Thursday, October 20, 2016

Importance of Rituals in Our Lives

"Spiritual practice is a direct experience. When we follow our breath in the Zen tradition, or repeat the names of God in Islam, or kindle the Sabbath candles and welcome the Shekinah on Shabbat, or offer the light of a butter lamp to Mata Durga, we are harnessing timeless technologies precisely engineered to open the heart and transform consciousness. Practice knocks on the door of the soul and it opens to the presence of the sacred. It shifts us from the intellectual realms of theology into the embodied space of spirit as it pours into and animates all that is." ................................Mirabai Starr, author and adjunct professor of philosophy and world religions at the University of New Mexico-Taos, on practicing a tradition and what it brings [1]
Many times I have confronted people asking the question as to why I go to a Catholic mass or participate in any ritual when I write and speak so much about the need for an intuitive journey and believe in spirituality which has a unique personal character. I think the above quote on the role and power of ritual in spiritually empowering us.
First of all we have to understand the evolution of rituals which had a survival bias and slowly evolved into the psychological space as the human consciousness evolved from magical character in the hunter – gatherers into the rational sphere in the post-modern human beings. Underlying the entire spectrum of human consciousness evolution is always a belief system. 
In the early homo sapiens, before he went out on a hunt, they used to gather around and draw the rough picture of the animal they intended to hunt and the leader of the hunt would shoot an arrow into the heart of the drawn figure and this ritual was rooted in the belief that somehow this act would transpose itself on the prey when they go on the hunt. Later when man settled down near the source of water as agrarian society, the fertility of the soil, the nourishing rain and the warmth giving and heat from the fire to cook and ward off animals were symbolized as Mother Goddess, Rain god and the God of protection and transformation. These gods were then worshiped in the hope that they would be bountiful and provide the seasonal flooding of the river, the timely rain and the life enabling food. The ancient worship of Agni and copious reference to it in the Vedas is an example. Recent archaeological investigations have revealed that the figurines of mother goddesses unearthed reveal that Mother Goddess worship dates back to more than 20,000 years.
It was the practice of the Nile valley civilization that in every process in the agricultural operation, from breaking or ploughing the ground , the planting of the seed to harvesting was celebrated with singing and dancing. The breaking of the ground and planting of the seed was symbolic of the burial of the god Osris and the sprouting of the grain a symbol of resurrection of Osris  and final the harvest festival was the symbol of Osris, his consort, thanking Isis for reviving him from the dead. This was celebrated by singing and dancing while a sheaf of corn was raised towards heaven. Can you see the similarity between this ancient practice and the raised offering of the host to ask Christ to resurrect back into the material realm. (I had written an article on the symbolism of the Holy Mass earlier [2])
“Archaeologically, the earliest evidence for Indo-Iranian fire worship is found at the transition from the Sintashta-Petrovka to the Fedorovo culture around 1500 BC, together with first evidence of cremation. While cremation became ubiquitous in Hinduism, it came to be disavowed in Zoroastrianism. However, even earlier evidences of Vedic fire altars have been found at the Indus Valley sites of Kalibangan and Lothal, giving rise to speculations towards earlier assumed the geographical location of the early Indo-Iranians.”[3]
The ritual of fire sacrifice or yajña is a worship of transformation which is the continuous process in all manifestation. The ingredients fed into the ritual fire such as Sandalwood, Clarified butter, incense and other millets produce a specific sensory smells and together with the Vedic chanting induce a transformation of consciousness.
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad hymn 3.1.6, states that the mind is the Brahma of yajña and the goal of yajña is complete release and liberation (moksha).
The spiritual significance of Hajj is the elevation of the faithful to a cosmic dimension. There is a parallel to the movement of cosmic objects and sub-atomic particles orbiting around a central Black Hole, which is an entity beyond human comprehension and hence representing the unknowable and unnameable power which is expressed as a common act of worship in the language man. While electrons ceaselessly orbit the nucleus of an atom, the earth and planets tirelessly traverse space in an orbit around the sun. In turn, the solar system becomes the whirling dervish orbiting the centre of the Milky Way. It seems that circling a central point of reference is a universal act of worship. Muslims join in this cosmic mode of worship and synchronize with the whole universe and all existence by circling the Ka'bah as the reference point of the oneness of Divinity.
It is important to realize that rituals evolved from a purely mind-body matrix to its current state at the stage of mythological consciousness of the homo sapiens (from 5000 B.C)  through the wisdom of those who codified and formatted these processes of spiritual exercise. The aim was elevation of consciousness by symbolically appealing to the higher mind that lies beyond the rational domain.
Love to you all

[1] Parabola Magazine July 28, 2014

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Initiation through Sacred Geometry

