Happy Year of the Rooster, to all my Chinese readers

"This year’s theme is ‘application.’ The Rooster has one special super power—the ability to delay gratification and focus on the long term goal.
“Roosters can actually separate the reward from the work required to get it, and they can do this over long periods of time….like years.
“So whatever feelings you may have about the upheaval created in the Monkey year, the qi will now support you to focus and apply yourself to the task at hand with discipline and diligence." .....Narrye Caldwell.

Monday, February 20, 2017

True Flight from the World

“There is only one true flight from the world; it is not an escape from conflict, anguish, and suffering, but the flight from disunity and separation, to unity and peace in the love of other men. When we give power to suffering and to the cause of suffering, we lose touch with the inner self that knows we are one with the Divine. The inner being knows that this sacred union can never be dissolved although it may be obscured. By trusting the illusion of suffering, we forget, and our spiritual wings are clipped. We are unable to lift off much less soar to the heights of ecstatic union with the Divine. To release ourselves from the bond of this illusion and the forgetfulness it causes, we must see suffering not as a destructive power but as a transcendent gift from the Divine. This shift in understanding releases us from disunity and separateness.” ………………..Thomas Merton
I thought I will write this short article on this subject because we tend to associate moving away from the world in a spiritual exercise as an escape from the living reality. Thomas Merton is very clear on this in his opening sentence in the quoted saying. Conflict, anguish and suffering are inherent to life and results from the ego self. The ego cannot be completely dispensed with as it is first level of personal identity. The role we allow ego to play is vital. A good example is salt in our food. Salt cannot be totally eliminated as it is vital not only for taste but also as an essential ingredient for good health as Sodium enables the transmission of nerve impulses around the body. It is an electrolyte, like Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium; it regulates the electrical charges moving in and out of the cells in the body.
All negative emotional reactions such as anger, conflict and hatred results when the ego stubbornly refuses to be expunged from the system as excess salt in the body has to be removed through the kidney for maintaining good health.
Human suffering, in this context, is not that which is caused by physical harm. This suffering which Thomas Merton is referring is the mental suffering due to our inability to detach ourselves from the promptings of the ego.
It is unfortunate that in Christianity the spiritual exercise of suffering is rooted in the physical modelled after the suffering of Christ on the cross. Mortification as a spiritual exercise is seen as causing discomfort or pain in the physical dimension of the individual. Early Christians took it to the extreme level of martyrdom or physical death.
The understanding of St. Paul regarding suffering is of great help to us. Paul says:
“Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God depends on faith; that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his suffering, becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead” ……………….Philippians 3:8-11
We must note that Paul talks of “suffering through loss of all things”. This is the deeper meaning and resonates with the Buddhist concept of “Dukkha” or suffering as a result of attachment. Every suffering is our stubborn adherence to the dictates of the ego and this must be eliminated, which is metaphorically identified with death, and must be followed by the resurrection of the spirit.
Another vital dimension of Paul’s take on the meaning of suffering is his deeper understanding of suffering as a means for sanctification, keeping the ego at a minimum and trust in God at a maximum. He says:
“And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’…For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak then I am strong” …….2 Corinthians 12:7-10.
Thomas Merton provides the methodology through which we can undertake this difficult task of detachment. When our understanding of our true nature transcends from disunity and separation to one of non-duality, we eradicate the very foundation on which the ego has placed its throne. Our true inner nature is elevated to its higher potential giving flight to ascend to an ecstatic union with the Divine.

Love to you all

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Self is Beyond Reason

“The true knowledge of the self is not a knowledge. It is not something that you find by searching, by looking everywhere. It is not to be found in space and time. Knowledge is but a memory, a pattern of thought, a mental habit. All these are motivated by pleasure and pain. It is because you are goaded by pleasure and pain that you are in search of knowledge. Being oneself is completely beyond all motivation. You cannot be yourself for some reason. You are yourself and no reason is needed.” ………………………….Nisargadatta Maharaj
“The Self is like a powerful magnet within us. It draws us gradually to Itself, though we imagine we are going to It of our own accord: when we are near enough, It puts an end to our activities, makes us still, and then swallows up our personal current, thus killing our wrong personality. It overwhelms the intellect and overfloods the whole being. We think we are meditating upon It and developing towards It, whereas the truth is that we are iron filings and It is the Atman-magnet that is pulling us towards Itself. Thus the process of finding the Self is a form of Divine magnetism.” ………..Ramana Maharishi
When I read the above two sayings, I was suddenly drawn to a thought and a picture emerged in my mind wherein I was observing the reflection of the full moon in the ocean. It was probably because the day I started writing this short article was a full moon day. In this mental image, I was standing on the shore of the ocean and the waves were coming one after the other in a specific rhythm. I could hardly see the reflection of the moon in the water. The moon was fragmented and dispersed over an immensely big area due to the reflection coming from many different surfaces generated by the waves.
A thought struck me at that very moment. If we compare the moon in the firmament as the Self and the ocean as the individual self or consciousness, which in its true nature should be the embodiment of the Self or Paramatma. But to the observing consciousness of the individual, the Self becomes disfigured while its true nature is constant and unchanging. The more the travails of life and life concerns, represented here by the waves of the ocean, the true Self lies beyond comprehension. Even if we travel in a small boat to the middle of the ocean where there are no waves, the mild breeze or even the passage of the boat disturbs the surface creating ripples which distorts the nature of true reality.
This goes to point out that using the mind and reason, which is represented by the surface of the ocean, the grasp of true nature of the self is beyond our reach. Even if we dive deep into very clear waters of the ocean the surface which here represents the conditioned mind or the self (with small letter s) always is subject to hindering our access to the true nature of the Self.
Just as the true reality of the moon, which is always whole and never waxes and wanes, can be accessed when we go beyond to its true space of being, the access to the Self needs a consciousness unconditioned by the limitations of mental conditioning. Hence the ultimate reality lies beyond the reasoning mind.
Ramana Maharishi uses a very apt comparison of the Self being a magnet. It is common knowledge that it is the magnet that attracts the iron filings and not the other way around. There are two main hindrances to this attraction; they are distance and a medium. If we have distanced ourselves from the Self through our conscious choice of being attached our physical and material nature, we are far from the never changing influence of the magnet or the Self. As long as the medium is empty space representing a state of mind tranquilized only through meditation and devotion through Karma or Bhakti, the irresistible pull of the Self will be overpowering and provide the needed potential to elevate ourselves to a merger with the Self. If we have any medium like a sheet of glass which gives the false perception of being the goal, the iron filing form the pattern of lines of force of magnetic attraction on the  sheet of glass but these iron filings are far from their true goal.
In our lives, the only supplication in our prayers should be to be filled with Divine grace which is the lines of force that attracts us towards the Self. When this prayer is empowered through spiritual practices such as; austerity, compassion, meditation, focused worship and performance of tasks without expectations (nishkamakarma), our true goal can be achieved.
Let me close this short reflection on the need for Divine Grace with a quote from a great Christian mystic:
“O God, teach me to be satisfied with my own helplessness in the spiritual life. Teach me to be content with Your grace that comes to me in darkness and that works things I cannot see. Teach me to be happy that I can depend on You. To depend on You should be enough for an eternity of joy. To depend on You by itself ought to be infinitely greater than any joy which my own intellectual appetite could desire.” …………….Thomas Merton

