The vital interrelationship of Nature and of humanity, as well as the complex process of evolution and of history, is essentially the manifestation of unity in diversity. Every human being is a compact kingdom with manifold centres of energy that are microcosmic foci connected with macrocosmic influences. There is a fundamental logic to the vast unfolding from One Source through rays of light in myriad directions into numerous centres that are all held together by a single Fohatic force, an ordering principle of energy. The logic of emanation is the same for the cosmos and for the individual. The arcane teaching of the divine Hierarchies, of Dhyani Buddhas, of the three sets of Builders and of the mysterious Lipika conveys intimations of invisible, ever-present, noumenal patterns that underlie this immense cosmos of which every human being is an integral part. The ordered movement of the vast whole is also mirrored in the small, in all the atoms, and is paradigmatically present in the symmetries and asymmetries of the human form with its differentiated and specialized organs of perception and of action.
Modern man, burdened by irrelevant and chaotic cerebration, often fails to ask the critical, central questions: What does it mean to have a human form? Why does the face have seven orifices? What does it mean to have a hand with five fingers? Why is one finger called the index finger and what is the purpose of pointing in human life? What is the significance of the thumb and what is its connection with will and determination, which must be both strong and flexible? Can flexibility and fluidity be combined in human life in ways analogous to what is exemplified in the physical world by all the lunar hierarchies impressed with the intelligence that comes from higher planes? What is the function of the little finger, which is associated with Mercury? What is the connection between speech and this seemingly unimportant digit which is important for those who have skill in the use of hands, whether in instrumental music or in craftsmanship? When one is ready to ask questions of this kind, taking nothing for granted, then one can look at statues of the Buddha and of various gods in many traditions, where the placement of the hand is extraordinarily significant: whether it is pointing above, pointing below, whether it is extended outwards, whether it is in the form of an oblation or receiving an offering, or in the familiar mudra of the hand that blesses. What is the meaning of joining the thumb and the central finger, which is given great importance in mystical texts like the Hymn to Dakshinamurti?
The moment one begins to raise such innocent questions about the most evident aspects of human existence, it immediately becomes clear that pseudo-sophisticated people are prisoners of the false idea that they already know. And yet self-reliance and spontaneous trust are so scarce in the world of the half-educated. Many people are so lacking in elementary self-knowledge that when a person meets another, instead of a natural response of receptivity and trust, there is an entrenched bias engendered by fear and suspicion. This has been consolidated through the establishment of a Nietzschean conceptual framework in which all human relationships are viewed simply in terms of domination and being dominated. This obsessive standpoint drains human relationships of deeper content, of spiritual meaning and moral consciousness. All moral categories and considerations become irrelevant when one entirely focuses upon an ethically neutral and colourless conception of the will. To assume and act as if everything turns upon the master-slave relation is a major block to the development of self-consciousness, as Hegel recognized. Humanity has left behind its feverish preoccupation with false dominance in formal structures. The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries witnessed the emergence of a higher plateau of individual and collective self-consciousness. All men and women are the inheritors of the Enlightenment, with its unequivocal affirmation of the inalienable dignity of the individual, who can creatively relate to other human beings in meaningful dialogue and constructive cooperation.
Rooted in a simplistic but assertive mentality, dissolving all moral issues, the language of confrontation and of submission is irrelevant to the universal human condition and to the hierarchical complexity of Nature. Any person with a modicum of thought who begins to ask questions about the marvellous intricacy and dynamic interrelationships of Nature – questions about the sun and the stars, the trees and forests, the rivers and oceans, and above all about human growth – will readily recognize that no real understanding of the organic processes of Nature can be properly expressed in terms of such jejune categories as dominance and submission. Nor can any meaningful truths about the archetypal relations between teachers and disciples, parents and children, friends and companions, be apprehended through the truncated notion of an amoral will. Human life is poetic, musical and poignant. It has an open texture, with recurrent rhythms, and it continuously participates in concurrent cycles. To know this is to recognize, when viewing the frail fabric of modern societies, that human evolution has not abrogated the primordial principles of mutuality and interdependence, but indeed abnormal human beings and societies have become alienated from their inner resources of true strength and warmth, trust and reciprocity. The Golden Rule remains universal in scope and significance. There is not a culture or portion of the human race, not an epoch in history, in which the Golden Rule was not understood. Without this awareness there would be no social survival, let alone its translation into the language of roles and obligations and into the logic of markets. Reciprocity is intrinsic to the human condition.
Raghavan Iyer
The Gupta Vidya III


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