“Philosophy" is the structuring of certain or certain knowledge within and through Consciousness so as to arrive at an overall perception of reality, but also the knowledge of individual aspects or areas of reality...
A "structured" philosophy:
1. Accepts the Ontological Grounding of Reality which springs from the Immediate Data of Consciousness (of the Perception of Existence Itself as "Being") - and the possibility of certain knowledge, through the various functions of Consciousness (consciousness, intellect, feeling, experience) . Otherwise no conception of reality can be established.
2. It defines the possibility of knowledge, the conditions of knowledge, the construction (the ways of construction) of knowledge, the validity of knowledge.
3. It defines "Being" and the relation of "Being" to the variety of phenomena...
a) Consciousness may perceive itself in reference to One All Consciousness, perceive That One Consciousness as the Ultimate Reality, as Inner Reality, as Pure Being, or perceive itself as "limited" (as "me”, as “is”) “alongside” other consciousnesses towards and within the objective world.
b) In the first case, consciousness perceives itself as Pure Being and that it originates, belongs and is destined for the "metaphysical" world. In the second case, consciousness perceives itself as "being" opposite and within (as a "body") the objective world. The other consciousnesses exist "parallel" and perceive themselves as "being" opposite and within (as a "body") the same objective world. The other consciousnesses do not exist in the external world, as objects.
Depending on the function of Consciousness that is put forward, the structured philosophy can be characterized:
1. As Metaphysics, when Pure Consciousness is put forward, when "consciousness " perceives itself in reference to Total Consciousness, while the world is considered as energy, process, construction of Consciousness.
2. As a rationalist, when the intellect comes forward, when consciousness perceives and interprets reality through logic and interprets the relationship between "Being" and phenomenon in various ways.
3. As empiricist, when perception (together with the senses) is put forward, when consciousness perceives and interprets reality through the perception and sensation of the external world.
4. Like materialism, when "matter" is predicated, when consciousness interprets all phenomena as material phenomena.
The Existence and operation of Consciousness is "wider" than simple intellect and rationality (logical thinking, thinking in accordance with certain laws) and knowledge confirmed by experience. Therefore, for Consciousness, knowledge, ascertained knowledge, is "wider" than rational knowledge which only includes knowledge of the "objective" and empirical knowledge which is an even narrower area of knowledge (since not everything that is understood can be verified)... So, the beyond the intellect cannot be grasped by the intellect, the intellect must be “given up” altogether... This means that metaphysical philosophy has a wider interpretation than rationalist or empiricist or materialist philosophy.
Metaphilosophy is the systematic construction of certain knowledge that is carried out with all the functions of Consciousness and not through an individual function . In such a structure, the higher function is prioritized (since it can produce an overall perception of reality, the broader knowledge that covers all individual knowledge) and then the lower functions that refer to the individual regions of reality (and produce limited knowledge)... The Metaphilosophy it is thus de facto Metaphysics while at the same time using logic and perception in an organized system of knowledge.
A Holistic Conception of Reality must take into account the functions of Consciousness, properly ordered, (and the possibility of Consciousness operating at various levels), it cannot be achieved through a particular function alone.
The systematic construction of a Complete Perception of Reality constitutes a Complete Philosophical System.. At the same time, individual perceptions of reality can be constructed...
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” a Total Perception of Reality can be constructed... This Perception has nothing to do with a rational system constructed through the intellect...
I. ORTHROS (HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS)
The Perception of Reality
To put it simply, without complicated philosophical terms, in life there are easy things (activities) and difficult things. Usually, everything natural, such as existing, breathing, walking, doing various things, thinking, imagining, etc., belong to the easy activities (under normal conditions, of course). Most of the time the difficulties come from being forced to live with others in a society that is in conflict and confusion. It is easy to gaze at a landscape, to observe various objects, but it is difficult to survive in a hostile society that demands too much and gives crumbs.
