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Animism Icon Thinking and Hermeneutic Science

 

Dr K.Loganathan , August 2003

 

 

 

Animism and Icon Thinking-1

 

 

Hinduism as practiced contains many facets that are ill understood. There are some practices which are integral to Hinduism but go with the name of ANIMISM which may be misleading as it conveys a meaning that is quite inconsistent with their essence.

 

I want to point out the essence in terms of Icon Thinking and with that either introduce a new sense to ‘animism’ or invite the need to invent a new category of terms to describe the different layers of Hinduism.

 

What is Icon Thinking? And why icons in temples?

 

1.

 

Icon Thinking belongs a distinct field of Hermeneutic Science that can be called Hermeneutic Semiotics. Various kinds of metaphysical meanings are encrypted into various kinds of symbols some natural and some non-natural. For example the cobra is natural but recast as of semiotic significance and hence an icon. However the five hooded or thousand hooded Snake (the Vaasuki, Aticedan etc) are non-natural and elements of transductive perception (similar to those in dream experience). To this category we can also include the Fiery Dragon that plays a central role in the Chinese Culture.

 

Such elements natural looking or non natural,  are METAPHORICAL in essence and hence do not belong to field of natural sciences but the field of Hermeneutic Sciences. Within the external shape of various kinds of snakes is HIDDEN a meaning and getting at this MEANING becomes the task of the Hermeneutic Semiotics.

 

2.

 

Since the icons are a kind of metaphors, questioning them with respect to the norms of natural science are MISPLACED and inappropriate.  For example we cannot ask questions about the reality of the Five Hooded Snake, its whereabouts, evolutionary history and so forth. They belong to the DREAM WORLD and hence are elements of transductive perceptions rather than sensory perceptions. However because of this it does not mean they are subjective fancies, mere fantasies, wild imaginations and so forth. They are OBJECTIVE realities only that the mode in which a vision of them is gained is dream-experience. Among the active dreamers, a dream vision of such snakes is possible.

 

3.

 

Since visions of icons are available only under extraordinary states of consciousness that are akin to dream experiences, TEMPLES are built as a MEDIA for not only the RETENTION of such experiences but also to INITIATE the individuals for whom such experiences still remain unavailable. In entering into a temple and getting fully engrossed in the symbolic world of the icons there, a person is LIFTED UP into the metaphysical realms and in that also torn away from the physical. 

 

4.

 

The worship here means retaining the icons in memory with reverence and waiting for the icon to POSSESS self and therewith GRACE the individual. An invitation is send and willingness is expressed for the entry and installation of the ICON worshiped. An individual praying towards Saraswati for example, indicates his desire for Saraswati to emerge from the depths of his own self and POSSESS self as if by magic and channel the psychic energies in the direction of scholarship etc.

 

5.

 

Now it may possible that such temple-centered Icon Thinking is also available for some persons in their encounters with the natural world.  The caves hills rivers trees and so forth may activate the same cognitive mechanisms as those underlying the dream experiences or the Icon Thinking. Thus the natural world becomes the TEMPLE for such individuals and objects there become the ICONS. Thus such individuals DO NOT SEE the natural world, as would natural scientists but rather as a Hermeneutic Scientist where he sees the natural as ICONS and hence as elements that have Metaphysical Meanings.

 

We use the word ‘animism’ for such a way of seeing the natural world and which is different from that of the natural scientist. But the natural scientist CANNOT disprove this ‘animism' for it is simply a different way of seeing the world, which has its own validity. Also it is NOT irrational etc for it belongs to the filed of Hermeneutic Science and which has its own LOGIC.

 

 

 

 

Animism and Icon Thinking-2

 

Hermeneutic Sciences and the Forgotten Logic

 

The modern world particularly the mind that conflates the notion of rationality with positive scientific thinking,  has lost the other capacities for rational thinking. This is particularly so with the negligence of Hermeneutic Sciences which is broader in its concept of rationality and which can include the positive sciences as well as sciences confined to the field of sensory perceptions including their instrumental extensions.

 

The question that we have to raise is: Is the notion of rationality exhausted by that which is available in method of (positive) sciences?

 

Anyone who thinks so should reflect on dream experiences, metaphorical thinking and so forth and the Hermeneutic Logic inherent to them and which just as rational as any other.

 

The Icon Thinking is rational with Hermeneutic Logic capturing the sense of the rationality here. This logic is guided by the notion of getting illuminated and this too by the destruction of Ignorance, which is a kind of mental blindness, the inability to SEE. The Icon Thinking breaks through the existing mental blindness by making possible new vistas and hence new world of experience, new metaphysical realms.

 

So with this clarification let us deal with another issue- the animal sacrifice that has evoked so much interest.

 

 

The Meaning of Animal Sacrifice.

 

Here let us distinguish between Basic Icon Thinking (BIT) and Genuine Icon Thinking (GIT) where by the former we mean that which underlies the animistic thinking and by the latter the kind of thinking of Punitavati and so forth where there is genuine Bakti and metaphysical learning of a profound kind.

 

It is clear in the GIT, there is NO REAL animal sacrifice and where such themes are reflected upon, they are mythical themes that are INTERPRETED to get at the sense communicated. Themes like Siva skinning the tiger or elephant do NOT really mean animal sacrifice but rather natural processes where the anmas are purified by involving them in certain events in natural life. For the mad elephant and so forth are metaphors for individuals who are dogmatic and hence fanatical.  Flaying them is to throw them into social disputes, sometimes even violence so that the dogma is no more with them and the psychic fixations are removed. The dark elephant skin is this dogma that fixates the mind.

 

Now the meaning of sacrificing the chicken goat and so forth may be different from the above. The chicken goat and so forth are certain MENTAL COMPLEXES lodged in the deeper recesses of the mind and acting unconsciously regulates the normal behavior in a way that is NOT conducive for spiritual progress through metaphysical learning. The goat stands for unthinking non-reflective attitude and because of which there is the herd instinct,  following the crowd unthinkingly.  The goat within creates the herd instinct and the formation of communities and collectives on the basis of some common prejudices and where questioning such prejudices are disallowed.

 

Sacrificing the GOAT here would mean  FREEING oneself from the herd instinct, which fosters unthinking non-reflective way of life. He who sacrifices the GOAT within identifies a certain Mantra Complex understood metaphorically as a GOAT and gets rid of it from his unconscious. Thus it is kind of  exorcism, an extermination an expulsion and so forth and which results in self-purification.

 

However at the level of BIT where this form of thinking is tied not to the Icons but to the NATURAL objects but viewed as icons, the sacrifices as above may not take place in the mind but rather as an actual event. Goats chicken buffaloes and so forth may actually be sacrificed but in the name of God making this act of killing different from that for which they are killed for food. This is the way of sacrificing the mantra-complexes deep within - the goat chicken buffalo etc and which are CONFLATED with the natural goats etc. The individuals who cannot raise themselves to Genuine Icon Thinking and remain tied down to the Basic (and nature tied) Icon Thinking get the same effect as the mental sacrifices with these real sacrifices.

 

History also tells us that there is an evolutionary dimensions to this. In the deep past it was Basic Icon Thinking that was the norm even among the kings and nobles. Only gradually we see them being pushed as barbaric with sacrifice itself raised to mental planes.

 

 

 

 

Animism and Icon Thinking-3

 

From what we have said so far, we can see that Icon Thinking is dynamic in the sense that it can move upwards to higher cultural realms or degenerate into lower cultural levels. The Base Icon Thinking (BIT) is a low cultural level where the icon thinking remains tied to natural objects and because of which the cultural level remains essentially animistic. However with an inner dynamics of its own, the essence of which are related Hermeneutic Logic, it can EVOLVE into Genuine Icon Thinking (GIT) such as that we find in Bakti literature.

 

Mantric Thinking: The Magical and Spiritual

 

Now I want to point out that even this GIT can be transcended and through that metaphysical thinking  becoming Mantric Thinking itself where the icons of all kinds, the archetypes vehicles the geometric configurations so forth become mantra-complexes, the akkara-cakkaram, the mantra wheel.

 

Now here too we find the need to distinguish between Genuine Mantric Thinking (GMT) and Base Mantric Thinking (BMT). The BMT goes along with BIT where MAGIC holds sway and people believe that through MAGIC one can attain what one desires. Various kinds of pujaas are designed for the selfish need to attain certain things one desires and which may sometimes involve blood sacrifices. Just to give an example - some males and females indulge in what is called Maciyam or Vaciyam where a person loved or desired deeply is made to be virtually a mental slave through reciting certain mantras with a curl of hair of the person or making that person certain drink a specially prepared potent and so forth.

 

A study of the Shaman practices will give us more details about such magical procedures. In the deep past bulk of religious practices were like these as we gather from the Sumerian Incantation hymns, the contents of Atharva Veda and so forth.

 

Some of the  Tamil Siddhas who still practice these ancient rituals have even worked out an interesting analysis in terms Buddies and Siddhies both classified into EIGHT different types, and interestingly enough applicable o both higher GMT and the Lower BMT.

 

These as follows: the Buddies or the effective processes are:  Mookanam (seductive, attractive) Vaciyam (magically binding) Akarusham (attracting magnetically) Vitveesanam (illuminating), Peetanam (transmuting or transforming), Uccaadanam (exorcism, the driving away), Tambanam (arresting, stopping, fixating) and MaaraNam (destroying, killing etc)

 

Historically the most central among these is Uccaadanam, the exorcism where in the deep past  this was the technique of the medicine man, the shaman priest and normally designed to get rid off the elements causing both physical and mental diseases. In some countries such primitive psychiatric practices are still prevalent as in Malaysia where the bomohs are the experts of this art.

 

The Siddhies: aNima (that of becoming very close or minute) Mahima (becoming huge and great) Lahima (light and very mobile) Karima (solid, strong with a charisma), Piraatti (attaining whatever one desires), Prakaamiyam (becoming one loved and cherished by all), Vacittuvam (becoming immensely attractive to all) and Icattuvam (becoming the most powerful and hence Lord like)

 

These Siddhies permeate the INTENTIONS of these people with the Buddies constituting the PROCESSES that would serve to ACTUALISE the intentions. Thus a man who wants a woman to be tied to him permanently and like a slave,  would seek to activate the processes of Mohanam or Vaciyam so that she under the impulsions of such processes would have the aNima, an intimate closeness with him.

 

At the higher level such selfish intentions are given up and the Buddies come to be viewed as Sacred Play, the Games BEING plays to manage the world and the people each in accordance with what he deserves. The Siddhies become the BLESSINGS a person is granted and in virtue of the good deeds that are done by him.

 

While in BMT the INTENTIONS are primitive self-centered and worldly, such are NOT the case at the level GMT where the person remains intention free and if at all intentional, it is such that there is readiness to accept whatever a person is BLESSED by BEING. Such a person does to contrive to eek out what he wants by a kind of bribing or pleasing the spirits by lavish praises blood sacrifices etc  but rather simply  offers prayers just to be in the company of the celestial beings without having any expectations. There is an implicit TRUST that the gods will do whatever that is good for the soul and the person need not plead the gods for that.

 

 

 

Animism and Icon Thinking-4

 

One important way to understand the higher and lower forms of Icon Thinking i.e. GIT and BIT is to look at the INTENTIONS which are quite clear when we look at the Mantric forms of thinking where in BIT we have magical the shamanic and so forth while in GIT they are absent. Thus the evolution from BIT to GIT is a matter of TRANSMUTATION of the INTENTIONALITIES that condition the existence itself. Within BIT the intention to sacrifice animals, the goats sheep and so forth are PROJECTIVE - the goat within is projected onto the natural goat and which is then sacrificed to the gods by way of getting rid of the GOAT mantra-complex deep within lodged within the unconscious. When a person evolves into the GIT level, the Mantra goat lion and so forth are recognized as such and are then sacrificed by way of expurgating these complexes deep within. So we can see they are in fact psychiatric in essence where thereis a kind of self-exorcism effected but within the framework of sane worship with offerings of flowers, water, incense and so forth

 

Now it also appears that GIT contains within itself elements that destroy the Icon Thinking itself lifting the soul to higher dimensions where Moksa Thinking gets installed. But this kind of thinking, the highest in religious kind of life where the whole of existence itself is offered as a sacrifice, seems to be preceded by TWO kinds of indeterminacies - the Icon Indeterminacy with respect to the essence of BEING, and Descriptive Indeterminacy where the limits of language are also recognized.

