Though a strange model, it provides a viable explanation
Suppose that my conception of the Blazing One, a ground of Self as the ultimate substance of the material universe, were not merely a model. This conception of a ground, if taken seriously as part of science, would be very surprising. That is because, in the last three hundred years, the fundamental assumption of all science has been precisely the opposite: namely, that there is just one kind of matter, and that the mechanical view of what this matter is, what we call space-time, is sufficient — viewed as a mechanism — to allow us to build a complete and comprehensive view of the universe. Spirit has been exorcised from science.
The proposal I am making here — that the I which lies behind or inside all matter is an underlying substance, or “original substance” underlying all matter — partially reunites us, part of the way, not all the way, towards a world of spirit. It does not make a separation between spirit and matter. Rather is asserts and insists that matter is not purely mechanical material, but rather a spirit-like, Self-like substance, a material grounded in I, hence a different kind of substance from the space-time of Descartes and Einstein which were both postulated in the mechanistic tradition. That is surprising. Of course, too, it is open to question.
But no matter how surprising and unfamiliar, it does, for the first time, make sense of everything that has gone before. When you think about it carefully, the structural explanations that I have given in these four books have perhaps remained puzzling, incomplete. The concept of a living center, and the degree of life which different centers have in them, have been defined and explained recursively and structurally. But the quality that appears in a living center — the quality of life itself that appears in centers — has not been explained. Throughout it all, the nagging question keeps on raising its head: Just what is a center? What does it really mean for a center to come to life? What is the intrinsic meaning of the character of its “life”? And further nagging questions have arisen, too: Even if a beautiful building can be understood in terms of centers, why does the structure of centers make it beautiful? Why then does it have life?
The description I have given in this chapter — if you could accept it — would for the first time finally make sense of all of that, because it finally answers these questions fully. In that sense, although my theory of the plenum of I might seem fantastic, it does finally take all the complex structural facts of these four books, and does tie them together in a single whole.
For this reason, although you may very reasonably be skeptical of the model I have put forward in this chapter, I suggest that you should suspend some part of your disbelief. It is no small thing to be able to make sense of all that has been set down in these four books and to understand the phenomenon of centers in a way which finally leaves important questions about their ultimate nature answered, instead of half-answered or unanswered.