Friday, January 29, 2016

Finding the Hidden Treasure

"The Yellow Emperor went wandering north of the Red Water, ascended the slopes of K’un-lun, and gazed south. When he got home, he discovered he had lost his Dark Pearl. He sent Knowledge to look for it, but Knowledge couldn’t find it. He sent the keen-eyed Li Chu to look for it, but Li Chu couldn’t find it. At last he tried employing Shapeless and Shapeless found it. The Yellow Emperor said, “How odd! – in the end it was Shapeless who was able to find it!”.............Chuang Tze from “Heaven and Earth”

"When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
“Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lamp stands is this: The seven stars are the angels[e] of the seven churches, and the seven lamp stands are the seven churches."
..................Revelations chapter 1 verses 17-20

A few days back my friend, Joel Clark, posted the first quote in Facebook and I promised him that I would write a commentary as this mythological tale is told to impress upon the seeker the need for dependence on the “Shapeless” or Tao rather than knowledge as the only way of attaining higher consciousness and this is a derivative of Bodhidharma's philosophy and is emphasized throughout the Taoist tradition just as Ch’an monks were encouraged to strive for Buddhahood rather than search for knowledge.

The meaning behind the quote is as follows: Out of the seven energy centres of the human body, the (Manipura) chakra is the highest of the lower three chakras and is assigned the colour yellow. This is the Yellow Emperor of the physical manifestation and is preeminent point between the three lower chakras and the four higher chakras. The Kundalini energy or vital life force or Chi  constantly travels or ascends through the Sushmana nadi (nadi is the energy channel) and get channelized through the descending pingala and Ida nadis. While the vital life force has to climb to the top, signifying an effort of  transcendence from the physical to the spiritual, the descending force is only compared to seeing south, as it is only a limited perception of a physical manifestation of the higher order consciousness There is a perfect balance that need to be maintained in this flow of energy constantly nourishing the vital life force towards perfection. But in our material existence we lose the balance which is compared to the lose of the "Black Pearl". A black pearl is priceless and rare but hard to find when there is darkness. A consciousness which is not illumined but which exists in ignorance cannot find this priceless gift. The tools that are sent to find this pearl such as knowledge or intellect, which is here compared to the wisdom of longevity of " the keen-eyed Li Chu" (who was reputed for spotting herbs that promoted longevity), could not find it. It is only the shapeless, which signifies only that which is not derivative of the physical, external or inner intellect, can find and retrieve this wonderful gift of human life.

When I read the Yellow Emperor's tale, I was immediately drawn to the Book of Revelation and St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians.
The biggest misinterpretation of the Bible is the "Book of Revelations". This text, written by John the Divine on a secluded Greek island, is taught as an Apocalyptical text indicating the second (Physical) coming of an all conquering Christ. But the deeper esoteric interpretation has to do with one's own spiritual journey. There are now volumes written on this topic which mostly resides in the scholarly sphere.
The declaration of Christ to John when he beholds the vision of the living Christ is that "..... I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades" This denotes the perennial nature of consciousness which is primarily the spirit and from which the physical is manifest. Hence for Christ consciousness or Divine consciousness there is no death and it is alive forever.
Then comes the detail of how this manifestation takes place in the physical form. It is the " ......... seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lamp stands is this: The seven stars are the angels[e] of the seven churches, and the seven lamp stands are the seven churches."

The Revelations are more explicit in defining nature of the vital life force and its location. The seven energy centres or the seven churches and the seven angels which are vital life force at these seven centres. Stars symbolize self illuminating manifestations and hence equated to angelic forms which are entities of higher consciousness while the candle stands are the places where the light which is lit from an external source is placed and hence subject to decay.

Man with his seven energy centres or Chakras is the created entity symbolized by the Adam or the first man and Christ consciousness is the repeated coming or manifestation and is the life giving spirit and is the everlasting Adam. This is what Paul writes to the Corinthians in his first letter;

"For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive." ...."So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit." ........................1 Corinthians  XV 22,45

Let us find these hidden Black Pearls in all the mythologies and sacred writings.

