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“The world? No more
than moonlight drops
fallen from the beak of the swan”.
This question does not allow a simple answer for the very reason that Life cannot be measured by a one only criteria. Nevertheless the word “life” is usually used to define a number of properties and natural processes, common to every living being, such as : being built out of cells, having highly organized and complex structures, having the ability of developing a huge series of tasks, receiving and transforming energy from the environment, getting rid of residual products, performing a large variety of chemical reactions, possessing entropic and homeostatic qualities towards different environmental variables, reacting to stimuli, being born, growing and developing themselves, adapting, and dying.
Though this formulation may seem rather complex, nonetheless it only refers to a very narrow and superficial concept of Life, on the physical level, ignoring the existence of other inner forces, existing in other states of Reality.
Occult science tells us that Consciousness and Matter are the two opposite poles of the One Reality, Purusha and Prakriti, he subjective and objective truths of the Universe. Life and Manifestation as we know them today are but the interception point of these two poles.
As long as Atma is connected to a physical vehicle, one may say that the latter is alive. But when Atma sheds its material body, contact is broken, the intersection cesses to exist and the physical body becomes merely a piece of matter, made of atoms and molecules that follows the laws of lifeless mater, therefore tending to disintegration.
This procedure also takes place regarding all other temporal vehicles, such as the astral and mental, because as soon as Jivatma ceases to act upon them, they too either disintegrate or die.
In the higher spiritual worlds where Individuality lingers, where vehicles have an atomic structure, Life as we know it, does not exist. There isn’t an organized vehicle as the one we are familiar with. One cannot say that the result of the interaction between consciousness and matter does indeed affect the vehicles, because as we know, the higher vehicles are not subjected to the wheel of rebirth. Therefore the characteristics that we usually attribute to Life are confined to the three plans where the perishable personality works and the bodies are subjected to the cycles of birth, development, aging and death.
In Blavatsky´s “The Secret Doctrine” one can read: “Everything is life and each atom, even from mineral dust, is a Life, although beyond the scope of our perception and understanding. Life can be found everywhere in the Universe and so too in the atom.”
The Occult Doctrine states that each and every Force originates in the Vital Principle, Life being one of the aspects of the One Universal Life. Therefore, Life is the materialised expression, on the temporal vehicles, of the Absolute Itself.
Bhagavad Gita goes on telling us that “God is one with all that is, though names and forms may vary…”. God, as Atma, lives in every man. Curiously, in Indian culture, there is a very special kind of salutation, with one’s hands in prayer position, placed next to one’s heart, followed by the word “Namaste”. This salutation means “The Divine which dwells in me salutes the Divine which dwells in you”.
Nowadays the concept of life has been evolving. Stephen Hawking defines it as: “an organized system which can resist disorder”, therefore going beyond the concept of Life as something merely organic. In the present times, one already hears about life in minerals, the Gaia hypothesis considering Earth as a living organism, the mysteries of the sun that creates and protects life, the Antropic Principle, the possibility of higher dimensions, the dark matter that evolves and leads the universe…
Nevertheless one has to go back to the Eternal Wisdom to further understand the manifestation of the Universe and Life. It tells us there is but one Ultimate Reality and that all and every aspect of the Universe, consciousness, matter, energy or life, ultimately emanates from that Reality. Another point to consider is that we won’t be able to have a correct vision of things unless we know not only that each part belongs to the whole but also where and how each part fits. And in this sense we may recall the statement at the Temple of Delphi “Man know thyself and thou shall know the universe and the gods”.
We may, as it were, compare the human being to a set of Organized Living Vehicles, under the influence of a Monad, she itself an inseparable particle expressing the life of the Absolute.
The Unity of Life may be found in every dimension, in the characteristics of an atom, in the properties of a molecule, in the task of a cell, in the function of an organ, in the organization of a vehicle, in the evolution of a Monad, in the fertility of a family, in the perfectioning of a species, in the role of an ecosystem, in the wonderful interaction of all the realms of nature, in the activity of a galaxy, in the purpose of the Universe, in the sacred word Aum and in the love of the Absolute.
The idea of the Unity of life, expanding from a common origin, can already be seen in many religions such as the Buddhism, the Hinduism and the Taoism; in the esoteric schools of Christianism, Judaism and Islam; in the schools of Mysteries; in Theosophy; in the New Age movements; in Einstein’s and quantics physics. It may show under many names: God, Allah, Brahma, Tao, the Absolute, the Big Bang, the Logos…
The perception of this Ultimate Reality can only be achieved if we manage to go beyond the illusions of the lower Personality, source of separativity and attachment.
One must search for a mystical and transcendental experience of union, for a complete oblivion of oneself, for a full fusion with the Divine, for a deep sense of service, for Compassion for all living beings, for a sense of fully lived ethics.
“ When you rise in the oriental horizon
And you fill the land with your beauty
Far as you may be, thy rays lie on us.”
Hymn to the Sumn ( circa 1370b.C.)
“O Bico da Garça” de Dogen (1200-1253), retirado do livro:“Vigília em Impermanência - Poemas Zen do Japão”, de Lucien Stryk e Takashi Ikemoto,
“ Glimpses into the Psychology of Yoga” de I. K. Taimni,
“Bhagavad – Gîtâ”,
“A Unidade da Vida” de Luiz Cláudio Dias,
“A Vida no Universo” de Stephen W. Hawking,
“Biliões & Biliões” de Carl Sagan,
“A Doutrina Secreta” de H. P. Blavatsky,
“Glossário Teosófico” de H. P. Blavatsky,
“Gaia – O Maravilhoso Planeta Vivo” de Jorge Moreira.