Tag Archives: theology

Five common realities – facts en logic 11


Carla and Narrator are waiting for Man outside their guest house in Florence.

“This afternoon I forgot to say that objects, symbols, rituals, words, slogans, music, literature, philosophy and religion can direct – and take over – the behaviour and consiousness of people. Two extreme examples in negative sense are:

  • a political leader and followers influence each other in words and rituals so far-reaching that a part of society proceeds to genocide,
  • a religion sect degenerates by rituals, slogans, words and behavior in religious madness.

feiten en logica 111[1]

In a positive sense, behaviour and consciousness of people are influenced – as exercises for the soul – by music, literature, religion (for basic trust), architecture, art, science. Via symbols and rituals, people feel security and belonging. An outspoken example is the hostia (sacramental bread) which – according to the Catholic Church – changes into the body of Christ after the epiklesis and the consecration during the Eucharist [2]. I think we should not delve into this further, because we use lightness and quickness as two guidelines during our Odyssey”, says Carla.

feiten en logica 112[3]

“Within the conceptional framework of Indra’s Net, every particle, every object and every living being reflects the body of Christ – as a historical person and as a Godlike being”, says Narrator.

“There is a small difference: Catholics believe that the hostia only after the epiklesis (or convocation of the Holy Spirit) and the consecration during a Catholic Eucharist changes in the body of Christ. The metaphor of Indra’s Net reflects the Catholic faith and at the same time, the disbelief in the hostia as a body of Christ in all its manifestations”, says Carla.

“You are right, we don’t have time to fully investigate the influences of symbols and slogans on the human behaviour next to our Odyssey to who are you. There is Man”, says Narrator.

“Do you like a real dinner tonight or shall we buy a simple supper in the supermarket and eat it in the park of the Piazza Massimo D’Azeglio, just like Dutch people?”, asks Man.

“Right then, just as people from Holland”, says Carla.

“I haven’t done otherwise for years, for me it’s all right”, says Narrator.

After a visit to the supermarket, they sit in the park and have the following conversation.

“Narrator, your last name Nārāyana is similar to the title of one of the older Upanishads that probably is created at the end of the Vedic period in India [4]. I refer to the following brief passage from the Nārāyana Upanishad [5] as stepping stone to my introduction to Kṛṣṇa as God in a human shape:

Nārāyana is the Supreme Reality designated as Brahman.

Nārāyana is the highest (Self).

Nārāyana is the supreme Light. Narayana is the infinite Self.

The supreme person Nārāyana willed to create beings.

Everything in this world is pervaded by Nārāyana within and without [6].

Did you know this similarity in name with your last name?”, asks Man to Narrator.

“My father had told me this in one of his stories when I was a young man. Later on in my life – during my incarnation as Bhikṣu – I have read the Nārāyana Upanishad via de University Library in Heidelberg.  In Sanskrit, Nārāyana means amongst others “son of the original Man”[7], whereby “Man” in Sanskrit means “to think, believe and perceive”. The book with Buddhistic questions that I had received from my American beloved, includes the question “True Man” about the meaning of “Man”. This beginning of this question is:

“There is a True Man with no ranks going out and in through the portals of Your face [8].

Beginners who have not witnessed it, Look, Look”

And the verse in this koan starts as follows:

“Delusion and (Buddhistic) enlightenment are opposite,

Subtly communicated, with simplicity;

Spring opens the hundred flowers [9], in one puff. [10]

Delusion and (Buddhistic) enlightenment also include symbols, rituals, words, slogans, literature, philosophy and religion that direct and even take over the behaviour and consiousness of humans in a positive and negative way. The “son of the original Man” in my last name Nārāyana is not only the human man, but also indicates the “True Man” in this Buddhistic question”, says Narrator.

feiten en logica 113[11]

“The difference between delusion and reality, crime and goodness are often paper thin and as a rule dependent on the framework wherein it is perceived. Your explanation about “thinking, believing and perceiving” show this. “Sein und Zeit[12] – the magnum opus by Martin Heidegger – also shows a glimp of this. Martin Heidegger has made a distinction between the “Improper Man” – or Delusion – and the “Own Self”. I am not sure if Martin Heidegger would equate the “Own Self” to the “True Man” in the Buddhistic question”, says Carla.

feiten en logica 114[13]

“I am deeply impressed by your introduction to Nārāyana and the “True Man”; you can express this far better than I can. Would you like to tell us who Kṛṣṇa is?”, says Man.

