Carlo Suarès : La fin du grand mythe I
The end of the great myth I
(Extract from Carnet No 2. January 1931)
We do not yet know how far suffering can go. The crisis is everywhere, in consciences and in our civilization: we live in a state of war. How far, until when? Is it necessarily until the collapse of Europe? These sufferings and this chaos are the nightmare of a sleeping conscience: desperate men under an empty sky do not find an answer to the primordial "why", or rather they do not ask themselves this "why", they do not know the meaning of life. In this desolation and in this emptiness we are witnessing a new phenomenon: the birth of Man. The new man carries with him his response and his deliverance. It no longer participates in the collapsing world: an entire cycle of civilizations has reached the end of its course. The absolute Truth that today we can be, formidable, cannot be approached: at its threshold it is necessary to die, and if the grain does not want to die Life will pass on. It is time to tell ourselves that the Truth exists and that it is not in the domain of philosophies, religions or metaphysics. It is in every act that we do in order to deliver the living and impersonal consciousness. Only this absolute Truth, in its simplicity, can liberate man and men.
On the truth
In these Notebooks, we would like to set out certain fundamental ideas about human destiny, and what goes beyond all destinies: the Truth. This Truth around which we will express ourselves (because of it we cannot speak), we understand that it is eternal, absolute, and that it is possible to know it.
If our mind, in its development, expresses things which are not essential, it is because the essential cannot be contained in words, and can only be lived.
Let us therefore not criticize our writings for approaching the essence of things from a thousand sides at once, without ever approaching it. It would be useless for others to confine themselves to writing a series of exclamations, under the pretext that what one has to say is inexpressible.
Besides, the absolute Truth has this astonishing fact that in its presence we are recreated. The new being who presents himself at all times in front of already old words revives them, whatever these words are, and gives them a new meaning.
If therefore the essential is not contained in words, it gives them a provisional life, and this life is transmissible. These words, any words, become Truth.
That we are not surprised either to find in these notebooks a thousand contradictions: Truth is a synthesis, in it everything is true, and dualities are resolved, not at the expense of one of the terms of the opposition, but by giving reason to both.
Thus, in Truth, the world is both finite and infinite, and "I" is the others.
It is therefore necessary both to understand and to feel, because intelligence alone is far too complicated to know the Truth.
Let no one say "I am not intellectual enough to understand", but if we find our language too difficult, we should be blamed for it, because we can never speak simply enough.
Let each of us wonder how much he desires the Truth, and to what extent this desire leads him to listen with love to what a sincere man has to say, whoever this man is.
Ideas are impersonal
When one of us says that he has found the absolute Truth, the first reason that the others do not listen to it is that they do not believe that the Truth exists, or, if they believe that 'it exists is that they await it in a determined form.
And besides these reasons that we have for not listening there is a third, terribly insidious: "but you, who therefore are you, to affirm? When precisely the one who affirms is nothing at all. So each word is returned, transformed, diminished in a debate about an identity that we want to discover and locate, forgetting the Truth which alone has value.
But you will never know what a man is, or how exactly he is able to live the truth. Himself, that does not interest him in any way, because he really no longer has any feeling of grandeur, of place, neither of quality, nor even of existence, with regard to this "me" of which we would like discuss. The word "I" that articulates his mouth, being nothing more than a fiction, may very well disappear.
We ask once and for all that we do not reduce the debate to the identity of those who write these pages. They are a handful or very numerous. They want to not be there . If they bear names, they do not want these names to designate anything other than fictions, civil statuses, which have nothing to do with the Truth. These names here could not do what.
Those whose names will appear for administrative and drafting needs ask that no such or such page be attributed to them. The writing work requires a certain unity of presentation and style. Such a passage which we will recognize that the style is one of us may precisely not have been designed by the one who wrote it.
We will approach Truth, we said, from a thousand sides at a time, which means that we will use different words to always express only the same Truth. Furthermore, the very meaning of the words will change as we use them.
This will result in a certain wavering, because each word will be as if bathed in a circle of light which we will not know exactly where it ends. Thus words can interpenetrate. Too rigid words would kill the Truth in them, that is, they would kill themselves.
It is very particularly about each
Sometimes, when we go to look for the causes of the millennial spell in which we are caught, it may seem that this research will be foreign to our essential concerns. It will not be. We will talk about the Scriptures , the Apocalypse, as well as the current state of minds or politics. The spell, the state of hypnosis in which the man of 1930 is plunged is so deep, and its roots are so innumerable, that everyone is the victim, one way or another. And we feel that we will have to make a disproportionate effort to achieve this first result: to convince everyone in particular that it is precisely about him.
