Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Seeds of Worship

“As the child’s first feeling is for its mother and nurse, so the first aspirations of the awakening consciousness in primitive man were for those whose element he felt within himself, and who yet were outside, and independent of him. Devotion arose out of that feeling, and became the first and foremost motor in his nature — for it is the only one which is natural in our heart, which is innate in us, and which we find alike in human babe and the young of the animal.” ............Madame Blavatsky

“The great antique heart, how like a child’s in its simplicity, like a man’s in its earnest solemnity and depth! heaven lies over him wheresoever he goes or stands on the earth; making all the earth a mystic temple to him, the earth’s business all a kind of worship.
Glimpses of bright creatures flash in the common sunlight; angels yet hover, doing God’s messages among men. Wonder, miracle, encompass the man — he lives in an element of miracle. The essence of it lives through all times and all eternity!” ............Thomas Carlyle

It was Jean Gebser who categorized the evolution of consciousness and its transition into five distinct levels. In the primitive level, which he called Archaic, is the one that both Madame Blavatsky as well as Thomas Carlyle bring out in their writings.

The term "archaic" as used here is derived from the Greek "arce", meaning inception, or origin. This state of consciousness is also termed as "Zero dimensional" as humans were totally immersed in the world unable to extricate himself or herself from that world. They were identical with that world.
This is the feeling of the infant who has just emerged from the womb. Humanity at large had just emerged from the womb of nature through a process of evolution. His six layer neocortical network was still in its nascent state with all its innate capacities untapped. The first step in the awakening of self awareness was the sensing of the objective nature of elements which were outside his existential framework but which was very much felt to be the essential elements of his or her sustenance.

The mystical nature of the objective world emerged from the understanding in the human mind about the concept of space and time. As a biped and hunter-gatherer space was integral to man's existence.
There were no delineated spaces in his life as there were no demarcations in his existential functions with respect to space and time. He was in a consciousness of ever present origin both in space and time. Rightly Gebser’s magnum opus, The Ever-Present Origin (first published in Germany in 1949 but not translated into English until 1984) had the most appropriate name to his insights into human consciousness.

The very first sustaining external agency was the mother and the first seeds of worship or devotion was directed in that dimension. This is the reason that we find the "Mother Goddess" worship was the most ancient. The source from which man comes and the source which sustains him, mother earth, was the first seed of worship sown in the heart of man.

Archaeological investigations have revealed that the Upper Palaeolithic, Venus von Willendorf, (Image attached to this post) is estimated to have been carved 24,000–22,000 BCE and was one of the oldest images of worship.

The next level of evolution of human consciousness was the Magical structure wherein humanity was still integral in its relation to nature.

As Gary Lachman writes in his book "A Secret History of Consciousness":

"This doesn’t differ greatly from the archaic, but the separation from origin has increased. Where in the archaic structure there is identity between consciousness and the world, in the magical structure there is unity between them. At this stage, our ancestors lived in a kind of group or tribal consciousness, which was still strongly linked to nature. Gebser speaks of a “vegetative intertwining of all living things” during this stage, and he links Jung’s notion of “synchronicity”—“meaningful coincidence”—and the effects, aptly, of “magic” to this structure.

Thomas Carlyle captures this ethereal feeling in his poetic excellence wherein the magic of heaven overhead and angels hovering as God's messengers, man lives in an age of miracles or as Gebser named it in an age of magic.

This is a short article to highlight the emergence of self conscious awareness in mankind and his alienation from his integral nature with the true source. The seeds of worship was sown to nurture the connectivity to the source but the many branches of the full grown tree seem to relish and wallow in self glory in the false notion of an independent ego driven existence.

New seeds are being spawned as humanity is nudged to ascend to an integral consciousness level and establish a  holistic approach through spiritual insights which underlie the great ancient traditions and marvellous discoveries of science. 

Love to all.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Metaphor as Soul Sustenance

"It is not enough to 'think positive thoughts,' as anyone who has tried can testify; they don't endure well. Our souls are sustained by metaphor - symbols which speak to the whole of a person, bridging mind and heart, transcending culture and epoch, recognising light and dark as necessary companions. An image can just as soon heal you as it can drain your life force, so we learn to grow richer images by nurturing the dreams we are given." ...................Dreamwork with Toko-pa

Metaphor is a figure of speech or a symbolic representation.
Today as I was scanning the wisdom that comes up in the timeline of Facebook, I found the above quote and it immediately struck me as a very apt subject for a post on the Christian remembrance of "Ash Wednesday" which starts of the season of forty days of Lenten fasting and spiritual disciplining towards commemorating the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. The entire life of a human being can be summed up as a conscious awareness between our birth and finally our death. This raises the question of where we come from?
This is a very deep question which has been answered at many levels. The simplest and the most convenient way to answer this question is to put our origin in the hands of God and say that God created each and every one of us. This is what the opening line of the quote says and this always leads us to deeper enquiry or a debilitating reconciliation which the result of putting everything that happens to us beyond the control of the self. The highest level of self awareness is given to man not for the purpose mute acceptance but for seeking the deeper meaning of the life process itself.
This is the reason that only positive thoughts do not come to our rescue in this quest for deeper enquiry.

