I. INTRODUCTION TO METAPHYSICS
The Consideration of the Unity of Consciousness, Within Which Is Included the Supreme Perception of Being, the Absolute, etc., as well as the individual perceptions, forms the basis of every metaphysical perception and every religious thought...
CONSCIOUSNESS AS A "UNITED SPACE"
Consciousness Is One, It Is A "Single Open Space" Within Which All Perceptual States (Subjective And Objective) Are Possible. It is possible to Perceive One's own Being, Absolute Being, Infinite Being, Formless Being, etc. It is possible to limit Consciousness, absorb into the objective, etc. All these perceptual states exist within the framework of One Consciousness. They cannot be separated.
On another view this can be formulated differently. Consciousness Is One but can separate the Depth, the Inner Perception, the Being, from the limited, surface perceptions: Thus each being in its Inner Being is the Absolute Being, all others are surface states. The Innermost Being, the Really Being, This Pure Being, the Absolute Being, That which we call God, Is the Essence, the Cause of all. According to this second view Within One Consciousness Exists the Absolute, it is not something outside of Consciousness (God is not outside of Consciousness).
The Consideration of the Unity of Consciousness, Within Which Is Included the Supreme Perception of Being, the Absolute, etc., as well as the individual perceptions, forms the basis of every metaphysical perception and every religious thought. Consciousness Moves between the Inner Perception of Being, the Absolute Being, (Deity, etc.), and external perceptions (limited ego, objective states, etc.). On the basis of this perception is founded the relationship of Inner Being (God) and being (I, etc.), the communication of Being and being, the completion of being, etc.
METAPHYSICS AS "ATTITUDE OF CONSCIOUSNESS"
Metaphysical is Within Consciousness and in the context of Its Operation, Direct Perception of the Inner Core, of One's Own Being, the approach of an area of Perception (Knowledge) that is beyond the intellect, the mental function that can only grasp what it is "outside," that which is objective and therefore worldly. This area is characterized as transcendental, metaphysical, inaccessible by mental energy, incomprehensible by mental energy, the area where Being, God, Reality, etc. are placed. Everything that is outside Consciousness, the objective, is a phenomenon.
Metaphysics is therefore a function of Consciousness, an attitude of Consciousness, knowledge of Consciousness. From the Basic Metaphysical Perception that Perceives Consciousness as a Single Space Within Which Manifests All Possible Subjective and Objective Differentiations, individual perceptions of all phenomena arise. That is, perceptions of the cosmic fields, the relations between Being and being (what we are), Life, Evolution and Completion of the being (what we are), etc. As long as these are dealt with in the context of a Direct Perception and a Direct Action (in the field of experience) remain necessary and useful. But when a system is structured, based on ideas of Being, God, etc. we have a rational, constructed system of ideas, a fantasy and not Reality.
In the context of religions, metaphysicians are only those who experience Being, the Godhead, not those who talk about Being, who remain anyway in the context of thought.
METAPHYSICS AS A "LIFE SYSTEM"
In summary Metaphysics is a System of Life (Life, Life Attitude, Action), within which we perceive Reality in a certain way and act accordingly.
Metaphysics in particular is a set of Perceptions and Actions:
A) The Perception of the Unity of Consciousness.
B) The Perception that everything happens within Consciousness.
C) The Perception that subjective differentiation from the One (which always remains as a Superset of differentiated consciousness) is fundamentally illusory and ultimately unimportant.
D) The Perception that all objective differentiations are nothing but activities, actions, functions, of Consciousness and not something independent.
E) The Perception that the Unity of Consciousness and the immediately given consciousness are fundamentally the same and the Realization, the Experiencing, of This State: Thus, the immediately given consciousness can Transcend limitations and rise as the Absolute Being, as the Unity.
F) The Orientation of Action and actions to achieve Self-Knowledge, Completion and Completion of a being, wrongly considered as imperfect.
G) The Interpretation of Reality according to all the above perceptions and actions. The transfer of Reality on a map, never forgetting that it is not about Reality but about mapping Reality.
Metaphysics must always be treated as a System of Life and not as an intellectual construct, as a system of ideas.
