Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Aion - A Symbol of Eternity

"Aion": a lion-headed, snake-encircled Mithraic God-image of time (also called Kronos or Deus Leontocephalus) who for Jung represented death/rebirth and a psychological union of opposites like light and darkness, male and female, creation and destruction.
"Eon": a long length of time, also meant for Jung the two-thousand-year Christian eon, which coincided with its astrological sign, Pisces, in which one fish represents Christ and the other its future opposite, the Antichrist." ............................. "A Glossary of Jungian Terms" by Craig Chalquist, PhD

The nature of creation is an eternal cycle, of which we have a very infinitesimal perception. For this reason in mythology Aion was endowed with an eternal, Divine, pre-origin attribute.

"In his highly speculative reconstruction of Mithraic cosmogony, Franz Cumont positioned Aion as Unlimited Time (sometimes represented as the Saeculum, Cronus, or Saturn) as the god who emerged from primordial Chaos, and who in turn generated Heaven and Earth. This deity is represented as the Leontocephaline, the winged lion-headed male figure whose nude torso is entwined by a serpent. He typically holds a sceptre, keys, or a thunderbolt." .............Wikipedia -Aion_(deity)

There is an inscription on a statue of Aion found at Eleusis and dedicated in the time of Roman emperor Augustus which reads:
"To the might of Rome and the perpetuation by his holy nature remains ever the same, who has no beginning or end, undergoes no change and who is the begetter of the divine nature".

The mythological representation of Aion is full of symbolic meaning. The two pairs of opposing wings represent the duality of existence as well as the four seasons which is cyclic in nature. The snake entwining the body represents the ascending wisdom and the caduceus at the foot of the image indicates the ascending kundalini energy in the two nerve channels and balance obtained through an equilibrium in the circulatory and cyclic system. The serpent is also the symbol of wisdom and evil. It is the horizontal and vertical dimension of death and healing (Book of Numbers 21:4-9) The two keys one made of gold and another silver unlocks the gates of Capricorn and Cancer, through which the precession of the equinoxes move. This represents in the human spiritual realm, the opening of the lower chakras  and the upper chakras to establish a Cosmic union. The gaurdian of the boundaries.

This is a topic that has to be approached with mythological tools by untying the conceptual knots in the fabric of space-time imprinted in our minds. Time is the property of extension of space and hence evolved after the Big Bang or the origin of the universe in which we live. This raises the question; What was time before the birth of the universe as we perceive today from the reference frame of four dimensional space-time.
It is only in the human mind that time takes birth. This is the substratum in which the mind assigns a specific qualified space with an attribute of an event. As St. Augustine says:

“Clear now it is and plain, that neither things to come, nor things past, are. Nor do we properly say, there be three times, past, present, and to come; but perchance it might be properly said, there be three times: a present time of past things; a present time of present things; and a present time of future things. For indeed three such as these in our souls there be; and otherwhere do I not see them. The present time of past things is our memory; the present time of present things is our sight; the present time of future things our expectation.”. ..................(Confessions XI.xx.252)

The earth has a rotating axis precession of 25,772 years as measured today but during the time of the Greek astronomers like Hipparchus (200 B.C) and Ptolemy (200 A.D) the measurement was approximate and a measurement of 24,000 years was used. Hence the residence of an age in each zodiac was calculated to be 2000 years or one Eon.
The direct link between precession cycle and the onset of different levels of consciousness can be traced to many ancient traditions and especially attributed to the Mayans and their calendar.

As the Jungian term Eon points to a consciousness era of monotheism and spirituality dominated by a dogmatic interpretation with total lack of freedom for individual spiritual seeking, (wrongly assigned to Christ consciousness but should have been assigned as the Antichrist consciousness) there has to be transition to an age of freedom and integral consciousness towards which humanity will move.
This is the a new level of consciousness (wrongly assigned to Antichrist consciousness but should have been assigned as the Christ consciousness) which will liberate the structural. materialistic and dogmatic domination during the Eon dominated by the astrological sign of the Pisces (1 A.D - 2150 A.D) and transit towards the astrological sign of Aquarius,
The fish is a limited physical manifestation in water but Aquarius, the water bearer is the entire realm of existence.

