Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tower Tarot

“To a true renunciate, who is free from subject/object duality, belief is an impediment” …………………… Shankaracharya

Belief systems thus can be broken down into three broad categories.

1. Ordinary dualistic experiences
a) Experiences that totally dominated by a imposed rigid belief system so that any new experiences and which does not conform to the tenets of the imposed belief system is totally rejected. This is the common situation of arrogant, closed minded, bigoted, prejudiced, dogmatic, stubborn, ideological, or fundamentalist people.
b) Experiences are allowed to condition one’s imposed belief system; they are taken into consideration and are capable of expanding one's vision of reality. But these are still limited, because the nature of the experiences is based on our dualistic perception (separation from all things) rather than one's intimate inter-connection. Thus although the imposed belief system and one's own experiential conditioning is a two way street, such status still severely limits our vision of reality. This is the experience of the true scientist, true searcher, or beginner's mind of open-minded people.
2. A second mindset type uses their spiritual non-dual experiences to inform their belief system. But in these individuals there is a constant iteration between their background of inherited belief system and their non-dual experiential take on reality.
3. A third mindset type is informed directly through sustained or continuous non-dual experience where there is no need for any preordained belief systems because one is rooted through an innate guidance in an absolute reality. Here the self operates through integration of being (sat) and consciousness (citta). That merger brings a state of ecstatic joy (ananda). This is actually is a state of transpersonal and transcendent Being (Satchitananda).

The Tower Tarot card is the only card in the Major Arcana that refers to a total restructuring of one's belief system. The Tower brings disruption, instability, transformation and truth. With the Tower card, one can expect a total deconstruction of one's beliefs and thought patterns. The Tower often indicates that one’s faulty perceptions have caused the creation of an unstable foundation.
The corresponding number to The Tower is sixteen. In numerology, sixteen is reduced to seven, which represents authoritative power and positive action. All given-belief systems come through the diktats of authoritative power. However, in the case of the Tower card, seven refers to a unyielding force that collides with the blinded journeyman. He has lost sight of his true path and he has no choice but to look the choices that he has made in the past.
A positive element to the Tower Tarot card is freedom.

The true meaning of God’s destruction of the Tower of Babel is closely linked to the significance of the Tower Tarot card. Both in Akkadian and Hebrew language ‘Babel’ means ‘Gate to God’. In the Summerian and Egyptian spiritual tradition, a gateway was assigned to a portal for elevation of consciousness and Babel is the portal to Divine consciousness. The people of Shinar who had one language, denotes a collective consciousness rooted to the humanly ordained belief system which is socially and culturally conditioned through a uniform code.
The portal of Divine consciousness cannot be approached through this means and the innate Divine action scatters the people so that they can approach Babel through their individual experiential consciousness; through an individual state of Satchitananda.

Love to you all

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Order of Melchizedek

“[Jesus] was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek. We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”………………Letter to Heb. 5:10-14

(from Hebrew מַלְכִּי־צֶדֶק melech-i-tzédek, literally "righteousness is my king"), is not a person but an archetype, an embodiment of consciousness which is the redemptive element of the ignorant into Gnosis. In the Dead Sea scrolls can be found, an eschatological text where Melchizedek is seen as a divine being and Hebrew titles as Elohim are applied to him. According to this text Melchizedek will proclaim the "Day of Atonement" and he will atone for the people who are predestined to him. Psalm 110:4 declares “The LORD has sworn and will not waver: “Like Melchizedek you are a priest forever.”” Again Hebrews 7 declares “Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.”

In the Torah, there is reference to the Merkavah (as it is spelled in Hebrew) which has two different meanings: One meaning is ''chariot,'' which is a vehicle; the other is the ''Throne of God.'' When the two definitions are combined, the true meaning comes to life.
In Ancient Egypt, this primal cosmic pattern was called the Mer-Ka-Ba. It was actually three words, not one. ‘Mer’ meant a ‘kind of light that rotated within itself’. ‘Ka’ meant ‘spirit’, in this case referring to the human spirit. And ‘Ba’ meant the human body — though it also could mean the concept of Reality that spirit holds. And so the entire word in ancient Egypt referred to a rotating light that would take the spirit and the body from one world into another.

These three components, in modern day times are usually referred to as the FATHER, SON, and HOLY SPIRIT. The FATHER is the Primal light of consciousness, and the SON is the incarnated chariot or vehicle, and the HOLY SPIRIT (the formless) is the MELCHIZEDEK aspect of all pervading consciousness. The three being objectively different aspects of one subjective undivided divine consciousness.