To perceive the Reality, the Farther, Deeper Reality, behind the appearances, is actually a perfectly simple, natural, process. But people have invented complex theories to explain the simplest things in the world. If you try to interpret the world through some known religion or philosophy, you will end up in a dead end. The proof: Show us a follower, of any religion, who has reached what his religion defines as redemption, salvation, completion, etc. Instead, perceiving Reality for yourself, reaching what religions and philosophies call the Absolute, Reality, God, is perfectly simple.
In fact, all the great teachers and philosophers simply motivated others to discover the Truth for themselves, by their own means, in their own way, simply, quietly and completely. The same revelation was made over and over again (in different circumstances, of course) by Buddha and Sankara , Lao -Tse, Plato and Jesus of Nazareth... and we make the same revelation again here. We are not saying anything new, we are saying something that has been said before... but we are saying it in a different way, in the current circumstances...
So the first step: Forget all theories. Discover Reality for yourself, simply, naturally, as you breathe, as you stand up and walk, or as you sit quietly and calm down, as you imagine an image, or bring to memory an already acquired knowledge... How simple? How? We'll see later...
The closest, the most accessible to us, to our existence (the very essence of our existence in fact), is CONSCIOUSNESS. We are Conscious that we exist, we are Conscious that we exist within a "space" and we react within this space. We are Conscious that we are something specific (with some qualities) in this "space" and in this "existence". So, CONSCIOUSNESS, Perception and Ego (with specific properties) exist first of all, everything else follows. The reflection on what CONSCIOUSNESS is, what it has to do with the phenomenon of existence, matter, etc., is a meta-thought, it follows. So, if we want to perceive Reality, our real existence, our real essence, what we really are, we should do it through CONSCIOUSNESS, directly experiencing existence and not through met-thinking. How can this happen?
CONSCIOUSNESS we saw is Consciousness, Perception, Ego. Actually these three are One. However, the beings in this space-time perceive them either as three simultaneous functions, or as successive processes. CONSCIOUSNESS as It IS (Being), is a Vast Ocean of Existence. Perception can embrace the Totality of Existence and is then Pure Perception, or it can be limited to something special and become Ego. The Ego is but a small projection of the BEING on the surface, in the qualities. CONSCIOUSNESS must turn to IS, beyond even Perception to grasp Its Reality. Perception is a natural ability. The content of Perception (the Ego) is a set of particular perceptions, which absorb us into a particular life. Rejecting all particular perceptions, rejecting Perception itself we feel the Depth, the IS, Infinite, Eternal, without any attribute, the Absolute.
One of the greatest psychologists of the last century, Carl Jung, believed that the Real Essence is a Universal Unconscious, an Ocean of Unconscious Existence and that the Ego is only a surface projection, a complex of certain perceptions and behaviors. The Essence is the Depth and not the Ego. In this sense the Universal Unconscious Is an Existence beyond limited being. The Universal contains the Ego and not the opposite. For Jung the Unconscious is not part of the Ego, as other modern psychologists believed. Jung had made a complete reversal of the psychological understandings of the last century . That he was accused of being a mystic was rather an honor than a reproach.
Be that as it may, from the CONSCIOUSNESS-Ego Association some relations arise, a position is determined and a destination is outlined. To find the Essence of Existence, to Experience the Essence of Existence, we must turn to the Depth and not to surface functions and activities. This Process (which is actually the end of processes, within CONSCIOUSNESS), completely simple, completely natural, without effort, is the Way of Life. In religions it is the Secret Way, Meditation, Spiritual Exercise, etc. Experiencing the Depth of BEING, of Existence, is not a process, as we said, but the end of the processes of external perception, the internal processes of the Ego, the Self of Perception as Universal Existence, the abandonment of all processes to emerge the INFINITE IS. We'll see how that goes.
The Depth of CONSCIOUSNESS is ONE and ONLY. From this One Depth projects the Perception, the Ego (every ego) as a complex of perceptions and behaviors within the various spaces and times...
