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Articulating Joan Mascaró

'The Truth of the whole universe stands in front of us every moment of our live.'
'Everything is energy.'
'The sun of the Spirit shines on all things and is the life of all things.'
'There is truth in this universe. We can call it 'being of the universe' and it is in us and in everything.'
'The God at our heart is also at the heart of everybody.'
'If you love your life, love God, which is your life.'
'Everything in the universe is a part of an infinite soul.'

Joan Mascaro said that while 'in the West people talk about God of Universe, in India talk about Soul of Universe'. Indeed, the conception of God as absolute spirit, as Brahman, is linked to the idea that this God, spirit or Brahman is also a part of us, deepest: our soul or atman. Brahman or God is part of everything in the universe, that is to say that is everything. It is what we can find in the whole of nature but is especially at our soul, our heart, and equally at heart and soul of all people.

'The goal of soul is to become Spirit.'

So my soul is (or will be) the spirit of Brahman and is the same soul that everybody's worldwide. And soul mean the will and intellect, called higher functions of the mind. Reason and will are not exclussive of man, created alone in him. They come from Brahman. It is nature that behaves rationally and which gives rise to intentionality in people. Intelligence is simply the order of nature that transcends chance or random:

'Because you and I can become one 'Let your will be done' is 'Let my own will be done.'
'Your will be done' means that the superior will and our will can be one.'
'How can the blind nature behave so rationally and with such a miraculous intelligence? Because reason and intelligence are also in nature. The Spirit of creation creates chance and fate and allows imperfection because perfection may arise from this imperfection.'

Linked to the concept of God is the idea of the continuous matter-spirit. Matter and spirit, happily, unlike what we use to think, are NO different things. We can not and we must not distinguish between matter and spirit. Matter is spirit and spirit is matter. All is one. The matter is heavier and more dense, and the spirit is more subtle, volatile or 'free', true, but the difference is purely quantitative:

'If we make an absolute distinction between matter and spirit we were wrong.'
'The matter is thick spirit and spirit is subtle matter.'
'The essence of the matter is the heaviness, the essence of spirit is freedom.'

Mascaró in this regard claims that

'The matter is not material: it is energy. It is the energy of love that moves the universe.'
'The universe is driven by a spiritual force.'
'Everything is energy', says the scientist. 'All is love', says the poet.'

Being of the spirit (or God) is in the sky, literally forever, right now. What we call the spirit, then, is a form of matter that is invisible and extending across the sky:

'Being in God is being in heaven, even now.'

There are visible and invisible universe. Matter, perfectly, can be invisible, such as air. That something is invisible does not mean it is immaterial. In fact, if all is one, nothing real is immaterial.

'Behind the visible universe we must feel the invisible universe.'

What we call spirit is merely a manifestation of matter, comes from material phenomena.

'The ocean and the ocean waves are one: Nirvana and Samsara are one.'
'The physical and the metaphysical are one, not two.'

Then we can say that what we call spirit 'interacts' with matter, because this 'spirit' comes from and acts on matter. The Spirit uses matter, is a manifestation of matter, is matter:

'The Spirit beyond time uses matter and mind and life, that are in time.'
'Intertwined with the world of matter there is the world of spirit, and the spirit is Being, Consciousness and Bliss.'
'I am God: Pure Being'

People are all different and unique in our experience, but at the same time we are identical to share the depths of the soul and the general ability to experience per se (the Spirit). Our everyday life is very diverse and variable, but we are all one in the background. We are all equal and we should not reduce ourselves to any label, which shows only the apparent. Each person is a soul that participates equally of Brahman and each person, therefore, has the same value.

'The small butterfly that flies and passes along is unique in the entire universe. Much more is each person. Look at each person as one in many and look at the many in one.'
'Every person is much greater than appears. In his interior life each person is a soul. Labels such as 'tourist' or 'rider' reduce the person to which they apply.'
'Our current life is the shadow of our spiritual being.'

In our daily life happens that what we believe that we are normally is not really what we are. We confuse our personal experience with the reality. We identify ourselves with an aggregate of thoughts, memories, sensations... what we experience and learn each time but that are not our real self. The real being is Brahman, and us, like everything else, we are also Brahman. Therefore, our innermost being is divine, as recognize all religions. This is the primary message of the Upanishads, which collects Joan.

We find Brahman at the whole of nature, at the whole extension of the vast universe; but the place where it is actually more accessible and is displayed by most unambiguous terms is just within our interior. 'The God that moves the universe also moves our hearts.' God, Brahman, Spirit... this is what lets us live and lets us think at each moment, without necessarily being the content of our thought, because the thought, although searches it, do not always find the truth. On the contrary, very often thought is lost in the things of the world without capturing its true order, without capturing the objective reason of the real things. Except, of course, wise persons, which, in addition to being themselves, as everybody, a manifestation of the Spirit or Brahman, they capture this spirit with the thought and they understand it. They find the truth in themselves. This is reminded by Tao Te Ching, quoted in Lamps of Fire:

'Without leaving my door
I can hear all the things of the earth.
Without looking through my window
I see the paths of heaven.
Because as farther you travel away
less you know.
Wise therefore arrives without traveling,
he see everything without looking.
He does everything without doing.'