Current scientific knowledge has established the fact that there is a continuous communication taking place between the human brain and the heart. 

"What's really fascinating is that the heart contains a little brain in its own right. Yes, the human heart, in addition to its other functions, actually possesses a heart-brain composed of about 40,000 neurons that can sense, feel, learn and remember. The heart brain sends messages to the head brain about how the body feels and more. When I first heard about this scientific research, it intuitively made sense. I had felt for a long time that the heart has its own mysterious way of knowing." 

Heart is the source of emotions and these emotions get communicated through the electro-chemical process carried out by hormones and ionic transportation. The path to the deeper psyche of the human being originates within the domain of the heart which in turn produces symbolic representations and links to archetypal framework embedded in the universal unconsciousness. This is the reason that the wisdom traditions believed in symbolic and iconic representations to the five human senses so that an individual's consciousness could transcend from the rational level into the higher plenum for deeper spiritual experience.

Let me now take you to the symbolism of the Holy Ash. I look to the two traditions of Hinduism and Christianity.

In the Hindu tradition the Holy Ash (Vibuthi) is applied on the forehead and this serves as a reminder to the believer to cast away selfish and worldly desires that wrap the self in maya, meaning worldly illusion and distractions, and calls to mind the legend of how Shiva burned Kama (the god of desire) to ashes when Kama attempted to break Shiva's meditation. This incident is recorded in the contents of Shiva Purana which entails the history of Shiva and his family.

In the Christian tradition, it is the same underlying principle that human life is very temporal and that we are trapped in the illusion of permanency and that we return to the very same source from which we came. The root cause of our lower level of worldly consciousness is due to attachments or desire (Kama). The picture of the bear embracing the frail human being is how our mammalian consciousness still predominates our thinking and through the symbolism of the bear hug we are reminded to escape our reptilian and mammalian nature.

May this great emotional representation of the trap in the animal hold find answers in our deeper psyche for liberation. Our life struggles and sufferings, our ultimate death to the physical realm and final resurrection into a higher realm have to be our path to transcendence in this eternal journey of our soul.

Let me close this short article with a quote from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians:
"If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised" ........1 Corinthians 15:13

This is great mystery which has been understood only on a literal.
Every creation, including our own, is grasped only in its physical state but must be raised to its Divine state at the end of its limited state of existence from a consciousness perspective.

Love to you all

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Myth as Psychic Redemption

" The limitless vision exemplified by Shiva, seated on snowy Mount Kailas, is the apotheosis of the mythic imagination. It represents that terrace of enlightenment where man is not only a shining mirror to the creative ideation of the Cosmic Mind but also a prime agent in its perpetual activity. He joins the Demiurgic Hierophants who turn the wheel of evolutionary law. His meditation is a benevolent current of noetic energy, an active conduit between divine and human worlds. He is a master of Kriyashakti, effortlessly creating forms from his sovereign imagination. Such beings are the source and subject of all great myths, although they themselves have risen above the realm of forms. These are the elect of the human race and the unacknowledged authors of the pioneering arts, sciences and mythologies of mankind. Fragments of their wisdom are strewn in the fables of all cultures, differing only in the symbols and veils through which they disseminate eternal verities." .............."Myth and Redemption" by Raghavan Iyer

In a recent conversation with a spiritual friend of mine on Facebook, the topic tended towards who is really making a universal observation.
The dialogue was in response to the Picture posted by me which I reproduce as an attachment to this post. My friend wrote "Being together, The whole humanity is towards this Higher Learning."
My response to this was "The whole humanity reflected through you is in this mode of higher learning. This is like the Bell Curve of statistical distribution. You at the centre of awareness and at its highest level is pulling up all other objective manifestations into a subjective singular conscious awareness."

This leads to the fundamental question as who is the author of creation and what is this creative energy or Kriyashakti.

Let me first answer these two questions independently. The passage above clearly states that
".......... man is not only a shining mirror to the creative ideation of the Cosmic Mind but also a prime agent in its perpetual activity." In the absence of the individual mind there cannot be any creation. The self is the creator of the worlds but it is more in the reflective mode as the Sun light falling on tree creates all the different colours of the trunk, the leaves, flowers etc,. thus creating the concept of a tree with a specific name and form so does man reflects the Cosmic mind and creates the different manifestations. In the evolutionary history of the this human consciousness there have been many contributions which have helped mankind grasp the complex nature of the Cosmic mind through a process of interplay between the rational and the intuitive mind.
While the rational mind operates in the waking consciousness, the intuitive mind draws from the rich repository of the subconscious and the universal unconsciousness which derives its richness through archetypal representations and mythological modules of psychic energy.

This leads to the second question as to what is the creative energy? This we can now answer is the power or the energy of the mind. As Raghavan Iyer calls it "Noetic energy" and itself has no inherent potential but is a channel or conduit for the flow of the Cosmic mind into the human realm. All mystics, great artists, pioneering scientists creative poets have all been able to open this channel for maximum reception. Every human being is capable of opening this channel for maximum receptivity but we tend to attenuate and increase the impedance of this channel thus blocking the free flow and distorting the perception of the human mind in the perception of Divine creation into an illusionary lower form.

