That All-Seeing Heart
An Introduction to the Metaphysics of Vedanta
Our very nature is Freedom. Only our minds tell us otherwise.
Therefore there's nothing positive for us to achieve, but only
something negative to eliminate. And this is done by applying
various techniques such as viveka, which is discriminating
between the real and the unreal--that is, finding out what things
in life carry permanent versus temporary fulfilment. This, as
well as certain other methods are applied in due course, each
of which contributes to our ability to one day successfully employ
our divine weapon, being the atma vichara (path of Self-enquiry),
which is a devastating process for the ego-Mind, causing it to
relinquish its stronghold on the individual. Liberation results.
Over the course of a few centuries, the idea of metaphysics
and what its practical study has come to imply, especially within
the New Age community, is actually the polar opposite of what
it was really intended to represent. Exactly how this occurred
is not important beyond the fact that the accumulation of "average"
people who chanced upon it misconstrued its deeper meaning, hence
its popularized mutated [superficial] version.
This article is therefore an attempt to not only correctly
define metaphysics, but in so doing, to hopefully succeed in
transmitting its essence to whoever may pursue reading it.
Before we commence, we have to eliminate some obstacles
to our understanding by way of re-evaluating and re-defining
certain relevant concepts and perceptions, which strategy represents
a necessary elimination of false ideas accumulated.
First, let's define metaphysics. What is commonly referred
to as metaphysics would more appropriately be generally termed
'non-ordinary physics,' since only insignificant portions thereof
deal with what is genuinely metaphysical. Such capabilities of
the mind as telepathy, clairvoyance, prophesy, or divination
(via Tarot, astrology, palmistry, etc.) as well as 'psychic'
and 'thaumaturgic powers' such as psychokinesis, levitation,
astral projection, etc, actually fall within the domain of physics,
since they are all qualified or modified forms of energetic phenomena,
and therefore have a materially quantifiable counterpart--albeit
possessing the nature of unfamiliar forms--hence the term 'non-ordinary
On the other hand, metaphysics is beyond physics
(as the word implies, although not actually defined as such in
the dictionary-- since, as mentioned, its usage has been misconstrued
over time). Now, what does this signify? The answer to this is
profoundly simple yet equally profoundly elusive, as we shall
What follows represents the culmination of three decades
of comparative religious, philosophical and scientific study.
During the course of this study there emerged for me [what was
later realized to be] a metaphysical insight which, in turn,
eventually achieved a marked level of certainty and reliability.
Whereupon, the latter decade was devoted to seeking out and simultaneously
discovering certain historic [scriptural] documents that again
and again corroborated this insight--thereby not only further
reinforcing it but, more importantly, furnishing the understanding
that virtually every culture in every time arrived at the same
realization. Some of these documents include: the Upanishads,
Bhagavad Gita, Dhammapada, Bardo Thodol, Tao Te King, Kabala,
Zend Avesta, and the Gospels of John and Thomas.
Also, the so-called New Physics (Quantum
Physics) is tending toward a parallel collaboration with
metaphysics (Vide: Michael Talbot's The Holographic Universe;
Fritjof Capra's The Tao of Physics; Gary Zukov's The
Dancing Wu Li Masters; as well as physicists Einstein, Planck,
and Bohr, among numerous others, who paved the way in this direction).
Please understand that this is an abridged essay and therefore
some observations made are not expounded upon insofar as addressing
some pertinent and quite valid objections that may arise.
Before we begin, it's important to understand that there
is nothing to achieve which you have not already in your possession.
You are already fully enlightened. You already [naturally] own
the very thing you're attempting to possess. The illusion that
you are mortal, finite, suffering, and in bondage, is itself
an illusion! That you think there are obstacles to overcome,
mysteries to solve or powers to attain, are themselves the very
obstacles blocking your way to the reality of what you ALREADY
are. That you doubt this and believe you are yet in need of something,
is, in fact, a mind-trick (fabrication), and will be attempted
to be disproved by the observations that follow.
THIS JOURNEY'S DIRECTION IS INWARD:
1. Ordinary awareness accepts at face value the idea of
the condition of the self confronting the world. This is the
Naive Life-Code of Reference. From it is born the entire realm
of maya--from which follows ignorance, fear, desire, bondage,
and suffering. From which, in turn, follows samsara (the Wheel
2. This world-appearance is immense, complex, mysterious,
of unknown origin and endowed with indelible laws of physics,
gross and subtle, all within the framework of space-time/Relativity.
3. What is not ordinarily attended upon is the fact that
whatever is witnessed in this world is done exclusively through
the only conceivable instrument capable of assessing it: the
4. When this mind is studied, some hitherto unrecognized
characteristics begin to surface. First and foremost, it is observed
to go through phases of waking, dreaming, and deep sleeping.
And, since such phases exist, we must conclude that the mind
lacks continuity, especially since it is observed to be utterly
non-existent in the deep sleep state. This is our first clue.
