Thursday, September 14, 2017

Chameleon Attributes of Our Perceptions

"I consider my contribution to psychology to be my subjective confession. It is my personal psychology, my prejudice that I see psychological facts as I do…. It would be neurotic if I saw things in another way than my instinct tells me to do; my snake, as the primitives say, would be all against me. When Freud said certain things, my snake did not agree. And I take the route that my snake prescribes, because that is good for me." ……………..Carl Jung
Jung refers to this purely subjective interpretations of his observation as his ‘personal snake’. The metaphorical reference to the snake comes from age old cultural tradition where the snake always symbolized knowledge both good and evil.
This snake is intimately connected to the snake in the Garden of Eden. It was Eve’s personal snake and her subjective perception to wean out the meaning of good and evil. The tree and its fruit are pure objective realities and in themselves does not have any attribute of good or evil. But through a personal and participatory act with Adam, driven by a filtered and differentiated perception, that she and Adam recognize their illusionary and perishable self, their body. This is the reason we read:
“But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”” ………Genesis 3: 9-11
In Genesis, this cultural meme is an inherent element of the mythological tale to bring home the deeper meaning of false reality.
At the current evolutionary stage of human consciousness, it is important that we address the way both subjective and objective perception are ought to be treated. The good thing about subjectivity is that we are the master of what is perceived and have the option to provide a dynamism and the necessary filters to give deeper meaning to that experience. If on the other hand we experience an objective reality without a detailed filtering, their attributes are given, a priori, through both collective perceptual concepts as well as pressures imposed on the self to conform to concepts derived under an external social religious belief system. This is why the Bhagavad Gita points out:
“Those who are seers of the truth have concluded that of the nonexistent (objective) there is no endurance, and of the existent (purely and deeply subjective) there is no cessation. This seers have concluded by studying the nature of both.” ………Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2: verse 16 …….. (Italic words in the verse by the author)
We are given a very limited set of information in the existent and perceived reality which extends from the very minimal in the purely objective domain to the higher subjective level of information that can act as gateways to the absolute reality that lies beyond
Every subjective experience comes with the option for an acceptance or rejection. If my perception is subjective then I – and I alone – have all the options of influencing or being influenced in a given situation. I alone decide whether I feel that something is good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, cold or hot, beautiful or ugly!
We experience all external perceptions as if looking through a pair of sensory filters, which determines our interpretation of an external reality. According to the way I change these filters, I change what is really a neutral picture of an event, and convert it to a subjective perception; for example fear, joy, anger or it makes us sad. These subjective feelings are then transferred to the external picture to be good or bad, negative or positive, meaningful or senseless, dark or light, correct or false. The sane set of information of an event can, depending on a set of ambient conditions can give rise to entirely opposite emotions. For example looking at a night sky with millions of stars can give immense joy but the same experience, when one is alone and lost in a desert, can give rise to fear. In our psychological makeup, we become expert chameleons and identify with the external identity which in themselves do not have a universal identity at the gross level.
The only domain where both the external objective reality and the inner subjective reality could be perceived in its true manifestation is at the most fundamental level, the common ground of being.
It is only by moving to this very fundamental level of realization we can ever reach the unperishable reality. A very good suggestion is given in the Gita:
“One who is able to withdraw his senses from sense objects, as the tortoise draws his limbs within the shell, is to be understood as truly situated in knowledge.” ………..Bhagavad Gita chapter 2: verse 58

Love to you all

Friday, September 8, 2017

What is the Nature of Witnessing?

