The Tetralemma, the Atma of the Sri Yantra


The Tetralemma, the Atma of the Sri Yantra and Womb of the Universe.

tariqas post thumbOne of the problems we regularly encounter and it is often why we resist working on certain ideas is the ‘absorption’ problem. We can literary become so absorbed by the thing we are trying to understand that it consumes us mentally and physically as it bombards the mind in dynamically coloured and morphing patterns. That consumption can be total, to the exclusion of all other normal functions. We refrain from eating,  communicating with others or worrying about the future and enter into a ‘bubble’ where all that matters is interpreting the morphing shapes as they fly in all directions.

It is almost hallucinogenic in nature and as we dive deeper into it we begin to lose conscious awareness of Self. The process is physically and mentally demanding and doing anything other than ‘stare’ at the images risks breaking the connection. What we ‘observe’ is a dynamic and very rapid process that rapidly grows into a kaleidescope of fractal shapes. It literally explodes from nothing to everything in the blink of an eye. So in order to see the steps we have to slow the images down and it is this, slowing the images  down, that actually consumes the energy.  Any distraction from the process and it is lost.

It has similarly taken us a long time to understand what these images are, where they come from and why they are so difficult to observe and record.  For they are not as the scientific philosophers;  the psychologist would argue, a product of the ‘individuals’ mind. Nor are they as the religious philosophers would argue ‘messages’ from some higher being being communicated by angels. They are, I would aver, from a place that lies somewhere between these two concepts. Each ‘step’ however is dependent on having ‘observed’ the previous: they are connected and dependent. Thus to understand the whole one must observe the whole process, one that is not only spatially dynamic, but also temporally: one cannot pause the images. To do so breaks the flow; it stops the ‘dance’ and the pieces just vanish into the ether.


Perhaps the most significant, certainly the most repetitive image that has emerged from that place has been the Tetrahedral. It is a strange paradoxical shape.  One of the five platonic shapes it has a rather unique property: it has no central intersect. The shortest route between two nodes is along the edge. It is impossible to dissect the centre or any of the faces.

Cube-300x289With the other four platonic shapes; the Cube, the Octahedron,  Dodecahedron, and Icosahedron, the shortest route between all the nodes is not along the edge but can be through the object or across a face.

As with the Cube opposite all of these other four Platonic Solids have ‘virtual centres’. The shortest distance between two opposite nodes is not along the edge but across a face or through the centre. These ‘short cuts’ not only weaken the integrity of the structure but where these ‘lines converge, they result in the generation of ‘virtual’ nodes.

The most significant of which lies in the centre: as with the cube above.  However with the Tetrahedral this doesn’t happen. There are no ‘short cuts’ and no virtual nodes. This property makes the tetrahedral the most significant shape of all.

The Tetrahedral of the Tetralemma: The Shape of Quantum Logic?

The idea that Logic has form and that form takes shape may seem peculiar. However we can demonstrate the shape of logic by asking a simple set of questions: 1) What is the shortest number of ways to join 2, 3 and 4 points without having any intersects (crossing lines)?

the-shape-of-logicthe-shape-of-logic-02The four points could also be corners on a rectangle as opposite, which can also be joined by six lines. However those six lines intersect to generate a fifth point; a crossing line at the centre. Although I have never tested it I am reasonably certain that the same is likely true for any number of points above four. However this is only true if we continue to represent our logic in 2 dimensions.

If we imagine that the square above is not a two but a three dimensional drawing and if we then skew and colour it; the lines uncross to reveal a tetrahedral in perspective. The same shape as the final 2 dimensional drawing above.

the-shape-of-logic-03aYou may be curious as to why this is significant. However this shift; this transition from a two to three dimensional representation represents a fundamental shift in Logic.  One that is not so much an evolution in the shape of logic, but a new dimension to it: the emergence of the Tetralemma or Catuskoti.

The Tetralemma or Catuṣkoṭi is an ancient argument in logic from India. Composed of a ‘suite of four discrete functions’ it states that there are four possible outcomes to the proposition ‘A’ is ‘B’; these being:

A is B,  A is not B, A is both B and not B and A is neither B or not B.

