Simultaneously throughout this spiritual universe the two opposite forces of Spirit are at work. On the one hand, The One Divine Being is creatively dividing, fragmenting, differentiating, and diversifying into a multiplicity of experiential qualities and forms of expression.
These qualities and forms acquire a life and power of their own. The more fundamental, universal qualities have the greater power, as they are closer to the primary division of the original unity. That gives hint to an esoteric principle concerning power. Then, on the other hand, The One Divine Being is re-uniting, or re-merging as the Unity, within experience and expression. This is known as the Path of Return, the return to unity and wholeness. It is also known as the Path of Synthesis, as the differentiated or fragmented qualities weave back together in a complimentary relation and finally into a newly unified pattern. On the one hand, there is this fragmentation of the whole into an expanding diversity, in which each fragmented quality or form acquires its own unique egoic identification and will, which is only possible if there is some relative separation and protection from other qualities or powers that could consume it. The very process of expanding diversification requires some degree of protection from the powers of synthesis. But on the other hand, the power of synthesis and reunification works to break down those separative barriors and merge differentiated egos into a new sense of unity, which is a loss of separative, unique experience. Thus, one cosmic force destroys unity of mind and expression by its fragmentation and diversification, while the other cosmic force destroys the fragmentation and multiplicity by its power of unification and synthesis. One expands differences and the other dissolves differences. Each force opposes the other's intrinsic aim, and each could be seen as a threat or evil to the other, depending on the perspective. Yet, we can recognize the significant value in both these principles or both these aims. We can value diversity, uniqueness, and accentuation. And we can also value unity, synthesis, and wholeness. We value both, and yet both are contradictory to each other. The tantra accepts this duality, not only in the cosmos but in the human psyche as well. The tendencies of spiritual philosophies has been to value one of the great forces and struggle against the other. We even see this in political philosophies, where some value freedom and diversity while others value social submission and unified activity. Can we value both forces simultaneously? Is a reconciliation possible? The tantra teaches acceptance of such dualities and opposing forces, and it sees in the human being the possibility of reconciliation and non-opposition. For if there is no one-sided identification and devotion to either of these spiritual forces or aims, then both can be allowed to work through us and evolve a reconciling relationship. This reconciling path is not the easy path, and it is not easy for the mind to comprehend such a reconciliation of opposites, but ultimately this is the only path there is, given the dual nature of this existence. The path is to accept, experience, and express our uniqueness and our different ways of being, while also accepting, experiencing, and expressing our oneness and communion with others and all life. One of the keys to this reconciliation is harmonious relatedness and the intercourse between separateness and unity. One can discover a creative relation between the separate self or a unique quality of being and the greater unity in which this exists. In other words, one can allow certain qualities of being to grow, in distinction from others, while continually bringing together these different qualities into unification and related harmony. This is reflective of the universal principle of existence, as the dual forces or divine impulses work through you.
Thus, there can be a creative expansion and exploration of the multiple, diverse qualities inherent in the potential of your being, while simultaneously there can be unification and harmonious integration of these diverse qualities. This results in a unity, though of greater diversity, whereby the powers of the differentiated qualities are strong and beautiful in themselves and yet harmoniously related and integrated. Then, being develops an integrated complexity of expressive beauty.
We discover the complexity or diversity of potential qualities not only within ourselves but in others as well. In others we discover what is not so recognised and expressive in ourself, and through our relation with others and through our appreciation of others those different qualities of being will gradually unfold through ourself.
This is another principle of the tantra, that we can discover ourself, the multiplistic variety of our self potential, through relationship and appreciation of the world around us. In this way we find fascination with the natural world and with other people, and we grow in our own diversity of self experience and creative expression.
But we can only grow in this way if we do not exclusively identify or become attached to our present limited comprehension of ourself. We can still allow the expression of our own distinctive qualities, and ackowledge ourself as unique in the world, but we can remain open to experiencing and expressing other qualities as well, as ackowledged and appreciated in others or as found in the world outside us. These other qualities can then emerge through us and be harmoniously incorporated into our whole self experience. Thus, we actually become more than what we were, more complete of the great potential diversity of being itself. And yet, with added diversity there needs to be a greater synthesis and movement toward unity of being.
