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Cosmic Consciousness by Ali Nomad


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The chief difference between the religions and the philosophies of the Orient and those of the Occident, lies in the fact that the Oriental systems, methods, and practices, emphasize the assumption that the goal of these efforts, is attainable at any moment, as it were.

That is, Oriental religion--speaking in the broad sense--teaches that the disciple need not wait for the experience called death to liberate the Self, the _atman_, from the enchantment or delusion, the _maya_, of the external world. Indeed, the Oriental devotee well knows that physical death, _mrityu_, is not a guarantee of liberation; does not necessarily bring with it immortality.

He well recognizes that physical death is but a procedure in existence. Death does not of itself, change the condition of _maya_, in which the disciple is bound until such a time, as he has earned liberation--_mukti_, which condition may be defined as immunity from further incarnation.

Immortality is our rightful heritage but it must be claimed,--yea, it must be _earned_.

It is a mistake to imagine that death makes man immortal. Immortality is an attribute of the gods. But since all souls possess a spark of the divine essence of Brahman (The Absolute), _mukti_ may be attained by earnest seeking, and thus immortality be _realized_.

This condition of awakening, is variously named among Oriental sages and chelas, such for instance as glimpsing the _Brahmic splendor; mutki; samadhi; moksha; entering Nirvana_; becoming "_twice-born_."

In recent years there have come to light in the Occident a number of instances of the attainment of this state, and these have been described as "cosmic consciousness;" "illumination;" "liberation;" the "baptism of the Holy Ghost;" and becoming "immersed in the great white light."

Baptism, which is a ceremony very generally incorporated into religious systems, is a symbol of this esoteric truth, namely the necessity for Illumination in order that the soul may be "saved" from further incarnations--from further experience.

The term cosmic consciousness as well describes this condition of the disciple, as any words can, perhaps, although the term liberation is more literal, since the influx of this state of being, is actually the liberation of the _atman_, the eternal Self, from the illusion of the external, or _maya_.

Contrary to the general belief, instances of cosmic consciousness are not extremely rare, although they are not at all general. Particularly is this true in the Orient, where the chief concern as it were, of the people has for centuries been the realization of this state of liberation.

The Oriental initiate in the study of religious practices, realizes that these devotions are for the sole purpose of attaining _mukti_, whereas in the Occident, the very general idea held by the religious devotee, is one of penance; of propitiation of Deity. This truth applies essentially to the initiate, the aspirant for priesthood, or guru-ship. No qualified priest or guru of the Orient harbors any doubt regarding the _object_, or purpose of religious practices. The attainment of the spiritual experience described in occidental language as "cosmic consciousness" is the goal.

The goal is not a peaceful death; nor yet an humble entrance into heaven as a place of abode; nor is it the ultimate satisfying of a God of extreme justice; the "eye for an eye" God of the fear-stricken theologian.

One purpose only, actuates the earnest disciple, like a glorious star lighting the path of the mariner on life's troublous sea. That goal is the attainment of that beatific state in which is revealed to the soul and the mind, the real and the unreal; the eternal substance of truth, and the shifting kaleidoscope of _maya_.

Nor can there be any purpose in the pursuit of either religion or philosophy other than this attainment; nor does the unceasing practice of rites and ceremonies; of contemplation; renunciation; prayers; fasting; penance; devotion; service; adoration; absteminousness; or isolation, insure the attainment of this state of bliss. There is no bartering; no assurance of reward for good conduct. It is not as though one would say, "Ah, my child, if thou wouldst purchase liberation thou shalt follow this recipe."