There could be two types of witnessing; one the subjective perception of a subjective experience and the second, the subjective perception of an objective event. When either of these are invoked to verify the establishment of truth, these perceptions turn to witness. Whenever the witness is called upon by whosoever is making a decision or judgement, it is with the purpose of evaluating the truth so that one’s decision or judgement could be based on factual and logical analysis which are grounded in truth.
In today’s world we are inundated with court room cases where witnesses and legal arguments are replete with error and manipulation.
The famous case in which Lucia de Berk who is a Dutch nurse who has spent six years of a life sentence in jail for murdering seven people in a killing spree that never happened was recently cleared. The case against Lucia was built on a suspicious pattern and statistical analysis: there were nine incidents on a ward where she worked and Lucia was present during all of them. But given the background of the type of patients in her ward and a larger time sampling indicated that the premises of witness was in error. Even the most astute minds can go wrong as we always operate with limited intelligence.
In his etymological analysis of the Sanskrit word ‘Saksi’, James Robinson Cooper recites the following mythological event.
“In the Vedas we find the story of Saksi Gopal, a beautiful deity of Gopal Krishna. An old Brahman and his young assistant had travelled to many holy places and ultimately visited Vrindavan, the resident of the deity Krishna in his cosmic form. The old man appreciated the service rendered by the youngster and had promised before the deity of Gopal Krishna that he could have the hand of his daughter. When they returned home however, under protest from the family, the mood changed and the promise was not fulfilled. Upon the request of the young Brahman, Gopal Krishna agreed to leave Vrindavan and appear as "witness" to the promise the old Brahman had made and thereby take that which was rightfully his. "Saksi" is simply "aksi" meaning "eye" the "S" represents "union" "connection" "bonding" and so "Saksi" means "to connect with the eye" or as the Sanskrit dictionary defines "witness”.”
Now when I read this episode what struck me was the nature of witnessing. Mostly the meaning assigned to witnessing is the effect of observation or specifically seeing. This is the reason that we say in legal parlance ‘eyewitnesses’. But when we invoke the Cosmic form of the Divine the witnessing transcends the limited dimension of only seeing. In the full episode of the ‘Saksi Gopal’, when the old Brahmin tell his young assistant that he will give his daughter’s hand in marriage, the young Brahmin refuses saying that he had done all the services to the old man out of love for Lord Krishna to whom the old Brahmin was a devotee. Hence the intension and the act both at the mental and physical level was witnessed by a superior intelligence and this is the reason, the beautiful Sanskrit word ‘Sarvadhīsākhibhūta’ (“that which is the witness to everyone’s intelligence" which is taken from the Guru Gita) is used to invoke Lord Krishna as a witness to the promise.
Within the context of our daily life pressures and the manipulations we are subject to, setting the right course for our lives and seeking a justice which lies beyond the worldly level, our inner consciousness must invoke the Divine intervention and integration.
In the normal course of events when we need someone to testify to truth we invoke an infallible witness but what happens when you are in the process of a purely subjective act such as one’s true realization. Our spiritual path lies in this domain. When we seek deliverance from ignorance or reason for events in our lives where there are imperceptible causes, we hit a bottleneck as an objective witness is not available to our defence. Hence our reliability on Divine wisdom is the best recourse we have.
Here we can refer to the Book of Job, which is a wisdom scripture of the Bible. When Job, a very devote man, looses all his wealth and family and is afflicted with a despicable disease, he understands his inability to comprehend any reason for his status and he is lost as to whom he should appeal to and his pain and cries out:
“……yet my hands have been free of violence and my prayer is pure. “Earth, do not cover my blood; may my cry never be laid to rest! Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of a man he pleads with God as one pleads for a friend” …….Job 16: 17-21
Do not be disappointed if you cannot ascertain the veracity of any of your perceptions. This is part of the process of letting go. This is not a defeatist attitude but a surrender to the cosmic intelligence which the all-pervading witness to truth.

Love to you all.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Return to Our Higher Manifestation

I promised to write this article to evoke the higher meaning behind the festival of Onam and the mythology associated with it. I will briefly tell the mythical story behind the celebration of Onam.
Long ago, the beautiful state of Kerala was ruled by an Asura (demon) king, Mahabali. The King was loved and respected in his kingdom and was considered to be wise, judicious and extremely generous. This was the period when the kingdom witnessed its golden era. Everybody was happy in the kingdom, there was no discrimination on the basis of caste or class. Rich and poor were equally treated. There was neither crime, nor corruption. People did not even lock their doors, as there were no thieves in that kingdom. There was no poverty, sorrow or disease in the reign of King Mahabali and everybody was in state of bliss and content.
We usually assign a very negative connotation to ‘Asura’ as demon or evil but in the ancient part of the Rg Veda, asura refers to the supreme spirit, like the Zoroastrian Ahura Mazdah, or to Vedic deities (devas) such as Varuna, Agni, Mitra, and Indra. In younger Vedic texts and Hindu mythology asuras become demons who war against the devas (gods). (cf., in the Iranian tradition ahura came to mean "god" while ‘dacva’ came to mean "demon"). Asuras are not necessarily evil while devas are not necessarily good. They are consubstantial, distinguished only by their mutual opposition, which is not conceived as an absolute ethical dualism. In fact King Mahabali was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu, the preserver God of the Hindu Trinity.
The devas became jealous due to the popularity of Mahabali. It is important to note that Mahabali was the great grandson of Hiranyakshipu, the grandson of Prahlada. As many of you may know that Hiranyakshipu was the embodiment of evil while Prahlada was the embodiment of the Divine essence from his very childhood and was the invoker of Narasimha avatar of Lord Vishnu.
This perennial iteration between evil and good as manifestations of the dual and nondual nature of the Divine can be seen in most deep mythological lore.
To continue the mythological story of Mahabali, The mother of the Gods, Aditi, sent Lord Vishnu as a dwarf Brahmin, Vamana, to Mahabali to ask for alms. In his generous nature Mahabali asked what Vamana wanted and he asked for land which he will measure by his feet, seeing this as an easy gift the King agreed. Lord Vishnu assumed his cosmic form and took the first two steps enveloping the whole world and seeing that the third step would destroy the earth, Mahabali asked the lord to put his third step on his head thus sacrificing himself.
Lord Vishnu, witnessing the selfless sacrifice, finally condescends to his devotee’s request for a boon to return to his kingdom every year. This is celebrated as Onam festival.
The deeper meaning of this mythological story is that both evil and good are purely dualistic perception of the human mind. If we analyse this episode from purely a rational perspective then we see that a good and benevolent king was tricked due to jealousy of gods who were supposed to be the good. But if we see this episode from the point of view a perennial manifestation granted through a boon to the benevolent king by the Divine, the methodology to which we assign attributes as evil and good becomes a collective objective perception. These type of perceptions become invalidated when we consider the subjective perception of the person experiencing a transcendence. For King Mahabali, this would have been a subjective experience from deeper consciousness level tod in a narrative form in this myth. Those who were witness to the event would have only seen the King collapse and die as soon as he granted the gift of land to the dwarf Brahmin. What happens at the supreme consciousness level would be purely subjective and will always remain hidden from the outside world.
This mythical episode and many similar ones in many spiritual traditions are created to evoke our inner spirit so that we may also celebrate our higher nature in the midst of the world of turmoil.
A very meaningful celebration of Onam to all my friends.
Love to you all.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Nature of Modernity in Spiritual Insight

