Nature of the Absolute (cont.)

Cosmic Consciousness is higher than Undifferentiated Oneness in the hierarchy of manifestations as we understand the absolute, personal God-dess. Undifferentiated Oneness constitutes the basic reality underlying all concrete formations. Cosmic Consciousness cognizes, controls, and regulates the concrete formations. From our perspective, Cosmic Consciousness implies a differentiated, qualified state of God-dess. Cosmic Consciousness is qualified in a limited sense as a partial manifestation of God-dess, who is qualified in endless ways. Cosmic Consciousness exists within the living beings and material nature, consciously maintaining all.

God-dess relates to conditioned living beings and nature through Cosmic Consciousness. God-dess creates the world and enters into it as Cosmic Consciousness. God-dess pervades, sustains, and regulates the living entities and the entire universe collectively and individually as Cosmic Consciousness.

God-dess possesses infinite energies, or modes of distinction, but from our perspective and level of understanding, the three most important are the spiritual energy, material energy, and the living entities. They inhere in the nature of God-dess. Spiritual energy constitutes the essence, or intrinsic self of God-dess, and forms the substratum of the entire transcendental world where God-dess displays transcendental forms and activities. Material energy relates externally to God-dess and causes the material world. It relates to God-dess in the sense that all energies ultimately inhere in God-dess. God-dess’ intrinsic, perfect selfhood transcends the duality of matter and exists totally free of its influence.

We perceive the material universe as a space-time manifestation. It appears real just as the world we inhabit in dream seems real, but when we wake up, we realize it was an illusion. We consider this waking world to be reality, but it is another level of illusory dream.

Vedic metaphor suggests something like this: suppose an expansion of God-dess sleeps and dreams this world. God-dess’ dream creates a “reality” that goes on for billions of human years, measures billions of light years across, and seems so solid and captivating that some believe it is all that exists. Yet it is a dream, an illusion.

This does not mean we do not exist. We exist as eternal, individual spirits. The illusion is our false identification with our temporary, material body and its products. Even if life seems one big nightmare, it is good to know we can wake up and a better life awaits us.

God-dess’ consciousness pervades the entire material creation, which is God-dess’ dream. Everything is God-dess’ energy and nothing is separate from her-him. Therefore, everything is ultimately spiritual. Because we see things as separate from God-dess, they are called material. When we realize this is God-dess’ creation, simultaneously one and different from God-dess, and only God-dess exists, then we reach enlightenment. Then we remain awake within the dream. We know what’s what.

God-dess regulates and controls material energy through Cosmic Consciousness. Material energy, being unconscious, cannot function by itself. The three modes that set material energy in motion–goodness, passion, and ignorance–exist in a state of equilibrium before creation. According to the Vedic view, God-dess starts the process of creation by glancing at material nature, which disturbs its equilibrium and energizes it. This glance also impregnates material nature with the living entities as an expression of God-dess’ exuberant joy and love. Creation provides the entities an opportunity to consciously evolve and learn to relate with God-dess. Material creation is neither eternal nor unreal. It is real but subject to change and annihilation, unlike the transcendental abode of God-dess.

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