Have you had experiences you would call extraordinary or strange? Perceptions during which you maybe weren’t exactly sure what was happening? Which you found difficult to explain to yourself, but you still observed the experience and just went with the flow? Allowing yourself to remember these events is an achievement in itself. Many tend to block out any perceptions which might threaten their world-view and pose an imminent danger to their self-understanding. Obviously, everything we can’t quite grasp with our current understanding can put our internal concept of existence in disarray. Yet it also provides an opportunity to go beyond of what we thought of the world and ourselves until that moment. I would like to share some of the experiences I had in this regard with you.
One ordinary afternoon, I was pondering. I believe I was about 15 years old – so you might also call it a lazy afternoon. Unlike some of my classmates, I made sure to finish my homework quickly and never to have too many afternoon activities, since I thoroughly enjoyed playing computer games and doing the things teenagers do. Maybe distinct to a degree, I also enjoyed pondering about whatever came to my mind. I can’t remember what initially fuelled the engine of this train of thought, but I was concerned with the idea of willpower and achievement. Although I don’t talk to myself (that) often, I started to articulate my thoughts with my voice in order to help their development. I can’t recall the content of these thoughts anymore, but I believe I went on like this for about half an hour until I finally reached a satisfying conclusion: “In order to achieve anything, I must will it. If I will it, I can achieve it.” For me, this is a cornerstone of subsequent realizations, but this particular experience was most likely only the iceberg’s visible tip of a process already going on for much longer. In retrospect, I am also aware of the many so-called limiting beliefs I held back then which prevented an even fuller realization of effectiveness through willpower.
In autumn of 2007 I had the opportunity to visit Japan with a friend of mine. During the travel, I really enjoyed the contrast of modern technology and lush temple gardens. I also loved to sample the different flavours of green tea which are usually available free of charge in restaurants and hotels.  While staying in Kyoto, I had a room to myself in a centrally located ryokan. I had been walking around the city alone and was very relaxed when I came back to the hotel. After showering, I sat down on the tatami mat and served myself a cup of genmai-tea. I heard the quiet noise of the street-traffic and took a sip of my tea. Then – the world stopped. I felt an incredible sense of calm and security, a profound connection with everything. For the blink of an eye, the boundaries of my being became permeable. Since then, the smell of genmai-cha reminds me of this transcendental experience of tranquillity.
Who hasn’t come in contact with mind-altering substances before? While alcohol is socially venerated and marijuana publicly demonized, few consider the effects coffee, milk or hormone-laden meat can have on their state of consciousness and sense of well-being.  Funnily enough, the first time I really came into contact with marijuana was in the summer of 2011 in Santa Cruz, California. Over a year later, I had some more regular encounters with it. Having concluded that considered, conscious consumption wouldn’t do me much harm – and is certainly an alternative far superior to alcohol – I simply enjoyed it. So it happened that one evening I smoked with friends at a party without knowing that the following experience would drastically change my perception of the world for good. The temporary effects were even more intense. For the lack of a better term which could be understood, I went around and repeated to my friends something along the lines of “I see the matrix. It’s true!”. Of course, this experience was only the singular event which made years of research and conscious deliberation on topics such as perception, communication, world-views and self-understanding explicit. The realization literally flew in my face and there was no more way of denying it. I won’t elaborate on this experience and the complex issue of marijuana here, but it shall be known that my actions have been profoundly inspired by this shift in perception. Inspiring hours of talking to friends as well as strangers, directed research, meticulous note-taking and overcoming psychological barriers led me to more consequently access my creative potential, result of which you can see within these lines.
The Primal Assumption
We have all been conditioned to assume – to accept claims without independently verifiable proof and explanation. In such a condition, it comes naturally to suppose the medical doctor can restore your health, the policeman can keep order and the scientist can bring progress. Even if we find the prescribed drug to be detrimental to our well-being, we often continue taking it as we assume the doctor to have superior insight. The conditioning brings us to believe that what is best for us is unknown by oneself but known by others – and so we readily and willingly put ourselves under their authority. While this particular assumption can turn out to be misled and very dangerous – for it may bring about the demise of the body – it is still a far cry from the importance of what I consider to be the most basic assumption. Any and all thoughts and actions – any experience we may have – is profoundly influenced by this primal assumption: The nature of existence.
