The First Distortions

This is another attempt at explaining the first distortions. Since this is a difficult subject, I doubt that these will be my final thoughts on the matter; but I feel that I have made progress on the problem.

The first thing that exists is the Creator. The Creator is infinity, unity, or nothingness. It is worth explaining how these three words are synonyms. Infinity is the totality of possibilities. Since every possibility has a corresponding opposite possibility, when these possibilities are considered together as a single thing, each opposite cancels out, and that thing is found to be nothingness. This nothingness is unity, because it is the result of uniting everything into one thing.

Nothingness is the first thing; everything comes from nothingness. But nothingness is prior to existence. Nothingness is non-existence, and non-existence does not exist. Of course, since nothingness is infinity, it contains within itself all of existence; hence, it is both being and non-being.

All of existence is illusion, or distortion, while the truth is the Creator, which is beyond experience. (“Experience” and “existence” are synonyms.) It is worth asking: what are the first, most basic distortions: the first experiences which the Creator has of itself?

Tautologically, the first distortion is the experience of the Creator. Before the first distortion, there is no experience; the first distortion is the first experience, which is the experience of the Creator. Before the first distortion, the Creator is not; the first distortion is that the Creator is. First nothingness does not exist; then, nothingness exists. It experiences itself.

The first distortion is prior to light. Thus the Creator, in the first distortion, is seen not as a brilliant energy, but as darkness, nothingness, and the void.

The awareness of nothingness is the awareness of infinity, which is infinite possibility. At this point all of the possibilities still cancel each other out, leaving us with a state in which no possibility is actual, and all is in darkness. The awareness of nothing thus implies the possibility, but not yet the actuality, of becoming aware of an infinite number of somethings.

We know, because we are here, that these possibilities were actualized. But how did this come about? What led from the awareness of nothing to the awareness of something? To answer this, we must digress into a discussion of the nature of experience.

The basic nature of experience is light. This can be verified in the following way. Sufficiently intense introspection on any experience reveals that the experience is made of light. Similarly, thought experiment will reveal that any imaginable experience can be produced by beginning with light, and shaping the light into the constitution of that experience.

It would seem, then, that we require some way of getting from the first distortion to light. If we can produce light, then all other experiences will follow from light. Light is the first possibility which we must actualize. How are we to achieve this?

We said earlier that the possibilities are not actual in the first distortion because every possibility has an opposite, and these opposites all cancel out. It follows that light is not yet actual because it is in a relation of being canceled out by its opposite.

Ra tells us that the opposite of light is love. We must understand what is meant by “love.” It is a form of will or desire. Will or desire for what? Will to experience something, will to accept something, will to become one with something.

Love is a passive, receiving principle. Light is an active, giving principle. They correspond to the yin and yang of Chinese philosophy.

The Creator progresses beyond the first distortion by developing a desire to experience further distortion. This desire is love, or the second distortion. Love perceives the nothingness which is the first distortion as a void which must be filled. This perception pulls light into existence; light fills the void; the darkness is illuminated.

It is because of love’s existence that it is possible for light to come into existence. Without the desire for light, there would be no reason for the possibility of light to be actualized, and thus it never would. There is a need for a negative to balance light’s positive; an emptiness to take in light’s fullness.

Love and light are opposites. Thus, by coming into existence together, they preserve the balance of the Creator, so that the Creator remains the Creator, i.e. nothingness.

Let us summarize our findings so far. First, the Creator experienced nothing. Then, the Creator became aware of experiencing nothing; this was the first distortion. Then, the Creator desired to experience something; this was the second distortion. Then, the Creator experienced something; this was the third distortion.

Many have observed that there is a basic two-ness to existence; they have also observed a basic three-ness, and a basic seven-ness. Our material so far allows us to clarify the principle of two-ness, and the principle of three-ness.

The principle of two-ness is the observation of the abundance of important dualities which characterize existence: good/bad, true/false, male/female, right/wrong, thinking/feeling, light/dark, etc.

The desire for parsimony would tend to make us wonder if there is not a single duality which is the fundamental duality from which all other dualities are derived. Such a duality would not be equal to all of the other dualities, as it would be obviously absurd to equate every duality with every other duality. Rather, we would postulate that all other dualities are distortions of the fundamental duality.

The foregoing comments suggest that the fundamental duality is love/light: i.e., the duality between the second distortion and the third distortion. Love/light refines and makes more precise the passive/active or yin/yang duality which is often taken as fundamental.

Now let us consider the three-ness of existence. Many people have suggested that there is a trinity from which all else springs; and the first distortions are clearly such a trinity.

We can observe a connection betwen the principle of duality and the principle of trinity. In many systems of thought, we can arrive at the concept of trinity by taking the concept of duality, and adding a third principle which is the unity, synthesis, or balancing of the duality. Consider, for instance, Hegel’s trinity of thesis/antithesis/synthesis, or Gurdjieff’s trinity of active, passive, and neutralizing forces.

This is the case with the first distortions. Love and light are the first opposites, and, as with all opposites, when they unite they return into nothingness. This nothingness is the first distortion. Thus the first distortion is the unity of the second and third distortions.

The first distortions thus satisfactorily capture both the two-ness and the three-ness of existence. They are the fundamental trinity, and this fundamental trinity contains the fundamental duality.

At first, love and light come into existence in a perfectly balanced manner; thus, they cancel each other out, and immediately return to nothingness. This results in an infinite expansion of the awareness of nothingness (the first distortion), without either love or light becoming independently visible.