“When we use the term ‘modern’ we mean neither contemporary nor up-to-date… Rather, for us ‘modern’ means that which is cut off from the Transcendent, from the immutable principles which in reality govern all things and which are made known to man through revelation in its most universal sense. Modernism is thus contrasted with tradition…; the latter implies all that which is of Divine Origin along with its manifestations and deployments on the human plane while the former by contrast implies all that is merely human and now ever more increasingly subhuman, and all that is divorced and cut off from the Divine source.” ……… Professor Nasr, Studies in Comparative Religion.
I was recently listening to the talk by contemporary philosopher Ken Wilber and one key factor that I could note is the progressive stages of human consciousness which was initially classified by Jean Gebser and later refined and reclassified to contemporary stages which are: archaic, magical, mythological, rational. Pluralistic, integral and super-integral. He clearly indicates that these stages are not totally superseded but evolve as an integral pattern of the human physical growth. Advanced stages of consciousness are available to humanity today as against what would have been available in the past. Human evolution has to be seen not in isolation as survival of the fittest but as a lock step process where higher levels of consciousness added the necessary advantage to the fitness regime.
Even today as we develop from a child to an adult. We have the potential to leverage the higher realms of knowledge and wisdom but inhibit this process through belief systems and social and cultural conditioning.
When St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, who were a very intellectual Greek society, he says:
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” …..1 Corinthians 13: 11-13
This is a clear indication of the necessity of transcending our limited perceptions from the archaic, magical and mythical levels to higher levels which are available to the higher mind. This would enable us to move beyond seeing the image to seeing the reality face to face. This full knowledge has to progress through a belief (faith), then a longing (hope) and then an unconditional response (love). The final stage can be reached only through integral or unitive consciousness. If we divest our progress from the earlier stages of consciousness and define our current knowledge as ‘Modern’ or ‘Postmodern’, then we move away from the richness of the past, which had deep roots in ethnocentric worldview and position ourselves in dualistic mode of operation. This results in pure rational level of consciousness and inhibits our growth beyond this stage. This need for openness to all that ancient spiritual traditions can teach us is expressed by Joseph Epes Brown who was an American scholar whose lifelong dedication to Native American traditions helped to bring the study of American Indian religious traditions to a larger audience.
“It has long been necessary to situate correctly the so-called primitive religions in the context of the world’s historical religions, and in so doing to recognize that in spite of many elements unfamiliar to the outsider, Native American traditions, at least where there has not been excessive compromise to the modern world, are in no sense inferior, but indeed are legitimate expressions of the philosophia perennis.” ……………..Joseph Epes Brown, …..“The Question of ‘Mysticism’”
A true ethnocentric worldview can be developed only when we learn to appreciate and imbibe all good things that are available to us through various spiritual traditions. As social creatures humans have to evolve to our higher potentialities only within our limitations of social, cultural and religious upbringing but as St. Paul says in every one of us there is a stage when we have to move away from seeing the reflection for reality and directly grasp the nature of higher reality through our inherent capacity for higher wisdom.

Love to you all.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Hearing the Inner Voice

The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.  After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” …………1 Kings 19: 11-13
This is a very meaningful verse in the Hebrew Old Testament which we normally gloss over as a miraculous calling of God to Elijah.
This is a calling to every human being. We hide in the cave of darkness and look for answers from a superior being or a higher level of intelligence for answers to our doubts and questions. When Yahweh said to him “Go out and stand on the mountain …….where the Lord was about to appear, Elijah was expecting Yahweh to appear in all sound and fury, as described, in the powerful wind, the earthquake and the fury of the fire but there was only a gentle whisper. Elijah recognizes the voice as the voice of Yahweh and goes out of the cave.
Going out of the cave is an act signifying our moving out of ignorance and darkness into the light of true knowledge. The first question that he hears from the whisper is why he sheltering in ignorance. In every one of us there is this inner voice, a voice which beyond the conceptual meanings of turmoil resultant from our tormented rational mind.
Yesterday I was watching a debate on YouTube between a Buddhist scholar who was also a qualified physicist and a leading cosmologist and particle physicist. On one side there was an argument that pure subjective experience validated through empirical methods and the natural laws which are mathematically defined and repeatedly confirmed, could be the nature of reality. The other side of the argument was that the central axioms on which laws of nature are based are only the product of the rational mind and their validity has already been questioned by leading mathematician Kurt Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem. The argument from the Buddhist thought was that only through a constant practice of silencing the mind that the inner voice of intuitive knowledge can be accessed.
Leading scientists in the fields of Quantum Physics, Cognitive Sciences and other disciplines are seen to be in agreement that our conscious perceptions are extremely limited and in the word of a leading Mathematical cognitive scientist, Stewart Hoffman, our limited perception is a derivative of evolution so as to ensure the survival of the human species.
“I think consciousness will remain a mystery. Yes, that's what I tend to believe. I tend to think that the workings of the conscious brain will be elucidated to a large extent. Biologists and perhaps physicists will understand much better how the brain works. But why something that we call consciousness goes with those workings, I think that will remain mysterious. I have a much easier time imagining how we understand the Big Bang than I have imagining how we can understand consciousness..” ………….Edward Witten, American theoretical physicist and professor of mathematical physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.
This does not mean that our journey to highest source is perennially impeded. The route of listening to the inner voice as pointed out in the Biblical verse quoted is the path beyond the rational mind.
In the New Testament we have a reference to the impossibility of perception through sensory effects of the true cause from which such effect is derived. Christ tells Nicodemus:
“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” ………….John 3: 8
Let us silence our mind whenever possible to listen to this small whisper which is felt in our inner being.