In most discussions about historical events, biology or even evolutionary theory, the originator of all inquiry is never made explicit: Who is it, discussing about Neanderthals over coffee? Who is asking the question? Who are you? What is your answer to this question? What is the nature of the being reading this line? Indeed, what are you? It is of utmost importance to understand that the answer you give yourself to this question forms the basis of all your experience! Just like your self-understanding itself is contained within this answer, your self-understanding contains all experience you may have in life, all possibilities you can fathom.
Imagine you, as a human, would have been growing up with a wolf pack.  You would think of yourself as a wolf and live the life of a wolf, hunting and howling. After all, your whole experience is framed through your self-understanding as a wolf. Anything contradicting it would have likely been blocked out in order to protect this very self-understanding. A severe crisis might call your world-view into question: Unable to run away from a mudflow, without consciously being aware of what you are doing, you might find yourself climbing up a tree. While this would be impossible for a wolf, it is easy for you given your body’s ability to stand and having hands to grab onto branches. Suddenly, sitting on top of the tree, you gain a new perspective on the world. Although maybe not yet knowing exactly how you ended up there, your self-perception drastically changes as you realize your ability to climb trees. Understanding your newly found powers, uncountable treetops and new vistas open themselves up to you. As you can now see the world from above, you gain a new way of making sense of your surroundings: You see your fellow pack members from a new angle, you can easily spot prey from far away and indeed have a vantage point formerly unbeknownst to your kind. After such an experience, you could return to the ground and pretend as if nothing had ever happened – living as man among wolves. However, after glimpsing your powers, could you ignore your true nature?
Of Flesh and Spirit
Growing up in a society worshipping materialism and mostly ignoring the existence of spiritual experience aside from dogma-ridden religion, it comes to no surprise that we are told to be no more than human flesh. Obvious issues and inconsistencies within evolutionary theory aside: What are the practical consequences of believing that one’s existence is limited to the physical human body?  First of all, this belief creates the primal fear: The fear of death. Although I know it to be impossible to logically explain, materialists claim that the phenomenon of consciousness emerges out of the nerve cells’ complex interactions within the human brain.  With the demise of the body as the generator of consciousness, your existence would be ended. Physicists would argue that the energy in the universe remains constant and your matter is being absorbed by micro-organisms and insects – but the tragic situation remains. In contrast, researchers of consciousness liken the physical body to a TV-set and consciousness to the signal. As you know – even if a TV is broken, the station keeps broadcasting to all those who may receive and process the signal.  A spiritual mindset would also consider the all-oneness which I will elaborate on below, so the question of whether the ego or individuated consciousness is lost becomes less dramatic.
Strange as it may sound, even more important than the question of what happens at the passing of the physical body – is the question of what you can do while it still functions. Within the materialist view, you are limited in your perceptions and effects to the direct physical influence you can exert with your body. This includes moving about the world (as far as you can travel), touching objects, caressing or hurting other living beings. Intellectually minded people would highlight the ability to share ideas as well as attain power over oneself or others through intelligence. Still, you would require to communicate by means of a physical representation such as voice or writing – potentially amplified through radio, printing press or the internet. From a spiritual perspective, these are very limited powers indeed. You are not your body, but you as consciousness merely concentrate yourself within this point in space and time so as to create the illusion of ego and material existence. Realizing yourself to be a fractal of consciousness, constantly co-creating the world through thought and observation, opens up a quite different vista of possibilities.  It makes you understand that your thoughts and observations matter, for they not only change your inner psychological state, but actually have profound consequences – both material and spiritual – far beyond the reach of your physical body. This represents the view from the tree-top I mentioned above. This realization of tremendous self-efficacy also dismantles any attempt to control you – for your infinite power as consciousness can only be contained if you choose to keep yourself distracted and bind yourself to beliefs which limit your own might.  I invite you to make the time – and ‘assume’ for just an instant – that you actually are creator-consciousness. No outside circumstance can stand in the slipstream of your directed willpower – turning from the feeble stroke of the blunt, splintering chopstick into the mighty blow of the greatsword’s hardened, cutting edge. You become a man among wolves. You realize your true nature as creator-consciousness among the unfortunate, ignorant pack of mankind who would rather think of themselves as victimized ape-men so they may continue to blame others for their misery. Having gained this insight – which I believe is intuitively known by us all for it is our nature – at least I find it impossible, indeed shameful and insulting, to pretend as if I had never climbed the tree to see myself in the world with new eyes. Just imagine Neo, after being freed by Morpheus, would simply log back into the Matrix and pretend as if nothing ever happened! The prospects are too great and the stakes too high as to not inform others of what I have come to understand and to invite them – invite you – to do the same. For you may live the life of your dreams – your life as a dream!