“May I do that tomorrow, let us first have our supper on this beautiful late summer evening in the park. Shall I break the bread and pour the wine?”, says Narrator.

“That is good”, say Carla and Man.

feiten en logica 115[14]


[1] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg

[2] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consecration

[3] Images of a traditional and modern monstrance. The monstrance is a holder in which the hostia (or sacramental bread) – that after the epiklesis (or the invocation of the Holy Spirit) and the consecration during the Eucharist, according to the Catholic Church changes into the body of Christ – is shown. See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monstrance and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacramental_bread.  Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monstrance

[4] The Mahānārāyana Upanishad is, as chapter 10 of the Taittiriya Aranyaka, part of the dark – or inconceivable – Yajurveda (or Veda during sacrifices). See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taittiriya_Aranyaka#Taittiriya_Aranyaka

[5] The tekst in Sanskrit is available under the title “mahAnArAyaNa” at: http://sanskritdocuments.org/doc_upanishhat/

[6] Source: XIII-4 and XIII-5 from the English translation of the Mahānārāyana Upanishad via: http://www.indiadivine.org/audarya/hinduism-forum/230825-maha-narayana-upanishad-translation-english.html

[7] Source: electronic version of the dictionary Monier-Williams – MWDDS V1.5 Beta.

[8] Next to human face, “Your face” also refers to the “face of the world” and the “face of Indra’s Net”.

[9] See for an interpretation of flowers also “One – Blossom” in: Origo, Jan van, Who are you – A survey into our existence – 1. Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2012, p. 50 – 53

[10] Abridged version of the Zen Koan “Linji’s True Man” from: Cleary, Thomas, Book of Serenity – One Hundred Zen Dialogues. Bosten: Shambhala, 1998 p. 167 – 170

[11] One of the unendless many manifestations of the “True Man”. Source image: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mann

[12] Heidegger, Martin, Sein und Zeit. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2006. See also: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sein_und_Zeit#Verfallenheit_und_Eigentlichkeit:_Das_Man

[13] Image of a tool to understand the main concepts in Heidegger’s “Sein und Zeit” – (Being and Time). Source image: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sein_und_Zeit#Verfallenheit_und_Eigentlichkeit:_Das_Man

[14] Piazza Massimo D’Azeglio. Source image: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piazza_d’Azeglio

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Five common realities – facts en logic 10


Carla, Man and Narrator are walking towards their guest house after their visit to the Basilica di Santa Croce.

“I will come back to the words of Baäl Shem used as guidance in your introduction to “God in search of Man“. I have mixed thoughts on evil that we implicitly carry with us in interconnectedness. In my professional life I had investigated the causes, the facts and logic of evil in warfare. I also wear evil – like all people – in many forms with me; I will come back to this later. I wonder whether in a similar manner all human beings carry a godlike manifestation with them”, asks Carla to Man.

“Your question is a transition to God in the shape of a human being. The Jewish and Christian monotheistic God has created man in his own image [1]. In the Old Testament for Christians and the Tanakh for the Jews, God is described as almighty, invisible and in the core unmentionable. However, God shows many human characteristics: God is attached to loyalty and to a covenant [2], God is angry and jealous at times. The Christian God sends his son in a human form to the earth according to the New Testament. Should we fall back on religion in this description? Is God in human form physically possible? Or should we regard it as wisdom in the form of science together with religion according to Martin Buber?”, says Man.

Feiten en logica 10a[3]

“Interesting question. In nature lower organisms can direct the behaviour and even take over the consciousness of higher organisms for short or long duration. A well-known example is coughing during colds; this coughing is mainly focused on spreading the virus. Less well known examples are: certain fungi take over the behaviour of insects completely to optimize their own chances of reproduction. Ants – infected with fungus spores from the Cordyceps-stem – go to a favourable place located at a high leaf or branch where they bite and die; from the dead ants the fungus grows in this ideal place to spread its spores [4].

Feiten en logica 10b[5]

Another example is the infectious disease rabies that in its furious variant takes over and directs the behaviour of dogs and humans in an optimal way for its own propagation [6]. Conversely, also complex organism can customize the behaviour of simple organisms, such as humans by crop breeding to provide better crop yield in agriculture and varietal selection to achieve bigger and stronger livestock. Let us assume that God is a higher and more complex creature than humans; may God manifest itself in human form? If so, how? If not, why not?”, says Carla.