The vast majority of people don't come to understand the origin of the movements of their intellect and their will. We do not understand, at least not entirely, to ourselves. 'Our' reason does not move by itself, it doesn't auto-generate, it cannot understand to itself by itself:

'The cause for that reason can think is superior to reason.'
'We cannot see with the reason what's beyond reason.'
'We live our lives with our mind. Our life is a succession of mental events. The world of the mind, conscience, is closer to us than the world of matter. We live this world.'
'The world of mind is certainly closer to us than the world of matter: it is our inner world where we live, where we experience happiness or misery, peace or agitation, joy or sadness, pleasure or pain.'
'It's only when we understand that we can forgive: when we see why we and others are in the dark, then we can have the Spirit of the Gita in dealing with people and things.'

Intelligence is located, to a large extent, in the outer nature. The nature, although is blind, has in itself an order, some regularities, a 'logos', that our intellect captures at the moment that we say that we capture the truth. Our intelligence comes from the nature and is directed to the nature.

'How can the blind nature behave rationally and with such a miraculous intelligence? Because reason and intelligence are also in nature.'
'The Spirit of creation creates random and hado and allows the imperfection, because of this imperfection may arise the perfection.'

God is intelligence. In other words: intelligence is that superior and 'divine' that we have, is 'the deep soul' or 'spirit' itself. It is the most high, it is which allows us access to knowledge of nature, when, in fact, the thought is the truth of reality. But the thought also very often loose us in the routinary content of ideas of everyday life that are mere association and that do not provide true knowledge. In fact, this is most common in the people that we are not wise. Then, in our case, the intelligence is not the thought, but rather the absence of thought. The first step toward wisdom is, therefore, to realize that many times our thinking is erratic, and fails to find the truth:

'The Bhagavad Gita says that God is the thread that unites the worlds and all things as in a group. Our thoughts always fly from one thing to another, or, as a caterpillar, cling from leaf to leaf.'
'When thought is silence, deep -or higher, which is the same- then we can see eternity between two thoughts.'
'There is a silence that is beyond reason.'
'The "I am" within us is deeper than what occurs within our understanding.'
'With thoughts alone, we can only get more complicated thought. We can not have anything above thought.'
'The thought alone can never reach the essence of the universe.'

The soul, reason, intellect, access to knowledge of the 'logos' of nature, trascend us. They are not truly our creation, but we are rather a manifestation of them. They are the manifestation of Brahman, the outer spirit, acting in our hearts.

'The soul that never dies is not something that belongs to us, but something to which we belong.'
'We are in the world, but we are not of the world.'
'Man is a spiritual being. It has a body, but the Spirit is the owner of the body.'
'Infinity and Eternity are always with us.'
'God in his essence: eternal rest. God in his people: eternal work '

So we are not real actors or anything nor active agents. Our mind is moved by something superior that is real (Spirit, God...), while the product of our mind, the contents of our thoughts do not correspond with realities normally but are wishful thinking. Things just happen. Thoughts just happen, apart of its true. In this consists the reality.

'There are no problems: there are only facts.'
'Solving a problem is a fact. The greater peace of mind, the easier
to find the solution. Any concern, agitation or fear hinders the solution.'
'There is suffering, but not sufferer. There are actions, but not an actor. There is a way, but not a traveler.'
'It happens' is wisdom. 'It happens to me' is ignorance.'
'Anxiety, fear, anger, agitation, are all illusions, not realities.'
'Mastering the mind should be as a breeze. Do not let the illusion of ego says 'I have an idea.' Do not do subjective what is objective.'
'The true consciousness has no subject.'
'These thoughts are not 'mine', because they happen and I just watch them.'
'Consciousness is one, but the objects of consciousness are many.'

If intelligence and thought always would lead us to knowledge of reality and truth, we would enjoy absolute freedom and happiness, but, as we see, that happens with difficulty and usually does not succeed. However, we can approach. We can acknowledge mistakes and do not be fooled by what is apparent, to become aware, at least, of our limitations. We can stop the movements of mind when ideas move us away of truth instead bringing us closer to truth.

'When with a clear mind we consider the ideas, we are on the right path; but when with a confused mind we are possessed by ideas, we are in the path of darkness.'
'The problems are not problems if thought does not let them to be.'
'Happiness is to stop the movement of the mind.'
'If we stop the movements of the mind, we can feel the Spirit of God.'
'When the mind is silent we can hear the voice of God.'
'The pure perception occurs when we stop the movement of mind.'
'Observation is relaxation.'
'Relax your life in a greater life.'

