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A Philosophy of
Operative Wholeness
by Dane Rudhyar

First Published in
The Glass Hive

in eight parts, 1930-31.
Part One - November 1930.

In Part Three of the series A Philosophy of Operative Wholeness discusses the integration of spirit, matter and form, and the power of the will to Destiny. It also touches on the making of the spiritual adept. In this part Rudhyar mentions in passing a 19th century occult novel entitled Zanoni. Written by Bulwer-Lytton, a highly successful novelist who conducted a "spiritualistic" salon of sorts, Zanoni is the dramatic story of a very long-lived spiritual adept who gave-up eternal youth for earthly love, yet gained something through his sacrifice of immortality.

Part Three

Spirit, matter, form are co-eternal. The moment you admit the dualism of spirit and matter you must also introduce that in which and through the two opposites will realize their essential oneness. In and through form, spirit and matter know themselves one, and thus they know themselves "I." The ego is the seed, because it is the culmination of the form-life. It is the song of perfection, the swan song of life fulfilled in form.
      The ego presupposes form. It is the emanation from the form having reached the stage, at least, of potential integration. The self is not reached in and through formlessness, but at the core of the fulfillment of form. Yet we must beware lest we confuse body and form. Body is only the material aspect of form; just as Soul is only the spiritual aspect of form.
      The self of the body is but the material ego, the possessive, acquisitive and jealous ego which constantly tries to distend the body so as to absorb ever more matter, ever more food on all plants. Doing this it marks the outlines and concision of the form, which becomes fat, hazy and unresponsive to the life-forces.
      The self of the Soul is the spiritual Ego, the radiating, compassionate and vibrant entity rooted in unity and the agent thereof. It brings to the many material elements the dreams of absolute unity. It blesses them with the radiance of the One. It is the aeonic power of integration which ceaselessly stamps upon cosmic substance the seal of the "I Am."
      Besides, or rather beyond, the two as aspects of the form of Man (the inner and the outer aspects which are to be found whenever there is form) one has to consider what might be called the formative aspect of form: in other words, the power that brings form into existence.
      This power may be called the Mystery, or, with the Vedantins, TAT, a phonetic and graphic symbol of absolute equilibration. Names do not matter, for it is the Nameless. It is the power beyond both Soul and body. It harmonizes eternally that which aspires to unity (matter) and that which sacrifices itself or is thrown out of unity (spirit). It is the source and fulfillment of all polarizations and all dualities; that in which opposites are identified in and through form. It provided every speck of inchoate cosmic matter with a method and means to reach the realization of universal oneness: that is, which a particular type of organic form. It designates to every monad the type of spiritual activity which will lead to a more complete realization of self-consciousness and bliss. It is the essence of justice, love and compassion. It is the absolute law.
      This Mystery is not to be considered as an ego. It is not the Universal Self, the one God; for God is the emanation of the changeless form of universal Life; that is, unconditioned being. It is not the culmination of any form, particular or universal. It is beyond and under all formative processes. Yet, it can never be known by any man or any god, the great mysterious truth is that Man is the very man-ifestation of the ultimate Mystery. "THAT thou art" repeat the old Aryan(1) scriptures.
      Man can never know TAT; but Man is TAT man-ifested. When Man reaches the point of supreme harmonization, he realizes that doors silently open which let in the awesome, yet child-like, presence of That which has no name. This point can only be reached when Destiny is willed and fulfilled. He who reaches it must be supremely ‘formed.’
      This, however, does not mean that one should concentrate on building a perfect body or a perfect psychic and intellectual structure; neither does it mean to lose one’s integrity in the ecstatic contemplation of unity and spirit away from the body and its natural functions. It means only one things: to become one’s Destiny. It means not to say "Thy will be done, not mind," but to proclaim in every deed of every day "I am thy will."
      This is the deepest bhakti, the supreme devotion. "Destiny, I am thou!" Acceptance? No; identification. The path of wholeness is the path of identification with Destiny; for Destiny is the veil of the Nameless. It is the supreme ‘maya’ that conceals the reality of the Mystery that is MAN. As Man becomes that ‘maya,’ his consciousness fits as a cloak the absolute reality of MAN. Man is the garment of the Absolute.
      Man, in his supernal consciousness, contacts a source of life and strength. If an idealistic and unselfish man, he may bathe at times in a flood of power, bliss, vision, ecstasy. Unity dynamizes him to grater manhood. If an artist, this becomes inspiration and creative genius. The occultist, who has succeed completely in integrating his spiritual nature, sees this supernal Ego as a radiant being, as a glorious form – the form mentioned by Bulwer-Lytton in "Zanoni."
      But beyond and almost between these two egos, the dark and luminous forms of Man, one might find a place of silence and equilibrium, a place where Man ‘splits’ and gates open, through which enters the nameless Presence. The "Breath of TAO" stills the great wheels of Nature. A Pause. Supreme equilibrium. Simplicity and rest. Utter simplicity and openness.
      In that moment Man becomes Destiny. Destiny flows through him. He becomes deep and peaceful, a great river. Men build cities on its banks, and, in civilizations, know themselves whole.

1. Editorial Note: The world "aryan" is used here in its more accurate sense, meaning Indo-European. A few years after this series appeared, the term Aryan, which was frequently used in metaphysical and occult literature to identity the ancient peoples of Nothern India, was usurped by an exclusivistic ideology which used the word to designate those of genetically "pure" German antecedents.  Return

Read Part Four.

Copyright © 2000 by Michael R. Meyer.
All Rights Reserved.

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