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Immortality

By Phiroz Mehta

An extract from Zarathushtra: The Transcendental Vision

Part 5

The common, worldly meaning of meditation is musing, ruminating, thinking quietly about a problem or a particular subject, secular or spiritual. Discursive thinking is inaudible talking, involving the concentration of attention upon the subject under consideration. The quieter one is, the more intellectually clarifying and fruitful is the thinking. But all talking, audible or inaudible, is confined to the context of the finite and temporal, the sphere of mortality — when one thinks or talks about the Transcendent — because one is still actually conscious only in the worldly mode of separativeness and isolativeness. If one remains completely calm, effortlessly, the brain stops talking, the turbulent flow of discursive thinking comes to an end, and the mode of awareness is transformed into that of the Infinite and ever-present Now.

This ending of discursive thought and the transformation of consciousness spell the pacification (not the suppression) of all the sense functions. In fact, the senses function with intensely heightened sensitivity and the utmost receptivity to divine influences never sensed before, because now they are unhindered, unspoilt, by the brain’s naming process, which, being analytical, splits up the wholeness. Indeed, the senses are now the cords of Communion.

Isolative self-consciousness vanishes, the wound of separation between subject and object, observer and observed, is healed, and unitary wholeness is clearly revealed through Creative Action in Unitary Consciousness. This timeless conjugation is the pure meditative state — silent meditation — a state of ineffable peace and of creative activity impossible to describe, impossible to represent in any humanly expressive terms. When you Love transcendentally, the words “I love you” are pathetically nugatory.

Zarathushtra does not expound in detail his solitary statement regarding meditation. Just as at our finite level the solution of a philosophical or scientific problem brings intellectual enlightenment, so too silent meditation spells spiritual enlightenment, but not in our worldly, mortal mode of awareness. Intellectual perception, and ordinary sense functioning and thinking, are transcended. Consciousness is no longer discriminative — analytical, separative and isolative. It is at home in the context of the Infinite and Eternal, functioning as unitary wholeness. In simple terms, Zarathushtra and Ahura Mazda, man and God, are one. The fusion in Consciousness has taken place. Thereupon, consciousness in terms of succession, that is, of a beginning followed by an ending, followed by another beginning and its ending, repeatedly, gives place to a whole awareness of pure change.

Pure change is life dying into new life. The previous emerges into the present. If you are totally attentive, death is “faded out” of the situation. One may say, “not death but life is faded out of the situation.” Not so, for since the “was” has become the “is now”, Life has transformed into Other-Life. Pure change is a Life/Other-Life and not a Life/Death pulse. What seems to us to be Death, is only another mode of Livingness, but not as the previous identifiable entity. Just as a permanent magnet has a north pole and a south pole, Life in its integral wholeness has a positive expression, of which we finite mortals are conscious, and also a hidden expression of which we are normally unconscious. They are the complementary components of Life Eternal.

So, in this fusion of Consciousness, there is no break in consciousness as with consciousness in the mode of mortality. Consciousness of “otherness” vanishes. Also, there is no continuity, for time has been transcended. There is the simultaneity of what used to be experienced as birth followed by death. There is only the immediacy of the Creative Action of Eternal Life. Time and its sorrow and pleasure (duality), timelessness and its enstasy (non-duality) are transcended through their integration into Eternity — integration, not mere synthesis (which is mechanical).

At the same time, there is no annihilation of discriminative consciousness, indispensable for the organism living in the world. If it were annihilated, the Transcendent Unitary Consciousness could no longer subsume discriminative consciousness functioning in the mode of mortality. In which case, there would be an unbridgeable gulf between man and God, between the limitation and bondage of manifestation (Appearance) and the freedom of Transcendence (Ultimate Reality). The Holy One’s Consciousness can function freely in the mode of mortality and in the mode of immortality, as and when required.

The fusion in consciousness is the realization of Immortality. Ahura Mazda (God, Godhead, Brahman or whatever name you like to use) is the Eternal Immortal. For Zarathushtra, whilst he is bodily alive — and so too for any Perfected Holy One during his earthly life-span — this Transcendent Consciousness of Immortality into which he can enter again and again when he needs to, remains as a permanent background in his being. It is a constant source of divine creative power — khshathra — animating and sustaining his mission in the world; of divine wisdom — vohu manah — inspiring his teaching; of transcendental ethic — asha — a purifying Fire of Life releasing that moral imperative deep-seated in one’s soul which helps one to live the Holy Life at all times and in all places; of that love of God — armaiti’ — which heals all sorrow and transmutes all evil; and of that supreme well­being and immortality — haurvatat and ameretat — the crowning fulfilment of man. It makes sraosha — “giving ear to and obeying God” — a factual reality in one’s life.

And when this earthly life ends, the complete and perfect death of this existential being spells the release of the embodied Transcendence out of Its self-imposed constriction. This is how the existential human being proves his indispensability to God. No finite mortal liberates himself — he can only liberate the embodied Transcendence by his flowering into the full-fledged perfect Human. Every flower — the existential shape and form — soon withers and dies. Its perfume gladdens man and the world and lives deathlessly as a happy memory.

Never crave, then, for your separate personal perpetuity — a tragic trapping in time’s tormenting tentacles. Do not fear death of the body, but like the sere leaf ready to dance its ecstatic return into the bosom of mother earth, silently and peacefully greet that supremely divine moment when the Infinite Eternal will bless you for your perfect selfless service towards effecting Its own release out of the bonds of existence.

Thou art Immortal. Thou art ahmi, the eternal I Am.

Sing, O Heavenly Bird! Sing praise to the Lord of Life and Wisdom for sending sweet Death to heal all my ill and to open the door to His own Immortality.

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