Love to you all

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Myth as Expression of Truth

“Myth is a symbol, approximate expression of truth which the human mind cannot perceive sharply and completely, but can only glimpse vaguely, and therefore cannot adequately or accurately express…. It implies not falsehood, but truth; not primitive. Naïve understanding, but an insight more profound than scientific description and logical analysis can ever achieve. The language of myth in this sense is consciously inadequate, being simply the nearest we can come to a formulation of what we see very darkly…..This procedure is quite legitimate if [we] understand what is being done.” …………..Biblical Scholar Millar Burrows
This good expression of the purpose of myth has been misunderstood ever since human consciousness moved towards its higher dependency on the neocortex. Human beings when they evolved from the archaic and magical consciousness into the mythological era tried to find more meaningful expression of what the intuitive mind was able to perceive. The sages of the ancient wisdom traditions and the writers of sacred scriptures used myth as a tool for evoking the human mind to grasp deep spiritual truth.
It is unfortunate that when the rational age of consciousness evolved and religion became the sole, unquestionable dispenser of spirituality, a historical interpretation of scriptures became the dominant mode. This is because then there could be a two way regression of anchoring the deep truth into the rational domain.
These two are; the evoking of pre-mythical magical consciousness which could become a universal unassailable explanation invoking a supernatural source for events in a literal sense and also assign a historical character to the scriptures so that the authors become witness to purely sensory perceptions as witnessed in the past and  rational mind becomes an unquestioning receptor of meanings.
 There are also certain fundamental relatedness in which a myth evolves. The socio-cultural and language are very important factors at the time of the conceptualizing of mythical theme. We are fortunate in this respect especially in the study of Biblical scriptures as voluminous studies have been carried out from Jewish, Christian and secular perspectives. Through these studies we have been able to find deeper meaning and commonality of structures of various symbolism which are used in these writings. If we consider the creation story in the book of Genesis, the symbols employed such as the sacred garden, the flow of water from the underworld, the serpent, opening of one’s eyes, Cherubim and the flaming sword are all common symbols appearing throughout ancient near east in Biblical times.
There is a psychological dimension which is very vital in the structuring of a myth. All myths evolve from the author’s ability to call upon the archetypes in the process of deeper perception of truth from the universal unconsciousness. This perception of truth from the universal unconsciousness and hence the common archetypes finds different types of expression depending on the local milieu, culture and language.
An common example in the creation myth is the ‘coiled serpent’ symbolism. The archaic consciousness of humanity, predating the magical and mythical consciousness evolution, the coiled serpent, “Uroboros”,  eating its own tail was used as the symbol of primal, unmodified consciousness of humans. It is a paradisiacal state which provides all their needs. The open ended uncoiled serpent on the tree of knowledge represents the internal prompting man when growing out of primal consciousness to perceiving the external world and his own ego through this newly invested knowledge derived from the tree of knowing and to equate himself to God but in this process becomes keenly aware of his physical nature or his lower self. This duality results in his worldly life of toil, pain and keen sense of emotions resulting from his rational thinking.
When we study the myth of Eden we can see how the psychological development of the human being progresses from the primal state of undifferentiated unity towards a subject-object duality of perceptions. The participating players in the Eden Myth are the male and the female and the deity which is presented as the Great Mother Goddess and the serpent. This theme can be seen in many sacred scriptural mythologies.
The Sumerian mythology talks of Marduk and Tiamat, Vedic lore talks of Indira and Vritra, the dragon or serpent, Greek myth of Zeus and Typhon. All these myths are told to evoke and make humanity keenly aware of our primal purely unmodified consciousness and our current status of fragmentation.
This is a vast topic and the reason for bringing up this specific topic is for all of us to delve deeply into the what so ever scriptures we use for our spiritual enrichment and move beyond literal, historical and dictated meanings and eke out the spiritual kernel which can enrich our lives.
Love to you all.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Triad of Perceptions of the Self

