We think of people, the world, as separate from us. Siva sees only a oneness. He doesn't see anything as separate from Him. Human nature, we identify with what changes. Mystically there's a part of us that never changes in this or past lives. Veiling grace individuates awareness. Master Course Lesson 150.
Today's Master Course Lesson from Dancing with Siva, Lesson 150.
"What Are the Views on Mahapralaya?
"Monistic theists hold that at mahapralaya, cosmic dissolution, all creation is withdrawn into Siva, and He alone exists. Pluralistic theists hold that world and souls persist in seed form and will later reemerge."
And there's a quote from the Vedas at the end of the Bhashya:
"By His divine power He holds dominion over all the worlds. At the periods of creation and dissolution of the universe, He alone exists."
So it's a large concept to ponder. A common way of looking at it is, as it is explained here that He alone exists. And then from Him manifold creation comes. So, the One becomes many and then returns to the One. Simple way of looking at it. And certainly in our ordinary state of consciousness we see many things, we see many people. We think of them all as separate. We think of the world as separate from us and so forth. So, we, we do see a multiplicity. And then that multiplicity returns to oneness. That's the common viewpoint.
But another viewpoint is to try and imagine how it looks from God's point of view, from Siva's point of view. Does He see many? Did He, did all of His creation become separate from Him? Does He see many? No, of course not. He only sees Himself. He sees a oneness. He doesn't see a multiplicity. So from that point of view the One didn't become many. The One just looks like many but it's still One from His point of view. So, Siva doesn't see anything as being separate from Him.
So, that's a slightly different way of looking at it. So, the One appears as One and the One appears as many but it's actually still One. It's another way of describing it. So, that's the theory.
I was asked when I was in Guyana about: "Do you believe that the soul eventually merges with God and becomes one with God and loses it's identity?"
It was a diverse group so I gave a diplomatic answer, I said: "Well, those who are monists, the Hindus who hold the monistic philosophy definitely believe that. And, but those who are dualists don't."
The point the man was making with his question is, isn't it kind of unnatural or painful or fearful to give up your identity, to merge with God?
And I said: "Well, not really. From God's point of view you aren't separate from Him right now."
You know, it's more a question of shifting perspectives. Here you are over here looking at God and you think of yourself as separate. But at that end God's looking at you and God just sees Himself. Cause God doesn't see a second person. So, it's taking on God's perspective. They didn't answer back on that one. I don't think they were expecting that answer. So it's just taking on God's perspective on this situation.
There's an interesting thought. I was thinking of writing it up as an exercise. And because to get in, to make that idea seem natural we have to find the part of us that has never changed. Which of course, is awareness. Another way of saying awareness. That within you which has never changed. That's how Gurudeva describes it in his talks. Find that within you which has never changed. What within you at this point in your life today, and at the same point in your life when you were born hasn't changed? What's constant? Everything else of course changes and we tend to identify with what's changing rather than what, rather than with that which hasn't changed. It's human nature. We enjoy identifying with what's changing. Within us, within the world. Change keeps us interested, keeps us excited. But mystically, you know, there's a part of us that's never changed. It's awareness. And we can look at our life and find that part of us in any situation and identify with it. And see that part of us is never changing. When we were young, middle age, older, for those who are older, and part of us hasn't changed and the rest of us has.
So, that's one exercise. But, then Gurudeva takes it one step further. I was looking for the quote this morning but I couldn't find it. He's talking about past lives. And he says, you know, I look at my past lives and to me I haven't changed. I'm the same in each life. I see that part of me, I identify with that part of me that no matter who I was... And of course, you know, imagine how different you are in past lives. Sometimes you're a man, sometimes you're a woman, you're a politician, you're a musician. You know, you're totally different on the outside right? But Gurudeva was able to see the part of him that was the same in every single life.
So, that's getting you closer to being able to look at it from Siva's point of view that you are everyone and everything. Then it's all Siva. Cause if you can find it in you then you can start to see it outside of you.
There's a related concept which has to do with veiling and revealing grace. Because of the influence of veiling grace we think of ourselves as an individual. That's what veiling grace does, it individuates awareness. We think of ourselves as separate. And that's there on purpose, not a mistake. It's not a random event; it's there on purpose, God's purpose. Cause it helps us identify with being a person and.. You know, for example in married life, being a husband, being a wife, having a profession so forth. We identify with that as who we are. And then, the goal is to do it well.
So, as Yogaswami says, you know: "Do your work well, that is worship."
So, when we do it well we advance spiritually. If we do it poorly then we either stand still or we go backwards. That is a process that God deliberately makes us think we're a person. Doesn't allow us to think we are God. So, that we fulfill the duties of that person and do them well. And then we fulfill the duties of another person, we do them well. Fulfill the duties of another person in another life and do that well. Eventually, the idea that we are a person starts to lose power. Just kind of doesn't have the grip on us that used to. It's like someone who's very keen on earning money at some point in life, has an experience and looses that ambition. So, likewise, this, it wanes. So likewise the identification as an individual eventually wanes and then, as we were talking about in the beginning, we see it from God's point of view that there's only One. That God is everything or we are everything.
So, when you get there you probably won't be an individual anymore. There's no need to come back, right? Nothing more to do.
Thank you very much.