 

The Indeterminacies and the Dissolution of Icon Thinking

 

The genuine Icon Thinking which involves exercises in Hermeneutic Semiotics, the seeking of MEANINGS of icons, their constituent features and the tales woven around them, bring about ILLUMINATIONS where there is the flow Lumen Naturale, a flow of LIGHT that drives away the preexistent DARKNESS which remains blocking the SEEING, the visions of the anma. As more and more LIGHT flows in on account of the clarities of MEANINGS are gained, there is less and less of this inner darkness or blindness. The eyes are opened up, so to speak, so that the person comes to SEE more and more especially the hitherto concealed and covered up.

 

Such developments in understanding and seeing is that which underlies the EVOLUTION of a person into the higher which also corresponds with seeking the meaning of higher an higher Icons and in the end even transcending them. The immediate stage of Icon transcendence is that which results in both Icon and Descriptive Indeterminacies. We can offer the following verses of Punitavati as evidences for such a kind of development.

 

61.

 

anRun tiruvaruG kaaNaatee aadpaddeen

inRun tiruvuruvaG kaaNkileen - enRuntaan

evvuruvoo numpiraan enpaarkadku en uraikkeen

evvuruvoo ninnuruavam eetu.

 

Meaning:

 

O Lord! You disclose yourself to me in so many forms. But even during  those early days where I did not know what form is your essential form, I became devoted to you. Even now after so many years I still cannot see your essential form. Now to those who ask me: What is the essential shape of your Lord, what can I say? So please tell me what is that which is the most distinctive shape of yours?

 

The rhetorical question: evvuruvoo ninuruvam? ( what icon form is really yours) comes as departure from her preoccupation with the different icons of BEING and their meanings.  After investigating the meanings of so many icons, she is now puzzled as which of these is the most essential, the most distinctive where as matter of fact there is NONE. BEING is BEYOND such Icons , He is wholly INDETERMINATE with respect such form.

 

Another dimension of this indeterminacy pertains the verbal descriptions in terms Siva VishNu Muruka and so forth , It is realized that BEINg is BEYOND such verbal network of descriptive terms

 

63.

 

vadivudaiya ceGkatirkku maaRaayp pakalee

neditulavi ninRu eRikkuG kolloo - kadiyulavu

conmudivu onRilaata cootiyaay collaayaal

nimudimeel tingkaL nilaa!

 

Meaning:

 

There is the Pure Light of undying brilliance that stands beyond the destructive Fire Light of great heat, illuminating the mind. Could it be that this is the Supreme Radiance that informs from within that it is beyond any verbal description but containing within itself all great beauties? And could it be that you telling without really verbalizing this truth and which is reason you are wearing the Crescent Moon of your head?

 

 

Here the most important term is ‘con mudivu onRillaata Cooti”, the Pure Light which cannot be captured by any system of verbal descriptions. This Pure Light is perhaps i the Brahman of the Vedanta, the Sunyata of the Buddhists, the Supreme Inner Radiance of all mystics throughout the world.  It is interesting that in Sumerian times itself En Hudu Anna describes the same as ‘u dalla-e-a’, the resplendent Light.

 

Thus it would appear that GIT leads to this experience of Pure Light which is the highest Icon but not  figural at all and which dissolves the determinate Icon Thinking and verbal descriptions lifting the understanding to a higher ground where such determinacies are sacrificed.

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Animism and Icon Thinking-5

 

 

Before we consider the degenerate forms of Icon Thinking that constitutes the stuff of psychiatry, let us consider some higher reaches of Icon Thinking where it is dissolved and Moksa Thinking is made to establish itself. This begins with the indeterminacies pertaining to icon form of BEING that is specific to him and along with it indeterminacies with respect to the verbal descriptions. Both these indeterminacies are the result of the Experience of Pure Light, the Brahman, the Sunyata and so forth, which PURIFIES one by freeing self from icons and concepts.

 

We can see that within Icon Thinking there is a built-in MOVEMENT of UNDERSTANDING which lands the self in this realm of indeterminacies thereby FREEING the mind from metaphysical systems religions cultic affiliations and so forth.  There comes to prevail UNIVERSALITY along with a mental PURITY where only LOVE prevails and BEING Himself is understood as LOVE.

 

Indeterminacies is NOT Nihilism

 

It must be noted that this state of being where BEING is understood as indeterminate in the above ways is NOT Nihilism - the suspension of believe in the TRUTH of BEING and a state of noncommittal with respect to the reality of BEING. BEING is, BEING has being but only that at this level,  THINKING fails either in terms of icons or concepts to comprehend Him. BEING just shows Himself as BEYOND the metal activities of thoughts and images and thereby defeating the thinking self of its egotistic endeavors. BEING shows Himself as there but killing every attempt of THOUGHT to map Him out. He shows Himself as a SURPLUS, wholly beyond and ABOVE thoughts and images of whatever kind. And in that process also bringing the aesthetics, the FEELINGS as the new dimensions of being-with-BEING.

 

We can see this in the following verse of Punitavati, as we can see in so many other verses in Bakti literature.

 

10.

enakkiniya emmaanai iicanai yaan enRum
manakkiniya vaippaaka vaitteen - enakkavanaik
koNdeen piraanaakak koLvatumee inbuRReen
uNdee enakkariya tonRu

Meaning:

Because I loved BEING-as-Siva  so dearly from the day I began to speak, joy swells my heart each time I think of Him. And because of that I kept Him , the Highest of all the deities, the Ican as my beloved who brings joy and happiness always. And furthermore I also had Him as my Lord and behold! The moment I had Him thus, as dearest unto me, I felt that I had attained the rarest of the rare. There cannot be anything more wondrous than this !

Notice that in this verse the feeling term ‘iniya’ , sweet, pleasant, joyous and so forth occurs in connection with the way Punitavati holds BEING-as-Siva. When thinking is made to fail, the FEELINGS come to the fore in maintaining the presence of self with BEING thus defeating nihilism

 

But this itself is pedagogic in nature for it unfolds essences of BEING beyond those through the icons and mythical tales. There is an understanding of a universal kind with respect to why BEING has promoted Icon Thinking and through that has brought the soul to this state of Purity. It transpires that BEING has played a Pedagogic Game where He has assumed the shape of the Instructor and Learner, the Guru and Sisya and teaching the anma through self-identification with either the sisya or guru or both alternatively.

 

Again we can quote the following verse of Punitavati to substantiate this.

 

20

aRivaanun taanee aRivippaan taanee
aRivaay aRikinRaan taanee - aRikinRa
meypporuLum taanee viricudar paar aakaayam
apporuLum taanee
 

Meaning:

For the purpose of illuminating the creatures filled with the darkness of ignorance BEING plays a game in which He stands as if the learner as well as the teacher who instructs in many different ways. At that point BEING also becomes that which is TRUTH and not the falsity. And He stands also as this vast universe with the suns and the moons earth and the space all in order to make this learning possible.

Comments

BEING plays an AS-IF game in which He stands as the creatures who LEARN and the Guru who instructs in so many different ways so that LEARNING takes place and the inherent ignorance is destroyed by the illuminations attained. BEING does not learn of course for He is ALL KNOWING, the carvaknjan as they say. The creatures will not learn on their own for they are submerged totally in the Metaphysical Darkness and without any impulse to learn. Under these circumstances it is BEING who plays a game and stands as if the anma and as if the Guru so that learning takes place and the anma gets illuminated.

But in this it also transpires that BEING stands as the TRUTH and hence makes the anma learn only TRUTH and not falsities. The very purpose of existence is to LEARN and learn only truths and not falsities. Thus BEING promotes a life of Mey KaaNal, that of TRUTH seeking and seeing and hence the anma becoming the TRUTH beholder, the meykaNdaan. The falsities and the mithiyak njaanam , no matter how appealing they are  to overcome the current psychological crisis will not show BEING and hence not something promoted as the very essence of learning.

But the anma has to be taken from the concrete to abstract, from the visible to the invisible, from the physical to the metaphysical. Thus BEING becomes the Physical World also -- the earth, the vast sky the celestial bodies with thousands of suns and moons. This is the VISIBLE form of BEING, the manifest form that becomes amenable to the sense perceptions. But He lies as the Deep Structure and becomes visible only for those who can penetrate beneath the physical and with the Third Eye now open see with x-ray vision the vibrant BEING beneath it all.

 

We can add that both Basic Icon Thinking (BIT) and Genuine Icon Thinking (GIT) are products of the Pedagogic Games BEING plays so that the animistic tendencies deep within the soul, perhaps lodged within the Unconscious as karmic traces are expurgated or exorcised by way of purifying the anma. Thus no matter how unpalatable it can be, we have to conclude that it is BEING who promotes sacrifices as the projective activities at BIT level where there is animal sacrifices and depth psychological sacrifices of mantra-complexes or the metaphoric at the GIT level. Thus the sacrifice becomes the central strategy of BEING in purifying the soul.

We shall see that this underlies even the birth of Moksa Thinking next.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Animism and Icon Thinking-6

 

Psychiatry and Religion

 

Fanaticism fascination with supernatural forces and so forth, the so-called ‘matam’ and ‘maaccariyam’, are also phenomena that we come across within the religious, not only in Hinduism but also in all religions.  Such tendencies or behavioral dispositions can also be seen as expressions of the animistic tendencies in man and which have been available in all religions from very ancient times. In Hinduism the high and low co-exist and which allows the prejudiced scholars to criticize it by focusing upon the low only and to the negligence of the high. This tendency to denigrate another  religion just by focusing upon the low to the exclusion of the high, as we have seen, is also an expression of the ANIMISM, the viewing of the followers of a religion as sacrificial animals whose religion and  also people who can be dispensed with and without any feelings of guilt.  The situation is similar to  sacrificing a goat where in killing it there is NO FEELING of GUILT whatsoever where the ethical sense is numbed by the animistic thinking that holds sway.

 

Now we have seen that there is Basic Icon Thinking (BIT), which evolves into Genuine Icon Thinking (GIT) through a torturous route of conflicts, disputes and wars. We have also seen that GIT is peculiar in that there are mechanism within that promotes self-destruction of Icon Thinking itself leading to indeterminacies in icon forms and conceptual thoughts but which do not end in Nihilism because FEELING of LOVE pushes itself as the way in which the reality of BEING is mainlined.

 

The Break down of BIT

 

Now the question arises: What will happen if the BIT itself suffers a breakdown so that a person is unable to make sense of the religious needs within him in terms rituals of sacrifice, including animal sacrifice?

 

Here we must note that, like what the depth psychologies say, the act of sacrifice is PROJECTIVE at the BIT level and metaphysical or depth psychological at the GIT level. The animistic person has a GOAT within him as the mantra-complex and which we can bring out in Access Tests such as Baum Test and so forth and because it is lodged in his Unconscious, the person is NOT able to be conscious of it. In such a person there is ABSENCE of self-conscious awareness of the existence of such structures deep within himself. However when he sees a natural goat, the inner GOAT is projected onto it and at which point it is seen as a creature that OUGHT TO BE sacrificed to the gods, the little deities for the good of the soul. Such a person in his intellectual immaturity may not be able to articulate even this much and when pressed he would cite tradition or simply FAITH. He is moved into such practices by forces within but beyond his ability to be consciously appropriate them. Thus there is a BLINDESS or IGNORANCE, which is part of the meaning of FAITH that he cites as the ground of authority for his actions.

 

Now even though this is irrational, it is NOT INSANE, a madness of the mind where social communication breaks down. The INSANE is one who loses the ability for communal living through various acts of communication. Something happens to him whereby this ability to communicate and coordinate his actions in social settings is lost.

 

Along with this there is also a BREAKDOWN in ritual actions, including the animal sacrifices. He ceases to act like a typical BIT person who can project the GOAT within onto to the external and natural goat and see that as what one OUGHT TO sacrifice etc.

