5.1 THE DRAMA

The allegories of the pearl and the prodigal son introduced us to a basic tenet of the metaphysic of ecstasy. This basic tenet has been adulterated in both the stories in an attempt to change its meaning. None the less it still shows clearly.

We need next to elaborate upon the intended meaning of this theme since the author of the Apocalypse imposed his own doctrine upon it. He altered and deleted to suit his own specific requirements. He tampered with the details of the account of the great drama of human consciousness that is the central theme of the metaphysic of ecstasy.

The author of the Apocalypse has replaced the holistic view of the metaphysic of ecstasy with the very fragmented and escapist vision that inspired Parmenides, Plato and other classical philosophers. This latter escapist and fragmented vision also forms the foundations of all orthodox versions of Christianity. In more blatant formulations it formed the foundation additionally of many gnostic and other nonorthodox Christian sects.

To comprehend the full implication of the severe alterations made to it, we need to examine in detail the metaphysic of ecstasy. Its subtle doctrine of consciousness welcomes our close scrutiny. By doing so, the adulteration made to it will become clear immediately.

First, you need to know that I am here talking about consciousness in a much broader context than we normally understand. For instance, when I talk about the human being as a rainbow of consciousness, I am using the word consciousness in a broader context than that of ordinary parlance. I am not talking about what you happen to be aware of specifically. The new context is so much broader that it requires considerable elaboration.

This broader context of the use of the word consciousness is only partly identical to that of modern, western psychological understanding. Western psychology represents only a limited and specialized aspect of the broader context I refer to. In the west, we generally use the word consciousness in a relatively narrow manner. By consciousness we usually mean simply that waking state of awareness of ourselves and what is going on around us. When we are aware of these things we say that we are conscious. When we are unaware, we say that we are unconscious.

In the course of personal life you have experienced specific events and interacted with certain other people. You have experienced your feelings and emotions. You have absorbed the thoughts of others and have created original thoughts of your own. You have dreamed and have had insights. Many of these events you can recall at will, others only with difficulty if at all.

Your specific life experiences are wholly your own. No one else has ever or will ever duplicate them exactly. No one else can respond and react as you have in the past and will in the future to your specific chain of life experiences. They are yours alone.

Your personal experiences and your interaction with them are wholly your own and entirely unique. They are in part what makes you a unique person. They help to make you the distinct and individual human personality that you are. No one else can duplicate you. No one else ever has or will duplicate the event that is you.

Western psychology has specialized itself in the study of this aspect of consciousness. Western psychology has specialized in the study of what we may term the ego selfconscious aspect of consciousness. From this intensive study, western psychology has learned much of the working of the human mind as it relates to the accumulation of individual experiences. In this study western psychologists have discovered much about the development of the human personality.

There is nothing inaccurate about the use of the word consciousness to refer to what you are specifically aware of. But I have been using the word in a little different way.

I have been using the word consciousness to mean not only the ordinary waking state of personal awareness and the reflexive mental activity that exemplifies it, but to mean much more as well. You must now understand this broader usage of the word consciousness before you can understand the full implications of the metaphysic of ecstasy.

You are consciously aware of your own specific chain of experience. But a great deal is going on around you and within you that you are not aware of in a specific way. All of these other ongoing events that you are not specifically aware of may be said to be unconscious, but only in the sense that you are not aware of their going on in and around you. Let me give you a specific example of what I mean.

If you are aware of my presence in the next room, then you are conscious of my presence. If you are not aware of my presence in the next room, then you are unconscious of my presence. I do not change. I am still present in the next room whether or not you are conscious of it. I am still part of your life whether you know it or not.

I may be in the next room on the telephone recommending you highly to a potential employer. On the other hand, I may be telling him that you are a complete nincompoop and that you could not do any job he has to offer. Either way, I am influencing you. I am influencing whether or not you get the job. I am part of your conscious experience even though you are not aware of my being so.

