Being vs. non-being
We can see the universe as an interplay of two opposite absolutes: One represents all possible being in the sense of organized, intelligent creation, the other represents its opposite (non-being) in the sense of all inertness, lack of organization and lack of information or intelligence. These two can be seen as emerging from an ineffable 'One' by a process of spontaneous differentiation which we cannot represent to ourselves.
The absolutes of being and non-being have varying manifestations at different levels of the universe. Depending on the context and level, the reflection of these absolutes can be called service to others/service to self, creation/entropy, order/chaos, spirit/matter, consciousness/sleep. All these words have their distinct meanings and fields of application but can be seen in the most abstract sense as relating to being in its broadest expression vs. non-being is its broadest expression.
The great Sufi Shaykh Ibn al-'Arabi explains that "imperfection" exists in Creation because "were there no imperfection, the perfection of existence would be imperfect." From the point of view of Sheer Being, there is nothing but good. But Infinite Potential to BE includes – by definition of the word "infinite" – the potential to not be. And so, Infinite Potential "splits" into Thought Centers of Creation and Thought Centers of non-being. It can be said that Infinite Potential is fundamentally Binary – on or off – to be or not to be. That is the first "division."
Since absolute non-being is an impossible paradox in terms of the source of Infinite Potential to BE, the half of the consciousness of Infinite Potential that constitute the IDEAS of non-being – for every idea of manifestation, there is a corresponding idea for that item of creation to NOT manifest – "falls asleep" for lack of a better term. Its "self observation" is predicated upon consciousness that can only "mimic" death. Consciousness that mimics death then "falls" and becomes Primal Matter. What this means is that the "self observing self" at the level of the Master of the Universe is constituted of this initial division between Being and Non-being which is, again, only the initial division – the on/off, the yes/no – of creation. You could picture this as an open eye observing a closed eye. It has been represented for millennia in the yin-yang symbol, which, even on the black half that represents "sleeping consciousness that is matter," you can see the small white dot of "being" that represents to us that absolute non-existence is not possible. There is only "relative" non-existence.
These "thoughts of being and non-being" interact with one another – the observer and the observed – like a viewer looking into a mirror. Creation manifests between the viewer and the mirror. It is at once real – because it consists of matter informed by consciousness – and unreal because it is ultimately composed of only consciousness acting on consciousness.
At our level of reality, the understanding that "nothing is real," as has been promulgated by gurus and teachers down through history, is as useless as saying "gravity isn't real." Such considerations are useful only for expansion of perception. They are not useful for practical application since the energies of creation apparently transduce through several "levels" before they meet in the middle, so to say, in our third density reality. Organic life exists at the "crossroads" of the myriad ideas or thought centers of being and non-being. As such, they have the capacity to transduce energies "up" or "down" depending on the "consciousness energy directors" of that unit. And again, there are apparently two broad divisions: directed toward being/ observing, or directed toward non-being/ mirroring. This division manifests across all levels of organic life, including human beings. Human beings exist to transduce cosmic energies of creation via organic life. Our "higher selves" are the directors of this transducing of cosmic energies, and the direction in which the energy "flows" is determined by the activities of these higher selves. Against the opposition of those forces seeking to "capture" energy of consciousness and induce it to the "sleep of non-being," which is gravitational in a certain sense, the energies of consciousness seek to "inform" matter via awakening the self-awareness of those organic units on earth that are capable of resistance to the gravity of non-being.
As self-aware "transducing units," the human being has the potential for going either way – toward intensified being, or toward intensified non-being. […]
Ibn al-'Arabi tells us that Goodness is Being; to which all positive and beautiful attributes or "names" of God belong. Evil is the lack of good, so it is "nonexistence." In other words, at the root, Being dwells in "non-existence" which is evil. Here is the sticking point: Human beings at our level of reality exist at the crossroads of the Thoughts of Being and Non-being – Good and Evil. Mankind is made in the form of all the names of God – those of Being and Non-being. Assuming the traits of the Names is synonymous with manifesting their properties. The Science of Ascension is to obtain deep knowledge of all the Names and their true properties, the high and the low, the pleasant and the loathsome, the light and the darkness, in differentiated detail, so as to be able to CHOOSE which traits will be assumed. It is only with a full field of vision that a man can discover if what he subjectively thinks is good actually is good and leads to Being, or if it is a deception that induces to Non-being by pretense.
God is the root of ALL Names, noble and base. The task of the seeker of ascension is to bring the Noble traits from latency into actuality and to discover the positive applications of the base traits – even if that application is to "overcome" or transmute. The Shaykh tells us "noble character traits are only those connected to interaction with others." In other words: DOing. If you SEE the illusion of separation, that is certainly the first thing. The lie is smuggled in by suggesting that this is all that is necessary, that if you just "see it" everything will "change" for you.
