Substance and matter

The universe is considered to be the most vast and expandable thing that we can imagine. But does the universe really exist the way we perceive and intellectually grasp it, or do we only think it exists perceived as a universe by the limited and conditioned human mind? If there would not be living beings gifted with intelligence enabling them to physically observe things and reflect about those things, would there actually be a universe at all?

The universe that we observe through our senses is an individual subject defined within the limitations of the perceptive capacaties of the human mind. Of course, to have a subjective universe observed by someone, there must be an objective universe or substance too from which the observed and the observer are derived. This objective – and therefore non-changing – universe or substance cannot be grasped by the human intellect because in contrary to the empirical reality of the universe which we pretend to know, it is rather a metaphysical reality.

Unlike the subjective universe, which is created in the human mind, the underlying objective universe or substance cannot be measured within the dimensions of time and space and therefore is non-changing and within human definitions even non-existable.

The reality imagined by the human mind is not only limited to the measurements of the self-defined dimensions time and space, it is also limited to its own intellectual capacities combined with the limitations of the senses. As a matter of fact the subjective universe as we humans know it, exists only in that degree in which it subsists in our consciousness.

Our consciousness on its turn can only exist and operate within the limits of time, space and causality. The subjective universe which is created within our consciousness therefore is built exactly on this impermanent foundation: time, space and causality.

So if you have a closer look at it, it could be that the universe as we know it, is nothing but a figurative representation of the objective universe or substance conceived by the categories of our consciousness and intellect. An objective universe or substance which is unknowable to the conditioned human mind.


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Ahamkara – Maker of Illusions

Ahamkara is a sankrit term consisting of the words aham and kara. Aham means ‘I’ and kara is derived from the verb root ‘kr.’ meaning ‘to make’. Ahamkara is considered to be the identification and attachment to the ego.

Most of the times the human mind is in the state of ahamkara and therefore in a state of subjective illusion. In this state it is only possible to define things or concepts in relation to other things or concepts. With other words, the ahamkara creates a state of illusion in which reality is obscured. Nevertheless, through the subjectivity of the ahamkara the things and concepts created in the mind are taken for reality.

Moreover, the ahamkara through its subjectivity makes us believe that the ego is our true self. Even throughout western philosophy mostly intelligence is identified with the true nature of humans. But is that really so since even intelligence in its essence is based on the contrast of subject and object? The mind without doubt plays an important role in the formation of what we consider to be our individuality. Nevertheless, this on intelligence based individuality has the deceptive aspect of establishing itself as true nature of a person.

Besides the intellect in every human there is a knowing subject slumbering deep inside. It does not show any activities and therefore is unlike the intellect most of the time even not noticed. But it is this knowing subject that knows that we think. It is this knowing subject that knows that we dream and its this knowing that eventually makes us wakeup during a nightmare.

Any human being experiences three states of being: being awake, dream state, and dreamless sleep. During the first two states the mind with its intellect plays its known role of experiencing things out of the perspective of its own-created individuality existing in our thoughts. But what about the third state, when a person is in deep dreamless sleep? At that time when the contrast of subject and object is destroyed, where is the mind with its intellect, where is the ahamkara, where is the I? It is in the state of dreamless sleep that the difference between the intellect and the knowing subject, that is persisting without change through all the three different stages, becomes very clear.

To actually understand our true nature covered and hidden by the illusory nature created by the ahamkara it would be necessary to gain an understanding of this state of dreamless sleep. A knowledge of the state where the illusory substance of empirical reality, that is based on the contrast of subject and object, is not existing.

Unfortunately due to the limitations of the mind and its intellect it is near to impossible to grasp an understanding of the dreamless state. The horizon of the mind and its intellect is limited to all the ideas, concepts and definitions derived from the reality experienced through the limitation of our senses and our mind and its intelligence, which is an endless circle of limited and deceptive conceptions.

Our inner nature is like a giant underground maze in which only few parts are illuminated by lights. The brightest light is our mind which makes us believe that the true nature is to be found within the mind. On the contrary, the knowing subject in us is the maze itself. It includes as well the illuminated parts as the unilluminated parts of the maze and therefore is unknowable in its entirety.