To each reader of these lines we therefore say that it is about him, that it is only about him.
"I have not reached the limit state of which you speak, we are told, this limit state which is no longer becoming but being. So should we wait until we have arrived at this state to act? "
No, you should not wait, because letting time pass to make real what is beyond time is useless. It is therefore necessary to be immediately this limit state, by making the precise gesture which is suitable for identification.
Presence and absence
Some will follow us in essays on the "essential", others will be interested in the presentation of what we call the "Myth", others will explain to us that the self and the non-self accommodate or do not accommodate a personal God, others will discover physical or metaphysical laws, will deal with science or poetry.
All that is not worth the smallest gesture that we try, in the ordinary everyday life lived, to identify with eternity.
Eternity is here, everywhere, in our hands, in a look, domestic, useful, precise, alive, nourishing. It is no longer a subject of study. It's a simple adjustment, it's to be new.
To take the first look at the manifested world is both to pierce it, to examine it in a completely objective manner, and at the same time to feel it internally. The "self" exclaims: "So this is It? that's it? was that it is? Now he feels free.
Freedom is this feeling of freedom: the "self" contemplates what had hitherto been its prison.
The sensation of "me" is followed by the sensation of "that". We are both completely absent and completely present.
This state of total presence is what best characterizes the act which we say is an identification: the act adapts to objects and circumstances by giving them their true value. As for the state of absence, it makes the act impersonal.
True love is this combination of presence and absence: a clear-sighted and active concern, mixed with the greatest detachment.
The essential eternity
Thus the perception of Eternity becomes the motive and the very center of exact action. Far from being far away, eternity is the only real link that can unite the individual and the social. Outside of it all action only adds to the chaos. In it are all the details, all the solutions, all the principles.
Our notebooks will aim to show that it is not only possible but necessary to make Truth - absolute - a value. Let philosophers smile at such an assertion. Everyone has the right to smile. But let them then tell us whether philosophies or religions have been able to uproot all dualities from their lives to the point of making them discover the art of living.
Still others will not want this absolute peace. They will say that nothing is made of beautiful and great apart from the gusts of passion. It is another way of not believing the Truth. Each person's personal "self" defends itself as rabid against everything that tends to destroy it. He smells of danger from afar. The subconscious immediately opposes to the enemy a whole universe, very complicated, intended to confuse him. He is right, it is a duel to the death. The Truth pursues the "I" to its most secret entrenchments, where his affections, his treasures take refuge, everything he has, his "life", illusory life, because only Truth is Life.
"I am the Life" said the being, two thousand years ago. And: "whoever loses his life for me will find it". This Life demands death. It is no longer a question of going to have fun at the fair. The suffering is too great today, we must give in.
And not only do individuals defend themselves, but they gang up to cry out their fear. They accuse the Truth of attacking their furniture, their homes, their banknotes. They want to drag her down the street and force her to vote on politics. But it's not about politics, it's about Truth.
The great spell
Our most urgent task is, in our opinion, to show, to reveal the spell wherever it exists, that is to say everywhere.
The spell is the unconscious, which comes between the Truth and us, giving us as the starting point of all our thoughts, as the apparent basis of our whole being, an unreal world that we do not for a second question.
Everyone lives in a hypnotic state, in a dream state, which makes him accept and live this dream without being surprised in the least. This dream is the whole Universe as everyone accepts it.
The more we sleep deeply the less we wonder the "why" of things. The sleep is so deep that the fact of leaving in search of astonished subjects, turntables, coincidences, "unknown forces", already seems sublime, whereas at first awakening the simple observation that something exists is enough to fill us of stupor.
The first condition to get out of the spell is to understand that this spell exists, and that the characters that we are have no real existence. When we manage to get out of the spell, we no longer try to act on the dream, to conquer it or improve it, but we act in the Truth, and therefore we are inside of the dream, the element that will dissipate it.
Call to awakening: no task in the world is more important. We cannot say enough that the historical development of a civilization is only the development of a dream. This dream has a cause, which is inside the sleeper's consciousness. Let us explain this cause, find the key to this dream, and the dream will disappear. As long as the cause remains deeply hidden, we cannot do anything useful.
