Shiva’s Inertia

Shiva’s Inertia

From a Brahman perspective, the world was never created in the first place. And yet here it is, appearing to the senses. As we shift into ParaBrahman and notice the Divine Shaktis, we can gain the sense of creation as a tapestry of consciousness. It’s created as a kind of after-image of the threads (shaktis) of Divinity. Consciousness tries to mimic Divinity. From that perspective alone, it seems a little pointless. Divinity is fully self-aware and profoundly networked. Why would consciousness try to make an appearance out of that?

Here we can explore the nature of Shiva. Shiva is known as part of the primary trinity of the Hindu forms of God. This is generally a monotheistic approach where one God is known through many aspects or forms.

The Shiva we refer to here though is not a god in form but the Mahadeva version. The primary principle we might say, prior to form. Shiva is likened to the subject or observer aspect of consciousness where the feminine (Shakti) arises as the objects of experience.

Only in this case, Shiva is looking upon the Divine. In his devotion and intention to know his own source as consciousness and the Divine, his devotion gives rise to the vast tapestry of consciousness we experience as creation.

However, because of Shiva’s nature as tamas (inertia) guna, creation becomes progressively more dense until it settles into apparently solid forms in our experience. There is also the inclination to become identified with those forms.

We could say our entire experience of life is a flow of devotion to the Divine. But because of the tamas in that attention, we need to balance it with sattva to unfold that Divinity.

When we follow the path of consciousness back to the source, we follow alertness back to pure devotion and its unity with liveliness. The essence of consciousness is not silence alone, it is alive silence. It is perpetually flowing back on itself in devotion.

Here’s where we get into issues of balance and what has become dominant in world spirituality. If we solely develop in silence, our unfolding will be dry and flat. We may achieve liberation and deep inner peace but the values of the divine feminine can be missing.

The joy, richness, and fullness arise from the sattva or feminine side of the process. The lived embodiment of enlightenment requires bringing that down into form, living divinity in our humanity.

Of course, there are some who have the natural laws to emphasize consciousness and perhaps renunciation. But most of us have a much richer array of Shakti’s to express (seen energetically in the chakra databanks by way of the devata).

If we want to bring peace to the world, consciousness alone will be enough. But if we want heaven on earth, we need to bring the divine into form. This takes more than just awakening. It means further purification, refinement, and embodying Divinity.

That is what will bring the golden age.

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    1. Hi Alex
      Good question. We could say Shiva et al is a side effect of lively alertness. We might say the afterglow of Divinity that leads to the effect of the dynamics of consciousness and the trinity.

      Keep in mind this is one perspective. This is not to diminish Shiva in any way. We can say Shiva is the container of creation which contains uncountable universes and immeasurable numbers of beings.

      We can describe all of this as an effect of his devotion.

  1. Jim

    Thank you – very helpful, again. Couldn’t quite figure out the motive force for Shiva’s creation, though devotion makes perfect sense. Yes, peace first, and then Heaven on earth.

    1. Hi Jim
      Yes, it was a useful insight that spun off a comment by Lorne. I would not describe this as the only was of looking at it, but it is one. And I’ve certainly seen the old texts describing all of creation being the result of devotion.

  2. Chris

    Fascinating stuff David! I’ve thought of what you’ve said for a while… (about Shiva being “a disciple of the divine”) I know that what you talk about goes “farther” than Kashmir Shaivism, but for the sake of this subject, this statement reminded me of what you’re addressing:
    “Kashmir Saivism explains that when Shiva is reflected by his pure will in the mirror of his freedom (svatantrya), this is the existence of the universe and the existence of individual being” – Lakshman Joo

    and more to the point:
    “You have no idea how hard I’ve looked for a gift to bring You. Nothing seemed right. What’s the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or water to the ocean. Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient. It’s no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these. So I’ve brought you a mirror. Look at yourself and remember me.”
    ― Rumi
    This mirror analogy would make sense in terms of creation having never “occurred”, because it’s appearance was only in a mirror. Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Chris
      Yes, some sages like Shankara also spoke this way.
      In the first quote, this is very much from the observer or witness quality of consciousness. It is seeing the world as a reflection of myself. Similar can arise from a Brahman perspective too. But once the Shakti’s become apparent, then that “pure will” is realized to be the Divine Mother. Shiva is in devotion rather than will.
      This is not to diminish Lakshman Joo. He was a remarkable saint. But we’re in a time where there is much greater potential to penetrate more deeply. Much more to come, i’m sure.
      Rumi – he is quite remarkable. He’s not in that spectrum.
      Yes, very much like a mirror. Consciousness expressing what it experiences. Magnifying all the detail. There are a number of related ways of looking at this.
      There’s another article where I talk about consciousness mirroring the Divine but I’m not finding it…

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