Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Monumental Transformation

"The patriarch Jacob’s name in Hebrew (YAKOV) is connected with the word for “heel” (AKEV). When Jacob was born, he was grasping Esau by the heel, unwilling to let him go! For this reason the word “to follow” in Hebrew (leAKOV) became forever connected with Jacob’s heel-holding birth!
Jacob’s birth defined his life until his encounter with the Angel of the LORD. Just like at his birth, Jacob once again grasped someone tightly, unwilling to let him go. He demanded to be blessed. The LORD blessed him and changed his name to Israel.
But what does Israel mean in Hebrew?
The word YISRAEL (Israel) is related to the verb leSROT, which in Biblical Hebrew means to struggle, to strive, even to exercise influence, in this context, with God Himself!" ....... Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

Every story in sacred scriptures have a deeper meaning than what is implied on the surface.
In Jacob's life story the importance on the life struggle both in his physical birth and in his spiritual elevation, as the founding father of the Spiritual nation of twelve tribes of Israel, is a deep rooted symbolism which has to be internalized in every human consciousness.

The very process of human existence starts with the physical birth which involves a traumatic exit from the womb of the mother and a continuation of the struggle of life in an ambiance of material, dualistic consciousness. The progressive reduction of individual consciousness from a non-ego centred realm to the ego dominated and manipulative consciousness is inevitable due to the ambiance of nurturing and social impact. It is a constant struggle to even become aware that we are dragged into this abyss in an unconscious stupor. The intoxicating power of physical comfort and ego pampering psychological addiction leaves little room for our attention to be diverted to realizing our true destiny.

If we recall the event of Esau bartering his birth right for a bowl of lentil stew, the biblical commentary states that the colour of the stew was red, The Midrash commentaries and Kabblastic interpretation point out that the colour red wad significant of blood or the animal nature. The birth right of a spiritual inheritance is traded for appeasing a physical desire.

It is when Jacob took his journey into the wilderness to reach Haran that the revelation to his higher nature is revealed. Though he had taken the birth right from his brother, the first born, he had not realized the significance of what is his true birthright and blessing from his father.

It is only when he saw in his own dream the stairway to heaven and the seat of God and the angels ascending and descending that he realizes the seamless connectivity between the creator and the creation and the levels of ascending consciousness to the Divine. Though there is a reference to a geographical location, which is aptly renamed as Bethel or house of God, it is a personal transformation which is signified in this event. The stone on which Jacob put his head to rest while he had this dream and the Divine plenum represent the lower most level of consciousness and the seat of the Divine the highest level of consciousness to which every human should aspire. Jacob, in whom this great revelation has dawned, is the chosen one for begetting the nation of people who would constantly struggle to bridge their physical nature and their true Spiritual nature. Israel is not a set of chosen set of individuals who is bestowed with this special gift as a birth right but this allies to all humanity.

Let us go forth in this knowledge to try and achieve this monumental transformation.

Love to you all.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Beyond Physical Sustenance

"Yeshua said, "Do not fret, from morning to evening and from evening to morning, [about your food--what you're going to eat, or about your clothing--] what you are going to wear. [You're much better than the lilies, which neither card nor spin. As for you, when you have no garment, what will you put on? Who might add to your stature? That very one will give you your garment.]" .......Gospel of Thomas Saying 36

This is one of the most misunderstood saying of Christ by certain denominations of Christianity. When God or the Divine is made into an object exterior to oneself and is assumed to be the dispenser in the material domain, one takes the beseeching role while God takes the provider role. This anthropocentric visualisation  was provided in the cultural ambience of a community which was steeped in magical and mythical consciousness to communicate the Divine care that is dispensed drawing a parallel to human relationship such as the Father and the Son. This was common to many religions and the Trinitarian concept of God was also the result of positioning the higher power with the attributes of creative parental Father, transforming or liberating Son and the  sustaining or preserving Spirit.