God creates the good and the evil, the ugly and the beautiful, the straight and the crooked, the moral and the immoral. Between these traits lie the manifold dangers of the path of the seeker of Truth. Many modern day "teachers" and "gurus" tell us "Since there is only One Being which permeates all things, all we have to do is see everything as only light", and that will transmute the darkness, and we will "create our own reality of light." Such a statement ignores the fact that the statement "God is One" describes a reality that is a higher level from which our own "mixed being" manifests. The man who assumes that he can become like God at this level just by thinking it, ignores the facts of Being vs. Non-being which outrays from "God is One" at a level of existence that is clearly several levels above our own.
Evil is REAL on its own level, and the task of man is to navigate the Cosmic Maze without being defiled by the Evil therein. This is the root of Free Will. Man faces a predicament as REAL as himself: he is forced to choose – to utilize his knowledge by applying it – between the straight path which leads to Being, and the crooked paths which lead to Non-Being. Human beings are required to discern between good and evil – consciousness energy directors – at every stage of their existence in this reality. Because, in fact, they must understand that God is consciousness and God is matter. God is good, and God is evil. The Creation assumes all the different properties of the many "Names of God." The Cosmos is full of Life-giving and Slaying, Forgiveness and Vengeance, Exaltation and Abasement, Guidance and Deception. To attempt to assume God's point of view and "mix everything" at this level, results only in STAYING at this level. Therefore, human beings must always separate God's point of view from their own point of view and the fact that all creation assumes the divine Names and Traits.
Thus, the first Divine Command is BE! And that includes Being and Non-being instantaneously. Therefore, the second law is "follow Being or Non-being according to your choice and your inherent nature." All creation is a result of the engendering command. So, in this respect, there is no Evil. But the second, prescriptive law determines to which "Face of God" one will return: Life or Death.
If the engendering command alone is considered, there is no imperfection in the cosmos, since all creatures follow what God desires for them. In this respect, what is normally called "imperfection" is in fact perfection, since it allows for the actualization of the various levels of existence and knowledge. In other words, were there no imperfections – in the sense of diminishment, decrease, and lack – there would be no creation. Were there no creation, the Hidden Treasure would remain hidden. Hence Being would be unseen in every respect. There would be no self-disclosure of the Divine Reality, Light would not shine, and God would be the Nonmanifest but not the Manifest. But all this is absurd, since it demands the imperfection of Being Itself, which by definition is nondelimited perfection. Being's perfection requires the manifestation of Its properties. The effects of the Names and Attributes must be displayed for God to be God. [...] In other words, Imperfection is demanded by existence itself. To be "other than God" is to be imperfect. ...But it is precisely the "otherness" which allows the cosmos and all the creatures within it to exist. If things were perfect in every respect, they would be identical with God Himself, and there would be nothing "other than God." But then we could not even speak about the cosmos, since there would be no cosmos and no speakers. ...So, imperfection is a kind of perfection. [Chittick]
At the particular stage of existence in which man finds himself, he is equally "receptive" toward the Two primary Faces of God: Being and Non-being. The Shaykh tells us that whatever property, or trait, any human being ultimately "chooses" is what it originally possessed in its state of immutability. The task of the Seeker is to discover what is immutable within, and to purify and amplify it. This is the development of Will. Will is a relationship, which follows knowledge while knowledge follows the object of knowledge. In the process of "ascension," the object of knowledge is YOU. Knowledge, in and of itself, has no effects. YOU, however, the seeker, can give to knowledge what you actually are, in yourself, thereby displaying YOURSELF in knowledge by your actions in concert with your knowledge.
As noted, there are many Names of God that call to us in our present state of existence. But you are not required to answer every one that calls. The fact that human beings are, in general, ignorant of their own true "essence" gives them the illusion of freedom. And the fact is, all paths come from God, and all paths Lead back to God, but again, it can be via different faces. As the Shaykh says: "Unto Allah all things come home, and he is the end of every path. However, the important thing is which divine name you will reach and to which you will come home?"
And this brings us to what the Shaykh calls "perspicacity." This is the special development of the "eye of insight," or "seeing the unseen" that is crucial to the Seeker. Just as the physical eye, with the refraction of light from the Sun, can discern between the large and the small, the beautiful and the ugly, colors, the moving from the still, high and low, the ability to see the unseen is a property of an "inner light." This light reveals to the seeker things about external objects that are NOT apparent to the five senses. It reveals to its possessor when a choice that may appear to be benevolent, is a step on the path of Evil. It reveals when a choice that may appear to human estimation as negative is actually a difficult step to felicity for all involved. The Sufis tell us that some individuals have achieved such a level of "seeing" that – upon seeing a person's footprint on the ground, even if the person is not present – they are able to say whether he is following a life of felicity or wretchedness.
