Saturday, March 26, 2016

Transcendence to Cosmic Consciousness

"Jesus' resurrection lifted his consciousness beyond all relativities of vibratory creation and merged his Self with the transcendental Father, Absolute Spirit. After attaining oneness with the Absolute, Jesus infused his Spirit-expanded soul back into his crucified body, immortalizing it, and returned to his be bereft disciples in physical form . . . Liberated souls such as Jesus, whose mission continues beyond their incarnation, are able to materialize their bodies at will anywhere in the astral heavens or in the physical world at any time--today or unto thousands of years after their ascension. That is why Jesus could say in truth to his disciples: "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." .........Paramahansa Yogananda "The Second Coming of Christ" Page.1502
This is a very deep and spiritually empowering understanding of Christ resurrection. The deep spirituality of Paramahansa Yogananda enabled him to garner this understanding from the plain words of the Gospel story.
There have been many commentaries on the above verse from the book "The Second Coming of Christ". I have collated these understanding of the various authors which come from their own spiritual traditions and concluded the article from my own understanding through a holistic approach which is broad based as it includes both scientific and spiritual dimensions.
From a Christian perspective there are two approaches to the resurrection of Jesus. The first is the unquestionable physical resurrection as a pure miracle at the physical level overcoming through Divine power the physical limitation of mortality. The second is a more expanded view, which I have employed in some of my earlier commentaries using the Bible source, through Paul who provided a broader approach through his letter to the Corinthians as to what is the nature of resurrection. This approach clearly mandates a spiritual resurrection but does not deal with the physical manifestation as walking to Emmaus with his disciples or sharing a meal with them or demonstrating to Thomas his physical wounds by touching the wounds.
Hence we have to seek a much deeper process that transpires in a spiritually transcended person, to ultimate reality, to again take a bodily form which may be the same body before it has descended into total corruption or a new body which is the process of reincarnation. This is the difference between resurrection and reincarnation. Now let us examine this process.
Christ already foretold of this process when he told the Pharisees
 "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up ........... But he spoke of the temple of his body” ............ John 2:19-21
"Three days" means in three periods. Christ was not emphasizing in a literal sense the earthly interval of each day, but three phases of transcendence required for the koshas or limitations of his soul to transcend from the physical (annamaya Kosha), astral (manomaya Kosha) and then to the spiritual or causal plane (pranayama kosha), and from there to complete mergence in the Cosmic Consciousness (Sat-Chit-Ananda) of the Father. Multitude of incarnations are required for an unrealized soul to accomplish this. But Christ knew the process of descent into flesh that had been required for the incarnation on earth of his previously liberated soul (This is the true meaning of Virgin birth), and with this knowledge and power he needed simply to employ the creative principles that would reverse that process. Thus he would quickly be able to free his soul again from the physical, astral, and causal limitations by three distinct efforts, and would be able to reunite it with the omniscience and omnipotence of the Spirit.
The three tools that enable the transcendence from the physical level to the cosmic level are three attributes of Gunas, which are classified in Vedic philosophy, namely; Rajas (passion/action), Tamas (evil or impervious)  and Sattva (elevating). Hence the broader and deeper meaning of three days is this period of three transitions through which Christ reached 'mahasamadhi' or merger with the Divine father. Even on the third day or period, Christ warns Mary
“Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending (Present continuous tense that is used in the narrative) to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”................ John 20:17
That is, his soul had not finished working out all the entangling interactions of the three 'gunas' imprinted in his astral and causal bodies so that he could leave their limitations and become one with Spirit. He had already liberated himself from the physical limitation on the cross when he said:
“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.” ……….Luke 23:46
Once this power of oneness with the Father or Cosmic consciousness is invested, all differentiation and dualities are eliminated and the creature becomes the creator and through its creative power creates a self replication as the resurrected Christ. This fusing together of Vedic philosophy and the Bible narrative gives us a very deep understanding of the process of Christ's resurrection. 
Today we, in the study of Particle physics and Cosmology, infer that there has to be a single organizing principle of sub-quantum information from which this multitude of manifestations take place. Yet what is perceived as matter only makes up 4% of the entire universe. The path from a four dimensional manifestation to a multidimensional multiverse is not linear and quantum physics and black hole physics has already proved the violation of objective reality as we have known ever since man started to think using his senses. This singularity is the Omega point of which the great Jesuit priest and anthropologist and theologian, Teilhard de Chardin, conceptualized. This is the meeting point of the Creator and creature. For a highly realized soul this point is within himself or herself. Enlightenment or resurrection is the process of this ultimate union of the Self with the Cosmic.
Let us do this deep meditation and the call given to us to participate in Christ resurrection and as Christ says let us undertake this incremental journey of ascendance to "................. my Father and your Father, to my God and your God". 

