Thursday, October 23, 2014

Unique Moment of Initiation

Yeshua said, "Often you have desired to hear these 
sayings that I am speaking to you, and you have no
one else from whom to hear them. There will be 
days when you will seek me and you will not find 
me."................Saying 38, Gospel of Thomas

There are three dimensions to this saying and they are:
  •  The opportune moment for the arrival of the spiritual Guru or Saviour or Divine incarnation
  • The qualification and reincarnation of the seeking soul and
  • The possibility of the message completely missing the target 
Now let us in this article analyze these dimensions and heed to the primary message so that we do not miss out on the main content.

If we trace the historical time line of some of the great spiritual adepts who were incarnations of the Divine then we realize that these incarnations happen when the humanity requires a guiding beacon for its reorientation. Humanity is in the process of an evolutionary path and its destination is the non-dual merger with the Divine. This is what Teilhard de Chardin called the Omega point. This is what is called the Kingdom of heaven. Till we are ready for this merger we go through purgation in our karmic journey. 

As Lord Krishna says: " To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to re-establish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium." ........Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4 verse 8
Yeshua said: "So the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" Yeshua said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am." ...............John 8:57-58
Buddha is also treated as an incarnation of Vishnu in Vedic traditions.

Though many names and forms are used for the human mind to comprehend this great truth, Divine incarnation in human form is part of a process of evolutionary consciousness guidance. This is the redemptive process that all spiritual traditions talk of.

The next dimension that is being addressed in this verse is regarding the qualification of the seeking soul. As Tau Malachi in his commentary on this verse says
"While the Master is speaking of himself and his relationship with own disciples, he is also speaking on another level of the spiritual connection between (reincarnated) any apostle of God and his or her disciples. The soul passes through many lives before encountering the soul of the holy tzaddik (a person of spiritual righteousness)* with whom it shares a soul root and possess karmic connection. Not only must the soul encounter a holy tzaddik in one life or another, the conditions must be present to become a companion and receive teachings and initiation"

This process of encountering a spiritual master itself must be preordained through a lifetime of karmic qualification. Three examples are given from the Vedic, Christian and Buddhist traditions. 
  • Arjuna, the seeking soul in Bhagavad Gita, is endowed with spiritual knowledge and cosmic vision.
  • Apostle Thomas who is called Didymus (John 20:24) which means in Aramaic the "twin" is taught special knowledge so much so that refrains from revealing this to the other apostles as they are still not mature to understand the deep import of the knowledge he has received and
  • The two monks who were constant companions and permanent witness to Buddha's discourses, were the two Chief Disciples, the Sariputta and Moggallana, (It is to be noted that the two were born on the same day and in the same year). 
These are souls which have through karmic purification attained a stage worthy of initiation into higher knowledge.

The third dimension is revealed in Yeshua lamenting "There will be days when you will seek me and you will not find me." The synchronization of the arrival of the Enlightened one or Messiah or Divine incarnation and the potential recipient of Divine wisdom is ordained through a cosmic evolutionary process but the potential recipient has to respond and open up to this opportunity.

Again the three spiritual traditions provide examples of the missed opportunity .
  • Lord Krishna offers to help Duryodhana and Arjuna. While Arjuna chooses Krishna as his charioteer, Duryodhana chooses Krishna's army. This is the indication of the unenlightened choice between the Material and the Divine.
  • The role of Judas Iscariot, one of the chosen apostles, in understanding the role of Yeshua as a liberator of the Jewish nation from the Romans and thus missing the entire message of Yeshua and
  • The refusal of the first teacher of Sariputta and  Moggallana, Sañjaya, to understand the liberating message of the Buddha thus refusing to visit the Buddha and losing all his followers. 
Hence this simple saying  admonishes us to be ever vigilant and to continually seek. Yeshua admonishes; " So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him" ........... Matthew 24:44

Love to you all

* The words within the bracket are that of the author

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Process of Authentic Living

"I am dead because I lack desire,
I lack desire because I think I possess.
I think I possess because I do not try to give.
In trying to give, you see that you have nothing;
Seeing that you have nothing, you try to give of yourself;
Trying to give of yourself, you see that you are nothing:
Seeing that you are nothing, you desire to become;
In desiring to become, you begin to live.” ................René Daumal

René Daumal was a French spiritual para-surrealist writer and poet of the early twentieth century.
I was very impressed by his understanding of the process of authentic living. Most of us live through life like an automaton programmed by external agencies in all aspects of our lives.
The very first line of his quote indicates that the prime mover to our existence is desire. One should not mistake this desire to be possessing. A desire to possess emanates from the ego. This lower drive is initiated in our minds through objective valuation. It is the subjective desire to evolve and not act as a store house where things tend to rot and decay not only the possessions not serving any useful purpose but fouling the very embodiment of these possessions namely; the body, mind and the soul.

