Sunday, November 29, 2009

Manifesting the Hidden

Jesus said, “Recognize what is in your sight, and that which is hidden from you will become plain to you. For there is nothing hidden which will not become manifest” …………Gospel of Thomas Logion 5

The picture on the left shows the scattering impact of a droplet of water which hits the rising water drop of a previously fallen water drop. It is a magical image of sculptural quality. Thousands of water drops fall during a light shower on a puddle of water and we never take the time to notice what we see in this picture. To see the magical effect one has to slow down. Without extremely slow motion photography this image would be missed out. Even much more gross images escape our attention because we are always in a hurry with our worldly preoccupations. As we are discussing the sayings of Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas, it is necessary to emphasise the importance of sensory inputs in our spiritual life. Last week, Pope Benedict XVI told the gathering of hundreds of painters, sculptors, architects, poets and Film directors, held beneath the vaulted ceiling of the Sistine chapel painted by Michelangelo that he wanted to “renew the Church's friendship with the world of art”.
“Beauty ... can become a path towards the transcendent, towards the ultimate Mystery, towards God,” Pope Benedict said. Nature and the Cosmos talks to us through the senses, this is the reason that we have an exhilaration when we behold something beautiful or smell an intoxicating perfume of a flower or hear a beautiful recitation of a chant. But for many of us, brought up on Christian value system, a distortion has set in because we are taught that the sensory inputs leads to sin. ("If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell."...Matthew 5:29)
Yesterday I did a half day session in a convent where I was addressing young girls preparing for their ascetic life on
"The Role of Second Chakra in Ascetic Life" and my message to them was to use the body and the God given senses to feel the beauty of creation. Today the consumerist world thrusts highly distorted images and as Pope Benedict XVI said last week “Too often... the beauty thrust upon us is illusory and deceitful... it imprisons man within himself and further enslaves him, depriving him of hope and joy”. But an unpolluted sensory input is a primary gateway towards higher consciousness.

Imagine the relationship of a man and a woman closeted together often discussing intensely, to the observer in Bethany it would be presumed two intimate people sharing their thoughts. This is the reason for the apostles bitterly complaining about the intimacy of Jesus with Mary Magdalene in the Gospel of Philip or in the logion 114 of Gospel of Thomas. To a discerning individual the meeting of Logos and Sophia and not just two physical entities would be revealed. Translating a sensory input through one’s own consciousness is the stage at which distortions start setting in. If the conditioning of one’s consciousness is unsullied, a highly cosmic view emerges from every input that we receive.

Jesus statement “For there is nothing hidden which will not become manifest” points to the fact that all perceptions are within the grasp of one’s own consciousness and as we move from the region of a consciousness driven by the gross body towards a consciousness derived from our subtle body and astral or spirit body, which are integral existence of all creation, the kingdom of God becomes manifest.

Love to you all

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Creation through Alignment

“As God creates, so man creates. If man gives a certain concentration of will, the Shapes and ideas created in the Mind become subjective. Given a more intense and intelligent concentration of his Will the form becomes concrete, visible and objective, the Man has learned the Secret of Secrets. He is a Magician.”
Madame Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy, had a great insight when she wrote these words in her monumental work “Isis Unveiled”.

In his book “Theosophy: A Modern Revival of Ancient Wisdom” Dr. Alvin Boyd Kuhn, explains the above passage as follows:
“She makes it clear that this power is built on the conscious control of the substrate of the material universe. She states that the key to all magic is the formula: "Every insignificant atom is moved by spirit." Magic is thus conditioned upon the postulation of an omnipresent vital ether, electro-spiritual in composition, to which man has an affinity by virtue of his being identical in essence with it. Over it he can learn to exercise a voluntary control by the exploitation of his own psycho-dynamic faculties. If he can lay his hand on the elemental substance of the universe, if he can radiate from his ganglionic batteries currents of force equivalent to gamma rays, of course he can step into the cosmic scene with something of a magician's powers. That such an ether exists she states in a hundred places. She calls it the elementary substance, the Astral Light, the Alkahest, the Akasha. It is the universal principle of all life, the vehicle or battery of cosmic energy. She says Newton knew of it and called it "the soul of the world," the "divine sensorium." It is the Book of Life; the memory of God, ---since it never gives up an impression. Human memory is but a looking into pictures on this ether. Clairvoyants and psychometers but draw upon its resources through synchronous vibrations.