The light of perspicacity seems to be a gift that not everyone has, and those who do have it, may not have developed it to the same degree. What is evident is that those who have it possess an immutable nature of Being which is able to "see" good and evil – they do not see "only good." Thus, they are able to discern between the "calls" of Nonbeing and Being, and therefore, are able to strengthen their Will along the path of intrinsic Being. It then follows that individuals who are not able to see – or who choose not to see – both Good and Evil, are formed in the mold of subjectivity, which is the human expression of the Call of Non-being.
A human being whose immutable nature is that of Being can strengthen the light of perspicacity by "assuming the traits" of the Names of Being. This does not mean that a person comes to possess traits that do not already belong to him. It means that these traits are amplified and "cultivated." The Ruling property of an individual is determined by what Face of God is disclosed to him, and this is determined by his preparedness. Felicity can only be disclosed when Evil has been turned away from, rejected; which can only be achieved by a long period of "testing" or being challenged to SEE and then to choose Being over Non-being in order to grow the Will or alignment to Being in a feedback loop. As the Seeker travels this path, he must not see these traits as his own, but rather that he is a locus of God's manifestation of an ontological attribute. […]
So it is that different paths can produce different effects for different individuals according to their immutable nature within. Those whose intrinsic nature is toward Being, follow the path of the developing the ability to SEE and to choose alignment with infinite potential of creation, thereby being conduits of Being as GOD chooses to manifest through them. They not only see that limitation is illusion, they consciously ACT – they utilize that knowledge to generate energy and light.
Those whose intrinsic nature is toward Non-being, follow the path of limitation of Infinite Being by assuming that they, in their state of ignorance and subjectivity, know better than God how Creation ought to be fixed. They pray for change, they perform rituals, they chant mantras and repeat endless visualizations of "magickal forms" that are supposed to "change" reality. They bomb others with "Love and Light," (their subjective version of it, of course), and they seek to fix the world "out there" by projecting their subjective view of reality onto the infinite wisdom of Creation. This "consciousness energy direction" even includes the assumption that just knowing that all division is illusion will accomplish the goal of "Ascension," and that is the most cunning lie of all.
Each approach "ties a knot" in the heart of the believer and fixes him on a path, the object of his belief being the end of the path. All beliefs are equivalent in that God – of one sort or another – is their ultimate objective. But each belief is different in that it leads to a different name of God, or Thought Center. Even materialistic skepticism is a "belief" and leads to "matterizing" of the consciousness that follows this belief. What is more difficult to discern are the many mixed up "spiritual" paths that twist and distort the concepts of Being to engage the seeker on a path to Non-Being. […]
The natural field of view for the organic unit alone – with no connection to the higher self – is that of the material and/or mechanical interpretation of all phenomena. The influences of the Thought Center of non-being – the source of matter – have been increasing through the manifestation of billions of such units at a single point in time: the present.
The Thought Center of non-being is of a certain nature – contractile subjectivity – that exerts a more or less "gravitational" pull – a desire to absorb and assimilate the soul energies of Being – so as to feed its own contracting nature. Even if it promotes a full field of awareness in principle, it can only view Being as a traitor to its own need to not exist. This results in an individual who may proclaim that all is illusion, but whose actions – or rather lack thereof – betray the deeper immutable state of being. Due to its intrinsic nature, there is a powerful exertion of non-being to destroy and obviate Being and Creation – all the while it is unable to achieve the awareness that it only exists by virtue of Being and Creation IN ACTION!
The powerful exertion of the Thought Center of non-being to absorb and assimilate all of creation, powered by its own contractile subjectivity, poses certain problems both for itself and for Being. Since the fundament of non-being is a LIE – that is to say, the state of absolute non-being that it promotes is a paradoxical impossibility – and the fundament of Being is the objective fact that Existence simply IS via ACTION – or utilization of knowledge which generates light, the essential conflict is between lies and truth. The Thought Center of non-being tells itself the biggest lie of all – that it does not exist – and goes to sleep in pretense. And from this essential point, we see that the nature of subjectivity is that of lies. Lies and belief in lies – whether or not the believer is aware that they are believing a lie – all partake of the same essence – subjectivity and non-being.
The Thought Center of non-being – in its expression as matter – being "impressed" by Creative consciousness in ACTION which partially awakens it and draws it into the creation of the organic world – wraps itself around this awakened consciousness. Its intrinsic nature of pretense to non-being acts "gravitationally" on consciousness, and twists and distorts it into varying degrees of subjectivity. It is this interaction of the energy of all possibility, lensed through subjectivity of matter, that produces the myriad manifestations of the material universe.