In this sense, Metaphysics has been experienced in History by great founders of religions (so religion can be defined as Metaphysics with a primarily historical character) but also by metaphysicians and philosophers. Buddha, Shankara, Lao Tzu, Jesus, Meister Eckart and even Plato, Plotinus and others.
Let's note that Plato defines Metaphysics as "Theory of Being". He conceives of Metaphysics as a System of Life within which is the Perception of "Ultimate Being (Agathon)," the Descent from the "Being" of all "beings," the Reference to the "Being" of all differentiations, the mental world, and material becoming , the Attempt (through Dialectic) to experience mental and supramental reality, i.e. as a Way of Life oriented towards "Being". Metaphysics for Plato is Life and not an intellectual system. This is even more evident in Plotinus and those who follow him.
The True Complete Philosophy is the systematic construction of certain knowledge carried out by all the functions of Consciousness and not by means of a single function...
Philosophy is the systematic structuring of certain or ascertained knowledge within and through Consciousness, so as to arrive at an Overall Perception of Reality, but also knowledge of the individual aspects or regions of Reality.
The Existence and Functioning of Consciousness is broader than simple intellect and rationality (logical thinking, thinking in accordance with certain laws) and knowledge ascertained through experience.
In the context of the Existence and Functioning of Consciousness, Being and Cognition must be considered "simultaneous": Being posits Cognition and Cognition posits Being. Pure Being is beyond understanding. The mind can grasp what is outside, the objective world, the object. The mind can approach the object with right reason (with logical thought) aided by experience, the confirmation of truth.
Therefore, for Consciousness, knowledge, ascertained knowledge, is wider than rational knowledge which includes only knowledge of the objective and empirical knowledge which is an even narrower area of knowledge (since not everything understood can be practically verified).
The fundamental questions raised in any philosophical inquiry are:
1. Possibility of knowledge: There is direct, assured knowledge, from Consciousness Itself (of Existence, Being...), which exceeds rational (thought-generated) knowledge. Also, rational knowledge is certain knowledge, since it can be verified. Also, empirical knowledge is certain knowledge, when certain conditions are met.
2. Conditions of knowledge. Function of Consciousness.
3. Construction of knowledge. On the basis of direct certain knowledge and on it the perception of reality can be structured, through the actions of Consciousness. These actions can be: 1) Transcending external perception, rational thought. 2) Rational thinking. 3) Empirical knowledge.
4. Areas of knowledge. In Consciousness knowledge originates directly or is created indirectly. There are direct data and indirect conclusions. The ontological foundation of reality rests on the immediate datum of the perception of "Existence Itself"... When this foundation is attempted through logical thinking, it leads not to the Experience of Existence but to theories about Existence...
5. Validity of knowledge.
6. Application of knowledge. Problems that arise for the transmission and application of knowledge
7. Completion of knowledge. Directions, development and integration of knowledge.
Philosophy therefore investigates the way of existence and the functioning of Consciousness, the construction of knowledge and the issues raised during construction. It cannot be limited to just one single function, or domain, such as metaphysics, or rational thought, or experience. It is necessary not only a prioritization of the functions, perceptions and knowledge that arise, but also their inclusion in a Total View of Reality...
When philosophy is limited to individual functions, it risks being misled, since through a particular function it wants to explore areas beyond the specific perceptual process... When, for example, through reason, whose area is the mental knowledge of the objective, it is attempted to interpret the beyond understanding Region of Being, or to reject empirical knowledge, we are led to absurd conclusions... Thus, beyond understanding cannot be grasped by understanding, understanding must be completely renounced... Through right reason the objective can be conceived... Through experience knowledge can be verified or new knowledge acquired...
Thus, the True Complete Philosophy is the systematic structuring of certain knowledge carried out by all the functions of Consciousness and not by means of a single function. In such a structure, the higher function is prioritized (since it can produce an overall perception of reality, a broader knowledge that covers all the individual knowledges) and then the lower functions, which are arranged (to harmonize with the higher function) and refer to the individual regions of reality (and produce limited knowledge)... The systematic construction of a complete conception of reality constitutes a complete philosophical system. At the same time, individual perceptions of reality can be structured, a metaphysical system, a rational system, an empirical system... By building a system of knowledge we interpret reality. Truth is everything that fits and does not contradict the system. The fundamental problem that arises is objectivity, i.e. if what we perceive really corresponds to reality, otherwise we produce within the system fictitious truth and not objective truth...
