The TES Hypothesis
It is a mind that is unprejudiced by religion, philosophy, and cultural conditioning. It is going naked in the stars.
The TES hypothesis is obvious, fundamental, and in harmony with a state of mind that values both science and cosmic consciousness. It declares that the universe and all of its manifestations are created by Time-Energy-Space, the TES. Even the ethereal phenomena of compassion is a product of this singular universal entity. There are forms of energy and dimensions of space that have not yet been quantified by science. Those mysterious realities are also within the normal workings of the TES. Nothing in the universe is truly supernatural and beyond the laws of nature. Everything that exists is created through cycles of the TES, both on the large physical scale involving the formation of stars, galaxies, and planets, and on the subtler inner dimensions involving the evolution of the human brain and consciousness.
The Hindu word 'Atman' means the soul of life and the essence of being. The Atman is not the individual human mind, but is defined as the universal soul that exists everywhere. For this discussion we will use the word Atman more strictly to designate that part of the TES that becomes conscious of itself on the grand and cosmic scale. We thus define the Atman as the universal cosmic consciousness.
The vast majority of the TES exists unconsciously, without feeling or life. This portion is made up of empty space, stars, and the bulk of planets. Primitive life forms that exist on a minority of planets have a utilitarian consciousness which allows them to survive through interacting with their environment. The fundamental awareness of physical objects, combined with the pleasure-pain mechanism and the ultimate survival of the fittest and smartest creates the evolutionary pathway through which the unconscious TES slowly evolves to greater levels of awareness. The unconscious TES, raw matter and energy, gives birth to the partially conscious TES, the world of plants and animals. With the evolution of higher animals, the intensely conscious TES (the Atman) arises. This oceanic consciousness is a normal product of the TES and is inherently immortal. When human beings become enlightened, their consciousness becomes one with the Atman, but they never achieve magical abilities outside of the natural laws and properties of the TES. Enlightened beings remain physically mortal, but their consciousness becomes one with the primordial consciousness of nature itself. This Atman has always existed and will exist eternally into the future.
No human being has ever known the unconscious part of the TES directly, because all that we know is within the world of consciousness. We become aware of the unconscious realm of the TES only through inference. When you look at a tree, you are not seeing the tree directly, but rather a representation of the tree created by your own brain. Our experience of colors, smells, tastes, and sounds, are all subjective creations of our mammalian neurological evolution. Thus the question: "If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, is there any sound at all?"
As long as we feel we exist as individuals we suffer because that perception is based on a temporary neurological illusion. This illusion of an individual 'I' is so vulnerable that even sleep destroys it. Every time you go into deep sleep your consciousness temporarily dies and your subjective individual identity dies with it. Get rid of the feeling *I exist,* and you get rid of attachments which create tension, suffering, and feelings of danger. When you focus your consciousness on that which is limited, you become small and vulnerable. When you open your consciousness to experience the whole universe, you become vast, limitless, and without mental anguish. Thus, the art of meditation is the art of inner astronomy.
The ultimate experience of the TES is so vast that there is nothing to compare it to. With no comparison possible, the experience of everything feels like nothingness. How can infinity have a size or a shape when by definition it has no boundaries? The TES is so full of space that it feels like oblivion, thus many enlightened teachers have called it the Void. This feeling of the ultimate extinction of all things is cosmically erotic, and in a strange contradiction of terms it is a rich and positively charged experience. Scientifically speaking, even this ultimate experience of the Void is also a subjective illusion, because Energy-Matter and Time-Space do exist, even if enlightened humans do not perceive them in the ordinary gross physical way.
If one looks deeply into the Eastern religions, the Hindu and Buddhist concept of an ultimate personal liberation, "nirvana" or "moksha," is impossible if you take the idea literally. Ask yourself two fundamental questions. Who is going to be liberated, and what is he going to going to be liberated from? In truth the 'who' and the 'what' are one and the same thing. Ask yourself what being was behind the eyes of the Buddha? The answer is Time-Energy-Space, the TES. Then ask yourself what being was behind the eyes of Adolf Hitler? The answer is still Time-Energy-Space. Individuals do exist and have reality, but they are just temporary products of the TES, which is our fundamental immortal identity.