Triad of Perceptions of the Self
“He dreamed that he was walking through a vast wasteland. He heard steps behind him. Anxiously he walked faster, but the steps too become more rapid. He began to run, the terror still behind him. Then he came to the edge of a deep abyss and had to stand still. He looked down; deep, deep down, thousands of miles below he saw hell fires burning. He looked around and saw, or rather sensed in the dark, a demonic face. Later on, the dream recurred exactly as before, except that instead of the demon the dreamer saw the face of God. And when he was almost 50 years old he had the same dream for the last time, but this time panicky fear drove him and he jumped off the edge of the abyss into the depths below. As he fell, thousands of little square white cards floated downward with him from above. On each card, in black-and-white, a different mandala had been drawn. The cards floated together into a kind of a floor so that he did not fall into hell but found a firm landing about halfway down. Then, he looked back, upward to the edge of the abyss, and there he saw his own face! The pursuer in the dream is the Self, which appears first as the uncanny, then as God, then as the dreamer himself. In the final dream, which evidently brought with it the solution since it did not recur, the similarity of ego and Self, one the mirror image of the other, is underscored.” …………..Dream of a patient of Marie-Louise von Franz
A powerful depiction of the state of one’s consciousness exhibited through dreams at different stages of one’s life. The three images that the dreamer sees are three different self-perceptions of one’s own self. In Jungian psychology the shadow was an important aspect of the psyche. The shadow is the ‘unconscious aspect’ of one’s personality  with which the ego does not identify itself and usually is largely negative. This is predominant in the first version of the dream as the dark demonic face that follows him to the abyss.
There are, however, positive aspects which may also remain hidden in one's shadow (especially in one’s inferiority complex, anxieties, and false beliefs). To know yourself completely, you must accept your dark side. To deal with others' dark sides, you must also know your dark side. The face of God which the dreamer sees is the positive nature of one’s true consciousness.
We always live in the turmoil and contradiction of trying to relate to these two aspects of our psyche. The jumping off the precipice indicates the plunge into the process of individuation. All mystics go through the dark night of the soul in their individuation process wherein one’s true spiritual nature is realized and united with the universal consciousness.
As Jung explains the more consciousness gains clarity, the more demanding its content becomes and this can be equated to the slippery steep slope of darkness or the abyss as seen in the dream. The individual who has embarked on the process of individuation courageously takes the plunge knowing well that at the end of the plunge he will discover his true identity.
The white cards with mandala are the symbols displayed in one’s intuitive opening up of higher conscious experience, the integration of which finally reveals his own face or his own Self. A mandala is the symbolic representation of the universe in a microcosm. The four portals employed in a mandala symbolizes the four dimensions in which our human consciousness resides. The first requirement for transcendence of consciousness is a perfect balance in spacetime in which we exist. The inner circular patterns based on their intricacy and symbols and colours employed aids our meditative reflection to transcend to higher meanings.
I would like to end this short article with a quote from the same author with whose quote I started:
“The mandala serves a conservative purpose—namely, to restore a previously existing order. But it also serves the creative purpose of giving expression and form to something that does not yet exist, something new and unique. ... The process is that of the ascending spiral, which grows upward while simultaneously returning again and again to the same point.” …………. Jungian analyst, Marie-Louise von Franz, C. G. Jung: Man and His Symbols, p. 225
In my 2006 article in my website I had referred to this oscillation between or spiralling between the human and Divine plenum in the following words:
“As matter encounters singularity at the event Horizon and as the soul encounters the timeless dimension of divine essence or the Zen concept of Sunyata wherein one reaches Satori or enlightenment, we are all talking the same language of manifest creation standing at the very threshold of a true realisation of its current created status and yet knowing that this is illusion or Maya and our destiny lies beyond this creature horizon.”[1] ……….Tiburtius. B
Human existence is on a plane of ‘returning origin’ of our humanity. But this cannot be a permanent presence in our base material and physical nature but a constant ascendency, a spiralling upward journey to our authentic higher nature, for spiritual replenishment. Due to this diligent exercise our returning origin shifts upward towards a new level of transcendence.
Love to you all


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Form is Emptiness and Emptiness is Form

There are many stories about the great Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. This one is unique
One day, when he was sitting by the old dried river bed wondering how to alleviate the thirst of the tribal people, his mind was in turmoil as he was the chieftain and it was his responsibility to find water for them. Many years before this river was a torrent providing abundant water but now only a trickle flowed. He was sitting and looking for alternatives of how to find water when he realized that a troubled and anxious mind cannot think constructively. He should let go of his thoughts and focus his awareness on the river bed where abundant water once flowed. He then realized that with no rain or spring to feed the river, there must be some other source. He then saw many huge boulders up the river, he suddenly realized how in the past the force of the once wild stream must have hollowed out that rock. He then remembered how water tended to puddle in those kind of hollowed out rocks and boulders.
He suddenly cupped the palms of his hands to mimic the hollow shape that he saw in that rock and he wondered why he had never considered that a hollow shape could hold stuff, contain something... water for instance.
Suddenly he became aware of the sound that a few drops of water made that still slowly trickled down the rock wall behind him.
He could hardly find the right words to express what he had just discovered, he somehow blurted out, "Form is Emptiness!" but realizing that people will not understand him he added "and Emptiness is Form!"
When Buddha expounded the “Diamond Sutra” He has the following dialogue with his principle Bhikkhu, Subhuti and the dialogue is as follows:
'Subhuti, what do you think? Are there many particles of dust in the universe?'
Subhuti replied: 'Many, World Honoured One!'
'Subhuti, the Tathagata says these particles of dust are not (real), (but) are (merely) called particles of dust. The Tathagata says the universe is not (real), but it is (merely) called the universe.'
Buddhist cosmology is very advanced and the above dialogue points out to the deep understanding taught by the Buddha. The story and the teachings of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, as well as the Diamond Sutra teaches that the fundamental aspect of reality is emptiness.
As we now understand through research in particle physics and in our exercise of reconciling Quantum theory and Special theory of relativity that the concept of matter as consisting of particle is an illusion. String Theory posits that particle are manifestations of strings of energy vibrating at different frequencies in different dimensions. So the observable universe is an illusionary, collective, objective reality created by perception in a conditioned mind.
If we delve deep my understanding is that consciousness forms the very substratum of both the world of observation as well as the observing mind. Hence in these undifferentiated entities how can one arrive at a duality. Hence all dualities result from a conditioned consciousness rooted in forms.
All ‘rupas’ or forms and ‘lakshanas’ or attributes or the result of corrupted mind.
In a frustrated rational mental mode the existential philosopher Jean Paul Sartre declared:
 “Anything, anything would be better than this agony of mind, this creeping pain that gnaws and fumbles and caresses one and never hurts quite enough.” But this is the truth that grasping reality with our rational mind leads us to a frustrating experience.
The criticality of our mental self-annihilation, a burning to ashes of our overloaded rational mind, is brought out by Friedrich Nietzsche, in his book ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’.
“But the worst enemy you can meet will always be yourself; you lie in wait for yourself in caverns and forests. Lonely one, you are going the way to yourself! And your way goes past yourself, and past your seven devils! You will be a heretic to yourself and witch and soothsayer and fool and doubter and unholy one and villain. You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame: how could you become new, if you had not first become ashes?”
The realization of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara on the river bed and the deep exposition of the Buddha to Subhuti as well as our current enquiry into nature of reality in science should take us on an inward journey of realizing our true nature.

