Thursday, 26 December 2013

An Invitation for Inter-Faith dialogue - Sunya, Purna and Pleroma

I have not put my hands on this book so I cannot review what is inside the book.


But I can give you the implications if anyone wants to take this road.

Om 
Purnamadah PurnamidamPurnat PurnamudachyatePurnasya PurnamadayaPurnameva VashishyateOm shanti, shanti, shanti


- Isha Upanishad

Translation - 

All this is full. All that is full.
From fullness, fullness comes.
When fullness is taken from fullness,
Fullness still remains.
O M shanti shanti shanti
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Col 2:9 "In Christ dwell's all the pleroma(fullness) of deity in bodily form"

THE SEVEN SERMONS TO THE DEAD
WRITTEN BY BASILIDES IN ALEXANDRIA,
THE CITY WHERE THE EAST
TOUCHETH THE WEST.

Sermo I

The dead came back from Jerusalem, where they found not what they sought. They prayed me let them in and besought my word, and thus I began my teaching.

Harken: I begin with nothingness. Nothingness is the same as fullness. In infinity full is no better than empty. Nothingness is both empty and full. As well might ye say anything else of nothingness, as for instance, white is it, or black, or again, it is not, or it is. A thing that is infinite and eternal hath no qualities, since it hath all qualities.

This nothingness or fullness we name the PLEROMA. Therein both thinking and being cease, since the eternal and infinite possess no qualities. In it no being is, for he then would be distinct from the pleroma, and would possess qualities which would distinguish him as something distinct from the pleroma.

In the pleroma there is nothing and everything. It is quite fruitless to think about the pleroma, for this would mean self-dissolution.

CREATURA is not in the pleroma, but in itself. The pleroma is both beginning and end of created beings. It pervadeth them, as the light of the sun everywhere pervadeth the air. Although the pleroma pervadeth altogether, yet hath created being no share thereof, just as a wholly transparent body becometh neither light nor dark through the light which pervadeth it. We are, however, the pleroma itself, for we are a part of the eternal and infinite. But we have no share thereof, as we are from the pleroma infinitely removed; not spiritually or temporally, but essentially, since we are distinguished from the pleroma in our essence as creatura, which is confined within time and space.
Yet because we are parts of the pleroma, the pleroma is also in us. Even in the smallest point is the pleroma endless, eternal, and entire, since small and great are qualities which are contained in it. It is that nothingness which is everywhere whole and continuous. Only figuratively, therefore, do I speak of created being as a part of the pleroma. Because, actually, the pleroma is nowhere divided, since it is nothingness. We are also the whole pleroma, because, figuratively, the pleroma is the smallest point (assumed only, not existing) in us and the boundless firmament about us. But wherefore, then, do we speak of the pleroma at all, since it is thus everything and nothing?
I speak of it to make a beginning somewhere, and also to free you from the delusion that somewhere, either without or within, there standeth something fixed, or in some way established, from the beginning. Every so-called fixed and certain thing is only relative. That alone is fixed and certain which is subject to change.

What is changeable, however, is creatura. Therefore is it the one thing which is fixed and certain; because it hath qualities: it is even quality itself.

The question ariseth: How did creatura originate? Created beings came to pass, not creatura; since created being is the very quality of the pleroma, as much as non-creation which is the eternal death. In all times and places is creation, in all times and places is death. The pleroma hath all, distinctiveness and non-distinctiveness.

Distinctiveness is creatura. It is distinct. Distinctiveness is its essence, and therefore it distinguisheth. Therefore man discriminateth because his nature is distinctiveness. Wherefore also he distinguisheth qualities of the pleroma which are not. He distinguisheth them out of his own nature. Therefore must he speak of qualities of the pleroma which are not.

What use, say ye, to speak of it? Saidst thou not thyself, there is no profit in thinking upon the pleroma?

That said I unto you, to free you from the delusion that we are able to think about the pleroma. When we distinguish qualities of the pleroma, we are speaking from the ground of our own distinctiveness and concerning our own distinctiveness. But we have said nothing concerning the pleroma. Concerning our own distinctiveness, however, it is needful to speak, whereby we may distinguish ourselves enough. Our very nature is distinctiveness. If we are not true to this nature we do not distinguish ourselves enough. Therefore must we make distinctions of qualities.

What is the harm, ye ask, in not distinguishing oneself? If we do not distinguish, we get beyond our own nature, away from creatura. We fall into indistinctiveness, which is the other quality of the pleroma. We fall into the pleroma itself and cease to be creatures. We are given over to dissolution in the nothingness. This is the death of the creature. Therefore we die in such measure as we do not distinguish. Hence the natural striving of the creature goeth towards distinctiveness, fighteth against primeval, perilous sameness. This is called the principium individuationis. This principle is the essence of the creature. From this you can see why indistinctiveness and non-distinction are a great danger for the creature.