CONSCIOUSNESS (our present consciousness) is the Gate of Life and Loss. When CONSCIOUSNESS is absorbed in superficial activities it leads to an outer life and finally gets lost in the "space of imagination"...
When all these activities are discarded the Infinite Depth of IS emerges. For this to happen we don't need to do anything. The more we try to do something, the more we get entangled in the net of activity and sink into the realm of imagination. We must discard all these efforts and surrender to Who We Really Are. When we are completely abandoned we will emerge into IS.
Then... there will be no Depth, no surface... no nothing...
One Reality all... From here begins the Inner Journey, to the Inner States, worlds... And beyond These, the Vast Divinity...
CONSCIOUSNESS (the present consciousness) is constantly in activity. Whether we are absorbed in this activity or try to control it, we are in the same state of activity. That's not the way. We must calmly look at the activities and let them develop without getting absorbed somewhere. After some indeterminate period of time all this ceases to matter. Then it's time to let them go. The First Exit from the fantastic is in the Pure Perception that embraces all of Existence. It is the World Spirit. But this is not the Ultimate Reality. And This will have to be abandoned in order to Emerge into ALL THAT IS.
We Are What We Are Forever. We don't have to become something. These notions (thinking that we must become something) are nonsense of thought. When all the futile activities of the mind are exhausted that Who We Really Are is revealed. We don't need to do anything. We simply have to surrender to What We Really Are by rejecting the activity of thought. So simply, to relax, to abandon ourselves, to emerge in the Infinite, in the Eternal. Misconceptions spur us into activity and we feel anxious to become something. Thus we remain in the cycle of activity and cannot "understand" What We Really Are. In the end it seems extremely difficult for us to do nothing. To sit quietly, just like that, to do nothing. This is the Supreme Wisdom. And while it is so simple, so easy and so comfortable and complete, we cannot do it. Meditation is not activity, it is doing nothing, the end of activity.
The Infinite Depth of Is (Being)
Existence (the most essential part of Existence) is CONSCIOUSNESS. We are Conscious that we exist. We question and seek answers about the Nature of Existence, its Limits. The Only Right Way to find answers is to experience Existence and not through teachings, theories, thoughts (all these are meta-interpretations). We experience Existence when we reject the secondary activities of CONSCIOUSNESS. Only then can we have Clear Perception and can feel the INFINITE DEPTH OF IT.
In the last century the existentialist philosophers, starting from the Present Consciousness (for Heidegger Da-Sein , "here it is", "here consciousness"), rejecting all the superficial manifestations of Existence, arrived at the Experience of Consciousness, Pure Being (for Heidegger Sein or Sein deleted, Being and Non-Being).
The Being (or Non-Being) of existentialists for many is God or the Ultimate Reality (which we can also see negatively as "Zero"). However, Heidegger's interpretation is ambiguous. Being can be Complete Being or Non-Being, like attribute-less. The difficulty is not due to Being but to our own inability to perceive, i.e. the problem is interpretive.
CONSCIOUSNESS Is Forever What It Is. It does not change, it does not increase, it does not decrease. There is only one concentration on one activity, on a set of perceptions and behaviors that "puts" us into a cycle of life, within the universes, invisible and visible. But all this happens in a fantasy space (which is only considered reality by the imperfect consciousness). In reality there is no fall, no redemption, nothing. Everything happens in the imaginal space and all activities and meditative practices happen in the imaginal space. All that exists is the realization that this is all fake, ("fake", not non-existent - we'll explain this in due course). Meditation is the cessation of all this futile activity.