Love to you all

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Buddhiyoga –Anchoring in the Divine

“I am the source of all. From Me everything emanates. Thinking thus, the wise worship Me, absorbed in ecstatic contemplation.   With their consciousness centred upon Me, with their vital energies drawn into Me, enlightening each other, constantly conversing about Me, they feel contented and revel in delight.   To those who are constantly yoked; and worship Me with love, I confer that intuitive understanding (buddhiyoga) by which they approach Me. Out of pure compassion for them, dwelling in their inmost self, I destroy the darkness born of ignorance by the brilliant lamp of wisdom.”  ……..Bhagavad Gītā 10: 8-11
There are clearly two dimensions addressed in this saying. They are the attributes of the object of devotion and the categories of devotee.
First dimension is that all the content of what is manifest and what is hidden from our senses, as the sum total of the object of devotion and the content of all these emanates from the Divine plenum which is symbolized as an embodiment in the person of Lord Krishna. The recipient of this message must have the knowledge to comprehend both the manifest and the unmanifest. While the manifest could be comprehended through our senses and our conditioned consciousness, the unmanifest can only be grasped through a new tool of perception which can only be dispensed through Divine grace. To illustrate this mystery at the objective level, Arjuna asks the Lord to exhibit his universal form in chapter 11 Bhagavad Gita which immediately follows the chapter in which the above verse appears and the Lord obliges by bestowing his a special sight.
“But you cannot see my cosmic form with these physical eyes of yours. Therefore, I grant you divine vision. Behold my majestic opulence!” …………..……..Bhagavad Gītā 11: 8
Second dimension is the category of devotee. Here again there are two clear categories of devotees and these categories result from the individual’s karmic status of the individual atma. The first is the wise and the second are those who are yoked to earthly toil. These are very clearly spiritual categories.
The wise are those who have attained a status of elevated consciousness through realization of one’s true self through repeated karmic cleansing. They are able to integrate their consciousness with the Divine through deep ecstatic contemplation or meditative practice. When their vital energies are fully focused on the Self, which is the pramatma, the individual atma loses its ego coverings and transcends to the deeper plenum. It is the well of infinite energy from which the individual wisdom gains strength in its journey, or human destiny, which is the ultimate merger with the Divine.
The second category of devotees are those who are still in the infancy of their karmic journey. This category is defined in chapter 9 of Bhagavad Gita and in no less pronouncement, the Lord declares:
“Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination. He quickly becomes righteous and attains lasting peace. O son of Kuntī, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes. O son of Pthā, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth—women, vaiśyas (merchants) as well as śūdras (workers)—can attain the supreme destination. How much more this is so of the righteous brāhmaas, the devotees and the saintly kings. Therefore, having come to this temporary, miserable world, engage in loving service unto Me. Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisance to Me and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me.” ………………Bhagavad Gītā 9: 30-34
A clear example is provided in the Puranas.
The biography of Valmiki, the author of the great epic Ramayana, is a vivid case of spiritual transformation. Valmiki was not always a saint. He was born Ratnakara, and became an infamous bandit who killed many people by the time he reached his adulthood. One day, he was touched by an act of love between two cranes in a clear river where he was about to bathe. One of the cranes was killed by a hunter’s arrow and the mate cried out in anguish. This event transformed his personality drastically. One day, he met the great sage Narada who questioned him of his duty. Moved by Narada's words, he began to perform penance and chanted the word "Mara" which meant "kill". As he performed his penance for several years, the word became "Rama", the name of Lord Vishnu.  Narada declared Ratnakara to be a great Sage and Brahmin, a member of the high caste. This whole episode signifies the transformation of a sinner into a sage in one life time through constant attachment to the Divine.
It is worth noting how the chant used in meditation “Mara” meaning kill is transformed into “Rama”. This is a symbolic significance of how even the worst of criminals can become spiritually elevated.
Before the eye of the Divine there are no categories. It is only our willingness to elevate our priorities above the mundane and a constant seeking of the higher potential which resides within us. This is what is mandated by the verse quoted at the beginning of this article.