This is something like the context of the metaphysic of ecstasy. In this simple example, you and I have acted as two aspects of consciousness. You may be conscious of my presence or not. I remain an influencing aspect of your consciousness. I exert an influence on you whether or not you are aware of me and whether or not you are aware of my influence at the moment.

I use the word consciousness in the context of the understanding of the metaphysic of ecstasy. Although in the metaphysic of ecstasy we may use many of the same terms as those used by western psychology, what we mean by them is different. The meanings are more inclusive. More expansive.

In the much wider context of the metaphysic of ecstasy, consciousness is considered to be the only thing that possesses ontological being. You may recall our earlier discussion of monism, dualism and nondualism. That discussion defined ontological being to mean simply something that exists in and of itself and requires nothing else in order to exist.

The metaphysic of ecstasy defines consciousness and consciousness alone to possess ontological being. Nothing else does so. As a corollary to this premise, all else depends upon consciousness for its existence. Everything else is contingent upon consciousness. There is nothing that does or can exist that is not contingent upon consciousness for its existence. This simply means that everything requires the presence of consciousness for its existence.

Furthermore, in the holistic view of the metaphysic of ecstasy there is nothing that is or can be separate from consciousness. Everything that is, or could be, is in some manner an aspect of consciousness. The notion of "dead matter" finds no place here.

In the metaphysic of ecstasy everything is considered to be alive in some sense and manifesting consciousness and the transformations of consciousness in some manner or other. This definition of life is much more inclusive than the narrowly scientific definition we commonly acknowledge.

According to the metaphysic of ecstasy there is only life. Death as the opposite of life has no meaning. There are beginnings and endings to the events of life. These we observe as transformations. These may seem to be death when viewed from a limited perspective. But they are only endings in a perpetual process in which there is no final end, no before, no after.

In the metaphysic of ecstasy, the stupendous panorama of the totality of consciousness in all its beauty and multiplicity comprises a fullness that manifests itself as life and existence. The Apocalypse describes this conscious fullness. In addition, the Apocalypse describes the process through which consciousness awakens to the realization of its fullness.

What we can say about the fullness of consciousness is only that it is infinite, eternal, omniscient and omnipotent. We must understand these terms, however, in a very precise way. For these terms have been loaded with religious and metaphysical nonsense since pre-Christian times and Christianity has weighted them even more.

Do not think that by this I am simply giving "God" another name. The fullness of consciousness is not simply a way to redefine the anthropomorphic God of religion. As we shall see shortly there is no God. In particular, the anthropomorphic God of the orthodox does not exist beyond the realm of theological fantasy.

Rather, the natural and inherent qualities of consciousness, which have been misunderstood, through ignorance and superstition, have been projected onto an imaginary mental screen to produce the image of the anthropomorphic God of the orthodox. This projection is in fact none other than the image of the beast. As long as men and women bow down before this image they can not know truth. For the truth is the antithesis of this ignorant projection.

Here, however, let us attempt to dispel the image of the beast. Let us examine as well as we can the real qualities of consciousness as the metaphysic of ecstasy has observed them within ourselves. Let us see the truth of our own consciousness.

Consider first the term "infinity". You may think of infinity in terms of an infinite mathematical progression. There a sequence of numbers goes on forever without end. The decimal value of pi is such a sequence. Pi represents the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.

In the real world of circles the value of pi forms an exact ratio, but in the world of mathematics this ratio can not be expressed exactly. Mathematically, the value of pi is 3.14159265... The series continues indefinitely.

In this sequence of numbers that represents the value of pi you may imagine that the one thousandth term or the one millionth term of the sequence of numbers must be, in some way, "closer" to the value of infinity than the first or second terms of the sequence. But you would be mistaken.

You would be thinking incorrectly that the series of numbers representing the decimal value of pi somehow "adds up" to the numerical value of infinity. But this is impossible. No series of numbers, no matter how long it is, even if it is without end, can "add up" to infinity. Nothing adds up to infinity. Nothing possibly can add up to infinity. Infinity is not something that can be added up to. Infinity is not simply an extraordinarily high sum.

