Friday, April 17, 2015

If God is All, then what am I?

If God is All, then what am I?
By Peter Dziuban
 
[Dr. Alfred Lewis Aiken (1897 – 1968) was born in Norwalk, Connecticut. He was a veteran of World War I & II, a chemistry teacher, a dentist, a medical doctor, an actor, playwright and many things. But one question that he never left until he discovered the true answer was “if God is All, then what am I and where does that leave good and evil?” He talked and wrote about his findings during the 50’s and 60’s, much before Non-dual teaching was popular in America. Hillier Press makes his works available to all. Peter Dziuban, who is not unknown to the readers of this Blog, has studied Alfred’s teachings in depth and realized that Consciousness is All that IS. I am very grateful to Peter who has been extremely kind to make this short contribution for our Blog on Dr. Alfred Aiken’s teaching  -- ramesam.]
 
 
If God is All, then what am I?
By Peter Dziuban
 
Did you ever ask yourself, “What is God to God?”
 
It’s like asking, “What is Infinity—not to me—but what is Infinity to Its own Infinity?”
 
What if the only One that experiences God is God?
 
What is it like where the only One that experiences pure Consciousness is that very same pure Consciousness—and that there is only the One pure Consciousness?
 
What does it feel like when reading these questions? 
 
With all this talk of there being only one infinite God, is also there a feeling of a “me” being left out? 
 
Or does it feel clean? 
 
Is there an aliveness to the pure singleness, the clear, clean, only-ness of the infinite, the pure Divine One?
 
This infinite Divine One is pure Consciousness.  Then, as there is only the One, mustn’t this Infinite One have something to do with this very Consciousness aware here, now, as these words are being read?
 
There is a common sense notion held today that the Infinite is something vast, somewhere out beyond what the human mind experiences as its finite world.  From this finite view, it is sometimes conjectured that it is possible to attain the Infinite—but to do so, one must first rise out of finity.
 
But what happens when you flip this view around, and start from the “other direction”—start from the Infinite instead of the finite?
 
That’s the game changer.  Infinity, being infinite (which is another way of saying All), leaves only Infinity.  Infinity doesn’t go only so far until It stops and bumps up against a finite state, and begins to co-exist with finity.  Infinity, being infinite, precludes there being a secondary finite state out of which It could rise.
 
Being infinite, Infinity leaves nothing besides Itself from which It could come to arrive at Itself.  Infinity is.
 
“Instead of looking ‘up to God’ let us begin looking ‘out from’ God.”  From That Which Is, by Alfred Aiken, published by Hillier Press.
Dr. Alfred Aiken
 That passage was a real “stopper” for me.  In another sense, it was the start, a beginning of a new way of living.  It brought all the seeking to a screeching halt—but it was not the end of unfoldment.
 
I first came across Alfred Aiken’s work on Infinite Reality in the 1980’s.  I had been seriously “on the path” for several years, and a part-time seeker for many years prior to that.
 
There’s no need to go into all that had been previously studied.  The main point is that I had worked sincerely, and made a lot of progress (or so I had assumed).  I still had further to go, but I was getting there.  And that’s just it.  “I” was getting there.  There was still a “me” who was slowly making the grade, or trying to.  There was still a “middle man”—this me who had progressed beyond the old Peter, but still had quite a long way to go to reach the Divine.
 
The power of Aiken’s passage was that it stopped “me” in my tracks. 
 
“Of course,” the realization came, “Infinite Consciousness, God, the Self, is already AT or being Itself.  And that is this very Consciousness being aware right here, now.  This Consciousness can’t belong to a ‘Peter’—because Peter is just a body, an unconscious thing.  And other than that, ‘Peter’ would consist only of a lot of thoughts and feelings—but they’re not conscious either.  Only the One Consciousness Itself is being this Consciousness, and It can’t progress to Itself because It already IS Itself.”
 
There isn’t space here to go into all the implications and ramifications of turning the perspective around—in which God is looking out as God, instead of there being a separate “me” that is looking up to a God.  If this has “struck a chord” with you, you can investigate Alfred Aiken’s work further if you wish.
 
There are however, two distinctions worth mentioning. 
 
The first is something that immediately felt different, and very direct.  Yet it took a while to be able to articulate exactly what the difference was.  It’s this:  pick up virtually any book of spirituality, nonduality, whatever.  Almost always, the author’s writing is done in such a way that it is merely talking about—talking about Self, talking about nonduality, talking about experience, talking about what “you” should or shouldn’t do.  And, the writing even may be very accurate in what it’s talking about.
 
But when you first pick up a book such as That Which Is, you instantly notice that there is a different feel to it. 
 
It’s because the writing is clean.  It is done in the awareness that It literally is the One Infinite Consciousness that is being conscious so the writing can be done.  And the writing is done on the basis that the Infinite Self, being the only Self, is simply talking to Itself.  There is no middle-man author, no interpreter,  talking about Self in order to help or clarify things for a separate “you.”
 
As is always said, words can only point.  True.  But whenever anything is put into words, those words carry a certain “energy signature”—that’s why the author chose to use those particular, specific words instead of countless other possible words that might have been used.  Words are like mental footprints, and they can always be traced back to the state of thought or level of awareness that gave rise to them.
 