Love to you all

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Apocalypse Versus Apokatastasis

"You may remember that passage in St. Paul about the apokatastasis (Apokatastasis is reconstitution, restitution, or restoration to the original or primordial condition), which is the same idea that the whole of nature, all creatures, are expecting the revelation.
As we are expecting the manifestation as the children of God, a revelation of the Holy Ghost within us, so all creation, even the animals and the plants, are waiting for it too; that spiritual miracle of redemption or completion which happens in man means the crowning of all nature at the same time. So everything that has been fettered will be released with the liberation of the children of God.
The idea is that man is the representative of the whole of creation, and whatever happens to him happens in a magic way to the whole world. It is an exceedingly mystical idea. And as Paul thought, so the unconscious still thinks." …………….. C.G. Jung, Visions Seminars, Vol. 1
Jung reflects the thoughts of theologians like Origen in the third century AD and St. Gregory of Nyssa in the fourth century AD.
It was Origen who gave meaning to Universality of the Redemption and the Final Restoration. His interpretation of St. Paul’s letter1 Corinthians 15:25-28, seem to extend to all rational beings the benefit of the Redemption, and Origen allows himself to be led a philosophical positioning that the end is always like the beginning: "We think that the goodness of God, through the mediation of Christ, will bring all creatures to one and the same end" (De Principiis I.6.1-3). The universal restoration (apokatastasis) follows necessarily from these principles.
St. Gregory of Nyssa who explicitly taught this doctrine.
“It first occurs in his "De animâ et resurrectione" (P.G., XLVI, cols. 100, 101) where, in speaking of the punishment by fire assigned to souls after death, he compares it to the process whereby gold is refined in a furnace, through being separated from the dross with which it is alloyed. The punishment by fire is not, therefore, an end in itself, but is ameliorative; the very reason of its infliction is to separate the good from the evil in the soul. The process, moreover, is a painful one; the sharpness and duration of the pain are in proportion to the evil of which each soul is guilty; the flame lasts so long as there is any evil left to destroy.” …………..New Advent
The language used by Gregory of Nyssa can be mapped to the theory of reincarnation and karmic purification in Vedic and Buddhist philosophies. The process of reincarnation or Sasāra is the continuous cleansing process of the individual soul till it reaches a stage of absolute purity or the original state from which it descended into the material realm.
This doctrinal theology of Apokatastasis has been recast in the twentieth century by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a French idealist philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist and took part in the discovery of Peking Man. He conceived the vitalist idea of the Omega Point (a maximum level of complexity and consciousness towards which he believed the universe was evolving). As seen with Gregory of Nyssa, Teilhard’s cosmic theology is largely predicated on his interpretation of Pauline scripture, particularly Colossians 1:15-17 (especially verse 1:17b) and 1 Corinthians 15:28. He drew on the ‘Christ consciousness centrism’ of these two Pauline passages to construct a cosmic theology which recognizes the absolute primacy of Divine consciousness. He understood creation to be "a teleological process where individual consciousness evolves towards union with the Godhead or Divine consciousness, effected through the symbolism of incarnation and redemption of Christ. He further posited that creation would not be complete until each "participated being is totally united with God through Christ in the Pleroma, when God will be 'all in all' (1Cor. 15:28)
As the consciousness of humanity evolved over the two million years towards Homo Sapiens, our perception of reality has also evolved to grasp the interconnectedness of all manifestations. Jung’s words that the idea of man as a representative of the whole of creation stems from this heightened awareness. It is through individual and collective human consciousness that we give birth and meaning to the existence of this universe and the concept of the multiverse.
The chronological thought process from St. Paul to Origen to Gregory of Nyssa and then to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and the exponential ramping up of our current understanding of the world around us as nothing but our own personal observation in which all possibilities are collapsed to a single identity, we are in a position to have a greater vision of the process of our human journey.

Enjoy the ride and love to you all.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Suspended Between the Opposites