“During the rise of Christianity there had been a strong ideological struggle [7] over the position of Christ. Finally, this ideological struggle within the Catholic Church has resulted in the doctrine of the Trinity with a father God who had sent his Son to earth for the salvation of humanity and the Holy Spirit. Of this Trinity, the Son of God died on earth just like every human; also the Messiah in the form of son of God is at this point tied to the law of cause and effect. According to Christian doctrine, the Son has risen from the dead and ascended to heaven after 40 days on earth [8].

Feiten en logica 10c[9]

A different approach which I have mentioned before, is that humanity is created in the image of God. Erich Fromm [10] states, on the basis of analysis of the Tanakh [11] and the Talmud that:

“Man can be like God, but man cannot be God” [12].

He mentions that some Rabbinic statements imply that the difference between God and man can disappear, e.g.:

Raba said: If the righteous wanted, they would be creators, for it is written: ‘But your iniquities (unrighteousness) have separated – or forms the difference – between you and your God’ (Isaiah 59:2). Without unrighteousness the human power might match God’s almightiness and mankind would be able to create a world” [13] .

According to Erich Fromm the essence of humans is that mankind transcends its earthly bonds of blood and soil in order to achieve independency and freedom [14]. I think that Erich Fromm – next to “freedom from” – especially refers to “freedom to”. In my opinion, the most surprising fact in this analysis of Erich Fromm is, that – within the metaphor of Indra’s Net – mankind already has the independency and the freedom to the creation of a world within the earthly bonds of blood and soil. In Indra’s Net each glass bead creates the net, and in each glass bead the entire net is reflected without unrighteousness”, says Man.

“Because I was not free of unrighteousness, I have chosen to leave behind the callsign Kṛṣṇa that I had received from my parents in Kenia; at my departure from Amsterdam I had discarded my mask of an Idol due to the unrighteousness of beauty; and by innumerable unrighteousness in the mirror palace inhabited by secret services, my existence laid in smithereens [15]. The seeds of unrighteousness had affected my past incarnations to the marrow: at those moments my life needed another manifestation”, says Narrator.

Feiten en logica 10d[16]

“In my opinion incarnations and manifestations are not God in the shape of a human being. They may be a human being as God according to Erich Fromm”, says Carla.

“It may be different in the case of Kṛṣṇa. Let us discuss this further tonight”, says Man.

Carla, Man and the Narrator arrive at their guest house. Carla will take her afternoon rest and Man and the Narrator will make an afternoon walk.


[1] See from the Old Testament the book Genesis 1:27.

[2] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ark_of_the_Covenant and Origo, Jan van, Who are you – a survey into our existence – part 1. Amsterdam: Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2012, p. 104 – 106

[3] Moses with the Ten Commandments by Rembrandt (1659). Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covenant_theology

[4] See also: http://vorige.nrc.nl/wetenschap/article2327717.ece

[5] Source image and see also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cordyceps

[6] See also: Quammen, David, Spillover – Animal infections and the next human pandemic. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2012, p. 296 – 297. See also: http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/diseases/rabies.html

[7] See also: MacCulloch, Diarmond, Christianity – The first three thousand Years. New York: Viking, 2010, Part II “One Church, One Faith, One Lord?”

[8] See also: Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51 and Acts of the Apostels 1:1-12 in the New Testament.

[9] Ascencion of Christ by Garofalo, 1520. Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feast_of_the_Ascension

[10] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erich_Fromm

[11] See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanakh

[12] Bron: Fromm, Erich, Gij zult zijn als Goden (You Shall Be as Gods: a radical interpretation of the Old Testament and its tradition (1966)). Utrecht: Erven J. Bijleveld, 2010 p. 62

[13] Bron: Fromm, Erich, Gij zult zijn als Goden (You Shall Be as Gods: a radical interpretation of the Old Testament and its tradition (1966)). Utrecht: Erven J. Bijleveld, 2010 p. 62

[14] Bron: Fromm, Erich, Gij zult zijn als Goden (You Shall Be as Gods: a radical interpretation of the Old Testament and its tradition (1966)). Utrecht: Erven J. Bijleveld, 2010 p. 64

[15] See also: Leben, Man, Narrator – One Way. Amsterdam: Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2013

[16] Krishna Mediating between the Pandavas and Kauravas. Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krishna

Carla Drift – Looking back at my innocence


Before we started the quest for “Who are you”, I told Narrator in a few words about my youth – the years of my innocence.

“There was once a girl that was so clever that everywhere she was an outlier. She surpassed all the knowledge of her environment. This girl was so wise to show this special gift to nobody. Very soon she discovered that this gift completely confused her environment. Now and then she showed a glimpse whereof she thought.

