Spirituality Studies 9-1 Spring 2023 19 Samuel Bendeck Sotillos tury Indian tantric master Padmasambhāva illustrates how our original state of the mind, which is unconditioned by the images of the phenomenal world, can envision an abiding unity behind all forms (Evans-Wentz 1954, 211): In its true state, mind is naked, immaculate; not made of anything, being of the Voidness; clear, vacuous, without duality, transparent; timeless, uncompounded, unimpeded, colourless; not realizable as a separate thing, but as the unity of all things, yet not composed of them; of one taste, and transcendent over differentiation. Huang Po (d. 850) addresses the transpersonal dimension of our original mind in this way (1958, 29–30): All the Buddhas and all sentient beings are nothing but the One Mind, beside which nothing exists. This Mind, which is without beginning, is unborn and indestructible. It is not green nor yellow, and has neither form nor appearance. It does not belong to the categories of things which exist or do not exist, nor can it be thought of in terms of new or old. It is neither long nor short, big nor small, for it transcends all limits, measures, names, traces and comparisons… Only awake to the One Mind… The ultimate purpose of human life is to return consciousness to our “primordial nature” (Ar. fitrah), the “image of God” (Lat. imago Dei), “Buddha-nature” (Sa. Buddha-dhātu), or “Self” (Sa. Ātmā) that surpasses the “name and form” (Sa. nāma– rūpa) of all appearances. The ordinary mind remains ensnared in the world of phenomenal appearances, and longs to return to its transpersonal source. There is but one consciousness that dwells at the heart of all beings – that is what we seek as the goal of our spiritual odyssey during our transient sojourn in this world. 9 Conclusion It is in the nature of the ordinary mind to be unstable yet, when restored to its center in the Spirit, it can reach its natural composure. In returning our thoughts and emotions to the very source of consciousness itself, we are able – as St. Francis de Sales (1567–1622) shows – to navigate the flux of the ordinary mind: “Do not lose your inward peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset” (1871, 228). Through abiding in consciousness, we can find the kind of peace in which Julian of Norwich (c. 1342–c. 1416) was able to say: “All will be well, and all will be well, and every kind of thing will be well” (1978, 225). According to the “science of the soul,” as known across all spiritual traditions, it is the way in which the mind perceives that either supports our inner peace or disturbs it, rather than events in themselves. According to William Shakespeare (1564–1616), “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so” (1877, 154). As all perturbations of mind are ephemeral, we are concerned with what lies beyond (while fully embracing) this realm of transience. As Guénon writes, “the unconditioned state… is superior to all the conditioned states” (2001, 163). Union with Ultimate Reality or the Absolute is described in the Hindu and Islamic traditions as “being-consciousness-bliss” (Sa. Sat–Chit–Ānanda; Ar. wujūd–wijdān–wajd). As the Divine is immanent as well as transcendent, consciousness not only surpasses the psycho-physical realm but also includes the human psyche. The antidote to our endless distractions – to our dispersed attention resulting from the overwhelming stimulus of the outer world – is, according to a host of saints and sages to return to our sacred center where we can access a deeper, undefiled consciousness to help us bring an equanimity to the topsy-turvy nature of our inner life, while helping us to discern unity in multiplicity, and multiplicity in unity. A few exponents of modern Western psychology have acknowledged – as William James did – that “our normal waking consciousness… is but one special type of consciousness” (1985, 388). While this admission is certainly welcome, it is by no means a new discovery. This truth has long been recognized by the holistic psychologies of spiritual traditions. All true forms of the “science of the soul” accept that there are distinct realms of mind – and corresponding modes of knowing – that do not fit the mold of quotidian thinking. It is high time that we re-evaluate the pernicious assumptions on which the post-Enlightenment world has been constructed. By grounding the discipline of psychology in traditional metaphysics, we might begin to restore our consciousness of the Divine in all things, including ourselves. This paper has aimed to demonstrate the severe limitations of modern Western psychology in comprehending the enigma of consciousness. By stressing the need to turn to forms of therapy that are founded on an authentic epistemological pluralism, we will come closer to restoring a true sense of wholeness in our healing modalities. In particular, we may also be able, finally, to repair the tragically broken bond between the sacred and the fully integrated treatments that are now so sorely needed in the crucial area of mental health, which is undergoing such a profound crisis today.