A suspension between the opposites, (i.e., an ego in the banal world who does not know he is also an eternal being), followed by a breaking of the blockage, the stasis, through a transforming dialogue of the Ego with the Self, allowing movement and flow, and leading to the living birth of an unanticipated created third :
"The confrontation of the two positions generates a tension charged with energy and creates a living, third thing, not a logical stillbirth in accordance with the principle ‘tertium non datur’ [law of the excluded middle], but a movement out of the suspension between opposites, a living birth that leads to a new level of being, a new situation." ……………………C.G. Jung, The Transcendent Function
Perhaps the best visualization of the above theme is the painting by Salvador Dali “Christus Hypercubus”. Dali utilizes a traditional Christian motif of Christ’s crucifixion being surreally revealed  upon as in a mystical revelation, yet the cross is formed by an unfolding octahedral hypercube (a four-dimensional cube). The artist’s metaphysical, transcendent cubism is based on the emergent art form of cubism
In this painting there is an emergence of Christ from the cross into a new dimension. The entire crucifixion theme is loaded with the theme of being suspended  between polar opposites. Christ being crucified between the two thieves of whom one is good and another bad, reflects this theme. We lose the greater significance when we are rooted only in the physical image of the event.
What Jung calls “…..a living birth that leads to a new level of being” is a stage of evolution in the human to a new level of consciousness. The purpose of crucifixion is to unite the two dimensions of the ego personality of the individual in the horizontal dimension and the cosmic or Divine level in the vertical dimension. This is why the Roman cross, an instrument of execution, which had only a horizontal bar is shown in the teaching of Christianity with a vertical extension bringing forth the esoteric meaning hidden in this event.
This theme figures in the science fiction novel “Factoring Humanity” by  Robert J. Sawyer. In this novel, the author brings out the initiation of transcendence of the Homo Sapience to the next evolutionary level by a stream of signal which is detected coming from the Alpha Centauri system. Mysterious, unintelligible data streams in for nearly ten years and it is left to Heather Davis, a professor in the University of Toronto, psychology department, to devote her career to deciphering the message. Once it is deciphered it reveals a technology that can rip the very fabric of space time. This means that access consciousness can instantaneously connect on a Galactic scale beyond the limitation of four dimensional solar consciousness. This leads humans to evolve to the next stage of their being. What is important and what this novel brings out is that the moment we are able to transcend our limitation of consciousness in the four dimensions of spacetime, we can actualize our innate potential to transcend beyond our ego dominated nature.
“To be receptive to the highest truth, and to live therein, a man must needs be without before and after, untrammelled by all his acts or by any images he ever perceived, empty and free, receiving the divine gift in the eternal Now, and bearing it back unhindered in the light of the same with praise and thanksgiving in our Lord Jesus Christ.” …………Meister Eckhart
The highest truth cannot be availed if one is rooted in the past or the future. The very nature of being struck to the past denies the evolutionary potential in man to become operative and trying to look for truth in the future is futile exercise as the complexity of the evolutionary process makes any perception in the future dimension a mere illusion which will be rooted in ignorance. If we understand our Divine and cosmic nature and the capacity of our consciousness to transcend our current nature, which is the aggregate of our fossilized perceptions, then we reside in the fertile moment of here and now. A state of emptiness which has infinite potential of manifesting to the fullness of the highest truth.
“The teaching of the Eastern philosophies and of Jung are that all of our stories of right and wrong are but reflections of the yet unreconciled polarities that make up our ego’s. To ‘free’ ourselves from our constricting beliefs and make peace with ourselves and the world, we have to learn to embrace and bear apparent paradox (more on this in my next post). Jung, thus, compared individuation, the process of becoming whole, to incarnation, for to the extent that we claim our wholeness we allow ‘God’ to incarnate in this world.” …………’Truthless Truth Blog’
If we want to transcend towards the higher truth then every moment of our lives has to be a reincarnation or a new birth and this birth has to happen by painfully extracting ourselves from the existing dimensions of conditioned consciousness into a new realm of being.

Love to you all

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Need for Parables and Puranas

“The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “ You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.” …………Matthew 13: 10-15
“The unconscious is the dark being within that hears what our conscious ears do not hear, & sees what our conscious eyes do not perceive. It allows those unnoticed impressions to grow & moulds them into itself. We only become aware of this unheard hearing, this unseen seeing, when the unconscious sends us these forgotten images in dreams & visions.” ………………C.G. Jung
Today we commemorate the feast of Epiphany in the Catholic calendar. You may be wondering why I have chosen to post an article on the importance of parables and puranas in spiritual empowerment on this festive occasion which in the early stages of Christianity had a greater importance than Christmas. In the eastern Christian tradition there was a fourfold significance of the feast of Epiphany. They were the; Divine manifestation, Royal kingship, Advent of light and the Royal nuptial. The common mystical theme underlying these fourfold celebration is the revelation of Divine consciousness in each person.
The three wise men from the east represent the three dimensional manifestation of humanity which is the physical being and therein is hidden the fourth dimension of timeless Divine light or consciousness represented by the star of Christ. It is only Mary and Joseph, the humble shepherds, the three wise men who are granted the vision of the manifestation of Divine consciousness taking the human form in Christ. The birth of God as Man is nothing but the mystical manifestation of Divine light which was hidden during Advent of one’s seeking soul revealed to the discerning individuals representing the Bhakti, Karma and the Jnana paths through which one can attain Divine consciousness. The implicit faith and devotion of Mary and Joseph in this mystical birth represents the Bhakti marga or path, the shepherd toiling in the cold night represent the Karma marga and the three wise men represent the Jnana marga which is tortuous journey and which is purely guided by their own Divine light brought to the forefront as a guide to transcendence.
Now examine the quote from the Gospel of Matthew. The need for mythological path through telling of parables and Purana are for those whose inner realms of consciousness is blanketed by ignorance and has to be awakened through metaphorical inputs to their sensory domain through which a key would provide to unlock the deeper chamber wherein the secrets of the Divine Kingdom are stored.  When one is open to this process the very inner domain would provide the needed tools to further expand one’s consciousness to attain the higher status of consciousness. The saying “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand………..” points not to the wakeful state of consciousness but to spiritual slumber which is a state of blindness and deafness to the deeper reality of human existence.
Now the significance of Jung’s saying can bear its fuller meaning. It is almost in identical words that Jung talks of the two possible states of human existence. These are the conscious and the unconscious. The conscious state is corrupt due to constant erosion by false perceptions of reality but the power of the unconscious which is untainted has immense potential in this revelatory process. When Jung says: “We only become aware of this unheard hearing, this unseen seeing, when the unconscious sends us these forgotten images in dreams & visions.”, what he means is that the forgotten images in dreams and visions are those inputs that take root in a waking consciousness through mythological narrations and powerful stories that nudges us towards reality that lies beyond the wakeful state.
The events of the visitation of the three wise themselves evoke metaphorical significance of a very spiritual nature. I would like to take one event in particular which I feel is of great importance to us individually. The disappearance of the star of the Divine child when the three wise men are in the region of Herod’s kingdom. The kingdom of Herod represents the power corrupted consciousness and its influence to obliterate the guiding Divine light and the moment they leave his domain the star reappears.
Let this festival of Epiphany prompt us to seek the Divine light in each one of us beyond the darkness of illusion.