If we consciously allow all things in our life to flow through us, whether it be knowledge or riches, then we become the channel of the universe and its organizing principle. Can you ever imagine that a small weir (barrier to alter the course of water) in a canal that is controlling the flow of water to the field claiming that it is the only root cause for nourishing the field. You are just a component in the vast array of enabling agencies that nourishes the ambience in which we are a small but an essential part. It is the mindset that matters. It is the same mind that can bolster your ego and claim sole authorship for all that happens around us thus leading to a possessive mentality or it is the same mind that can realistically and deeply understand the insignificance of the self in the grand design of the universe and yet comprehend the indispensible nature the self through whom all things flow.

This is the reason why Lao Tzu said: “If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.”

There are primarily two types of desire; it is the mind's desire and the second is the heart's desire.
Mind's desire can originate from purely sensory inputs or it can be moderated by the emotional content of your heart. Feeling of empathy, compassion and love come out of the heart while pleasure, anger, hate, envy all originate in the mind which is under the control of the ego.
Giving "of yourself" is a subjective process and involves sacrifice or the emptying of oneself. This emptying is not from an objective perspective and hence the realization that this process results in a non-residual state means that we play a part but we do not control the process. This has been illustrated in the Upanishad as follows:

"Know the self as a rider in a chariot,
and the body, as simply the chariot.
Know the intellect as the charioteer,
and the mind, as simply the reins.
The senses, they say, are the horses,
and sense objects are the paths around them....
When a man lacks understanding,
and his mind is never controlled;
His senses do not obey him,
as bad horses, a charioteer." ............Katha Upanishad

The intellect which is under the guidance of the heart is the able charioteer. In the hands of the able charioteer not only the chariot but whoever rides the chariot are in safe hands and bound to reach the desired destination.
This holistic understanding of the interplay of the senses, the mind and the intellect, without which one cannot drive to the destination, is important. This is the meaning of the words that in trying to give yourself to the role you play in this life's journey as a mere rider of the chariot and  who is totally powerless without the chariot, horses and the reins, one realizes his reduced value or nothingness in the whole plan. Due to this realization you become the enabling and life empowering agency in the process of human life.

May this understanding position ourselves in a authentic role as life empowering elements of creation.

Love to you all

Monday, October 6, 2014

Transcending Ego representations

"All existing things are really one. We regard those that are beautiful and rare as valuable, and those that are ugly as foul and rotten The foul and rotten may come to be transformed into what is rare and valuable, and the rare and valuable into what is foul and rotten." ..................Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi)

"For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.".............Matthew 7:2

The human malady is the judgemental attitude when a perception presents itself. We tend to qualify or rather our ego tends to qualify what is perceived in any objective reality. The function of the ego is identification with itself and hence the attribute assignment naturally follows the inward representation confirming to an a priori  template.

In Freud's "The Ego and I", the Phenomenological Ego relates to external reality through a process by which some a priori concept is taken as the benchmark and all other related perceptions go through a qualification process in a sequence where the final value judgement results.

In his book "Requiem for the Ego: Freud and the Origins of Postmodernism" Alfred I. Tauber writes:
".............. To recognize representations as such (as opposed to some final reality) provides an epistemological perspective that at a minimum cautions how one’s point of view provides only a singular and limited perspective. Instead of an unattainable view from nowhere, subjects are restricted by the unavoidable limited mediation of their vantage point, which Nietzsche celebrated and positivists lamented. But further to their critique, the individuality posed in its perspectival epistemology also brings along with it a self-awareness of a moral perspective and the concomitant sense of autonomy from which the responsibility of self-initiated, self-governed actions commence."

In the process of enlightenment, the need to transcend this state of falsified representation becomes mandatory as this impedes the process of deeper identification beyond the corrupting influence of concepts resulting in representational dualities. In the process of altered representation, the stage of influence by the Ego mind can be negated only through an intermediary stage where the mind is able to go deeper into the intangible plane where deeper consciousness becomes active.

This can be activated by a cross reference to mythological, spiritual and cosmological content that can be acquired through our own mind. To do this the need to acquire deeper knowledge and convert it into an existential wisdom is the integral part of our life journey.

Mythology evokes the archetypes of the universal unconscious thus providing a powerful tool for the deeper enquiry beyond our waking consciousness. This is the reason Joseph Campbell says:
“Thinking in mythological terms helps to put you in accord with the inevitables of this vale of tears. You learn to recognize the positive values in what appear to be the negative moments and aspects of your life. The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure."

In the spiritual realm, deeper knowledge can be accessed through the esoteric understanding of the wisdom traditions and scriptures and the cosmological wisdom can be acquired through deeper scientific enquiry.

In the first quote at the beginning of the article, the transitory nature of objective qualities are brought out by Chuang Tzu. It is the rather repulsive caterpillar that transforms into the beautiful butterfly. It is the insignificant acorn that transforms into the mighty Oak tree. It is the most beautiful body that ages and withers in the old age. Value assessment is purely subjective.

The second quote from the Gospel of Matthew that brings forth the interconnectedness of consciousness of all creation. Every element of creation has a place and purpose and if we pass judgement from within our limitation, it is this limitation which gets strengthened. This is the meaning of "........... and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

This reminds me of the beautiful saying of Rumi:
"Beyond our ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase ‘each other’
doesn’t make sense anymore." ........................Rumi

Love to you all.