Infinity is not simply the sum of all possible numbers. Infinity is an entirely different realm. From the finite point of view, where numbers represent distinct relationships to one another, infinity must be totally unapproachable.

The sequence of numbers expressing the mathematical value of pi presents a finite point of view. Each number of the sequence expresses a definite numerical value within the overall sequence, each one of which can be related in an exact manner to every other numerical value in the sequence. Each number, as a consequence, is a finite term which can not approach infinity. Hence, no value expressed in the sequence can be thought of as being any "closer" to infinity than any other. All are equally "near" or "distant". Rather like the relationship of the circumference of a circle to its center point. All points are equidistant from the center.

Infinity is simply that which is not finite. Infinity is not merely the finite without end. This is subtle. No series of numbers, no matter how long it is, can ever "reach" infinity. Infinity is unreachable.

Physicists and astronomers often speak of "infinite" time, as in the estimated lifespan of the universe, for example. But this is technically incorrect. For no matter how long the universe lasts, even "forever," it will not be infinity. For infinity is an entirely different realm of experience.

Consider the term "eternity". You might be thinking that eternity, like infinity, means unending time, as in forever. Again, you would be thinking in terms such that a sufficiently long length of time would somehow "add up" to eternity. You would again be mistaken.

A billion years are no closer to eternity than one second. No length of time, however extended, adds up to eternity. Nothing adds up to eternity and nothing possibly can. Like infinity, eternity is not something that can be "added up" to.

Eternity is not simply the sum of all possible time. Eternity is an entirely different realm. From the temporal point of view, eternity is totally unapproachable.

Eternity is simply that which is timeless. Eternity is not merely time without end. Like finite increments of space, moments in time can be related to each other as representing events "before," "during," or "after" each other.

Eternity simply "is." No length of time can "reach" eternity. Eternity is unreachable. It is not something that can be "reached."

Consider the term "omniscience." You might think that omniscience implies some unlimited amount of knowledge. You would again be mistaken. Just as infinity does not represent the finite extended without end nor eternity time without end. So, too, omniscience does not mean the sum total of all possible knowledge.

Rather, omniscience is a different manner of knowing. We could define knowledge as simply information gathered bit by bit and then related and collated. But omniscience does not consist of the accumulation and collation of information, no matter how extensive it may be. No amount of information, even if it be all possible knowledge, "adds up" to omniscience. Like infinity and eternity, it is not something that can be added up to.

Omniscience is a completely different manner of knowing. It is a manner of knowing directly and completely. Omniscience is not merely knowing "everything." It is knowing as if whatever is known is all there is to be known.

Finally, consider the term "omnipotence". You may think that omnipotence denotes power magnified without limit. Such a notion suggests that sufficient power somehow "adds up" to omnipotence. But again you would be mistaken, for such is not the case.

If every galaxy in the universe exploded in one simultaneous blast, the resulting explosion would be no "closer" to omnipotence that the pop of a penny firecracker. Even the original big bang, assuming it contained all there was that existed, was not omnipotent.

Like omniscience is a different manner of knowing, omnipotence is simply a different manner of exerting power. It is a manner of producing effects without the expenditure of effort. Omnipotence is not merely power without limit.

All of these descriptions of the various qualities of consciousness imply that the terms of space and time perception can not adequately define the fullness of consciousness. All language and all perception are based upon space and time experience. Space and time experiences are limited and finite. Since this is so, the language and perception based upon space and time experiences also are limited and finite.

Just as a frame outlines a window or a door, so too, our language can only outline the implications of the fullness of consciousness. With a window or a door, it is the opening that is important. Yet we can only perceive the opening because of the frame around it. The frame helps us to see the opening, but it is not the opening. Likewise, our descriptions of the fullness of consciousness are not the fullness consciousness, but frames to help us to see and to understand.