A Vision of the Paradox
In late 2012, I was introduced to achintya-bheda-abheda-tattva through a book by philosopher Armin Risi. This principle concerns itself with the nature of god and creation. It postulates the inconceivable, simultaneous oneness and distinctiveness of god (creator) and god’s energies (creation). This means that we, as beings of creation, are both united with and separated from the source of creation at any given moment. This is perfectly analogous to quantum theory’s wave-particle dualism, whereas light is both a concrete particle and a probability wave at the same time.  It means the human condition is both a concrete, individual experience but also an infinite possibility in unity with everything. On one hand, there is the individualised ego-consciousness with a distinct body, mind and soul. On the other hand, there is boundless potential in unity with the whole of creation. The idea of god as creator and (moral) consciousness is merely the externalization of our individualised power and responsibility as creator-consciousness. The realization of achintya-bheda-abheda-tattva is the birth of creator-consciousness within you, understanding yourself as transcendent consciousness and creator with limitless creativity.
Communicating about this reality with a dear friend of mine, we shared a vision of this paradox. The image is of a pulsating sun in an empty space surrounded by an invisible sphere. The sun represents the source of creation, the purest effigy of the creative agency. The sphere represents the most distant creation, the most dense vibrations of the material realm. The empty space in-between represents the many unseen layers of creation, the spiritual and astral realms. The sun is sending out myriad rays and flares against the sphere, simultaneously perceiving and creating throughout all the layers they pass through. Where several of these flares converge on the sphere, individuated consciousness and free will is born. The flares eternally continue their dance, as awareness is constantly being focused and shifted within the endless space of creation. Interestingly, this vision is quite similar to the Quabbalistic view on the genesis of the world.  Continually refining the understanding of this principle, it becomes possible to assume the same paradoxical state of simultaneous individuality and unity. Being the convergence point of individuated ego-consciousness as well as being both creator and all creation at the same time – or freely choosing between the different viewpoints.
The amount and profundity of philosophical conclusions which can be drawn from the achintya-bheda-abheda-tattva is quite astounding. It explains the recommendation of the oracle of delphi – know thyself. For you are one, yet everything – knowing yourself actually results in knowing the world which merely appears separated from your being. Furthermore, the saying that god sees everything can be logically explained – for god as consciousness is contained within the whole of creation, therefore experiencing and potentially recording everything which happens. The psychological idea that the people you spend the most time with are your most accurate reflections makes it easier to recognise yourself as always being intimately connected to your environment. It is said that god only helps those who help themselves. If you realise yourself as creator-consciousness, the connection to god as creator is being established, then the impossible can be achieved since you, as the universe, conspire in your favour. I believe this tattva also gives us reason to congratulate ourselves. The Christian church would have us think of ourselves as sinners for being expelled from garden Eden, having taken a bite from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge.  I propose another view: We, as individuated consciousness, are actually among the most brave fractals of unity-consciousness since we chose to enter the material realm of polarity. Within this potentially most dense of all spheres of creation, pain and suffering exist – unthinkable, probably indeed non-existent within the higher-up realms where ideas and spirits reside.  After all, we probably came here to learn about Good and Evil, an opposition which couldn’t exist within perfect unity of oneness. We might just be the front-line gladiators, exploring the outskirts of creation, bravely facing our fears and eternally continuing the struggle. Once we adopt this view every difficult task becomes an inspiring challenge.
