Saturday, February 25, 2012

Modes of Seeking

“One may ask, 'What is the best way for a person to understand his life's purpose?' If one follows the bent of one's own mind, if one follows the track to which one is attracted, if one follows one's own inclination, which is not satisfied with anything else, one feels, 'There is something waiting for me (which one does not know at the time), which will bring me satisfaction.' Besides, if one is intuitive and mystical, it is easier still, because then one is continually told what is the purpose of one's life. For nature has such a perfection of wisdom.”…….. “The Way of Illumination” Section IV Chapter 1 by Hazrat Inayat Khan

There is always an innate desire to know the purpose of one’s life. From the time of dawning of man’s self awareness in his evolution into Homo Sapiens, he has wondered his specific role in relation to the objects around him both in the world and in the cosmos. From a fixated firmament with equidistant stars and a flat world of survival, man has evolved to think constantly the need for a higher purpose in his creation. The history of this enquiry has been driven mostly through the faculty of the mind which is a very subjective tool due to its sensory perception driven imagery from which all process of thinking originates.

The attraction, which the author of the above text states, is a collated essence of the predisposition the mind assumes when presented with a question such as ‘what is the purpose of life?’. This is a conditioned response and hence can not assume an absolute nature. The philosophies of ‘Determinism, fatalism and predestination’ follow this route. It is a predisposition through a pre-cast belief system.

The next level of seeking the answer to the question of what is the purpose of life, is through a free ranging inclination which allows the intellect to operate in reconditioning the mind.

This is exemplified by the great Elizabethan play penned by Christopher Marlowe “Doctor Faustus”.
The entire play depicts the archetypal Satan Mephistopheles in the life of Doctor Faust who represents the human intellect. Mephistopheles in Hebrew means ‘destroying liar’. This is one of the Jungian archetype of universal unconsciousness of the human psyche which allures one’s thought process towards a highly subjective, open-ended goal to be achieved for ultimate satisfaction which is totally alienated from the true goal (thus banishing one to hell).
In Jung's psychological framework, archetypes are innate, universal prototypes for ideas and may be used to interpret observations.

The third process suggested by the author is the intuitive and mystical route. This is the experience of great saints and sages. To understand the true purpose one’s life one has to embark on this wisdom journey. This realization can neither be achieved through knowledge which is highly subjective nor through the intellect which is highly conditioned through the evolutionary process at the level of the psyche.

The path of wisdom is not a journey of human intent alone but a mystical process of surrender wherein the Divine grace operates. This is the reason the Psalmist says:
“Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn out its seven pillars.”….Proverbs 9:1 and
“Wisdom reposes in the heart of the discerning and even among fools she lets herself be known.”……….Proverbs 14:33

The emphasis on the Divine fool is to be noted because it is the direct way of saying that one should not rely on one’s mind or intellect in the process of discerning the meaning and purpose of one’s life.

Love to you all

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Shivratri – Natural State of Being

We celebrated the Maha Shivratri yesterday. This is a very auspicious festival in the Hindu calendar.
Shivratri literally means the ‘night of Shiva’ and is usually celebrated on the 13th night of the Panguni month in Tamilnadu and coincides with the new moon. The notion of night and number 13 have great significance in the Mayan calendar. 13 Baktuns in the long count Mayan calendar is the period of one age and the date 21st December 2012 is the end of the 13 Baktuns cycle. In Mayan cosmology the underworlds were divided into 13 divisions of seven days and 6 nights. The significance of night or Pralaya in Vedic cosmology signifies a period of non-creation.

Shiva, being the deity of transformation which is the true process of creation, rests from the creative act and this is celebrated on this day. In evolutionary studies we find that there are periods of proliferation of species and then follows a period of no fossil records pointing to evolution. This is called ‘punctuated equilibria’. It appears as though a total resting happens in the creative process.
This is the reason that on Shivratri the devotee fasts for twelve hours thus even denying the process of transformation and metabolism within the body. The body is the abode of the Divine consciousness and it is kept in a state of wakeful hibernation so that no creative act takes place.

The legend of the hunter who even involuntarily offered the Bilba leaf and his own wakeful perspiration to the Shiva linga on the night of Shivratri was awarded a place in the abode of Shiva at his death and a reincarnation as a mighty king, Chitrabhanu, is a legend associated with Shivratri.
The cyclic nature of manifestation (creation), associated with day and annihilation (Non-creation), associated with night is a process of tuning our limited consciousness to the true nature of the operating domain of Divine consciousness.

It so happens that today we celebrate the ‘Ash Wednesday’ in the Christian calendar.
Here again we have a significant reminder of the nature of birth and death. Everything that is born ahs to die and return to its ground state. It is unfortunate that we attach meanings to deeply symbolic rituals and esoteric writings only at a surface or external level. Birth and death or creation and dissolution are but two sides of the same coin. From our sensory and waking consciousness perception creation or manifestation is nothing but an elevated or unbalanced of a ground state entity, which is universal consciousness or vacuum energy. Imagine a beautiful picture of a mansion on a very glossy paper lying on a very flat table. If I am sitting with my eye level at the table’s edge (the ground state) I do not see any picture. But the moment the picture is raised from table’s surface then I behold a this beautiful picture of a mansion. So all that is raised up must be returned to the ground state because that is the nature state of the Universe or the Cosmos. It is the Divine plenum which is self sustaining.