In this verse Yeshua, clarifies the primary role in the creative process which rests with the Divine but this does not mean that there is no participatory role for the creation. It is the desire to a tendency of excesses which is decried by the Divine teacher. The reason why the lilies of the field are shown as example is that nature participates in Divine creation and earthly existence without any independent or individual agency but they are well taken care of by what is provided in its natural state of existence.

Especially the theme of the garment does not address the physical covering to cover the body or to protect one from the negative effects of the climate or to cover ones physical nakedness. Whatever is given to us in our earthly stature, even if it is rudimentary or bear minimum, we should not worry over its quality or to what stature it elevates us. Yeshua specifically targets the false teachers of his time who wore expensive, flowing garments but who were full of pride and deceit.

If in praying "Give us this day our daily bread", we are truly sincere and full of faith then it is implied in that request, "Give me a job. Give me a house to live in. Give me the daily requirement of food, basic need for clothing and the knowledge needed to live a holy and happy life. Only when we externalise God and do not understand that it is he who is the very essence of and sustaining energy in every single cell of our bodies, we start to worry whether there is any connectivity or lack of communication as to the needs of our bodies. This duality is the result of a ego centred consciousness.  And if we learn to seek the kingdom of God first, which is realising the truth that the Divine is integral to the physical, then all these things we need will be provided to us.

 There is also another understanding that is very essential. We do not pray, "Father, give us this day our daily ice-cream," but "Give us this day our daily bread!". 
The promise is, "My God shall supply all your NEED" .........Phil. 4:19 - not all that we WANT, but all that we NEED. There's a lot of difference between what we may want and what we need. An ego centred mind would not be able to discern what it NEEDS but always craves for what it WANTS.

Though this saying is simple in nature, its import should be the essential tenet of our daily living.
May we be blessed with the discerning wisdom to go with the flow in the deepest understanding that there is deep purpose in every creation and the ambit of the Divine care is naturally inbuilt in our existence.

Love to you all

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

God - Movement and Rest Unified

"Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done." ...........Genesis 2:1-3

"God is properly the place and “where” of all things for three reasons. First, all things are restless outside their proper place. Second, individual things seek out and return to their proper place. Third, because they are protected in their proper place, there all things are safe and at rest. All three of these
considerations properly befit God." .......Meister Eckhart commenting on .......John 1:38
"Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?" They said, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?""

"Unde Deus est in omnibus et in nullo. In quolibet enim est, ut ens est, in nullo vero, ut hoc ens est (Therefore God is in everything and in no thing. For he is in each insofar as it is being, but in none insofar as it is this being)" ...........Nicholas Cusa

The subject of 'movement and rest' has been discussed from the time of Aristotle. It was Aristotle who said "The entire preoccupation of the physicist is with things that contain within themselves a principle of 'movement and rest'. And to seek for this is to seek for the second kind of principle, that from which comes the beginning of the change. (Aristotle, 340 BC). Hence primary to change which comprises manifestation of Form or objective realization, is rest or stillness or being.

When we talk of nature, which is an objective perception of the human mind, there is constant change. From a scientific perspective, this takes us to Louis de Broglie (1924) wave nature of particle which is the basic constituent of all matter. The de Broglie relations show that the wavelength is inversely proportional to the momentum of a particle. Momentum is always related to movement. (for those who are not scientifically oriented, do not bother with this concept. All that matters is that the very basic constituent of matter namely; atoms are constantly moving in a wave pattern).

Whether it is God resting on the mythical seventh day or the inquiry of spiritual initiates of Jesus asking him his place of 'rest', the deeper meaning is emanation of Divine creation , whether it be material or any sensory perception, comes from a place of absolute rest.

Nicholas Cusa expounds this rather paradoxical formulation by invoking three further considerations, all of which are derived from and conform Christian Neo-platonic thinking:

1. God is the form of forms giving form or being to all else;
2. God is the being of beings just as oneness is the being of every number - this is the common substratum which in Vedic philosophy is Brahman;
3. God’s being is to the being of creatures as the being of whiteness is to the being of white things. A fundamental qualifying attribute which is purely subjective..