A key to this is in the recognition of the related unity already existing. You see, even though the related unity of various different qualities, within the human experience, is not necessarily apparent or comprehended, there is, nonetheless, an underlying related unity with all qualities and forms expressive in the world. This unity is there and yet not there. It is there, in that all qualities have their source in a more fundamental quality or power, which has its source in an even more fundamental quality, until the One Source of all is finally realised. We can call this the ontological hierarchy of expressive Being. Since any quality necessarily must come out of some greater source or be an expression of some greater power of being, then onto-logically every quality will in some way or at some level be intrinsically related or derivitive of the same source. So there is the potential of comprehending the unitive web of relatedness, or the unity of apparently different or opposing qualities of being. This is the realisation of unity and intrinsic relatedness. More simply, it is seeing the greater view of existence and how one fits into the greater picture. You begin to comprehend more clearly your relatedness with others and how all things relate together. This comprehension can be more abstract or it can be a more complex science of understanding.
For instance, we can discover our essential oneness and similarity with others and how various qualities of expression necessarilly relate with one another. So, the related unity is already here, and here to be comprehended. And yet, conflict, disunity and disharmony still appear in our lives. This is because the differences, and especially opposite qualities, become expressive without recognition of their relatedness to other qualities. In psychological terms, the ego expresses itself without comprehension of its relatedness. It perceives and identifies with a limited, partial view. It perceives what is disimilar and different from itself as a threat or as a power to be controlled and manipulated. It does not perceive the value of what is different or opposite to it. It does not perceive the greater picture, the greater relatedness of which it is but a part.
And if it did, it would lose its limited identity and a new and greater comprehension of being would take its place, whereby what was previously viewed as different is now a part of this newly comprehended unity of being. The effect of this would be a new synthesis of comprehension and a more harmonious expression would result. The expression would be different, more harmonious, because any quality of expression comes out of some degree of comprehesion. If the comprehensive view is greater, revealing a greater relatedness, then the resulting expression will be harmonious with this greater comprehension. It will reflect the greater comprehension. This is why many spiritual philosophies emphasise the comprehensive understanding of life and realisation of unity, rather than a mere submissive following of moral rules of action, because expression naturally follows the degree of one's understanding and the comprehensiveness of one's experience.
So, unity is already here, but its comprehension is limited and partial, and therefore the unity is not fully expressed nor apparent in the world and in our lives. The quality of unity realised is love, and the quality of unity expressed is harmony. These qualities are not as yet fully expressive in the world, and thus they are not so easily found. But if we can perceive the greater unity of life, or at least our own relatedness to the greater whole, then we shall express that greater comprehension, expressing more harmoniously within the greater wholeness, and then others around us and in relation to us will more easily perceive the unity and reflect in themselves the qualities of love and harmony. As we each comprehend more of the unity and express a greater harmony of relatedness, so then will others begin to realize the unity and emerge as a greater reflection of it.
One meaning of tantra is web
It is the web of existence, or the web of wisdom. This web is called the greater tantra because it involves the greater understanding of life. Life is existence, which is all there is. This is the one spiritual reality. The tantra does not say that spiritual reality is other than life or existence. This is it. What we can discover in life, what we can experience as conscious beings, is the spiritual reality. The spiritual is not outside of life or outside of our experience. It may be greater than what we presently experience, and it may be a greater potential than what we presently find in life or on earth, but it is all potentially available.
By realizing spiritual reality as a web one is affirming the spiritualness of this creation, and one is recognizing relationship as spiritual truth. A web implies some degree of complexity, though a complexity interelated as a web. It affirms the diversity of spiritual reality, though united in a relational web. Many other systems of thought view the spiritual reality as one singular Being or Experience. This Oneness may be understood as one Consciousness, Light, Power, or one quality of Being, such as Love. The tantra does not deny this singular view of Spirit or spiritual reality, for the Whole Reality is realised as One, whether we call this Reality, Brahman, or something else. Yet the tantra also realises that this Ultimate Essence cannot be summed up or abstracted into one single word or quality or idea. Any such simplification is going to be a limitation in understanding the Ultimate.
