. Some seem to go too far in their pursuit, and at times seem willing to vilify Humanity in order to achieve alleged connections to Divinity (see the essay Stop Being So Human elsewhere on this site). In being told to let go of humanity, many end up clinging to the idea of letting go! By clinging to concepts of not clinging, recipes for enlightenment are at times easier written than lived. As recipes for enlightenment get written, humanity, at times, gets neglected. But this need not be the case, with all philosophies.
Is it Tao... The ALL... or just Absentia?
Among the Hermitic writings of the occultitst, the Kybalion presents an interesting view of an unknowable source. To the Eastern mind, the Tao Te Ching is also a kind of philosophy, with many good ideas. Because these documents deal with an ineffable "source" and the ways in which we are to find this source, they both tend to speak in ways that are often paradoxical. Thus, the net result of how they tells us to live can seem a long way off to many. And the cumulative result of their instruction can, at times, mislead if not perfectly understood. What this site refers to as The Absentia is also an ineffable source that can only be comprehended using paradox. In this way, many of the ideas being presented on this site may seem confusing or hard to adopt as ways of living or perceiving. But, if understood, relative to the paradox of a Divine Source, they can, to some minds, make perfect sense.
Thus, it is this requirement of accepting paradox as a ruling force in our universe that prevents many from finding their way to that Divinity. In the Tao Te Ching and the Kybalion, it is made clear that the unobtainable must remain unobtained. The same holds true with The Absentia. The Absentia is the logical opposite to our universe. Thus... to obtain The Absentia would mean loosing The Universe. To many, this is incomprehensible. To others, it is Divinity. As a means of explaining this unexplainable idea, and to start us on our way to understanding the unobtainable, I wrote a verse of my own, inspired by content extracted from the Tao Te Ching. In many ways, this verse could probably fit right in with the Tao Te Ching. But does it really point to Tao, or The ALL or... just my own warped notion of The Absentia?
Like an animal in the wild,
or an ancient primitive,
... or a tree:
Don't do anything other than what comes naturally,
... to survive and navigate from one day to the next.
Don't carry any ambition to improve your life - just live it.
Don't carry any ambition to understand your life - just live it.
Don't attempt to express yourself - just live and die.
Don't attempt to explain yourself - just live and die.
Don't examine your life - just live it.
Don't question your life - just live it.
Everything in its own time.
Everything in its own way.
Just take what comes
... come what may.
Don't force it.
Don't make plans.
Don't have passion.
Don't show enthusiasm.
Don't adopt likes and dislikes.
Leave no mark.
Don't value life.
Don't fear death.
Easy come, easy go.
Don't ask why.
Don't be fooled by the illusory discriminations
... of opposites like good or bad, or right or wrong.
Don't be fooled by the illusory fragmentations
... of duality, diversity, complexity and multiplicity.
Put away your books and studies.
Abandon the material world.
Abandon your physical body.
Be one with everpresent, everlasting oneness.
Be the eye, not the hurricane.
Be innocent, like a child.
Be alone, like a hermit.
Be simple, like a fool.
Be empty, not full.
Be as unborn and discarnate as you can possibly be.
Crawl back into the womb.
Seal up the cosmic egg
... from which you were hatched
... and never come out.
If you can.
Verse 82 of the Tao Te Ching!
Respectfully submitted for your consideration by -Guy Palm
Being Neither Is Where It's At!
If we could crawl back into the womb, seal up the Cosmic Egg from which we were hatched, and never come out... it might lead to a Divine State like Tao, or Absentia; the question is, can we? CAN we seal up the Cosmic Egg from which everything and everyone was hatched? Personally... I don't think so (see the essay The Way elsewhere on this site). To me... the whole idea of an egg metaphor is not just in how it hatches something, but also, in the characteristically one way nature of hatching, or any kind of birthing, and how, as a process, it can NOT be run in reverse! Thus, in considering the meaning of this verse, and whether it points the way to any kind of ultimate source or not... it would be my opinion that if one were to do every humanly POSSIBLE thing this verse suggests, it would NOT lead to an ultimate source... not of Tao... or Absentia! If one were to do every humanly possible thing this verse suggests, it would only lead to the unity of nothingness... and not an ultimate source.