This archetype could be mapped on to Jesus as the pure divine consciousness which had incarnated into this world. The three vital elements of Christ’s incarnation could be seen reflected in the figure of Melchizedek, namely; redemptive messianic, virgin nature of incarnated consciousness and the eternal nature of this primal consciousness (priest forever).

This is a very difficult concept for even spiritual aspirants like the Disciples of Christ could understand. As there was an underlying Gnostic strain in all the writings and spiritual understanding of the Essene community, Paul while addressing the Hebrew community invokes this deep esoteric dimension of Christ’s spirituality so that the Disciples could be weaned away from the milk of literal understanding and digest the harder and deeper essence of Christ incarnation and his redemptive dimension.
Let Melchizedek consciousness, through the words of Paul, be our guiding light.

Love to you all

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Beyond Temporal Limitation

“The disciples said to Yeshua, “Tell us, how will our end come?”
Yeshua said, “Have you found the beginning, then, that you are looking for the end? You see, the end will be where the beginning is. Congratulations to the one who stands at the beginning: that one will know the end and will not taste death.”” ……….
Saying 18 Gospel of Thomas

The end can only be truly understood if we know the beginning. All existence comes with these two time markers. In today’s cosmology a well established event is the Big Bang which was the birthing event of the universe in which we live. We are constantly seeking how the universe will end. But a deeper metaphysical question is what was there before the Big Bang and we have as many proposals as there are leading cosmologists but no reliable answer. This is the reason St. Augustine said time is the property of God.

Aristotle and St. Augustine have fundamentally different perspectives regarding the analysis of time. A true physicist, Aristotle defines time as it relates to motion and space, or magnitude. He continually bases his argument of time around analogies to movement and place. For Augustine, however, time is entirely subjective; it exists solely within the mind and depends on the notion of distension, or expansion, of the faculties of the mind. Despite these opposing perspectives, both philosophers admit that time is a construct of the human intellect.
Human intellect has its foundation in human consciousness and human consciousness has its foundation in the plenum of Divine or Cosmic consciousness. When we say that creation is a self expression of the Divine mind, it means that all created consciousness emanates from and is an integral part of this primal consciousness.

While our consciousness comprehends a beginning in creation and an end in dissolution, it is a highly limited view of reality. We cannot fathom the infinite consciousness of the Divine yet we are given the intuitive wisdom to understand this great mystery.

This is the wisdom that made the prophet declare “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” ….
Jeremiah 1:5

This is also seen in the wisdom of Bhagavad-Gita where Lord Krishna declares “All created beings are unmanifest in their beginning, manifest in their interim state, and unmanifest again when annihilated…….” ............
BG 2:28

To know the beginning, one has to understand one’s subjective consciousness limitation and transcend this limitation through a higher level of consciousness to a state of being which breaks the barrier of time and space. The words of Yeshua are aimed at this process. The beginning that we have as creatures is but an illusionary stage in the Divine plenum. Creation or manifestation is a perception in limited consciousness. The primal state of Adam Kadmon which is devoid of all imperfection is the true beginning and all creation must return back to this state through a process continuous awakening. This is captured beautifully in the
“Hymn of the Pearl” a poem which is part of “Acts of Thomas”. There the poet says:

“Awake and arise from your sleep,
And hear the words of our letter.
Remember that you are a son of kings,
Consider the slavery you are serving.
Remember the pearl,”

The pearl is the untarnished primal consciousness, which is eternal, from where all creation has come and for all who realize this great truth, they live in the light and they are those who stand in the beginning and for them there is no end.

Love to you all

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Protection through Renunciation

“All this—whatever exists in this changing universe—should be covered by the Lord. Protect the Self by renunciation. Lust not after any man's wealth.” …….Isa Upanishad: verse 1

I am using the translation of the Isa Upanishad by Swami Nikhilananada.
There are three statements in this verse and their meaning appears to be very simple and straight forward at the first glance. But on closer examination the relational dimension of creator and the creature is expounded in this verse.

What is the meaning of the changing universe should be covered by the Lord? This very statement implies that there is another possibility that the manifest universe need not be covered by the Lord. There are a series of question that come to one’s mind when we read this verse. What is the Lord? Here the author of the Upanishad clearly means a supreme entity which has the capacity to encompass all creation.