However, we will not understand the cause of the dream as long as we refuse to wake up. So let's stop wanting to reform others, to judge them, to act on them: what can a bewitched do for other bewitched? Add to the confusion. As long as we believe that our "me" is a true entity, as long as we act for it and through it, in truth, as long as we say "me" while believing to say something we will still be in the spell. And if we believe that we are losing this personal meaning by abdicating, by submitting to obedience or discipline, by accepting any creed or belief, or by any spiritual or moral rule, or by humbly following spiritual guides, or by asking a God that his will be done we will still be in a spell.
And if we believe that we are free from all these things but that we still fulfill in our life some role for which it makes us have certain particularities, we are still taken. To play any role, a role of man or a role of woman is to be caught in the dream, because the Truth has no sex.
We will immediately oppose God the Father, and also the Son who gave us the representation of a male deliverance. We propose on this subject to develop the reasons which lead us to think that the times are so well "accomplished" that no deliverance of which History or Legend offers us the example, for real and authentic that it was, cannot today be effectively imitated.
We will sometimes have to look very far for the meaning of our most basic gestures, of our most obvious conceptions. It will always be to destroy the unreal and to bring back into our lives the consciousness of the Truth.
We will sometimes assert certain things long before we can explain the reasons for our assertions, as we begin by giving the theme of a problem that we want to demonstrate. But we will never claim to have demonstrated anything. Demonstrations are useless. We know all too well that they instantly become a beautiful intellectual game in which the mind seeks to take refuge in defense so as not to bring the debate back to its own entrenched camp.
By exposing therefore certain ideas relating to myths, symbols, History, contemporary events, objects that surround us, our only goal will be to destroy their hypnotic power, and to call men to AWAKENING.
Absolute Truth We do not believe in absolute truth because it is always "represented" by those who transmit it and because the absolute cannot be represented. This "representation" even if one accepts neither symbols, nor myths, nor hermetic or religious forms is inevitable since the words themselves are only representations. And if without attaching too much value to words we live the Truth where we are, life becomes this representation. As for the one who says he has come to the Truth and who does not "represent" it in any way, it seems to us that his discovery is an illusion which distances him from the world and leads him to dissociate himself from other men. It is very important for us to seek the state of absolute truth, while remaining in the world. This seems impossible, because the world is made of objects, thoughts, gestures, which have nothing in common with the Truth. Our entire civilization has nothing in common with it, and yet it is about the absolute Truth that we speak, while affirming that we live in the world, and that this Truth far from being abstract and theoretical concerns everyone, every gesture, every object.
This is a first contradiction which we will endeavor to show that it can disappear.
Another antinomy (but all the antinomies are only different forms of an apparent duality) is that which concerns the personality in relation to the social or religious group. We have said that to discover the Truth one must neither maintain the "me" nor dissolve it in a group. To develop indefinitely a personality that we believe to be immortal is as false as to destroy it because we find it bad.
Rather, we say that personality is the individual, particular, unique path that each individual must take to find eternity. Once the Truth is found, which is universal, the "me" which was the way, having fulfilled its purpose, disappears. In fact, it disappears completely, it is no longer there at all, but a presence is there about which nothing can be said. It is the state of absence and presence that we spoke of above.
It is not a question here of what is commonly called a "mystical experience". We will have the opportunity later to say why we think mystical ecstasy is incapable of sustaining itself. The mystic identifies with the object of his research, or with the path he has traveled. At the moment of ecstasy he does not see the path, and when the ecstasy ceases the path appears to him again, but as if he were objective. Hence all the advice, the yogas, the disciplines, and also the prayers, the aspiration to find union. The way and the object of research (God or Master) have become external again..
We will say why this kind of research seems sterile to us today, while at other times it could have been fruitful.
It is the same with occultism: it may have been in other times a great possibility of liberation. Today we think it is no longer.
We will therefore not accept as valid the reasoning according to which what was true in other times must also be true today: Truth is not new because it is eternal, but the way in which we can find it varies according to the times, and our time is such that we must be completely new.
Let us say in passing that if the Christian West developed the personality by believing it immortal, and that if the East destroyed the personality by knowing it ephemeral, it is the first time today that a synthesis can be made, reconciliation. It is indeed a matter of achieving through a personality, but an ephemeral personality, because, as we said, personality, individual uniqueness, is the way that life in each man uses to find himself herself both conscious and impersonal, perfect. As the individual approaches this goal, the path is destroyed inside him, like a dead thing which life no longer needs, which has always been imperfect, imperfect because isolated.
This primordial and ephemeral importance of the personality leads us to a new conception of the individual and the social, of which it is called to reconcile the hitherto contradictory requirements.
