Most of our contemporary sciences are finally catching up to what the ancient Eastern mystics have been declaring from time immemorial. Everything begins in silence, exists only for a brief time, and then slips back into the silent source from which it came. What appears to be real essentially hides what truly is real. And, all that appears in life is fundamentally rooted in consciousness.
Thousands of years ago the ancient scientists, the seers, discovered that there are five intrinsic acts that allow us to experience and traverse this universe. We are all individually and collectively bound to these five principles. —Or more correctly, they are tied to us, because we are beyond our temporal incarnations, the one authentic dreamer who calls these actions and what they promise into play.
The first of these five is referred to as srsti. Srsti is the act of inception, the initial creation spark. It is the life-initiating flow of materializing moments that make all things appear; it is the birthing action in any instant, the initiating inspiration that rises up from the floor of Creation to scale up to become our relative events in our temporal existence.
The second act is sthiti. Sthiti is the maintaining act of time that supports the manifest lifetime of any thing or event. It is the action that affirms varying degrees of endurance, —the action of existence.
The third act is samhara, which represents the end of any manifest thing or event. It is the dissolution action in time. Samhara is that action that releases our manifest experiences back into the cauldron of origins from where they came.
These three, srsti, sthiti, and samhara, act as the revolving spokes in the Kalachakra, the great wheel of time. It is through their asymmetrical flow that life is made possible. The hub of this wheel is Supreme Awareness, Paramatma. Paramatma is the ultimate agent of pure consciousness, the purest and most dynamic state of our innermost divinity that governs an infinite field of potential. Paramatma is that one ultra-free beingness that is your highest Self.
Likening this infinite field of potential to a shoreless sea, we might imagine how every ebb and tide, current, wave or vibrating ripple in that sea is governed by these first three acts. Every movement within that sea was in its original condition merely a latent potential waiting to be activated by the dreaming power of Paramatma. Our reality is just a vibrating reverie, an illusory interpretation of probable wave potentials dancing in and out of existence. Our worlds are secretly built from a complexity of waiting possibilities that Paramatma sings into time, plays for a while, and then fades back into silent dissolution.
The fourth act is samgopana, which can be translated as the act of concealing, hiding, or veiling the truth of our existence. Samgopana can alternately be referred to as nirgraha, which is translated as a loss of freedom or the imprisoning of consciousness in the illusion of material experience. Samgopana is a default action that accompanies the first three acts. Because the first three are linear movements that are always limited, they innately disguise the eternal state of transcendental absoluteness that is the quintessential indefinable landscape of unlimited Paramatma consciousness. Samgopana is the action of self-concealment that occurs in the process of creation when pure awareness invests itself in identification with the created.
In the revealing act of srsti, consciousness of the whole is lost. In order for awareness to experience its infinite sea of Self, which is in its wholeness absolute and symmetrical, it focuses on an inherent aspect of that whole, on some measure of its innate potential. It cannot vessel the full expanse of the sea. Instead, it experiences itself incrementally and imperfectly through the three acts of Creation.
Our contemporary quantum sciences tell us that the micro-particles that interact in the quantum field, which scale up to become our relative reality, do not truly exist until an agent of awareness searches for them. It is awareness that ignites possibility. The search for the probable is ultimately what collapses a wave of potential into a moment. Consciousness in its ultimate condition is a non-local absoluteness, an indescribable Oneness, an unconditional or unmitigated symmetry. Absolute symmetry is just another way of saying perfection. Perfection is a state in which no movement can occur, and is therefore, eternally silent. This supreme condition of consciousness is not knowable to the linear contrast-dependent psyche. Simply, it can know, but it cannot be known. And yet, it is the ground from which all life is dreamt into expression.
The fifth act of Creation is prabodhana, which can be translated as Self-realization, illumining consciousness, or more aptly, as enlightening. This act can alternately be referred to as anugraha, which can be translated as loving kindness or the grace of the Self.
Consciousness initially reveals its creative intelligence through the collapse of potential into expression; this is srsti. Another act offers it the opportunity to inhabit material form within the contrasts of life; this is sthiti. It inevitably returns its dream to the source from where all things have come; this is samhara. For this process to occur the Oneness condition of the true Self is lost in the dualistic, contrast driven unfolding of possibility in linear time; this is samgopana. The fifth act, as an inherent attribute of these four previous acts, emerges as the essential target of life. Paramatma reveals through its dreaming of life experience, what it is and isn’t. It may be what it sees, but it is not just what it sees. It can never just be what it sees no matter how large the Self may dream, there’s always more to the infinite reach of possibility. The Creator Self experiencing incarnate life thus instantly becomes the seeker, secretly searching for itself through the experiences and events that life opportunes, and through the grace inevitably finds its way back to the immortal Self.
Seen in this way the journey that is life becomes a gradual revealing of the truth of one’s existence through the experiences had through the high Self dreaming itself imperfectly into its own creation. The five acts constitute the spiritual path in life. In other words, the spiritual path is the ability to harness these acts as an art form that paints the canvas of time with the possible, and then uses that painting to reveal the hidden nature of consciousness. In this way life becomes a path to power and freedom through developing Self-mastery in life.
The key to mastering srsti is to give this act of initial creation no resistance, and to instead accept whatever comes as a secret offer from the one high Self, —the Paramatma. The journey through this theater of life requires an ongoing sequence of problems to always be in motion. Without these problems no growth would be possible, no power would develop, and no knowledge of Self would be won. Because the perfection that is one’s incarnation cannot truly be expressed, every life appears as an imperfection that seeks its liberation through its return to the perfection from which life came. This is the very nature of life and the driving force on the spiritual path.
The Self desires only two things; it desires to be, and it seeks the truth of its existence through the end results of self-mastery in being. On the path to enlightenment one learns to embrace with gratefulness what must come to be, what is, and what must go. And one learns to use the problem of being imperfect as a goad for development. Life is not an accident; it has a divine purpose woven into every fiber of its tapestry. That purpose is Self Mastery. Such beauty! —It hides itself in the illusion of material existence and therein instantly generates a path to power and inevitable enlightenment. Once attained, it finds itself in authentic relationship with its own High Self, finding there a superlative freedom to play; this is divine lilla, —and so the dance of the One with its Beloved begins. Yes, there is yet the illusion of two, but what a marvelous illusion that is. When there is only One in play, than that canvas becomes divine love incarnate.
Text by Aaravindha Himadra, written on a retreat on Orcas Island