Along with a religious stance that posits supernatural solutions for unsolved questions of emergence, there are two major philosophical camps:
- Idealism: The position that all entities are illusions composed within the mind, or Consciousness. Matter cannot be conscious. The consciousness that we embodied beings seem to have is due to a singular Consciousness, which operates somehow in a temporarily restricted sense that we think of as our individual selves. In the context of Quadernity, an idealist would argue that the Male is primary and causal.
- Materialism/Physicalism: The position that all phenomena, including mental concepts, are caused by physical interactions. Most scientists lean towards materialism because science, by definition, challenges hypotheses about physical forces and processes by systematically measuring properties and behavioral patterns. In the context of Quadernity, a materialist would argue that the Female is primary and causal. (One might think that materialists would favor the Feminine and respect Mother Earth; however, the job of many materialist scientists is to increasingly dominate and exploit nature to loot Her natural resources for profit.)
Materialists and idealists hold opposing views. Each side has a conviction that their position, at the very least, indicates primacy — if not negation of the other gender role. In this way, they side-step the dreaded duality (the Cartesian split that declares that consciousness and body, being different, can exist independently.)
- If, as the idealists think, matter is merely an illusion caused by a conscious “I”, then duality is irrelevant.
- If, as the materialists think, consciousness is an emergent property of complex material systems, then there is no duality; matter only appears to be conscious due to algorithmic adaptability.
Forming a third camp are the panpsychists, an exceptional breed of philosophers, who, without denying physical stimuli, find it unintelligible that consciousness should suddenly emerge when a physical system achieves a sufficient magnitude of complexity.
Panpsychists believe that consciousness “goes all the way down” to the most fundamental particle of matter. That means all corporeality is conscious to some degree. Here is a good article on panpsychism.
Quadernity agrees that corporeality and consciousness are inseparable, but it explores their conjunction as if it is a dynamical, archetypally (not anthropomorphically) polarized Male–Female relationship, and contextualizes the cooperative pair of opposites within an Eternal Comprehensive Perfection (see ECP in Essential Vocabulary). Quadernity is most closely aligned with Dialectic Monism.
Panpsychists may or may not contextualize their conscious–corporeality within a transcendent realm or associate it with a Deity. They may or may not identify their conscious–corporeality with the Oneness of all that is.
A small but growing number of westerners are participating in discussions about Advaita Vedanta, an ancient eastern philosophy. Advaita means “not two”, so Advaitans hold that the highest reality is non-dual.
Rather than eliminating either the Male/mind or the Female/body, as the materialists and idealists do, Advaita strives to eliminate the difference between the “I” of ego-centric interests and the “I” of transcendent Self-Awareness. The individual consciousness, or Atman, can be none other than the Pure Consciousness, or Brahman. The Female/Mother Earth/Matter-Energy, though not negated as stimuli, is of little concern to yogis who practice Advaita.
In terms of Quadernity: idealists and physicalists argue about whether the Lower Left Quadrant or the Lower Right Quadrant is valid. Advaitans argue that the metaphysical/Heavenly realm of Brahman (Upper Quadrants) is permanent/real/valid and the physical/Earthly realm of Atman (Lower Quadrants), including its objective stimuli, is transient/unreal/invalid. Quadernity asserts that all four quadrants are fundamental and that both realms are essential. The entirety of this blog-book breaks down how so.
Advaita admonishes us to recognize that by being conscious of being conscious, we exceed the parameters of our lesser mind, which is otherwise stimulated by body-based sensory perceptions and captivated by ego-conceptions. Self-reflection is the first step toward dis-engagement from the temporal/invalid/lower-nature self, which, by default, reigns over our perceptions and consequent actions.
Masters of Advaita assure us that we are not ultimately separate from Oneness. In fact, nothing is separate from this Oneness, as it is all-inclusive. By practicing jnana yoga, one may pare away all false notions of him/herself until nothing is left but the “I am” of Oneness, by which/in which/as which one is the true Self.
Potential Sticking Points
Translations can get sticky sometimes, and the nascent body of westerners who are exploring Advaita are not immune to flawed interpretations.
- Advaita assures us that Oneness transcends all contrast and relativity. Advaita goes so far as to say that Oneness is real and the relative is unreal. Some conflate Advaita with the idealist philosophy, arriving at a position that denies the reality of any material existence/physical stimulus. This is a difficult point to argue, while caring for the body, using transportation, going to work, etc. Besides living in constant discrepancy with such a belief system, one would be hard-pressed to find in any scriptures that Knowing (Consciousness) is valid and Being (Corporeality) is invalid. Both Being and Knowing are aspects of Oneness. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna encourages us to understand the field of activity, which is the Body, as well as the Knower of the body — saying that this understanding is necessary in order to transcend the pair. There is no need to deny physical stimuli; however, accepting sensory input, as such, without any further ado is well-advised. It is the meanings we assign to various stimulants that are conjured inaccurately, for our body-based perceptions and preconditioned minds are polarizing lenses through which reality is severely distorted.