Lucid within the Dream
The first experience of heightened self-reflexivity I can remember was looking at my hands and wondering about the nature of my existence – whether my body is the source of my consciousness. While I didn’t deny or forget about these instances, I didn’t really know how to go from there so they faded in the background of my consciousness. Now, after having much more profound and intense experiences, it is still my daily task to remember them. Thinking and especially feeling into these moments enables me to re-cognise what I see as spiritual truths and to further build my understanding. It helps me to surround myself with reminders in order to recall the state of serenity, connection and wholeness as often as possible. These memory points can take the form of written notes, songs and art dealing with the theme, as well as meditation and daily rituals. Due to the very nature of creator-consciousness, it can only be definitely manifested if the awareness is directed on its realisation. One needs to focus on being creator-consciousness, indeed on being oneself. Repetition isn’t redundant and boring, but rather essential and exalting in approaching a more permanent state of creator-consciousness through time and space. The often incessant babbling of the intellect can make it more difficult for it always develops defined thought forms which distract from the void of all-oneness. However, the intellect also helps us to strengthen the bridge from the spiritual down to the material if we are patient in taming and directing it. I perceive that after each successive step of moving closer to this realisation, indeed like approaching infinity, and being able to hold it in my every-day waking state, the perfect pattern of creation revealing this very truth becomes more and more obvious. I believe that every single experience, no matter how disconnected and removed it may seem, holds within it the key to realize the all-oneness of the achintya-bheda-abheda-tattva.  It is as if there always is an invisible door floating in front of you – and opening it is just a single push of your directed consciousness away. The more you become aware of it – the more you see it reflected in both the inner and the outer world. It is everywhere, for it is everything – for you are everything! The process is just like continually reminding yourself that you are actually living a dream. The more lucid you become of your nature, the more you see the immense creative potential you have to change yourself in the world. The blade of your will becomes ever sharper and easily cuts through obstacles previously impregnable – and everything is possible. 
Piercing through the Veil – The Realization of Unity
The realisation of simultaneously being united and different from the whole of creation also has very practical consequences in showing clear guidelines for behaviour. It seems natural that the more powerful you become, the more responsibility you should bear. If you realise the other to be you – how would you treat him? According to achintya-bheda-abheda-tattva you are a distinctive being, yet one with everything – every tree, every animal, every human, every drop of water and even every plastic cup. From this viewpoint, the Golden Rule “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” becomes more than just an ethical aspiration.  If we are all one single being constantly re-imagining itself, how nonsensical would it be to inflict pain upon ourself? Whatever we reflect upon in the world within the illusion of separation is actually part of ourselves. The acts towards healing and unity are thus (self-)acknowledgement, (self-)acceptance, (self-)forgiveness, (self-)compassion – essentially unconditional (self-)love, for we are contained within the other. Only through re-thinking ourselves, re-cognising ourself, can we bring about a new state.
The realization of achintya-bheda-abheda-tattva means piercing through the veil of material existence into the deeper spiritual background to the source of creation itself in order to become consciously aware of the eternal link within ourselves. However, I believe it is usually a gradual process in which the perfect understanding of the tattva can be approximated. The material and the spiritual can be conceptualised as having a one-way mirror in-between them. The spiritual recognises the material, but the material always only sees itself. Personally, I have held a materialist’s holistic viewpoint before, which also acknowledges the interconnection of everything but remains ignorant of the spiritual realm. Continually building on my knowledge through research and deliberation has allowed me to permanently revise my own world-view, approaching this realization without really knowing that it existed. I was only introduced to it in an intellectually concise sense after having had several first-hand experiences of its various aspects as mentioned above. I am certain that anyone truly willing to attain a higher understanding of himself in this world can realize even the greatest spiritual truths. At least one can continue to approximate his conception, which is what I strive to do – for this process may also very well not be finished within one lifetime.
The First Frame – A New Reference
The importance of the primal assumption of your nature cannot be underestimated. Every perception, every experience, every action flows from this understanding. You can see all possibilities of your life as a picture with all experiences being drawn within its frame. The primal assumption is this first frame, so it should be most wisely chosen and always be reflected upon. Indeed, it is necessary to step out of the frame you call your life in order to explicitly see and change this frame. From my perspective, the materialist frame is quite small and bleak. A self-understanding as creator-consciousness through the achintya-bheda-abheda-tattva represents a much larger frame, encompassing and embellishing the materialist’s view, while greatly extending the vista of the possible experiences and the confidence to be able to fulfil one’s innermost desires. We know about the requirement to see the big picture in order to create a vision of the world we want to live in. A truly great picture needs the appropriate frame to go by!
I contend that the seeming absurdity of existence within the modern world provides the imperative of critically reflecting upon one’s own nature. Existential questions must be answered – at the very least in parallel to the busy every-day life. The denial of the spiritual dimension comes with the loss of the internal moral compass. Where are we going if we don’t even know what direction we’re headed? If we don’t know the point of it all – how can we act properly? What we re-cognise ourselves to be determines the options we can choose from. Asking about the nature of our being is thus the most important, essential act. The answer might be absolute, for everything else flows from it. As it provides the most, potentially all options, I see the realisation of creator-consciousness to be the vantage point from which human experience should be seen and further research be conducted.