We can describe consciousness as dimensionless. You can not say that consciousness is as big as a house, or as big as the solar system. You can not say that consciousness is as big as anything at all. The quality of space simply does not apply to consciousness. Consciousness simply is wherever it is in its fullness. We know this is so since each of us as human beings possesses consciousness in its fullness.

To say it slightly differently, consciousness has no size. If we attempt to put spatial criteria upon consciousness the attempt is totally meaningless. It would be rather the same as trying to assign value to the colors of the rainbow. The criterion is simply inapplicable.

To make this point as clear as possible, it may be of some help to examine consciousness from both the perspective of limited awareness, which is our ordinary day to day experience, and, as much as we can do so, also from the unlimited awareness of the fullness of consciousness. We can try to understand, even if our language limits us.

Let us look at consciousness from the limited point of view of spatial perception, which is our usual way of perceiving things. We understand that consciousness has no size, since it possesses no spatial dimensions. So we must conclude that consciousness exists in its fullness at every point of space.

No matter where you go in space: Times Square, Paris, the moon, some billions of light years away; at each and every point consciousness exists in its fullness. Furthermore, consciousness exists as if each single point were the one and only point of existence. Again, we can know that this is so from our experience as conscious human beings. I know that I am conscious and you know that you are conscious. My consciousness does not depend upon yours nor yours upon mine. My experience of consciousness and your experience each exist as if they were the one and only consciousness at all!

Now, let us try to look at this from the viewpoint of the fullness of consciousness, rather than from our limited spatial view. From the point of view of the fullness of consciousness there is no space! Every single point in "space" is absolutely here; any where else simply does not exist. Space is merely a perceptual point of view.

Consciousness is not stuck inside of your head, although, your personal awareness of it may be. Consciousness is not located anywhere, but rather it is present everywhere (according to the limited, temporal viewpoint) and nowhere (according to the unlimited, eternal viewpoint) simultaneously.

Space is really the perception of separation. In the metaphysic of ecstasy, consciousness is all there is, so there can be no separation. There is just consciousness itself. There is no thing outside of consciousness from which consciousness can be separated, no thing to which it could be related as separate. The perception of separation occurs within consciousness as a manner of perceiving itself.

Let us examine consciousness from the limited viewpoint of our temporal perception, which is also part of our usual way of perceiving things. We understand that consciousness has no time. From this we must conclude that consciousness exists immediately in its fullness at every moment of what we perceive as "time." There is no single moment, present or past or future, when consciousness is not existing in its fullness. Since consciousness is eternal, every moment of perceived time must exist within that eternity and thus within the fullness of consciousness.

This does not mean consciousness is static or inactive. In our usual perception we describe something as static if it does not change over the passage of time. But for consciousness there is no passage of time, simply because consciousness is timeless. Hence, consciousness is not static since the concept of being static only has meaning in terms of time. Time is totally inapplicable to the fullness of consciousness.

Let us try to look at this from the viewpoint of the fullness of consciousness, rather than from our limited temporal view. From the point of view of the fullness of consciousness there is no time! Each and every moment of time is absolutely now; any when else does not exist. In eternity everything is happening right now.

Time is really the perception of some duration. In the metaphysic of ecstasy, consciousness is always now, so there is no duration. There is no before and no after to establish any duration. There is only the timeless instant. There is no sense of passage of time. The experimental proof of this again comes from our own experience.

We know that when we are engrossed in some activity the passage of time seems to disappear. Contrarily, when we are bored, time seems to stop. And there are moments when we seem to be outside of time altogether, as during the instant of orgasm, for example.

From the limited viewpoint of the finite and temporal, all knowledge represents the accumulation of data and deductions and inferences drawn from that data. You learn this fact and that fact, and over a period of time you learn an enormous number of facts. You have become informed or knowledgeable. When you put all of these facts together into some sort of cohesive picture of reality, you can say that you have a certain degree of knowledge.