Love to you all 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Heart Centred Prayer

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him………” …………………Matthew 6:5-8
"When the energy field is too scattered then by default you fall back on the only program that you can run, which is mental-egoic, divide-and-conquer, separate-to-see ~ it’s the kind of program that the West has been running for 2500 years. So it’s only the kind of crazy mystics that model for us what undivided perception feels like.
Centring Prayer artlessly and innocently without realization that this is what it was doing was laying the physiological groundwork for a developed capacity for non-dual awareness. The heart has been seen as central to the physiological underpinning of non-dual consciousness and non-dual selfhood." ………….Cynthia Bourgeault
I would like to open the first post of 2017 with what I feel is the urgent need of the hour. The importance prayer has almost disappeared from the world of the youth and it is fossilized in empty words and often repeated obligatory ritual in which the mere recitation is given any importance. It is quantity rather than quality.
We live in a world that is seeing an exponential increase in noise pollution and this pollution is not restricted to the auditory nature only but has also, through technological evolution, invaded the private mental space of the human being. The increasing influence of the virtual media especially among the youth today has shut out the route to inner reflection and the silence of the senses which is so very essential to reach down to the inner dwelling of the Divine.
It is in this context that the words of Christ uttered 2000 years ago begins to assume a great significance. The prayers of the hypocrites and the public prayers of proclamation in the places of worship of all religions cannot provide the much needed communication with the Divine. The intention of public prayers in places of worship was to create a homogeneous intention energy field in the universal unconsciousness so that this increased and multi-fold energy field can be tapped by the devotee through his or her own positive intentional resonance. But by default, in a public sphere of prayer, we tend to descend into the realm of the ego mentality and become self-centred both in our attitude as well as in our intentions. Before we look at the mode of individual heart centred prayer, I would like to dwell upon what the effect of group resonance can have on a global scale when there is a  silent intention of a small group.
“In 1974 an experimental study observed three different gatherings of over 7,000 people meditating each morning and evening for three consecutive weeks.  The study took place in Fairfield, Iowa (December 17, 1983-January 6, 1984), The Hague, Holland (December 21, 1984-January 13, 1985) and Washington, DC (July 1-July 10, 1985).  The results were astounding.  According to the Rand Corporation, a think-tank based in California, “acts of global terrorism resulting in fatalities and injuries were reduced by 72%.”  Time series analysis was used in this study to rule out possibilities that the reduction in global terrorism was caused by pre-existing trends, drifts in data or cycles.
Scientists believe this is due to a coherent resonance being created in the Unified Quantum Field by those meditating.
The 7,000 people meditating created a Field Effect of harmonious coherence that spread throughout the collective–which in turn helped to reduce acts of terrorism (incoherent, disruptive energy).
This effect, which has also been called the “Maharishi Effect,” has had over 600 scientific studies conducted in 33 countries and in over 250 independent research institutions. The evidence overwhelmingly correlates synchronized group prayer and meditation having extremely positive social, political and economic benefits to the world.  Positive correlations for numerous health benefits to the individual were also observed and confirmed.”
This study is continuously conducted by the Institute of Noetic Science (IONS) under its “Global Consciousness Project (GCP)”
This phenomenal effect has to start at the individual level and the laser sharp non-dual awareness is the fundamental requirement. It is only when we can lose our self-identity at the ego level and see ourselves as an inseparable part of the universe we can truly move into the realm of a heart centred prayer. The Anahata or heart chakra is the meeting point of the ascending, earning, supplicating, terrestrial energy of the human manifestation  and the descending, universal non-dual consciousness energy of the Divine. In prayer we seek this union and the place of union is heart.
All mystics had a deep understanding of this Divine truth.
The Qur'an continuously mentions focusing on the heart:
"Bring to God a sound heart, a heart that can respond."
There's a direct revelation from God to Prophet Muhammad  called  Hadith Qudsi where God says:
I cannot be contained in the space of the earth,
I cannot be contained in the space of the heavens,
But I can be contained in the space of the pure loving heart.

Let me close this appeal to all my readers that in the New Year, in what so ever religion we seek the Divine, we will move to a heart centred prayer in our lives. As Rumi says:

“Close down speech's door and open up the heart's window!
The moon will only kiss you through the window.”