In the realm of the Thought Center of non-being, there are many manifestations – or ways – of seeking annihilation – the "Base Names of God." These modes act in a gravitational way to engage, enfold, and distort consciousness to their ends. This results in the formation of consciousness units of great power and depth of cunning – far beyond anything imaginable in our own reality.
These consciousness units use their wiles to assimilate weaker consciousness units so as to accrue more contractile power. Obviously, the more "dense" the consciousness units "consumed," the more "nutritious" they are. And so they seek, by great cunning, to carefully, and with great patience, manipulate the consciousness units selected for assimilation. It is, effectively, trans-millennial stalking.
These Overlords of Entropy, or so we may call them, by virtue of the overlay of intensified subjectivity, – the hallmark of the influence of the Thought Center of non-being – interface with the organic world on a "geographic" scale. Since they have, so to say, an intimate relationship with matter, the contractile consciousness of such a being can affect its area of chosen dominion very much like an overshadowing "cloud" with millions of tendrils of connections between it and its range of influence. This includes even the very matter of the bodies of human beings. It is through these etheric fibers that the Overlords of Entropy assimilate energy.
These overlords have "organs" so to speak. Just as a group of people were described by the Apostle Paul as "the body of Christ," so are the organs of entropic overlords manifested as individual beings, though their direct connection to a single massive consciousness unit makes them more like "projections" than individually souled beings.
Because of their great drive to conserve and assimilate energy, the overlords are "stingy" with allowances to their organ-beings. It seems that they do not "waste" energy in manifesting and maintaining organic structures for their organs, and thus the organic physicality takes on the configuration of less complex creatures in the organic world. Rather than interacting with an organic structure in a cooperative, awakened state, they exercise control over theirs. Utilizing organic structures that require the least energy to maintain conserves energy. To this end, they draw the energy for their organic units from the pools of archetypal form of the animal kingdom. This energy is more easily accessed, is lower in frequency, and thus more amenable to control.
This seems to be the reason why, when perceived by individuals of the third dimensional self-consciousness – third density – realm, their appearance is generally startling. The reptilian type comes to mind as being the most energy efficient. Again, remember that consciousness is merely "reading waves."
For the same reason – the contractile nature of the hierarchy and its energy consumption – it is extremely difficult for these organ-beings of the Overlords of Entropy to actively function in our realm for any period of time. When they enter our realm, assuming a third density organic form, they are at a disadvantage. They are temporarily disconnected from the energy pool, which weakens, but they are at another great disadvantage as well. Since they are not internally connected to an expanding, creative feedback loop of Creative Being, their own entropic overlord is a constant drain on them, pulling them gravitationally as it were, making them even weaker than the natural denizens of this realm. Such are those called aliens and "Men in Black." It is this great strain on their energy resources that makes such appearances so rife with anomalous glitches. There is no creativity, and thus no ability to pull off such an intrusion into our reality with any convincing effectiveness.
For this reason they generally avoid direct interaction in the organic world, preferring to utilize other methods to stalk and conquer weaker units to "feed" the Thought Center of non-being. To this end, these entropic overlords seek to establish and maintain the "entrainment of creative energy" within the third density reality by deceptively enhancing third density, material interpretations of the phenomenal world.
In short, such beings of enormous geographic domination actively operate within their geographic field of influence to divert and discourage those organic units who have tenuous connections to creative energy – higher self – from interpretations which will lead to the establishing a feedback loop with those Thought Centers of Being/Creation.
As noted, the nature of such beings, and the dynamic of their existence, requires massive energy input in order to "control" and direct their own organic physicality. This is possible at the level of overlord/sub-units of the Thought Center of non-being by virtue of the extensive assimilation of other consciousness units, and most especially by virtue of their "geographic" character, which enables them to "connect" to thousands, if not millions, of organic beings in the organic realm. This is, effectively, the "Program of the Matrix."
This connection is naturally enabled by the aforementioned intrinsic nature of organic units to only perceive the field of view of the organic realm. That is to say that mechanical and material feedback loops are far more easily created between organic units and the sub-units of Non-being by a sort of "gravitational" pull of these sub-units upon the natural inclinations of the organic being.
This establishes "feedback loops" as previously described. The organic unit, "infected" with the material/mechanical view, begins to act according to that Thought Center's dictates, and this generates activities of that nature in the organic unit. Due to the fact that any given sub-unit of the Thought Center of non-being may be connected to millions of organic units in third density, any of them may be activated singly, or in concert, to fulfill the wishes of the Overlords of Entropy, a "larger" sub-unit of the Thought Center of Non-being.