A fact can be defined as just the perception of some space/time impression. You may perceive it directly through your own experience or you may perceive it indirectly by reading about it or by talking about it with someone else who has had direct experience. The accumulation of space/time impressions results in information. Your mental and intuitive deductions, inferences and insights about the relationships of these various impressions forms the basis of your knowledge.

Let us try to look at this from the viewpoint of the fullness of consciousness, rather than from our limited point of view. From the viewpoint of the fullness of consciousness there are no "data" to acquire, no space/time impressions, since space and time do not exist except as perceptual parameters. There are no unknown facts to learn because there are no unknown facts. All that requires doing is simply the realization of what is. Everything knowable already is within the realm of knowledge. Consciousness is all there is, so all knowledge must be the knowing of consciousness of itself. Nothing else after all, exists to be known.

Consciousness knows itself both immediately and intimately. In a manner analogous to its perception of the here and now described above, consciousness perceives itself both fully and immanently.

As I said before, knowledge consists of acquiring space/time impressions. Since in the fullness of consciousness there are no space and time, there can be no impressions of them to acquire. The knowing of the here and the now can be only total and vivid. Omniscience is immediately and totally knowing. This can only be described as realization.

From the limited viewpoint every action requires that some effort be exerted over a certain distance and for a certain period of time. The more strenuous the action the greater the exertion required. The force, the distance and the time can all be measured and the product of their combination is what physicists term "work."

In the realm of space/time, all action requires work. In the realm of space and time, force must be exerted to accomplish movement over distance and through time. This is simply the way the physical universe operates.

Let us try to look at this "exertion" from the viewpoint of the fullness of consciousness. Since all of consciousness is here and now, there is no distance and no period of time over which to exert effort. All activity is totally "internal," within consciousness itself. There simply is nothing and nowhere to undertake any action that would result in "work" as defined by physics.

Consciousness simply is at every possible place and every possible moment already. Since this is so, no exertion of any effort is required to undertake any possible action. Thus, consciousness may produce any effect without the exertion of any effort. Omnipotence is the accomplishment of activity without effort.

The mystery and beauty of human consciousness is that we are not yet aware of our own fullness. We must awaken to the experience of it. This awakening is the main theme, in fact the sole theme, of the journey of consciousness through existence/life. For it is consciousness itself that is awakening.

The process of awakening is the magnificent drama of consciousness in life realizing its fullness through the personal and individual human experience. For consciousness does not exist apart from that which is conscious. In the metaphysic of ecstasy, there is no concept of an independent realm of ideal archetypes, such as that postulated by Plato, existing in and of itself and totally detached from the world of existence. Consciousness is in it and is that which exists.

In the doctrine of the metaphysic of ecstasy, there exists no abstract or "ideal" realm independent of or superior to the realm of the senses and experience. Plato's realm of ideas is simply a mental construct.

Consciousness does not exist separate and apart from the variability and variety of life and existence. For the variability and variety of life and existence are consciousness itself in activity.

It is important to distinguish the difference between the power of the mind to abstract and reality itself. We have the mental power to formulate generalities from specifics and to form specific ideas based on broad generalities. But the abstract ideas that may result from such mental activity only possess an existence within our own individual minds. They do not exist separately on some abstract and independent plane of existence as proposed by Plato.

Ideas can only find real existence if they are expressed in the world of sense and experience. An unexpressed idea is a dead and stillborn idea. It dies with the individual mind that failed to express it.

Mental abstractions depend upon individual minds for their existence. In turn, every individual human mind depends upon consciousness for its existence. And consciousness itself only exists as those distinct events which are conscious. Everything is intimately interconnected and thus interdependent in the fullness of consciousness. Nothing stands alone in an technical autonomous manner.

Your own personal awareness of the fullness of consciousness right now is limited. The degree of your own realization of yourself as the living personal expression of the fullness of consciousness is restricted.