This attitude and this new knowledge are naturally experimental, because it is not a question of intellectually solving a problem that can never be resolved intellectually. Metaphysics are useless if you are unable to live your own truth. But everyone makes concessions for a thousand reasons of a material or sentimental nature, concessions about the inner truth. That Christians, for example, say "there was only one true Christian, he died on the Cross". Yet he had said "be perfect", he had not said "become perfect", cycles and evolutions and illusions. Becoming is always illusory.
Immediately put into practice the little we know of the Truth, fully, without compromise, without finding excuses: constant work of adapting at all costs to the Truth. It is already that to be perfect.
Absolute Truth, in fact, is not a question of quantity. A simple gesture can pretend to be absolutely true if it is absolutely impersonal and absolutely conscious. If then the individual makes a multitude of false, unreal gestures , his suffering will tell him that he will not find happiness there. It is his very suffering that will compel him to repeat the true gesture.
To suffer is to fight against Eternity.
The purification of the "I"
In order to overcome the state of struggle we must understand what the nudity of a free conscience is. This nudity, by definition, is nowhere to be found. Let us consider the usual case of an individual who is in order to see what this liberation is not. Let us patiently examine what its position consists of, in order to free ourselves, as far as we are concerned, each individually, from the real spell that any position constitutes.
Everyone has a minimum of designs that they have always accepted without discussing or questioning them. From childhood everyone accepted certain things as not being mysterious, as not being a subject of astonishment and uncertainty. The child who knows those around him, who has been told his name, who has contacted the universe in which he is immersed does not doubt. He identified himself with his name, with all his little universe, this one is familiar to him, indisputable. Then he can say "I". This "I" knows that it is a little boy or a little girl. His universe is gradually expanding, but his "I", always identified with this universe is not surprised. This state of mind has a very great analogy with the dream state to which we will return very often. In a dream the most extravagant situation, the most impossible event, is never a subject of amazement. The fragment of us who in our dream usurps the "I" accepts, by the very fact that it is only a fragment, the most absurd situations without being surprised in the least. We will show (we only say this now in passing) how each of us, by the very fact that he is only a fragment of the one-consciousness, truly lives in a dream, in a hypnosis, whose own is not to be surprised.
Let us take the child back in its development: according to the education that it is given, according to the quantity of things that admit just like him, without doubting, those who are responsible for raising him, he will accept that his "I" ; Either poor or rich, French or German, Catholic or Jewish, he will accept science or history lessons etc ... always without the least astonishment, always in a state of hypnosis.
Later, when he does philosophy, he will be able to discuss in order to know "if God exists", he will then be able to re-discuss certain social values, but there will always be in him something on which his "I" and all rests his qualities, something he never questioned, which he never doubted, which, for him, constitutes the essence of his being. In reality this something is his unconscious. In short, he did not arrive at the primordial astonishment, and it is understandable, since he sleeps, since he dreams, since his "I" can only dream as long as it is a fragment isolated from the whole.
Astonishment and doubt are therefore greater as the being wakes up. You could say that the one that doubt has never touched is in a state of total hypnosis.
The state of primordial doubt places the "I", devoid of any quality, any position, any influence, an "I" which is irreducible, incapable of saying "we", before a total mystery. This mystery is the following simple observation: something exists, there is something.
The two irreducible enemies
There is something: this something is the universe, it is the fact that it is impossible for us to conceive nothingness, because even the affirmation which would obviously oppose, the affirmation "it there is nothing ", that of total nothingness, would already be itself something.
There is something. So this is the irreducible minimum that the "I" finds. To find this minimum, to perceive it, the "I" must first have stripped himself of everything he had accepted since his childhood, of all that he had identified by mistake; civil and social status, religion, affections, family, and even its quality of man or woman, because the Truth, the universal self, has no sex. He must free himself from the unconscious and the subconscious. When this work of counting is done (we will study it at length later) there remains a personal "I", unspeakable but real and irreducible, opposite "something" which is the world, also real, unspeakable and irreducible. Here are the two enemies face to face. The drama begins, a drama of which it would be futile to seek the outcome in a book, a drama which has its true value, which is only real, if it is lived. We repeat that this drama in what is irreducible, ferocious, inexorable, only presents itself to those who have already become disenchanted, because as long as the "I" remains identified with qualities, with circumstances, objects, passions, desires which are not him, it is against all the vicissitudes of dreams that this dream "I" will fight. This total examination which must precede the final drama is so essential that we will devote ourselves to it further at great length. We will see how most individual and social activities tend to prolong hypnosis rather than destroy it.
