Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Creative Triad

“ ...The letter Shin signifies the trinity of the first three Sephiroth. The central circle slightly above the other two is the first Sephira— Kether, the White Head, the Crown. The other two circles represent Chochmah, the Father, and Binah, the Mother. From the union of the Divine Father and the Divine Mother are produced the worlds and the generations of living things. The three flame-like points of the letter have long been used to conceal this Creative Triad of the Kabbalists…….” …………Manly P. Hall

Probably the closest symbolism of the creative triad or trinity is seen in Vedic symbolism of the trident of Lord Shiva. There again we have the central limb of the trident slightly raised above the other two branching limbs. As Manly Hall points out the lower two Sephiroths of the Upper most level in the Kabbalistic tree of life are the generative elements of male and female principles from which a transformative process is set forth and generates all manifestations.

In Luranic Kabbalah, Chochmah is identified with intellectual wisdom and is assigned the male or father principle, which typically is involved with the process of knowledge acquisition in a hierarchy, a higher structure of information gathering. But Binah, is associated with intellectual understanding and is assigned the female or mother principle. This is an intuitive function which provides the birthing energy in any holistic process of revelation. So also the manifestation of creation is the transformation of the Divine essence into a form for which the understanding comes from the intuitive level of consciousness.

Shin is also the first letter of the name of God El "Shaddai" stands for "Mi she'Amar Dai L'olamo" - "He who said 'Enough' to His world."
When God was creating the world, He stopped the process at a certain point, holding back creation from reaching its full completion, and thus the name embodies God's power to stop creation.
The initial impetus and the revealed physical laws were given by the pure consciousness - El "Shaddai". This can also be understood from the Big Bang theory where in the creative process was through the coming forth of the Cosmic energy and in instantaneous inflation. The inflationary epoch comprises the first part of the electroweak epoch following the grand unification epoch. It lasted from 10−36 seconds after the Big Bang to sometime between 10−33 and 10−32 seconds. Following the inflationary period, the universe continued to expand, but at a slower rate.

This creative and evolutionary phase are distinguished in Judaic Cosmogony as two distinct and yet sequential process which maps truly on to scientific findings.

Aleister Crowley writes, finding parallel in Vedic philosophy; "Shin is the Fire of Pralaya, the 'Last Judgement'. The combination [of Shin and Teth] would therefore exhibit the methods whereby 'None' and the 'Two' phases alternate. (The state of the non-dual and the dual)
It will be found that this principle of attention is integral to suitable induction of the magical trance and the ingress of something new. The term 'Pralaya' is linked to cosmic time (Aeonics) and is "Non-existence - a state of matter achieved when the three gunas (principles of matter) are perfectly balanced.

We now take a brief detour to probe a little further into the symbolism of these three Gunas.

Whilst we should bear in mind the dangers and difficulties of mixing systems, it was very much part of Crowley's own disposition that he perceive the correlations between systems, and it was he, after all, that raised the matter by introducing the term' Pralaya'. These three Gunas, which we can identify as the three flames of Shin, refer to three forces present within the universe:

1: Thought, pleasure, thinking, clarity, understanding, illumination. - Sattva
2: Motion, energy and activity. Also pain and suffering craving and attachment. - Rajas
3: Restraint and dullness, indifference, darkness. - Tamas

The alphabet Shin also evokes the aspiration of creation to move back to its original glory. The upward thrust of the symbol is a three fold aspiration to integrate, the life giving spirit, the soul and the body to find its original home. This is the karmic journey of every creation to move back to ‘Ain Sof’ or the Godhead.

Love to you all

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hui-neng and Bodhichitta

The body is the tree of enlightenment.
The mind is the stand of a bright mirror.
Wipe it constantly and with ever-watchful diligence,
To keep it uncontaminated by the worldly dust.
……….…………Shen-hsiu - (The Golden Age of Zen 60, 300 n.4)

Enlightenment is no tree,
Nor is the Bright Mirror a stand.
Since it is not a thing at all,
Where could it be contaminated by dust?
……..………….Hui-neng - (The Golden Age of Zen 60, 300 n.5)

This is the famous poetry competition which the fifth patriarch of the Northern School of Buddhism conducted and what was written by the enlightened disciple Shen-hsiu and the response by Hui-neng, an illiterate kitchen hand, which had to be written by someone else as Hui-neng did not know how to write. This earned Hui-neng the recognition by the fifth patriarch and later he became the sixth patriarch of the Northern school in China. What is important is the polar opposite nature of the concept of the mind. This requires a certain understanding as the concepts involved here seemed to be riddled with contradictions.

If we look at the sayings of Hui-neng before he predicted his final departure from this world, then we can understand his philosophy more clearly. In his final instructions to the disciples he says;

“First mention the three categories of Dharmas, and then the thirty-six "pairs of opposites" in the activities of the bodhicitta. Then teach how to avoid the two extremes of "coming in" and "going out." In all preaching, stray not from the bodhicitta. Whenever someone puts a question to you, answer in the antonyms, so that a pair of opposites will be formed, such as coming and going. When the interdependence of the two is entirely done away with there would be, in the absolute sense, neither coming nor going...

Whenever a question is put to you, answer it in the negative if it is an affirmative one; and vice versa. If you are asked about an ordinary man, tell the questioner something about a sage; and vice versa. From the correlation or interdependence of the two opposites the doctrine of the Middle Way may be grasped. If someone asks what is darkness, answer thus: Light is the root condition and darkness is the reciprocal condition. When light disappears, darkness appears. The two are in contrast to each other. From the correlation or interdependence of the two the Middle Way arises.”

As can be seen, the Middle way comprises of the action of the polar opposites in any manifestations presented to the mind. The mind operates in the grasping of the two opposite attributes of existence or manifestations. In the deeper understanding of this concept of duality which arises due to the functioning of the mind, the very mind itself is made redundant when the self resides equally in both attributes. This is the nature of the Cosmic mind where the laws of nature create equal and opposite forces in the operation of the universe. Without the balance between the thermodynamic expansion and the opposing negative gravity of the Dark Matter and Dark Energy, which fills 96% of the universe, we could not be here to write this article or contemplate the philosophy of the Middle Path.

Love to you all