The Apocalypse describes the whole process through which your personal awareness expands. It describes the process whereby the degree of your personal realization of yourself as the full expression of consciousness deepens and matures.

Beneath the facade of orthodoxy, the expansion of personal awareness and the deepening of self realization is really all Christianity is about. Awareness and realization of consciousness are really all there is to be about! Everything else is, at best, simply preparation and, at worst, wasting time, just treading water in the stream of existence/life.

How, then, does realization occur? It begins first with knowledge and understanding of the structure and nature of consciousness. To know and to experience are intimately and inextricably connected.

According to the metaphysic of ecstasy, consciousness is not unitary but exhibits two fundamental states. These are the potential and dynamic states of being. These two states are somewhat different from the various states of consciousness I described earlier. The differences will become apparent in due time.

The potential and the dynamic states of being are not opposites. Rather, the potential and dynamic states complement each other. By this I am trying to say that they are not the same but, at the same time, they are not different from each other either. This is a subtle point. There is a fine distinction here.

The description of consciousness asserted by the metaphysic of ecstasy is nondual, wherein the two states of consciousness (the potential and the dynamic) are an attempt to describe the process whereby consciousness is absolute and relative simultaneously!

According to the metaphysic of ecstasy, consciousness does not alternate from absolute to relative and back again. Consciousness is both absolute and relative at the same time.

If we were to describe consciousness as being unitary, we would fall into the error of monism. Describing its two states as independent, we would lapse into dualism. To say that consciousness exhibits two fundamental states that are neither the same nor different is as close as we can get to describing the nondual nature of consciousness.

When it is in the dynamic state, consciousness can be termed thought. When it is in the potential state, we can term consciousness nonthought. The complementary modes of thought and nonthought together describe the fullness of consciousness.

The potential state is similar to the ground state of quantum physics. It represents the condition of least activity. It represents the state of equilibrium or relative quiescence.

In its potential state, or the mode of nonthought, consciousness possesses no awareness of itself. Consciousness exhibits no perception or experience of itself either as a subject or an object. Consciousness is centered and still within itself.

This is not to say that consciousness in the potential state experiences no awareness. Quite the contrary. But it is not awareness of anything. It is simply pure awareness with no subject or object. In his Yoga Sutras, Patanjali describes this state as samadhi "without seed." He calls it the great samadhi, as compared to the lesser samadhi, where there is awareness of subject and/or object. Whether or not we shall agree with Patanjali's relative assessment of samadhi remains to be seen.

This potential state, or the mode of nonthought, we may, along with Patanjali, here term pure consciousness. We shall mean by this term the technical condition that can best describe consciousness as not limited or defined by any specific awareness or activity, or any other conditions. Hence, pure consciousness is potentially any type of awareness, condition or level of activity. But it is not yet any specific awareness, condition or level of activity.

Because it is not conditioned by any specific, pure consciousness reposes still and formless. It remains centered and motionless within itself. Completely identified with the silence and calm of the inactivity of the nonthought mode, pure consciousness exhibits a state of awareness that I shall refer to as the hyperstate. The hyperstate, then, is a technical term for pure consciousness, the potential state of being and the nonthought mode.

The hyperstatic state of awareness has been variously called the void, Tao, Brahman, the ground, Godhead, etc. In this essay, I shall refer to it simply as the hyperstate with no particular theological connotations implied or intended.

The hyperstate is beyond existence and ulterior to being itself. Exactly what the hyperstate is like is not possible to say. This is because to say anything at all requires being out of it. The hyperstate can only be experienced in itself. It can only be understood by experiencing it.

To use such a word as "experience" when discussing the hyperstate can be misleading. The "experience" of the hyperstate is unlike any other form of experiencing. In the hyperstate there is no awareness of experiencing nor of being one who experiences.

The hyperstate is a condition of total and absolute identification and we can not imagine what it is like. There can be no thinking about it. Out of the hyperstate there can be no intellectual recollection of it to relate. There can be no way in which it could be related even if it could be recalled. Pure consciousness is a condition of nonthought forever and irrevocably closed to all attempts at intellectual investigation, because all intellectual activity takes place in the thought mode.