Meanwhile, the reader appears to be receiving that certain “energy package” or feeling while reading what the author has “transmitted.”
 
Now consider the difference in that transmission, or feel, if the writing is imbued with a sense of, “there is another self ‘out there’ that this writing is going to enlighten.”  That’s one type of energy. 
 
Compare that to the feel of writing that is not imbued with any layers of anything—and has no agenda—but is just “coming from” the Purity and Clarity of Infinite Being.  Period.
 
Such writing never talks to a “student,” or one that needs enlightening, or one that must do anything.  All there is, is the eternal, present Perfection of that one, pure Omnipresent Self, and no other that has to, or can, become anything or see anything.  In other words, the Author is the same One as the Reader.
 
Another distinction is one of emphasis.
 
Sometimes in nonduality, the majority of emphasis is given to seeing through the ego, or seeing that there is no limited “personal me,” no separate self, no subject/object, no “doer,” but just experience happening.  That is all well and good—but often that’s about as far as it goes.
 
What about the Unlimited-ness, the Grandeur, the Majestic-ness of Infinite Consciousness? 
 
The very Consciousness that is presently aware so these words can be read, also effortlessly includes what appears as an unspeakably vast stellar universe.  And that’s only when speaking on a three-dimensional basis.  This same Infinite Consciousness is also un-dimensional—meaning It is greater than, or inclusive of, what may appear to be going on in a fourth, fifth, and who knows how many other dimensions! 
 
This very same Consciousness is also absolutely all the Presence existent.  As It is all the Presence existent, the only Presence—It is the only power.
 
And that’s just barely scratching the surface of the wondrousness, the spontaneously fresh aliveness of the One reading this now.
 
For more information about Alfred Aiken’s work, you can visit Hillier Press.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

All reading, and all writing, consists of Consciousness ‘talking ‘ to Consciousness (vyavahara, or mithya). But that should be no problem, since there is only Consciousness. The thought of there being a limitation or imperfection in Consciousness is annuled by the understanding that the former is a manifestation (a show, presentation, reflection, or even entertainment) of Consciousness for the ‘sake’ of the apparent multiplicity that is life, including, of course, human beings.

There is a clue in Tai. 2.6: ‘The real became the real and the false (of practical experience)’. Also Br. 4.4.23: ‘[he]sees the Self in his own self (body); he sees all as the self’. In other words, reading, talking, walking, etc., are not separate from the Self. These are movements - arising, abiding, and disappearing – of and in the Self.

The quoted passage of Tai. (2.6) is not rendered as clear in the following translation:

‘One becomes not-being /If one knows Brahman as not-being. If one knows that Brahman is/ Folk know one as being’. (The Upanishads – trans. and ed. by Valerie J. Roebuck.

Better sounding to my ears is S. Radakrishnan transl.:
‘Non-existent, verily, does one become if he knows Brahman as non-being. If one knows that Brahman is, such a one people know as existent. This is, indeed, the embodied soul of the former’.

(Clearly, ‘non-existing’, and ‘non-being’ mean ‘unmanifested’.)














Anonymous said...

Repetition

Ramesam said...

Thank you for the Comment, Anonymous.

Perhaps, the translation by Swami Gambhirananda of Advaita Ashrama is much clearer for the mantra II-vi-1 of the taittirIya upanaishad. It can be found here:
http://www.astrojyoti.com/taittiriyaupanishad-2.htm

regards,

Anonymous said...

Comment at Facebook:

Michael Price 9:19am Apr 20

This may be the most succinct, cogent, and brilliant thing I've ever read on this subject, period. “Instead of looking ‘up to God’ let us begin looking ‘out from’ God.” What is Infinity TO Infinity? In this post, there is a mention of the 'energy signature' of Alfred Aiken's work, how it was not talking to a supposed separate 'self' with instructions, etc., but rather All 'talking to' All. That same 'energy signature' is in this post. Thank you so very much for sharing this!

Ramesam Vemuri said...

Thank you, Michael.

regards,

paul said...

Thanks for sharing this, I've been a reader of Aiken's teachings off and on over the years. Love to keep exploring this!

Ramesam Vemuri said...

Thanks Paul.
I notice you have a wide ranging web site.

regards,

Ramesam Vemuri said...

Comment at Facebook:

Madathil Rajendran Nair Apr 19

That blog was a fantastic read. Great how Aiken who lived only upto 1968 could figure out so much before the advent of non-dual teachings in America. The clarity with which he arrives at the right answer is amazing - better than any modern teacher can do!

Ramesam Vemuri said...

Thanks Shri Madathil Sir.

regards,

Sham - e - Ghazal said...

Dear Peter
First time i read this posting i thought either you missed the mark or i failed to gather what i was (am always) specifically looking for.
But then what i read few weeks ago spread like a venom and suddenly at this moment made an "aha"impact.
i hope i never come out of this moment
Vijay

Peter Francis Dziuban said...

Thanks Vijay! It's always wonderful to hear when something has an "impact."