Life is a mystery and most of us are from time to time fascinated by that mystery. Unfortunately, many people come across the fundamental questions of life after periods of hardships and suffering. They inevitably pose questions like ‘Why is life so tough?’ or ‘Why should we live such a painful existence here on Earth?’
On the other hand, we are all curious beings. Some people get to similar questions through sheer curiosity. “Who am I?” “Why do I exist at all?” “Why there is something rather than nothing?” “Is there a creator of this world?” These and similar questions can shake the core of our beings.
Here are some answers to most of those fundamental questions. I hope you will find that this quest for finding the ultimate answers is not pretentious, presumptuous or a kind of ego-play.
Additionally, I am sure that these answers are limited by the mind’s natural inability to experience the Truth (including, of course, my own mind). Also, any intention to express a deep idea or concept could be severely damaged by the natural inadequateness of language.
Therefore, some of the concepts and ideas expressed in this article I tried to convey through analogies. In fact, all these ideas are analogies. They can only point to the Truth, as they are certainly not the Truth itself.
Who or What is God?
Over the centuries, the word “God” has been charged with many negative or conflicting meanings, so I will try to use other terms, such as “Primordial Oneness,” “Being,” or “the Source.” Consequently, I will use the pronoun “it,” with no intention to derogate God’s existence and innate attributes.
The Source is beyond any mind concept. Thus, everything we think or write on it is inaccurate and insufficient.
As the Primordial Oneness is beyond any comprehension, we can talk about it only through analogies and symbols, so we might get merely a vague sense of its main attributes.
Primordial Oneness is the source of everything. It is infinitely greater than everything and yet infinitely lesser than nothing.
It is the only True Reality, True Existence.
Once again, its nature is Oneness. As this universe is founded on apparent separation, anything or anyone in it cannot truly experience the presence of the Source, except when all the physical, emotional and mental senses and activities are completely transcended.
Yet, the Source is present everywhere and is the only foundation of this apparent existence. It subtly and invisibly carries and transforms all beings, things or activities. We can get a glimpse of that process and be an active part of it only if we are in the state of Pure awareness, or Presence.
Primordial Oneness is the source of everything. It is the only True Reality, True Existence.
Primordial Oneness is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent.
It is omniscient because it’s beyond space and time, beyond any subject-object relation. Acquiring any information or knowledge is characteristic of the spacetime continuum. As the Source is beyond it, it knows everything instantly. This kind of knowledge is the only natural kind of knowledge. On the other hand, our type of knowledge is restricted to the process of acquiring information within many limitations imposed by the nature of space-time.
It is omnipresent simply because it’s beyond space, time, matter and energy. It doesn’t have any limitations of physical laws or any other rules.
It is omnipotent as it is the only true reality. It is the source of every single matter/energy entity and also of every single action, deed or activity. However, it expresses its omnipotence subtly and invisibly to our limited senses of perception. Big and visible miracles are extremely rare, but in fact, subtle and invisible miracles are present everywhere and are happening all the time.
The Primordial Oneness is in us. As it is the source of Love, Joy, and Peace, our true Essence is actually the Primordial Oneness and we can only find it within ourselves. Love, Joy, and Peace are its signposts.
The “I” has to leave. Then, what has left is the Source.
In the meantime, this was an answer to another big question: does God exist? Although the answer depends on the definition of God in the first place, the final answer undoubtedly is “Yes.” God does exist, maybe not in a religious sense of a “personal” God, but there is God, as the Source of everything that exists, inside and beyond everything.
Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing?
In the beginning, there was only Oneness (God, Emptiness, Nothingness, Source, True Reality…).
From the point of view of our limited minds, the primordial Oneness could only exist in some sort of eternal space and time continuum, as we cannot otherwise comprehend any existence. That being said, the mathematics of infinite numbers says that if anything exists within infinite space and infinite time span, there is a 100% chance for any change, disturbance or imperfection to occur, as there are no laws or limitations which could prevent such an occurrence.