Wish you all a blessed and peaceful New Year.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Inseparability of God from the Self

“If the ego does not exist as a separate entity, then the god image does not really exist either. God is a consequence of consciousness, it is born in the human soul parallel to the nativity of Christ. That God requires conscious man in order to come into existence was first stated clearly by Meister Eckhart. He was a depth psychologist manqué.” ……………….Edward Edinger, Commentary to Aion
“The individual ego is the stable in which the Christ child is born” …........Carl Jung, Psychology & Religion
Usually at Christmas time I post about some unique dimension of the meaning behind the nativity of Christ. It Is unfortunate that even those who have been given the mind to deeply reflect simply conform to the age old practice of a celebration rooted to the material plane thus loosing the all important spiritual content which this commemoration is meant to evoke.
Hence it is good to listen to a great Catholic mystic, such as Meister Eckhart, on his take on nativity of Christ. Every event portrayed in the life of Christ has a personal dimension to the individual spiritual self. God is a consequence of individual ego consciousness without which we do not have either the powerful subjective experience of the Divine nor the ritualist objective symbolism to reach deep down into one’s soul for a subjective experience of God. This is the reason why both Meister Eckhart and Carl Jung placed the birth of Christ in the individual ego consciousness.
In the celebration of the Holy Mass, the ritual of communion is to evoke the transformation of the human nature of an individual’s soul through its many trappings into its unpolluted Divine nature through the ritual of consuming the consecrated host.
A colossus in the understanding and interpretation of mythology writes:
“This is an essential experience of any mystical realization. You die to your flesh and are born into your spirit. You identify yourself with the consciousness and life of which your body is but the vehicle. You die to the vehicle and become identified in your consciousness with that of which the vehicle is but the carrier. That is the God ... Behind all these manifestations is the one radiance, which shines through all things." ……………. Joseph Campbell, “The Power of Myth”
The essential metaphor here is "You die..." Here this means, metaphorically, that you experience in a subjective mode a transformation in conscious awareness that completely relocates and transcends all previous awareness. Misinterpreting this metaphor literally, that this is speaking of life after death, and hence the Divine access only after death, is the fundamental mistake that many religions make and which Joseph Campbell and depth psychologist like Carl Jung tried all their life to address. Yes, this deeper interpretation is the essence of the standard Catholic doctrine, and it is common to many spiritual and mystic traditions, but its literal interpretation is a mistake, and misses the whole point.
This has raised some valid points as to “Is not the body which is vehicle of the Divine, is itself a manifestation of the Divine” I do not refute this claim that the body is the glorious manifestation of the Divine.
But when we say that the body is the vehicle, it is a metaphor and in no way demeans the manifested radiance of God's creation. But this understanding is often downgraded due to our over indulgence in the material nature of our existence and a new level of conscious awareness is needed to bring forth the Divine within from its material trappings.
This is the reason that in Bhagavad Gita, the body is compared to the chariot, the mind to the horses, Lord Krishna, the Divine, is the charioteer but it is the individual ego of Arjuna which directs the course of battle. The whole of Bhagavad Gita is God prompting words of wisdom to the individual ego of Arjuna.
The mind, body and soul (or consciousness) cannot be segregated in their true subjective nature, this is reason for Joseph Campbell saying “……..Behind all these manifestations is the one radiance, which shines through all things."  but are only objectively segregated at the individual ego consciousness level.
The whole human is Godliness and this is reflected in Teilhard de Chardin's saying: "We are spiritual beings having human experience, not human beings having spiritual experience"
To go back to this realization we need a metaphorical death of the physical.

Wish you all a renewed birth of Christ consciousness and a blessed new year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Triune Female Forces

There are two dimensions to the triumvirate of female supernatural beings in mythological texts. They are the roles in the spiritual domain and the psyche of the individual.
“In Greek mythology, the Fates were three female Deities named Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos who shaped people's lives. In particular, they determined how long a man or woman would live. Klotho spins the thread of life, Lachesis determines the length of the thread and Atropos cuts the thread when she decides your time has come. In Rome they were called Parcae Nona, the weaver, Decima the measurer and Morta cut the thread.”
The image of a triple goddess may be linked to very ancient worship of a moon goddess in three forms: a maiden (the new moon), a mature woman (the full moon), and a crone (the old moon). All these symbolisms bring to light the mortality of created beings.
This is a spiritual dimension in which the role of the goddesses bring meaning to the life process. Why should human beings be born, grow up and then wither away. The inevitability of the common fate is sanctified through a Divine agency. Ancient religious mythology assigned a benevolent attribute to the trinity of male divinity and a probable response, in the ancient cultures of Greece and Rome, was to assign the role of an organizing agency to the female triune divinity.
Vedic philosophy provides a more intricate dimension to the trinity of female goddesses. The goddesses Lakshmi, Sarasvati and Parvathi have a very complex and morphing relationship with the male trinity of gods, namely; Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. While the role of the gods are more cosmic, the goddesses are assigned a more human related role of providing life empowering knowledge. Wealth, fertility, love and devotion; as well as of divine strength and power. It is in this philosophy that both the male divinity and the female divinity are assigned positive roles and all negation of these gifts originate in the karmic field and it is up to the individual to mitigate these influences.
Triformis is a threefold nature. In witchcraft this is viewed as mother, maiden and crone of the great goddesses. In ancient times the triformis goddesses were often called ‘Trivia’ which Latin means ‘crossroads’. Aeschylus, the Greek tragedian, equates Artemis  with Hecate and Catullus. The symbolism is the confluence of life functions of birth, life and death. These goddesses were assigned the role of protector of virgins, aids for birthing mothers and guardian of the underworld.
The Egyptian pantheon contained three natures of the mother goddess but what made ISIS so universally famous is she became the first Goddess to embody the persona of all three Universal Goddesses in ONE form.
We have briefly looked at the spiritual mythological roles and now let us look at the roles they play at the level of the personal psyche.
Whenever there is a dramatic shift in the course of one’s life the interplay of three can be seen in all mythological context. Abraham is visited by three angels and they foretold the birth of a nation through Abraham, though Sarah, his wife was beyond the age of conception. It was left to him to believe and he is tested.
Shakespeare may have based those fate-deciding ‘weird sisters’ on the goddesses Fates—the Moirai of Greek myth or Parcae in the Roman version—of whom there were also three. The three witches of Macbeth may be the original dramatization conveying a deeper yet sinister meaning to the mythology wherein the trinity play a role as a catalyst to the personal ambitions and ego driven desires of Macbeth. The idea of the Fates may have influenced Norse belief in the Norns, also a trio of divine female arbiters of destiny. Shakespeare had other intensions to convey. As mythology had a very close route to the psyche of the individual and conveys a set of meanings that ordinary language fails to do, the three witches could be seen as three dimensions of the psyche of Macbeth. The Three Witches represent evil, darkness, chaos, and conflict, while their role is as agents and witnesses. This is an internal process in the ego mind of Macbeth but visualized through the external agency of the witches for the audience to comprehend.
Darkness, chaos, and conflict are all state of one’s mind. This is clearly demonstrated in the very opening dialogue of the witches which is: "Fair is foul and foul is fair". This answers both the doubt in the mind of Macbeth on the strange appearance of the witches as well as the presupposition of the justification to the prophecy about to be told.
Fate, which according to the socio-cultural and religious context in which one lives, could be predestined or in a more spiritual sense, well within the capacity of the individual, through free will, subject to spirit empowering rectification.
While more esoteric spiritual traditions taught of the capacity within the humans to change one’s life destiny the majority of people from a pagan tradition believed is the subject of arbitration in the hands of the divine. This is the reason that mythology and its symbolism holds up a mirror to the psyche thus empowering it to take control.
May the power of mythology empower us spiritually.

