Jul 18

(The following is from an online discussion between Joe M and Bhakti Madhava Puri Maharaja.)

Joe: “. . . you still insist that the source created the energy, and that the energy did not create the source. I think you have it backwards. I don’t see how you can have a source, without the energy to create it. The difference here between us is critical.”

BMP: Because you are conceiving the relation between source and energy as being relatively on the same existential level, like self and other, you are missing the third element, i.e.the transcendental absolute nature of the Source. When the Source is conceived on the absolute platform it can no longer be the result of anything but itself. It is important to understand the difference between the Absolute and relative platforms, and I think Spinoza has made a clear attempt at explaining this difference by his concept of causa sui [cause of itself]. I explained this in my first message to you, but either you seem to have a terrible memory or were not able to understand this the first time. I agree this is an extremely critical point to understand and it will change your whole perspective when you do.

When we understand the Source [I write it with a capital letter to indicate it is an Absolute and not a relative idea] it means the nothing within the relative world-frame can influence it or exert any cause on it at all. Thus the absolute world is called pure, unconditioned, eternal, self-luminous, or as the Bhagavad-gita mentions the transcendental eternal soul cannot be wet by water, burned by fire, killed by a sword, and so on.

While the Absolute cannot be influenced by the relative world, the relative world can be influenced [or more properly, created/manifested] by the Absolute or Transcendental world. We can understand this idea through the example of reflection [this is only an example]. When an object is reflected in a lake, in a mirror, or cast as a shadow, the reflection imitates the original and is caused by the original, but the reflection does not cause the original to act. On the other hand, the activity of the reflection is entirely dependent upon the activity of the original [source of the reflection].

If someone is absorbed in the reflected objects or shadows on the wall and thinks them to be the actual or original world, then this is called Maya. Such a person thinks the reflected objects or shadows have their own spontaneous free will to move as they like, but this is all an illusion. The images in the mirror don’t move, nor are those images formed by the glass and silver of the mirror if they were to be analyzed.

When the reflective material is called matter, then we can understand how the material conception of life is simply an illusion or reflection of the original world of spirit. We will get to further details of that idea in a separate post. For now, I hope this helps to give a clearer understanding of what is involved.

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