 

Thus along with breakdown in communicative competence, there is also a breakdown in PROJECTIVE THINKING - when he sees a natural goat, protectively seeing that as a sacrificial animal is no more. The mental mechanism underlying such a projective thinking gets destroyed resulting in DEGENERATION of a fundamental sort in cognitive abilities.

 

The Sources of Insanity

 

This understating gives us a clue to understand the genealogy of insanity, madness. The cognitive mechanisms that underlie holding the unconscious elements as unconscious and the natural as natural and which allows the projective identification of the natural as the same as that in the unconscious,  breaks down irrecoverably and at which point the person ceases to be sane though irrational.

 

Why should this happen?

 

When we reflect on this breakdown we can see that the GOAT in the depths is NO MORE in the Depths but rather that which possesses the person’s mind totally that he BECOMES the GOAT itself. He loses his humanity and becomes the GOAT and so forth deep within which surfaces and overpowers him like a ghost and other evil spirits.  While the Shaman priest in TRANCE enjoys such a possession by the gods and is able to RECOVER himself at the end of he session, the INSANE suffers a permanent trance and hence torn outside the natural world of social existence and kept outside it.

 

And he assumes personalities consistent with the ANIMAL mantra-complex that possesses him.  The goat-possession may be harmless - make him simply mutter to himself things that are meaningless and incoherent. But when possessed by the TIGER and LION mantra-complexes he may be become sadistic, a brute killer and so forth. Psychologically speaking he becomes the TIGER itself showing in behavior all that are typical of the real tiger.

 

 

When possessed by the mad elephant, he may become one caught in the Fantasy World, unable to distinguish between reality and fantasy.

 

Schizophrenia may result because of multiple possession by such Mantra- complexes - sometimes the GOAT, sometimes the Tiger and so forth.

 

This account is not sufficiently detailed but allows us to view the phenomena of Human Insanity within the framework of Icon Thinking and not without some benefits for psychiatry. Now we realize that religious rituals, including animal sacrifices, may have a role in the recovery of SANITY among those who have degenerated into the insane. This also allows us to understand the Siddhas who insisted upon the importance religious rituals in Siddha Psychiatry.

 

 

 

Animism and Icon Thinking-7

 

 

Before we push further the implications of Icon Thinking for the hermeneutics of religious phenomena, let us recollect what we have accomplished so far.

 

We began with noting that the essence of higher religious life as exemplified by the Tamil Bakti literature and religious literature similar to that even as far back as Sumerian times, is constituted by Genuine Icon Thinking (GIT) where the various icons are meditated upon and INTERPREED as to the metaphysical meanings they contain within. Each such a hermeneutic endeavor furnishes an INSIGHT, an ILLUMINATION with respect some hidden metaphysical corner as result of which there is greater understanding of the world, of existence and so forth. This is the stuff of revelations or metaphysical disclosures- BEING Himself instructing through presenting Himself as the different icons and the mythical tales woven around them and communicating a MEANING through them.

 

The most significant feature of GIT is metaphysical pedagogy where the Guru is BEING Himself and sisyas the anmas themselves. The GIT is pedagogical in essence and the various scriptures are verbalizations of such spiritual pedagogies. Thus they become TEXTS for others who are NOT gifted also to participate in such a spiritual pedagogy through the exercise of Hermeneutic Semiotics and so forth.

 

Now the stage below this is Base Icon Thinking (BIT) where there is projective thinking as central and within which the inner goats and so forth are projected onto the natural goats and hence seen as creatures that OUGHT to be sacrificed and so forth.  Now we have also seen that when this projective thinking of BIT breaks down then we the onset of INSANITY where the person is POSSESSED by the inner animals and such evil spirits making him also behave like an animal and evil spirit and so forth.

 

Thus we see the Icon Thinking provides a framework to UNDERTAND a variety of phenomena related to the religious way of life both the pure and the impure and absence of both in case of insanities.

 

Now let us look at the various stages of development above the GIT and the indeterminacies it leads to by providing the experience of Pure Light and bringing forth LOVE as the manner in which presence of BEING is maintained and thus Nihilism is avoided.

 

Moksa and Immortality

 

The state of iconic and conceptual indeterminacies,  UNIVERSALISES the mind lifting it into the cosmic dimensions which allows the viewing of all religious phenomena, the past the present and the future as GAMES BEING plays in order to purify the anmas so that eventually they will enjoy a universality --  post-cultic and tribal ways of thinking and in that also express unconditional LOVE unto all.

 

There is a shift in the structure of INTENTIONALITY itself where it is no more tribal national cultic and so forth. There is FISSURE with everything earthly and historical, which is now seen as meaningless or quite irrelevant. The situation is like a book that has been read and understood and hence put aside as quite irrelevant. The whole of earthly existence is put aside as no more interesting.

 

It is with the death of INTEREST in the historical and phenomenal and hence intentionalities related to that,  that a NEW intentionality bursts forth and with a NEW MEANING for existence viz. Moksa, the Final Home Coming,  the Viidu PeeRu as they say.  As evidence for this kind of spontaneous inner development as belonging to the higher reaches of Icon Thinking we can cite the following among the hundreds that are possible from the Tamil bakti literature that abounds with such notions.

 

7.

yaanee tavamudaiyeen en nenjcee nannenjsam
yaanee piRappaRuppaan eNnineen - yaanee ak
kaimmaa vuripoortta kaNNutalaan veNNiiRRa
ammaanukku aaLaayineen.

Listen! It is I on my own accord began to worship the BEING in the archetypal forms where he wears the black skin of the elephant  , has a Third Eye on His forehead  to disclose that He sees all piercing  the dark screens  we impose on our selves and who smears the whole body with the ash, all to instruct that He dances the dance of destruction to allow the divine to flourish. And having installed Him thus  I feel that the tapas I am doing is the right one and that because of it my heart  is really good. I live now with the hope that if not today but tomorrow He will bless me with Absolute Liberation that would put an end to my phenomenal circulation.

 

Here the most important phrase is piRappu aRuppaan eNNineen, the THINKING about getting released from being reborn again and again i.e. existential repetition. There merges now a desire for dying the final death and hence being-there but WITHOUT being thrown into worldly existence again. Since it is INTENTIONALITY that conditions birth as such, thus this desire that swells the heart now is something the emerges from within is also that which dissolves the very INTENTIONAL structure of the anma.  The anma desires now a way of BEING-in-the-Cosmos without any intentionalities hence as Absolutely Pure.

 

There are TWO stages in this final phase of spiritual evolution- desire for IMMORTALITY and true Moksa.

 

Bit what is the difference?

 

Immortality is just prolonged living by overcoming death as such and it is still lining the normal worldly life but without encountering death on the way.  It is as if one has a medicine or an herb that one can eat each time death approaches and escape from it. .  Thus there is still INTENTIONALITY to continue living as before but without getting old and getting into the grips of death and so forth. It is desire for deathless life, a life in perpetual youthful vitality, a life of bodily renewal so that death is continuously defeated.

 

As distinct from this, MOKSA is the dissolution of intentionality itself so that the anma becomes Absolutely Pure, totally above the cycle of births and deaths INCLUDING that of living deathless i.e. immortality. What is desired however is Being-with-BEING and hence OUTSIDE the historical and phenomenal which finds expression the above verse as ‘Avanukkee aaLaakutal”, becoming His person completely. The ego of the anma is dissolved  with the self purified thus, radiating out only what is that of BEING, of Siva,  state that is called Sivookam, the SAMENESS as Siva , the state of Sudhaatavaita.

 

 

This state of being, once attained shows from within itself that it is the highest and hence the FINAL and hence the Moksa, the Para Mukti.

 

 

 

Animism and Icon Thinking-8

 

 

 

In this essay we want to return to the questions we posed in the second essay in this series viz.:

 

Is the notion of rationality exhausted by that which is available in the method of (positive) sciences?

 

Anyone who thinks so should reflect on dream experiences, metaphorical thinking and so forth and the Hermeneutic Logic inherent to them and which is just as rational as any other.

 

The Icon Thinking is rational with Hermeneutic Logic capturing the sense of the rationality here. This logic is guided by the notion of getting illuminated and this too by the destruction of Ignorance, which is a kind of mental blindness, the inability to SEE. The Icon Thinking breaks through the existing mental blindness by making possible new vistas and hence new world of experience, new metaphysical realms.

 

 

We have seen that from the point of Icon Thinking which constitutes the most crucial dynamics of metaphysical movement of human understanding the structures are the Basic Icon Thinking (BIT) Genuine Icon Thinking (GIT) that’s the stuff of Bakti and post Icon Thinking states of icon and concept indeterminacies at the burst of which emerge Moksa Thinking with concerns with immortality and Mukti. We have also seen that at the breakdown of BIT and which is essentially the projective kind of thinking, there is the onset of INSANITY with various kinds of madness, incompetence for social existence with failure re for communicative actions.

 

The Hermeneutic Logic of Truth-Experiences

 

The question is: In this movement from insanity to BIT that is essentially animistic to GIT that is essentially hermeneutic semiotics and finally ending up with Moksa thinking, is there some kind of RATIONALITY of the mind?

 

Yes certainly there is and with a LOGIC that is different from the Aristotle’s Syllogisms and the Euclidean kind of Deductive reasoning that dominates the Western positivism where there is assuming certain axioms as evident truths and so forth. We shall call this logic Hermeneutic Logic and will show that this Logic rules the kind of spiritual movement that we have worked out in terms of the various kinds of Icon Thinking and that it is another kind of expression of human rationality more comprehensive in its scope than the Western or positivistic.

 

It is quite obvious that the INSANE way of being, the madness of the mind is IRRATIONAL for possessed wholly by the icons by disrupting the projective way of accessing the contents of the Unconscious, the person becomes possessed by these elements and hence in a state of TRANCE with no awareness of the social ecology and so forth. The cognitive mechanism remain cut off from environmental commerce and hence also with the failure of communication. There is in other words ABSENCE of thinking as such and hence totally IRRATIONAL.

 

However in BIT, there is active social life, effective communication and so forth but thinking remains captured by the PROJECTIVE and hence not truly rational. We can call such individuals PRE-RATIONAL in the sense that while capable of reasoning in ordinary life,  are incapable of applying REASON to the metaphysical realms as they do NOT recognize the icons as objective realities but only the natural but projectively identified as sacrificial and so forth.

 

With this we can see that it is only with the burst of GIT, the Genuine Icon Thinking that man becomes truly RATIONAL for the Hermeneutic Semiotics that constitutes the way of life here is an INTERPRETIVE SCIENCE where MEANINGS are sought after and there is judgment with respect to the TRUTH of such interpretations. What is sought after in such a science are TRUTH-EXPERIENCES and which are noted by the ILLUMINATIONS they bring about. The Truth Experiences by virtue of absence of doubts and distortions ( Ta. aiyam and tiribu) breed apodictic certainly the experience of which affirms the veracity of the interpretations. In such truth experiences, the experiencing subject does resort to axioms and rules of inference to prove for himself and for others the truth of the truth-experience. However he would communicate his truth-experiences to others so that the others can also experience the SAME truth-experiences one has experienced. The Truth-Experince affirms itself once it becomes an element of one’s experience.

 

Hermeneutic Logic as Logic of Truth-Experience

 

We have introduced the important notion of Truth-Experience (Ta. meyyaRivu, meyuNarvu, meynjaanam etc) as the concern of Hermeneutic Logic as opposed to the  Logic of Truths as defined by the human mind in various ways. We do not define truth in words but rather let the experience of truth itself validate itself by the quality of the experience facilitates.  The most we can say is that truth-experiences are the sorts of experiences similar to the experience of light of inner illuminations, which by its very nature validates itself.

 

The whole of GIT way of Being and hence Bakti form of  religious existence where worship goes along with the science of Hermeneutic Semiotics such as that in Punitavati provides truth-experience after truth-experiences and through that illuminate the mind with deepening the UNDERSTANDING so that the person is LIFTED UP into higher ways of Being-in-the-World enjoying deeper metaphysical visions. Thus the Logic of Truth-Experiences, the Hermeneutic Logic is NOT simply mental acrobatics that a machine can be programmed to execute but rather an immensely Human Effort and by which the person also DEVELOPS as an individual becoming more spiritual and humane in the process. The Hermeneutic Logic, in contrast to the Mathematical Logic, by broadening the vistas, changes the whole personally of the person making him spiritually more advanced and so forth.