Love to you all

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Voice in the Street and the Wilderness

"The alchemists say that this mystery lies in the most insignificant & cheapest things, rejected and thrown away by all men. This is an excellent description of the unconscious which always seems a minus to us because we cannot see it. It is actually the most insignificant thing, it is everywhere, & yet no one sees it. “Per vicos acclamans", It is calling through the streets [concerning the alchemical mystery & the unconscious], is a very peculiar remark. When the bride in the "Song of Solomon" is searching for the bridegroom, she says : 'I will rise now, & go about the city in the streets, & in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth.'" …………………..C.G. Jung
“As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.” ………..Luke 3:4
While physical alchemy is purely a materialistic process by altering and transforming the properties within matter, spiritual alchemy is concerned with freeing your authentic Self which is trapped and conditioned within you by the polluted content of your consciousness (e.g. your fears, personal beliefs, self-loathing, etc.). Spiritual alchemy is vastly more multi-faceted.
Jung is commonly accorded the recognition as the main advocate and promoter of alchemical process in psychoanalysis. He argued that he had noticed many of the symbols found in alchemy texts mysteriously showing up in the dreams of his patients – most of whom had no prior knowledge of Alchemy.
He concluded that alchemy was a superb expression of the universal symbols of consciousness, and was therefore a highly effective tool for psychological insight. Materia Prima, The Philosophers Stone and Gold are the most commonly known symbols relating to Alchemy.
Materia Prima (or “first matter”), is an Alchemic symbol that reflects the notion that all the universe originated from a primitive, formless base which in Jung’s classification is the universal unconsciousness. This is the materialistic symbolism of Gold in alchemy. The idea of a “Materia Prima” can be traced back to Aristotle who understood that there is a force that holds all other forms in existence together but is itself invisible – these days, this is called “Spirit” in the western philosophical tradition. Science and especially particle physics points to the sub-quantum foam of pure potentiality from which all particle are but vibrations into grosser manifestation. This invisible substratum is a field of pure potential that can only come into existence when it is embodied into a “form.”
It is by refining the base material, such as lead, that the Materia Prima is arrived at. In psychoanalysis, it is the regressive method of using symbols in the dream state of consciousness or evocative symbols that manifest in waking consciousness that pure content of the spiritual status can be derived. This new knowledge can then be used to formulate a process for spiritual transformation. This transformation is a self-actualizing process where the psychotherapist or counsellor plays a catalytic role.
The universal presence of this state of pure potentiality is present everywhere and its expansiveness is symbolized by stating its presence in the ‘street’ as well as in the ‘wilderness’.
A voice calling out in the street as well as in the wilderness symbolized a universal presence which bears meaning only when there is someone to hear. The conscious, subjective tuning into this voice is the tool of transformation. As the Gospel says; it is a call to prepare and straighten the path for this higher state of consciousness to pervade our being.
Jung rightly points out the meaning of the search for the bridegroom by the bride in the streets and broad ways.