"Accustomed to looking at philosophy as a makeshift, a groping toward truth, changing in accordance with the acquisition of mere information, there are few people nowadays who can even grasp the assertion that there is an ultimate truth against which everything can be measured, and which is accessible to man" ………………………………Idries Shah, The Sufis
"Within the human consciousness is the unique ability to perceive the transparency between absolute, permanent relationships, contained in the insubstantial forms of a geometric order, and the transitory, changing forms of our actual world. The content of our experience results from an immaterial, abstract, geometric architecture which is composed of harmonic waves of energy, nodes of relationality, melodic forms springing forth from the eternal realm of geometric proportion." …………Robert Lawlor, Sacred Geometry
In today’s article I wanted to deal with a subject which is very subtle and which we experience many times in our lives and yet we ignore or pass over these moments of experiences as we do not have the requisite indwelling and knowledge regarding the source from which these emotions of exhilaration are experienced. Mostly we assign these feelings to a perception of beauty in our experience or encounter with an object. Beauty as is defined in an abstract way lies in the form that is presented to our senses. A few examples are the well-proportioned and perfectly chiseled features of a fellow human being, an unblemished Sunflower in full bloom or a nautilus shell radiating a rainbow spectrum through an incident ray of light or the perfect spiral of a Galaxy. All these perceptions have a common form which is a Fibonacci spiral. Nature is full of these fundamental geometric form and the observation of these resonates with our own inner craving for perfection.
Man has spent many centuries in the pursuit of answer to relationships that exist both in the tangible manifest world of structures and the intangible forces that govern these relationships.
Pythagoras and Plato firmly believed that Forms can have neither attributes as either material objects or any other qualities of material objects, nor mere concepts in our brains. They have an independent nature of existence, apart from the physical universe, and they are eternal and immutable. Physical objects are what they are by virtue of their participation in these specific Forms.
This participation happens through the indispensable nature of the observing consciousness which resonates at a specific energy to transpose the immutable form on to the object being perceived.  Our normal perception through a conditioned sensory consciousness is that the fundamental form is an emergent property of the material object while in reality the objective reality that we sense is an emergent phenomenon of the fundamental form under a specific context or milieu.
This is the reason that complex, fractal patterns are reducible to fundamental forms through non-Euclidean geometry. A classic example is the Einstein’s General theory of relativity, where space-time curvature leads to gravity. To understand this complex structure of space=time a differential topology known as  pseudo-Riemannian manifolds (note the word manifold which is a complex form), which (in four dimensions) is employed. (please ignore this paragraph if the reader is not mathematically inclined)
In the current stage of advancement of science, both the macrocosm and the microcosm at the manifest and unmanifest level can be reducible to fundamental sub-quantum units of information and these units are geometric in nature, such as lattices of energy, looping, twisting, folding and unfolding.
The very basic structure of life on this planet, the DNA, is double helix, a geometric pattern. The level of coiling known as ‘negative coiling’ and ‘super coiling’ leads to different expression of the DNA function.
It is very important to realize that as participating consciousness in bringing about objective reality, we are inherently inter-twinned with geometric patterns immanent both in the subject and object. Any philosophy, in its literal analysis, woefully falls short of defining a method of this process and this what Idries Shah, the Sufi mystic so eloquently says; “………..there are few people nowadays who can even grasp the assertion that there is an ultimate truth against which everything can be measured, and which is accessible to man".
These few people are those of us who pause and probe the reason behind an epiphenomenon that takes us unprepared when we encounter the emergence of  beauty from the inherent forms of nature.
Let me close this article with a quote:
"At this stage modern man must face a series of paradoxes of his own making. This 'objective' mathematics, for all its success in mechanics, makes use of abstractions that correspond to nothing in experience. The square root of minus one, the zero, infinity are abstractions corresponding to nothing in that physical realm we call 'reality'. And without these abstractions the formulae do not work. In other words, to describe the phenomenal world 'scientifically', science must have recourse to abstraction. . ." ……………………….John Anthony West, “Serpent In the Sky: The High Wisdom of Ancient Egypt”
Do not be alarmed by abstraction they are very nature of hidden forms that finds expression through our intuitive probing.
Love to you all.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Essence of Existence is the Divine

"The splendor of the sun, which dissipates the darkness of this whole world, comes from Me. And the splendor of the moon and the splendor of fire are also from Me.
I enter into each planet, and by My energy they stay in orbit. I become the moon and thereby supply the juice of life to all vegetables.
I am the fire of digestion in the bodies of all living entities, and I join with the air of life, outgoing and incoming, to digest the four kinds of foodstuff.
I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas, I am to be known. Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas." ............Bhagavad Gita 15 :12-15

When I read the above passage from Bhagavad Gita, I was astounded by the depth of knowledge it conveys as to the nature of reality. Ever since humans evolved there was a constant seeking to understand both himself and the environment around him. The more mysterious a perception humans assigned a Divine authorship. The evolution of mythologies, worships and rituals had their origin in this seeking. But there were wise men who were able to intuit the true nature of reality though they assigned a primal cause to a single Divinity which was called by different names; such as Brahman. The manifestation of this single Divine entity in many manifestations were also written into mythologies and worships.