5. We are inherently compelled to seek out the truth of
what, a priori, is. To accomplish this we must set up a standard
for Reality. Consider: there are many characteristics that could
feasibly be deemed to be integral to what the scope of Reality
may actually encompass. Whatever such characteristics we may
settle upon, there is one that must be indispensable and foundational
to each of them, and cannot be violated under any circumstances:
Existence itself. And, as we just established, Existence, by
its very implication, cannot be here today and gone tomorrow;
it must be permanent and omnipresent (i.e. not subject to birth
and death; not found in one place over another; nor present in
one creature over another). Therefore, our standard of Reality
must rigidly adhere to that which is in an unchanging state of
6. Going back to our clue (viz. that the mind cannot be
considered a permanent principle), and applying it to our standard
of Reality (viz. that which is not permanent cannot be considered
real), we must hence conclude the mind is not real.
7. If the mind is not real, are we to further conclude
that we are not real? Yes, if we consider that we are the mind.
However, we are not the mind! (For, when the mind shuts off in
deep sleep, we do not lose our continuity of Self--a Johnson,
going to sleep, doesn't wake up a Benson.) This is our second
clue--and an important one.
8. Since the Self continues to thrive through the phases
of the mind, it qualifies as a candidate for Reality, providing
that it does not suffer an interruption with the advent of the
death of the body and the mind. Let's investigate further.
9. To prove that there is no real death for the Self (as
opposed to the ego self which is intimately bound to the mind),
we must consult a law of physics, namely that "energy can
neither be created nor destroyed." Now, the forms or modifications
of energy do appear to change, but not their source (such as
fire absorbed into an object and changing its form to heat, while
the source of fire and heat is always energy). So is the mind
a modification of its source, the Self. Therefore the Self, being
likened to energy, was never created nor will it ever be destroyed.
(Note: At this point it is necessary to reiterate the fact
that the Self is really not the true source of the mind. For
that would imply that It created the mind; and that would be,
by definition, impossible. As pointed out earlier, its source
is really shakti. Now, what is the origin of shakti? What created
it? To help answer this, let's consult the axioms set down by
1. Brahman is the only Reality.
2. The world is an illusion.
3. Brahman is the world.
What this apparent contradiction of ideas is saying is
that the world is an illusion *on its own terms*, but is Reality
as Brahman Itself! Moreover, it's important to understand that
the world, or anything in it, is not an aspect of Brahman, but
Brahman Itself. That is, every concept, object, event and perception
in and of the world is AT ONCE the Entirety. An intuitive grasp
is needed to comprehend this. It obviously defies logic.
10. Based on the clues provided, the first key for the
journey to freedom can now be given: since the body is not real,
pay no mind to it. And the second key: since the mind is not
real, detach yourself from its thoughts.
There are a number of ways that this can be practically
approached. The easiest is to accept that the mind is on its
own journey and will generate thoughts as it pleases. In this
sense you can watch them like a motion picture in a theater.
They are not you yourself, nor do they represent you. For, really,
who are you? If you're an ego, then they can be equally thought
of as being you. But this is actually absurd to even imagine.
Why? Because self-enquiry exposes that the ego is itself merely
fiction. So then, who are you? We'll explore this in item number
Another approach--more difficult or less, depending on
one's temperament--is to seek out the root-thought--which is
the "I"- thought--and chop it down like the trunk of
a tree, and all the branches of ideas and leaves of thoughts
will simultaneously topple.
11. The most powerful method known as atma vichara (Self-enquiry)
is applied by asking oneself "Who am I?" (i.e. What
is my true nature? What is the source of the phenomenon experienced
as "I"?) This can be practiced in or out of the steady
state of meditation. In fact, it becomes more effective when
performed during the course of normal activities, since then
it has a better chance of allowing the practitioner to disengage
his identification with not only the ego but the world, as well
as his activities in the world.
12. As with most yogic methods, there are a number of approaches
within the atma vichara. The most popular one involves a vigil
kept on the mind [by asking "Who am I?"] where, as
each answer comes, it is categorically denied as having anything
to do with the Self. In this way each thought is indiscriminately
rejected as not-Self by inwardly addressing them as "neti,
neti, etc" (not this, not this, etc). And since virtually
every idea or description is negated along the way, what is left
over cannot therefore be in the nature of a relativistic value
or property but rather is at once transcendental as well as all-pervading,
and in fact is the core Self Itself! In this way the mind--which
is the thought process--is gradually weakened, undermined and
eventually finally destroyed.
The only thing the mind is capable of realizing is that
it hasn't the ability to realize [Reality]. Enquiry is the means
for the Mind to discover this. Once it's discovered, the Mind
can no longer hold its jiva captive and victimized/manipulated
[as a leaf at the mercy of the wind]. And since the Mind is no
longer the commander-in-chief attempting to dictate Reality,
the Self (Paramatman) automatically surfaces. In the strictest
sense, there is nothing (no entity) that realizes anything else
(another entity). Rather the Self shines unimpeded. The fogbank
of avarana (veil of ignorant distortion) is isolated in
the beam of atmavichara and eventually burned away by the sun
of the Self. The Self was always there, only the mysterious fog
seems to block it. Yet such fog isn't in the least substantial.
Here lies the paradox that would be better left forgotton, for
indeed *there is no paradox* upon honest enquiry! It simply all
crumbles itself into a dream of perfect void.
Yes, Brahman is all that is. Doubts are so many fictions...
13. If Self-realization is genuinely accomplished, our
jouney has reached its zenith...there is no further distance
to trek in the evolution of consciousness...it is the end of
the road...the end of all.
OM TAT SAT OM