That disturbance was the primordial polarity which was the beginning of this whole world. In accordance with that logic, there is a 100% chance to have an infinite number of varieties of imperfections or disturbances in that Oneness, and, subsequently, we might say that there are infinite worlds with infinite varieties of laws out there.
Again, “within” the Primordial Oneness there were no physical laws or any other limitations at all. Since there were no limitations, anything could “happen,” so the Creation of this and many other universes has happened and is still happening (if we can use this term whatsoever).
Yet, from the point of view of our limited mind, the eternal emergence of the primordial polarities is a whim of God.
Why Do I Exist?
In order to experience itself, Primordial Oneness has apparently separated itself into myriads of dynamic, yet limited viewpoints, each of them having the experience of “I” and “not-I.”
So, the primordial polarity has emerged out of Primordial Oneness: “I” and “not-I.”
 The section “Why Do I Exist?” is actually part of my article “A New View on Fine-Tuning of the Universe”
These two primordial entities were only conscious of the opposite entity. “I” was conscious of the existence of “not-I,” while “not-I” (that was experiencing itself as “I”) was conscious of the other polarity.
As Oneness is inherently indivisible and cannot really split itself into something, these apparent entities were, in fact, the Oneness itself. Consequently, each had complete information on its opposite, as it was inherently whole and one with it and with Oneness.
The primordial “I” was a simple entity, without any measures or qualities. It could be compared only to the “not-I.” Correspondingly, the “not-I” was also simple and without any inherent qualities. It also had a simple consciousness of the existence of the first entity (“the I”), which was, in fact, the “not-I” to that (“second”) entity.
Then, these two polarities divided themselves again. Each of these new entities was a new “I,” and the three others were the “not-I” to that entity. The composition of that “not-I” was, in fact, a primordial structure of the external world to “I,” with its simple “laws” of the world. These “laws” were their simple interactions that became habitual.
 As this is obviously the universe of polarities, which is visible on all levels of existence, the first apparent existence was the primordial polarity. It seems that Oneness in this universe tends to “divide” into pairs (rather than triads, for example), so it is the nature of all subsequent entities.
All entities tend to either divide themselves into pairs or merge into one entity.
Once again, as it is impossible to divide the Oneness, all its apparent “entities” or offspring are still the Oneness itself, the Oneness that is, say, “shrunk down” to a seemingly limited size. As each of them is the Primordial Oneness itself, we can say that it’s the holographic principle in action. That’s why every “I” has a complete information on the corresponding “not-I” or the rest of its world, and the other way around.
These entities are continuing to divide themselves an enormous number of times. The evolution continues.
As it is impossible to divide the Oneness, all its apparent “entities” or offspring are still the Oneness itself, the Oneness that is, say, “shrunk down” to a seemingly limited size. As each of them is the Primordial Oneness itself, we can say that it’s the holographic principle in action.
To each “new I” there is a corresponding “not-I,” which becomes ever more complex as the process of division continues. That “not-I” always consists of all the other “Is” out there, including their mutual relationships.
Although “I” and “not-I” seem to be entirely dissimilar in their size and complexity, they are always perfect complements to each other.
Every “I” is unique and has a different constellation of other “Is,” i.e. it has a different individual reality. Furthermore, as the division of entities continues, every “new I” apparently becomes more and more complex, as it internally encompasses all information on its outer world, which is the complementary entity to it. Moreover, this whole structure is based on its fractal nature.
Every “I” is conscious of its outer world, and vice versa. The outer world, or “not-I,” as an entity, is conscious of its counterpart that we call “I.”
The real shift occurs when “I” begins to become conscious of itself. The involution begins. Although that process is slow, as “I” is an internally very complex entity (as its “not-I” is), it means that the two opposites have begun to reunite, reintegrate or merge.
This is the point of our whole spiritual evolution. As we are becoming conscious of ourselves, we are expanding our consciousness inward and outward simultaneously, as our “not-I” is also becoming conscious more and more of itself and ourselves. Eventually, they merge and we are Oneness again.
This is a very, very simplified overview of the evolution of consciousness.
 Fractals are infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales.