In our existence as individuals we interact with the material nature of the world all the time. But we always experience a separateness as the experiencer from that which we experience. The moment we realize that at the fundamental level all material manifestations, including ourselves, and their derivatives are quanta of an universal energy which is inextricably connected, we can intuit that the all pervading nature of supernal energy which we call in common parlance ‘Lord’ or ‘God’ or “Isa’, is the very essence of material manifestation.

Sri Aurobindo translates the first line of this verse as follows:
“Isa vasyam idam sarvam yat kinca jagatyam jagat.
For habitation by the Lord is all this, everything whatsoever that is moving thing in her that moves.”
There is an explanation of the dynamics in this relationship between the Lord and everything that is manifest. This can be better understood from today’s science as at the quantum level there is unceasing vibration of energy which is the essence of manifestation.
This is the first step in the deeper understanding of all creation and our integral part in it.

Armed with this realization we must embark on a process of protecting ourselves. Protecting ourselves from what? The very fact that duality sets into the human consciousness is due to the conditioning and modification that has inflicted our individual consciousness through sense perceptions and a mental process of assigning name and form. Renunciation here does not mean dissociation from material or emotional attachments. The highest form of renunciation is the renunciation of the Ego. Ego is the perception that the ‘I’ has independent existence. If we truly know that all that is manifest is but a false perception of the undifferentiated whole, we will renounce our separateness from the manifest world.

Once we reach this stage then we understand the futility of lusting after another man’s wealth or material possessions. This will be equivalent to stealing from your own house to fill your pocket.
Adi Shankara in his commentary ‘Śānkara Bhāsya’ says: “The world gets renounced when it is contemplated as the Lord in meditation: All this verily is the Self. Since all that emanates from the Self is itself nothing but the Self”

The process of achieving this superior knowledge is only through meditation and contemplation of our true nature.

Love to you all

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Defilement through Desire

There are five defilements: defilements of desire, of thought, of the people, of life itself and of the age.
T'ien-t'ai, a Buddhist philosopher active in China in the sixth century, described the five defilements in the following manner:
“The most fundamental of these five are the defilements of thought and of desire, which result in the defilements of the people and of life. These in turn give rise to the defilement of the age.”

A moment of reflection will reveal that there are two types of desire. The first is the desire for an intuitive journey to discover the absolute or our true state of being and the more common desire of humans is an initiatory process for possessing. I call these the subjective desire and the objective desire.

Objective desire is always an ego affirmation process. The ego cannot exist in isolation and needs to attach itself to an objective projection of the mind to which it assigns certain attributes that are appealing and conducive for its own inflated identity.
When I say 'attachment' it is not from an emotional perspective rather a better word would be 'clinging'. Through clinging, the ego finds expression of Identity. Identification comes from a Latin root 'idem' and 'facere' which means 'make same'.

To understand the root cause of
dukkha (suffering), the Buddha analyzed the causality of experience in a manner that broke from the dominant world view of his time. Unlike Aristotle or the dominant Samkhya view of causality, which was rooted in a primal cause, his perspective as recorded in the Pali Nikayas is that every phenomenon has a sustaining cause. Since the cause itself is another phenomenon it should also have something else for its sustenance. This regressive process of chasing an unattainable phantom cause is the root cause of suffering. According to him the causality of experience such as dissatisfaction, fear, and insubstantial happiness, is the sufferings that we experience.
This defilement of desire leads to the defilement of the self as well as all with whom the self is associated.

Knowing the depth of impact the cause and effect can have on the human spiritual condition, the Buddha set forth a presentation of dependent-arising in connection with the cause and effect of actions in the process of life in cyclic existence so that penetrating understanding of the process of cause and effect could be gained.

There are the twelve branches, or links, of dependent-arising of life in cyclic existence: ignorance, action consciousness, name and form, the six sense spheres, contact, feeling, attachment, grasping, existence, birth, and aging and death. Gaining an understanding of these links removes the ignorance from our consciousness.

The process is well defined in the
‘Rice Seedling Sutra’:

Due to the existence of this, that arises.
Due to the production of this, that is produced.
It is thus: due to ignorance there is compositional action;
Due to compositional action there is consciousness;
Due to consciousness there is name and form;
Due to name and form there are the six sense spheres;
Due to the six sense spheres there is contact;
Due to contact there is feeling;
Due to feeling there is attachment;
Due to attachment there is grasping;
Due to grasping there is the potentialized level of karma called "existence";
Due to existence there is birth; and due to birth there is aging and death.

With this knowledge, may you realize your true nature?