Lord Krishna, who is the manifestation of the Lord Vishnu in the triumvirate of Saguna Brahma imparts very fundamental wisdom essential for a holistic perception of reality both in mankind as well as in the cosmological realm.
These verses from the Gita, which come immediately after the revelation of the Cosmic form of Divinity in chapter eleven, is from the chapter known as ‘Purushottama Yoga’ or ‘Realization of Ultimate Truth’  

The omniscience, omnipotent and omnipresence of the Divine essence is explained as being fundamental to all that is created, sustained and transformed. In these three acts of creation, sustenance and transformation there is a single source in action through a manifold laws which are inherent to this source. Many times the word evolution is misleading as this process has to fundamentally have a previous source with inbuilt mechanism to trigger this process so that a different entity can evolve. In truth what we are observing is emergence. This process is different in the sense that while there an original source, an emergent phenomenon employs not only this source but the entire energy in the system in which the new manifestation takes place. This is the reason that evolutionary through natural selection was not able to explain the sudden spurt of species and the quantum jumps in intelligence.

In the present age, through science, we are able to understand that there is no matter as such but matter is a derivative of energy. This energy is consciousness.

“Consciousness is that by which this world first becomes manifest, by which indeed, we can quite calmly say, it first becomes present; that the world consists of the elements of consciousness.” ..............Erwin Schrödinger, Nobel Prize-winning physicist.

 When we say consciousness, there is always a tendency to identify it with human consciousness. This is extremely limiting. Science again comes to our rescue in study of animals and plants as possessing extremely high level of consciousness.

Let me just quote a latest research findings about plant consciousness:
"Tree mothers' are a lot like human mothers, Trees talk often and over large distances.
You see, underground there is this other world. A world of infinite biological pathways that connect trees and allow them to communicate, and allow the forest to behave as if it's a single organism,
But their communication and comprehension skills go much deeper than that -- trees can also recognize their offspring, and nurture them both below and above the ground." .............At TED Summit 2016, forest ecologist Suzanne Simard.

"Quantum theory reveals a basic oneness of the Universe. It shows that we cannot decompose the world into independently existing smallest units. As we penetrate into matter, nature does not show us any isolated "building blocks," but rather appears as a complicated web of relations between the various parts of the whole………..” …………… Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics

May the wisdom of these verses from Bhagavad Gita and our scientific discoveries empower us to live a fully connected life to our fellow men and the cosmos.

Love to you all.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Everlasting through Divine Love

"In this vision he showed me a little thing, the size of a hazelnut, and it was round as a ball. I looked at it with the eye of my understanding and thought "What may this be?" And it was generally answered thus: "It is all that is made." I marvelled how it might last, for it seemed it might suddenly have sunk into nothing because of its littleness. And I was answered in my understanding: "It lasts and ever shall, because God loves it." 
…………St. Julian of Norwich

St. Julian of Norwich was a fourteenth century Christian mystic and the above quote is taken from her book “The Revelation of Divine Love”. She was unique, being the first woman writer and woman theologian in an age dominated by the male church authorities. Because of her deep intuitive and contemplative thinking, she was able to comprehend a cosmic view of life and its existence within the universe.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit the chapel and its annexe where St. Julian spent nearly thirty years without leaving her single cell abode. During her stay in this cell she had visions, which were internal revelations during her deep meditative state, which she wrote down as a book.

I was greatly impressed by the above quote because of its cosmological nature and being in tune with current findings in cosmological studies in science in the twenty first century.
All material manifestation in this universe, including all atoms, gases, planets, stars and galaxies, is only 4% of the universe. It is as small as a comparison to all that we can observe in this world and yet it this hazelnut comes out of the vastness of the earth. So also all manifestation in this universe comes from the vastness of the cosmos. The singularity that expanded in the very first zillionth of a second is the outpouring of what Julian calls Divine love. This can be seen from a scientific perspective as any singularity from which the universe had to evolve will contain an energy density inversely proportional to the volume of the singularity but as a singularity has potentially a zero volume the energy density has to be infinite. This is the reason why the laws of physics break down at the singularity.

Julian expressed this great concept through spiritual simplicity and further strengthened it through her expression “…………..I marvelled how it might last, for it seemed it might suddenly have sunk into nothing because of its littleness. And I was answered in my understanding: "It lasts and ever shall, because God loves it."
In modern scientific knowledge which talks not of energy but of information, the total information is only translated in the process of manifestation but never lost or diminished even in a Black Hole.

