Realism of the initiatory Path
«B. Spinoza considered the idea in itself, without any relation to the person perceiving it, who should renounce any criterion of idealistic embellishment.»
Knowledge doesn’t know compromises; therefore the principles of emotion and devotion don’t belong to it. On the other hand, to know doesn’t mean exasperated rationality either, which makes man unable to perceive what animates (moving it) every living phenomenon.
In order to understand what is too subtle to be perceived through superficial methods, the scholar abandons the schemes of conventional cultures, because they lack scientific relevance. Perhaps he abandons them after understanding how the fumes of imagination have compromised their objectivity.
Knowledge doesn’t know compromises therefore the principles of emotion and devotion don’t belong to it. On the other hand, knowledge doesn’t mean exasperated rationality either, which makes man unable to perceive what animates (moving it) every living phenomenon.
Between fantastic exaggeration and the excessive crudeness of reason there is another way, realism. Emmanuel Kant represented its vision in the ‘ding an sich’ (from German ‘the thing in itself’), which means «the reality of the thing in itself», without embellishments and reductions (*). Plato wrote that a reality exists independently from the mind of the person watching it, because ideas live their own existence, separately from the sensitive world. For this reason universal ideas can’t be reduced to simple mental concepts. Reality is founded on an infinite link among all its parts. Therefore it must be seen as it is, without illusions or interpretations by someone who can only grasp small fragments of it.
(*) «Ding an sich» represents the principle of synthesis of an archetypical idea, which lives also outside the phenomenal experience and the observation of man.
The ‘thing in itself’, Kant says, exists independently and outside any sensitive knowledge, because it lives in a reality beyond the subjectivity of human knowledge. This theory finds its origin in the ante rem realism, where «the universals» (the identity of abstract principles) exist in the global reality first, rather than in reality and independently from particular physical realities (forms of any nature, even the results of thought).
The initiatory principle of what was later called philosophy of realism came from the eastern sacerdotal tradition and it was kept as implicit realism until the Egyptian civilization.
According to this principle, abstract ideas, archetypical truths and cosmic and natural laws (platonic universal) were personified in the form of ideograms; in their exoterical representation they were placed in images that looked like humans or animals. The mythical pre-Vedic Senzar and later the hieratic writing of the Egyptian priests are the examples of the ideogrammatic writing of a binary interpretation.
The dazzling of popular religions
The exoterical interpretation was suggested by the form of the image, whilst the initiatory one by the symbolic code matching the image, its forms and colors. These codes transcended the formal aspects of the image itself. The hieratic knowledge of Hierophants was made by the Mysteries (of wisdom) transmitted hermetically in ideograms. Those mysterious images with anthropomorphic or animal characteristics were mistaken by the people for holy representations of the Gods. They fell into the deceitful ideology of a God as a supreme Being in human form; they then imagined a Man-God. Therefore, reasoning on the likeness between men and God they concluded that they could be considered divine themselves. They forgot the old principle: «…the faith in an idea, although sincerely felt, is not enough to make a religion. Also, it is not enough to believe in a religion for it to become the ‘Religion’».
None of the Initiates opposed these ingenuities because they didn’t want to betray the holy Mysteries. They didn’t oppose mythological and exoterical cults either, or the veneration of images. The old Sacerdotal Caste avoided the depreciation of their secrets by letting the cult of images spread. The consequence was an empty space, which allowed the idolatries to replace the principles of the universal Religion.
Importance of a correct terminology
Terminology is a code, a convention, an imaginary and imagined language. Nevertheless it is also the irreplaceable support to transmit and receive information. In order for it to have value and accomplish its function, though, the meanings of the terms must be known and shared by all the interlocutors, otherwise the language becomes imperfect and deceitful and it prevents communication.
Because of the incomprehension, the proper communication is replaced by hypothesis and fantastic theories (see mental onanism). The more the intellect grows, the more the conscience expands and the communication codes change. There are languages made of sounds rather than words; they are not accessible to people who are not initiated. Other languages are based on colors and forms sketched (ideograms and numbers); «sacred geometry» originates from them. Semantic knowledge is not enough, though; it is necessary to practice on the sense linked to the radical meaning of every word and its connections with other words. Every word is a world full of meanings. The study of words opens a universe of meanings all linked among them, like words themselves are. The art of esoteric realism is to be able to recognize the sense of every word hidden in its common use.
Realism teaches how reality lives on itself, for itself and it stays itself, despite the relativity of human sensations, which tend to classify it. Perhaps man can become the judge of himself, but not always. The arbitrariness of his mental constructions and his difficulty to distinguish between imagination and reality and between life and dreams, though, don’t make him suitable to judge the enormous phenomenon called reality.
The problem of knowledge is in the weakness of man; he deforms the reality he investigates to suit his abilities; after every observation he transforms in personal idea every fragment of reality he has absorbed, depriving it of its subtle identity. A good remedy to this could be realism, but we must not only enunciate the goodness of its principle. We should go beyond the indication, starting from the perfect understanding of the language terms. For example, let’s talk about meditation.
From what I have seen, I don’t think that many among its followers know what mental, volitive and spiritual concentration really is. Most of them mistake mental fixedness for concentration. Perhaps because nobody taught them the meaning of the word.
I’ve met ‘experts’ who didn’t know the difference in the meaning of apparently assonant words. They talked about inner vibrations whose value is yet to be proved. Often they are due to emotional states that someone mistakes for drives of the soul. In this matter as well we must be realistic and seriously analyze the event, every event.
If the superior Ego affected personality, it would mean that the soul as well has ‘appeared’ in the sphere of physical conscience. It would also mean that the consciousness of mind is able to perceive what is called the knowledge by contact. The latter is a direct knowledge that doesn’t use memory or reason. We should wonder, then, if what we are receiving is a higher response or only a Machiavellian or unconventional elaboration of an idea that we can’t respond to. The decision is again very simple. If man puts realism aside, he keeps dreaming and walking backwards.
Athos A. Altomonte