The Unity of the Universe in the contemplative Knowledge

There is undeniably a great desire for new values in today's turbulent transition time. That desire seems to become stronger as the bankruptcy of the old existing culture becomes apparent. The soul feels more and more alienated from this world and seeks the source of unity that it suspects may be present as the basis of the universe.

The Unity of the Universe in the contemplative Knowledge

More than ever, our souls seek the universal, all-encompassing unity.

Not so much to ‘rest’ from the demanding tasks and duties that life, and especially the socio-economic constraints of our culture, seem to impose on us, but rather to be able to say goodbye to the prison and oppression that are the preconditions for existence in the material sphere seem to impose on us. By letting go of that which binds.

That all-encompassing, cosmic unity doesn’t seem to work well with the production, performance, competition, success and almost prescribed consumption culture in this 3D reality. A farewell to it therefore seems to be a spiritual condition for the absorption and soul experience of the unity of the Universe.

The increased radiance of the consciousness of complete harmony in the freedom of oneness with Love explains the high field of the new Earth, which has nothing in common with the one we now occupy, and for which the desire of many souls is so strong that they are prepared, so to speak, to give up their personal freedom, to give up in order to be absorbed in absolute peace.

Partly because the unbridgeability of our dual reality with unity seems so evident and our interest in non-duality and non-locality as possible exponents of unity has grown.

It is therefore not easy to place the unity of the Universe in the perspective of all dialectical existence, because it is more than the well-known mystical experience of unity; it wants to involve, as it were, the reasonable state of consciousness.

And if you look at dialectical reality purely rationally, it seems – paradoxically – that no reasonableness can exist in nature. Beauty can, but not reason.

But with what eye do we look? With an eye that sees that beauty withers?!

Ancient cultures may have been closer to the source representing unity than ours. In Western culture, since Descartes, the view has taken hold that unity of mind and body is a reasonable impossibility. Thus, a dualism in our culture based on our ego and perception through the five senses was firmly ‘anchored’. Many forget that Descartes also pointed to the sublime activity of the mind in our body, namely the higher activity of the pinealis (epiphysis).

What many also do not know is that in the seeing-knowledge there is a unity of body and mind beyond the duality that seems to hold us hostage culturally-scientific.

As a result, this unity is not a reasonable impossibility, but rather a result of the operation of reason, as indicated by Spinoza, among others (as the third path of knowledge in the fifth part of the Ethics [1]). So there is a rational-moral state of consciousness that is bound to the unity of the Universe and does not neglect its relationship with matter. That made a seventeenth-century Dutch Philosopher/writer sigh:

The universe is mine, what more could I wish for? [2]

And mind you, not as in a mystical rapture, but as a rational insight!

That insight can only be called reasonable if it has a relationship with our action life in matter. That is why Spinoza also indicates that the activity of ‘seeing knowledge’, as he sees viewed from the light of eternity, encourages the increasingly optimal functioning of our action life. A functioning that partly has the body as a basis and is nourished by the body.

The increased power of the mind in contemplative knowledge (that represents the viewing in the light of eternity) is not only expressed in that body, but also in the progressively more complex and richer forms of interaction that this body enters into with the world,

writes Jeroen Bartels in the book Van Bacterieel Bewegen naar Menselijke Cultuur [3]. You could refer to this as a

harmony in the change of activities. [4]

We thus succeed in shaping the ideas of our lives, our actions, and our emotions through the power of spirit, which carries the power of unity within it—and relating these ideas to what we have come to see as the foundation of our existence, ‘God’, or the infinite nature. Spinoza distinguishes three degrees of knowledge: – firstly, knowledge arising from affections and sensations; – secondly, knowledge and understanding as a result of perception and processing thereof, thinking and – thirdly, knowledge that flows from Intuition, i.e. the intellectual love of God, the Amor Dei intellectualis. Reason in the ‘third kind of knowledge’ does not appear to lead us away from everyday reality and thus offers space for escape behavior and ‘mystical sunbathing’, but rather takes us back to reality.

Doesn’t that contemplative knowledge see how beauty fades in reality? Can and will reason co-create lasting beauty in the field of space and time? Or isn’t breathing in unity equivalent to attaining human freedom?

Freedom does not mean that we could ever escape the general laws of nature or deny them with impunity.

On the contrary, it is precisely these laws and our knowledge of these laws that enable us to develop our capacity for independent, active action and to grow into free(er) people,

Bartels states in the chapter ‘The unity of body and mind in the contemplative knowledge‘ of the aforementioned book. This follows logically from definition 7 of Spinoza’s Ethics:

One calls free, something which exists only by virtue of one’s own nature, and which is actuated only by oneself. Necessary, or rather ‘constrained’ is called something which another matter is incited to a particular mode of existence and action.

It is a lesser known fact that as early as the seventeenth century Spinoza indicated that body and mind are not different realities, but distinct expressions of one reality. He was therefore also called the rational mystic or the mystic rationalist. Central to his approach to that reality is the viewing sub speci aeternitatis, viewing in the light of eternity. When Spinoza writes about contemplative knowledge, it is therefore not about knowledge of another, so-called ‘higher’ reality ‘behind’ or ‘above’ the reality that surrounds us. It is about the same reality but then accepted in the true proportions and in the right perspective. The new way of knowing, the seeing-knowing, provides insight into the reality that has been the basis of the daily reality of our actions (God) from the very beginning. However, we only gain insight into this ground as we have developed into freer people. Today we call it the Source.

This ‘concept’ of the universal unity, which can be known and experienced in human consciousness as a unity of body, soul and spirit, has indeed inspired many over the centuries, but the dualism of body and mind as a result of Descartes’ insights has determined a much stronger culture. That is to say that art, science and religion have mainly taken that dualism as their starting point and for the most part still use it.

It is only with the advent of quantum mechanics that a new possibility arises for the orientation towards an all-encompassing unit in science. In his recent book Reconnecting to the source, Ervin Laszlo [5] shows how we can connect with the quantum universe (‘the Source’) that is our cosmic womb and the foundation (‘the ground’) of our lives. The Source exists outside any religious or philosophical framework and is available to everyone at all times, Laszlo said. When we are connected to Source, we are in touch with ourselves, our intuition, our loved ones, nature and all of humanity.

The well-known ‘Thou art gods’ refers primarily to that connection, to again making the Source more active in our lives, with which the universal unity can be completely known. That unity can (only) be sought and found in the Source.

Whoever goes in search of unity and thus stands in the encounter with God, unlocks all the numbers[6]

says J. van Rijckenborgh. “All the numbers” signifies therein the fullness of the whole, that which the ancient Gnostics called pleroma.



[1] Benedictus de Spinoza, Ethics

[2] Franciscus van den Enden, Philedonius

[3] Jeroen Bartels Van Bacterieel Bewegen naar Menselijke Cultuur, een evolutionair verhaal vol verrassingen [From Bacterial Moving to Human Culture, an evolutionary story full of surprises ] pg. 254, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, 2021

[4] One of the basic principals for the construction of inner balance according to Rosicrucians

[5] Ervin Laszlo, Reconnecting to the source: The New Science of Spiritual Experience, How It Can Change You, and How It Can Transform the World, St. Martin’s Essentials, 2020

[6] J. van Rijckenborgh, in a unpublished verse

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Date: November 24, 2021
Author: Frans Spakman (Netherlands)
Photo: analogicus auf Pixabay CCO

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