In Vedic cosmology, which is considered by some to be the closest to modern scientific timelines. It suggests that the Big Bang is not the beginning of everything, but is just the start of a present cycle preceded by an infinite number of universes and to be followed by another infinite number of universes.

How did this revelation regarding an infinite manifestation reveal itself to a lowly, scientifically and philosophically uninformed nun in a remote corner of England?

This reveals a universal, connecting medium or field and this can be called by different names such cosmic consciousness or Divine love. In order to reach this stage in a human life it is necessary to surrender oneself completely to the Divine powers that lies beyond the rational mind and sensory perception within the human soul. This is a travel inward and it is expressed beautifully in the following passage from the writings of St. John of the Cross.

“……….On this road, therefore, to abandon one's own way is to enter on the true way, or, to speak more correctly, to pass onwards to the goal; and to forsake one's own way is to enter on that which has none, namely, God. For the soul that attains to this state has no ways or methods of its own, neither does it nor can it lean upon anything of the kind. I mean ways of understanding, perceiving, or feeling, though it has all ways at the same time, as one who possessing nothing, yet possesseth everything. For the soul courageously resolved on passing, interiorly and exteriorly, beyond the limits of its own nature, enters illimitably within the supernatural, which has no measure, but contains all measure imminently within itself. To arrive there is to depart hence, going away, out of oneself,”

Swami Sivananda defining Cosmic consciousness says:

“Cosmic consciousness is perfect awareness of the oneness of life. The Yogi feels that the universe is filled with one life. He actually feels that there is no such thing as blind force or dead matter and that all is alive, vibrating and intelligent. ……………..He who has cosmic consciousness feels that the universe is all his. He is one with the Supreme Lord. He is one with the Universal knowledge and Life. He experiences bliss and joy beyond understanding and description. In the moment of illumination or great spiritual exaltation he has the actual divine universal vision. He is conscious of being in the presence of God. He sees the light of God's countenance. He is lifted above the ordinary plane of consciousness. He reaches a higher state of consciousness. He has a cosmic or universal understanding. He has developed the cosmic sense. The human soul is revolutionised.”

It is in this state of enlightenment that St. Julian had such a profound vision. Hence every little thing that we see is the manifestation of Divine Love and we are also part of this fabric.

Love to you all.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Functionality from the Formless

“A flower cannot be by herself alone. To be empty is not a negative note… A flower is empty only of a separate self, but a flower is full of everything else. The whole cosmos can be seen, can be identified, can be touched, in one flower. So to say that the flower is empty of a separate self also means that the flower is full of the cosmos.” ………Thich Nhat Hanh

In my teachings of the interconnectedness of the self with the fullness of the Macrocosm, one of the slides I show is the most beautiful picture of the Milky Way Galaxy adorning the sky over the Colorado desert and the short definition of the Japanese word yūgen (幽玄), a term that Japanese artists and poets have used to signify a deep emotional response of relatedness with the Universe. This is expressed by the great Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, in the quotation above. As I am deeply interested in human consciousness and the possible approach to comprehending the nature of its all-encompassing attribute through which humanity is in the present evolved state through science, especially physics and biology, I try to closely follow the thoughts and writings of leading scholars who have an integral approach in their research though they are investigating very narrow domains in their own respective fields.

World's smartest Physicist and String theorist, Edward Witten said: “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 am able to resonate with his thinking as I believe that String theory is a strong candidate for unravelling the fundamental working of the universe. It needs eleven dimension but we live in a four dimensional domain and our consciousness is conditioned in this framework. We have no access to the any reference framework that lies outside our four dimensional world. This is n undeniable fact.
Even in our four dimensional world view we are still struggling to unravel certain observation as to why, in any closed system entropy keeps increasing and why the arrow of time always points to the future. There are as many debates as there are deep thinkers in the academia.

Buddhism has always insisted on the limited capacity of the human mind when it is extended to grasp any deeper reality other than those that we perceive through our sensory organs.
Whenever any radically creative work is attempted, any concepts which are already available to the perceiving mind becomes an impediment.
Seymour Cray, the founding researcher of Cray Supercomputers, always believed that any prior knowledge is an impediment to radical new thinking, hence when an advance version of Cray supercomputers enter the design stage, completely new resources are put together with the proviso that none of the older design information should be consulted. This has enabled the most advance computers using a ground breaking architecture upgradable to 100 petaflops (100,000,000,000,000,000 floating point operations per second) per system.