In elementary school children learned to add, multiply and divide. This girl already calculated in the infinite or in the uncountable as she called it. Countable was all that fitted within a box of the “knowable”. Hereby she thought about the matchbox in which she formerly had caught a grasshopper.

[1]

When the class learned to count until ten, the content of the Matchbox was ten for her. For the class innumerable was at that time “ten plus one”. When the class learned to count until one hundred, from then on countable was one hundred; “hundred and one” was innumerable and so on as far as the classmates could count.

The countable and therefore the knowable grew along with the knowledge of the classroom and the innumerable became bigger and bigger. This girl learned that the countable – so the content of the matchbox “L” – changed along the changes of the environment. The uncountable was then still “L+1”. This girl started to add the countable, so when for the class L was equal to ten, the girl decided to place ten matchboxes in a row: for her “10 times L” was equal to one hundred; infinite was then ten matchboxes plus 1. She placed hundred matchboxes in a row and “hundred times 10” or “1000” was countable and infinite was “hundred boxes plus 1”. She did the same with boxes that were getting smaller like Russian dolls. Infinitesimal was one size smaller than the smallest knowable.

[2]

And zero was an empty table without any box or doll. She wrote this as “O”. This was very easy for her.

For simplicity, this girl decided to write the infinite as “L + 1”; This was equal to the largest box plus one or the greatest number of knowable boxes plus 1.

Now this girl was so far that she saw infinitely – or L + 1 – as a matchbox of all knowable plus one. She began in the first class of primary school to calculate with the infinite, which was also an outlier that fell outside the knowable. For infinite the same rules applied, but it the infinite was still outside the knowable of the others: in this way she remained in touch with arithmetic lessons of her classmates. The ordinary multiplication tables were applicable for the infinite and normal division rules applied to the division of the infinite – a piece of cake. Increases the knowable and the infinite is just slightly larger; decrease the smallest knowable and the infinitesimal small is just slightly smaller.

According to her the infinite or L + 1 was the evidence for the existence of God on the Catholic primary school. God could adopt all dimensions depending on the circumstances required, but God himself was larger than the knowable so he remained all encompassing. If the changes increased rapidly, God also increased quickly and vice versa. And because God was all encompassing or L + 1, God took the required form immediately. In this way the girl derived and integrated in the second class of elementary school. The most beautiful thing was that God was no foreigner, he was also an outlier just like her. God made woman and man (as knowable) like his image – also the outliers like her were created like his image. She made the knowable slightly larger because she was an outlier. Later she adjusted her view on God.

In the second class of elementary school she read in a book from the library – that was smuggled through her father – about primes. she decided to look at primes as matchboxes for calculation purposes. According to her new calculation method the core numbers were L, 2L, 3l, 5l, 7l, 11l, 13L, 17L, 19L and so on as primes. With these primes all known matchboxes could be created [3].

In the fourth grade of elementary school she saw in the library at the Department of mathematics a book on Gödel. In this book she read Gödel’s two incompleteness theorems [4]. She borrowed this book via her father. By naming L + 1 she already knew the first incompleteness theorem and with her new calculation method – whereby she used the core numbers L, 2 L, 3 l, 5 l, 7 l, 17 l, 11L, 13L, 19L according to the sequence of primes – she saw immediately the second incompleteness theorem; we can never prove the whole arithmetic L because there will be always a L + 1. This evidence is a piece of cake.

She purposely made a few mistakes in long divisions [5] in order to appear normal.

In the fifth and sixth class of primary school a new schoolmaster let her read the book “Cosmic View, The Universe in 40 Jumps” by Kees Boeke. With her father she studied astronomy and microscopy. She calculated the Kepler orbits on her own. In a course mechanics within theoretical physics [6] at the University of Technology in Delft, she saw these calculations again. One of the two authors was an outlier [7] in the field of mathematics and physics.”

[8]

After this brief description of my years of innocence in elementary school, Narrator and I decided to start the quest “Who are you” together. During the preparations we invited Man Leben – after the death of his second life companion – to go along. He accepted the invitation “With hope and consolation”.


[1] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Match

[2] Source image: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fichier:Floral_matryoshka_set_1.JPG

[3] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_number

[4] See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6del%27s_incompleteness_theorems

[5] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_division

[6] See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Course_of_Theoretical_Physics

[7] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lev_Landau

[8] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Course_of_Theoretical_Physics