Saturday, July 21, 2012

Soul levels in Kabbalah

In Kabbalah, the five levels of the soul are called nefesh, ruach, neshama, chaya, yechida. To each of these levels different Spiritual masters are assigned and they are King David, Elijah, Moses, Adam & Eve and The Mashiach.

Writing a commentary on these levels Rabbi David Cooper says:
“The initial soul level of every bit of matter in the universe is referred to as the nefesh, the vital soul. Another level of soul is equated with movement and spirit. It is called ruach. This soul force is associated with movement and the life that is embodied in every organic aspect of the universe.
Still another level of soul is called neshama, which has the same root as the word to breathe (nasham). This is an aspect of soul that includes within it two additional levels: chaya, which means living essence, and yechida, which means unity. The neshama is present in each and every breath, it is the source of life, and it is merged and identical with the source of creation.”

In Kabbalastic mysticism, the personalities of the masters who have been assigned to these levels have a very unique relation to what each level denotes.

  • King David represents the attainment of worldly power and establishment of a kingdom and lineage thus relating to the physical function of the body which is the material nature of the vital soul.
  • Prophet Elijah was in direct communion with Yahweh who is the prime source of all that is manifest and the unmanifest. The Victory of prophet Elijah over the Baal prophets signifies the conquest of the absolute reality over false reality. The very name, Elijah means “Yahweh is my name”. He is the manifestation of the spirit of Yahweh or ruach.
  • Moses as the central figure of liberation and movement of the Israelites is assigned to the soul level of neshama which word takes its root from ‘nasham’ meaning to breathe. He symbolizes the transcendental nature and vitality of continuous creation in the universe. The multidimensional character of Moses as a pharaoh to be (kinghood), a spouse of seven brides which signifies the fully integrated aspect of animus and anima in a wholly balanced personality (perfect created entity) and the liberator (forerunner to the Messiah)  maps the process of the soul journey as a movement of vital breath which has a very apt parallel in Vedic philosophy as ‘Prana’.
  • Because of Yahweh creating Adam and hence Eve in His own image, they are assigned the soul level of chaya which means living essence.
  • Creation embodies these levels of the soul consciousness but the one who can assimilate the integral nature of creation and its inter-relatedness is assigned the Messianic level of yechida. Yechida means unity.  
I can see a very distinct correlation to the five inner chakras within the body to these five soul levels in Kabbalah. 

  • The nefesh level of the soul assigned to physicality is the Swadhisthana  chakra whose function is safety, security and procreation of the species. All these aspects are rooted in the physical plane of existence.
  • The ruach level of the soul is assigned to movement and the sustaining spirit can be mapped to the Manipura chakra which is the energy centre which physically governs metabolism, mentally it governs psychic power, emotionally it governs expansiveness, and spiritually, all matters of growth.The main parameter which governs this level is action through energy or movement through spirit.
  • The neshama level of the soul which is characterized by the life sustaining breath, can be identified in the Anahata chakra at the heart level. The Anahata is represented by a hexagram denoting perfect balance. This is the level at which we transcend from the static to the sentient. This is the mutative portal. This is the soul level of unconditional love and compassion.
  • The chaya level of the soul can mapped to the Vishuddha chakra which is level at which we are empowered to give expression both through thought and words. This is the portal of ultimate expression of our intellectual and spiritual maturation.
  • The yechida level of the soul can be reflected in the Ajna chakra its key issues involve balancing the higher and lower selves and trusting inner guidance. Ajna's inner aspect relates to the access of intuition. This is the portal at which the grand unity is perceived.
May this understanding lead us toward transcendence.

Love to you all

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Merging With Christ Consciousness

Yeshua said, “Where there are three deities, they are divine. Where there are two or one, I am with that one.” ………..Gospel of Thomas Saying 30

This one liner is very difficult to comprehend from purely literal point of view. The meaning of this saying has to be extracted from a deeper esoteric dimension.

When Yeshua makes this statement he is defining the true meaning of Christ which is the name allotted to the diving dimension of his manifestation as the Messiah. When Yeshua asks the apostles "But what about you?" he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” ………. Luke 9:20
There is the pre-existence of Christ which refers to the doctrine of the ontological or personal existence of Christ before his conception. It is the Logos which John talks of in his Gospel.
Martha told Jesus “you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world” …… John 11:27, signifying that both titles were generally accepted (yet considered distinct) among the followers of Jesus before the Raising of Lazarus

In our current understanding, Logos refers to the Divine consciousness which is ever existent and only manifests itself in two dimensions. These dimensions are the soul in the embodiment of manifestation in creation or the dimension of the underlying unmanifest implicate order.