The TES is always creating new life and new personalities out of its own being. The individual is always in danger of being destroyed, but the cosmic presence that animates us is eternal. Unless the entire TES is destroyed, liberation from cycles of life and death is impossible. The TES creates a human being and that individual experiences joy and suffering, but it is the TES having these experiences in a dream drama that the TES itself creates. The TES is within each cell of our body and is our true personal identity, not the temporary mortal personality that carries a picture ID in his wallet. Therefore, the goal of religion should not be an impossible liberation from the inevitable cycles of life, but rather how to make the unstoppable fact of life more ecstatic.
The word 'TES' is a temporary creation, as are all the holy words of ancient scripture. Those words are names used to designate that which is beyond any language. It is an effort to express that which cannot be expressed by a mountain of scholarly scriptures. No name can stick, and no philosophy can ring perfectly true, because you cannot paste a bumper sticker on a tidal wave. You cannot shrink a supernova into something that will fit in a library.
In time, all evidence that human animals existed on this Earth will be washed away, and new civilizations will be born on other worlds to take our place. Those new conscious beings will discover the unity of the TES, which they will call by another name in a language never spoken by any human being. The meaning, however, will be exactly the same.
A 21st century non-religion?
Here are ten basic precepts for a Tesian non-religion.
1) The Tesian basically agrees with The TES Hypothesis, which is a soft, lovingly atheistic and science respecting form of pantheism, a minimalist path of open-mindedness and tolerance.
2) The Tesian believes in maximum meditation with minimum philosophy. When it comes to philosophy, less is more. When it comes to meditation, more is usually better.
3) The Tesian non-religion has no popes, no hierarchy, no theocracy, no institutions, and no fat-cat gurus riding in Rolls-Royces. For Tesians, even those who become enlightened remain ordinary human beings in all other respects.
4) Tesians do not use drugs, alcohol, mantras, chanting, or so-called "visualization meditations." A Tesian must do nothing to cloud his consciousness.
5) Tesians believe that we should help others physically in the real world and not just talk about compassion. Tesians understand that one can only help others from a position of strength and wealth. Asceticism helps no one.
6) A normal healthy sex life is encouraged. Creating traditional families with one mother and one father is appreciated as essential for the survival of the human race. Tesians do not fall for destructive societal fads and trendy political correctness.
7) The cardinal sin of the Tesian way is to turn meditation into a business. No cosmic new age prostitutes are allowed in this non-religion, because the profit motive kills the soft and sensuous heart of meditation, and the profit motive is the eternal enemy of truth telling. We need money to create a thriving free market economy, but when it comes to seeking the ultimate facts of life, any profit motive kills the possibility of honesty. A desire for personal gain always promotes propaganda, spread only to increase the income of teachers. There is very little commercial value in telling the actual truth, because the realities of life are so hard and difficult that they can never satisfy our human desires for perfection, a sense of security, and our understandable hope for a divine, supernatural meaning behind all life.
8) A Tesian does not steal, cheat, lie, or use violence except in self-defense. All the obvious traditional principles of good behavior are respected by Tesians, and no pseudo-spiritual excuses are ever used to cover up bad behavior. A lie is not "Tantra," it is just a lie. A theft is not a "spiritual device," it is just stealing. Tesians must do unto others as they would have others do unto them.
9) A Tesian does not judge life by branding it either a suffering or a blessing. Judgment comes from thought and memory, both of which are limited and cannot contain the entire universe. If you say that life is a suffering, then you are only remembering the painful moments. If you say that life is a blessing, then you are only remembering the wonderful moments. The aim of the Tesian is to become a silent witness to the vastness of life without the limiting distortions of thought, memory, and judgment.
10) The Tesian non-religion is disposable. These ten precepts are designed to be read once and then forgotten. Words are no substitute for consciousness.
A concise Tesian prayer
All the stars are inside me, because I am the space.
There is no history. There is no biography.
I only exist here and now.
A quote from my father, a man I never fully appreciated until after he was gone.
"Now the alternative to despair is courage. And human life can be viewed as a continuous struggle between these two options. Courage is the capacity to affirm one's life in spite of the elements which threaten it. The fact that courage usually predominates over despair in itself tells us something important about life. It tells you that the forces that affirm life are stronger than those that negate it."
Christopher Calder Note* Christopher Calder's website no longer exists. His essays are archived here.
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