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The Sound of the Machine


In the corner of this
room with a view
on a turbulent world

from a faded picture
god dressed in a harlequins dress
is staring into the semidarkness

a river unceasingly pouring
its tristesse into this world
is flowing past the everburning pyres,
gates to another world

every day again the homeless
fight over the leftovers of those
who always look at you
with their hired smiles

sad tunes from a tango bar
in downtown Buenos Aires
on a Monday morning
reverbarate through the subway station

the monotonous sound
of this ever running machine
cannot be turned off

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According to the legend the ‘lake of rocks’ came into existence by two giants throwing rocks at each other. One of the giants lived on the Feldberg, the other one high above on Hohenstein. The giant living on Hohenstein got angry and in his anger started throwing rocks at the giant living on Feldberg. Since the giant at Hohenstein had more rocks, the giant living at Feldberg got buried under rocks. Under these rocks the giant is still burried. The legend says that if you stamp with your foot hard enough on the ground, you can still hear the wailing of the giant.

(Source: Hessenlexikon)

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The starting point for this walk is Reichenbach (Lauterntal). There is a car parking straight at the Felsenmeer. Not far from the parking is also the well where according to the Nibelungen legend Siegfried, the dragon slayer, was killed by Hagen von Tronje by throwing a spear into Siegfried’s shoulder when bending over the well to drink from it. Siegfried’s shoulder was his only woundable spot since it was covered by a leaf fallen from the tree when he was taking a bath in the dragons blood to become invulnerable.

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from the train station
there is a maze of narrow alleys
taking you down to the Ganges

where summer’s breath
mixed with the grey film
hanging over the city
whispers life is a ghost

in the shelters of the homeless
veiled widows endure their lives in
a frightening state of

the ghats of the city crowded by people
waiting for that moment
their existence gets carried away by
the everlasting monotony of the river

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Fatal Ideas of the Mind

Philosophers of several traditions often made the attempt to kill God. But what implications has the concept of God being pure presence and actually not being some person or substance that can be killed?

In case God would be pure presence it would be certainly a very bad idea to develop, through the concept of the ego, a feeling of self-awareness. It can only create unhappiness. If God would be pure presence, consequently mankind – like everything else – is a part of God. So developing an illusion of self-awareness in that case could be compared with cutting off certain parts of your own body. Some act of self-mutilation, which potentially could turn life into a permanent source of misery and unhappiness.

For a huge part people turn unhappy through thoughts being developed by the conscious mind. Because of the ego it is expected that something big has to happen in life. This something that has to happen often can be reduced to the creation of the feeling – or shall I say illusion? – of being better off than their direct environment. Humans often try to express and confirm this desire by status symbols. The big expensive car on the driveway should tell the neighbor: ‘hey dude, I have achieved more in life than you did’.

Unfortunately these ‘factors of success’ are nothing but transient material things. If you remove them all, there is only emptiness, dull empty life. It is the loneliness of this emptiness people are afraid of.

But the darkness created by the ego is actually much bigger and much more harmful. The competition initiated by the ego is going on everywhere. People try to identify themselves by outdoing others. Culture and society teach people to be this way: competitive. The ambition taught by the culture, in which we are growing up, is one of the root causes of all violence and inhumanity in this world.

Ego is nothing but an idea. When we are born we are given a name. People start calling us by this name. We start to identify with this name. The beginning of ego, a non-existential substitute for the real self that is unknown to us. Ego, just like our name, is also an idea.

The ego creates an impression to the individual that it is an unfinished product. Unfortunately it is a mechanism of the ego to attempt constructing a complete product by adding – empty – material phenomena. A process that enlarges the emptiness the ego is actually trying to escape from.

The ironical thing is that in the perspective of God being pure presence, it is actually the ego, producing all the emptiness in its attempts to finish the product of itself, is the real factor preventing the individual from becoming a finished product: the ego preventing the unknown – the real self – of becoming known.

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