 

Logic and Aesthetics

 

We must note here also that the notion of Truth-Experience also includes the ethical aesthetical and so forth and therefore more inclusive than the strictly semantic of the mathematical logicians.  In the experience of beauty in every sphere of human experience, goodness in taste, fairness in judgment, care and concern in ethics and so forth there is also experiencing truths and enjoying truth-experiences. Thus truth-experiences are EXISTENTIAL, something that can pervade and condition the very fabric of existence as a whole.  In the experience of BEAUTY, there is truth-experience as long as it is an experience of what is objectively there as it is even though it may be outside the semantic linguistic and so forth.

 

Now we can see that a life organized as for gaining only such Truth-Experiences through also avoiding the false and misleading is AUTHENTIC life, the most meaningful life. The genuine life of Bakti as exemplified by the Tamil Bakti literature is such a genuine life and we can add, the essence of religious life in general.

 

The question arises now: What is in the world as already there that allows for such a development of rationality? What objective structures in the world underlies the genesis and growth of Hermeneutic Logic? In our next essay we shall try to explain this a bit following here Tirumular who has articulated important insights in relation to this interesting problem.

 

 

 

 

 

Animism and Icon Thinking-9

 

AruL(Grace ) is the Source of Human Rationality

 

(Apologies for the length but a patient and careful reading is recommended )

 

We have seen that human understanding moves from irrationality of the insane mind to the pre-rationality of the animistic thinking to the rationality of the interpretive hermeneutic mind.  As part of this and before it becomes post rational we have DECONSTRUCTION such as that Meykandar and AruNandi where every interpretive understanding, the darsana,  is explored and deconstructed so that only TRUTH which is understood as that which stands un-deconstructible is enjoyed. We shall explain this further in our series on Metaphysical Tamil but meanwhile let us note here the sources of the dynamics which makes the mind RATIONAL at the higher phases it.

 

Obviously there is something there in the world which acts on the mind of the human beings and which promotes rationality and eventually even transcending it by transcending THOUGHTS themselves and understand BEING within the aesthetics of LOVE so that the metaphysics of Nihilism is avoided. This process channels in this way not only thinking,  making it essentially rational but also the FEELINGS so that ethics and aesthetics is promoted.

 

The Dravidian philosophical thinking and to its eternal glory has identified ARUL as this element which is objectively there common to all and which is an expression of BEING himself. The ARUL is there in the mind of all including the animals, the irrational pre-rational rational and the post rational forever acting and illuminating the mind and in that alchemically transforming the creature essence so that higher evolutionary possibilities are enjoyed.

 

This was clearly perceived during the Bakti period  both by the Nayanmars and Azwars initiating a cultural revolution of a massive kind that has given a new depth and shape to Hinduism itself but now all buried deep down by Brahmanism that dominates Hindu thinking with its inherent prejudices towards the non brahmanic and non Sanskrit sources of Hinduism. There is a systematic overlooking of the essence of the Tamil Bakti revolution perhaps because it undermines the VarNasra Dharma by talking about LOVE that should condition religious life and hence the need  to avoid any discriminations and claims of special privileges because of birth alone.

 

Again Punitavati stands out as the most eloquent in this deep and profound metaphysical reaches.

 

9.

aruLee ulakelaam aaLvippatu iican
aruLee piRappu aRuppataanaal - aruLaalee
meypporuLai nookkumk vitiyudaiyeen enjnjaanRum
epporuLum aava tenakku

Meaning:

It is the Grace of BEING that rules this vast universe that comes as the heaven and  earth, the high and low and sentient and insentient and so forth and makes them move. It is this Grace that allows existential repetition that facilitates the destruction of IGNORANCE that finally brings about  LIBERATION, the freeing from the cycle of endless rebirths by making it possible the attainment of Absolute Understanding. And this is facilitated  by this Grace that implants within me the desire only for TRUTH and living solely by TRUTH and hence avoiding all untruths. But because I am moved by this desire to seek out only the truths, it becomes impossible for me put aside anything as lowly for all are equally expressions of the same Grace.

Comments:

This is certainly one of the most important verses in the long history of Saivism or Hinduism in general. After millenniums of evolutionary changes and after assimilating the best of the various religions that held sway in the land, LOVE evolved as the important ingredient of religious life and Saiva Siddhanta having been  forged in this crucible emerged as a metaphysics of LOVE or more precisely of Grace, the phenomenal expression of which is universal LOVE for all and for which reason BEING is also noted as LOVE ( anbee Sivam).

AruL means simply giving without any expectations , a pure giving even the human beings experience when they are moved by genuine LOVE. This sentiment MOVES ONE to give and without expecting anything in return and in which case it will become instrumental and hence simply a barter. This perhaps is the same as Nishkaama Karma of Bagavath Gita but with a different kind of metaphysical understanding.

The LOVE of BEING permeates the whole world -- the high and low , the sentient and insentient and so forth, the irrational pre=rational and the rational.  In fact there is NOTHING that is NOT an expression of the LOVE of BEING. Now how did they come to this view especially against the background of the discriminatory caste systems that prevails so stubbornly?

Saivism accommodates in its metaphysical thinking DEATH , not only that of  the creatures but everything including the vast cosmos. The aaNavam is there like the Black Hole ever ready to swallow and eliminate the worldly presence of everything, including this vast cosmos as a whole. Every creature carries within itself a Black Hole, the Yama, the symbolized aaNavam,  the God of death that is forever ready to bounce upon one and swallow the life energies and thus cause death. Thus living as such that we take for so granted is actually not only a struggle against this Black Hole but also a victory over it. And it is this Grace of BEING that vanquishes thus death bringing Black Hole and blesses one with continuous living and when dead , then another lease of birth so that there follows EXISTENTIAL REPETITION in an endless manner.

But along with this there is also another expression of this same Grace-- that of facilitating LIBERATION from this hold of the Black Hole so that one is forever outside its reach. And interestingly enough and as the most original contribution of this remarkable woman is the understanding that SEEKING TRUTH and  avoiding untruths, accumulating truths after truths is the WAY for attaining this final liberation and that this also a GIFT of this aruL, of Grace. Thus the Grace is not only LOVE but also UNDERSTANDING that shines in TRUTH.

TRUTH is NOT simply a matter of Logic, it is also a matter of survival and attaining liberation.

Punitavati notes an existential implication of this understanding  that she has gained, of course, through an  immense struggle  -- it becomes IMPOSSIBLE for her to hate and demean anyone or anything in the world. She has to ACCEPT all as they are for all them are equally the expression of the same Grace that had facilitated her own development and presence as such!

Tirumular very clearly describes in the following verse that it is this ARUL that is the measure of TRUTH ( aLavai) in the sense of truth as in ‘truth-experiences’  ( Ta. mey uNarvu et)

1798

aruL engkumaana aLavai aRiyaar
aruLai nukara amutaanatun teeraar
aruL aingkarumattiRku aticuukkam unnaar
aruL engkung kaNNaanatu aar aRivaar.

Meaning:

The ordinary individuals do not seem to know that it is aruL that becomes the measure of TRUTH in all states of consciousness -- the wakeful , dream states and so forth. They also do not seem to appreciate that it is the experiencing of truths that serve as the ambrosia that would grant both good mental and physical health. And furthermore they do not reflect and understand that ultimately it is  aruL that remains  the source of the the five fold  para-praxis that pervades the whole universe. And furthermore they don't seem to be aware also the fact that it is aruL that serves as the eyes for the all the creatures that would enable them to SEE as such and generate consciousness.

Commentary:

Perhaps this is one most powerful verses in the whole corpus of Tirumantiram and historically  also one of most influential and which led to the recovery of Hermeneutic Logic  as part of the Saiva Siddhanta  metaphysics. The concern is  the experience of TRUTH and this verse provides an interesting analysis of it within the context of analysis of behavior , behavior as praxis, as actions and within that the source of Meaningful Behavior with which this train of thoughts begin. It was noted that it is aruL that provides  a sequence of MEANINGS, the ought that forms the That-For-Which existence is.

Now it is being stated that such MEANINGS that ground and stabilize behavior are in fact TRUTH experiences and that such truth experiences pervade the whole gamut of human experience , the conscious as well as unconscious.

Why this important?

This immediately rules out Naiyaayika position that truths are products of certain procedures applied CONSCIOUSLY by the human intellect and hence something that belongs to the intellectual capabilities of man. This notion is implicit in the Naiyayika claim that " pramaa karaNam piramaaNam" : the piramaaNas are those which genrate truths on being applied. It is in this vein that they claim  Pratyaksa ( perception) Anumana ( inference) and Agama ( scriptural texts) are PiramaaNa. But here there is obviously confusing the notion of reliability with VALIDITY. All these ways of gaining consciousness may be reliable but not necessarily VALID for in each one of these ways there can be  errors and hence  falsities too.

We belief that a certain perception or reasoning or metaphysical understanding is  VALID on grounds other than the manner in which they are arrived at. Tirumular maintains here it is  the FLOW of aruL in whatever modes of experiences that leads us to exclaim that a certain  experience currently being experienced is that of TRUTH and NOT falsity.

The criteria for TRUTH is NOT just logical or epistemological  but also AESTHETCAL. The TRUTH experience in being illuminating, in being destructive of the inner darkness and metaphysical blindness is also MEDICINAL, it purifies and beatifies the mind -- it brings about both good mental and physical health in addition an inner elegance or beauty. As truths after truths are experienced the HEALTH improves and  a person also GROWS in his personality and thereby becomes healthier as a person. He also becomes more beautiful with more  of the inner magnetism, the vacittuvam and iicattuvam.

The Para-Praxis are the activities of BEING and which are there everywhere and all the time. It is noted that only those who note and acknowledge the presence of Para-Praxis as such can understand that there is this aruL even as the ground of these activities and hence understand BEING Himself as aruLon, the most munificent and benign.

Then another observation comes along with this. When we take for analysis not sensing but the SEEING and access it as the most primordial act that confers consciousness , it turns out to  that at the deepest level it is also  an expression of aruL. There cannot  be SEEING as such in the world if not for the presence of aruL in the world.

 

 

 

Animism and Icon Thinking-10

 

The Malam as the Source of Animism

 

It is very unfortunate that Saiva Siddhanta is not as well known as the different Schools of Vedanta which do not provide an understanding of animism that is so universally present and why when people degenerate even below BIT, the Basic Icon Thinking, they become insane with no control over their mind. Because Saiva Siddhanta accommodates itself to the presence of MALAM as one of the objects of Fundamental Ontology over and above BEING and the anmas, it succeeds where the Vedantic schools fail.

 

The solution to this riddle in metaphysics appear to have emerged initially in the garb of a mythical tale where Siva drinks the most potent poison that emerges when the asuras and devas churn the Ocean of Milk and looking which VishNu and Brahma take to flight. Siva drinks this poison to save the whole world from total annihilation and retained it is His throat and hence did not allow it to enter His body i.e. the whole universe and because of which He remains the Blue Throated - the NilakaNdan.

 

This is the Dark Killer Energy that modern astrophysics is discovering as the Black Hole that swallows even mighty galactic systems turning them into nothing.

 

This Dark Killer Energy when it permeates into the human mind and distorts it, becomes the Satan turning the individuals under its spell into animists tyrants merciless killers, religious fanatics terrorists and so forth. When it permeates more distantly the cognitive processes, it also calls forth the death of the cognitive processes and which results in stereotype thinking, unproductive of the novel and creative and so forth.

 

According to the Siddhas it is also present in the spinal cord of man and when the time comes it causes death and prior to that the disintegration of rational thinking itself. Thus we can see that the Malam when it dominates the anma can make it insane as well.

 

The Malam, the Dark Stuff as such is NOT the absence of light but a positive substance and which is a killer, that which makes man  a beast, animistic with installing animosity as the ruling passion. Punitavati saw this difference quite clearly as the following verse would indicate.