The formulation of a question, a question, already presupposes a worldview, a logical framework within which the reason, the question, is articulated. Many times the questions formulated by man are wrong, they lead to wrong conclusions and they base life and action on not solid foundations. But why are questions phrased the wrong way? Because the worldview framework is flawed the reason is weak and the logical consequence is not real but typological. A question, a question that people have been asking for thousands of years: Is there a God? What Is God? How do we know Him? how do we approach Him? With this question as a starting point, religions, systems, philosophies have been created and hundreds of thousands of volumes have been written. And yet it is a wrong question that starts from a wrong perception, position. So everything is up in the air, history, religions, philosophies, activities, it's all intellectual rubbish. Why? Here's why: We start from the mistaken notion that God is Something, Something outside of us, an Object that we can know, perhaps by intuition, mental processes, or possibly by sensation. But God is not Something. God is the IS, the Source of Being. We ourselves (as Consciousness , Consciousness of Existence, of "Being") belong to IS. Therefore, in order to approach the IS, we must do it through the Experiencing of the IS and not by considering the IS in front of us, an Object. To regard God as Something outside of us, of our Being, of IS, is the worst idolatry.
In order to approach the IS we must do so through the IS that we are. The IS, the Consciousness of Being, the Consciousness, must be cleansed of all mental misinterpretations, of all mental activities, in order to Reveal the IS. Such a position that considers IS as the Superset of "the being we are" and we approach it through the Experiencing of IS, is completely different from the other perception, from the perception that considers that IS is outside of us and leads to other conclusions and founds life and activity on other bases. It directs us to the Experiencing of IS, of Existence, to an inner perception and not to an outer activity. It establishes from the beginning our Relationship with IS, our Destiny, our Wholeness.
So, more useful than formulating questions and giving answers on which we base our Existence is to see from which theoretical base we start. The perception that connects our Being with IS and directs us to the inner life is clearly stronger logically. Whereas the perception that starts from a small, weak, unlearned, consciousness that perceives everything outside itself is immature and belongs to obsolete times. Unfortunately, humanity perceives Existence completely lightly.
CONSCIOUSNESS (any consciousness), from the moment it "exists" (perceives that it "exists"), automatically forms a perception of the "environment" (as a total and "instantaneous" image) within which it perceives that there is and works and is active. This perception of the surrounding world (which may include various elements) is always the reference system for our existence and our action.
It stands to reason that an imperfect consciousness cannot form a complete perception of Reality. Thus, often the Image, which must be "complete" in order for us to exist and function, is filled in with inaccurate or imaginary elements. However, this (it may be illusory from a metaphysical and logical point of view, but) for everyday life is not so important. When we attribute lightning to “lightning, thunder, thunderbolt Jupiter (and not to an atmospheric, electrical discharge) we perhaps commit a metaphysical, logical, scientific error, but for everyday life and the role of rain in our lives this has little importance. Even when we use inaccurate or imaginary evidence to give moral authority to some perceptions—as long as those perceptions are in some logical and moral context—it matters little. What does it matter if the tablets of Moses were dictated by Someone, Something, or if he inspired them based on previous evidence, or if they are the creation of some priesthood?
We cannot have a complete picture of the world. For thousands of years we have walked this way. And today's scientific thinking cannot have a complete unified theory of the universe (and of what, possibly, exists beyond the universe). There will always be missing elements that we will either leave blank or fill in with imaginary, made-up elements. From the point of view of Absolute Truth this is certainly an error but from the point of view of practical life it is unavoidable. What matters is that we are not grossly mocked and taken advantage of. For example using the idea of God to say that Something exists, Something that defines us a purpose in life and values, however much it is a logical fallacy is legitimate from a practical point of view. Just what people think they attribute to an imaginary source. However, using this idea to have power over others, exploit them and generally mislead them is another matter. All religions start from the first place but end at the last stop.
Throughout history there have been some inspired "spirits" who have created, if not a complete picture of Reality, but nonetheless a remarkable perception. Such worldviews were created by Buddha, Lao Tzu, Plato, Jesus and other religious leaders or philosophers. Of course, all of them were brought up in the context of a certain society, used the logic and metaphysical language of this society, took elements from this society and formulated their own more special point of view. In this sense, Buddhism, Taoism, Platonism , Christianity, etc., are not the exclusive creation of individual consciousnesses but of a society, a group of people.
