Aphorisms on Consciousness-Without-an-Object

These aphorisms belong to a level of consciousness where thought and music unite. They are seeds which may develop into a comprehen­sive system of philosophy while, at the same time, they are a substance bringing sustenance to the soul. It is not necessary that the reader should understand them. He should use them as focal points for medi­tation and permit their meaning to develop in his consciousness as a plant grows from seed. They are symbols first and concepts after­ward. As concepts they illumine the way for understanding. As symbols they open the door to the realization of that Reality which cannot be felt or thought.


Consciousness-without-an-object is. Before objects were, Consciousness-without-an-object is. Though objects seem to exist, Consciousness-without-an-object is. When objects vanish, yet remaining through all unaffected, Consciousness- without-an-object is. Outside of Consciousness-without-an-object nothing is. Within the bosom of Consciousness-without-an-object lies the power of awareness which projects objects. When objects are projected the power of awareness as subject is pre­supposed, yet Consciousness-without-an-object remains unchanged. When consciousness of objects is born then likewise consciousness of absence of objects arises. Consciousness of objects is the Universe. Consciousness of absence of objects is Nirvana, Within Consciousness-without-an-object lie both the Universe and Nirvana, yet to Consciousness-without-an-object these two are the same. Within Consciousness—without-an—object lies the seed of Time.

When awareness cognizes Time then Knowledge of Timelessness is born. To be aware of Time is to be aware of the Universe, and to be aware of the Universe is to be aware of Time. To realize Timelessness is to attain Nirvana. But for Consciousness-without-an-object there is no difference between Time and Timelessness. Within Consciousness-without-an-object lies the seed of Law. When awareness cognizes the world-containing Space then Knowledge of the Spatial Void is born. To be aware of the world-containing Space is to be aware of the Universe of Objects. To realize the Spatial Void is to awaken to Nirvanic Consciousness. But for Consciousness-without-an-object there is no difference between the world-containing Space and the Spatial Void. Within Consciousness—without-an-object lays the seed of Law, When consciousness of objects is born the Law is invoked as a Force tending ever toward Equilibrium, All objects exist as tensions within Consciousness-without-an-object that tend ever to flow into their own complements or others. The ultimate effect of the flow of all objects into their complements is mutual cancellation in complete Equilibrium, Consciousness of the field of tensions is the Universe, Consciousness of Equilibrium is Nirvana, But for Consciousness-without-an-object there is neither tension nor Equilibrium, The state of tension is the state of ever-becoming.


Ever-becoming is endless-dying. So the state of consciousness-of-objects is a state of ever-renewing promises that pass into death at the moment of fulfillment. Thus when consciousness is attached to objects the agony of birth and death never ceases. In the state of Equilibrium where birth cancels death the deathless Bliss of Nirvana is realized. But Consciousness-without-an-object is neither agony or bliss. Out of the Great Void, which is Consciousness—without-an-object, the Universe is creatively projected. The Universe as experienced is the created negation that ever resists. The creative act is bliss, the resistance unending pain. Endless resistance is the Universe of experience; the agony of crucifixion, Ceaseless creativeness is Nirvana, the Bliss beyond all human conceiving. But for Consciousness-without-an-object there is neither creativeness nor resistance. Ever-becoming and ever-ceasing-to-be is endless action. Whenever-becoming cancels the ever-ceasing-to-be then Rest is realized. Ceaseless action is the Universe, Unending Rest is Nirvana, But Consciousness-without-an-object is neither action nor rest. When Consciousness is attached to objects it is restricted through the forms imposed by the world—containing Space, by Time and by Law, When consciousness is disengaged from objects Liberation from the forms of the world-containing Space, of Time and of Law is attained. Attachment to objects is consciousness bound within the Universe. Liberation from such attachment is the state of unlimited Nirvanic Freedom. But Consciousness-.without-an-object is neither bondage nor Liberation. Consciousness-without-an-object may be symbolized by a SPACE which is unaffected by the presence or absence of objects; for which there is neither Time nor Timelessness; neither a world-containing Space nor a Spacial Void; neither tension nor Equilibrium; neither resistance nor creativeness; neither agony or Bliss; neither action nor Rest; and Neither restriction or Freedom. As the great SPACE is not to be identified with the Universe so neither is it to be identified with any self. The great SPACE is not God9 but the comprehender of all Gods as well as of all lesser creatures.


The great SPACE, or Consciousness-without-an-object, is the sole Reality upon which all objects and all selves depend and derive their existence. The great SPACE comprehends both the Path of the Universe and the Path to Nirvana. Beside the great SPACE there is none other. * * * * * Concerning Opposition Aroused by Sages Why do the words of a Mystic or a Sage so often arouse such severe antagonism? Take, for instance, poems like the “Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman. They have aroused storms of criticism as well as enthusiastic ad­miration. Yet, on the other hand, readers of all sorts generally are not troubled by the weird meanderings of the written words of an insane mind. This reveals the fact that it is not simply the unconventionality of the form that stirs the antagonism. Now these storms of criti­cism are really tributes. They indicate, at least, an un­conscious recognition of Power in the words of the Mystic or the Sage. The complacency of the forces of Mara— to employ a Buddhist term—has been struck a vital blow, and this arouses resistance. But in all such engagements, Mara is doomed to defeat, for the Power that has burst forth is united with the inexhaustible Fount. The only effective defense for Mara would be complete indifference. For if Mara causes any man to fight the Light, that man, sooner or later, is conquered by the Light and then be­comes One with It. St. Paul affords us the classic ex­ample. He fought earnestly and sincerely so that quickly the Light conquered him and claimed him for Its own. From the standpoint of Mara there is nothing more dangerous than an effort to slay a Sage or Mystic. The latter, in Their real Natures are invulnerable and, in the end, win to Themselves their would-be slayers.


* * * * * Reprinted from the Journal of Borderland Research – Vol XLII, No 4, July-August 1986. Aphorisms on Consciousness-Without-an-Object first appeared as a small brochure issued in 1937. Concerning Opposition Aroused by Sages is from Pathways Through To Space by Franklin Merrell-Wolff, Warner Books, NY borderlandresearch

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