Any mind capable of conceiving an entity greater than its own must at least realize that that entity’s conception was imagined by it. It is in the imagination of the human mind that the supernatural entity God is created.
Tantra places our popular idea of God at level 4 in the hierarchy of Tattvas. In ‘Tantra Illuminated,’ Christopher Wallis explains the concept of personal deity and provides a beautiful elaboration of the 36 Tattvas. In this context, beyond Level 4 – at Level 3 – is the super-conscious mind that starts demonstrating its separation from the idea of an external deity or an external God. God is irrelevant at this level because the Tantric mind (at Level 3) has transcended Level 4 – it has transcended God!
At level 3, our consciousness is elevated to realizing that any deity or God is an act of individual Self Expression. It begins to separate the idea of God and Universe. In my words, it begins to realize the omnipotence of the universe – over the omnipotence of God – because even God needs “space” to live in! But at this level, “‘I’ also realize that the universe is inert, lifeless, and meaningless in its vast sterility. If not for the matter within it, its vastness is futile. And if not for an ‘I’ to acknowledge it, its absoluteness is incomplete!”
My ‘Self’ gives ‘Expression’ to the universe!
Religious people cannot accept such ideas simply because they won’t let themselves. Attaining Godliness itself can be rather scary, so they can’t – and won’t – let themselves imagine the possibility of consciousnesses beyond godliness. But Tantra goes further to state that any being can attain or experience this kind of consciousness at Level 3.
Though human beings are the smartest creatures we know, I will not state that only humans can attain this level. This may seem sacrilegious to many, but anyone who has a pet cat will know what I’m talking about! Whether accidently, or through the practice of Tantra Yoga, most higher-order animals can achieve this level of Godliness. It’s not surprising therefore to see Animists worshipping flora and fauna as deities!
Ancient Egyptians worshipped cats; even today, there are many who do. Here is a link to the Temple of Bastet: http://www.catmuseumsf.org/egyptcats.html Couldn’t help myself with that side note on cats :)
The deeper we go into our mind, the farther we go into the universe.
However, religious people too are quite smart! They argue that God cannot be imagined and is beyond any creature’s imagination. They don’t seem to realize the flaw in that logic: how can anything exist in the unimaginable?! But their counter argument is that God is an idea (or a reality) posited in the unimaginable! That is why blind faith is the only excuse for belief in God! But that is their problem!
Such a concept – by definition – puts a limit to our conscious experience and restricts our consciousness from expanding into other dimensions. Tantra does not allow that! Having gotten rid of the need for a ‘God who created the universe,’ or any God for that matter, the Tantriks had to unravel the mystery of the apparent infinite universe. And they did exactly that!
The next post will be on the 36 Tattvas of Tantra.