A Total Apprehension of Reality is possible when Consciousness perceives its own Being, Pure Being, Absolute Being, renouncing all lower functions, intellect, sensation, etc. Only when Being is posited as the Principle of every individual "existence" can to construct a Total Perception of Reality. This Perception has nothing to do with the rational systems constructed through the intellect... Within such a Perception orderly (and harmonized with the Higher Perception) thought can also function, as well as experience...
Such Complete Systems were attempted to be constructed by Plato, Plotinus, Hegel, Heidegger, etc.
Philosophical method (in metaphysical systems): Transcendence of mental processes, Direct apprehension of the Inner Being of Existence...
Philosophical methods (in rational thought):
1. Semantic analysis, ontological-logical theory, about Being and the categories of Being (philosophical or purely grammatical).
2. Inductive method introduced by the questions, what, how, why, etc.
3. Historical genetic method.
4. Inductive method, for the transition from the individual to the Universal.
5. Analogical method, for the transition from partial to partial.
6. Deductive or productive reasoning method, for the transition from the Catholic to the partial
7. Divisive method for subdividing a genus into its species.
Philosophical method (in the empirical approach): Verification, experiment, etc.
Theology, the study of religions, their comparative consideration, leads slowly but steadily to the realization that religious experience is a natural event independent of its possible historical expressions. The religious phenomenon itself is a universal, timeless, manifestation of our human nature. It cannot be identified with any particular religious tradition…
IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE RELIGIOUS SCIENTIST
Religion is the science that studies the religious phenomenon. The religious phenomenon is so complex that the religious scientist can only determine it by touching its very essence, its function (its essential function) and not by observing it from the outside (in its peripheral manifestations). The Essence of the religious phenomenon is the Transcendence of common consciousness, the Realization of a Transcendent Consciousness. This means precisely a departure from our very perceptuality and our ordinary functioning (in the terms of knowledge in which we have learned to function). The religious scholar must therefore be capable of such an exit if he wants to observe the religious phenomenon in its essential function. If he simply sees it from the outside, which is of course his right, he will not grasp the essence but only external phenomena.
After all, other sciences also deal with the religious phenomenon, such as Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, History, or Anthropology, but they only capture peripheral manifestations and external phenomena.
The religious phenomenon, precisely because it constitutes a Transcendence (of common consciousness), is a particularity that needs a special approach and not an ordinary approach as is the case with other sciences that simply approach their object. If for the exercise of a science one needs an inclination (without, of course, this requirement excluding the average person) much more Religion needs a special ability. In the end, he cannot speak about the religious phenomenon unless he can observe its essential function, that is, he can know and understand the Transcendence (of common consciousness), the Realization of a Transcendental Consciousness. We do not think that this reduces the scientificity of the research and the objectivity of the conclusions. We approach the religious phenomenon as far as we can and investigate its essence as much as possible and we convey metaphysical experiences in the language of logic as much as possible. What we are talking about are not personal experiences (which would lead to a sterile subjectivism), but experiences of many believers of the religions we are examining, which establishes the objectivity of our discourse.
Seeing the religious phenomenon from the outside, simply recording what we perceive (with whatever theoretical and methodological resources we have) does not at all mean that we are more scientific. Ultimately, the level of perceptiveness of the scientist (religionist) and the terms of knowledge through which he operates, determine his interpretation and the scientific weight of his conclusions. The more able the religious scientist is to approach the essence of the object he studies, (the religious phenomenon), revealing its objective function, its truth, the better. Unfortunately, in academic circles, throughout the world, there have been very few competent theologians. Most of those who adopt the title of professor of religious studies, within the scientific community, are not religious scholars...