The potentiality of the void is grasped at the individual level then the potentiality of the entire cosmos is opened to us.
“Thirty spokes share the wheel’s hub;
It is the center hole that makes it useful.
Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room;
It is the holes which make it useful.”
Therefore benefit comes from what is there;
Usefulness from what is not there.” ……….Verse 11 of Tao Te Ching

The universe evolved from the void and its macrocosmic functionality was contained in that very void from which it evolved. This understanding is sufficient to understand the futility of seeking any causality within the current framework of evolving consciousness. As the full potentiality of comprehension is inherently built into our consciousness, a transcendence beyond our limited rational consciousness operating through our mind is the need of the hour.
Imagine a cup that has an infinite capacity and totally transparent but appears to the person who is holding it as very limited because the portion that he wraps his hand around only gives him the feel of the presence of the cup. This false perception will lead him to refuse any nourishment beyond his apparent boundary.

It is only through our expansion of awareness beyond the limiting structures of our ego and seeing the interconnectedness of the entire cosmos that we can perceive that the entire universe evolves from our subjective perception.

For each of us to be meaningful in our existence, the subjective experience of all objective reality from the tiniest of organism to the galaxies, should be seen as an integral nature of our own existence.
This leads us to the experience of yūgen which is an inner emotional experience beyond the limiting mind.

Love to you all.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Mortal Condition to Crowning Immortality

"We have subjective faculties hidden in us which correspond to all the tiers and strata of the objective cosmic system and these form for us so many planes of our possible existence... For as the Gods have built the series of the Cosmic worlds, even so they labour to build up the same series of ordered states and ascending degrees in man's consciousness from the mortal condition to the crowning immortality."
……..Sri Aurobindo, Hymns to the Mystic Fire - p. 25

 “A human being is part of a whole, called by us the ‘Universe’ —a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings, as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ………….Albert Einstein

This article is nearly a continuation of the article I wrote in my last blog post. I recently gave a talk by the title “Cosmic Dimension of Dharma”. The key element of my talk was to map the scaling similarity between what we call the Macrocosm, which consists of the manifest material world from the humans to the stars, galaxies. Universe and the multiverse, and the near invisible world of the Microcosm consisting of organisms, the cells in the human body to the subatomic particles. There is a clear hierarchy that can be traced with attributes that can be mapped for their similarities. This is possible only when the basic underlying stratum is common to both these domains. Not only sacred insights and scriptures but now science is also in agreement that this common strata is “Consciousness”. There is an evolution of human consciousness through which there is a continuous unfolding of the deeper knowledge of deeper reality.

"Quantum theory reveals a basic oneness of the Universe. It shows that we cannot decompose the world into independently existing smallest units. As we penetrate into matter, nature does not show us any isolated "building blocks," but rather appears as a complicated web of relations between the various parts of the whole.
These relations always include the observer in an essential way. The human observer constitutes the final link in the chain of observational processes, and the properties of any atomic object can be understood only in terms of the object's interaction with the observer." .............Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics

This is what Ari Aurobindo, who had a strong influence on Ken Wilber's integral theory of spiritual development, says as “We have subjective faculties hidden in us which correspond to all the tiers and strata of the objective cosmic system and these form for us so many planes of our possible existence…….” These faculties are not in the mental plane but find expression through the mental plane.  A deeper study of Sri Aurobindo’s evolutionary ontology of consciousness reveals his background as being based in Vedic philosophy. The human mind and its derivatives are in the state of waking consciousness is the most primitive, ego driven and is dependent on sense perceptions, Above this is the ‘Unitary Higher Mind’ of self-revealed wisdom. Beyond this is the ‘Illumined Mind’ where truths are revealed rather than thought. Above this plane is the plane of the ‘Intuitive Mind’ where truth is inevitable and perfect, and finally the cosmic ‘Overmind’, the mind of absolute, comprehensive, all-encompassing.

Human life that is given to us is always gifted, with an accompaniment of a level of consciousness which one inherits through the karmic background. The purpose of this life is the purification of our current level of our consciousness and ascend towards its unsullied primal nature. The ‘Tree of Life’ in Kabbalah and ‘Jacobs Ladder’ in the Judeo-Christian teachings are representations of the levels of consciousness through which the human soul or consciousness makes its ascent to the Divine plenum.

The quote from Albert Einstein is cited as the procedure of realizing our cosmic nature through the development of an all-encompassing compassion.
Thomas Merton, the Catholic writer and Trappist monk, said: “Compassion is the keen awareness of the interdependence of all things. “
Compassion is the key virtue that is taught by Buddha and the reason is true compassion towards all sentient beings can enable one to develop a sense of detachment and clearly see the integral relationship that exists in all creation. This is the most essential step in dismantling ego constructs and move towards our authentic self.

May a life of compassion elevate our consciousness in our cosmic journey.