Every “I” is conscious of its outer world, and vice versa. The outer world, or “not-I,” as an entity, is conscious of its counterpart that we call “I.”
Who Am I?
Some say that this is one of the five basic questions of philosophy. But who am I is the question of identity. When you answer this question, you will actually state your identity, such as I am a mother, I am a teacher, I am an honest man, I am American, I am human… But, it is obvious that these identities are transient. Sooner or later, you will change your role. You are able to change or transcend any identity at your will. When we consider the fact that our consciousness survives our physical existence, then even the most general identities, like human being, living being, and similar, are obviously inadequate.
Thus, the real question is: What am I? What is that which is essential to all of us? Are we something or someone at all? Words cannot formulate the final answer, obviously. It must be directly experienced.
Who am I or What am I are the most important questions in several spiritual paths, such as Ramana Maharshi’s Advaita Vedanta, or some neo-gnostic systems. In these practices the disciple repeatedly asks him- or herself Who (what) am I, tries to deeply feel the question and to formulate or feel the answer. It is a powerful practice which can lead to profound insights and even final spiritual liberation.
So, the answer to the question Who am I cannot be expressed in words, as it lies beyond the mind. Anyway, every person who has finally revealed and experienced the answer would probably try to “express it” with simple silence. And the closest notion of this answer would be: I am the Primordial Oneness (Nothingness, Oneness, God, Emptiness, Source…). Or, simply I am.
The answer to the question Who am I cannot be expressed in words, as it lies beyond the mind.
Why is Love So Important?
Of course, I’m not talking here about romantic or physical love. The topic here is Pure love, Universal love, or simply Love. It is unconditional love between two beings, such as parent's love for children, or love between best friends. Romantic or physical kinds of love are merely Love’s reflections at the emotional and physical level.
We hear many times that God is Love. Actually, God is the realized Love. How come? And aren’t all feelings equal to the “neutral” Source?
Love in this sense is not a feeling. It is the state of being. It is the state in which we feel the union with others. It is a deep intention to unite with others, to become one again. It is the opposite of separating tendencies.
As the Source is Oneness, and Love tends to re-unite apparently separate beings, Love is a divine state. It leads to God. That’s why Love is one of the essential aspects of the Divine, along with Peace and Joy. That’s how God is Love realized, Peace completed, and Joy purified.
Love (...) is a deep intention to unite with others, to become one again. It is the opposite of separating tendencies.
What is the Purpose of Suffering?
The consequence of this world’s imperfection is suffering. It is inevitable, and it has its function. Here is a small excerpt from Inner Peace, Outer Success related to this question.
“Most of us have matured and learned tremendous lessons through painful experiences. They have strengthened us. They have driven us. The reason for that is the fact that we live in a material world whose main trait is inertia, which is also one of our main traits.
Our physical bodies are naturally submissive to the law of inertia; we’re lazy, more or less. When there is nothing to push us forward, as pain does, we can sink deep into the quicksand of our lethargy. It’s our nature and we must not blame ourselves for that. As a consequence, when a painful experience arises from that swamp of our inactivity, it pushes us ahead. Thanks to these shocks and traumas, we have gained depth of personality. Therefore, our wounds are blessings, too.”
Without suffering, we, as beings immersed into the inertia of this world, would be lost and annihilated. Yet, pain is inevitable for the reason that all conscious beings in this universe have limited perception and limited abilities. (You can find here more on how limited perception leads to suffering.)
Our wounds are blessings, too.
However, as pain is inevitable, unfortunately, there is no an upper limit of the level of pain. That depends solely on us, on our own limited perception and inertia. That’s why there is no a predefined amount of maximal suffering, nor there is the highest level of contentment. That’s also the reason why there have been extremely painful events during the whole history of mankind, such as the holocaust, wars, massacres, tortures, etc.