Love to you all

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pure Awareness of Nowness

“Since pure awareness of nowness is the real buddha,
In openness and contentment I found the Lama in my heart,
When we realize this unending natural mind is the very nature of the Lama,
Then there is no need for attached, grasping, or weeping prayer or artificial complaints,
By simply relaxing in this uncontrived, open and natural state,
We obtain the blessing of aimless self-liberation of whatever arises.” ……
Dudjom Rinpoche

Dudjom Rinpoche was known as the "master of masters". He was acknowledged by the leading Tibetan teachers of his time as possessing the greatest power and blessing in communicating the nature of mind which is necessary for enlightenment as realized in Dzogchen. It was to him that the great masters sent their students when prepared for this "mind-direct" or mind-to-mind transmission. Dudjom Rinpoche was the root teacher of many of today's most prominent masters.
In this saying during a dialogue with a student he expounds the state of the mind that has to be reached for one to realize the relationship with the master.
Lama is a title for a Tibetan teacher of the Dharma. The name is similar to the Sanskrit term ‘guru’.
And buddha means the ‘awakened one’.
All past awareness and future concerns are the tools of modification of the mind, to reach a pure unmodified state of mind is to be rooted in the present or the nowness of being. This is the ground of operation of a spiritual master, because the nature of a true master is a consciousness which has not been subject to any corruption. When one reaches this state there is no distance between the initiate and the master. In the state of pure awareness of nowness space-time dissolves. This is the primary attribute of pure consciousness.
This is the reason that Dudjom Rinpoche says “I found the Lama in my heart”.

Only when the master sits at a distance, you go through the act of grasping or attaching yourself to what he says. You also can intercede and complain about things you do not comprehend.
In the natural state of an open and uncontrived mind, your mind eliminates all impediments of space and time. This is why deep truths are revealed through instant mind to mind transfer between a disciple and a guru or Lama. There are no words or dialogue or debate which are purely intellectual exercise and can not transmit truth which transcends the rational mind.

The reason why I venerate the Sacred Heart of Jesus is due to this very fact. Jesus, when he made the statement, “I and the Father are one”…
John 10:30, he is exactly speaking the same language which Dudjom Rinpoche uses. The true Lama or Guru is the Divine consciousness, the Father, and when we open up through pure awareness of nowness the Father takes root in our heart.
This is a state when the individual mind or consciousness has at its command the full power of the Divine consciousness.

This state is beautifully described by Dudjom Rinpoche

No words can describe it
No example can point to it
Samsara does not make it worse
Nirvana does not make it better
It has never been born
It has never ceased
It has never been liberated
It has never been deluded
It has never existed
It has never been nonexistent
It has no limits at all
It does not fall into any kind of category.

Love to you all

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Nature of Creation and Sacrifice

“In the beginning of creation, the Lord of all creatures sent forth generations of men and demigods, along with sacrifices for Vishnu, and blessed them by saying, “Be thou happy by this yajna (sacrifice) because its performance will bestow upon you everything desirable for living happily and achieving liberation”.” ……….. Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 3:10

Swami Brahmavadini Saraswati says “In Vedic literature, the concept of yajna has been fully expounded. It affirms the following principles. The phenomenal world along with the heavenly bodies is the physical manifestation of yajna. A well-organized state reflecting harmony and order is the image of yajna. Yajna symbolizes the purpose of human life which is giving, benevolent actions and service to fellow beings.”
There are three elements which are emphasized here. First is the deeper mapping of a cosmic process in a scaled down act. Second is the image of the cosmos and third and the most important is the meaning at the human level.

The evolving process of the manifest universe is one where there is continuous transformation of matter. Gases solidify into liquid and then into solids under the action of gravity. Then the intense action of gravity results in the supernova and in its dissolution all higher elements are dispersed throughout the cosmos. The process cycles through creation and dissolution billions of times. The fire of yajna transforms all ingredients into a fine dispersion evoking the altered state of consciousness through the action of the senses and the mind similar to the cosmic process through a release of inherent potential.

The image that is imprinted on the mind through the action of the yajna and the vibration of the chanting is the eternal image of an ever changing consciousness as manifestations through different modes of vibration. For example the physical body or sthula sarira is the vibration at the lowest frequency and the hierarchy of astral body (linga sarira), prana, manas, buddhi and atman are manifestations at higher frequencies. Atman, which is pure consciousness, is at the highest level and manifests itself as all pervading just as the smoke that arises from the yajna.

At the individual level, yajna or sacrifice signifies the continuous acquisition of material as well as intellectual acumen so that these resources can be utilised in the empowerment of all co-creation to reach their higher potential. Just as the fire in the firewood or the ghee (clarified butter) in the milk or the sweet scent in the sandalwood which are the essential ingredients of the yajna are the hidden and acquired potential, oevery human being must be transformed through a process of individual yajna.