THEOLOGY OR THEORY OF RELIGION
Religion, as a science that studies the religious phenomenon, in its essence, and independently of the distinct religions, concludes in the final analysis that the religious experience of the Transcendence of common consciousness, the Realization of Transcendent Consciousness, is a manifestation of our very human nature .
The study of religions, their comparative consideration, leads slowly but steadily to the realization that religious experience is a natural event independent of its possible historical expressions. The religious phenomenon itself is a universal, timeless, manifestation of our human nature. It cannot be identified with any particular religious tradition.
We are thus slowly led to the creation of a New, Universal, Timeless, Natural, Religion. The final conclusion is that we must define Religion as a Theory of Religion, a Theory of Being, a Theory of the Experiencing of Being, as a General Theory of religion.
In the context of a General Theory of Religion, Being, the Relationship of Being with existence, ontological manifestations, the fields of creation, evolution, integration, etc. are investigated.
HISTORY OF RELIGIONS
Religion, as a general science, investigates the religious phenomenon not only in its general expression (Theory of Religion), but also in particular, as it appears historically. Obliged to study all religions (primitive, ancient and modern) it looks for the general laws according to which the religious phenomenon manifests, through the comparative consideration of religions and determines the specificity of each religion by identifying the factors that shape this specificity .
It becomes clear that Religion is interested in the religious phenomenon itself: it is interested in determining its essence and describing its function. So when he examines a particular religious tradition he examines it under this lens. Historical origin and development, teaching and doctrines, scriptures, practical worship, sociological and anthropological implications, are secondary. Therefore, the religious approach of a religion differs from the simple historical exposition of the phenomenon.
Examining a particular religious tradition reveals that its essence is common to other religions and its function is analogous to that of other religions. Of course, this is not accepted by the believers of various religions who want to consider their faith as the only truth.
The comparative consideration of religions leads to some very remarkable conclusions:
1. In all religions Existence is considered to manifest itself in many ontological time-spaces. This is the conclusion of all religions.
2. The Transcendence of common consciousness leads to the exit from the ontological space-time we live in and the entry into another (transcendent) ontological space-time.
3. The Transcendence of common consciousness is a manifestation of human nature itself.
4. The Transcendence of common consciousness is done by methods similar to the various religions.
5. The religious phenomenon is ultimately a universal, timeless and natural event.
Religion, in terms of its content, is, in principle, for human consciousness, a total perception of existence and its phenomena, a worldview that interprets all phenomena...
Religion is primarily a historical phenomenon, with various manifestations. As a historical phenomenon, it is a creation of some society, either directly or indirectly. Either it is created by members of society who have common perceptions and slowly shape the phenomenon of religion, or it is created by an individual, who, however, is based on common perceptions, uses them, interprets them, presents them perhaps in some other way, and with the transmission is also accepted by other members of society and thus takes on its social dimension again. An example of the first type of religion is Sanatana Dharma. An example of the second type is Buddhism, and even Western religions, Christianity, Islam...
Religion, in terms of its content, is, in principle, for human consciousness, a total perception of existence and its phenomena, a worldview that interprets all phenomena. From this general view, an ethics derives, which has an individual and a social dimension. Then Religion is expressed as a way of life, since it organizes the whole life of man on a religious basis, establishes religious events, and integrates all human activities into its framework.
The Consciousness that forms or initiates, or accepts, the moment it "consciously perceives", accepts some basic, obvious, and generally certain perceptions, which cannot be questioned because they derive from the very "perception of existence". Truth, Principle, Axiom, are the terms used to characterize these first certainties. Consciousness primarily perceives its Being (Existence), but Which cannot be defined except by convention... It is Transcendent, Infinite, beyond space and time (regardless of whether we realize this...) . Consciousness either refers to That Transcendent (perceives that "it is so"), or perceives itself to be That Transcendent. From This Transcendent derive (in one way or another) the worlds, invisible, visible, material beings and phenomena... Consciousness, all consciousness, is This Consciousness, Being in its Totality, "refers to" in this. "Individuality" can only be a delusion... From the moment Consciousness "leaves" Pure Being (in "metaphysical" space and time...) and immerses itself in the perception of an individuality, it passes into a state that is fictitious...