Love to you all 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Process of Experiencing Nonduality

“We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness. People normally cut reality into compartments, and so are unable to see the interdependence of all phenomena. To see one in all and all in one is to break through the great barrier which narrows one’s perception of reality.“ ………………Thich Nhat Hanh

“When your centre of regard, your centre of your consciousness, shifts from you as an individual to what all beings have in common, not just human beings, but all of existence—from the most distant star, to an empty space, to everybody in this room, to the chair that you’re sitting on, to the air that you breathe—you see that it’s all just actually one underlying reality. To really see this is to embrace life. To find that radical yes to existence.” ……………………Adyashanti

I am now in Norwich, England, and in the past week been watching a few episodes of the daily edition of “Monkey Life” on BBC. What struck me was the more you watch these wonderful primates in their own setting, how we can derive a close relational bonding and feel that the emotions they display and the gestures they employ are so closely related to the human species. What also became very apparent is that in the Gorilla group when there is an alpha male who is very dominant in an aggressive and in an egoistic way, he tends to get isolated. This is very same thing that happens to us when we allow our ego to play a dominant role. We get isolated from not only the community but also from with our own authentic self which inherently forms a part and parcel of the whole.

The words of Thich Nhat Hanh reflects this state of affairs in our life. From the very beginning of our lives, right from childhood, we are indoctrinated to possess, identify and experience all our objective perceptions as separate entities and which belong to the ego or the false self. Even when in childhood we need to share from the point of view of social bonding we prioritize an action of repossessing as something very essential. Our very early ancestors, as hunter gatherers had a very narrow domain of separateness between the hunter and the hunted. According to Jean Gebser, the eminent Swiss Philosopher and a person who had classified the evolution of human consciousness, the hunter gatherers, in all other relationship, especially with nature at large, had zero degree of separation. They were driven by self-preservation and procreation through the employment of ego initiated actions, we have employed our ego drives in every dimension of our lives such as accumulation of wealth, relationships, social status and power. This has resulted in a totally compartmentalized relationships wherein we assign judgmental attributes and tarnish the perception at its most fundamental level.

This is what Adyashanti says when he points out as “When your centre of regard, your centre of your consciousness, shifts from you as an individual to what all beings have in common………….” Our consciousness plays the central role in our perceptions and invariably we lock on to mental maps already stored through our sensory experiences. We never allow the time and space to question our earlier perceptions.

This is the reason why in the path to self-realization, it is important as the first step to consciously notice our bodily sensations, thoughts and emotions. Next, having noticed the above is to disown through differentiating that sensations, thoughts and emotions as not your authentic self.
This leads us to the fact that we are the awareness noticing these things. If we are able to bring ourselves to the realization that every perception, whether it be sensations or thoughts or emotions, is fundamentally conscious awareness but differentiated by our conditioned mind through pre assigned form and name, then we have made the transition to strengthen our non-differentiated awareness.
This non-differentiated awareness is the authentic Self. This is the very true composition of all manifestation.

It would be useful to define the relationships which plays out in our consciousness through which the true self gets hijacked in our daily lives.
Collectively, the primal mind, a heart of compassion and disciplined body constitute the authentic personality.
The true-Self is the very embodiment of the authentic personality.
But the true-Self has been corrupted from its true nature by being in the false perception through inputs assimilated in a lower consciousness state and believes it is the false-self (self-image).
The false-self is the vehicle of the ego personality.

The more ego structures we dismantle, the more authentic consciousness is freed up. This gradually shifts the balance of power from the false-self and the ego-personality to the true-Self and the authentic personality. Nondual perception becomes possible when the balance of power has shifted in favour of the true or authentic Self.

Have a great life and Love to you all.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Impermanence of a Belief System

“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is
extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn't fit in with the core belief.” …………………………Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

The history of belief systems is as old as man. Our earliest ancestors, when they were hunter gatherers, had a belief system which ensured their survival. Whether on a hunt in the savannah or the forest or when faced with natural disasters, they resorted to supernatural powers which ensured their survival. The success they saw in their appeal to a superior entity, whether it be a magical force or a divine person, which in today’s world we would attribute purely to a circumstance or chance or a specific scientific and natural phenomenon, resulted in their increased life span and adequate progeny to propagate the tribe. This became a set of iconic representation or images to which specific survival functions were attributed. First of these images were those of the mother goddesses or goddess of fertility. This became the first of the many belief systems the humankind had installed which became the power centres of religions. As mankind’s knowledge widened and scientific inquiry and observation were employed using increasingly the rational mind, it took the sole role away from the deeper subconscious realm. In the present day, only the thinking mind took over the task of defining a belief systems and to protect itself from analysis and scrutiny, it resorted to authority and power. This is particularly true with respect to where the belief system is the very foundation of a religious structure. The higher integral nature of reality and the vast interconnectedness that rules the universe and which lies outside the capacity of the common thinking human has been ruled as heresy.