According to the Kabbalistic doctrine the future exits in the astral light in embryo as the present existed in embryo in the past . . . and our memories are but the glimpses that we catch of the reflections of this past in the currents of the astral light, as the psychometer catches them from the astral emanations of the object held by him.”

This explanation was written in 1930 and we can see the struggles it has with concepts and technicalities though the fundamental process of how the human agency, through its mental faculties, participates as an extension and tool in the divine creative act. With today’s contribution from various disciplines in science, we have a better understanding of the great insight which Madame Blavatsky writes about.

The dark matter and dark energy of the cosmos, the Morphic fields of plant biology, the M-Theory of unification of all forces of nature all point to an underlying energy, which is not in the electromagnetic spectrum (and so it is not gamma rays or currents produced due to neurons in the brain), as the prime causation or implicate order of all creation. David Bohm, the great Physicist, coined the word ‘implicate order’. Due to the nature of interaction that is possible between man, as the being with the highest level of consciousness in the evolutionary ladder, and the implicate order itself from which he operates, a continuous evolution towards higher awareness is made possible. This awareness is the creative potential from which new forms or the future emerges. In making this statement one should accept with humility that he is not creating ex-nihilo but only aligns his individual consciousness with the cosmic consciousness, which is seen in a state of continuous evolution when viewed from a creature perspective. This we call magic. In reality all these ripples in the implicate order are magnified to magical proportion only when we are observing as creatures, but in the universal implicate order there is only unchanging equipotential.

Love to you all

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sway of Mystical Poetry

Some of the most ancient poetry was sacred poetry and song as a vehicle for sacred teachings. The Vedas of India, for example, are sacred verses that are traditionally chanted. It is said that they are not merely descriptions of doctrines, but revelations of Truth. The Quran and its mesmerizing chant in the original Arabic held sway many believers during the time of the Prophet and later in the development of Islamic Spirituality. The Sufi movement understood this dimension and tried its best to elevate the Islamic tenets to a higher level than what is delivered through rituals and diktats. These texts had the power to transform consciousness because of the fact that these verses are a homogeneous mix of spiritual and life empowering truth with an auditory tuning to touch the inner most realms of one’s consciousness. Truth was not revealed by mere words but by a process of aligning the whole physical dimension of one’s existence to the words and content of the poetry or verse so that there is a transformation at the most subtle level of the physical structure’s makeup. According to this tradition, poetry is not merely a fanciful and pleasant play of words and sounds that might evoke some surprising images or emotions, but a direct manifestation of a deeper reality that has the potential to radically transform us and shift us out of fixed modes of awareness.

Thomas McFarlane, author of “Einstein and Buddha: The Parallel sayings” writing on this subject says: “Moreover, it is said that all existence manifests in this way from a fundamental seed syllable or vibration, OM. As the
Mandukya Upanishad says, This eternal Word is all: what was, what is, and what shall be, and what is beyond eternity. All is OM. The Greek word poesis (related to our words poetry and poem) means simply making or creating. The divine poetry is thus the divine creation, which is the world made manifest through the act of divine speech, such as in Genesis where it brings heaven and earth into existence. The world is God’s speech, God’s poem. As Meister Eckhart puts it, the simple being of a stone is the speech of God. It, and everything else, is the divine OM. When we begin to sense this, then we become the poetry.”

It is consciousness giving expression and this is for this reason that when we read any sacred verse in its original language the feel is totally different from reading a translation where only the dry meaning is transmitted.
For example reading the great Tamil
bakthi (devotional) poem of Thiruvasagam in its original gives you a natural surrender to the divine. The same feel cannot be generated when we read the translation by G.U. Pope in English. Another classical example, from my own experience, is when we listen to Sankara’s composition to ‘Annapurani’ sung in the original Sanskrit. Invariably throughout the song one gets an elevated feeling of consciousness. There are many example including listening to the Our Father prayer being recited in the original Aramaic or listening to the Gregorian chant of the Latin vespers in a Gothic cathedral.