All three proposals are implications of the paradigmatic, nonreciprocal relation of objective perception to the primal causative essence which is unchanging; namely the resting 'poetntia'

Deepak Chopra describes the balance of the two (movement and rest)in his book "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success", 
“Stillness alone is the potentiality for creativity; movement alone is creativity restricted to a certain aspect of its expression. But the combination of movement and stillness enables you to unleash your creativity in all directions—wherever the power of your attention takes you.”

Let us all realize the infinite potential and actualization that takes place in and around us as continuous creation unfolds through the infinite, eternal  potentiality of the very first creation. Becoming spiritual therefore entails the realization that everything that we see, touch, smell, taste and hear in nature has the Divine attribute.

Love to you all.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Spiritual Symbolism of Nakedness

On the last weekend, a question was raised by my friend as to what is the significance of the following Puranic story. I promised to write a post.

"Anusuya, was the wife of an ancient Indian rishi (sage) named Atri, in Hindu mythology. In the Ramayana, she appears living with her husband in a small hermitage in the southern periphery of the forest of Chitrakuta. She was very pious, and always practiced austerities and devotion. This allowed her to attain miraculous powers.
The sage Narada praised Anusuya in his hymns and verses, making the wives of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva jealous. They requested their husbands go and tempt her away from her husband, breaking her pativrata (fidelity to her husband). The Divine Trinity went to Anusuya as guests when Atri was not at home, and asked her to serve them lunch in the nude. She agreed, but first splashed them each with enchanted water, turning them into small children. The three goddesses waited for their husbands to return, and when they didn’t, travelled to Anusuya’s cottage to find them transformed. The goddesses repented, and at the request of Anusuya, the three Gods agreed to be born as her sons."

In every spiritual tradition the symbolism of nakedness was associated with the highest level of detachment.
In art the Tirthankara (Jainism) is represented either standing stiffly in the pose known as kayotsarga (“dismissing the body”) or seated cross-legged on a lion throne in the posture of meditation, dhyanamudra. The images are nude. The images are often carved out of marble or other highly polished stone or are cast in metal, the cold surfaces serving to emphasize the frozen detachment from life.
Nudity is the main doctrinal difference between the Shvetambaras and Digambara traditions of Jainism, Digambara means clothed in the quarters of the sky, by renouncing all external clothing, including his loin cloth. He must completely abandon all possessions.

In the Biblical Genesis we read that only after they disobeyed God that Adam and Eve realized their nakedness. The true meaning is that in our absolute spiritual consciousness there is no room for a perception of physicality. Only when we descend to the state of alienation from the Divine did they realize their nakedness.

In the Gospel of Thomas, Christ emphasises the need for total renunciation.

His disciples said, "When will you appear to us, and when will we see you?"
Jesus said, "When you strip without being ashamed, and you take your clothes and put them under your feet like little children and trample then, then [you] will see the son of the living one and you will not be afraid." ....Saying 37

In this beautiful story the same theme is emphasized and the when the Gods ask Anusya to serve them in the nude, it is meant that she must be at the highest level of spiritual attainment to serve the Divine. Hence the Divine whose apparition is in physical form must also be transcended at elevated to a state of Childish innocence where the Ego and duality are totally absent.
The trinity can only be reincarnated in Virgin birth only by one who is also undefiled by her material manifestation. This is the final gift of Divine wisdom, represented here by the three Divine Feminine.

When Jesus saw some babies nursing. He said to his disciples,  "These nursing babies are like those who enter the kingdom."
They said to him, "Then shall we enter the kingdom as babies?"
Jesus said to them, "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter" .....Saying 22 Gospel of Thomas

In this New Year, let us aspire to move towards this state non-differentiation

Love to you all