Love to you all

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Creation in Egyptian, Hebrew and Vedic Tradition

The Sanskrit “na” means “waters” it indicates the “primal waters” from which everything came. This is also found in the Egyptian scriptures where everything comes from the “primal waters” and in the Bible it says "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." …………….Genesis 1:1-2
“That which lies within the “waters” and from which everything comes is known as “Narayana” the “nara” meaning “waters” and the “ayana” meaning “dwells” that which “dwells within the waters”. From Narayana comes a lotus upon which Lord Brahma is born who proceeds to engineer the universe and in the Egyptian scriptures a lotus appears from the primal waters from which “Ra” appears who proceeds to engineer the universe.” ………….. James Robinson Cooper
I am happy to say that I am a friend with J. R. Cooper who is an expert etymologist in Sanskrit which is the proto Indo-European language and deeply connects Greek, Latin and many East European languages. It is his above post in Facebook that inspired me to write this short article.
In the discipline of life science, it is common belief that, the origin of life may be traced to formation of protein and according to major theories, this could have occurred in an ambiance of water. This could have been in the ocean or deep sea vents where volcanic activity provides the right energy for formation of bacteria or a pre-packed extra-terrestrial delivery from a water bearing meteor or comet.
In a recent scientific paper, it has been proposed that when You start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be so surprising that you get a plant.  This is the observation of Dr. Jeremy England, Assistant professor at MIT. Complex self-replicating structures can form given the right combination of initial conditions. This same physics can be used to explain how the right temperature and atmospheric conditions and the presence of an attractor (which is atmospheric dust particles) can create self-replicating patterns such as hexagonal shaped snowflakes. Hence the two basic constituents of creation are matter and energy but a third important player who makes the difference between organized forms of matter and life is the organizing principle of replication and evolution which according to spiritual science is patterns in the consciousness field or Akashic field. Now let us go back to scriptures which tried to address this process through the limitation of language.
In the Sumerian mythology the text ‘Enuma Elish’  also invokes waters from which creation takes place.
Suriya or Agni in Vedic mythology and Ra, the Sun god in Egyptian mythology or more directly, the spirit of God which produces light, the very fundamental first creation in the Universe after the Big Bang are all related to a hyper dimensional energy domain which cascades down in creation to form both matter and the energy, which in spiritual tradition is given various names,
In the mythology of Ra, it is believed that he rose out of the waters or ‘Nun’.  In certain other creation myths, Ra emerged from primeval waters known as Ra-Atum and created Tefnut (Moisture) and Shu (Air). From this first divine pair sprang the entire creation. What should be noted is that ‘Tefnut’ and ‘Shu’ though in common language denote moisture and air, it signifies matter and life giving spirit. There is a better word in Sanskrit ‘Prana’ or life force.
The Hebrew Talmud explains that the letter ‘mem’ represents the word of God through which all creation comes into being or the Torah and the open 'mem' represents the revealed Torah and the closed 'mem' represents the Torah’s secrets. In essence ‘mem’ represents water or the womb. water is the womb of Creation. This is the opening verses of Hebrew Torah and Christian Genesis. What is the waters which the scripture talks of? Since the earth’s waters had not yet been created, the waters mentioned here is the womb from which Creation emerged, the place of gestation before the world came into existence.
We can see the helplessness of the authors of these myths struggling to give meaning to a dimension which is beyond human comprehension.
Perhaps the most appealing and candid enumeration of the creation story in spiritual mythology is from the Rig Veda in Mandala 10 and Hymn 129.
I would like to close this article with the English translation of Arthur Llewellyn Basham which appeals to me as it tracks the cosmic dimension:
Then even nothingness was not, nor existence.
There was no air then, nor the heavens beyond it.
What covered it? Where was it? In whose keeping?
Was there then cosmic water, in depths unfathomed?

