The Art of Creation

There is nothing new in the notion I AM, from the Upanishads to later day Guru’s such as Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj, to western advocates such as Adyashanti and Rupert Spira. But for us men-who-love-men it is heartening to read related texts written by one of our brothers.

Edward Carpenter’s starting point in his book The Art of Creation is that mind and matter arise simultaneously and are coexistent; two aspects of the same thing (ie, two aspects of Being), distinct but not separate.  This then impacts on the subject and object being correlative and similar in nature. As we conceive of the subject as a Self, therefore we must also conceive of the object as a Self, and so consciousness as a mode of communication between various selves, within one Self.

However, the illusion of a separate self has resulted in the subject / object drifting further and further apart, where the object (other) becomes only important in so far as how much it ministers to the (illusive) self. This, Carpenter says, sets the stage for Civilisation and is physiologically marked by the growth of the Brain, which further stimulates the growth of the self (the Ego).

This will eventually lead to such a state of separation and loneliness that our sense of grief and pain will act as a catalyst for Cosmic Consciousness. Here there will be a reconciliation and reintegration; the knower, the knowledge and the known once more become one. As it says in the Upanishads “Tat tvam asi, Thou art that.”

Carpenter then takes a detour through biology, sound and vibration, race-life, religion and the body, “The body is not vile. It is not only a Temple to God, but it is a collection of temples… The total physiology of Man is, or should be, the nearest expression of divinity…” Of course fear put an end to that, with the incoming of Christianity, turning the old pagan gods of the senses and passions into devils. Even the Goddess of Love lost out to wickedness.

However, Carpenter suggests we are at a turning point, where the Self is entering into a relationship with the Body. This is where we step beyond the individual and the ‘body heredity’ to the Eternal Self for which the body is a manifestation. For Carpenter, it will be difficult for the individual to transform in any permanent way until a large portion of “the race round him are sharing in it.”

Bringing it all together

If we take Carpenter and I AM seriously, this really puts a great responsibility on to those of us who are aligned to this thinking. For we need to become the messengers of change. This means leading by example. Shifting away from me-ness, from notions of the separate self. In not just our words, but in our actions. In the joyful activities we engage in and the grasping we cease. In the Divine Yoga we make our actual experience.

But a word of warning. Carpenter advises not to over-think it. Rather allow Love, Sympathy, Faith and Courage … to be felt first. This is the Art of Creation.

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