‘Being’: The Last Conceit

 

From the Ratnaguṇa, the first version of the later Prajñāpāramithā:

If, for aeons countless as the sands on the Ganges
the leader himself would continue to pronounce the word ‘Being’;
still, pure from the very start, no Being could ever result from his speaking That is the practice of wisdom, the highest perfection.’

The single most frequent short-stop throughout history and across the world’s religious literature is the conceptualization and reification of ‘True Nothing’ as ‘Being’.

‘Is’ is the highest abstraction possible of a named ‘Object’. A Modeled-Representation mounts on a platform held up by the words ‘Is’ and ‘Is-Not’.  This is a terrifying idea. And this is where the most intellectually sophisticated investigators say: ‘Stop! No further!’

They, each one of them, still holds on to that slim slice of vanity, that last pretense to ‘Know’. ‘Being’, like ‘Thought’ and ‘Voice’ [Language] is very, very close to our skin. A claim to ‘Being’ in any of its variants is ultimately a claim to a ‘Self’ [See the Post on Vedanthins].

But precisely because of its nearness to our skin it is that much more difficult to give workable examples [like say ‘Consciousness’]. The best that can be done is to give a list of excerpts from history that may convince you of what I am talking about.

Philosophers, Men of Religion, Mystics and the like tend to break into song and verse and solemn lecture on what a grand affair it really is. But this is not the final destination.