Franklin Merrell-Wolff’s Aphorisms on Consciousness-without-an-object

These aphorisms belong to a level of consciousness where thought and music unite. They are seeds that may develop into a comprehensive system of philosophy while, at the same time, they are a substance bringing sustenance to the soul. It is not necessary that the reader should understand them. One should use them as focal points for meditation and permit their meaning to develop in his consciousness as a plant grows from seed. They are symbols first and concepts afterward. As concepts they illumine the way for understanding. As symbols they open the door to the realization of that Reality which cannot be felt or thought.[1]

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1 . . .Consciousness-without-an-object is.

2 . . . Before objects were,
Consciousness-without-an-object is.

3 . . . Though objects seem to exist,
Consciousness-without-an-object is.

4 . . . When objects vanish,
yet remaining through all unaffected,
Consciousness-without-an-object is.

5 . . . Outside of Consciousness-without-an-object
nothing is.

6 . . . Within the bosom of
Consciousness-without-an-object lies
the power of awareness that projects objects.

7 . . . When objects are projected,
the power of awareness as subject is presupposed,
yet Consciousness-without-an-object
remains unchanged.

8 . . . When consciousness of objects is born, then,
likewise, consciousness of absence of objects arises.

9 . . . Consciousness of objects is the Universe.

10 . . . Consciousness of absence of objects
is Nirvana.

11 . . . Within Consciousness-without-an-object
lie both the Universe and Nirvana,
yet to Consciousness-without-an-object
these two are the same.

12 . . . Within Consciousness-without-an-object
lies the seed of Time.

13 . . . When awareness cognizes Time then
knowledge of Timelessness is born.

14 . . . To be aware of Time is to be aware of
the Universe, and to be aware of the Universe
is to be aware of Time.

15 . . . To realize Timelessness is to attain Nirvana.

16 . . . But for Consciousness-without-an-object
there is no difference between
Time and Timelessness.

17 . . . Within Consciousness-without-an-object
lies the seed of the world-containing Space.

18 . . . When awareness cognizes the
world-containing Space then knowledge of
the Spatial Void is born.

19 . . . To be aware of the world-containing Space
is to be aware of the Universe of Objects.

20 . . . To realize the Spatial Void
is to awaken to Nirvanic Consciousness.

21 . . . But for Consciousness-without-an-object
there is no difference between the world-containing
Space and the Spatial Void.

22 . . . Within Consciousness-without-an-object
lies the Seed of Law.

23 . . . When consciousness of objects is born
the Law is invoked as a Force
tending ever toward Equilibrium.

24 . . . All objects exist as tensions within
Consciousness-without-an-object that tend ever
to flow into their own complements or others.

25 . . . The ultimate effect of the flow of all objects
into their complements is mutual cancellation
in complete Equilibrium.

26 . . . Consciousness of the field of tensions
is the Universe.

27 . . . Consciousness of Equilibrium is Nirvana.

28 . . . But for Consciousness-without-an-object
there is neither tension nor Equilibrium.

29 . . . The state of tensions is the state of
ever-becoming.

30 . . . Ever-becoming is endless-dying.

31 . . . So the state of consciousness of objects
is a state of ever-renewing promises
that pass into death at the moment of fulfillment.

32 . . . Thus when consciousness is attached to
objects the agony of birth and death never ceases.

33 . . . In the state of Equilibrium
where birth cancels death
the deathless Bliss of Nirvana is realized.

34 . . . But Consciousness-without-an-object
is neither agony nor bliss.

35 . . . Out of the Great Void,
which is Consciousness-without-an-object,
the Universe is creatively projected.

36 . . . The Universe as experienced is the
created negation that ever resists.

37 . . . The creative act is bliss,
the resistance, unending pain.

38 . . . Endless resistance is the
Universe of experience; the agony of crucifixion.

39 . . . Ceaseless creativeness is Nirvana,
the Bliss beyond human conceiving.

40 . . . But for Consciousness-without-an-object
there is neither creativeness nor resistance.

41 . . . Ever-becoming and ever-ceasing-to-be
are endless action.

42 . . . When ever-becoming cancels the
ever-ceasing-to-be then Rest is realized.

43 . . . Ceaseless action is the Universe.

44 . . . Unending Rest is Nirvana.

45 . . . But Consciousness-without-an-object
is neither Action nor Rest.

46 . . . When consciousness is attached to objects
it is restricted through the forms imposed by
the world-containing Space, by Time, and by Law.

47 . . . When consciousness is disengaged from
objects, Liberation from the forms of the
world-containing Space, of Time, and of Law
is attained.

48 . . . Attachment to objects is
consciousness bound within the Universe.

49 . . . Liberation from such attachment is
the State of unlimited Nirvanic Freedom.

50 . . . But Consciousness-without-an-object
is neither bondage nor freedom.

51 . . . Consciousness-without-an-object
may be symbolized by a SPACE that is
unaffected by the presence or absence of objects,
for which there is neither Time nor Timelessness;
neither a world-containing Space nor a Spatial Void;
neither Tension nor Equilibrium;
neither Resistance nor Creativeness;
neither Agony nor Bliss;
neither Action nor Rest;
and neither Restriction nor Freedom.

52 . . . As the GREAT SPACE is not to be
identified with the Universe,
so neither is It to be identified with any Self.

53 . . . The GREAT SPACE is not God,
but the comprehender of all Gods,
as well as of all lesser creatures.

54 . . . The GREAT SPACE, or
Consciousness-without-an-object, is the
Sole Reality upon which all objects
and all selves depend and derive their existence.

55 . . . The GREAT SPACE comprehends both the
Path of the Universe and the Path of Nirvana.

56 . . . Beside the GREAT SPACE there is none other.

OM TAT SAT


Endnote

[1] From the foreword to a small pamphlet edition of these aphorisms that was circulated in the 1970s. This pamphlet can be found under the tab, “Aphorisms and Poetry.”