The point being made here is to suggest... that one could do just as well following either of the ways this verse suggests, it doesn't matter. Strive or don't strive. Be empty or be full. It doesn't matter. In fact, utimately, it would be preferable for us to follow both paths, because... only by cultivating an awareness of both paths could we ever hope to be neither, and only by being neither would we ever find anything faintly resembling an ultimate source. Thus, it would be the opinion of this particular study of consciousness that any ultimate source would need to be neither of these. But... it would also be the opinion of this study of consciousness to contend that the title of Verse 82 is not a complete misnomer. One need only answer the closing questions the right way to find the way (see The Holy Grail of Gray Mandala in the essay Stop Being So Human, elsewhere on this site).
Paradox Is Where It's At!
In this study of consciousness, The Absentia is not material nor ethereal... it is paradoxically both, and neither, at the same time! Thus, within the confines of the tarot universe being discussed on this web site, this unobtainable source can only be spoken of by way of paradox.
However we try to add to it,
it can't be increased;
However we try to take from it,
it can't be diminished.
In my opinion, that statement points to the most critical aspect of any unobtainable source - specifically, that it does not belong to any universe where things can be added to or taken from. In other words, it doesn't belong to any universe at all - it is in fact an anti-universe... meaning:
We can increase forever and never find it.
We can decrease forever and never find it.
We can compound to complexity and never find it
We can reduce to simplicity and never find it.
Or... as Verse 82 suggests: the Divine Source we seek, is not part of whatever universe is attempting to find it. Thus, it is ultimately and infinitely unfindable by any universal means! Yet... it permeates our existence!! How? It permeates our existence by being necessarily excluded from our existence. In other words, we are here, because this Divine Source isn't. As long as it isn't... we are. Thus it is, that in this study of fundamental, archetypal, primordial patterns of nature, we label this "absent" quality by calling it The Absentia.
|The Absentia is one step BEYOND infinity, whether that infinity be the intinitely large or the infinitely small. In this way, The Absentia is a singularity of consciousness that is binary in nature! One place... in two places!
The Absentia is found in two places we can never get to: the end of the infinite, that we can increase for ever and never find, and, the center of the finite, that we can decrease forever and never find. Two unknowable points of impossibility with a theoretical connection between them that is itself characteristically impossible, which... in the end, makes them both into one... making The Absentia a singularity... that is binary!
The Cosmic Wheel Mandala
Here is a mandala we can use to meditate on this idea of a godforce that is not part of the universe that is attempting to perceive it, while at the same time having an inexorable influence upon the inhabitants of that universe. The large gear is the infinite universe, symbolized by the infinite spiral inside. The spiral also symbolizes how we can increase forever and never find this paradoxical godforce, and how we can decrease forever and never find it. The gear of paradox, outside the universe, turns the opposite direction as the universe, and the model of existence inside, making its position characteristically unique and symbolically not compatible with the universe it moves. The point where all three gears come together, is a point of unity; the point where a model of existence, attempting to understand its universe, encounters the unity of nothingness, and where the unity of nothingness encounters the unity of paradox (see The Tree Unities elsewhere on this site). The larger gear is like a glass ceiling that we will never pass beyond, it is an enclosure we can see through but cannot pass through.
The outer gear, with dotted circle, and stylized Paradox/Godforce/Mobius/Tao/Absentia symbol within, is The Cosmic Egg. Like the Sphinx that sits atop the Wheel of Fortune, in the Wheel of Fortune tarot card, it supervises the turning of the wheels of the universe below. The birthed universe then grows in complexity. The spiraling in the large gear represents this idea of compounding complexity that is the inevitable result of any universe that is hatched. Around and around we go, forever increasing our universe through acquired knowledge and experience. But we can NEVER return to the egg that hatched us. We can become nothing, and know that unity. But we, as living beings within an infinite universe, can NEVER know the egg that hatched us and our universe.
