The title of this blog reflects an ongoing thesis of mine that there’s a dichotomy between Abrahamic monotheism and dharmism that is dichotomous, yet overlapping at the same time. I stay within monotheism, but borrow heavily from polytheism. I go where that parallel intersection is.
What is the root of religion? Critics dismiss religion as hocus-pocus. But does religion actually come from a common, higher human nature? What is that concealed human nature? I propose there is a core monotheism, and a primordial religion that unites it with atheism and polytheism: Humanism.
Whether secular or religious, humanism believes human beings are the most important factor to any equations, and Socrates was perhaps one of the earliest and most powerful embodiments of this personality type (Socrates once volunteered for military duty as Athens was attacked, he preferred to be barefoot in the mountains, and when a young aristocrat was captured behind enemy lines, he single handedly charged through the enemy position, grabbed the Athenian POW, and brought him back safely to their side — through sheer willpower!),
as were Moses, Jesus, Krishna, Muhammad (*peace be upon them*). Sufi sheikhs like Ibn Arabi (considered the greatest intellectual of the Islamic Golden Age) spoke of this cosmic man as Insan Kamil.
Every religious tradition discusses a,
- “cosmic man”,
- Son of God,
A man so perfect in reflecting God’s glory, he is appointed as the model for the rest of mankind.
A pattern follows his life. He performs miracles. People speak of him. Others hate him. He is persecuted, and- depending on the religious tradition- he is either victorious or executed. After he dies, his followers cannot stop speaking about him, and his message spreads to the rest of the world.
To me, Cosmic Man is the true believer. He walks to his death. He defends the righteous.
Christopher Hitchens argues every religion claims a truth which can neither be proven nor agreed upon by other sects within that religion. Mr. Hitchens and other skeptics of religion throughout history have not heard my claim. It is the claim made in the Qur’an and by Sufis throughout history have made, that God sends prophets to every nation.
The prophets are not God, but are the closest thing we will ever see to Him/It. All organized religions will clash over Truth, but Osho says, “If you put all the Masters in one room, they would not have a single disagreement with each other.”
Another Sufi proverb says, “People die, but we wear many hats.” I argue there is a seed of transmission from the Master to the pupil, and Sufi orders (as well as Catholic popes and Hasidic rabbis) all claim a lineage from the original Master (Christ, Rumi, Rabbi Menachem Schneider),
First, I wish to define and delimit Cosmic Man. He is very different from regular men. Like the saints, he lives in desperate poverty but does not mind. He abhors violence, but is the only one who can go to war. He urges compassion. I will map his his morality, instincts, and feelings to a economic and political grid.
Second, I will dicuss the various names which different religions and traditions give him.
Lastly, I would wish to discuss the controversies and dichotomies around him, keeping in mind he would engage in none of these discussions himself. Is he God, or a form of Him? Would he ever argue his ideas should be applied on a global scale?
POSSIBLE DICHOTOMIES & CONTROVERSIES
What is the role of Cosmic Man in religion?
Cosmic man is religion. He never strays from his cosmic duty, he is the manifestation of Dharm.
scientific materialism vs religious orthodoxy vs religious mysticism
By one perspective, religious orthodoxy and religious mysticism both believe in the Unseen; whereas secular atheism denies any supernatural force.
– By another perspective, religious orthodoxy imposes a strict legal code in even dietary habits or family practices; and capitalism loves to sell to the middle-class religious American family. Hence, religious orthodoxy and scientific materialism are paired against religious mystics, who believe in renouncing the world. Mysticism (in its ideal) shuns power and worldly pursuit. Lovers of God are supposed to be mad with their Beloved.
Fractures between Sunni and Shi’a over cosmic man
The Shi’a exalt Ali (r.a.) at the expense of the other companions of the Prophet (r.a.). This is blasphemy, the Companions are saints whose sacrifices for Islam cannot be minimized. We pray for the Shi’a to correct their erroneous belief. (Ali (r.a.) was a perfected Cosmic Man, and is part of my thesis.)
