Kundalini Splendor

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Friday, May 20, 2005

Heinrich Zimmer, the Upanishads 

The following paragraph from Heinrich Zimmer's "Philosophies of India" sums up beautifully the essential philosophy underlying the Upanishads, and much other Indian/yogic thinking:

"There is evident here (in the previous text) a total disjunction of the phenomenal self (the naively conscious personality which together with its world of names and forms will in time be dissolved) from that other, profoundly hidden, essential, yet forgotten, transcendental Self (atman), which when recollected roars out with its thrilling, world-annihilating, 'Wonderful am I!' That other is no created thing, but the substratum of all created things, all objects, all processes. 'Weapons cut it not; fire burns it not; water wets it not; the wind does not wither it.' The sense-faculties, normally turned outward, seeking, apprehending, and reacting to their objects, do not come into touch with the sphere of that permanent reality but only with the transient evolutions of the perishable transformations of its energy. Will power, leading to the achievement of worldly ends, can therefore be of no great help to man. Neither can the pleasures and experiences of the senses initiate the consciousness into the secret of the fullness of life." (pp11-12)

The essential assertion of the text is familiar to many, since it underlies many other spiritual traditions and world philosophies (also note the obvious parallels with modern physics which also posits "perishable transformations of the energy...of the (permanent reality)" . For me, it is always refreshing to hear this ancient wisdom presented in a new light.

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