Therefore, the tantra recognises the Singular Unity or One Essence of Reality, but it also recognises a multiplicity of Qualities such that this One Reality is also realised as a Plurality of essences. For example, we can realize this Ultimate as the Great Energy or Power within all things, or we could realize this Ultimate as the Ultimate Being or Love Presence permeating all things, or we could realize this Ultimate as the One Consciousness or Light. If one realises only one of these as the Ultimate, without also realising the other Qualities, then this is a limitation of our understanding, so the realisation of the Ultimate as a Trinity is a more comprehensive understanding. And yet still, there is only One Essence which transcends all realised Qualities. The problem with language, which stems from a problem of the mind, is that any one descriptive word or idea or experience of the One Divine is going to be limited. That is why Lao Tzu said that the Tao described is not the Tao. Yet different descriptions are partial truths of the Tao or Reality. Thus, Reality is One and Many, simultaneously. It is One Essence of many forms or qualities. In the fundamental geometry of the One there is duality and triplicity, and all other forms derive from the One, the Two, and the Three. In the duality, for example, we can experience the One Essence as One Substance pervading all things. It is an essential substance. Yet Reality is also a Form or Pattern or Vibrational Quality, and not just pure abstract substance. Thus, Reality is both substance and form, or energy and pattern. Pure Substance without form or pattern is really abstarct nothingness or no-thing, and any form or pattern necessarily has an energy or substance pervading and sustaining it.
Reality is, thus, a Singular Unity, and at the same time It is pluralistic and relational. In tantra, Existence is relational. It is an interelated web. The tantra does not view the multiplicity of existence, or experience, as illusion or something to be rid of. Instead, it affirms and enjoys this multiplicity, as being the spiritual reality itself. In ultimate essence, the whole of existence is One, one Conscious Light, Power, Creative Being, or however it is singularly experienced. We affirm the Singular Oneness as a complete singular experience. This is unity without multiplicity. It is before multiplicity, if you wish to think in this way, or it is after multiplicity if transcended. Yet it is neither before nor after, since it always is One, and at the same time it is multiplicity. As a multiplicity this reality distinguishes itself into different qualities and forms, into different ways of experience and manifestation. Each of these has its own degree of autonomy and individual integrity. Each is a certain power-to-be with its own sustaining force. Yet although there are these different powers, qualities and forms, each having a certain degree of autonomy, they are all related in some way to each other and to the collective whole of existence. No thing or power is completely separate and autonomous. All life and all form is related in some way. All life and all energies necessarily interchange with each other, for it is the greater whole, or the greater web, which ultimately sustains the parts. We see this in the physical ecology of life on earth, and this law of life is the same cosmic law of the universe. It is the relational law of all physical, psychological and spiritual forces.
Things are related in various ways and it is the function of the mind to understand these things. The higher intelligence of the mind is the ability to understand the relations between apparently different things and to understand the connecting patterns underlying the varieties of experience. Some people simplify life by saying that all things are separate and unrelated, and others will deny differences and say that all things are one and the same.
But the tantra says we cannot deny differences and we cannot deny relational unity. Understanding and working in an intelligently relational way is more challenging than merely simplifying everything into one and the same, or simplying everything as an unrelated disunity. Reality is made of differences, yet the differences are related in a unity.
Many philosophers find this to be illogical or contradictory, but it is not the proposition which is contradictory, it is their fixed presupposed logic which is proven to be untrue. For the proof is by experience and not by some invented logic or mental gymnastics. If we open to experience and speak from the truth of experience, we will eventually acknowledge differences between things and different ways of experiencing life, and at the same time acknowledge relations between these differences and the unity at the essence of these differences. If you just think about this, or just logically analyse such claims, it all may appear contradictory, but real understanding and real proof must come from experience itself, and my words can only feably lead you to the truth by experience.
Plato believed that all which appears to be different or separate participates in a greater, invisible reality which is unified and permanent. This greater reality, he believed, is essentially number and pattern. Greater patterns underlie all existence and all phenomena.
Everything participates in a greater unity of related patterns, and this underlying relationship of pattern is based on numbers, or the geometry of number. Such truth has been known and described by all true spiritual masters of wisdom
Relations are not seen. These are the patterns underlying particular things focused on by the senses. It is the invisible laws and relations making things how they appear to be. This is the reality behind things, the spiritual reality, only known through the intellect or mind or intuition. Not the face but the spirit behind the face. Not what you see but the relation between the seeing and the seen.
These truths are known in mind not in senses, though the knowing needs the senses - knowing comes through the senses but the senses are not the knowing. Plato saw differences and impermanence in the world as sensed, but permanance and related similies are found in the mind reality.
The mind finds these and also invents these. A priori found in the questioning itself or in the activity of mind as it works out answers and truths (but truths are presupposed as the aim of thought itself.) We are finding real essences and relations and laws behind particulars, yet we are understanding these and propositioning these in relative ways.
Thus, there are 3 ---- the appearances, the Real, and the relative ways of understanding the real within the appearances.