 

66.

 

midaRRil vidamudaiyiir um midaRRai nakki

midaRil vidaGkoNdavaaRoo - midaRRakattu

maitaaz iruL poolum vaNNaG karitaaloo

paittaadum nummaarbiR paampu?

 

Meaning:

 

O Lord! You appear as the Blue Throated Siva on account of drinking the most potent poison that would destroy the whole universe  and which was beyond all other devas to control and regulate. Now I have a question. There is on your shoulders  the poisonous snake also blue throated and which dances spreading out its hood.  Now how come it has also this dark neck? Is it because it licked the poison in your throat and became poisonous because of that? Or is it simply a matter of getting the black color by the same process? Please clarify it for me!

 

The snake is the KuNdalini in us and it has the dark Poison and NOT simply the color dark that belongs to the physical world , the absence of Light.  The Malam is a killer, a poison and hence cannot simply the darkness that comes to be there because light is withdrawn.

 

The Fundamental Ontology

 

Once we accept the reality of this Dark Killer Energy as there already and hence unconfigured, it follows that that which becomes animistic insane and later a bakta who would aspire towards Moksa and hence live as the Mumuksu, one desiring Moksa is the anma. It also follows that because of this the anma can never the BEING for being animistic insane and so forth is NOT something that pertain of BEING.  The anma can never the Brahman in disguise. BEING is He who CONTROLS the Malam, the Dark Killer Energy and hence a POWER above the Malam and which is the meaning of the Icon of NilakaNdan. BEING stands above the Malam and in control of it and because of which He has the power over life and death of all.

 

BEING-as-Siva is the one who can unleash the Malam and through that annihilate the whole universe, the Makapralayam and in which even the archetypes of VishNu and Brahma and so forth dissolve into NOTHINGNESS. So it follows that BEING-as-Siva is also the Power that regenerates the universe, brings it back into presence again.

 

This has been well argued for by MeykaNdar in his Civanjana Botam and I will not go deeper into it as it is being discussed in the series on Lessons on Botham.

 

However we can see that the FOE of animism is the presence of Siva in the soul and hence all the divine forces. Installing the various Icons and let there be metaphysical illuminations that are products of truth-experiences is the antidote for eliminating animism and let there be sanity love and tranquility among people, also as observed by Punitavati in the verse below:

 

67.

 

paambum matiyum madamaanum paaypuliyum

taam payinRu taazaruvi tuuGkutalaal - aampon

uruvadivil ooGkoLiceer kaNNutalaan koolat

tiruvadiyin meel cilambu!

 

Meaning:

 

On the Ganges that flows out from the head of Siva abide in peace the poisonous snake of sexual libido and the nectar oozing crescent moon. So do the violence prone fierce tiger and the nonviolent and peace loving female deer.  How is that this coexistence of such opposing forces has become possible? It is all because of the War Dance of Siva who assuming the brilliantly shining pure body of the gold has danced the War dance with shining anklets on His feet and in the process has given the Third Eye to all creatures Himself appearing as thus.

 

Comments:

 

Saivism exults in seeing BEING as the Dancer of various kinds of dances. Here we have a description of the War Dance symbolized by the brilliant anklets that He wears on His feet. But why the War Dance?

 

The creatures given over  to their natural essence are animistic - ruled by sexual libido, the poisonous snakes and a violent-prone ferocity of the ferocious tigers. The sexual libido comes along with involvement with the physical and within which lurks the poison that would kill and cause death. As opposed to this remain the amutu, the ambrosia as symbolized by the Moon, the Soma of the Rig Veda and Su’en of Sumeria. The copulation seeking sexual libido has to be transmuted into the LOVE seeking Arul i.e. the snake has to be made to live in peace with the Moon. Sexual enjoyment must come along within LOVE.

 

Similarly the inherent aggression that comes along with animism and which shows itself in various kinds ANIMOSITY has to be transmuted so that gentility kindness care and concern comes to prevail. The tiger in man must be vanquished and the deer made to be active or at least make them live in peace with each other. For them to coexist there must BRAVERY or heroism that battles only the evil. The aggression must be directed at only to destroy the evil.

 

This happens when they live together interacting happily and sleeping in peace in the falls of Ganges i.e. in the stream of life.

 

It is to bring about such a happy state of affairs that Siva dances the War Dance where he battles courageously with the sexual libido and aggressive nature of man. He has to dance the War Dance for unless violence is met with violence, it cannot be defeated and transmuted, sexual cravings into LOVE and beastly aggression into heroic bravery.

 

How does He dance this War Dance and why in the process He has to assume the shape of the golden body with the Third Eye shining on His forehead?

 

The GOLD stands for underlying TRUTHS and the Third Eye stands for transductive perceptions. Thus the War Dance Siva dances is a dance where the Third Eye of creatures are opened up so that  they can then see deep metaphysical truths and which alone can transmute their inherent animism, get rid of the animosity and with that make them essentially LOVING and gentle.

 

 

From: "Dr. K Loganathan" <subas@pc.jaring.my>

To: <akandabaratam@yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Re: [akandabaratam] Re: Animism and Icon Thinking-10(Final)

Date: Wednesday, August 27, 2003 9:25 AM

 

Dear Paul

 

I am using the word 'violence' in an extended sense where it includes 'soft

violence or 'psychological violence' such as we find in the hatred shown

towards untouchables ( dalits) by upper caste Hindus. Underlying this kind

of collective behavior is projective identification of a group of people as

something like 'sacrificial goats' and where the linkage with animism

emerges.

 

Let me  describe an event to make it clear.

 

I belong to a tribe called Muttaraiyars and who are 500 or so strong in

Sungai Patani. Recently my sister's daughter, a mother of four children held

a ceremony, the Kaatu Kuttu Vizaa', the ear-boring ceremony. It was held in

a Muniswarar temple, a temple of little deities as only in such temples goat

sacrifice and nonveg food still allowed.

 

There were about 150 people, humble and simple folks , quite innocent and

normally quite nonviolent. But no one thought  ill of the goat sacrifice and

there were  NO feelings of remorse at such a killing ( disallowed in other

temples in the same city). When I asked the man who sacrificed the goat as

to why he should do this in the temple, he replied it was by way of honoring

his mother's wish and who was still in a village in Tamil Nadu.

 

These same people will also be vehemently opposed to either their son or

daughter marrying someone from dalits caste - here the pariahs and

cakkiliyas. The animosity is softening now but a generation ago it was very

intense. In my youth I had the unpleasant experience of witnessing my own

father disallowing entry into the house a friend of my sister who discovered

by a Chettiyar friend of my father that she comes from the dalit caste.

 

This event left an indelible mark in me in addition to paining me immensely.

It just made me wonder why people do such inhuman things.

 

This kind of animosity towards a group of people who are same otherwise is

an expression of 'soft violence' that I am talking about and which issues

forth because of the presence of the projective identification of a group

almost the same as sacrificial goats.

 

When they accept the animal sacrifice , they also seem to accept this kind

of social discrimination.

 

Loga

 

 

 

----- Original Message -----

From: "Paul Kekai Manansala" <pkm@AsiaPacificUniverse.com>

To: <akandabaratam@yahoogroups.com>

Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 10:42 PM

Subject: [akandabaratam] Re: Animism and Icon Thinking-10(Final)

 

 

> You seem to be linking animism with violence when there is no such

> link that I'm aware of.

>

> Animism refers to the belief of spirits in all natural objects and

> may even lead to a less violent viewpoint. Totemism, which stem

> directly from animism, often includes the idea of not harming the

> totem. Thus, if a people has a snake as a totem, they will not harm

> or eat snakes.

>

> There is a theory that the coalescence of a large number of totemic

> societies and the need for recognition of the respective totems may

> have helped in the evolution of concepts like ahimsa.

>

> Regards,

> Pual Kekai Manansala

>

 

Dear Paul

 

Seeing a natural goat as a sacrificial goat presupposes what I call Basic Icon thinking which I describes as below.

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

Now the meaning of sacrificing the chicken goat and so forth may be different from the above. The chicken goat and so forth are certain MENTAL COMPLEXES lodged in the deeper recesses of the mind and acting unconsciously regulates the normal behavior in a way that is NOT conducive for spiritual progress through metaphysical learning. The goat stands for unthinking non-reflective attitude and because of which there is the herd instinct,  following the crowd unthinkingly.  The goat within creates the herd instinct and the formation of communities and collectives on the basis of some common prejudices and where questioning such prejudices are disallowed.

 

Sacrificing the GOAT here would mean  FREEING oneself from the herd instinct, which fosters unthinking non-reflective way of life. He who sacrifices the GOAT within identifies a certain Mantra Complex understood metaphorically as a GOAT and gets rid of it from his unconscious. Thus it is kind of  exorcism, an extermination an expulsion and so forth and which results in self-purification.

 

However at the level of BIT where this form of thinking is tied not to the Icons but to the NATURAL objects but viewed as icons, the sacrifices as above may not take place in the mind but rather as an actual event. Goats chicken buffaloes and so forth may actually be sacrificed but in the name of God making this act of killing different from that for which they are killed for food. This is the way of sacrificing the mantra-complexes deep within - the goat chicken buffalo etc and which are CONFLATED with the natural goats etc. The individuals who cannot raise themselves to Genuine Icon Thinking and remain tied down to the Basic (and nature tied) Icon Thinking get the same effect as the mental sacrifices with these real sacrifices

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

The projective kind of thinking where the NATURAL goats  are viewed as sacrificial goats with the  structure of they OUGHT to be sacrificed shares the same mental mechanisms as in the normal animism where the tree, for example, is seen sacred and something that OUGHT to be worshipped.

 

Now when a person is seen as a Kafir a Heathen and an Untouchable etc , and hence someone who  OUGHT to be killed, cast aside , deprived sociation, converted etc, what kind of mental mechanisms are work?

 

They are NOT seen as ordinary human beings but rather as people who can be ‘sacrificed’ is some way - cast aside  deprived their rights etc.

 

I believe what are at work are the SAME or SIMILAR mental mechanisms that we observe in animism, generally understood as a form of life conditioned by BIT.

 

Loga

 

 

From: "Paul Kekai Manansala" <pkm@AsiaPacificUniverse.com>

To: <akandabaratam@yahoogroups.com>

Subject: [akandabaratam] Re: Animism and Icon Thinking-10(Final)

Date: Wednesday, August 27, 2003 12:10 PM

 

--- In akandabaratam@yahoogroups.com, "Dr. K Loganathan"

<subas@p...> wrote:

> Dear Paul

>

> I am using the word 'violence' in an extended sense where it

includes 'soft

> violence or 'psychological violence' such as we find in the hatred

shown

> towards untouchables ( dalits) by upper caste Hindus. Underlying

this kind

> of collective behavior is projective identification of a group of

people as

> something like 'sacrificial goats' and where the linkage with

animism

> emerges.

 

How do you connect 'sacrificial goats" or untouchability with

animism?

 

In the example, you gave I still could not see how belief that all

objects have spirits is the causative factor.

 

Regards,

Paul Kekai Manansala

 

 

 

Dear Paul

 

Let me take the issue of ‘respect for life’ as part of animism. Yes this true and is shown even by Hindus quite extensively. The worship of trees, snakes, cows, hills, rivers and so forth are still widely present. Let us call this ‘sacral animism’ where WORSHIP is more dominant than SACRIFICE but still with the projective thinking where the natural object is NOT seen simply as natural but divine. I am not familiar with the Pacific Islanders but this is quite widely prevalent among the Hindus who also happen to be in support of ‘sacrificial animism’ with the goats chicken and so forth as sacrificial animals.

 

It may be possible that these kinds of animisms go together and both united as expressions of BIT.

 

For example we have Siva as the Deity of the Bothi tree, Mariamman as that of Neem tree and so forth. I have seen wedding ceremonies conducted where we have one tree growing on another and where the worshippers take such a union  as that of Siva and Sakti.