Then there were neither death nor immortality,
nor was there then the torch of night and day.
The One breathed windlessly and self-sustaining.
There was that One then, and there was no other.

At first there was only darkness wrapped in darkness.
All this was only unillumined water.
That One which came to be, enclosed in nothing,
arose at last, born of the power of heat.

In the beginning desire descended on it -
that was the primal seed, born of the mind.
The sages who have searched their hearts with wisdom
know that which is, is kin to that which is not.

And they have stretched their cord across the void,
and know what was above, and what below.
Seminal powers made fertile mighty forces.
Below was strength, and over it was impulse.

But, after all, who knows, and who can say
whence it all came, and how creation happened?
The gods themselves are later than creation,
so who knows truly whence it has arisen?

Whence all creation had its origin,
he, whether he fashioned it or whether he did not,
he, who surveys it all from highest heaven,
he knows - or maybe even he does not know.

Please note the words such as ‘Cosmic water’ and ‘unillumined water’, which have been used in translation. The common denominator is the word ‘water’ which when substituted by ‘consciousness’ gives you a spiritual perspective making it more meaningful.
I have tried to point out the commonality in various mythological tradition regarding the creation story but as long as humanity exists it will continue to probe this great mystery.
Love to you all.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Fallacy of Absolute Certainty

“Science does not aim at establishing immutable truths and eternal dogmas; its aim is to approach the truth by successive approximations, without claiming that at any stage final and complete accuracy has been achieved.” ………………..Bertrand Russell, ‘Sceptical Essays’
“Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve.” …………..Karl Popper
"Do not think that the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth. Avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. Learn and practice non-attachment from your views in order to be open to receive other's viewpoints. Truth is found in life and not merely in conceptual knowledge. Be ready to learn throughout your entire life and to observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times." ……………….Thich Nhat Hanh
This article comes out of the personal urge to change the mind set of people who have grown entrenched in a milieu of autocratic parental and societal control in all departments of their lives. These especially include their view on religious practices and cultural influences that shape their lives.
There are two areas which had been heading on a collision course throughout history. They are science and religion. In the current times, however, there has appeared a glimpse of a spiritual alternative through the deeper enquiry in science. A cosmic religion which was foreseen by people like Albert Einstein
Purely due to historic reason, religion has stamped its irrevocable authority on individuals and society. The diktats and dogmas of religion have outlived their social, cultural and individual consciousness dynamics that existed when they were formulated. In the last 500 years, science has exploded and expanded its outreach to provide answers to many complex questions which were earlier answered mostly through a religious background with few individual who usurped authority in the name of the Divine. A clear example is the Geocentric view of existence in the west. The freedom to think and formulate one’s own understanding through deep enquiry was denied and the carrot of heavenly reward or hellish punishment was dangled before a hapless society. The east survived this dictatorial domination for a long time until the impact of the founding fathers faded through usurped spiritual leadership which set up sectarian cultural and religious constructs. The west suffered the imprisonment of true spiritual flowering at the level of individuals with the installation of monotheistic religions in Hebrew, Christian and Islamic religions. Any attempt to percolate down to individual experiential revelation and resulting pronouncements were declared as heresy and punished ruthlessly.
The consciousness of humanity is evolving and this is an undeniable fact. Man has moved on from the age of archaic, magical and mythological consciousness into the realm of the rational during the age of enlightenment. In the twentieth century humanity is stepping into the age of integral consciousness. Twentieth and twenty first century philosophers, psychologists and scientists confirm that an integral view of reality is mandatory. Though great spiritual masters like Buddha had pointed out that all that we perceive is a dependent arising from the substratum of non-being or emptiness and the great philosophy of Advaita of Adi Sankara elucidated the non-dual nature of reality, the vast majority of humanity continues to be trapped in the attachment to world resulting from sensory perceptions and their resulting concepts.
The clear difference between true science and religion is the damaging precept of infallibility. Most religions operate from an unsurmountable platform of Divine authority. While the advances in science and the deeper probing is made possible through a process of conjectures and refutation. The first two quotes from two philosophers, Bertrand Russel and Karl Popper, clearly demonstrates the basic framework in which true science operates. There are no immutable truths in science and through this position further enquiry is enabled without fear of condemnation or excommunication from a richly sharable group of intelligentsia or a group of people to whom the resulting truth can be an enabler in their transcendence to a richer existence.
Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Buddhist monk puts it very aptly by saying "Do not think that the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth.” The attachment to this state of thought itself is a big blockade to receiving further valuable inputs from around us.
It is very vital to know that truth cannot be obtained purely through the mind. Mind is an instrument to launch a series of experiences. These experiences leads to a incrementally richer state of being. This is an intuitive internal process and our entire life’s purpose is to have a series of richer and more fulfilling experiences so that our consciousness may ascend to a higher level. Let me close this short article with a quote from the great German philosopher, Immanuel Kant:
“But to unite in a permanent religious institution which is not to be subject to doubt before the public, even in the lifetime of one man, and thereby to make a period of time fruitless in the progress of mankind toward improvement, thus working to the disadvantage of posterity - that is absolutely forbidden. For himself (and only for a short time) a man may postpone enlightenment in what he ought to know, but to renounce it for posterity is to injure and trample on the rights of mankind.”
These are very strong words and the thoughts I have tried to open up in this article are not to endorse rampant freedom without recourse to all the knowledge and wisdom that has been unfolding. The seeker must employ his mind in an open enquiry on the canvass of all wisdom that has evolved over the time in the full blossoming one’s own consciousness..
Wish your journey a fulfilling experience.

Love to you all.