Fractures between Catholic and Protestant over cosmic man (sola scriptura)
Jesus was the cosmic man in Christianity, and believe that the canon of work about Jesus (the Gospels recorded by his followers) are the best work of knowledge about his teachings – not the edicts of the Pope, whom Catholics consider the successor of the Apostle Peter and therefore Jesus Christ Himself.
An incarnation of Vishnu, or avatar, is a perfected God-man?
All cosmic men are avatars of Vishnu. Any Hindu will say as much.
Is there a functional difference between prophets and saints?
No. Prophets are a rank above the saints. But the difference is one of word choice and hardly one of degree. The saints are the closest thing we have to prophethood.
Is religion universal? (Islamic prophethood theory.)
God sent messengers (cosmic men) to every nation, calling them to monotheism, and the people produce their own ideas and vices (such as polytheism) lead them astray. But the saints come from all walks of life. — Krishna was a princely warrior. — The purpose of this book is to discuss the commonalities so we can build an effective personality profile of the cosmic man.
Can miracles exist today?
Yes, but no man today can produce miracles of his will. (That ended with the Prophets, whom there are no more after our Master Muhammad.) Miracles today happen without knowledge or command of the man who produces them.
Can cosmic man exist today? (Has Jesus appeared before?)
Yes, there are saints walking around as we speak. My personal theory is that anyone who is a Myers-Briggs type ENFP is the archetype of cosmic man – that is, he is Jesus, Krishna, Muhammad, etc.
– Christians say Jesus appeared in the Old Testament as the Angel of the Lord, wrestling Jacob, visiting Lot in Sodom, etc. So, yes, Jesus has appeared before. (Notice how Hindus say incarnations of Vishnu are sent down in every age.)
Can we become cosmic man?
Yes. I think. The big secret of mysticism is that we are all saints. Protestant Christianity believes that in the ministry of Jesus, there was no priest and clergy; all believers were saints and performed miracles in the name of Jesus.
What is the character (akhlaq) of cosmic man?
That’s what this book is about.
Who are his enemies? Why do they hate him?
He threatens the social order which he comes from, and challenges the elite who’ve grown immensely at the expense of others, and they do not understand how he is their Salvation from materialism. They love wealth more than they love souls, including their own children.
What does he teach? (give your best to someone)
Give your best “coke” to someone.
Dharmism versus Semitic Monotheism
Dharmic religion teaches that we are reincarnated, and existed with God before our souls assumed material form.
Semitic monotheism believes that this world is a creation followed by a Day of Judgement, after which we will be granted heaven or hell.
– One way of reconciling the two is that there is a cosmic whole with God in the center, and everything happens for a reason, and God is the best of planners. Therefore, we should do our dharmic (religious) duty, according to our place in society.
Confucian/ Chinese imperial concept of Dharmism
Contrast this with the Confucian idea of children serving elders, subjects serving rulers. While this is Confucian ruler/servant complex is frequently used as a political ruse, all religion says we should serve Truth, and the State should be governed by Truth.
What is the opposite of Cosmic Man? (Ayn Rand)
A man who does not feed the poor. A man who has no empathy for others. A man whose only goal in life is to accumulate more wealth. Every cent cajoled out of somebody is an inch towards ultimate victory (on a daily basis).
Is human nature good or evil?
(Why original sin and innocence are the same)
Christians believe we were born guilty, and Christian died for our sins. This is merely a clumsy way of saying we rarely achieve our higher spiritual nature, and Christ is the best way to invoke the divinity and altruism of humanity. Christians believe only Jesus’ divinity and unlock our spiritual nature.
Islam says that pristine, untouched nature of humanity is ready to be liberated in all of us (with the worship of one God) and saints are needed to dissolve pollutants in our psyche.
They’re taking about the same thing. They’re just disagreeing on the name and where it came from. Oh yeah, Christians say the Holy Spirit gives you the desire to do good.