Poetry is the language of the soul and this is the reason that most wisdom traditions used poetry and music to touch the soul of the initiates.

Love to you all

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Limitation has Success

“Limitation has success…..Unlimited possibilities are not suited to man; if they existed, his life would only dissolve in the boundless. To become strong a man’s life needs the limitation ordained by duty and voluntarily accepted. ……….. Hexagram 60 of the I Ching (Wilhelm Baynes version)

Today we live in a world were the sky is the limit. Any sales promotion aims to excite this possibility that the owner of the product promoted can attain the impossible be it fairness of skin in a week or flat stomach from beer belly in two weeks. The examples are large and cover every segment that you can imagine.
The ancient wisdom of the I Ching captures the fallacy of unlimited options in the well being of man.

In the societies of the past due to the inherent limitations of population, travel and knowledge itself, the need to preserve skills in knowledge, trade and tasks enabled man to narrowly focus on the core competencies that one had. A hunter honed his skills to provide for the community, a trader and his caravan gathered the best of products and bartered wares to please the customers. The native Indians of North America used to kill only few buffalos in a year for food and hide for the entire community. In the industrial age, mass consumerism has led to the unlimited exploitation of all type of resources.

In her book “Wisdom for Better Life” author Debi Davies writes: “Learning to create and practice appropriate boundaries in all aspects of life is important for everyone. Creating proper boundaries in relationships, as well as work and recreational environments, enables people to be fulfilled rather than drained. Boundaries become our protection as well as our map for proper interpersonal behaviours. People must respect our boundaries and we, in turn, must respect theirs. Setting and understanding boundaries in day-to-day life will help you develop into a fair, productive and self-confident individual who is able to give and receive in relationships your entire life.”

There is a need for setting up a boundary at the physical, emotional and intellectual level in our lives. In the physical plane, let us take our diet today. For many individuals the diet has no relation to the work he or she does or their personal life style. People having sedentary life style eating a high calorie diet are sure to have degradation of health. Emotional boundaries are equally important. This determines the impact of our feeling on others and also the impact of others feelings and disposition towards us. In professional man management, emotional attributes of an individual play a significant part. Intellectual boundaries are determined by one’s gift of skills either endowed or acquired during one’s life. Setting up this boundary has to take into consideration the maximum leveraging one can attempt to gain through pursuit of information, knowledge and external wisdom. Today’s experience of many individuals in the ‘world wide web’ is a good example of the extent to which loss of focus can occur. In seeking spiritual empowerment today many start chasing all that appeals to instant gratification, as though these are ready made packages for instant Nirvana. A typical case is how Yoga is promoted in the west.

In conclusion we can appreciate the wisdom of the Hexagram, which was the oracle of the East, by the insight it provides towards betterment of our lives.

Love to you all

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Isolation During Transcendence

“Although the world rewards insensitivity with the spoils of war, it takes more courage to surrender than to numb. So often the most 'damaged' people are actually the most advanced and feeling souls. They feel everything and are more strongly impacted by the disparity between an authentic life and the falsified energy of the world” …..Jeff Brown from his book “Soul shaping: A Journey of Self-creation”

When you are rooted in your authentic self the one inevitable experience that one has is the sense of utter loneliness. This truth can come only out of real experience. This leads us to define what we mean by authentic self. Human life has two distinct dimensions. They are; the life that is lead as a response to the way we are perceived by the culture and community and all the relational responses that we have of ourselves through our senses. Broadly this could be defined as a life lead in our waking consciousness conforming to socio-cultural norms. The other is the inner life which is a product of our innate seeking for something more meaningful and something that seems to be missing when we are oriented in the worldly plane. This higher living is driven by moral values, empowering knowledge and ethical behaviour which are to be found and acted upon through an intuitive journey.