As science advances and the capacity for truly understanding certain fundamental nature of the world we observe with our senses is invested with very limited people, there is an increased resistance to accept information which are seen to contradict a belief system. A classic example of hard core fundamentalist monotheistic sects to accept the concept of creation through evolution is when they refused to believe the concrete evidence of archaeological investigation of fossils which have been carbon dated to millions of years by saying these are purposely planted by the devil to destroy the truth of God’s creation literally as written in their sacred scriptures.

The primal nature of the deep wisdom which every person is capable of through in depth enquiry by oneself with absolutely open mind and which has been told by great spiritual masters such as Buddha and Christ as way to attaining enlightenment, finds no place in the dogmatic diktats of religious belief systems.
In the Gospel of Thomas Christ says:
"Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the All."
"If those who lead you say to you, 'See, the kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty." …….Sayings 2-3

Buddha told the Kalamas living in a village where many religious preachers had passed through preaching that what they taught was the only truth. What he told the people when they brought up the subject was recorded as “Kãlãma Sutra”:
"Come, Kalamas. Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumor; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon specious reasoning; nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over; nor upon another's seeming ability; nor upon the consideration, 'The monk is our teacher.' Kalamas, when you yourselves know: 'These things are good; these things are not blamable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness,' enter on and abide in them.

There is a great joy when one experiences an open minded enquiry. It is this freedom which led many mystics and holy men to experience the fullness of the Divine.

Love to you all.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Intuition – The Divine Voice

“Sensations pouring through the sensory nerves keep the mind filled with myriad noisy thoughts, so that the whole attention is towards the senses. But Gods voice is Silence. Only when thoughts cease one can hear the voice of God communicating through the silence of intuition. That is God's means of expression. In your silence God's silence ceases. He speaks to you through intuition. For the devotee whose consciousness is inwardly united with God, an audible response from Him is unnecessary - intuitive thoughts and true visions constitute God's voice. These are not the result of stimuli of the senses, but the combination of the devotee's silence and God's voice of silence.” …………Paramahansa Yogananda
“Can Ramanujan’s mathematical magic be reduced, as world academia has claimed, to a ‘deep intuition’? What is intuition anyway? Could it be that the brain is an organ of consciousness and that when it’s trained to surrender, or to open in scientific “prayer”, it’s able to reflect intelligence from sources way beyond itself? Where do scientists go when they look for a flash of inspiration? To the past? To the known? Or to the great unknown, over the edges of the borders of their own conceptual frameworks?” …………..Science & Nonduality
If we for a moment think deeply as to where from we originated and try to peer far into the abyss of the evolutionary pathways, we realize that this journey of this self-awareness has emerged from the very beginning of the universe. The strong argument put forward between the creationist group and the scientific group is the mode of manifestation. While the creationist group believes that universe and life originated "from specific acts of divine creation.", the scientific thinking is that all creation is a natural emergence through a set of natural laws resulting in self-replication to higher order of complexity.
I strongly support the second view but with a different understanding. This understanding is that the emergent phenomenon is not driven by some random natural laws that evolve without direction and in an accidental manner, through natural selection, but in a well-orchestrated sequence which is also built into the simple laws of  replication as an integral subset which emerges at specific dimensions of complexity.
The fundamental component of the entire universe has to be an entity whose presence can be verified through repeated observation. This is the fundamental requirement of a scientific process. The twentieth century physics has identified that reality of any objective reality requires an observing consciousness. Through experiments we have also affirmed that the behavior of fundamental particles, such as photons, violates laws defined within the spacetime paradigm.
It is the incremental aggregation of a set or matrix of consciousness which leads to observational complexity. If we proceed from this understanding then we can see that the evolution of the human mind is at the apex of the four dimensional spacetime boundary. But the four forces of nature, which are the intermediate causes of objective manifestation of observed creation, cannot be comprehended through a consciousness which is limited by this four dimensional spacetime. This is the reason that the emergence of the four forces of nature from a single fundamental manifold requires more than four dimensions, namely eleven as per Super string theory.
Let us not get too technical. What I am trying to arrive at is that man in his ever  persistent enquiry finds a road block when his objective sensory consciousness is employed. This is the reason why intuitive perception emerges from either dream consciousness or from archetypes in the universal unconsciousness.
A very clear example of this limitation is the news reported from CERN a few days back.
"Hopes for the imminent discovery of a particle that might fundamentally change our understanding of the Universe have been put on hold. Results from the Large Hadron Collider show that a "bump" in the machine's data, previously rumoured to represent a new particle, has gone away. The discovery of new particles, which could trigger a paradigm shift in physics, may still be years away."
My response in the “Quantum Physics” page in Facebook is:
“I have a gut feeling that this disappearance of data is the prompting of higher dimensional reality beyond the Higgs. As the energy level is boosted up in the collider, what if four dimensional spacetime itself acts as an opaque filter. I think it is time to think from this perspective.”
What we are approaching in empirical observations in science is the inevitability of hitting a boundary beyond which our limited consciousness would not be able to penetrate.
Beyond this lies the Divine voice to which we have access through our intuition as we are not purely a four dimensional entity but a Divine entity transcending these limitations.