Consciousness thus perceives "The Whole Space of Existence", and interprets within this framework of perception, all its possible situations. What is perceived with the intellect and with other mechanisms (such as sensation), is experience from the realm of reason and the external world, which is verified, established, and thus becomes objectivity. Consciousness intuitively perceives, mentally infers (without being able to prove it in mental space), that there are several worlds, and that this material world is the last in the series... In the present state Consciousness (which is more than mere intellect, the mental complex "I", the intellect...), along with its mental power and dynamism, is connected to a living organism. Consciousness "transcends" its material carrier but at the same time is present within the carrier, both as Presence, and with its lower powers. Consciousness manifests its mental power and sensory activity through a nervous system, which is the "heart" of the organism. Consciousness perceives (i.e., is conscious, understands, feels, as a function with many manifestations...), that it is Present here with its material carrier, within the material world, comes into relation with the world, experiences, etc. ...
Consciousness, being Transcendent, Infinite, can be "Outside", or perceived to be "within" the material world. Here rests all metaphysical consideration, all spiritual effort, course, evolution (although all these are conventional expressions).
Having this perception, the Consciousness forms moral imperatives and follows moral behaviors (that is, it organizes its life according to the above perceptions...)...
RELIGION IN HISTORY
We described above what the religious phenomenon is, from the point of view of Consciousness, theoretically.
But historically speaking, there are Consciousnesses that Experienced this phenomenon. Within the framework of a common perception Consciousnesses Experienced the "Same" Reality. They expressed it, codified it, transmitted it, and this is how the phenomenon of Religion appeared in history.
From this historical point of view, Religion is a total theory of existence, a worldview which accepts the following:
1. The Being (to Whom various Names and Designations are attributed), is Transcendent, Eternal, Infinite, beyond space and time.
2. From This Absolute Being come all the phenomena of existence (the creation, the worlds, the beings, the phenomena...)...
3. All beings identify (in their Deepest Essence, or "refer" to, or "relate" to This Being.
4. On the basis of this "relation" of the being to the Being, the being is determined in terms of its Essence, its destination, its evolution, its activity, its completion... In particular, by this "relation " with the Absolute Being and its position within the space of existence, the necessity of a certain activity within the framework of this "relationship" is born in the being. Life is religiousized, moral demands are established, and an ethic is formed, a destination is determined, and activity is determined based on the purpose that has been set, etc...
5. The main request is made which constitutes the essence of the whole religious concept which is the "end of man", and which is understood in various ways within the historical religions.
RELIGION AND INDIVIDUAL
In the context of History, always, this total theory about Existence, is accepted by many people, it creates a religious community, which has its own historical course. In the context of this historical course, important historical figures appear, theories and doctrines evolve, various cultural elements are created and accumulated...
Thus, a person who is born and develops within the framework of a religion that functions as a social phenomenon, must accept perceptions, comply with the ethics of the community and place his activity within the framework of common religious life. Within these social contexts the individual must realize his own development and achieve his own destiny and reach his completion. In the final analysis and from this point of view, Religion is a personal and indeed internal achievement...
SECULARISATION OF RELIGIONS
Religion as defined above is not entirely identical with formal religious organizations that often function not as religious communities, but as parts of a secularized society.... Such secularized religions that function simply as social institutions have not only lost their Inner Life, the Experience of Reality, and the ability to guide other people, but they often work against the peoples...
Esotericism forms the basis of all religions, all religious concepts...
Esotericism is a tradition, but without a clear historical (temporal, local, ideological) determination, which is lost over the centuries. Esotericism is an archaic concept that "captures" the opposition Consciousness-Objective, and is the background for any further religious concept. In other words, it is a category of perception and not a specific, clearly defined system. Remaining at the level of intuitive perception it is characterized as Esotericism. When concretized, it is transformed into a religious system. The founders of religions or philosophical systems have always advanced specific understandings in clearly defined terms... In other words, Esotericism is, to a point, identified with Religion, in its general, abstract form.