When Yeshua talks of the three deities and they being divine, He refers to the triune dimension of God in the exposition of divinity in a process of grasping through faith. These are the attributes of Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These are the very attributes which Yeshua used when communicating His messianic role and how He relates to the Father and the Spirit. His incarnation, which needed a physical entity to embody the virgin, untainted consciousness in Christhood, is a manifestation through the Son-ship of the Father through the power of the all pervading Spirit consciousness. This is the reason for our belief in the unity of these three attributes as they are the same underlying Divine consciousness exhibiting as Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.
When we see the three separate elements of Divinity, we are rooted in our perception of divinity through a mode of attributes. God becomes externalized in a mode of worship. This anthropomorphic view results in a subjective act of deifying God consciousness and can result only in the subjective fragmented view of divinity. This is the Bhakti dimension.

If we see divinity as the underlying element in all manifestation, though we are operating in the mental realm through sense perception, we are operating through Christ consciousness. This is the duality which Yeshua speaks off in his saying “………… Where there are two or one, I am with that one.” For most spiritual aspirants the duality is the only mode through which we can ascend the ladder of spiritual progress. This is the Jñana dimension.

The one-dimensional comprehension of Christ consciousness can not take place from the mental or intellectual domain but needs an intuitive journey with the aid of Divine grace. This is a rare gift which we can become entitled to through our openness, single minded focus and constant vigil. This is beautifully told in the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew chapter 25 Verses 1-13.
This one dimensional route can be reached only through extreme balance and alignment with Divine or Christ consciousness.

Let us continue in this journey of deeper understanding of the pearls of spiritual wisdom which Yeshua spoke.

Love to you all.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Vampire Bride

“And Apollonius said:   ‘Have you heard of the gardens of Tantalus, how they exist and yet do not exist?’   ‘Yes’, they answered, ‘in the poems of Homer, for we certainly never went down to Hades’.    ‘As such’, replied Apollonius, you must regard this adornment, for it is not reality but the semblance of reality. And that you may realise the truth of what I say, this fine bride is one of the vampires, that is to say of those beings whom the many regard as lamias and hobgoblins. These beings fall in love, and they are devoted to the delights of Aphrodite, but especially to the flesh of human beings, and they decoy with such delights those whom they mean to devour in their feasts.’    And the lady said: ‘Cease your ill-omened talk and begone’; and she pretended to be disgusted at what she heard, and no doubt she was inclined to rail at philosophers and say that they always talked nonsense. When, however, the goblets of gold and the show of silver were proved as light as air and all fluttered away out of their sight, while the wine bearers and the cooks and all the retinue of servants vanished before the rebukes of Apollonius, the phantom pretended to weep, and prayed him not to torture her nor to compel her to confess what she really was. But Apollonius insisted and would not let her off, and then she admitted that she was a vampire, and was fattening  up Menippus with pleasure before devouring his body , for it was her habit to feed upon young and beautiful bodies, because their blood is pure and strong.” ……………  “Life and Times of Apollonius of Tyana”, Volume 2, Issue 1,  By Philostratus (the Athenian)

When I read this mythological event, I was overawed by the conceptualization of Quantum superposition and the take on false reality.

 Apollonius explains to his student Menippus the similarity between the attraction that the young man has for the apparition of the beautiful and sensuous lady who promises him all pleasures in the suburb of Corinth, to the gardens of Tantalus in the Hades which have fleeting existence and hence a doubtful reality. When Menippus intends to marry or be bonded to this false reality, Apollonius exposes the true nature of the bride. She is the personification of self aggregation and purely interested in feeding to the false reality added authentication.

This is the world we live in where intentions and thoughts which originate in the mind are oriented towards seeking pleasures of the senses and we become rooted in the false reality. This is symbolised by the intention of the vampire bride who fattens unsuspecting victims through false euphoria and then ingests them to augment the strength of the negative elements in creation.

The opening comparison to the gardens of Tantalus is very fitting in defining individual perceptions. Our perceived reality is purely a mental map shaped by our experiences in the material world and we do not even question whether there could be a subtler reality from which the material world emerges. Hades is the hidden dimension in which the material or sensory reality has only a probabilistic existence. This can be compared to the fleeting mirage which we know to be a pure illusion and yet very real to the starved senses, eliciting a hope of finding thirst quenching water.

Today we celebrate Guru Purnima and Apollonius role, in opening the eye of his student to truth, is an apt reflection of why we need a guru in our spiritual progress. Often we are carried away by the intense pleasure which the mind enjoys in the possession of sensory objects. It is the guiding wisdom of the guru which can redeem us from this trap.

May the wisdom of our gurus elevate us to a higher plane of living.

Love to you all