Love to you all

Friday, January 22, 2016

Two Paths to Higher Consciousness

“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,     things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. .......... And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before."
.................  book of Job Chapter 42 verses 2-3, 10

Here is the story of Satyakama Jabala, a Shudra (a spiritual outcast) as told in the Upanishad:
“At last the youth (Satyakama) arrived at the home of his master and reverently presented himself before him. As soon as Gautama saw him, he exclaimed: ‘My son, your face shines like a knower of Brahman. By whom were you taught?’ ‘By beings other than men,’ replied Satyakama; ‘but I desire that you too should teach me. For I have heard from the wise that the knowledge that the teacher imparts will alone lead to the supreme good.’ Then the sage taught him that knowledge, and left nothing out” ........................Chandogya Upanishad 4:9:1-3

There are two possible paths that are essential in attaining the highest level of truth. The first is the acceptance of the purpose of a life process as Divinely ordained in complete devotional surrender and the second is the seeking of the highest knowledge through a source of wisdom. The two events in the life of Job and Satyakama are examples in mythological representation as to how a transcendence takes place through the paths we have defined.

Let us take the case of Job. Here I would like to use the understanding and analysis of Carl Jung, which is detailed in his book 'Answer to Job', as the Hebrew Old Testament was written as a precursor and evolving prequel to the spiritual consciousness of humanity and become manifest as Divine incarnation through man or Christ consciousness. The whole drama of God's wager with Satan and the trials that Job had is the backdrop of a human consciousness surpassing the judging Yahweh and hence through Yahweh's acceptance of the superior moral strength of Job surrenders into an elevated human consciousness to be reincarnated at the primal form through a human manifestation and experiencing the very same trials and tribulation in a process of redemption or liberation of all lower consciousness in creation. This is a very deep analysis which does not find favour in any theological discussion but has a high impact in the psychological underpinning of the potentialities of the human consciousness in all its three states of existence.

In a literal reading of the Book of Job, one is screened from this layer of a deep set of knowledge but the path becomes very visible to the common man as to how through unflinching faith in the life process and warding off external influences thrown at us every moment, especially when we are assailed by loss and pain, we can ascend to superior realization of our true nature of being one with the Divine. The verses quoted above demonstrates the implicit surrender of his personal knowledge as being far inferior to the that of the Divine.
There are primarily three players in this drama; namely God, Satan and the human, who are all equal but different aspects of the same universal unconsciousness (jung's classification)

In the story of Satyakama in the Upanishad another dimension of highest realization is brought out.
To be a true Brahmin one has to be in the state of full realization of Brahman which is equivalent to Self realization or the realization of the highest truth. The path to highest truth starts with the initial step of being true to oneself beyond the self limiting ego.

Satyakama was a young lad to whom his current personal status did not matter and he truthfully approaches the Guru and the Upanishad says:

"Thereupon the boy went to Gautama and asked to be accepted as a student. ‘Of what family are you, my lad?’ inquired the sage. Satyakama replied: ‘I asked my mother what my family name was, and she answered: “I do not know. In my youth I was a servant and worked in many places. I do not know who was your father. I am Jabala, and you are Satyakama. Call yourself Satyakama Jabala!” I am therefore Satyakama Jabala, sir.’ Then said the sage: ‘None but a true Brahmin would have spoken thus. Go and fetch fuel, for I will teach you. You have not swerved from the truth.'" 
.............Chandogya Upanishad 4:4:3,4.

As Job realized his folly of trying to understand the mind of the Divine and surrendered himself to the Divine will so also Satyakama realized his spiritual status as being a shudra but sought the guidance of the Guru Gautama to be taught the highest knowledge. The Guru immediately realizes the nature of Satyakama's consciousness and directs him to the forest where, as compared to his other disciples, he has the potential to transcend to highest level of Jñāna far beyond what can be learned through the intellect of the Guru.

These first two verses teaches us that through unflinching devotion as well as through a candid approach, devoid of all ego, to the very source of wisdom one can seek the highest level of truth and thus transcend to the highest level of consciousness.

These two paths are Bakthi Yoga and Jñāna Yoga.

Love to you all

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

What is Nishkamakarma?

"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it." ....................The Talmud

"Whatever the state in which I find myself at this moment, whatever the sense of the force I manifest, the highest possibilities are here, hidden by the thick screen of my passivity in believing in my self-sufficiency. My destiny begins when I feel the call of another force in me and respond to it voluntarily. This is my first voluntary act, becoming available to a reality that changes my purpose for living. I am here in order to hear this force, not to expect something from it or to appropriate it. I am here to understand the action that will create the possibility of a responsible life." ............Jeanne de Salzmann, "The Reality of Being"

In this existence we are obligated to action as we become manifest through the process of Samsara or rebirth which inherently carries our Karma imprints and therefore only through action the inherited karma can we be purified. This is the reason why both Vedic philosophy and the Hebrew text of Talmud say that "........You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