Christ is the symbol of liberation. As He tried to give a liberated philosophy of life and spiritual path to the Hebrews dominated by pure ritualistic religion based on literal interpretation of the Laws of Moses with hardly any relevance to evolution of human consciousness through the post Egypt millennium.

Hence the real existence of time is only in the awareness within the domain of human consciousness operating within the four dimensional space-time. Beyond this reality time attains an ineffable quality and hence is assigned the status of God in mythology.

Let us whole heartedly participate in this transition of consciousness through deeper understanding of mythology and sacred wisdom passed down the ages.

Love to you all

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Intuitive Comprehension

"Now the key story for me about Buddhism concerns the sermon where the Buddha was seated, and there was a group around him and he just held up a flower. Just a flower. One in the group got what the Buddha was on about. For him, the flower itself was enough to spark enlightenment. The rest of the crowd were still in the dark, so to speak, so the Buddha delivered a sermon—the Flower Wreath Sūtra (Avatamsaka Sutra) —to explain what he meant, which was this: there is nothing to say about life. It has no meaning. You make meaning. If you want a meaning in your life, find a meaning and bring it into your life, but life won't give you a meaning. Meaning is a concept. It is a notion of an end toward which you are going. The point of Buddhism is This Is It." ............Joseph Campbell, Myths of Light, p. 135

Last week I was delivering the concluding remark in an event where the role of parenting was discussed by teachers in our school. Most parents were not very literate in this rural school and the medium of instruction was English, hence there was doubt as to how parents can empower children in learning at home. Suggestions were forthcoming that parents should not watch television or go about any chores but sit with the children.
My concluding remark at the end of the session was about heart to heart communication that can be established when there is pure intention at the source of this communication. The very primal communication, according to many scriptures, was the Divine intention to manifest itself. This is the true nature of Great Compassion wherein all duality is eradicated.
The incident which Joseph Campbell points out is this type of communication.

A simple example is the radio broadcast from different stations all over a region. There is a huge cacophony of radio frequencies at the listener's end. The radio receiver is designed to tune in to a particular frequency on which a specific station is broadcasting so that we can listen to a particular programme. This is done by manually tuning.

In the spiritual or metaphysical realm we tune in by aligning our heart frequency, which has the capacity to lock on to the specific frequency in which the master is communicating. The mental frequency is a complex and sequential sum of sense oriented perceptions and concepts and hence fails to understand the highly focussed and radically sharp communication frequency coming from a spiritual master.

This is the reason why in the Avatamsaka Sutra, Naga King Virupaksha, imbued with the power of the Buddha, says:
"......... Sentient beings are oppressed in all states of existence, Whirled about by habitual delusion, with no one to rescue them, The Buddha liberates them with Great Compassion: No Heat or Torment realizes this."

This  habitual delusion, which he talks of, results from our perceptual concepts which are derived from our state of slavery derived from our mind.
The great, 10th century Saivite philosopher and mystic, Abhinavgupta says:

"The manifestation of the light of consciousness is not like the ray of light from a lamp, sun or moon. When one frees oneself from accumulated multiplicity, the state of bliss is like that of putting down a burden; the manifestation of the Light is like the acquiring of a lost treasure, the domain of universal non-duality."

This singular experience of non-dual perception is possible only from heart intelligence and this is why the liberation from the oppressed state is equated to the Buddha state of Great Compassion. Compassion is an emotion of the heart.
Joseph Campbell says; ".... there is nothing to say about life. It has no meaning. You make meaning. If you want a meaning in your life, find a meaning and bring it into your life, but life won't give you a meaning. Meaning is a concept. It is a notion of an end toward which you are going. The point of Buddhism is This Is It."
Life here means that which we all cumulatively experience and these experiences are rooted in an aggregation of mental concepts. This is a derived state and hence we cannot expect a second new derivation or meaning. The meaning has to come from somewhere else and this source is the inner self.