This is how we come to know the all pervading Brahman in the inner most being of our existence, the subtle force behind all manifestations.
This is why Lord Krishna says: “Those in full consciousness of Me, who know Me, the Supreme Lord, to be the governing principle of the material manifestation, of the demigods, and of all methods of sacrifice, can understand and know Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, even at the time of death”……
Bhagavad-Gita Ch 7:30

In Katha Upanishad, while propounding the meaning of the fire sacrifice Yama tells Nachiketa; “Both the individual self and the Universal Self have entered the cave of the heart, the abode of the Most High, but the knowers of Brahman and the householders who perform the fire sacrifices see a difference between them as between sunshine and shadow.”……
Katha Upanishad 1:3:1
To move from the state of a ‘householders who perform the fire sacrifices’ to a state of ‘the knowers of Brahman’ one has to understand the nature of oneness of individual self and the Universal Self.
The Nachiketa Sacrifice, as the fire sacrifice is named by Yama, is the determined search for knowledge (jnana) which stops not until the Goal is reached, which is the correct understanding as demonstrated by the results desired by the sacrificer through his act of yajna: the knowledge of Brahman.

This is the reason creation, which is the integration of all hidden potential at sub atomic level into matter, and sacrifice, which is the dissolution of matter into their subtle form, are integral and inseparable parts of all manifestations and this knowledge will lead to happiness and liberation.

Love to you all

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Gift of No-mind

Yeshua said, “I will give you what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, what no hand has touched, what has not arisen in the human heart.” …….. Saying 17- Gospel of Thomas

Recently I was answering questions from a group of school children and one teenager asked me this question; “we study that we come from the primates, can you tell me what we will become in future”. That was a very loaded question and it is difficult to convey the concept of the current view of evolution to a teenager. My answer was that we will evolve into beings with higher consciousness.
But there have been great spiritual masters, like Yeshua, who transcended to that state even in the present time in history of the human race.

I recall what the contemporary philosopher
Ken Wilber said in his 'complete works volume 3 “A Sociable God” in page 446';
“Look at the course of evolution to date: from amoebas to humans! Now, what if the ratio, amoebas to humans applied to future evolution? That is amoebas are to humans as humans are to --- what? Is it ridiculous to suggest that the “what” might indeed be omega, geist, supermind, spirit? That Brahman is not only the ground of evolution but the goal itself”

Evolution can only be truly understood in the context of an integral approach where the physical dimension plays a less vital role but the consciousness dimension is what really drives the shift and plays a major role.

In the present stage of evolution as
Homo Sapiens Sapiens, we are trapped in a space-time domain where the mind is continuously conditioned by sensory inputs both from the past, which conditioned the consciousness of our ancestors, and in the present through our own individual perceptions. The nurturing ground of our consciousness is the aggregated knowledge of all humanity. Here we have to deal with a double whammy, one the collective modifications and the other is individual metal modifications. Absolute truth lies beyond this level of comprehension. This is the reason for the saying 17 in the Gospel of Thomas. Teachers, who deal with knowledge dissemination, give you aggregated information which have their validation either through authentication by pure authority (examples are historical evidences or facts) or through empirical verifications. Fundamentally, all these information or knowledge has their origin from the senses, the emotional dictates of the discerning heart and the power of the source.

Yeshua promises knowledge, obtained through his teaching, which takes to beyond the rational mind. The miracles of Yeshua and his encouragement for his followers to perform even more powerful miracles, is an example of how his followers can even excel him. Ordinary fishermen and tax collectors were given the power, not through some magical intervention, but by the power of being able to receive the gift of insight into their own divine nature. Knowledge and the knower can not be segregated. If someone like Yeshua is promising a knowledge through which everyone can reach a state of going beyond the rational mind then all ‘knowers’ have to be elevated to an egalitarian state of consciousness. This can happen only through an intuitive process of realizing one’s true self.

Teilhard de Chardin, Jesuit priest and Anthropologist said “we are not physical beings having a spiritual experience but spiritual beings having a physical experience”.
Yeshua, in this saying, promises wisdom that will empower each one of us to transcend in our consciousness to state where we can know our true self as an integral part of an undifferentiated supreme consciousness. This elevation of consciousness will ensure each one of us to say “I and the Father are one”.

May the wisdom of Yeshua empower us in this process of transcendence of our consciousness.

Love to you all