How can we access our higher nature? (MBTI and the Enneagram)
Two models I have come to appreciate as t0 understanding each person’s specific reactions to negativity. The Enneagram teaches we all have an Essence (performing at our highest & without fear), but we quickly descend to our Personality, i.e. into lower levels of functioning ego. The goal is to transcend ego.
How are we God’s representative on earth?
When we are in accordance with our pure selves, we are magnanimous, generous, etc. We do not reign with tyranny, but with our higher selves. This unique ability, to purify our thoughts and deeds, makes us the living representative to God on earth.
Orthodox Islam preaches via books; Mystic Islam prefers the Master-Disciple relationship
Orthodox scholars of Islam depend upon books and canons of law to instruct followers. Mysticism relies upon in direct individual experience, especially the relationship between the Master and disciple. The Master’s charisma, peppered with miracles, provides direct evidence of the warped nature of matter-energy-space-time, whereas orthodox scholars are empirical in thought and material in deed. Mystics deny the material. Entirely.
Names for Cosmic Man
Prophet / Messenger – a man who brings a book from God
Saint – a charismatic, pious guide for others
Magic Negro – a fictional device for an ethnic minority to appear briefly to solve all the plot’s problems in a single stroke
Lamed Vav – the Jewish tradition of 37 hidden saints whose mysticism, anonymity, and constant good deeds make them God’s favoured
Avatar – an incarnation of the god Vishnu, sent in every age to uphold righteousness. Highest form of cosmic man.
God-man – same as avatar, cf. Baghwan
Baghwan – frequently translated as “the Creator”, better understood as “man who is in control of his destiny”, has agency, and creates his own destiny by complete will of the Creator
Traveller / Pilgrim – a euphemism for a saint or disciple (remember the difference between the two is almost non-existant)
The Orphan (the Jew) – like the wanderer, the orphan has a connection to God that few people (especially those grounded in their material lives) understand. A very high state of being.
The Messenger of God
The Fruit of Existence – Rumi’s poem that the tree was created for the fruit, not the fruit for the tree, thus what comes last is the entire purpose of what is occuring (a metaphor for the Prophet’s messengerhood)
The People of the Blame (malamiyya) – the anonymous egoless saints, see Lamed Vav
Proper Names – feats of
Krishna / Vishnu – joyful
Muhammad (pbuh) – warrior/ pacifist/orphan/merchant/husband/father
Ali – justice
Jesus – suffering
Sufi saints – charisma
Buddha – non-existence
Anonymous – opposite of popular saints
Majnun – Deewana – madness that comes from non-material living
Concepts for Cosmic Man
Nabuwatt – literally “prophethood”, but used here to describe the essential, undefinable quality of a saint or prophet, the common character of Cosmic Man
Enneagram 9 – a mythic form of Cosmic Man according to the Enneagram theory of personality
ENFP – a mythic form of Cosmic Man under the MBTI Jungian type system
Life beyond grave – a function of love – various ascription of powers – association of all virtues – like all lovers, the followers of Cosmic Men exaggerate the deeds of their beloveds, whether the miracles are performed is irrelevant, that people are healed and believe in something greater than themselves and reality is the important effect to create a more generous and immaterial society
Dergah – portal – the grave of a saint, where prayers are said to be heard, literally a “portal” to the other side
Tikkun olam – the Jewish mystical doctrine of healing the world
Akhlaq, khuluq – the Arabic word for noble character
Trinity – Godman – The Father is the non-formal deity, the Son is the corporal manifestation of the deity and/or His Grace (see Avatar), and the Holy Ghost is the spiritual energy of believers
Hindu Trinity- Brahma is the Creator, Vishnu is the Avatar, Shiva is Nature. Lord, Incarnation, Emminent. God Eternal, God Human, and God Ever-Present. A direct correspondence to the Christian Trinity above.
Reincarnation – a crucial part of dharmic theory, the cycle of going back into creation until liberation (enlightenment) is reached
Meeting point between the microcosm and macrocosm – the position of Cosmic Man, who blurs the line between subjective and objective
The Orphan – Quote Eros and Chaos here.