There is non-reversible process at play here. The possibility of deeper perception of the integral nature of reality is not possible when on starts from a plenum of objective duality but it is possible to comprehend the illusionary nature of duality only when one proceeds from a non-dual plenum.
This is the process of enlightenment or Buddha nature wherein one proceeds from the inner phase lock of the Divine frequency of singularity to comprehend the Maya or illusion of multiplicity.

Love to you all

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Crowd Sourcing The Path

"Another way of putting it would be (without knowing Chinese) to propose this new translation of the first line of the Tao Te Ching: “A way that is entirely laid out, no, it is not the way.” I told you that I have encountered in my life a true teaching. One of the signs of its truth, for me, is that it never proposes an entirely prescribed path. No, at every step the entire dilemma is revisited. For me, nothing is resolved once and for all. And what I have always loved in you is your refusal of a prearranged path, and that’s important to me because alone one can’t sustain such a position. We must be a number of people to help each other, to awaken one another." ............René Daumal from a letter to Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes

The more accurate version of translation of the beginning of the first verse of Tao Te Ching is:
"The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named is not the eternal name...."

The essence of what René Daumal is saying and what is implied by the more accurate translation is that when the concept of Tao or the Way in spiritual domain is the result of an existing reality, it inherently comes with attenuation or deformation and hence cannot represent the true reality.
This is the core teaching not only in spirituality but also in modern science.
It is only through a shared vision which emanates from the heart of individuals who are desirous of seeking the higher reality that we can awaken to redefining our path to this destination.
This can be compared to a single person who is walking in an unknown terrain which is heavily wooded and covered in thick fog. If he is alone and follows his mere senses then he is sure to go astray. But if there is a group of people with him, all desiring to reach the same destination, then by sharing individual knowledge of the terrain and with proper communication, the errors that creep in during the journey can be eliminated.

Peter Senge, in his book "The Fifth Discipline" describes a shared vision as "... a force in people's hearts, a force of impressive power....At its simplest level, a shared vision is the answer to the question, "What do we want to create?" " A shared vision is a picture that everyone who has a common vision and dedicated purpose carries in their heads and hearts.

Today we realize the power of collaborative intelligence both from human and animal studies.
While man has been highly individualistic and ego centred, animals have been collaborative in their evolutionary path. This is the reason that the leaf cutter ants of the rain forest have been successful in their evolutionary journey over the past 50 million years but man is scrambling for survival in the 50,000 years as Homo Sapiens. If we continue to live out our lives purely from our individual heads, then as a spices we are headed towards extinction.

A well laid out path is more of an impediment like a tortuous route that has been used by many climbers to the summit. But there could exist other paths that expert climbers have found that could use less energy and conserve more stamina when the climber hits the altitude where the oxygen level is low.

The malady of a well laid path is beautifully brought out by the great German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer:
" Whenever a man is born, certain propositions are inculcated in him in earliest youth, and he is assured that he may never have any doubts about them, under penalty of thereby forfeiting eternal salvation: propositions… which affect the foundations of all our other knowledge and accordingly determine forever, and, if they are false, distort forever, the point of view from which our knowledge starts."

This is what led the twentieth century Indian philosopher, Jiddu Krishnamurthy to declare:
" I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect."

Listen deeply and do not assign any value to any teaching based on the reputation or authority of the teacher but rather seek the wisdom many wise men and draw your own path based on the dictates of your heart rather than your mind.