Love to you all

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Second Symbol of Rebirth

“The sun is our second symbol of rebirth ... When you realize that eternity is right here now, that it is within your possibility to experience the eternity of your own truth and being, then you grasp the following: That which you are was never born and will never die; that is the insight rendered in term of the solar mystery, the solar light.” …………….Joseph Campbell in “Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor”
The very opening of the quote tells of the Sun as the second symbol of rebirth. Before we deliberate on the significance of the second symbol, let us understand the first symbol. Symbols were established in the mythological age to evoke the consciousness of men towards the higher purposes he or she was created. The earliest myths could be traced to the Sumerian myth of the “Epic of Gilgamesh”.
Water is a primordial source of both rejuvenation and destruction in the Epic. It is neither good nor evil, but simply a force and representation of the gods’ will and the cycle of birth and death inherent to all life. The deluge event both in the Sumerian text as well as in the Matsya Purana and in the Old Testament is a symbolism of global level cleansing as the whole of humanity was deviant from the purpose of creation.
Notably in the Hero monomyth there is a stage of Apotheosis or transformation to the state of the Divine, after every important event in the Epic, Gilgamesh (and Enkidu if he is with Gilgamesh) bathes himself. After slaying Humbaba, when Enkidu leaves the wilderness, and after every other crucial action in the epic, there is always a bath. In practical purposes, the bath cleans and rejuvenates the heroes after their adventures, but it also seems to have ritual purpose—a spiritual as well as a physical cleansing. Spiritual cleansing through bathing has similarities to the significance of baptism in Christian practice, in which water is a means of absolution and conversion. Each time Gilgamesh and Enkidu bathe, then, we can interpret them as being rejuvenated and as reaffirming their connection to the gods. This is the climax in which the Hero must have his final and most dangerous encounter with death. In the eleventh stage of the Hero’s journey, there is a death and resurrection.
Now we look at the second symbolism of rebirth which is the Sun. Today happens to be the longest day in the northern hemisphere as it is the summer solstice. Solstice is a word with Latin roots – ‘solstitium’, from ‘sol – sun’ – and ‘stitium – to stop.’ Stoppage of the Sun is metaphorically linked to experiencing eternity, a point at which time loses its meaning. When we are engaged in the deeper contemplation in our inward journey of spiritual awareness, we experience eternity.
In the Old Testament, Joshua defeats the five Amorite kings, with the assistance of Yahweh, he stops the Sun for whole day. This is the mythical symbolism of experiencing eternity in the conquest of our darker nature.
“On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”” ………..Joshua 10: 12
As the Sun never sets or rises when a spaceship is on a very high orbit, when our consciousness is elevated to sublime level, we experience eternal light. The hope of rebirth is given to us through our witnessing the rising and setting of the Sun when we stay rooted to material existence on this earth.
“Let us meditate on that excellent glory of the divine vivifying Sun,                                                                May he enlighten our understandings.” …………….Gayathri mantra

Love to you all

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Autonomous Approach of the Self

"Christ is the western formulation of what the East calls the Self, Atman, the Purusha or Buddha. If one may interpret him as a symbol, he symbolizes the Self. The dogma claims that Christ was God who became man. In psychological language this means that the Self approached the consciousness of man, And indeed in a very peculiar form, the Self approached from outside autonomously, not as a human realization." …………….C.G. Jung
The deeper you explore the realm of consciousness the more wonderful meanings are thrown up for our awe and enrichment. Carl Jung had the wisdom of deep understanding and his exposition of the human mind and the various means it seeks to pronounce as well as to grasp the various layers of the human psyche, is a treat for any student of depth psychology. Jung clearly understood the universal connectivity of consciousness and this gave him a great appreciation of the wisdom of Eastern philosophy and mysticism.
A clear division is needed to grasp some of the dogma in the western Christian traditions between the historical Jesus, the man, and his indwelling Divine Christ consciousness. This amalgamation was predestined in the karmic journey of Jesus the man, through what the dogma defines as virgin birth. To define the distinction between the human and divine nature of Jesus, the gospel writers refer to His human as the ‘son of man’ (with the small letter ‘s’) and to His divine nature as ‘Son of man’ (with the capital letter ‘S’). This is similar to the Vedic nomenclature of ‘the self’ and ‘the Self’ when defining the ego consciousness and the universal Divine consciousness.
Another important feature that we need to understand is that the consciousness of man is extremely limited and hence cannot through an act of volition invoke the merger with the Divine consciousness or the Self. Through a state of preparedness the self awaits the Divine Grace which through its own autonomous choice merges with an individual.
Meister Eckhart in Sermon VII : “Outward and Inward Morality” says:
“Grace is from God, and works in the depth of the soul whose powers it employs. It is a light which issues forth to do service under the guidance of the Spirit. The Divine Light permeates the soul, and lifts it above the turmoil of temporal things to rest in God. The soul cannot progress except with the light which God has given it as a nuptial gift; love works the likeness of God into the soul. The peace, freedom and blessedness of all souls consist in their abiding in God's will. Towards this union with God for which it is created the soul strives perpetually.”
When Eckhart says; Grace of God works in the depth of one’s soul and whose power it employs, it is clearly meant that the power or the potentiality of the soul must be at its peak to receive the infinite potential of the Divine. The potential of the individual soul has the power to transcend all physical, mental and temporal boundaries and only through this capacity can it ever merge with the Divine. The basic realization of an individual is what Eckhart says;  “………..Towards this union with God for which it is created the soul strives perpetually.”
In Manduka Upanishad Verse 3.1.3 it says:
“When the vision of a learned person grasps the effulgent Purua who is the Ruler of all, the energy of all deeds and also the source of Brahma, then he, having shaken off both virtues and vices and having become passionless, attain unity with that Supreme Entity.”
This is the process of reaching the state of preparedness to merge with the Divine consciousness. It is a state where one shakes of all passions of achievement and in the deepest stillness of infinitude realize one’s own nature of omniscience. 
Love to you all

