Functionalities & Purposes of Beings – identical or diverse? (a manifesto – proposal for a different course of action -- on time, mind, and lucid dreams)
The teleology of Ajivika-Jaina-Bauddha metaphysics – involving a deduction (sometimes misdescribed as an assumption) that there is an identicity of long-range functionality and purpose of all living beings (the purpose to achieve, as supposed by such teleologies, an identical "kaivalya" or "nirvan.a") – can be shewn to be based on an assumption of infinite time (which, it such a sort of time were existent, could enforce a uniformity on the long-range purpose of beings).
But if, on the contrary, a finite (and therefore necessarily cyclic) time be assumed, then no such deduction of an identicity of functionality and purpose of all living beings is necessitated. The assumption of infinitude versus finitude in time must be co-ordinate with a similar assumption about space – the twain pairs of assumptions (infinite time with infinite space; or finite time with finite space) distinguish two fundamentally contrasting metaphysics – the assumptions of infinitudes being characteristic of Bharatiya metaphysics; while the assumption (deduction actually, as it is based on demonstration in logic of insuperable paradoxes – tantamount to contradiction – inhaerent in any assumptions of the existence of infinitudes generally) of finitudes being characteristic of Hellenic metaphysics.
Another sort (other than that involving totalities) of contrast between infinitudes and finitudes is that involving divisibility – here, again Hellenic metaphysics entaileth the assumption (deduction really, inasmuch as it is bases on demonstration by means of logic of insuperable paradoxes – again tantamount to contradiction – inhaerent in any assumptions of infinitudes) of divisibility; whereas, again, Bharatiya metaphysics is lacking in discussion of the logical status the assumption of infinitudes. This lack is actually the source of a major (a because of the lack, therefore hidden) internal self-contradiction within the Ajivika-Jaina-Bauddha metaphysics : the Bharatiya systems (explicitly so for the Bauddha variant) may admit to the factuality of non-infinite divisibility (of anything whatsoever – including of time, as in the doctrine of "momentaneousness’) while postulating an existence of infinitude in extension (of both time and of space) – a methological self-contradiction, since (just as infinite extension is tantamount to a sort of infinite divisibility) absence of infinite divisibility must somehow imply and absence of infinite extension. (If Bharatiya philosophies were to discuss this point in logic, it surely would be forced either to concede it or to propose an exemption or exception status for non-infinitude in divisibility.)
Indeed, Bharatiya logics likewise hath another major failure in neglecting to realize that the (quite widely accepted) doctrine of vibhu (stating that the individual human’s consciousness is co-extensive with that of Brahma, which is stated to extend either universally, or else with an assumption of an infinite number of distinct Brahma-s – infinitude of number of Brahma-s being a doctrine of Abhidharma – to a particular Brahma-realm) is hardly naturally very compatible with any firm notion of infinitude of space and of time.
Persian metaphysics dealt with rival systems of finitude versus infinitude of time apparenly only via Zrvanism, which became declared a haeresy (thereby forbidding any consideration of the quaestion to the orthodox) for much the same reason that discussion of the relationship between the human and the divine natures of Christos became a forbidden topic in Byzantine orthodoxy – the Byzantine imperial government forbade any consideration of this as soon as it became apparent that its resolution would lead to apocatastasis (the doctrine of universal salvation), a position most severely anathematized by the Byzantine government.
This quaestion of universal salvation is likewise a most vexing (but again deliberately undiscussed, and therefore hidden) problem inhaerent to systems assuming infinitude of time (if including, as in the Bharatiya systems, of time already past), namely that if beings are capable of achieving salvation ("moks.a", or aequivalently, "kaivalya" or "nirvan.a") within any finite time-duration whatsoever (as all such systems affirm), then why have not all beings already (and indeed infinitely long ago) already all achieved such? Disregarding those systems which find a way out of this dilemma by stating that beings who have achieved the "final" liberation all fall thence after a while (this stated outright both in Ajivika and in Taoist systems) and start again the same path toward achieving another "final" liberation, in an endlessly repeated cycle; for all those systems which do not so assert, this is quite a severe problem.
For any who accept a thorough-going restriction (viz., of space and of time) to finitudes, and therefore to cycles (cycles being also designated as "loops"), a looped nature of the mind is naturally accepted – the mind can be defined (and described) as a sort of loop (a "strange" one, "strange" in the sense of not conforming strictly to Russell-and-Whitehead’s overly-strict limitation of loops – so-called "vicious circles" – in the logic of categories, as applied to "set-theory"). (This criticism is stated by Hofstadter.)
The necessity of a looped description of mind is already inhaerent in any description of "space-time" which is capable both of evading paradoxes of infinitudes, and of describing space in terms of time (and time in terms of space). A classical example (attempt, actually, since although it may succeed in describing space and time in terms of each other mutually; it is not so successful with mind) is the Go:del-Einstein description of a universe with its spatial components alternatingly zig-zagging in directionality of their time, so as to produce a zero-sum of time-durations.
Metaphysical systems sometimes circumvent an exposure of their own inadequacies by deliberate and systemic vagueness – leading to an outlook not pragmatically applicable to circumstances of actual daily living. This is not only true of certain immensely popular European metaphysical systems (existentialism, Heidigger, etc.), and also the most widely-current Asiatic systems (which may be praecisely enough in some praeliminary procedures, but aim at inhaerently quite vague ultimate results) – Vajrayana, e.g., with its striving for the 8-fold attainment of dreamless sleep (all 8 states being quite vague in the sense of lacking determinate internal features).