Love to you all.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Tree of Knowledge and Tree of Life

“The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil………….And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” ………………..Genesis 2:9 – 3:22
“Two completely opposed mythologies of the destiny and virtue of man, therefore, have come together in the modern world. And they are contributing in discord to whatever new society may be in the process of formation. For, of the tree that grows in the garden where God walks in the cool of the day, the wise men westward of Iran have partaken of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, whereas those on the other side of that cultural divide, in India and the Far East, have relished only the fruit of eternal life. However, the two limbs, we are informed, come together in the center of the garden, where they form a single tree at the base, branching out when they reach a certain height. Likewise, the two mythologies spring from one base in the Near East. And if man should taste of both fruits he would become, we have been told, as God himself (Genesis 3:22) — which is the boon that the meeting of East and West today is offering to us all.” ……………..Joseph Campbell, The Masks of God, Vol. II: Oriental Mythology
When I read Campbell’s analysis of the situation in the world today and how the two directions which the east and west have taken, my mind progressed to an answer that lies in the evolutionary history of the consciousness of the human race. When Homo Sapience walked out of Africa, the first point, before the main geographical divergence took place, was in the Fertile crescent in the region of Nile, Sumerian and the Bosporus due to its fertility. Once human settled down in an agrarian society from his nomadic nature, which was driven by the pursuit of prey in very selective regions with open terrain, he had time to contemplate. He started the progress from an animalistic and physically driven existence to one where the thinking man evolved.
This is where the initial seeds of the mythological and rational consciousness were sown. The ‘Epic of Gilgamesh’, circa 2100 B.C, is a classic example in the Sumerian civilization. This was followed by age of  Greek philosophers where knowledge through analysis took its root. The Aryan movement towards the east was predominated by a civilization that had spiritual masters in the mythological and mystical tradition. The rational mindset predominated the westward moving groups due to the sea route through the Mediterranean from the Greek and Egyptian ports provided easy access to fertile deltas and agrarian locations. The clash between the southern European agrarian communities and the hunter gatherers like the Neanderthal needed better tools and weapons. Thinking became essential for more effective and advanced tool development. The absence of a mystical mindset and the increasing rootedness in objective, rational led to belief in an external deity and a single life span in this world.
The situation with the eastern migratory community was however different. The Himalayas provided an impenetrable defense ensuring long peaceful life of contemplation and introspection. This resulted in the belief in universal nature of the Divine as well as the permanency or the eternal existence of the soul. Human consciousness rather than physical well being became the subject of constant exploration.
The first authors of the creation story, whether it be Moses or whoever wrote in his name, took the theme from The ‘city of Dilmun’ in the Mesopotamian mythological story of Enki and Ninhursag as the heavenly abode of the immortals, where sickness and death were unknown.
The two trees in the garden. They are the "tree of life" which is a motif from Mesopotamian myth: in the Epic of Gilgamesh the hero is given a plant whose name is "man becomes young in old age", but a serpent steals the plant from him. There has been much scholarly discussion about the type of knowledge given by the second tree. Suggestions include: qualities in the physical and mental domain  or a worldly for survival as species. But having been created in the image of God, a conscious choice is made to live at the sensory and physical level symbolized by the taste of the fruit.  In Eden, mankind has a choice between wisdom and life, and chooses the first, although God intended them for the first.
The important part of this mythological narrative is seen in chapter 3 of Genesis:
“And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” ………Genesis 3:22
The temporarily of human existence in the present form has been specified through the rational route which mankind took. There is hidden a subtle message in the above quote from Genesis. Man’s existence in this present level of consciousness is not permanent and the promise of a new level of consciousness is indicated in Genesis 3:15. The serpent symbolizes consciousness in the Biblical narrative. A serpent that crawls on the ground symbolizes the rationally rooted consciousness (bringing death to the Israelite) but the raised up serpent symbolizes life or higher level of consciousness (bringing them back to life) ……………...Book of Numbers 21: 4-9
As Joseph Campbell says, It is only by merging of the rational dimension of empirical thought with the intuitive mythological dictates at the deeper level of human consciousness that mankind can find a route to transcendence towards eternal life.

Love to you all.