Sunday, February 27, 2011

On Many Paths Leading to the One

I was contemplating the idea of the many paths leading to the one, i.e., call it 'center,' 'apex,' and so on.  While the sentiment of this idea is good, it also lends itself to misunderstanding.  It almost seems to be saying that "all paths are equal," and perhaps it is alright to structurally interpret this idea with respect to the standpoint of those who have become enlightened, in that way.  As with anything, context determines perspective.

There are planes of transmigratory existence, there are stages of development-evolution-involution of Mind, there are paths to awakening.  Again, from the standpoint of already-realized beings (who are in the stages of ever subtler perfection, even up to those who have attained Reality-as-such), every step, every modality, every comportment, every vehicle contains perfect awakening.  And from the standpoint of the entrenched, the focus is on (relative, perhaps comparative) differences.  The former views from a wider horizon the gradual process of sublimation as well as concrete differences, and the latter is provisionally entrenched in seeing differences only.

And when you hear that "all paths are equal," consider the source of the statement.  And when you hear that "not all paths are equal," also consider the source of the statement. Meanings and intentionality change, semiotically identical or equivalent statements undergo paradigm shifts relative to their proponent.  Briefly, it is as in the following: 

Proponent A1 asserts proposition P.
Proponent A2 asserts proposition P.

A1 and A2 are not the same proponent, but the proposition P is exactly identical, word-for-word.  When, say, A1 asserts P, P is truth (not (necessarily) in the truthfunctional sense of having the value of 1 or 'true').  When A2 asserts P, P is falsehood (not (necessarily) in the truthfunctional sense of having the value of 0 or 'false').  

This is the existential aspect of authenticity.  Thus, as a concrete instantiation, let P = the statement that many paths lead to the same One.  Let A1 be awakened, a person who has undergone advanced stages of personal evolution and ascent.  Let A2 be a novice in existential ascent but a scholar of comparative religions.  The morphic field of A1 subsumes that of A2, in which case A2 cannot existentially wrap its mind around the wider scope (such a scope or horizon would be non-existent to A2).