 

Here the Bothi Tree is Siva and the Neem Tree is Mariammam and such fusing of the deity with the trees is what I call Basic Icon Thinking or Pre Icon Thinking where it is not yet the genuine Icon Thinking where these are differentiated.  Here we can also, if you want, call such objects as Pre Icons as well just to make clear that they evolve later into icons with the differentiation of natural from the spiritual.

 

Loga

 

 

 

 

 

--- In akandabaratam@yahoogroups.com, "Dr. K Loganathan"
<subas@p...> wrote:
> Dear Paul
>
>


>
> The projective kind of thinking where the NATURAL goats  are
viewed as
> sacrificial goats with the  structure of they OUGHT to be
sacrificed shares
> the same mental mechanisms as in the normal animism where the
tree, for
> example, is seen sacred and something that OUGHT to be worshipped.
>

Afraid I can't follow you on this. In most cases of sacrifice, the
projection as I see it is simply that of sharing a meal with a deity.

In animism, natural objects are not "icons" in my understanding, but
they have independent spirits or life.


>
>
> Now when a person is seen as a Kafir a Heathen and an Untouchable
etc , and
> hence someone who  OUGHT to be killed, cast aside , deprived
sociation,
> converted etc, what kind of mental mechanisms are work?
>

But this is not really a characteristic of animistic religion.  It
is found just as commonly in non-animistic religions. The same can
be said for the practice of sacrifice.

Indeed in animism we see a respect of life rarely encountered in non-
animistic religion.

Thus, when Pacific Islanders chopped down a tree to make a ship,
they first performed rituals to thank the tree spirits and to offer
something in return.

One of the justifications of sacrifice in non-animistic religions is
the idea that non-humans do not have souls or spirits that persist
after death.  This is a characteristic of thought, for example, in
the Abrahamic religions.

Regards,
Paul Kekai Manansala

 

 

 

Dear Paul

 

I am using both ‘animism’ and ‘icon’ in an extended sense.  I have already explained this in connection with the word ‘animism,’  which carries different meanings but all  related to each other in terms of ‘family resemblance’ . I am basing my use in connection with the forms of animistic practices among the Hindus I am familiar with it and which may be a brand of animism available here but perhaps not elsewhere.

 

The same goes for the ‘icon’ which I use in the sense of Muurttam, Muurtti and so forth.  There is some precedents in such uses  as “Hindu Iconography” by Gopinatha Rao where the Icon is used to mean the various muurttams worshiped by the Hindus. The term ‘iconoclast” where it means one who does not believe in image or idol worship also contains a meaning similar to my use.  If the study of the details of Icons can be “iconography” then it seems to be reasonable to call “Icon Thinking” for the forms of thinking as is available in the Bakti Literature such as the works of Punitavati Poykaiyaar and so forth that I am studying now and where  these Muurttams or icons are hermeneutically reflected upon

 

The word ‘icon’ also has other uses such as in  Computer Science , Bruner’s Child Psychology where he uses the term to mean a kind figural perception in early childhood.

 

Now there are many related  words that I could have used : Archetypes, Imago Dei, Image and so forth but which are already in use in Analytical Psychology with a peculiar sense not conducive for my use.

 

From the Tamil sources there are also such terms as ‘Peru Vadivu’ as used by the Siddhas, ‘attikaayam’ as used by Tamil Jains and so forth.

 

I finally settled for “Icon Thinking” to go along such uses as ‘iconography” for the study of muurttams. The sense of my use will be clear once my postings on Icon Thinking are understood as to their essence.

 

Loga

 

To: akandabaratam@yahoogroups.com

From: "Paul Kekai Manansala" <pkm@AsiaPacificUniverse.com>

Subject: [akandabaratam] Re: Animism and Icon Thinking-10(Final)

--- In akandabaratam@yahoogroups.com, "Dr. K Loganathan"

<subas@p...> wrote:

> Dear Paul

>

 

I am not familiar with the Pacific Islanders

> but this is quite widely prevalent among the Hindus who also

happen to be in

> support of `sacrificial animism' with the goats chicken and so

forth as

> sacrificial animals.

>

 

You can call it 'sacrificial animism' or 'sacrificial Hinduism.' I

just don't think that the sacrific is traceable to animistic belief.

As I stated non-animisitic religion also employs the practice of

sacrifice.

 

 

>

>

 

 

 

>

> Here the Bothi Tree is Siva and the Neem Tree is Mariammam and

such fusing

> of the deity with the trees is what I call Basic Icon Thinking or

Pre Icon

> Thinking where it is not yet the genuine Icon Thinking where these

are

> differentiated.  Here we can also, if you want, call such objects

as Pre

> Icons as well just to make clear that they evolve later into icons

with the

> differentiation of natural from the spiritual.

>

>

 

 

I'm confused by what you mean when you use the word "icon."  My old

Webster's dictionary defines it primarily as a "representation,

image, picture, etc." of something. 

 

I really don't believe this is how animists view natural objects.

Types of trees, for example, have their separate identity and even

personality 

 

A sacred icon often is seen as sort of a partial residence of a

deity or other supernatural being created by humans.

 

Regards,

Paul Kekai Manansala

 

 

 



 

 

Dialogue with Sathia on Icon thinking and Related Issues

 

 

Dear S.T

 

These questions are very interesting and give me an opportunity to present a consolidated view of the dynamics of the human mind as I understand it. So pardon me for publishing this response to your questions to my usual groups so that other members can also benefit by it, if at all.

 

Icono-thinking:

 

One of the things that I am learning through my studies of Tolkaappiyam, metaphysical treatises in Tamil such as that of Punitavati Tirumular Namazvar, the SumeroTamil texts such MutarIbiyam Sirbiyam Suruppak’s NeRi and so forth is the presence something common to all- a kind of thinking that can be called icono-thinking (to distinguish it from the iconic thinking of Bruner and symbolic thinking in cognitive psychology and so forth.  By iconos (for want of a better term) I mean the symbols such as in the talisman in Sumer and Harappa and perhaps elsewhere in the ancient world and which is still available among the ordinary folks, totems, dream themes, puranic themes, the deities that are worshipped, the various kinds of metaphors analogies and figures of speech and so forth. Such elements are available also in the drawings people execute as in the Access Tests of Agamic Psychology such as Baum Test, Family Portrait Test and so forth

 

While these are nonverbal I would also include DISCOURSES- natural dialogues, casual remarks,  poems stories and other kinds of narratives that are verbal.

 

All these iconos are TEXTS because they embody a message. The reason why I call them TEXTS is that they have a DUALITY of Structure:  the surface and the deep just as any standard text.  The Surface Structure (S.S) is what is VISIBLE (and which allows for measurements) and the Deep Structure (D.S) is the MEANING that is made available through the various observable features of the S.S. However the important point to note here is that this going from the S.S to D.S is INTERPRETIVE (a special kind of interpretation that I have called ontopretation). This is the same as the ‘utti’ of Tol ( Sk ukti) where by ‘utti’ Tol. means the cognitive manoeuvres that would increase the  clarity in understanding and hence facilitate learning.

 

The following mode of thinking taken from Punitavati’s ARputat Tiruvantati exemplifies this icono-thinking:

 

42.

neerntu aravaGkoLLc ciRukiRRoo nii atanai
iirntu aLavee koNdu icaiya vaittaayoo  peerntu
vaLaG kuzacit taay vaLara maaddaathoo ennoo
iLaGkuzavit tiGkaL itu?


Meaning:

O Lord!  Why is that the moon you wear on your tuft remains always a crescent moon? Is it because the snake of KundaliNi swallows it thinking that it is ambrosia? Or is it because you cut it to size and let it be there always only as partial? Does it mean that the Woman who generates all, is not allowed to grow into fullness and thereby overshadow you? What is signified by the fact that moon on your tuft remains always the crescent moon?

 

What is Hermeneutic Science?

 

The kind of sciences that centre on such icono-thinking and where various kinds of TEXTS are taken and interpreted to gain an understanding are the Hermeneutic Sciences.  The texts that are maps of the mind are RELIABLE if they not fabricated and so forth and the interpretive understanding VALID provided only the D.S already there in the TEXT are sighted through the exercise of appropriate utties. Since both the S.S and D.S are objective, the procurement of such texts and the interpretive study of them are SCIENTIFIC but certainly in the Hermeneutic sense. Such a science was called NuuneRi by Tolkaappiayar where  mentions that this is how language both the natural and literary should be studied. The Sutra is the final Sutra in the Second Book that deals with syntax and semantics of language BOTH the natural (vazakku) and the literary (ceyyuL)

 

CeyyuL maruGkinum vazakkiyal maruGkinum

MeypeRak kiLanta kiLavi yellaam

Palveeru ceytiyin nuuneRi pizaiyaatu

Col varaintaRiyap pirittanar kaaddal

 

All the linguistic expressions that are there truly both in natural discourse and literary compositions, because they are functionally very diverse, one has to analyse and classify them Without failing to adhere to the principles of hermeneutic science ( nuunneRi)

 

Is this Traditional?

 

In a way yes and in a way no. In Dravidian culture and Agamic Hinduism, which is the same, it constitutes the essential methodological principle and hence can be said to traditional. However in the West where Science is understood as positive with theories, hypothesis, hypotheses-testing with experimentation to see whether it can be refuted (Karl Popper), this is NOT traditional. In the Hermeneutic sciences we do not have theories experimentation and so forth but only an UNDERSTANDING and Sadhana. We have an initial understanding and we can gain a consciousness of this existent understanding and noting its limitations practice some sadhanas - yogas, tapas, mantra recital, yajnas temple worship, metaphysical explorations through icono-thinking dance music and so forth to improve it further so that understanding as whole contains more clarity and the person himself PURER than he was before. The sadhanas keep on evolving -for e.g. now dialogues though internet is a new sadhana that was not available even ten years ago.

 

Mantrayana and Pure Mathematics

 

How do we explain the formations and impact on the understanding of these iconos?.

 

It is here the mantrayana of Tirumular becomes intelligible. Each icono is a Mantra-complex, an akkara-sakkarm as he says with a deity as the ordaining Power. BEING, though disclosing Himself through a mantra-complex and hence becoming a deity (also worshiped as the sacred images in the temples) INFORMS the ignorant souls the TRUTHS about Him and thereby illuminates them. The mantras can combine in infinite number of ways and hence deity presentations, the devas, of the ONE BEING can also be infinite (as they say: muppatu mukkodi tevarkaL).

 

Now when we subtract from the mantra-complexes the way they are linked with BEING and how they constitute a PLAY of BEING, then only PATTERNS and regularities of various kinds are seen. Since this subtraction eliminates the metaphysical and preserves only the physical, measurements as such become possible. With this blindness as to metaphysical, we have the birth of positive sciences that mathematicalize everything. A further abstraction or purification yields Pure Mathematics.

 

 

Knowledge Ecology

 

You can see that ICONOS are numerous, in fact countless in number. And since each icono as a deity-mantra complex, encrypts within it a certain UNDERSTANDING or knowledge which has to be wrested out from it through deep contemplation such as that of Punitavati above. Thus at any time there will be a variety of such knowledge that would constitute the ECOLOGY of KNOWLEDGE that you are thinking of.

 

You can see Agamic Hinduism is a culture that facilitates and promotes such an ecology and for which reason the temples have many deities within. These varieties disallow mental fixation to a particular formand thereby also discouraging the birth of fanaticism that we see so commonly among the monotheistic religions.

 

 

I hope the above remarks are sufficient to clarify some of  your questions and doubts. Feel free to ask more ( through the forums, if possible) to develop this kind of thinking further.

 

Loga

 

 

 

Dear Dr Loga,

How do I get to know more about Hermeneutic Science?

Is there a term for so called "traditional scientific enquiry' such as
involving experiments and supporting the hyposthesis using statistical
means.

In scientific enquiry, are we limited to tradional and hermeneutics only..
or are there other schools of thoughts as well?

As you would have infered by now, my attention is turning towards knowledge
ecology.

As I had narrated to you about the intense power of imaging sophisticated
patterns in my mind...an undefined picture seems to be constantly evolving..
a parallel world of colourful textual beings made up of knowledge units with
multiple dimensions..interlinked by networks..self organizing...with
inherent intelligence..constantly in motion..