Monday, May 22, 2017

Born of the Night and Twilight

“Manu . . . comes from the root "man", to think, hence a thinker". It is from this Sanskrit word very likely that sprang the Latin "mens", mind, the Egyptian "Menes", the "Master-Mind"; the Pythagorean Monas, or conscious "thinking unit", mind also, and even our "Manas" or mind, the fifth principle in man. Hence these shadows are called 'amanasa', "mindless". With the Brahmins the Pitris are very sacred, because they are the Progenitors, or ancestors of men – the first Manushya on this Earth – and offerings are made to them by the Brahmin when a son is born unto him. They are more honoured and their ritual is more important than the worship of the gods.
May we not now search for a philosophical meaning in this dual group of progenitors?
The Pitris being divided into seven classes, we have here the mystic number again. Nearly all the Puranas agree that three of these are arupa, formless, while four are corporeal; the former being intellectual and spiritual, the latter material and devoid of intellect. Esoterically, it is the Asuras who form the first three classes of Pitris – "born in the body of night" – whereas the other four were produced from the body of twilight.” …………………….The Secret Doctrine, ii 91
Homo Sapiens is a genre which has a high capacity to think. In my previous article, I had traced the emanation of thought from our perceptions. This is the core of the Sankhya philosophy in the Eastern philosophical tradition.
With the culture of the world at large being influenced by Western thought and with Rene Descartes coming out with his position of “Cogito Ergo Sum”, I think therefore I am, the rational dimension of our perception got deeply embedded in the objective physical reality accessible through the five senses.
The evolution of the manifested world including humans is dealt, from an esoteric and consciousness perspective, both in the Vedantic and Kabbalistic spiritual traditions. I will try to trace this evolution of consciousness through the tree of life in Kabbalistic tradition and then move on to the Vedantic, more inclusive, concepts of evolution of consciousness as expounded in the verse quoted from The Secret Doctrine, which was a great work of the mystic of Theosophy, Madame Blavatsky.
In Kabbalah, the Tree of Life describes the lowering of the fullness of Divine or supreme consciousness from the Ain Soph Aur (Ain - Without, Soph - End, Aur – Light, and which existed before all creation)  to the lowest level of the manifested world known as Malkhut
The process of creation in Kabbalah uncannily traces the modern theory of the creation of the universe from a Big Bang’ singularity to the time of material manifestation and the evolution life.
“Kabbalists also do not envision time and space as pre-existing, and place them at the first three stages on the Tree of Life. First is Keter, which is thought of as the product of the contraction of Ain Soph Aur into a singularity of infinite energy or limitless light. In the Kabbalah, it is the primordial energy out of which all things are created. The next stage is Chokmah, or Wisdom, which is considered to be a stage at which the infinitely hot and contracted singularity expanded forth into space and time. It is often thought of as pure dynamic energy of an infinite intensity forever propelled forth at a speed faster than light. Next comes Binah, or Understanding, which is thought of as the primordial feminine energy, the Supernal creative consciousness of the Mother of the Universe which receives the energy of Chokmah, cooling and nourishing it into the multitudinous forms present throughout the whole cosmos. It is also seen as the beginning of Time itself.” [1]
If we then refer back to the philosophical meaning behind the dual group of progenitors quoted in the Secret Doctrine, we realize that the same imagery is used. It is from a probably common mystical route that both the Vedic and the Kabbalistic mystical concepts of tradition are derived. The antecedence and precedence of this mystical concept of creation of man is not important. It is the significance that both Near-Eastern and Eastern philosophical thought resonate on the concept of creation.
To delve deeper, the first three Pitris are said to be formless and are said to be born of the darkness namely manifested reality. In science we come to understand that photons or light particle are fundamental to manifestation to our human mind. The darkness signifies the unknowable referred in the tree of life in Kabbalah as the intellect of the supreme consciousness in the first three levels. While the other four Pitris are said to be born out of twilight or the dawning of light which can be related to the lesser intellect in physical manifestation.
The male and female element of creation is fully encoded in the concept of the tree of life in Kabbalah. In single symbolic representation the descend and the path for ascendance of consciousness to the highest level are made explicit in the mystical tradition of Kabbalah.
The Brahmins are the class of people who are supposed to be one who is a near perfect being in his consciousness as the universal or Divine consciousness, namely; Brahma. Their rituals and mythical positioning must reflect the highest truth.
As cited in the above quote, In the ritual of the birth of a son the father chants the ‘Om medhate devaha’  mantra in the right and left ear of the son. The mantra is as follows:
“‘O beloved son, may The Lord bestow you with sharp acumen and intellect to study the Vedas. May the Ashvini deities who support the pran and apan vital energies and the others like Som (Moon) bestow you with perfect intellect’.” [2]
The father then pronounces the name of the child. It is very vital that when this ceremony is carried out the father is in a Sattvik state. The mother then feeds his son from her right breast as it is situated on pingala or sun nadi. This is to provide, not only physical but intellectual nourishment from the Sun channel.
May this knowledge empower us towards a spiritual life rooted in our journey of ascendancy.
Love to you all

[1]  Regardie, Israel. The Tree of Life: An Illustrated Study in Magic. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications. (2000) pp. 49-54. ISBN 1-56718-132-5