I also must elaborate on this issue: suffering is overestimated and overexaggerated. This phenomenon is present not only in modern society but in our view of nature, too. Of course, I don’t want to underestimate immense and monstrous agonies of masses of people during the history and even today, but today’s mass media are obviously focused only on negative experiences. They are reporting almost exclusively about wars, murders, accidents and similar events. Actually, they are only following up our habitual needs – our minds are captivated by those negative things, as they are not natural to us. They are inherently strange to our beings. Our most natural states of being are Peace, Love, and Joy, so everything else is weird to the mind and hence quite mesmerizing, too.
Suffering is overestimated and overexaggerated.
Look around you. There is more than 99 percent chance that you are in a “normal” environment – in the neutral or even pleasant situation. When you recapitulate your typical day, you’ll find that it’s mostly filled with the “neutral” or even pleasant experiences. But painful events, which are quite rare, are often captivating our thoughts and emotions all day long.
Even when you look at nature, extremely rarely you will stumble upon violence among living beings. Again, more than 99 percent of natural surroundings are filled with peaceful or neutral activities (or dormancy) of wildlife, including ants, bugs, and even the most ferocious creatures like lions, snakes, crocodiles and other carnivores. Peace is naturally overwhelming, but, unfortunately, not in our minds.
Therefore, although suffering is inevitable and has its positive role in our lives in the long run, it’s definitely overestimated and overexaggerated.
Are There Good and Evil?
Common sense tells us that Good is everything which leads us to happiness, while Evil is that which leads us to suffering.
However, having explained the role of suffering in our existence, could we say that pleasure is actually an evil thing, and pain is actually a good thing? Of course not. Every experience is inherently neutral.
Good and Evil ultimately do not exist. There is only one Reality.
Those experiences that lead us toward happiness can indeed be beneficial in the long run if they are considered as lessons too. If they are absorbed through wisdom, they will impeccably lead us to liberation. Also, unpleasant events won’t make all people more mature. Quite the opposite, some people cannot absorb such experiences and will enter the spiral of ever-increasing self-destruction.
So, everything depends on us and our way of dealing with any experience. Ultimately, there is no good or bad experience. There is only an experience which is fully accepted and lived through our innate wisdom or there is an experience which is not.
Therefore, Good and Evil ultimately do not exist. There is only one Reality.
What is Consciousness?
There are two main definitions of consciousness in the Oxford dictionary:
In accordance with that, we can conclude that there are two main characteristics of consciousness:
I would also add the third attribute: the free will.
Regarding responsiveness, there could be three levels of consciousness:
So, on the basic level, consciousness is the ability of an entity to respond to external stimuli. Whether that means a simple physical resistance of a pebble to an external force or a complex emotional response of a human being to a stressful situation, essentially it is caused by a certain level of consciousness of the subject.
On the basic level, consciousness is the ability of an entity to respond to external stimuli.
Although these claims may sound unusual or even outlandish to you, they are founded on quantum physics. Here’s how.
The responsiveness to surroundings also implies the presence of an observer. Quantum physics, in line with its ‘Copenhagen interpretation,’ tells us that the external world, in fact, doesn’t exist in a solid form without conscious observation. The very presence of responsiveness within any structure toward its surroundings implies and confirms that there exists physical environment around the subject, which consequently indicates the presence of a conscious observer within the structure.
Responsiveness to surroundings also implies the presence of an observer.
In other words, the entity, as an observer, collapses the variety of wave functions of its surroundings and thus creates the material environment around itself. It then is able to respond to the environment.
In that sense, each apparently separate entity is conscious to some degree. Every entity, group or being which is internally consistent enough to respond to an external stimulus is conscious of its surroundings to some degree. That’s why every subatomic particle (quark, electron, photon, etc), every aggregate particle (proton, neutron, atom, molecule…), every stone, every living thing, every species, every nation and group of people including the whole humanity, every planet, star or galaxy, as well as the whole Universe or Multiverse, is conscious!
Each apparently separate entity is conscious to some degree.
So far, wee’ve been mostly talking about being conscious of the environment. But conscious beings are dynamic, they evolve. And there is another, crucial step in the evolution of consciousness: becoming self-conscious.
There is another, crucial step in the evolution of consciousness: becoming self-conscious.