To assume that it is possible to stay permanently in a world of indeterminate vaguenss is hardly confirmed by anything in the range of actualities with which we are reasonably-well familiar. Even to assume that such a state of vague awareness (as varieties of dreamless sleep must be) could be logically self-sustaining, may be artificially forced and improper. The state of mind maintained in dreamless sleep is hardly capable of performing the metaphysical analysis necessary to sustaining one’s continued existence in such a world – the incapacity largely being due to the mentally disabling affect of long-term lack there of mental stimulation (which we normally experience in a world -- whether waking or dreaming -- having determinate internal characteristics).
Now, there may be some sort of (to us invisible, formless or bodiless) divine natural permanent denizens of the 8 worlds of dreamless sleep; and if these denizens were to maintain constant communication (by telepathy) with ourselves while we were residing in their realms, that might partially alleviate some of our lack of mental stimulation there, but it would not be fully adequate to supply our needs, given our nature to need quite intricate sensory and other stimulation to maintain our mental functioning – so any visiting by ourselves to those remote realms (of dreamless sleep – which realms may, incidentally, lie on the outermost fringe of the universe) could practicably be no more than brief excursions ("excursion" being the translation of the Taoist term for a trance-visit to remote realms).
That the Vajrayana system should place more emphasis on dreamless sleep than on dreams themselves, is a suggestful indication of some impracticality in its stated objectives. This impracticality may be more a result of excessive secrecy (of its techniques, which seem to be severely restricted only to such persons are have quite a group-think type of attitude, something not necessarily very productive, and more reminiscent of the behavior of oppressive ruling classes than of normal free citizens) than of much of anything else – abolish the secrecy, and an emphasis on dreams (lucid ones, of course) would supplant the current emphasis on dreamless sleep. As affairs now stand, a propensity for extreme secrecy (as is required not only in Vajrayana, but also in kindred Taoist and other meditational systems) during waking life must lead to a similar secrecy during lucid dreams (such secrecy manifested in the dreamer’s unwillingness to disclose to anyone – even to acknowledged deities, mind you – that the dreamer is in a dream); and the unpleasantness of such a situation (secrecy amounting to internal hypocrisy) right now is such as to cause a wish to escape that situation (of dreaming) into a realm of dreamless sleep (where other beings are not very manifestly, i.e. sensorially, praesent; merely quite remotely praesent, if contactable only by telepathy). There, in dreamless sleep, the remoteness of its denizens would seem like the sort of world experienced by a hermit, who hath withdrawn from constant human companionship so as to become free from temptations to break rules of secrecy – this may be a fairly safe sort of living, but not one fully compatible with normal needs. For those to whom hermitship would be too extreme, the alternative of coenobitic living is available – its most noticeable characteristic being (for the inhabitants of a conventional Bodish, Dervish, or Catholic establishment) a lack of companionship of the opposite gendre; this hath been established in view of the fact that to have, and co-habit with, a spouse and to exchange information with that spouse on occult secrets, is something producing a strong desire to communicate such secrets to non-initiates. To speak of the secrets merely with members of one’s own gendre within the wall of an isolated coenobitic establishment, however, is not something producing any strong desire to give away the secrets to outsider non-initiates.
In societies (Australian aboriginees are one example; Freemasons are another) which have purported secrets, but whose members are married and cohabiting with a spouse, the developement of a desire to impart secrets to non-initiates is effectively hindered by keeping such "secrets" to a low and crude level – to little more than mere ritual, with no real metaphysics, no meditational techniques, no exhortations to enter into lucid dreams, and (consequently) no glowing magnification of the glories of dreamless sleep.
As an alternative to various traditional (Vajrayana, etc.) schemes of meditation requiring oaths of secrecy from initiates, with its consequences of a tight-lipped reluctance to tell anyone, during the course of a dream, that "this is a dream"; there is the method (advocated, quite vociferously, by various spokespersons for the mainline exoteric "lucid dreaming" movement, in their various widely-read books of the subject, as well as on their numerous official websites) of all and sundry dreamers (of their quite narrow-minded persuasion) going about, in a lucid dream, announcing to the beings therein that they (the dream-beings) are "not real", that that world and its contents are likewise "not real", etc. etc. Not only doth such an outlook fly in the face of all antient traditional systems of dreamwork (American Indians, for example, all uniformly call the dream-world "real" in contrast to the waking world, which they all uniformly designate as comparatively "not real"), but it must be felt as exceedingly insulting to the immortal divine denizens of the dream-world, who must surely be plotting to retaliate against such arrogant insults by arranging for the worst possible of surprises to be in store for such deluded "lucid dreamers" as soon as upon death they cross over from the living status into the after-death status. The "lucidity" of such "lucid dreamers", then, will be as fruitless as the self-styled "enlightenment" of self-proclaimed atheists – final, perhaps irrecoverable, calamity inflicted (as if suicidally) upon themselves. Of course, all European atheism hath been, ever since its inception, a craftily-contrived scheme, promoted by the most vicious of capitalists and of their hireling stooges, to bring ruination upon anyone foolish enough to trust them or any official proclamations of the departments of universities funded by those capitalists – the whole scheme of capitalist-promoted atheism is very much on the par with the capitalist-promoted "World Wars" artificially engendred (with mutual conspiracy among capitalists in "opposing" camps) in order to amuse the capitalist class by maximal infliction of suffering upon members of the working-classes.
This (the totality of capitalism crimes) is all tolerated by the divine world, however, so as to provide condign punishment to all such "intelligent" beings as willfully wish to destroy themselves by their own folly, by their own negligence to study metaphysics adequately. So, glory be to divinity in the highest, and perdition to the unbelieving, as may be fit.