These two lives are not segregated but are enmeshed in the human psyche. It is only through our worldly experience that we transcend to a higher plane of authentic living and an authentic life has to be lead in this world which is the ground of being. This is reason that Jeff Brown brings out the sensitivity of people who lead authentic life to issues around them. They are severely impacted by the injustices meted out to their fellow beings and to the environment. They perceive the interconnectedness of all creation. As Lynne McTaggart says in her book ‘The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe’: “Our natural state of being is in relationship, a tango, a constant state of one influencing the other. Just as the subatomic particles that compose us cannot be separated from the space and particles surrounding them, so living beings cannot be isolated from each other... By the act of observation and intention, we have the ability to extend a kind of super-radiance to the world.”

In order to move towards living an authentic life a process of transcendence is required.
Joseph Chilton Pearce says in his dialogue with Duncan Campbell in 'Living Dialogues' “Transcendence is the ability to rise above and go beyond limitation and constraint. Our inability to rise beyond and go beyond our current limitation and constraint leads us to all of our violence. We have in this life a choice between two things: Either transcendence or violence. And there’s nothing much in between. Culture depends on violence. Culture breeds violence. And culture thrives on violence. Gil Bailie (He was a follower of Rene Girard, the great French philosopher, who did his life’s study on the effect of culture and the way culture preserves itself through violence), who was the author a book called ‘Violence Unveiled: Humanity at the Crossroads’ says: “And of course all of this is very anarchy… it’s anarchistic. It’s anti-cultural. To be anti-cultural is to be virtually anti to every single aspect of what we think of as civilization”…..”

The spoils of this violence are the fodder for the masses to perpetuate the culture of seeking pleasure and materialistic living and people who transcend will feel the isolation and alienation that I mentioned at the start of this article.

The choice is ours to make. Whether we want to be comforted and lulled by the ‘falsified energy of the world’ or we want to be ‘the 'damaged' people who are actually the most advanced and feeling souls’

Love to you all

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Spirituality of Uzir Beg

The Culture of Orissa, Jagannath Culture, is based on the non-sectarian ideology that welcomes every religious and non-religious believer to its fold to receive the blessings of Lord Jagannath. Salbeg, though Muslim by birth, is the brightest star of the Orissan sky who enlightened the Orissan society by his devotional bhajanas, jananas and chaupadis. In this 21st Century, he is still being reckoned as one of the brightest literary figures of Orissa.
There are certain other contemporary literary figures who were unfortunately forgotten in our society, but who deserve special and renewed attention. One such Bhakti poet is Uzir Beg. Uzir Beg had written a few devotional bhajanas in reverence of Lord Krishna. His writing is simple and melodious, and can touch the heart of every human, irrespective of their religious beliefs. His anthology on Lord Krishna is very famous, and in current stressful life it can give solace to mankind.

God belongs to all mankind, but to achieve their own narrow goals, men divided God. God never differentiates men or the basis of belief, but rather takes all mankind as his own creation. In this way Lord Ram was born in Tretaya Yuga, Lord Krishna in Dwapara Yuga, and in course of time in different yugas, Buddha, Jesus, and Prophet Mohammed were born in order to maintain peace and harmony on this earth.*

Poet Uzir Beg understood the finer meaning of these religious preachers.
It is because of an intuitive experience that God can only be seen as an inner manifestation of Universal or Cosmic consciousness. If we are rooted in the external iconic symbolism or narrow agenda of exploiting society through altered concepts of divinity that we run into human segregation on the lines of religion.

If divine consciousness or Paramatma is universal then all forms of its perception must be universal. This has been given different names such as Krishna consciousness or Christ consciousness or the enlightened state of Satori in Buddhism or the ‘state of ihsan’ in Islam, based on socio-cultural context. Much literary work is devoted to the concept of Cosmic consciousness in Vedic literature and this is referred as rasa. The concept of rasa is clearly explained by the following text:

“That substance we have previously called the supreme and purest truth is celebrated in all the Vedas by the name “rasa” or nectar. This one and undivided rasa is the principle known as the Supreme Brahman; It is the abode of limitless bliss and the ultimate understanding of God’s glory.
This single undivided truth manifests as the Shakti and the Shaktiman, which are not separate truths, but only appear to be so through the action of vizeSa (perverted reflection). The Shaktiman cannot be perceived except through His Shakti, which is divided into the three functions that manifest all the universes.”
…………….Harinama Cintamani: Chapter 15

Let us promote this universal understanding to truly comprehend that the only one true divine is in all and is Sat-Chit-Ananada.