Sorkin (2010) describes the Tetralemma as “appearing irrational when considered from the standpoint of classical logic”. For the Tetralemma rejects the cherished principles of the  “law of the excluded  middle” [ that for any proposition, either it is true, or it is not]  and the “law of non-contradiction”  [both statements cannot be true in the same sense at the same time: the two propositions “A is B” and “A is not B” are mutually exclusive].

The tetralemma, from the standpoint of classical logic breaks both these rules. Classical logic argues that there is no middle ground, where A is both B and not B. Such a statement is furthermore a contradiction. On that basis the Tetralemma “fits into no recognized scheme of logical inference” leading some to concluded that “the tetralemma hails from an unknown  logical system”.

However the classical logic of the Greeks never encountered sub atomic reality.  For the Greeks the final indivisible unit was the atom; there was nothing before the atom. However we now know otherwise. We know the Atom is composed of a nucleus of protons and neutrons and that this is surrounded by an electron cloud. Not withstanding that the protons. neutrons and electrons are similarly composed of quarks and glueons, the laws of classical logic breakdown immediately with the electron cloud.

For as Sorkin (2010) points out; the electron breaks the law of non-contradiction: it can be in two places at once. A phenomena that Sorkin identifies as a well established fact in his references with “The experimental grounds for such descriptions can be found in any number of text-  books. For a particularly vivid account see Section 1-5 in:  Richard P. Feynman, Robert B. Leighton and Matthew Sands, The Feynman Lectures  on Physics, vol. III: Quantum Mechanics (Addison–Wesley, 1965) ]. Thus it is only when trying to understand the logic of the atom that the need for the Tetralemma arises. However it is also a mechanism that can explain the emergence of the universe.

Using the account of the physicist, Steven Weinberg  in his book ‘the first three minutes‘ the universe is believed to have emerged from a singularity that went through three symmetry breaks. These breaks, synonymous with the generation of spatial dimensions, yielded the four fundamental forces. Although there is an order by which these forces emerged it is not essential to know this order to understand the mechanism .

When gravity, the first of these forces, emerged there was a single dimension (X) and gravity occupied all of it. What remained of the singularity was also within this force. The emergence of the strong nuclear came at the next break as did the second dimension (Y). These two forces are in some respects opposites with gravity the greater of the two. Thus when the strong nuclear emerged it emerged into a universe of just gravity with just two dimensions. So whilst the force emerged from the singularity it was the first force it emerged into.

With the final symmetry break came the third and last spatial dimension (Z) and the emergence of the weak and electromagnetic forces. It was similarly the likely end of the singularity. What had emerged from this event though was the three dimensions (X, Y, Z), the four forces (Gravity, Strong Nuclear, Weak Nuclear and Electromagnetic) and the first Logical Shape: The Tetralemma, the Womb of the Universe and the framework upon which the cosmos and it’s complexity are ultimately built.

the-shape-of-logic-04aAs we mentioned in an earlier paragraph there are many ways to represent the essence of this process. These different ways to visually represent this process similarly communicate varying degrees of information. However it is difficult to combine the concept of the symmetry breaks with the emergence of the four forces better than with that of the Atma of the Sri Yantra: A diagram that communicates an understanding of the universe at a fundamental level beyond any other.

The Atma of The Sri Yantra

sri-chakra-300x298As discussed in the earlier post, busting open the Sri Yantra, the Atma is the outer square gates and inner three circles of the Sri Yantra. It is known as the Womb of the Universe and within that womb are nine interlocking triangles that generate 43 smaller ones. These triangles represent the cosmos, the creation bound within the womb of the universe. That womb being the spatial dimensions (symmetry breaks) in the form of the three circles, which are bound by the four gates (the four forces).


outer-34-plus-dfm-43It is within this Womb, ‘this three dimensional space held open by the four  forces’  that the cosmos is created.  In the Sri Yantra this is represented by the 43 triangles. This arrangement is itself a reflection of the mechanism that bounds it but it does not permit the understanding or management of it. However the arrangement to the left, which uses the 43 ‘triangles’ of Di-Functional Modeling does. It is within this womb that we now hope to concentrate our efforts, with DFM, as watching the universe manifest just takes too much effort to do.



Tariqas Al Khadir

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