As it is natural for this aberration in the human mind can occur, we are provided deeper knowledge in the form of myths to evoke the deeper layers of our intuitive mind to come to our aid in establishing a noise free and error free communication channel between the human and the Divine.

The concept of "Myth as a process of psychic Redemption" is to establish this process of on a continual basis.

Let me conclude this short article with a quote from none other than Joseph Campbell, who probably understood the powerful role of mythology in the spiritual progress of the human being:

" "[T]he journey of the hero … I consider the pivotal myth that unites the spiritual adventure of ancient heroes with the modern search for meaning. As always, the hero must venture forth from the world of common-sense consciousness into a realm of supernatural wonder. There he encounters fabulous forces--demons and angels, dragons and helping spirits. After a fierce battle he wins a decisive victory over the powers of darkness. Then he returns from his mysterious adventure with the gift of knowledge or of fire, which he bestows on his fellow man.
"Whenever the social structure of the unconscious is dissolved, the individual has to take a heroic journey within to find new forms................"

Love to you all

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Confluence of the Past and the Future

"Anyone who looks deeply into the life of the soul will see that these two streams, one from the past and one from the future, are continually meeting there. The fact that we are influenced by the past is obvious. Who could deny that our energy or idleness of yesterday has some effect on us today? But we ought not to deny the reality of the future, either, for we can observe in the soul the intrusion of future events, although they have not yet happened. After all, there is such a thing as fear of something likely to happen tomorrow, or anxiety about it. Is that not a sort of feeling or perception concerned with the future? Whenever the soul experiences fear or anxiety, it shows by the reality of its feelings that it is reckoning not only with the past but in a very lively manner with something hastening towards it from the future. ......." "Metamorphoses of the Soul - Paths of Experience Vol. 2" ...........Rudolf Steiner

This part of the lecture was given by Rudolf Seiner when addressing the "Nature of Prayer" under the broad topic of "Metamorphoses of the Soul".

According to every great Mystic, Prayer is a tool for transformation and the ground of transformation is the soul itself. It is to be clearly understood that we are not engaged in transforming the very nature of the soul as it is beyond any corruption, modification or change in its pure subjective self but what does contribute to the viritis, as Patanjali calls it, are the modifications at the perceptive layers, much like the dirt covering the surface of a infinitely homogeneous, uniformly coated and  purely polished mirror, If we are to think that we are polishing the mirror while in actual fact we are only removing the covering layers of dirt to see an authentic image, The first and foremost transformation must take place in our own thought process that we are engaged in the process of seeing our true image in the very ground of unchanging reality by eliminating our perceptive misconceptions.

We can continue to use the mirror analogy as to how the confluence of the past and the future merges in our soul in this constant process of self renewal or transformation.

Why do we clean the mirror when you want to shave in the morning? Only if we have a clear non-distorting mirror surface, you can be sure of an image that is your true reflection. In this perception, the information from the past flows into your mind as to what to expect on the surface of the mirror. Any lack or corruption in what you expect to see immediately results in the hand reaching for the mirror to further wipe it clean or touch our face to see if any anomalies are existing in our own nature. If we still observe that there is a minor swelling above the lip and you decide that you should skip shaving today, information flows in from the future of a future state of acceptable facial profile in its post healing status. Here we can see that there is no anxiety or hope attached to the act of shaving but rather information on an acceptable state of being for the process of shaving to be initiated in future.

In short, when we observe the stream flowing into us from the past, we feel that we have within us something that extends beyond ourselves. At every present moment, we are the sum integral of all our past experiences and perceptions This intimation is the first awakening of a feeling of the Divine within us; a feeling that something greater than all our will-power dwells within us. This capacity of self extension cannot be the result of a static or linear mind operating with a limited space-time domain. Imagine all the photons that have impacted your retina ever since your birth and the history of all these light particles, the storage capacity to process all this data and the computational power to integrate information and derive usable knowledge. This life process of what constitutes the thinking man would require such a huge amount of energy that it would be difficult to be contained in any planetary level physical framework, let alone at the size of the physical framework of a human being.

And thus we are led to look beyond our limited self towards a 'Divine-spiritual Self'. This is the deep contemplative stream flowing in from the past.

What, then, does the stream from the future say to us, again in terms of perceptive feeling? It speaks to us in even clearer and more emphatic language, since we are here concerned directly with emotions of fear and anxiety, hope and joy. For the relevant events have not yet occurred; only the feelings connected with them strike into the soul. And we know that this stream from the future may bring different effects and responsibilities from those we expect. If we can relate ourselves rightly to whatever experiences that are surely coming towards us from the dark womb of the future, we shall see how this continually stimulates the soul.

When we extend our awareness beyond the limited dimension of the duality of the subject and object of perception and look at the very source, not only through the rational mind but from a higher dimensional reality and the interconnectedness off all manifestations, then we realize that the basic source of all being is not contained within the four dimensional space-time but is the very ground of being in which we are rooted. This is the deep and cosmic understanding and is the vortex wherein the confluence of past, present and future occurs and where every true mystic finds Divine Union.

Love to you all