Excerpt About Unmanifest

The Absolute is Sometimes Called the "Unmanifest"

The ultimate nature of things is sometimes called the Absolute, sometimes called the Void. Some theistic traditions call it the Godhead; in Sufism it is called the Divine Essence. The ultimate essence of everything, including the human being, is a complete absence of all that can be experienced and the absence of knowing that there is nothing to experience. It is a complete lack of self-consciousness, and an absence of consciousness of anything. That is the ultimate source—the Origin. This does not mean that there is nothing there. You are, you exist, but you are aware of it only when you come out of it, when there is some consciousness. The quality of the Absolute is that it is not conscious of Itself. In the Absolute, consciousness does not exist yet; it is not yet manifest. The Absolute is sometimes called the “unmanifest.” Consciousness, awareness, is a development or manifestation out of the Absolute. The first level that arises from the Absolute is the capacity to be conscious or aware. Ontologically prior to this arising, this capacity does not exist. There is existence without awareness of that existence. The Absolute is what most fundamentally exists. But it does not exist in the usual sense, in the sense that we can experience it, or touch or feel or see it. It exists without any quality; it is “qualityless.” Awareness or consciousness is the first quality that arises. The Absolute transforms and becomes, or within its dark vastness arises, pure consciousness or awareness. This awareness has the capacity to perceive, but it does not perceive concepts or entities. It is ontologically prior to concept, just as the Absolute is ontologically prior to consciousness. The realm of experience and perception at this level is what I call the “nonconceptual realm.”

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