- A major point of Advaita is to realize that the ego-driven self is a false construct that leads us astray. Some ‘New-Agers’ come to believe the ego should be eradicated. This sets up internal conflicts, which are worrisome and run contrary to internal peace. The instincts of our ego can help us survive long enough to have a chance to evolve our consciousness, and for this we can be grateful. Instead of hating on the ego, we can simply relieve it of its autonomy by instating a constant Observer.
- Advaita tells us that Oneness is permanent, whereas the relative world is transient. Should we assume that the permanent is real and the transient is unreal? What is immutable/permanantly unchanging, or Eternal, is the Perfection of the all-inclusive/Comprehensive Oneness. Eternal Comprehensive Perfection does not preclude dynamic interactivity, by which Knowing of Being is made possible. In fact, it could be argued that this inner dynamism is the means by which the Perfection of Oneness is forever maintained. The non-dual incorporates the dual; the relative is subordinate to, and serves at the pleasure of, the Absolute.
- Because Advaita tells us God is all there is, and because that which is undeniable is the “I” of our experiences, we can conclude that our “I” is, in fact, God. This notion could be dangerous for the person who remains ego-centric. Though every person is One in the ultimate sense, distinction can be made between the coupled Jiva (Eve) and Atman (Adam), respectively the contemporary soul and the eternal heart within each individual, and the collective Soul of Brahman. A jivan-mukti is someone who knows him/herself to be the One Self and lives a life liberated from the entrapments of the ego. A jivan-mukti is a fully-realized human being. As humans, each of us has this capacity and many of us are experiencing a longing to fulfill this purpose.
- Some of us have come to the conclusion that everything we conceive of in our mind’s “I” is our own creation, including everyone and everything we encounter in the world — even atrocities and heinousness. This notion implies that tragedies are but figments of our imagination, so attending to positive thoughts and avoiding knowledge of what seems to be impending doom is a helpful strategy for maintaining the peace. Preserving our internal peace is our duty, or dharma; however, it is also our duty to work through our karma and this may include working for justice and preventing harm of self or other. We must live in the world, while remembering that we are not of this world.
- If we believe everything IS simply because it must be, as everything ultimately is God/ECP, we may come to challenge choice/free will/agency and wonder if it is all wishful thinking. Shall we do what we will, believing whatever we do is apparently pre-ordained and will eventually come to naught anyway, as the Oneness remains immutable? Have we ever heard a yoga master advise such fatalism? Instead, we are advised to purify our bodies, care for our property, and, of course, to love and respect all other beings. Over all, we are advised to maintain equanimity, so that our responses to worldly stimuli produce no harm, nor additional karma.
We have both bodies and minds. Why should we disregard either? We care for and honor what we are given to the best of our ability.
If, as the idealists argue, there are only minds, which pertain to a continuous consciousness, why the troubles of living in distinct bodies? And, if, as the materialists argue, there are only bodies, and that memories, imagination and self-reflection are merely synaptic firings — what is the point of contemplation, ethics or self-discipline?
Quadernity insists that there is a point to the dynamic enterprise that both embodies and enminds us. As we elevate our energetic bodies and develop intelligence, we make our environment ever more conducive for conscious evolution and personal liberation to reach a critical mass.
It is the 212th degree that turns water to vapor, not the 211th. It takes a critical mass to effect the paradigm-change that is so close. We must keep going till the job is done.
Every conscious–corporeal entity is evolving into an awakened being. It is the purpose of awakened beings to escalate their vibrational frequency through enhanced resonance. In this way, we achieve perfect harmony and enter the steady-state of Bliss, the ground state of the ECP.
The higher the frequency of waves the shorter are their wavelengths.
When peaks of waves constructively interfere with other wave peaks, the combined amplitude/intensity grows.
This elevates the general pitch, and, like a tuning fork, this shifts entity/systems (E/S) into resonance. The effects are continually compounded.
When wavelengths shrink to the Planck measurement, due to high frequency and amplitude, the waves collapse into tall vertical lines. Their oscillations cease and with them go the passing moments of time.
There is a return to stillness. Everything/nothing, having collapsed into a single moment, exists in/as eternity. This is a sudden and massive state-change. Arising in those who have experienced this breakthrough is a desire to disabuse others of their fears, and to usher in a new world of compassion, justice and altruistic cooperation.
Because Quadernity allows us to see how the consciousness of Patterns (Masculine) and the corporeality of Matter (Feminine) are interrelated within ECP, we are unscathed by the problem of duality that has plagued the philosophers, especially since DesCartes. It is not dualistic to recognize Male Knowing and Female Being as two sides of a coin, and to honor them both as the integral functionaries of the Blissful Oneness.