Esotericism as an attitude of life appears from the beginning of human history and becomes the reservoir of all religious systems... Specific historical development cannot be recorded. Esotericism, as a perception, evolves along with human consciousness...
In the course of time (from the beginning of human history to the present day) the Human Consciousness adopts more and more comprehensive perceptions. In the state of the Preconscious a chaotic perception prevails. As Consciousness escapes from the chaotic preconscious and emerges into Consciousness it maintains the perception of Chaos as the background from which the world, the order, is created. In this period various conceptions are successively adopted. What Consciousness distinguishes, it tries to know, to assimilate. What it cannot understand is because of the unknown possessor of another power - it is taboo -, holy or cursed. Thus, Consciousness "begins" with the world unknown. As Consciousness becomes aware of the environment the Unknown (and therefore the Sacred) is transposed to "higher" realms. Thus, Consciousness successively adopts, within history, the following five worldviews:
1. Consciousness perceives Cosmic Vastness as a whole (which includes all), in chaotic form.
2. Consciousness distinguishes the Cosmic from the Heavenly (which also includes the Infinite, the Transcendent and the Real).
3. Consciousness distinguishes the Cosmic, Heaven, from the Divinity of Heaven (which also includes the Transcendent and the Real).
4. Consciousness distinguishes the Cosmic, the Heaven, the Higher Heaven, from the Transcendent (which still includes the Real).
5. Consciousness distinguishes the Cosmic, the Heaven, the Higher Heaven, the Transcendent from the Real.
The Sacred, the Divine, evolves through history and takes on a different meaning in the various worldviews:
2. "Local" (earth, Heaven)
As Consciousness evolves, it overcomes the old perception of the world and replaces it with a more complete perception. The old perception goes to the second level but does not disappear, it coexists with the new perception. Little by little the perceptions accumulate. This evolution of perceptions is interpreted as "evolution" of the Divine (Theogony), in some religions.
Esotericism always remains as a substratum of all religious concepts. Over the centuries this attitude of life is adopted by many people and the general principles of Esotericism reflect again and again, either spontaneously or with the help of accumulated knowledge, in the life of man. These principles never ceased to inspire and give birth to new perceptions (on top of the old). Today, speaking of Esotericism, we simply refer to the general principles of this way of perception.
What characterizes Esotericism is the perception of Inside (Consciousness) – Outside (objectivity) in an interdependent, changing relationship, in which the terms Inside-Out can be clarified only when we consider what relationship exists between them. More specifically: The Inner, the Consciousness, is set as the Principle from which the Objective (with all its variety) originates. There are Five Fields of Existence of Consciousness, in which the Objective manifests itself differently: therefore Five Fields, in which the Consciousness-Objective Relation is different. More specifically:
2. Consciousness and Three Varieties of World Spirit.
3. Consciousness, Universal and Three Varieties of Mental Life.
4. Consciousness, Universal, Intellect and Three Varieties of the mighty invisible.
5. Consciousness, Universal, Intelligence, Dynamism and Three varieties of the visible world (organ of consciousness, life, matter).
The entity manifests itself at a given moment, in some specific field of existence, with a carrier composed of "elements" of the specific field. In the physical world the entity manifests as Consciousness (which includes all the higher spiritual, mental and dynamic functions) associated with an organ of consciousness (brain, nervous system), which is the control center of a living organism, which is organized matter.
Consciousness perceives its Self, its Essence, as Inside, directly, without process, as Timeless Essence, which is identical (or is of the same Essence) with the Absolute, the Divine, etc., as Something Not Determined... when it transcends all extroverted functions that direct it outward, the objective...
In this sense (which we have described), Esotericism, as a Pure View, should not be "confused" with "religious Esotericism": In all religions (which are inspired by the General Principles of Esotericism), there is an "inner perception ” of Reality (the Absolute, God, is discovered Within), there is an inner teaching, in opposition to the outer, intellectual approach to religion, religion as a social institution, “ethics” and worship practices. In this sense there is a "Buddhist esotericism", a "Christian esotericism", an "Islamic esotericism", etc. These kinds of "religious esotericisms" can simply be considered as special cases of General Esotericism.