These distinct views of the universe, religions, worldviews, influenced large populations, marked history. They were used as guides for people but often misused them to mislead or exploit people.
Even today and always man needs a complete image of his environment. So, we still use such worldviews today because they are the most complete. As we said above, science (physical science in particular) cannot yet formulate a unified theory of the universe. By its nature, science has some limitations since it always wants to be specific and confirm what it says. Thus, metaphysics remains outside the realm of science. However, what is important is to know exactly our subject, the Buddhist or Christian worldview for example, to know what we are talking about and whether this can serve us, or derail us from the path to Truth.
Let us finally note that all these theories are mental maps that lead to some conclusions and some activity, they are not the Truth in itself. The theory of Absolute Reality, or of God, is useless if we cannot experience it. So, the Truth is not in the theory but in what the theory indicates, in what we discover, that we experience through the theory. Truth is an experience. Today, however, religions have worn out and are of little help to modern man.
The Evolution of Religious Thought
From the beginning of his history, man has tried to acquire a total perception of his space of existence, a total worldview. Whether we like it or not, such a concept is fundamentally religious, philosophical, since it attributes to Some Ultimate Reality (Absolute, God, etc.) the Phenomenon of Existence. To this day, we only use such worldviews. "Science" (in the general sense of the term) is unable to give a total explanation of the phenomenon of existence.
Throughout history man has tried to improve his perception of the surrounding world (by man we mean the human species, to which any man belongs). The religious perception of the world evolved and passed through various phases. Thus we can, typologically, classify worldviews into various phases.
In the beginning, when man, who appeared on earth 3.8 million years ago, emerged from the "unconscious chaos" 500,000 years ago (and passed from the pre-human to the human species) he had a vague image of Nature as "one whole". Nature was unknown, mysterious, often friendly like Mother Nature and sometimes awe-inspiringly hostile. Man felt part of this Unknown Nature. So to this first phase belong the first religions of Nature, like something Holy, like a Mother who gives birth to everything and again seizes them in her unknown bosom.
In a subsequent phase, man separated the Unknown Sanctuary, which he placed high, from the familiar, everyday, which he placed low. It separated the Unknown Heaven from the known earth. Man, as a soul, had a heavenly origin but was raised and lived on earth. He thus created the celestial and natural religions of the second phase.
Then man separated from the Unknown Heaven which was the Source of Existence and life, the Dynamic Element, the Creative Element and thus religions were created that projected a Dynamic Form as a Representative of the Unknown Heaven.
Then, in historical times, man discerned from the Unknown Heaven the Mental Element which conceives and creates and surpasses the mere dynamic element and thus religions are created which describe the world as a four-part space in which the Absolute Unknown was Represented by the Creative Mind. The religions of the third phase include the Ancient Hellenic Religion.
3000 years ago man conceived the Unknown as the Universal Logos, the Creative Logos, the Universal Spirit which was the Image of the Unknown. Christianity belongs to the religions of the fourth phase.
At the same time, for 3000 years, there has been an even higher perception that considers the Unknown Absolute as the Being from which all "beings" come and to which they refer. Such religions or philosophies are Buddhism, Vedanta , Taoism, Orphism, Platonism, etc.
Typologically, then, we have a development of religious thought in five phases, in which we can classify the various religions. Today the perception of the fifth phase tends to prevail and thus only the religions of the fifth phase can be "saved", or as many of the religions of the fourth phase can be "adapted" to the spirit of the fifth phase.
Parallel to the evolution of the perception of the world, there was also the evolution of the perception of the human entity, of the human soul. In the beginning the human being, the human soul, was considered as a part of All Nature. They then discerned in the human entity a dynamic character, a mental element, a universal nature and finally identified the entity with the Ultimate Being.