It may seem that an “expansion of the awareness of nothingness” is a contradiction in terms. Nothingness is already infinite, and therefore we may think that we cannot surpass nothingness to something higher. But this is a confusion. The nature of infinity is such that for every infinity, there is another infinity which is greater than it. The only infinity which cannot be surpassed is the pre-experiential Creator. Any awareness of infinity, therefore, can be surpassed to a greater awareness of infinity. This, then, is precisely what happens as the initial result of the reaction between love and light.

In this initial reaction, the three first distortions are perfectly united. Yet, due to the nature of infinite possibility, there must develop further reactions.

The next two reactions which we can name are the emergences of love and light as independent entities. Love exists by itself, without immediately being balanced with light and canceling out. Light exists by itself, in the corresponding manner. At first these are infinite love and light, which is sufficient to imply an infinite number of these distortions. This is for the same reason that we saw before, with the first distortion. Every infinity can be surpassed towards a higher infinity. Thus, for every infinite light, there must be an infinite light which surpasses it; and the same for infinite love.

Due to the desire of love to become one with light, the independent existences of love and light are fairly unstable states, strongly tending to collapse back into nothingness. These distortions, then, do not lead to much subsequent distortion. A greater avenue of possibility is found when love and light form themselves into a vibration. This basic distortion of vibration between light and love leads to much of the subsequent experience. I am still clarifying my thoughts on the topic of vibration, so I end here.

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  1. #1 by Joseph on October 18, 2011 - 8:14 pm

    In re-reading the Law of One, I have noticed something that might be worth your attention. If you read through questions in the Cosmology category in http://www.lawofone.info, you’ll notice that Ra has impressed upon the Ra group so profoundly that the vibration of love (the central feature of 4th density) is not to be thought of as identical to the second distortion, Love, that they have been careful to capitalize “Love” when it is used in its capacity as the second distortion and to lower-case “love” when used in its capacity as a vibration. In the sense of the first distortion, “Love” is treated as identical to “Logos”. Since we have so much information on Logoi in the Law of One, it seems useful to consider ponder the First Duality in reference to this database of information.

    My results:

    The first distortion, Awareness, is equal to awareness of unity, infinity, nothingness (which is not yet known to be nothingness since there is no nothingness). Thus, infinity becomes a subject which perceives itself as object. This is the First Duality, which leads to an awareness of the duality latent in the very act of coming to awareness.

    When the Creator discovers itself, it then discovers that there is a potential within itself. This is the First Duality in the experience of the Creator: yang/yin, a vision of the subject/object duality embedded into the Creator’s awareness of itself. Yang/yin can also be thought of as the Father/Mother duality and thus also the Chokmah/Binah duality, the positive/negative duality, the male/female duality. All these are contained in the potential of the second distortion: discovery of separation within the Creator.

    Love/Logos, the second distortion, is the Creative aspect of the One, Light, the third distortion, is the Created. Love brings the dawn of potenital, as it represents a separating within the newly aware Creator. Recall that potential is literally the separation of opposites (consider electical potential or voltage). This act of separation provides a space within which work may be done: it has an Energy.

    As the potential is what creates, the energy is what is created. Father/Mother and Child. Positive/Negative Potential and Energy.

    The will of the Creator to Create is identical to the discovery of potential, which emerges out of a discovery of self.

    The The third and final act of the Creator is a discovery of manifestation. The moment the Creator discovers potential, this potential may become focused enough to yield a manifestation of potential, an actual. In other words, the energy is the thing which fulfills the potential, the will. Interestingly enough, Light is preciserly this: a 6-dimensional unit of Energy. Light has literally all of the basic features of manifest reality.

    When Light is emitted from Love, it’s journey is the opposite that of Love/Logos: Light seeks to return as Logos seeks to beget. These last two phases of the Creator’s experience may be summed up as the out-breath and the in-breath; the journey down and the journey up; the one becoming many and the many becoming one.

    In considering the first three distortions, I think we have the basic vibrations of the numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4. 1 is Unity (Kether), 2 is Polarity (Chokmah, Binah), 3 is Trinity (Supernals as a unified polarity: thesis, antithesis, synthesis), 4 is Creation (two polarities: yang/yin, Creator, Created — basis of the 4 elements).

  2. #2 by antitheology on October 18, 2011 - 11:58 pm

    You’ve voiced to me previously the opinion that Love is not the same thing as love. In pondering it further, I’ve come to hypothesize that love is a distortion of Love.

    I agree with you that the sequence of events that you describe is the sequence of events that occur at the beginning of existence. However, I map them differently onto the first distortions. I think that the first duality is love/light: i.e., the second distortion and the third distortion. Then the infinite reaction to the first duality is all of the distortions subsequent to the third distortion.

    Of course, that particular disagreement is entirely a matter of what Ra meant, and so about as futile as arguing about what a particular poet or a particular author “really meant.”

    Since I endorse the ideals of Enlightenment thinking, my own bias is to not rely on authority and decide my beliefs based on what I can know with my own mind. I think that I could have in principle arrived at the theory of the origins of existence which we have discussed, without having ever read Ra. This is similar to how science operates. One could have arrived at Newtonian physics even if Newton had never existed.

    All of that to say that “what Ra really meant” is a question of secondary importance to me; I’m more interested in “what we can know to be true.” And in that sphere we seem to agree on the general shape of things.

  3. #3 by antitheology on October 19, 2011 - 12:03 am

    Oh, now that I think about it further, there is actually an issue of substance behind the disagreement of interpretation, which makes it not *merely* a disagreement of interpretation. We agree on the general shape of the first duality: female/male, yin/yang, negative/positive etc. Additionally, however, I find love/light to be the sharpest and most precise description of which I am aware of the nature of the first duality. So I believe that the first duality is love/light; and this leads me to interpret Ra in the way that I do.

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