We must, therefore, distinguish the qualities of the pleroma. The qualities are pairs of opposites, such as—
The Effective and the Ineffective.
Fullness and Emptiness.
Living and Dead.
Difference and Sameness.
Light and Darkness.
The Hot and the Cold.
Force and Matter.
Time and Space.
Good and Evil.
Beauty and Ugliness.
The One and the Many. etc.
The pairs of opposites are qualities of the pleroma which are not, because each balanceth each. As we are the pleroma itself, we also have all these qualities in us. Because the very ground of our nature is distinctiveness, therefore we have these qualities in the name and sign of distinctiveness, which meaneth—
1. These qualities are distinct and separate in us one from the other; therefore they are not balanced and void, but are effective. Thus are we the victims of the pairs of opposites. The pleroma is rent in us.
2. The qualities belong to the pleroma, and only in the name and sign of distinctiveness can and must we possess or live them. We must distinguish ourselves from qualities. In the pleroma they are balanced and void; in us not. Being distinguished from them delivereth us.
When we strive after the good or the beautiful, we thereby forget our own nature, which is distinctiveness, and we are delivered over to the qualities of the pleroma, which are pairs of opposites. We labor to attain to the good and the beautiful, yet at the same time we also lay hold of the evil and the ugly, since in the pleroma these are one with the good and the beautiful. When, however, we remain true to our own nature, which is distinctiveness, we distinguish ourselves from the good and the beautiful, and, therefore, at the same time, from the evil and the ugly. And thus we fall not into the pleroma, namely, into nothingness and dissolution.

Thou sayest, ye object, that difference and sameness are also qualities of the pleroma. How would it be, then, if we strive after difference? Are we, in so doing, not true to our own nature? And must we none the less be given over to sameness when we strive after difference?

Ye must not forget that the pleroma hath no qualities. We create them through thinking. If, therefore, ye strive after difference or sameness, or any qualities whatsoever, ye pursue thoughts which flow to you out of the pleroma; thoughts, namely, concerning non-existing qualities of the pleroma. Inasmuch as ye run after these thoughts, ye fall again into the pleroma, and reach difference and sameness at the same time. Not your thinking, but your being, is distinctiveness. Therefore not after difference, as ye think it, must ye strive; but after your own being. At bottom, therefore, there is only one striving, namely, the striving after your own being. If ye had this striving ye would not need to know anything about the pleroma and its qualities, and yet would ye come to your right goal by virtue of your own being. Since, however, thought estrangeth from being, that knowledge must I teach you wherewith ye may be able to hold your thought in leash.

- Carl C Jung.

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The Angulimaliya Sutra consists largely of teachings by the bodhisattva Angulimala - in the immediate presence of the Buddha, under his direct spiritual influence and with his approval - on the correct understanding of Buddhist doctrine. The Sutra is most insistent that the tathagatagarbha and the self (Ātman) are real and that to deny their existence is to lapse into a state of dangerous spiritual imbalance. Thus, to seek out the tathagatagarbha - which is equated with the true Self - is deemed of great value. The Buddha teaches the bodhisattva Manjushri (traditionally, the bodhisattva given to the highest insight) that practising the spiritual life is meaningful only because there is a 'self principle' (the tathagatagarbha or 'atma-dhatu' - 'essence of Self') with which the quest can be rewarded. He states: 
Mañjuśrī, people churn milk because they understand that butter is present therein. Why do people not churn water ? Because that substance is not present there. Likewise, Mañjuśrī, people maintain moral discipline (śīla) and engage in the holy life (brahmacarya) because of the existence of the Tathāgata-garbha. 
Moreover, Mañjuśrī, people who want gold and are endowed with discernment, dig in cliffs. Why do they not dig in trees? They dig in rocks where gold-ore (suvarna-dhātu) is present, but they do not dig in trees, where there is no gold. Likewise, Mañjuśrī, people who discern the presence of the dhātu [i.e., buddha-dhatu, which means buddha principle] think to themselves, "I shall become a buddha" and so maintain the moral discipline and engage in the holy life. Furthermore, Mañjuśrī, if there were no dhātu, the holy life would be pointless. Just as butter will never be produced from water even if one were to churn it for a billion years, similarly there would be no benefit for those attached to a self who engage in the holy life and the moral discipline if there were no self principle [ātma-dhātu]. 
The sutra is remarkable for the vigour and passion with which Angulimala teaches Dharma and for its doctrine that at the heart of all beings is one unified principle: the buddha-dhatu (Buddha-nature) or tathagatagarbha. The doctrines of this sutra are also strikingly congruent with those of the much longer Mahaparinirvana Sutra
- Angulimaliya Sutra
For a fuller understanding of whether tathagatagarbha is ontologically real or empty continue reading here.
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As I have made out very clear in my other posts, for us Pleroma is not just an abstract idea, it has a physical local existence and forms the body of Christ in Christianity, body of Savitr in Hinduism and body of Samanthabhadra in Buddhism.


The 30 odd Aeons of Valentinianism.

The hundred peaceful and wrathful deities of Tibetan Buddhism.


List of Rigvedic deities by number of dedicated hymns, after Griffith (1888). Some dedications are to paired deities, such as Indra-Agni, Mitra-Varuna, Soma-Rudra, here counted doubly.

- Rig Vedic Deities

The implications are quite clear:

All denominations of Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism will perish and die soon except Valentinianism in Christianity worshipping the pneumatic Christ (uniting all Christians having a fuller esoteric interpretation of the Bible), Sauram in Hinduism worshipping the Sun God (uniting all Hindus having a fuller esoteric interpretation of the Vedas and the Upanishads) and Dzogchen in Buddhism upholding the Buddha-nature or tathagathagarbha.

You better know the implications before getting yourself into such a venture! Now one can see why I have given so much importance to Valentinianism compared to Souram or Dzogchen. It is because it is only in Valentinianism that one finds explicit expressions of my views and in Souram and Dzogchen it exists implicitly and one has to do a lot of reading and research in these two religions to find similar expressions of thoughts as there is in Valentinianism.