The "I", stripped to its limit state, cannot accept this "something" which not only is in front of it, but which has taken it and locked it in an inexorable prison. Struggling in a creation that is there whether he likes it or not, who will not let go of whatever he does, which he can never make it not there, the "I" refuses to belong to it, because he does not understand it, because this foreigner imposes himself on him, because he feels that the "I" and "that", reduced to their essence, are not of the same nature. And he also feels that even death could not deliver him, bodily death, because it would not resolve the conflict.
The clear and precise perception of this opposition, of this revolt of the "I", and of what is "inexorable" about it, it is impossible to support it for more than a fragment of a second, because this suffering is fatal, or rather is likely to drive you mad.
The "I" feels that "that" is stronger than him, that he can do nothing, that he will be able to do nothing, that he will not be able to flee. Then, after atrocious convulsions, he will understand that only one solution is possible: not being able to destroy "that", he will be "that". This "that" that he felt to be eternal, infinite, this "that", the supreme victor, this "that" impersonal, absolute, and that is, it will be, whatever the cost, and he cannot help seek to be, since he himself is in "that"
So, after the stripping of the "I" here is the second step, that of identification. Seeing his goal more clearly than he has done so far, he must now work with incredible patience to reach him. He will still have convulsions, he will not always be able to discern his true desire, he will go wrong a thousand times, but he will no longer lose the fruit of his perception, he will never be able to forget the primordial and irreducible struggle that he had to sustain so that his destiny would be revealed to him.
When, gradually, the perception of its reason for being replaces the dream, the "I" truly dissolves, and loses its density, its opacity, until it can no longer be located, until it no longer has "any place to rest your head." Then the identification is strong enough for the illumination to take place. Enlightenment is, within "that" the perception of the true value of everything. This perception of the true value of everything is all that remains of the "I". That is to say, the "I" is nothing more than the part of "that" which is contemplated, the interior vision which emanates from "that", in other words its consciousness.
The man who reaches this state no longer has in him either unconsciousness or subconsciousness. There is nothing mystical or occult about this state. It is the very simplicity of right action. We have already spoken about it above by saying that it is a total presence and a total absence, but we will not be angry with us for always coming back to basics at the cost of repeating it, as we come back to the same landscape of several different sides.
The right action
The state of right action is, after the first stage of the purification of the "I", where the "I" has purified itself of all that is not it, and the second stage, that of the identification, a state where the "I" has completely transformed, and where it is impossible to say that the "I" exists, as it is impossible to say that it does not exist. Only then is harmony established between being and not being, which is love. In short, love is the fusion of two opposites, their positive solution. This solution is positive for the good reason that something exists. Being-non-being, resolved, is.
Let us repeat that the positive solution does not oppose the negative, but encompasses both the positive and the negative. Thus love does not oppose repulsion, but combines with it, it occurs as a chemical combination which is a synthesis.
We propose to study, sometimes in turn, and sometimes simultaneously, the three stages which lead to the right action, while insisting on the fact that these stages are only fictitious, and that we invent them only for the convenience of speech. In fact, every attempt to deprive the "I", or purification, is also an internal identification, and an identification of action. We do not believe in the Nirvbnas which lead to isolation in towers or on mountains. To put it quite simply, we do not believe in a "spirituality" which cannot establish direct and human contact with everyone. We do not believe in a spirituality which gives itself grades of initiations or which attributes papal powers to itself. It is not a question of rank or power, but of Truth.
The problem of action
To conclude today this first presentation we want to say that the right action, which is the absolute Truth, is essentially useful and effective. It is even the only action in the world that is really useful and effective.
This problem of action is the last one that we can solve, because we only arrive at right action after the awakening of being, after there is no longer any unconscious in it. That is why it is so difficult to reduce the social problem to the individual problem. The whole world is upset, everyone would like to do something for others, to avoid disasters, to relieve, to solve the incredible difficulties of a civilization which we no longer know if it will not collapse completely, but when we say that only absolute, unconditioned, total Truth, only integral Knowledge can save us individually and collectively, we think that these are utopias.
Before undertaking new developments we will try to say how far, far from being utopian, our point of view is practical and simple. We are so used to seeing only complicated things that this is precisely where the greatest of all difficulties resides; Truth is too simple. To see it, one must destroy in oneself the formidable fortresses of the unconscious and the subconscious, where, in all its forms, the fear of the "I" who does not want to die, agitates the phantasmagories of all illusions.
La fin du grand mythe I at a par Carlo Suarés - 3e millinaire