Love to you all

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Synergism as against Justification

"Synergism From the Greek sun- (together) + ergos (working). Synergists believe that in spiritual things humans are not wholly dead to being good, even if perhaps almost so; that human beings have a limited but nonetheless natural -- not Spirit-given -- capacity to work with God to make themselves holy. For them, the Spirit helps us to make ourselves like Christ in this life. This makes salvation at least partly into a work of the human will rather than solely a free gift of grace from God. Synergism may convey what a person senses is happening to them, but it does not convey what is actually happening. It is what inner change looks like from where we're sitting. But we're too close to what's going on to be able to see the real picture. To get beyond this, we must get outside of ourselves, and into the full Scriptural vision of what God is working toward. One of the best and most faithfully Christian synergists was the great Catholic scholar Erasmus, who lived in Reformation times and got into a famous dispute with Luther over the powers of the human will." ..........The Speaking Tree

Christian Salvation is a misunderstood concept with a very heavy leaning on the ministry of Christ rather than the involvement of the individual. The fallen state of humans derived from the Genesis story of the Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is literally taken with a heavy Augustinian connotation of original sin as the basic state of human being in this creation. This is refuted in the above quotation.

This has been strongly defended through the Doctrine of Justification in the Lutheran theology.
Michael Horton minces no words about the meaning of justification.
"It is the act of God by which a person is, in a purely external and forensic sense, declared just by reason of the atoning merits of Christ, with no cooperative (“synergistic”) action on the part of that person......." [1]

Even in 1999, the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification" by the Catholic and Lutheran World Federation, took the theological view that salvation was purely through the external agency of Christ. I quote the passage from the Vatican document confirming this position.
" ...............In faith we together hold the conviction that justification is the work of the triune God. The Father sent his Son into the world to save sinners. The foundation and presupposition of justification is the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ. Justification thus means that Christ himself is our righteousness, in which we share through the Holy Spirit in accord with the will of the Father. Together we confess: By grace alone, in faith in Christ's saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works." [2]

This position isolates the Divine realm to an external realm from the human being and thus contradicts the very fundamental nature of human nature as an image of the Divine. This error creeps in when a human creation is allocated to the beginning of time and a withdrawal of Divine agency until the arrival of the redemptive incarnated Son.
Christ birth, death and resurrection is the template after which every human soul has to follow in the process of redemption towards the pure realm of Kingdom of God.

There are many examples in the history of the Christian doctrine where people like St. John Chrysostom, St. Theophylact of Ochrid, Apostolos Makrakis, and many other non-Reformation readers of St. Paul who believed that they found in his Epistles ample support for their theology of synergism or “cooperation with grace". [3]

As we have referred to Erasmus and his understanding, it would be good to see the way he looks at the synergistic action of man's free will and Divine grace. He writes:
"In each individual action two causes come together, the grace of God and the will of man: in such a way, however, that grace is the principal cause and the will secondary, which can do nothing apart from the principal cause, since the principal cause is sufficient in itself. Just as fire burns by its native force, and yet the principal cause is God who acts through the fire, and this cause would of itself be sufficient, without which the fire could do nothing if he withdrew from it"  [4]

I would like to point out that individual will is essentially a perceptual entity moderated through the human mind of how Divine Grace is received at a subjective level. The increased awareness to fathom the greater depths of Divine grace so as to synchronize the individual will generated through the human mind and Divine will is opportunity that is ever presented through various spiritual practices. This increased awareness is the vigilance which Christ talks of through parables.

This is the reason for Jesus telling the parable of the Ten virgins
" At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps." ..........Matthew 25: 1-4
The synergistic participation and marriage of the individual will and Divine grace as the bridegroom is beautifully illustrated in this parable.

Hence salvation is a synergistic process by which the individual will through increased awareness is able to comprehend the Divine will and thus elevate the individual's consciousness to the state of original purity.

Love to you all

[1] http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=07-04-006-e#ixzz3HtcvtSVN
[2]  http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/documents/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_31101999_cath-luth-joint-declaration_en.html
[3] http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=07-04-006-e#ixzz3HtcvtSVN
[4] "A Review of Luther and Erasmus: Free Will and Salvation" - Fook Meng Cheah