(Sanskrit) The "primordial self" or the "self beyond," the permanent SELF, the Brahman or universal spirit-soul. A compound term meaning the highest or universal atman. Parama, "primordial," "supreme," etc.; the root of atman is hardly known - its origin is uncertain, but the general meaning is that of "self." Paramatman consequently means the "supreme self," or the summit or flower of a hierarchy, the root-base or source of that kosmic self.

Selflessness is the attribute of the paramatman, the universal self, where all personality vanishes.

The universal self is the heart of the universe, for these two phrases are but two manners of expressing the same thing; it is the source of our being; it is also the goal whither we are all marching, we and the hierarchies above us as well as the hierarchies and the entities which compose them inferior to us. All come from the same ineffable source, the heart of Being, the universal self, pass at one period of their evolutionary journey through the stage of humanity, gaining thereby self-consciousness or the ego-self, the "I am I," and they find it, as they advance along this evolutionary path, expanding gradually into universal consciousness - an expansion which never has an end, because the universal consciousness is endless, limitless, boundless.

The paramatman is spiritually practically identical with what the theosophist has in mind when he speaks of the Absolute; and consequently paramatman, though possessing a wide range of meanings, is virtually identical with Brahman. Of course when the human mind or consciousness ascends in meditation up the rungs of the endless ladder of life and realizes that the paramatman of one hierarchy or kosmos is but one of a multitude of other paramatmans of other kosmic hierarchies, the realization comes that even the vague term parabrahman may at certain moments of philosophical introspection be found to be the frontierless paramatman of boundless space; but in this last usage of paramatman the word obviously becomes a sheer generalizing expression for boundless life, boundless consciousness, boundless substance. This last use of the word, while correct enough, is hardly to be recommended because apt to introduce confusion, especially in Occidental minds with our extraordinary tendency to take generalizations for concrete realities.


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