I am keen to find out the dynamics, the mutual attraction like the molecules
have among themselves...

I visualise knowledge as not some lego sets, but more like building blocks
of biological cells.. with inherent capabilitiy ..inbuilt life form.

My utmost frustration at not knowing sufficient mathematics to develop full
scale theories...

There has to be a way,, a method...

Are our "mythology" a feeble attempt at similar venture in the past. Are our
temples, another depiction of the same..But none so complete..not
satisfying.

I do not know where to look..

What do I do?

Thank you.

Regards,
Sathia.
_________________________________________________________________

 

Dear Dr Loga,

Thank you for your kind explanation.

Yes, I do need more clarifications.

>Now when we subtract from the mantra-complexes the way they are
>linked with BEING and how they constitute a PLAY of BEING, then only
>PATTERNS and regularities of various kinds are seen. Since this
>subtraction eliminates the metaphysical and preserves only the
>physical, measurements as such become possible. With this blindness
>as to metaphysical, we have the birth of positive sciences that
>mathematicalize everything. A further abstraction or purification
>yields Pure Mathematics.


Which is the correct approach: bottom up or top down? Could it be the
other way around..Starting with mathematics and building up towards
mantra-complexes? If this were possible, would it allow us a tool to
develop mantra-complexes scientifically instead of awaiting devine
inspiration? I wonder if algorithms could be developed to capture
PLAY of BEING, perhaps by revisiting our puranas and other devotional
works?

 
I appreciate your view of TEXT as inclusive of discourses along with
iconos in the context of both SS and DS.

In your explanation of Hermeneutic Science, the major precondition
seems to be that mind maps should not be fabricated for it to have
scientific validity. Is there a way to determine fabrication to
preclude such invalid data?

>In the Hermeneutic sciences we do not have theories experimentation
>and so forth but only an UNDERSTANDING and Sadhana. We have an
>initial understanding and we can gain a consciousness of this
>existent understanding and noting its limitations practice some
>sadhanas - yogas, tapas, mantra recital, yajnas temple worship,
>metaphysical explorations through icono-thinking dance music and so
>forth to improve it further so that understanding as whole contains
>more clarity and the person himself PURER than he was before. The
>sadhanas keep on evolving -for e.g. now dialogues though internet is
>a new sadhana that was not available even ten years ago.
 
How would you then accept say a PhD thesis of a research student in a
submission involving Hermeneutic Science? Do the normal rules of
research fall apart here? What new rules are at work?


> How do we explain the formations and impact on the understanding of
>these iconos?.
> It is here the mantrayana of Tirumular becomes intelligible. Each
>icono is a Mantra-complex, an akkara-sakkarm as he says with a deity
>as the ordaining Power. BEING, though disclosing Himself through a
>mantra-complex and hence becoming a deity (also worshiped as the
>sacred images in the temples) INFORMS the ignorant souls the TRUTHS
>about Him and thereby illuminates them. The mantras can combine in
>infinite number of ways and hence deity presentations, the devas, of
>the ONE BEING can also be infinite (as they say: muppatu mukkodi
>tevarkaL).
>

Is there a monologue at work here coming from the BEING to us? An
external source imparting knowledge? Is it not something that is at
work within the capacity of brain using the various faculties for
observation, analysis and synthesis? If BEING is imparting knowledge,
under what conditions can it be obtained?

>You can see Agamic Hinduism is a culture that facilitates and
>promotes such an ecology and for which reason the temples have many
>deities within. These varieties disallow mental fixation to a
>particular formand thereby also discouraging the birth of fanaticism
>that we see so commonly among the monotheistic religions.
>

Am I correct in understanding the deities above as multiple
universities of specialisation?

Thank you.

Regards,
Sathia

--------------

 

 

Mathematics and Mantrayana

 

 

Dear S.T

 

Let me now try to respond to your following question.

 

 

 

Loga

 

Now when we subtract from the mantra-complexes the way they are
linked with BEING and how they constitute a PLAY of BEING, then only
PATTERNS and regularities of various kinds are seen. Since this
subtraction eliminates the metaphysical and preserves only the
physical, measurements as such become possible. With this blindness
as to metaphysical, we have the birth of positive sciences that
mathematicalize everything. A further abstraction or purification
yields Pure Mathematics.

 

Sathia


Which is the correct approach: bottom up or top down? Could it be the
other way around..Starting with mathematics and building up towards
mantra-complexes? If this were possible, would it allow us a tool to
develop mantra-complexes scientifically instead of awaiting devine
inspiration? I wonder if algorithms could be developed to capture
PLAY of BEING, perhaps by revisiting our puranas and other devotional
works?

 

Response (Loga)

 

Which is the correct approach: bottom up or top down? I think, as already explained by Sivanjana YogikaL in his Sivanjana Paadiyam, it is a HELICAL kind movement of understanding where with some initial  intuitive grasp of fundamentals one begins with the S.S, goes to D.S and then comes back to S.S and begins a new cycle with a DEEPER and clearer understanding -  the initial intuition becomes a more differentiated understanding. This helical movement comes to an end at the point of Sivanjnaanam, the Absolute Understanding that discloses from within itself that it is the LIMIT, the Siddhanta.

 

Let me elaborate this a bit more by taking the example of understanding Bharata Nattyam devised as a Sadhana for understanding the essence of Saiva Siddhanta.

 

We have a beautiful lady performing the Bharata Nattyam  on the stage: How do we understand it?

 

  1. There is already an initial understanding of what the dance communicates as a whole and as we get absorbed into the performance, unknown to us, there are cognitive processes activated that inform us MORE of the message of the dance.  This way of understanding the dance is the appreciative where as a spectator we are transposed into a knowledge-ecological region and through that made to LEARN more and more  and thereby IMPROVE our understanding. Of course, since such a form of dance is highly demanding, is NOT that which will be appreciated by all. It requires a prior intellectual tuning (Ta. pakkuvam), as they say.

 

  1. Now as opposed to this, which throws the learner into the distant spectator status and confines him/her into that state of Being with its attendant limitations, there is another mode of understanding which allows the person to understand the message even more deeply and intimately. This is the method of imitatio (or simulation in praxis) where the person instead of being a spectator who absorbs himself into the dance, in fact becomes the dancer himself. As he learns the art of dancing and dances out the Bharata Nattyam fully absorbed in the dance itself, just like the initial dancer, he LIVES the dance and thereby comes to have an understanding of the ESSENCE of it and which he may not always be able to explicate and expound to others. This is like tasting the fruit by eating it.

 

  1. In Saivism this becomes a Sadhana for understanding the DANCE of Siva, which is already there in the world. Instead of learning from the books, the upatesas of some Gurus and so forth, the person dances and dances to understand the DANCE in the world.

 

  1. Now a typical Westerner  (from the days of the Greeks who wrote Euclid’s’ Geometry that set the model) would ANALYSE the movements and expressions and try to understand the dance by creating a mathematical picture  of the various kinds movements of the dance and their elegance (Isn’t this what they do in Ballet?). In modern times, with the aid of computers, he may even develop various kinds simulation models or even robots that would execute the same dance and though which he can gain an understanding of the mathematics or geometry of the movements involved. However if they say that this is all to understanding the dance, then you can see that they are WRONG. In this way of understating the dance, the HUMAN as well as the experiences of BEING through that dance are missed out, I think.

 

  1. This is the difference in understanding the world in terms of mantrayana and mathematics. The mantrayana by making us understand the DANCE of Siva or BEING that is already in the world affords a SPIRITUAL experience, the experience of an anma of BEING. The mathematical, by remaining systematically BLIND to the human as well as the spiritual, provides not a wrong understanding (for the movements are there) but only a partial understanding.

 

  1. The movement from mantrayana to mathetical (or robotic science) and vice versa, is possible but this will also be from the S.S to the D.S and vice versa and hence helical, in a way. From the grasp from the mathetical, the mind can go into the mantraic and having gained some additional clarities return to the mathetical to be more creative even there. This may account for the fact that most of the brilliant philosophers in the West, Plato Descartes, Pascal, Kant, Russell and so forth, were in fact  great mathematicians. Perhaps one becomes a great mathematician only because one is able to dig into the mystical and which is the realm of mantras.

 

 

Dear S.T

 

Now I come to your second question that is highly relevant for those research scholars who want to do their research in Hermeneutic Science. Glad to inform you that recently a student of mine who did his masters under my supervision has managed to pass his PhD as well after being scrutinised by several eminent scholars. (In Usm, Penang) Now another candidate is pursuing research at PhD level but in Agamic Psychology where he uses the Access Tests s his main research tool. So you can see that slowly but definitely the methodology of Hermeneutic Science is gaining ground and soon it may become as legitimate as any other.

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

 

Sathiya’

 

I appreciate your view of TEXT as inclusive of discourses along with
iconos in the context of both SS and DS.

In your explanation of Hermeneutic Science, the major precondition
seems to be that mind maps should not be fabricated for it to have
scientific validity. Is there a way to determine fabrication to
preclude such invalid data?

 

Loga

In the Hermeneutic sciences we do not have theories experimentation
and so forth but only an UNDERSTANDING and Sadhana. We have an
initial understanding and we can gain a consciousness of this
existent understanding and noting its limitations practice some
sadhanas - yogas, tapas, mantra recital, yajnas temple worship,
metaphysical explorations through icono-thinking dance music and so
forth to improve it further so that understanding as whole contains
more clarity and the person himself PURER than he was before. The
sadhanas keep on evolving -for e.g. now dialogues though internet is
a new sadhana that was not available even ten years ago.

 

Sathiya
 
How would you then accept say a PhD thesis of a research student in a
submission involving Hermeneutic Science? Do the normal rules of
research fall apart here? What new rules are at work?

 

 

Response:

 

Your questions touch upon the notion of Reliability and Validity that in the Indian circles is noted as PiramaaNa (that has different but allied meanings in different schools of thought). Since what are studied are TEXTS in the most general sense that I have already indicated, with the a view to gain the TRUTH pertaining to the understanding, say of a child who is having some problems, we have to obtain a TEXT that is a true map of his existing understanding. Anything that is NOT so, will not be RELIABLE for they do not map out or present the contours of his understanding. Such unreliable texts are numerous - e.g. when the parents or teachers interfere and guide even the hands in the drawing of the pictures ( because the child finds it difficult or takes inordinately long time) then drawings are UNRELIABLE as they contain elements from the mind of the parents or teachers. Another one will be  when he write essays that he has memorised but written in the classroom situation as if one’s one. Such textual productions must come from within the child for only then they are pictures of the mind or understanding that is already there. This does not mean that he cannot be influenced by whatever he has learnt and retains in his memory. All such textual productions presuppose some kind of prior learning. But the important point is that the child has integrated all these into various kinds of Gestalts, collective pictures or representation or iconos which are what we are trying to ACCESS and capture.

 

Now with respect to the notion of ‘normal rules of research”. Such norms are social and something that comes to prevail as consensus among a community of research scholars. And as you know such paradigms can change (thanks to T.S Kuhn). In fact if you see at the history of science, the mathetical surfaces only after Galileo and which was important. But prior to that the Hermeneutic Sciences existed in the West as well in India (and perhaps also China). Tolkaappiyam (300 B.C) is a scientific treatise, one of the finest achievements of the rational mind (as said by Emeneu). In fact the many medical treatises such Sishruta Samhita, political treatises such as Artha Sastra, on fine arts such as Barata Natya Sastra and so forth are scientific in the Hermeneutic sense where different natural texts are taken for studies.

Of course this native tradition of science is now lost even in the Indian circles and  it is almost non-existent. At the moment, I get the impression that,  every intellectual efforts of the Indian scholars seems to concerned about Aryanism and how great Vedism is, Sanskrit is and so forth. Against this you shall meet a lot of resistance from the Indians themselves (as I have  already experienced)

 

Now the existing paradigm appears to be the methodology of the positive sciences. However in the West, the legitimacy of this methodology for the human sciences has been seriously questioned (by Dilthey for e.g.) and we have now several interpretive social sciences. We have conversational analysis, discourse analysis, ethno-methodology, symbolic interactionism and so forth and which are mainly interpretive.