The sacred ash in Hindu worship, which is so closely associated with Lord Shiva, represents the ground state of purity where all ingredients, wood, milk, clarified butter, loose their form.

From these two wonderful festivals, let us become aware this great truth. The sacred ash and the moonless night reminds us of the natural state of our true being.

Love to you all

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

True Purpose of Creation

Yeshua said, “I took my stand in the midst of the world, and in flesh I appeared to them. I found them all drunk, and I did not find any of them thirsty. My soul ached for the children of humanity, because they are blind in their hearts and do not see, for they came into the world empty, and they also seek to depart from the world empty. But meanwhile they are drunk. When they shake off their wine, then they will change their ways.” ………………. Saying 28, Gospel of Thomas

There are a number of inner revelations in this saying.

The first is the concept of Christ consciousness which is always present in the manifest creation. Christ consciousness and the Father’s consciousness are one and the same. Because of this factor Yeshua declares “I and the Father are one”….John 10:30. This statement is made not at the physical level but at the consciousness level.

This Divine consciousness was made flesh and manifest as the Son. The purpose of the coming of Divine consciousness in the mere human form of Yeshua, is to awaken from the comatose state humanity which has lost the understanding of the purpose of its creation. It is through the knowledge and action of Yeshua there is a clear demonstration that it is within the grasp of all humanity to live as Yeshua lived which is at the level of Father’s consciousness.
St. Paul writing to the Galatians says “I no longer live, but the Messiah lives in me, and the life that I am now living in this body”………Galatians 2:20.

This is the reason the evangelist writes “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”…….. John 1:10-12.

There is always an attracting potential instilled into every human being to lure him or her away from mere materialistic existence. But just as we dull our senses to reality by imbibing and inebriating drink of sensory gratification, humanity has lost its thirst for true knowledge of Selfhood. The true knowledge that we are all sons and daughters of the Father just as Yeshua was.

This insight can not be obtained through the mind. The mind being an agent of sensory inputs has the corrupting influence due to the false realities that are perceived and assumed to be the only foundational reality through which one can fulfil one’s life’s purpose. This is the reason that not only the mind has been numbed but the heart which is the agent of intuitive knowing has also been made blind. Only a open mind can permit entry into the intuitive realm human perception.
Humanity is given the access to the mind for a dual reason. The first is to gain knowledge of the Ego and the Self and the second is for the deployment of the intellect or Buddhi to move to the higher planes of existence.

The words “for they came into the world empty, and they also seek to depart from the world empty…….” cries out for a new look at the current eschatology. There is purpose of creation with a predetermined state emptiness of the true knowledge but with a clear intention that during one’s life time this state must be modified. Unless we come out of the stupor induced by worldly attachments one can not achieve the true purpose of our creation.

Love to you all

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Grand Lines of Nature

"For nature, as we know, is at once within and without us. Art is the mirror at the interface. So too is ritual, so also myth. These, too, bring out 'the grand lines of nature,' and in doing so, re-establish us in our own deep truth, which is one with that of all being."………Joseph Campbell, “The Inner Reaches of Outer Space”, p. 132

When reading these lines one is transported to the very question that now plagues science and philosophy; what is reality? Joseph Campbell wrote those lines just before his passing in 1987. In the two decades which has elapsed since this writing we are somewhat closer to the realization that what determines reality is the limited faculty of our mind and absolute reality eludes us the more we probe nature with higher amplification microscopes and larger magnification telescopes.

The collective consciousness of the human mind determines the nature of reality. This is the result of many layers of conditioned thinking and modifications of these thoughts in subjective influences in the social, economical and cultural dimensions. The greater truth is that we as individuals project these conditioned images from within a collective consciousness framework as reality and as nature.
We carry from birth our evolutionary consciousness which is continuously modified and shaped by our sensory inputs. Though nature appears to be outside of us in reality it is our inner perception that appears as an outer projection. This is a virtual reality concretised by our four dimensional space-time sensory imprint in our individual consciousness validated by a collective consciousness consensus.

If this is so are we doomed to be prisoners of this conditioned perceptions? The picture that is presented to us appears as though we have access to only a set of conditioned images, precepts and concepts. This is not so. What we operate through in our waking consciousness is only the tip of the iceberg and below this level lies a vast treasure trove of universal unconsciousness (to use a Jungian term).

Art, ritual and myths are the expressions that are available to the psyche and which emanates from the this interface what lies without and what lies within. When Joseph Campbell uses the term ‘without’ and ‘within’ he is not referring to physical space but to imagery that are resultant from sensory conditioned imagery and the formless essence which is available to the intuitive process to grasp deeper reality. There is a beautiful saying of Novalis, the great German author and philosopher, “The seat of the soul is there where the outer and the inner worlds meet”

This realization leads us to move away from a highly individualistic approach to our evolving thoughts and look for a more holistic and deeper understanding.
I would like to close this short article with one of my own experience.

I was once travelling out in the open country road when as the sun was setting the light got reflected from a jetliner travelling probably well over 35,000 feet above the ground. My immediate thought was of course appreciate the streaking light in the sky, a daylight meteor at slow speed.
But immediately my mind was on another track. Like this great shining object which would have gone unnoticed but for the setting sun, how many individuals are shining beacons in society because they reflect the light of the spirit.

To witness these life empowering messengers, we need to develop the intuitive perception of the icons, rituals and myths of all religious traditions.

Love to you all.