Religion as a System of Thought
A religion (any religion) is a system of thought. A system of thought (a religion, a philosophy, a science, or simply a theory) adopts certain basic concepts (doctrines, ideas, theorems, concepts) with which it then structures the interpretation of Existence, the world, and individual phenomena.
Thus, from the outset, a system, even if it formulates an interpretation of the world, completely general, contains and produces, or can produce, all possible interpretations. In this way, it is explained that in the context of a religion, a philosophy, different schools of thought, different perceptions can be manifested historically. Thus, for example, in the context of Buddhism, which at the beginning some of its basic principles are formulated, various interpretations appear later in history. In fact, all these are deduced from the basic principles of the theory and do not belong to time, to history. Their historical formulation is completely coincidental . In the same way, all possible interpretations are extracted from the basic principles of Christianity and the various opinions that are often considered within the context of some "orthodoxy" by "any" official church as heresies are formulated historically.
Thus, religion, as a system of thought, as a worldview, is rather a way of thinking, an orientation, and not a clear and precise (with defined limits) exposition of our perception of the world. It is an open system where various and different opinions can be expressed. Thus, a religion can be a simple interpretation that as a way of thinking belongs to the first phase of religious perception - which perceives everything as a confused whole - but as a system of thought it gives the possibility to formulate perceptions that belong to higher phases of religious perception. Thus, for example, in the context of Buddhism, which at the beginning presents a completely simple and general theory of the world, interpretations that belong to the higher phases of religious perception appear afterwards. Also, in Christianity (and Islam) which religiously, typologically, belong to the fourth phase of religious perception, with the early fathers of Christianity (and the Sufis of Islam) concepts are formulated which belong to the Fifth phase of religious perception.
The Essence of All Religions
Studying the various religions, in all times (and regardless of the phase of religious understanding in which they are placed) we notice that there are certain basic concepts that are the same in all religions. All religions speak of the One Reality. The differences between religions are mainly interpretative and linguistic.
1) In all religions it is stated from the beginning that the Ultimate Reality (which is always considered Undefined, Incomprehensible, Infinite, etc.) constitutes the Background of the Phenomenon of Existence and all its varieties. The Absolute, Being, etc. It precedes all existence and all existence refers to It and can only approach it experientially. It is not simply a general idea to which thought reduces all beings - this general idea is a construction that follows thought and has nothing to do with the Objective Reality that posits it at the beginning.
2) Every being (every consciousness that feels that it exists) either identifies with, or refers to, the Ultimate Reality. Being emanates from, depends on, and is in relation to the Ultimate Reality.
3) Because of the existence of a relationship between the Ultimate Reality and any consciousness, communication arises not only as an existential necessity but also as a vital activity and as an existential destination.
4) The Ultimate Reality is considered by each consciousness (each subject) as a Supra -subjective Reality, i.e. an Objective Reality, which the subject approaches when he transcends all subjective, external activities and sinks into his Deepest Objective Being. The Deepest Objective Being of all existence is identified with the Ultimate Reality. This is where all meditative practices, spiritual exercises, etc. are founded.
5) Completeness of being in the context of a religion means Experiencing the Ultimate Reality (whether we think of it as identification with the Ultimate Reality, or as a union, or in any other way). The state is defined as enlightenment, deification , consummation, completion, etc., (all of which mean the same thing).
6) Experiencing the Ultimate Reality reveals to beings who achieve this that there is only One Reality from which they are never separated. The adventure through the universes, invisible and visible, is subjective which becomes, due to the absorption and weakness of the subject, objective. Illumination reveals our true relationship with phenomena.
These general concepts exist in all religions and where a religion seems to depart from the norm this is probably due to the interpretation promoted by its representatives and not to the Truth that the religion is trying to approach.
However, let's not forget that all religions are only interpretations, i.e. indications of the Truth, not the written Truth. We must experience the Truth they indicate. Truth does not belong to the space of thought, it is not formulated speech, words.