Within and Without – Practicalities
The more I understand the achntya-bheda-abheda-tattva – the inconceivable, simultaneous oneness and distinctiveness of creator and creation – the more opportunities I find for applying this very understanding. Appreciating another person, I wonder what aspect he represents which I like or find lacking in myself as individuated consciousness. In conflicts with the world, I wonder what I am opposing or disliking within myself. As the tattva is realised, peace and tranquillity is restored both within and without. There is no point in fighting with yourself. As the correspondence is found within, I also find a gradual cessation of material desire – which can eventually result in a dramatic shift of priorities in society as well. Instead of a life of suffering caused by wilful distraction from oneself in material illusion: A life of boundless creativity in exalted consciousness. Even if me and all those before who have reported similar experiences and espoused variations of this theory are wrong: Approximating such a condition can only bring about a more enjoyable life. Free will, as you will to believe in it, ensures that everyone can live in their very own constructions of what they regard as true.  I will to experience the nature of the absolute reality, the light which shines independently for itself. Awakening to creator-consciousness might just be both the first and last step on this timeless journey. In the words of Kula Shaker: „If this was never ending – what more can you say?“ 
I transformed this process into a musical blend: Waking Up to My Mental-Prison Break.
 I was positively surprised by Japanese hospitality and its effects on gastronomical culture. A warm, damp towel is served before ordering food. A type of green tea is often free of charge – a welcome change from common gastronomical practice in Europe.
 Graham Hancock talks explains in this War on Consciousness TEDxWhitechapel talk how modern society has a strong bias towards the high-alter, active state of consciousness. This goes at the expense of the relaxed, creative state of mind. This favours a “work hard, play hard” type of mentality rather than encouraging deeply reflective practice and free thinking. The officially condoned substances nicotine and alcohol further the “working bee” mentality. Interestingly, it seems there is conflict over whether this controversial talk will be censored by TED – further proving the point. The written version of his argument is available on his website.
 It appears there are many cases of feral children in both mythology and reality.
 The German researcher Hans-Joachim Zillmer deals with the issues of evolutionary theory on his website. The philosopher Armin Risi proposes his theory of involution, whereas biological evolution occurred as the result of transformations in consciousness.]
 Benjamin Libet’s Conscious Mental Field theory shows the practical impossibility of logically and consistently explaining consciousness through matter alone.
 I heard of this analogy from an interview with biochemist Rupert Sheldrake.
 I introduce this topic in my essay A Conscious Decision. For those who understand German I can highly recommend this intruiging interview with Roman Christian Hafner on Schöpfung und Schöpfer whose appearance interestingly co-incided with the creation of this text.
 I explain this process in the last section of my essay on The Hierarchical Principle.
 I read of achintya-bheda-abheda-tattva in Armin Risi’s book “Licht wirft keinen Schatten”. He explains the multi-dimensional nature of man in this presentation held in German. In the Krishna’s story, Yashoda finds that the entire universe is contained within him as he opens his mouth.
 The occultist Manly Palmer Hall gives a concise account on the Fundamentals of Quabbalistic Cosmogeny in his magnum opus The Secret Teachings of All Ages which luckily is available online in its entirety.
 This issue is also dealt with by Hall in the chapter Quabbalistic Keys to the Creation of Man: “Through ignorance man falls; through wisdom he redeems himself. […] He who is aware, IS! Behold!” Those who realize themselves to be creator-consciousness are ready to truly be conscious and create their world to their liking.
 There is the theory that free will actually only exists within the lowest spheres of creation. Beings of higher spheres such as cherubim and seraphim are supposed to always act in perfect unison with the will of the creator.
 This observation is made in Aldous Huxley’s first hand account The Doors of Perception: “The whole is disorganized. But each individual fragment is in order, is a representative of a Higher Order. The Highest Order prevails even in the disintegration. The totality is present even in the broken pieces. More clearly present, perhaps, than in a completely coherent work.”
 Richard Holton likens the development of willpower to the training of a muscle in his paper: How Is Stength of Will Possible?
 The golden rule can be found in many variations across cultures and religions.
 As put by cybernetician Vickers: „This world of represented context is effectively the world in which we live. It is our supreme mental achievement.“
 It is surprising how much art actually concerns itself with spiritual realities including the achintya-bheda-abheda-tattva. The truth shall be revealed to those who have eyes to see. Kula Shaker doesn’t leave much room for interpretation in Tattva: „At the moment that you wake from sleeping – and you know it’s all a dream!“
Frame Image by Marian Trinidad.
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