The large gear, and the large dotted circle are both unities. Paradox/Godforce/Mobius/Tao/Absentia is, by law, not part of any universe attempting to find it. So it is a unity that cannot be known or even spoken. The universe is another unity. It is a unity that can be known... or at least spoken. Together they form the Vesica Piscis: the Pythagorean notion of monad reflecting itself into a universe, creating a dyad of duality. In the "fish bladder" of the Vesica Piscis, sits the fourfold model of existence being put forth within the pages of this site, with spinning arms of galactic-like rotation. That circle is you; inside a universe... inside two unities that equal a cosmic duality, with a sense that there is some unseen, unknowable force that drives the gears of a mechanical universe. Together, these three circles represent The Three Unities of:
The outer gear, with dotted circle, and stylized Paradox/Godforce/Mobius/Tao/Absentia symbol within, is The Primum Mobile. With this mandala, our universe is analogous to a playpen... infinite in scope, with every kind of toy we can imagine. The external Paradox/Godforce/Mobius/Tao/Absentia is then comparable to the nurturing parent who sits just out of reach, making sure our cradle is perpetually rocked (or in this case rotated), and who we eventually long to connect with, or whose womb we long to crawl back into. In some philosophies, this reunion is seen as entirely possible. In this philosophy, however, the outer circle represents a form of absentia that makes it more comparable to a hands-off God, allowing us to develop by ourselves. In this way, the Paradox/Godforce/Mobius/Tao/Absentia/Cosmic Egg/Womb is like a parent sitting on a park bench watching the children play and not intervening when we encounter the evils of life comparable to falling down and skinning our knees. Thus, the philosophical "problem of evil" is avoided by the notion of an absentee God who gives us the free will to develop as we will. Like the analogy of a string leaving a spinning top, given elsewhere on this site, the Paradox/Godforce/Mobius/Tao/Absentia/Cosmic Egg/Womb that hatched our universe is unknowable. It is a beginningless beginning that leads to nothing and something, and then departs. I suppose, in philosophical circles, this would be considered Deism.
But... lots of people don't like Deism. They prefer a concept of God that is more involved. So, for those who want to insist that God is not absentee (see Consider the Source elsewhere on this site), and that God is in fact here helping us... a divine connection can be theorized between the detached and unknowable God, and the universe it (or "He") creates. Comparable to the parent on the park bench analogy, where the parent leaves us alone for skinned knees, but provides miracles of help when we fall from the monkey bars and crack our heads open, miracles of healing would actually fulfill the criteria of being impossible acts of an impossible God! (see The Absentia elsewhere on this site). Perhaps that would make the Deism of this design relativistic, or somewhat Theistic, making this a model of Deistic Theism! Go figure.
What some call The Tao, or what this study calls The Absentia, is not part of whatever universe is attempting to find it. Thus it is ultimately and infinitely unfindable by any means! Yet, it permeates our existence!! It permeates our existence by being necessarily excluded from it. In other words, we are here, because it isn't. The meaning of life is outside. You are inside. Good luck!
It Draws Us!
The Paradox/Godforce/Mobius/Tao/Absentia/Cosmic Egg/Womb is perplexing, to say the least.
It is like nothing we can conceive
It is the source of everything we conceive.
We cannot hold it with body nor mind
It is the source of our body and mind.
It allows us to conceive of everything... except it. We can't draw it, it draws us!
I too can not draw it, but mandalas like this one are a fun way to try. For those who are interested in seeing some more thoroughly hypocritical diagrams of this perplexing "glass ceiling" to enlightenment (or what this study of consciousness calls engrayment), I have employed a pattern from nature that some might be familiar with. It's called the Fibonacci Sequence. In a sense, the Fibonacci Sequence also has two unities, just like the mandala above. When viewed this way, we can see how the unity of a monad doesn't just acknowledge itself, or reflect itself, and by doing so create the duality of a dyad, we can see how it actually reflects itself, and creates another monad. Those two monads together then equal the first duality of our subsequently evolving universe. So in that sense, monad plus monad equals dyad... just as 1 + 1 = 2 in the opening stages of the Fibonacci Sequence. The universe then expands with exponentially explosive, Fibonacci dimensionality. For those who are interested in exploring this idea of monad plus monad further, read on...
For those who are interested in more hypocritical explanation of The Absentia, read on...
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