Yet experiencing the hyperstate is as near as falling asleep. Every time we enter into the dreamless state of deep sleep we enter the vestibule of the hyperstate. At death our personal awareness subsides into the unknown of the hyperstate.

Our nightly sojourn into the gate of the hyperstate reminds us whence we have evolved. For it is from this dark condition of totally unconscious identification that self realization liberates consciousness. Realization enables consciousness to experience with total cognizance the awareness of the fullness of itself. Without self realization, consciousness would remain forever in the hyperstate, and ever unaware of itself. Consciousness would never experience nor live in the awareness and understanding of itself.

Life and existence are the process through which self realization can occur. Life and existence represent the dynamic vehicle for the growth of the personal expression of conscious awareness. Life and existence are the fulfilment and ultimate expression of conscious and personal awareness.

The flowering of consciousness is the self consciousness of individual and personal life. Only in the wholly conscious individual personality can consciousness realize its fullness.

In the view of the metaphysic of ecstasy, metaphysical doctrines that advocate the annihilation of personal existence or individuality are simply infantile. Such doctrines seek merely an infantile regression into the deep sleep of the hyperstate. In effect, the adherents of nihilistic thought simply want to sink peacefully into a dreamless deep sleep and stay forever in blissful and unconscious irresponsibility.

Sinking into the amnesia of the hyperstate is only a very temporary possibility. For according to the metaphysic of ecstasy, consciousness is forever becoming aware of itself and that process of becoming aware is life and existence. The culmination of existence and of all human life is seen as the individual and personal expression of self consciousness.

According to the metaphysic of ecstasy, we do not live and exist as individual human personalities just to regress again into the unconscious identification of the hyperstate from which we have evolved. We exist to realize the fullness of consciousness within the personal expression of human being and individual life.

We all possess the possibility of awakening to the fullness. There is no guarantee that we shall awaken. But there is the possibility of awakening if we prepare ourselves for it.

Of all the metaphysical systems I have studied, no other approaches the majestic and remarkable vision of the metaphysic of ecstasy! No other views human life in so positive and exalted a manner. The sophistication and the maturity of the understanding of the process of consciousness expressed by the metaphysic of ecstasy rises far above any other of which I know.

To perceive itself consciousness moves from the potential state to the dynamic state. Just how this movement comes about is unknown and possibly unknowable. What initiates it remains a mystery. Perhaps it is the ultimate and most sublime mystery. We must content ourselves knowing that it happens. We know that it happens because we are the happening!

The movement of consciousness into its dynamic state we may here term thought. In its most generalized sense, this activity and experiencing of consciousness I shall refer to as the metastate. The metastate gives rise to and encompasses the entire range of conscious activity.

All we perceive, think, imagine or can imagine exists as the activity of the metastate. The metastate is the self conscious, and hence limited and specific, expression of the fullness of consciousness.

The metastate is the psychological vehicle through which consciousness becomes aware of itself. By means of the metastate consciousness becomes a subject and an object. Consciousness becomes the observer and that which it observes. Its potential becomes the actual.

For consciousness the metastate further constitutes the expression of the awareness of itself. Thus, the metastate is the vehicle of conscious awareness and equally the vehicle of conscious expression.

To put it into other words, this metastatic vehicle for the awareness and the expression of consciousness is simply existence. Existence in all of its complexity is the metastate. The metastate constitutes the creativity of consciousness. Thus existence is the great creative act of consciousness.

From our perspective as thinking beings, the hyperstate seems to be a region of nothing. It seems much like dreamless deep sleep. Hence many have described it in terms of void, abyss, emptiness and other such negatives. The hyperstate is simply indescribable since it remains ulterior to all manner of thought and description.