'There is a music of the mind, and the silence of the mind.' Mascaro said. In addition to the path of 'silence', or thought stopping, there is the path of the 'music of the mind', or the effective articulation of thought. This 'music' is a harmony between observation and imagination, a reciprocity between them. It is the way of observation directed by imagination, while imagination controlled by observation. It is the way of empirical reality, the truth that feeds of reality. The way of discovery. The way of imagination that raises new real possibilities.
Imagination is very different from the fantasy: imagination, well directed, conceives or intuits new realities beyond our knowledge. It makes us to be active. The fantasy takes us into the ghosts of our 'knowledge', it does not question nothing, does not bring nothing new. It keeps us passive:

'Imagination is active. Fantasy is passive. Imagination awakens us: fantasy makes us sleep.'
'Only reason and spiritual imagination both together can make man self-sufficient: reason and the God that has given us the reason.'
'The ideas come from the imagination.'
'Imagination is a light and inner fire.'
'Imagination is an intensity of consciousness.'
'What matters is an inner experience verified by the wisdom of reason.'
'It's the experience that matters, not the concept.'
'Intuition is an experience, not a thought.'
'Pure consciousness should not be affected by the experience: should observe the experience.'

Knowledge, which is to capture the order of nature, is what makes us free. Capturing intelligence or logos in nature is like capturing God. The freedom and happiness of people lies precisely in that, in understanding the world, or at least not being fooled by appearances of daily life and recognizing the errors to mantain chances to know and understand in future. This is the salvation by knowledge.

'The thought must have freedom to think. But there is only freedom in truth. We are not free to think that 2 + 2 = 5! If we do we are not free, we are in the bondage of error. '
'You are free to play wrong notes on the piano, but that will not produce music. The freedom to make music comes from playing the correct notes.'
'We are not free to see the sun if we close our eyes.'
'As the harp string is subject to fixed rules just get the freedom of music.'
'The task of man on earth is to learn to read and write, to read and write the life.'
'The brain is my instrument of thought. I feel that my brain is my servant.'

Pointed Mascaró.

What we need to do is to properly direct our minds to distinguish what is real and what is not real, ignore what is illusory and chimerical (invention of our mind) to see what is pure and immediate in nature, however simple it should be, because what exists in reality is all that matters, as it can not be otherwise. This is to capture the 'grace of God', which is continuously given us. It is to shed light on the 'blind' nature. It is not to go against nature but join it and move on with it. It is to enter in nature and stay at reality. It is the way of empirical reason, so frequently underestimated...

'The whole of the universe is always everywhere, and we can only direct our mind towards this whole to be one in will with the whole.'
'The grace of God is given continuously, but we need our own capacity to receive it.'
'Walking the road is joining the deeper forces of Nature.'
'The actual apprehension of the ultimate truth is available to all men.'
'Yes and No are only true in logic, not in life.'
'In silent meditation we learn how to act, not how to react.'
'We know the mind. We must control the mind. We must free the mind. '
'We must not be governed by the mind: we must govern the mind.'

It may seem paradoxical but science and religion have really the same task: to know the truth, understand the working of reality. They also share the same method: empirical reason. God and nature are the same, matter and spirit are the same. All is one. We must just focus on what is real and avoid fanaticism of reason by reason, metaphysics, empty words.

'The spiritual experience, as scientific experiments, is based on the observation of facts.'
'If science is one, religion must be one. Science is based on experiment, religion should be based on experience.'
'There is only one truth in the universe. Science is one and religion is one, but there are many false religions.'
'The world needs a new religion, a new philosophy of life free from the dogmatism of science and technology and free from dogmatism of organized religion.'
'We need less fanaticism and more compassion and understanding.'
'Fanaticism allows people to be cruel and to have a good conscience at the same time.'
'Great things are beyond words and insignificant things should be resolved in a few words.'

And finally: As the highest of the mind transcends our individuality and is real and eternal as pure matter, we can say that we, in the higher functions of the mind, in the real thing that comes from outside and that affects our soul (God, Brahman, Spirit ...) are also immortal:

'For us there is an ego that may be old, or sick, or can die: but above it there is a spirit that can not be old, or sick, or can not die.'
'The 'I am' is not born and therefore can not die.'
'As I am universal my private situation does not exist.'
'The Kingdom of Heaven does not exist just after physical death, but it is something eternal that exists before, during and after life and is eternally available.'
'The soul can not die because it is beyond life and death. Beyond our mortal body we have our immortal soul.'
'The immortality of man is a part of the immortality of God.'
'God is the life of our life.'
'The earth looks flat and the sun appears to rise and set. The man seems to born and die.'
'The Spirit becomes a living soul, and takes a body to have experience.'
'There is no death. There is only the end of a light and a new light illuminates us.'
'While a man is alive we do not know if he's his body, or he is in his body, or he is else different of his body. How can we say that after death of his body he is dead?'
'Is there a God, a soul, a life after death? These questions can not be answered with thought; are beyond thought, and only our Being beyond thought can answer.'
'That which is beyond our birth and our death can not die.'
'In the Being there is no death.'
'The body dies, but we are more than the body.'
'The Real can not be finished.'
'The unreal does not exist, the Real never ceases to exist.'

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