After eons of development, many entities either die off or become self-conscious. Meaning, they are aware of themselves, not only of the outer reality. That’s the cornerstone of spiritual development. We could even say - that’s the reason for Creation. The Primordial Oneness “wants” to become aware of itself, to become self-conscious through all of its individual manifestations, i.e. beings.
Starting from that point, everything changes. When an entity becomes self-aware, it becomes an individual, a conscious being. Its (still limited) self-consciousness cannot die anymore. The processes of spiritual growth and re-birthing begin.
What is Free Will?
Free will is a fundamental attribute of consciousness. Every conscious entity has free will to some extent.
How many options does an entity have before committing a specific deed or responding to an external stimulus? If it has only one option ahead, due to inner or outer limitations, it actually doesn’t have any free will.
Apparently, that’s the case with stones and other solid objects. They can only resist some external force in accordance with physical laws that restrict them, but they have no freedom of their own motion. However, on a microscopic level, they do have a slight and unpredictable motion or jittering of their tiniest ingredients – atoms and subatomic particles. Consequently, they do have a free will to some extent.
Matter in other forms, such as liquids, gases, and plasma, although outwardly having higher levels of freedom of motion, does not have much more of free will. They are constricted by the physical laws. For instance, particles of gases have much more freedom of movement than particles of solid matter, but they are also severely limited by the laws of Newtonian physics.
As for the living beings, they obviously have higher levels of free will, as they are typically far more complex entities, especially those with nervous system evolved.
In this universe, all entities have at least some degree of free will, as that is purported by the basic quantum mechanics’ laws related to the principle of uncertainty.
Free will is an essential attribute of consciousness. It is the innermost unpredictability of Being, which is actually the creative force in the universe. Hence, the law which corresponds with free will at the fundamental level of existence is the Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.
Free will is an essential attribute of consciousness. It is the innermost unpredictability of Being, which is actually the creative force in the universe.
What Happens When We Die?
Consciousness cannot disappear. It cannot be annihilated as it’s present everywhere and in everything. It is impossible to become nothingness in the nihilistic sense if something is already there. Accordingly, even if there is no such thing as “life after death,” we shouldn’t be afraid of death. In that case, our individual consciousness would have simply been merged with a “global” consciousness of humanity or universe. Anyway, there is life after death, but the outcome depends on the level of consciousness of individual beings.
Entities that are conscious of their surroundings, but not self-conscious, may lose their individual existence upon death. The good news is that they will simply merge with the greater consciousness that they were part of. For example, when individual cells of our organisms die off, their limited consciousness will merge with the greater consciousness of an organ that it belonged to, or with the consciousness of the whole body. Also, the consciousness of our bodies, upon their demise, will become one with the greater consciousness of Mother Earth.
We, as self-aware beings, cannot disappear in that sense. We are fully-formed individual beings and will continue existence in other forms.
Correspondingly, physical death is a kind of change. A big one, though. After the demise of our physical body, our consciousness will dis-identify from our physical form and will continue existence in another form. First in a “limbo” between two lives, and after that in the next physical body.
Consciousness cannot disappear. (...) Correspondingly, physical death is a kind of change. A big one, though.
Yet, as time is not a simple, one-direction line, we might be re-born, say, in ancient Egypt, where we have to learn the next life lessons. Or on another planet. Or in another timeline, universe, or dimension. Everything is possible, and reality is much, much more amazing than our imagination is. Some of the aspects of our presence in multiple realities are described in the article Parallel Existences, Timelines, and Reincarnation.
Death is a change. Throughout our life, we are going through a myriad of “little deaths.” When we fall asleep – we lose our consciousness for a while, and one small cycle is being done. But the next cycle is always awaiting. When we fail in something important, when we give up our plans or goals, or lose a tennis match with our friend, we experience the little death. Every change is also a small death. But always, always, always we come back in some way or another, typically stronger and wiser.
There is no end to our spiritual development. Even when we get fully enlightened and achieve the final liberation, become un-identified from everything and become one with Oneness, we will be experiencing all and everything as that Oneness. The Creation is limitless and never-ending. And, I must say, that is truly wonderful.
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