 

If the examiners of the PhD thesis in Hermeneutic Sciences are familiar with such emerging methodologies in the Human Sciences, I believe, they will NOT question the legitimacy of the method of the Hermeneutic Science which, to  my mind is more rigourous than anyone of the above with  very clear notions of reliability and validity, the most important elements of scientific methodology.

 

 

 

Dear S.T

 

Now I come to your question that I think is related to the way the anma interacts with BEING.

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

Loga

 

 How do we explain the formations and impact on the understanding of
these iconos?.


It is here the mantrayana of Tirumular becomes intelligible. Each
icono is a Mantra-complex, an akkara-sakkarm as he says with a deity
as the ordaining Power. BEING, though disclosing Himself through a
mantra-complex and hence becoming a deity (also worshiped as the
sacred images in the temples) INFORMS the ignorant souls the TRUTHS
about Him and thereby illuminates them. The mantras can combine in
infinite number of ways and hence deity presentations, the devas, of

the ONE BEING can also be infinite (as they say: muppatu mukkodi tevarkaL).


Sathia


Is there a monologue at work here coming from the BEING to us? An
external source imparting knowledge? Is it not something that is at
work within the capacity of brain using the various faculties for
observation, analysis and synthesis? If BEING is imparting knowledge,
under what conditions can it be obtained?

 

Response

 

Yes there is BEING instructing us all the time hence there are  natural pedagogical process where BEING assumes the form of MahaGuru that the Saivites appreciate as TatciNamurthy, the VaishNavas as Lord Krishna the Saktas as Kalaivani and so forth. The Geetopatesam of Bagavat Gita is one way in which this natural pedagogy is given a literary expression. At the highest level it becomes what Tirumular calls SuuNya Sambaashanai, a silent dialogue with BEING and hence something nonverbal.

 

Let me elaborate this a bit further.

 

The whole of existence is pedagogical in which even the animals learn. By being born embodied and given a certain ecological condition with which the bodily organs agree with, there is survival as well as effecting various kinds of actions. In every action that is executed there is LEARNING for something new about the world becomes part of the understanding. Like my neighbour’s cat - while I am in the hall it tries to enter the house but seeing my stern face it does do that, backs off and goes away. It has learned the meaning of my stern face and organises its subsequent behaviour accordingly. All living creatures, no matter how promitive,  have this capacity

 

Human beings in addition to acting bodily as above , are capable of Speech Acts (Ta. kuuRRu) and Mental Acts (Ta. kuRippu etc). Thus they are said to be capable of effecting actions through Kaayam (body) Vaakku (language) and Manam (mind)

 

However at the level of mental actions bordering the meditative, contemplative and Yogic there is mental action in terms symbolic iconos - experiencing archetypes and seeking to wrest out the meanings of the TEXTS that are unfolded. For example in my current study of Kantaranubuti where the MEANINGS of the Veel, Peacock and so forth are sought by AruNakiri, we have an example of this.

 

 

  aadum pariveel aNiceevalenap

 

  paadum paNiyee paNiyaa aruLvaay

 

  teedum kayamaamukanaic ceruviR

 

  saaduw thaniyaanai sakootharanee.

 

 

 

  Meaning:

 

 

  O the brother of the unique and elephant faced deity, Ganesha, who emerged victorious in the battle with the elephant-faced Asura who forever seeks this and that, grant me a way of life in which the only task I indulge in is the praise of the dancing peacock, the Spear and the flag Ceval, the symbolic adornments of Lord Muruka!

 

This is a dialogue of AruNakiri with BEING who has presented Himself in the archetypal form  of Murukan with the Peacock, Spear, thre Fllag of the Ceval and the theme where he destroys the Asuras.

 

In such situations BEING stands not only external but also ABOVE for otherwise such instructions will not be possible. Just as the teacher in the classroom has to be an OTHER and ABOVE the students, so it is here.

 

But BEING can also be the SAME as the soul (Meykandar: avaiyee taaneeyaay) and because of which one intuits one’s divine essence and exclaims ‘ I am God’  “ I am Brahman “ and so forth which constitutes historically was the grandest achievement of the Upanishads.

 

However further clarities disclose that even the self believing thus is after all because of the GRACE of BEING or more specifically because of  the AS IF PLAY of BEING. BEING plays a psychological game in which the miserable soul is made exclaim that it is in fact god and ACT in various ways to become god. However when it dawns that the anma itself is NOTHING and that whatever it is, it’s all the GRACE of BEING, then we have the birth of Bakti and along with it Saiva Siddhanta as a metaphysical understanding that goes well beyond the Upanisadic.

 

It is only at this point the Fundamental Ontology of Pati Pacu and Paasam is clearly grasped and the soul as the Pacu seeks to UNITE with Pati to rid itself of the binding Paasam.

 

Thus the soul, the Pacu and BEING, the Pati are DISTINCT and because of which there can be a DIAGOUE between the two. At the highest level this dialogue is Suunya Sambasanaai, a silent dialogue where as various metaphysical questions emerge in the soul, BEING who is always one-with it,  recognises the questions and provides a reply within thereby becoming the Guru.

 

This pedagogy can take place in various ways even prior to that as already noted by Meykandar. BEING can conceal Himself (pin NinRu) and provide the replies through dreams, the various iconos in the temple, mythological stories  and so forth.  Next to that He can possess a human being, transform him into a Teacher of Metaphysics and owning his mouth provide the replies in a language and form the person can understand (mun ninRu). Of course the final stage is when He Himself becomes the Guru within , in the mind itself, without concealing Himself but something that He does only for the Vinjanjakalar types of souls, the souls that are Pure because free of the Mummalam.

 

You probably never heard of such aspects of Hinduism. I am NOT surprised - because of the Aryanism, which equates Hinduism with Vedism and Brahmanism, the real Hinduism that is LIVED by the people, has been pushed into the background. Unless the Hindus learn and incorporate as part of their heritage the immense wealth of Metaphysical Wisdom in Tamil literature, I don’t thing a balanced view of Hinduism would ever emerge.

 

 

Dear S.T

 

Let me now come to the following question which I think is about TRUTH  experience, I notorious problem in philosophy. In the West there are many theories: the semantic theory , pragmatic theory, correspondence theory and what not.  Similarly in the Indian circles.  I have my known view that  I owe to the  Hermeneutical foundations Of Tol.  and which I have explained in my Azivil UNmai. I shall try to describe only  the essences here.

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

 

Dear Dr Loga,

Thank you again for your explanations.

I do have a portrait at home showing Shiva in a silent graceful discourse
to a silently attentive Parvati with closed eyes.

You wrote:


 Yes there is BEING instructing us all the time hence there are  natural
pedagogical process... BEING can conceal Himself (pin NinRu) and provide
the replies through dreams, the various iconos in the temple, mythological
stories  and so forth.  Next to that He can possess a human being,
transform him into a Teacher of Metaphysics and owning his mouth provide
the replies in a language and form the person can understand (mun ninRu).
Of course the final stage is when He Himself becomes the Guru within , in
the mind itself, without concealing Himself but something that He does only
for the Vinjanjakalar types of souls, the souls that are Pure because free
of the Mummalam.
 

How do I recognize that what I am experiencing is an instruction from
Thatchinamuurthi?  While trying to understand the Buddhist meditation
processes, I was warned of the ease with which our attention is diverted by
illusions. How do I separate the real from the apparent or even the playful
creations of my mind?

anbudan,
Sathia.

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

Response (Loga)

 

Yes there are many such portraits - that of KrishNa advising Arjuna, Muruka as the Takappan Sami (the father god) expounding Civanjanam to Siva and so forth. In fact all Tantras are cast into the form of dialogue between Siva and some other deity - Parvati Kumara and so forth.  I have some Tantras written by the Indonesian Panditas in Old Javanese and which is also cast in the dialogue between Siva and Kartikkeya.

 

Such representations have as their Deep Structure the pedagogic processes that are already there in the world - BEING is in a dialogue with us all lifting us up from our bestial conditions to something above - more human and spiritual. Such texts and portraits are representations of our intuitive grasp of this aspect of nature by way of telling us that we must turn inwards and LISTEN to the words of BEING that are always available there in the mantra form and which is the TRUE VEDA, the Njaal Veetam of the Tamils, the True Veda that is supremely illuminating (Njaal: to shine out)

 

Now experience becomes an experience of TRUTH when we see precisely as shown by BEING. For the natural (and spiritual dialogue that is already going on) is also one of SHOWING by BEING and SEEING by the anma.  The anmas are able to learn and hence have an understanding only because there is a showing and anmas enjoy a seeing because of this prior showing. It is only because of this the Indian philosophical systems are called darsana, a vision which is a Sanskritization of Tamil kaadci and which is as old as Tol. This notion, which belongs to Dravidian Hermeneutics, enters the Indian scene through the Naiyayikas who rendered the essence of Tol. into Sk.

 

How can we be sure of this?

 

The second book Tol, the Collatikaaram begins with an observation on the Genesis of Speech (kiLaviyaakkam) where it is noted that the primary condition of the emergence of utterance (as speech acts or kuuRRu or KiLavi) is that of dialogue where questions are raised and replies are given. There are many sutras dealing with the grammar of such dialogues, what constitutes the coherence between such speech acts and so forth.

 

If this is so, we can raise another question: how does speech originate as questions in the first place? There must be an initial understanding implanted in the mind along with the presence of certain elements there which raise doubts and uncertainties and which in turn prompt the raising of questions provided the linguistic competence is also already available. Recently the evolutionary psychologists are thinking in terms of some speech modules that came to be in the mind of the Homo Sapiens (about 200, 000 years ago) and because of which the gift of language came to be and the children deriving it genetically also enjoy the competence. But I think that these mental modules are in fact mantra-complexes or yantras that also come along with an archetypal form of BEING consistent with that --, Kalaivani, the Vaak Devi the Dingir Nishaba of the Sumerians (the modern Saraswati) and so forth.

 

The point is the raising of questions in speech is there as the fabric of human understanding only because there are iconos of a certain type, peculiar to the human beings perhaps and it is this, which is captured in such portraits as Parvati listening attentively to Siva and so forth.

 

But why should BEING do such a thing? He SHOWS something, makes the anma become aware of something through making it also SEE what is shown so that by noting its own ignorance as a result of it, would raise questions.

 

Now cutting it short, in this Showing - Seeing dialectics, of course the anma may not see exactly as shown. However when it does, then there is AGREEMENT with BEING and this feature of the dialogic process is indicated to the anma by making it experience that as an experience of truth, otherwise false etc. Thus each time we experience a seeing as shown by BEING we also enjoy a vision the same as BEING.

 

This kind of truth experience is that which Descartes in the West was trying to articulate in terms of the notion of apodictic certainty, an inner firmness quite difficult to explain (I think).

 

Truth Experience as Naajna KaRpam

 

There are other criteria which may help us somewhat and which are provided by Tirumular. This is also a foundational notion in Siddha medical system.

 

Each experience of TRUTH as above, is gaining illumination and hence a destruction of inner darkness. It is LIGHT that shows from within itself that it is LIGHT by dispelling darkness. Truth shows itself as TRUTH by destroying the falsities that were there parading as truths. And because of this, such illuminations gained are psychotherapeutic in their effect - drive away maddening confusions, delusions, illusions, misconceptions, misunderstanding, unwarranted prejudices  and so forth by the INNER CLARITY they afford, and because of which it is also n[known as Nnana KaRpam, (Gnostic Pills). Thus truth experience comes along with gaining a CLARITY which in its turn breeds the feeling of certainty, the feeling that yes, I am right undoubtedly etc. (aiyamum marutkaiyum cevvitin niikki)

 

As a consequence of such inner clarities that  also make the person PURE or Suttam, the person also begins to enjoy various kinds of Siddhies - the aNima, Karima Lahima, Makima. Pratti, Pirakaamiyam, Vacittuvam and Iicattuvam. The attainments of these Siddhies TRANSFORM the personality of the person in such a way that he enjoys more and more of both physical and mental health.

 

I have explained all these in considerable details in my TiruneRit TeLivu. Please refer.


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