An interview with Ivan Antic

Exploring Consciousness Across East and West

Ivan Antic discusses the influence of meditation on his diverse writings, the integration of East and West in his philosophy, and practical insights for spiritual seekers

A modern monk to whom the whole world is a monastery, Ivan Antic stands as a unique figure in the realm of spirituality and literature. With four decades dedicated to the practices of the Fourth Way and Shikantaza Zen meditation, Antic’s journey has been one of profound introspection and exploration. His contemplative life, secluded yet rich with insight, has led him to author a dozen books spanning topics from Sankhya philosophy to astrology, weaving together the threads of Eastern wisdom and Western rationality.

Central to Antic’s work is the integration of seemingly disparate themes into a cohesive narrative of human consciousness and existence. His writings delve into meditation, consciousness, true history, astrology, and the law of attraction, offering readers a holistic perspective on the interconnectedness of all phenomena. Through his lens, astrology becomes a scientific study of nature’s influence on the individual soul, while history unfolds as the external manifestation of karmic evolution.

Intriguingly, Antic’s logo encapsulates this fusion of East and West, with symbols like the Templar cross and the lotus coalescing to represent the convergence of rationality and spirituality. For Antic, these symbols speak to the ongoing evolution of human consciousness, where scientific rigor and spiritual insight merge to propel humanity towards a higher understanding of reality.

Among Antic’s notable works, Meditation: The First and Last Step – From Understanding to Practice stands out as a guide to unlocking the transformative power of meditation. Emphasising the importance of disciplined practice, Antic offers practical tips for integrating meditation into daily life, inviting readers to experience the profound stillness that leads to greater self-awareness.

In The Soul’s Guide to Planet Earth, Antic embarks on an exploration of the soul’s journey towards reunion with the divine Absolute. Drawing from his own experiences and the teachings of Samkhya philosophy, he illuminates the path of self-discovery and enlightenment, guiding readers towards a deeper understanding of their true nature.

Through his writings, Ivan Antic invites readers to embark on a journey of introspection and discovery, transcending boundaries of culture and tradition to embrace a unified vision of human consciousness. As he continues to chart new territory in the realm of spirituality and literature, his work serves as a beacon of wisdom for seekers around the globe.

You have practiced the Fourth Way and Shikantaza Zen meditation for 40 years. How have these spiritual practices influenced your writing and the themes you explore in your books?

They have had a fundamental impact. It is not possible to engage with topics of spirituality and the meaning of existence without a practice that introduces you to a state of consciousness with which you can understand such topics. The mind is not enough; it is designed for understanding objects, but to understand the subject and the consciousness beyond the mind, a transcendence of the mind is necessary. This implies an insight into a broader context in which both the subject and the contents of the mind can be objectively observed, but without the mental concepts that always originate from the mind. The theory of Samkhya and the practice of Zen meditation alone meet these conditions, according to my experience. They are the only ones free of any religious, mythological, theological, or psychological projection and conditioning.

Your books cover a wide range of topics, from meditation and consciousness to true history, astrology, and the law of attraction. How do you integrate these disparate themes into a cohesive narrative and what message do you hope readers take away from your work?

The different topics you mention are illustrations of the same whole, the same consciousness that manifests in every possible way. If you are familiar with it, you can recognize every aspect of this holographic universe as part of the whole. For example, astrology details with scientific precision and methodology how nature (prakriti) affects the individual soul (purusha) using the teachings of Samkhya. History and socio-political events (with their conflicts and wars) are just the external, coarse expression of karmic maturation experienced by souls, including all the stages of consciousness – from that of young souls to those of developed and highly developed souls. This is the holistic approach I want to present to my readers. 

Your logo incorporates symbols from both East and West, such as the Templar cross and the lotus. Can you explain the meaning of these symbols and how they reflect the themes of your writing?

I wish to clarify the unity that stands behind the illusory division between spirituality and materiality that tragically burdens the religious and spiritual traditions of both East and West. The Templar cross is a symbol of the Western emphasis on rationality, material culture, the work ethic, and science. The Yantra in the background symbolizes what is commonly considered to be spiritual and transcendental issues, predominately emphasized in the East. Throughout history, the evolution of consciousness shows a tendency towards their unification. This has not yet been achieved, but signs of their convergence are appearing. For example, it is evident in recent holistic approaches to scientific research when quantum physicists reference answers similar to those of ancient Eastern teachings.

Science and material development cannot properly evolve without understanding the true nature of consciousness – human essence – nor can the true nature of human consciousness and soul be expressed without developing our material culture using scientific precision in our work.

In humans, the highest divine consciousness, the consciousness of the soul, and a complete understanding of the physical world should merge. This is what my symbol speaks to. I believe it represents the complete evolution of humanity.

Meditation: The First and Last Step – From Understanding to Practice delves into the transformative power of meditation. Can you share some practical tips for readers who want to incorporate meditation into their daily lives?

The only practical advice is to practice it. This means to just sit quietly, completely relaxed in body and mind. Only in this way can you experience that which leads you to something solely yours. Let the confirmation of correctness for your practice be a clear insight and greater psychic objectivity. This means that if you calm your lower mind, even for a short time, your higher mind will influence and inform you more easily. We spontaneously strive for this whenever we seek rest, peace, or contact with nature. Meditation is practiced correctly when we do this systematically as a discipline done with our whole being. Every home should have a special room for meditation, as surely as every home has a bathroom, because maintaining one’s bodily hygiene alone is not enough.

In The Soul’s Guide to Planet Earth, you discuss the journey of the soul and its ultimate return to the divine Absolute. What inspired you to explore this spiritual journey and how do you envision your book guiding readers on their own paths of self-discovery and enlightenment?

My entire life has been devoted to that path, to gradually discovering true reality. Perhaps it could be asserted that this reflects my state of karmic maturation, but everyone is on this path, and I do not consider myself exceptional.  The more I come to know myself, the more I perceive the consciousness of unity that exists in everything. I believe sharing my experience will help others, for it has always been so.

Samkhya was my first book, started about 30 years ago. In my youth, I had many out-of-body experiences, and only the theory of Samkhya satisfied my reason with its rational explanation for those experiences. It did so without devolving into mythical or religious ideology. Samkhya teaches that nature is comprised of multiple dimensions. Human essence can be aware of all those dimensions, which means it remains essentially independent and free of everything it sees and experiences. The more one discovers reality, the more one realizes that everything is perfect, simple, and logical. Thanks to Samkhya, I have always known that enlightenment represents the pinnacle of sound reasoning. However, such enlightened reason also encompasses the entirety of nature in all its dimensions. This is what I describe in my attempts to expand every reader’s perception.

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