Friday, May 31, 2013

Universe in the Still Mind

"If water derives lucidity from stillness,
how much more the faculties of the mind.
The mind of the sage, being in repose,
becomes the mirror of the Universe,
a reflection of all creation." ...............Chuang Tzu

This reminds us of the story in which Lord Buddha asks his disciple to get some water to drink from the lake and three time he goes and returns as the water is muddy. But in his last attempt he had found that the water had become clear and brings it to Buddha for drinking. Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said, “See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be, and the mud settled down on its own—and you have clear water. Your mind is like that too. When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.”

This is the great truth which we fail to grasp. It is the human tendency to do something about anything that requires a change. This is because we do not understand that there is a universal action which is beyond our normal consciousness domain. The ego predominates and thinks that it is the only doer which proves counterproductive as there is limited knowledge with which we approach, especially, the problems of the mind.

The state of the mind is like the surface of the ocean, subject to the control of the weather and influenced by the heat of the sun and the barometric pressure, but the depth of the ocean is calm with only subtle currents that are in harmony with all that exists within the oceans, the atmosphere and the earth itself. The interconnectedness of the deep ocean and its environs with the entire Gaia system is now well understood scientifically.

This concept of interconnectedness took root in Chuang Tzu's teachings as we can see from his reasoning in the following statement:

"The cosmos and I were born together, the ten-thousand things and I are one. Now, having already constructed a 'one' is it possible to say something about it? Having already called it a 'one' can we fail to say something about it? 'One' and saying it make two. Two and one make three and going from here, even a skilled calculator can't keep up with us, let alone an ordinary man."

This is a very deep reflection given that this is a crude statement of a profound mathematical concept of a null set. Null set is the basic axiom for all mathematical constructs, This is the philosophical boundary at which the unique identity of an object dissolves. [for those of you who are mathematically inclined, "If A is a set, then there exists precisely one function f from { } to A, the empty function. As a result, the empty set is the unique initial object of the category of sets and functions."]

Why I have taken this rather difficult route to explain the following lines: ".... The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the Universe, a reflection of all creation.". is because fundamental to this intuitive mode of thinking, it is essential that the mind ceases to operate in subject / object duality. This is the way a calm mind, emptied of all variables, comprehends the oneness of the macro-structure and the micro-structure.

Love to you all.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Instruction to the Initiates

Yeshua said, "If a blind person leads a bind person, both of them will fall into a hole." ........ Saying 34, Gospel of Thomas

This saying from the Gospel of Thomas appears very simple and straight forward. But we need to understand that Yeshua spoke these words to his disciples and not to the general public. In his short ministry, in which so much radically new knowledge had to be passed on, Yeshua was aware of the unpreparedness of his disciples and the level from which he had to elevate the consciousness of his future leaders. This is an everyday fact that a blind man cannot provide guidance to another blind man as both of them would have no knowledge of the terrain.

Tau Malachi, an enlightened commentator on the verses of the Gospel of Thomas, says that the sayings of Yeshua must be understood from a Gnostic dimension. To be spiritually blind is to lack the light of wisdom. It is the true realization of Christ self within oneself. The teachings of Yeshua was to bring forth the light within so that one can become an illumined leader. If we are not at this level of consciousness than we are the blind leading the blind. Yeshua issued this warning when he says:

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. …" ..........Matthew 7: 15-17

Anyone who has not the level of spiritual consciousness to provide the light that illuminates the inner path to Messianic or Christ consciousness is a false prophet. The process of the initiate attaining the required level spiritual wisdom is compared by Yeshua to the growth of a tree. The purpose of the tree is to bear fruit and thus propagate a healthy progeny. To bear fruit the tree must first grow to a healthy maturity. In spiritual life one must grow through faith in the truth revealed in various formats in rituals, scriptures and life practices. These are only the path to the ultimate goal. If we are stuck in the path and do not proceed beyond through inner Gnosis to blossom and fructify then the process of initiation is stunted. The transcendence from faith to active invocation of spiritual experience is the qualification for the spiritual leader. This is the stage when the path itself becomes the goal. It is only through this wisdom gained at an experiential level that one can complete the process of achieving spiritual leadership qualities. Most deemed spiritual masters are rooted at the faith or intellectual level but never leverage their inner capacity to experience the spiritual bliss which has the potential to radically alter the individual consciousness to a redeeming level.

When Yeshua declared that He is "The way, the truth and the life" ......John 14:6, He precisely meant this that the way, truth and life are the integral aspect of the Messianic consciousness through which a "metanoia" takes place. It is a radical transformation of consciousness.

When John declares: "We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life (he is not talking about the physical experience but a spiritual one)............ but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another" .......Epistle of John 1:1, 7

This is the true discipleship and spiritual leadership that Yeshua imparted.