What is Nishkamakarma? If we analyse the Sanskrit roots then we have; Nishkam/निष्काम is a sandhi of nih+kam or निः+काम. Here "nih" or "निः" means "without" and "kam/काम" means "kamna"/"कामना", i.e. any kind of desire. and Karma/कर्म means "work"/"action".
So, the term "Nishkam Karma" means "action or without desire" or "work without motive"

But this defeats the very purpose of doing any duty because we are always motivated to do any work because there is a specific intention. Hence desire or intention or motive is inherent to action in all living beings where the mind is involved. Even the tiniest of bacteria moves towards an ambience of survival. Hence survival or self preservation is a basic desire. Therefore in the context of defining desire in relation to human action, there has to be a qualification of which desires are to be done away with.
This is the area where the current knowledge of human existence would be useful. Through science and spiritual wisdom we are now aware that we live in an interconnected universe. Every manifestation is connected to the other.

In Buddhist philosophy, the text of Avatamsaka Sutra says:
"Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra, there is a wonderful net which has been hung by some cunning artificer in such a manner that it stretches out infinitely in all directions. In accordance with the extravagant tastes of deities, the artificer has hung a single glittering jewel in each "eye" of the net, and since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number. There hang the jewels, glittering "like" stars in the first magnitude, a wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that there is an infinite reflecting process occurring"

This is a metaphor used to describe the interconnectedness of all being and hence any action that we do is reflected and imprinted on the universal consciousness field. Here actions includes its prime mover which are our thoughts. Any action that is not done for our own ego satisfaction, whatever it be, will have no effect on us and we become the source of higher consciousness.
Each Jewel has the range of potential from being an accumulator of gross negativity to being the infinite source of compassion and healing energy of the universe. 

Therefore in Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna teaches Karma-Yoga or Yoga of Selfless Action thus:
"With the body, with the mind, with the intellect, even merely with the senses, the Yogis perform action toward self-purification, having abandoned attachment. He who is disciplined in Yoga, having abandoned the fruit of action, attains steady peace..."

In today's world this is a Herculean task as we are swamped by the materialistic culture of having. This is fuelled by the insatiate hunger for having more in the false sense of happiness. But we have the infinite potential within us to move away and find our true life purpose. This is the essence of what Jeanne de Salzmann says in the quote cited above;
"............My destiny begins when I feel the call of another force in me and respond to it voluntarily. This is my first voluntary act, becoming available to a reality that changes my purpose for living........."

Let us be keenly aware to feel the tug of this inner force and respond in our movement towards the Divine as our true home is not this manifestation.

Rushing into action, one fails.
Trying to grasp things, we lose them.
Forcing a project to completion,
will ruin what was almost ripe.
Therefore the wise take action
by letting things take their course.
Remain as calm at the end
as at the beginning.
Attached to nothing,
there is nothing to lose.
The wisest desire is non-desire.
Learn to unlearn.
Simply remind people
of who they have always been.
Caring about nothing but the Tao,
one thereby cares for all things. ........................Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching

Love to you all

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Mystical Symbolism of Cosmic Consciousness

When Todd Atkins wrote in the "C.G. Jung Creative Work Discussion" group on  why Artist Daniel Govar brings us the above image from the infamous Necronomicon, my mind had a deep insight and I saw what this could be as a cosmic consciousness pattern.

The Necronomicon is a fictional grimoire (textbook of magic) appearing in the stories by horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft wrote that the title, as translated from the Greek language, meant "an image of the law of the dead": nekros - νεκρός ("dead"), nomos - νόμος ("law"), eikon - εικών ("image").
But S. T. Joshi states that -ikon is nothing more than a neuter adjectival suffix and has nothing to do with eikõn (image)." Joshi translates the title as "Book considering (or classifying) the dead."

This led me to think that what survives death is consciousness and this drawing could have been the mystical revelation to the artist to come up with this image.

Now I will detail the way I see this image and what it brings to my mind.

The creature holding the four vessels with symbols represents the four dimensions of the individual consciousness and this being a limited perception is not the state of the primal man or Adam Kadmon and hence represented by a deformed creature.

Outside the ambit of this consciousness is the planetary consciousness represented by the top concentric circles with six planets orbiting the Solar deity. These seven heavenly bodies represent the fullness of consciousness and the seven levels of the Cabbalistic  tree of life from Keter to Malchut.

The Galactic level of consciousness is presented by the bottom circle with the twelve Zodiac and segmentation.

The entire field of consciousness is the field of emanation and strewed with symbols which are the monads and building blocks of manifestation.

The pyramid with the three faces represent the steering energy of Divine consciousness which has three dimensions of creation, propagation and Annihilation represented by the triune God in most religions.

As I said earlier this is my personal understanding.

Love to you all