The hyperstate is quite literally "beyond the end of the world" of all thought. It is a mystery. It is the unknown and it is the unknowable, in the sense that we can not grasp it intellectually and dissect it. We can only experience it. We can not think about it or analyze it.

Thought, existence and metastate are three ways of saying essentially the same thing. That is consciousness in activity. That is consciousness in the act of becoming aware of and experiencing itself. Ultimately, as I shall describe, it is consciousness loving itself.

Since all of existence is thought, the hyperstate is beyond existence. It is nonexistence. We can not even conceive of it since it is beyond all thought. The hyperstate simply is nonthought. Since we perceive nothing and can imagine nothing of the hyperstate, we may conclude that there is nothing. We may think that the hyperstate is nothing at all.

And in a strict sense this is correct! In the hyperstate of consciousness there really is no-thing. For every-thing is contained in the metastate. The metastate is the manifestation of the contents of consciousness.

In the metastate of consciousness, all of the hyperstatic possibilities become actualized. All of that which is possible in the hyperstate becomes that which exists in the metastate. The metastate fulfils all conscious potential. Life and existence fulfil all possibilities of consciousness.

The hyperstate and the metastate taken together comprise the fullness of consciousness. The fullness has been termed the pleroma. The fullness consists of both the nonmanifest and the manifest, the nonexistent and the existent, the potential and dynamic states of consciousness. These pairs are not opposites. They complement. They do not oppose one another. This is very important to remember.

Opposites exist only within the limitations of the metastate. In the fullness of consciousness opposites do not exist. Once again I am trying to express the nondual nature of the fullness of consciousness. I mean to say here that the hyperstate and the metastate are not the same but that they are not different either. The fullness of consciousness is not one, but neither is it two.

In its fullness consciousness is the mysterious interplay between the absolute and the relative. It is the mysterious interchange between all that is manifest and that which is nonmanifest. It is that which exists and that which does not exist. It is that which is and that which is not.

The nature of consciousness is a mystery. It is a great mystery as unfathomable as can be. Yet we are it and it is us! We are the embodiment of that tremendous mystery. In us, and in all of life, it finds expression. That mystery is the heart of everything.

The metastate is the expression of consciousness. The metastate is also the tangible manifestation of the self awareness of consciousness. It is the psychological powers and the psychological functions that describe consciousness in activity. It is the means by which consciousness becomes active and living. It is the process through which consciousness discovers itself, and finally loves itself.

In the metaphysic of ecstasy the metastatic expression and awareness of consciousness are referred to in the terms of dance, play and drama. A sense of light hearted joy suffuses this marvellous metaphysical system. We have here the vision of a joyful consciousness pursuing and playing to and with itself!

Consciousness performs unceasingly for an audience of itself. It plays in a theatre of itself. It performs the drama of itself. And finally, it delights itself and in itself.

The Sanskrit word for this light hearted play of consciousness is lila. It is no mere artifice on the part of the author of the Apocalypse, as supposed by James Pryse, to have cast his treatise in the form of a Greek drama. By so doing, he gives us a further clue to the true nature and purpose of his work, although inadvertently. For it is certain beyond doubt that the author of the Apocalypse did not mean to leave any hint of the original meaning of the metaphysic of ecstasy from which he drew his material.

Yet in spite of his efforts otherwise, the Apocalypse describes in detail the cosmic drama that is consciousness in activity. From this detailed description we can appreciate the thrill and joy of consciousness discovering itself and revealing itself.

Consciousness seeking, finding and revelling in the wonder and mystery of itself! This then, is the journey of consciousness in the understanding of the metaphysic of ecstasy. We find no negation of life and the world here. We find only joy and self discovery. For in the ultimate meaning revealed in the Apocalypse we learn that life and existence are a cosmic love affair of consciousness with itself.

And we are the events of that love affair! We are the first trembling moments, the resolute consummation, and the final denouement. The first and the last and what happens in the middle. We are the lover, the beloved and the act of love that unites them in an embrace of cosmic ecstasy.

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