Love to you all

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Deploying Compassion

"Look with compassion
at the heavy drinkers. Know, that you too
have your weaknesses. If you want to live in peace
and clarity, then look at the poor and the handicapped
carrying the burden of their misery,
and see how fortunate you are!" 
............ Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

We are easily critical of the so called self inflicted maladies of the fellow human. This results in spontaneous judgement such as "Oh! he is a very heavy drinker" or "Look at the poor soul dwelling in the gutter, he must have deserved this life because of some terrible deeds in his or her previous births"

As the title of the article suggests, deploying compassion is a well thought out process and involves the eight-fold noble path which was enumerated by the great Gautama. These eight paths can be broadly classified into three divisions of Wisdom, Ethical conduct and Concentration. The origin of these three divisions is in the first division itself which is the wisdom to deploy the right view and right intention.
These two aspects of right view and right intentions result fro a sequel of activities of the human mind. The first, which is the right view, involves a perception. Our sensory inputs are the raw data which provides the material for our constructions of our concepts and hence our thoughts. The concepts and thoughts are the next hierarchical level of building our intentions. Our intentions are then embedded in our consciousness field. There is a clear demarcation in the way objective data is stored in our consciousness field and the way our subjective thoughts get embedded in our consciousness field. This can be modeled the way data gets stored in the computers Random Access Memory and the way process information gets stored in the Hard Disk of the computer. Objective data has few neuron connectivity and feed back loops in the six layer neocortex as compared to subjective information from which complex thoughts results. These thoughts are not only generated through multiple feedback loops and the collaboration of higher number of neurons but their storage is in a cosmic field which is beyond spacetime.

Two important points have emerged from experiments conducted by Dr. Carroll Nash, Director of the Parapsychology department at St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia on E-Coli, the friendly bacteria in our guts. These bacteria can mutate to virulent forms to cause infection. Two control groups were tasked with one group to send positive intentions to nurture the growth of the bacteria  while the other group was tasked with send negative intention to mutate the bacteria. The groups operated from within the lab and also from a remote location. The finding are a revelation. Both groups achieved the desired results with varying success but the negative intentions send out from a remote location had repeated high success rates in mutating the bacteria. The two factors are the kind of intention and the non-local influence it can have on the subject of our intention. This proves the power we have through our intentions, not through our words or actions but intentions from a remote and far removed locations.

This takes us to the impetus that is provided by knowing how fortunate we are in our current state of well being and send out our positive intentions to everyone so that by looking with compassion the healing power permeates the entire world.

Love to you all

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Ideal of Solitary Contemplation

"I didn't know where the temple was, Pushing mile upon mile among cloudy peaks; Old trees, unpopulated paths, Deep mountains, somewhere a bell. Brook voices choke over craggy boulders, Sunrays turn cold in the green pines. At dusk by the bend of a deserted pond, A monk in meditation, taming poisonous dragons." .....................The ideal of solitary contemplation is expressed by a poet of the T'ang era, Wang-wei (699–759)

"I've built a grass hut where there's nothing of value…. The person in the hut lives here calmly, not stuck to inside, outside, or in between…. Though the hut is small, it includes the entire world In ten square feet, an old man illumines forms and their nature." .................... Vimalakirti Sutra

This is continuing theme on the philosophy of Sunyata referring to a quote from Vimalakirti Sutra, which is a Mahayana text expounding the philosophy of Sunyata, and a stanza of the poem by Wang-Wei, celebrated 8th-century Chinese poet who named himself after the Vimalakīrti. These two verses, on solitary contemplation and the immateriality of physical domain, are brought together as to how we could seek wisdom through contemplation and an inner state.

In the first text, a journey is undertaken to seek out the existence of a temple of which there is a fore knowledge through a priori inputs, assigning certain uniqueness of which the seeker is aware. The temple is the representation of any belief system or ritual domain or repository of knowledge (like a sage) through which we seek to obtain a higher level of Spiritual consciousness. But as explained, the traveller then passes through mile upon mile among cloudy peaks, old trees, untread paths and deep mountains. These are all symbols of the elements that could not only easily mislead the seeker from the true destination but could endanger his very (spiritual) life.
The 'sun rays turning cold in the green pines' points to the first level of truth. As we know in the cold of the winter the pines loose their green needles as the power of the sun to provide the needed energy for photosynthesis is very low even if there is a clear sky. If the pine remains green then it can do so only through its internal energy. The next part of the text provides the imagery of the 'monk in meditation taming poisonous dragons'. This is the destination the seeker reaches. This is the temple that we must seek. For within each one of us are the poisonous dragons which are impediments to our spiritual progress.

 "A Western poet might want the landscape to reflect his or her feelings and react with sorrow or even despair if it did not; a Chinese poet of landscape, and Wang Wei seems the example par excellence, is willing simply to know that his feelings, however disparate, are allowed to be part of the whole." [1]

In this spirit when we look at the whole stanza of the poetry we realize the seamless texture of the meaning that it conveys.

This now brings us to the text in Vimalakirti Sutra. The immateriality of the physical abode of wisdom and how there is a permeating quality of unhindered flow to and fro from the seeming containment is illustrated in this verse. The abode is qualified by its nature of having no materialistic value. This detachment is a prerequisite for spiritual consciousness to take root in the Self. This is the reason the Sutra says "......Though the hut is small, it includes the entire world In ten square feet..." This is the singularity of the entire cosmos which illumines all forms and their created nature.

Through this integral approach succinctly brought forth in the poetry of Wang-Wei and the immense truth in the Sutra verse, the inner journey through fighting our dragons and Self contemplation, we can attain deeper knowledge of our true identity.

Love to you all. 

[1] "Five Tang Poets: Wang Wei, Li Po, Tu Fu, Li Ho, Li Shang-Yin" By David Young; 1990