* With due acknowledgement to “Uzir Beg: Forgotten Bhakti Poet of Orissa” by Mohammed Yamin

Love to you all

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Effectively Casting the Net

“And He said unto them, cast your net on the "right" side of the boat and you shall find what you are looking for. And the disciples did, and they were unable to draw in their Nets for they were filled with a multitude of Fishes.” ………. John 21:6

In the life of Ascended Masters such as Jesus, we always look for the miraculous to confirm their elevated state as people with the highest level of spiritual consciousness. They in turn perform miracles not as some cheap trick to confirm their status but to convey deeper meaning that could elevate the consciousness of all who witness such miracles, especially their closest disciples, but also for posterity through recorded sacred history. The words in the Bible are important when it comes to understanding the full implication of any event or message. If Jesus wanted to just perform a miracle, he would have simply said “Lower your nets again and you will find what you are looking for” but he says “cast your net on the right side”. This is the second time that Jesus performs a miracle involving catching fish and hence it had a very specific purpose.

In the first miracle, the capacity of Jesus and through his teachings, his own disciple’s capacity to move from the physical level of catching fish, which is a resource for physical sustenance, to the new ascended level of harnessing Christ consciousness to augment their own higher consciousness, is being highlighted.
This is the reason that Jesus says “………, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”
……….. John 10:38
Being in the Father is being at the very source in which true likeness we are created. This is the purest form of Divine or Cosmic Consciousness.
He also confirms that anyone can achieve this higher level of spiritual consciousness and even exceed the level from which Jesus was operating. For he says “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” ……. John 14:12

The second miracle happened after his resurrection and when the Apostles and disciples were at their wits end to understand the mystery of Christ. They were waddling in the muddy and murky waters trying to find some meaning in the events that have taken place. They had an idea of a physically invincible Christ and this miracle is to tell them that they are fishing for meaning in the wrong side. They would be able to find answers if they start to fish for understanding in the “right” side of their own consciousness. “They were unable to draw in their Nets for they were filled with a multitude of Fishes.” The meaning conveyed here is that comprehending the full Christ consciousness is a Herculean task and this realization is portrayed by the act of Peter recognizing Christ on the shore.

Love to you all

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Deploying Polar Opposites

“Knowing what cannot be known--What a lofty aim! Not knowing what needs to be known--what a terrible result! Only when your sickness becomes sick, will your sickness disappear. The Sage's illness has become ill, his renunciation has been renounced. Now he is free and every place in this world is the perfect place to be”……….. This is the 71st verse of Tao Te Ching of Lao Tsu.

These few lines give us a mode of a living that is spiritually driven.
The lofty aim of life is to know what is unknown. The very act of seeking the unknowable is the beginning of wisdom. This needs a redefinition of ‘the unknowable’ because if an entity is unknowable, how can one ever attempt or succeed in knowing. The ‘unknowable’ is that which can not be known through a current level of perception. The path of knowing leading to the knowledge of the unknown has a dual dynamics, one is the forward push of the seeker and the second is the regress or descending of the ‘unknowable’ towards the seeker so that it comes into his ambit of comprehension. This is the reason that in the Proverbs of Solomon it says: “In the discerning heart, wisdom finds a resting place”…..Proverbs 14:33.

Being satisfied with what we know at the surface level and by “not knowing what needs to be known” leads one to a terrible result of poverty of the spirit.

Lao Tsu now explains how the polar opposites are to be employed for eradicating all negative aspects of one life. The sickness becoming sick or the illness becoming ill and the renunciation being renounced are all attributes that can only be altered by redeploying the same attribute. {The double negation which is employed tracks the mathematical postulate that multiplying two negative integers give us a positive integer (-1 X -1 = 1)}.

True freedom results from loss of identity. As I had explained in an earlier blog post, the word ‘identification’ comes from the Latin root ‘idem + facio’ which means ‘same + make’. The attachment of perceived reality to be your own through identification is the root cause of lack of true knowledge. The progress of knowing stops with this step of identification and appropriation. Once this block is removed then it is possible to progress towards higher ‘unknowables’.

As St. Augustine says in his “Confessions”:
“Too late have I loved you, O Beauty of ancient days, yet ever new! Too late have I loved you. And behold, you were within, and I abroad, and there I searched for you. I was deformed, plunging amid those fair forms, which you have made. You were with me, but I was not with you. Things held me far from you – things which, if they were not you, were not at all. You called and shouted, and burst my deafness. You flashed and shone, and scattered my blindness. You breathed odours, and I drew in breath – and I pant for you. I tasted, and I hunger and thirst. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.”

Once this malady of attachment, which is equated to sickness by Lao Tsu, is erased or even moving from renouncing external materiality to a real inner renunciation of all sense oriented perceptions as stated by St. Augustine, takes place, then only you find the highest knowledge within your own heart that truly liberates.

Love to you all

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Meeting to Depart

"Blue mountains lie beyond the north wall;
Round the city's eastern side flows the white water.
Here we part, friend, once forever.
You go ten thousand miles, drifting away
Like an uprooted water-grass.
Oh, the floating clouds and the thoughts of a wanderer!
Oh, the sunset and the longing of an old friend!
We ride away from each other, waving our hands,
While our horses neigh softly, softly . . . . " ………Li Po (701-762 CE)

Li Po, the great Chinese wandering poet, had the capacity to bring out, in simple poetry, great insights into the process of life. Every moment of our lives, we are constantly witnessing a meeting and a departing. This event of meeting and departing starts with our being born into this world and confront our own existence in a new level of evolving consciousness. This journey ultimately comes to an end in our death. The ‘Blue Mountains’ lying to the north mystically portrays our own unfathomable beginning at a higher consciousness level but now seen in the east, a polarized dimension, where we exist as a flow of white water signifying the turbulence of our earthly sojourn.
Every moment of our existence there is a meeting and parting of people, knowledge, emotions. Though some of these entities come back, if we carefully examine them we will find that they are modified due to their own travel and experience in their journey. Let us as an example take the emotion of love. In each stage in our life, the character of love, even towards the same object, its shade, intensity, meaning and purpose, gets continually altered. This is the reason that Li Po says of his friend that he would ‘go ten thousand mile, drifting away’. The floating clouds are the best example of the impermanency of existence which is very similar to the thoughts of the wanderer as the words and actions that issue forth from such thoughts have no permanency in its impact.

This raises the big question. What is the purpose this journey? The permanency of possession is an ego driven thought. It is the ego that seeks to possess and hold on to its experience under a false sense of comfort or fulfilment. If we let go, in this process of experiencing or encountering, there are two benefits that we derive. One there is no suffering in departing or letting go and the other is that in the knowledge of inevitability of this short encounter and our brief relation to all that we come across, we tend not to impose our will upon the object of encounter thus allow the natural order to take its course. In the Gospel of Thomas, in the shortest yet most powerful saying, Jesus says “Be a passer by”….. Logion 42

Especially in our relationship with the ecosystem and our role in human society, the inevitability of meeting to depart and our responsibility to empower rather control or exploit must be borne in our minds. People who lived in the pre-Cartesian dimension, that was before we were told that nature was there to be plundered, were basically no different from us. They had the same positive and negative human attributes, but the results of human profligacy were contained by the natural order of things, which transcended technological and political sophistication and even religious disposition. Excess in the natural order was contained because it was biodegradable. When old civilizations, however opulent, profligate, greedy, or brutal, died, the forest just grew over them. They left no pollutants, damaging poisons or nuclear waste. By contrast, and assuming we survive as a species and are permanent fixtures in this creation, we are heading at a hypersonic speed into a blind alley.
Slow down, let go and enjoy the ride!

Love to you all