Love to you all

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Journey into the Abyss

"The midwife knows that when there is no pain, the way for the baby cannot be opened and the mother cannot give birth. Likewise, for a new self to be born, hardship is necessary. Just as clay needs to go through intense heat to become strong, Love can only be perfected in pain." ..........Shams Tabrezi

“If we never experience the chill of a dark winter, it is very unlikely that we will ever cherish the warmth of a bright summer’s day. Nothing stimulates our appetite for the simple joys of life more than the starvation caused by sadness or desperation. In order to complete our amazing life journey successfully, it is vital that we turn each and every dark tear into a pearl of wisdom, and find the blessing in every curse.” .................... Anthon St. Maarten, "Divine Living: The Essential Guide To Your True Destiny"

The coming week is celebrated in the Christian calendar as the Holy Week and the sequence of events which unfolded in the life of Christ follows the same pattern that the above two quotes convey.
The first quote is from the teacher of Rumi in the 12th century and the second from an international psychic medium, intuitive consultant and destiny coach of the 21st century). 
There is however a difference in that the sequence  of events in the life of Christ was not intended for his personal transformation in totality but through his human manifestation set up a template for entire humanity, which is rooted in absolute physicality, so that a path of deliverance can be established.

In contemporary mythology, the monomyth or the 'Hero's Journey' follows this process. Joseph Campbell and other scholars, such as Erich Neumann, describe narratives of Gautama Buddha, Moses, and Christ in terms of the monomyth.
There is no harm in applying this template in the narration of sacred texts or scriptures as real life events may not historically record an exact life process as this was not the primary purpose of the texts. 
In scholarly treatment through analysis by contemporary  historians there is a vast grey area regarding the historical validity of the life of Christ except a brief mention of him in the works of Roman historian Tacitus and Flaviuis Josephus in " The Testimonium Flavianum"
The total reference to Jesus is:
" About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man.  For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had  first come to love him did not cease.  He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him.  And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared." ...........Jewish Antiquities, 18.3.3 §63
(Based on the translation of Louis H. Feldman, The Loeb Classical Library.)

Why I am elaborating on this scholarly context, whose spectrum varies from a total rejection of historical Christ by claiming with irrevocable proof that the above reference in Jewish Antiquities is a forgery of Luke, to partial acceptance and to a total confirmation through Gospel writings, is that we lose the spiritual significance and the true message the sacred texts of the Gospels convey through the heavy emphasis laid on historical dimension of the narration. 

If we deploy the monomyth template then we see a totally new picture in the Gospel writings.

The hero's journey whose primary purpose is deliverance of a victim or a nation under the dominion of the evil oppressor starts with a call to adventure and a Divine gift. I use the present tense in the following as this monomyth applies to everyday life of all spiritual adepts. Christ is given the call to save the world and is given the gift of virgin birth signifying being bestowed with unmodified (Divine) consciousness. He encounters temptations both in the desert as well as in the Garden of Gethsemane and also goes through a preparatory transformation both at the river Jordan as well as on mount Tabor. Now he is prepared for the ultimate test of his journey, namely the descent in the abyss of abandonment by his own trusted followers and suffering unto physical death. The entombment for three days and the plight of Jonah in the belly of the whale is the "dark night of the soul" which is a preparatory stage for the soul to attain a transformation for the return journey.
"For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." .............. Matthew 12:40
The stage of atonement of the hero is the period of his stay in the  "dark night of the soul". In  the Acts of Apostles the spiritual journey of Paul, especially his transformation on the road to Damascus is captured in the following verse : "....... For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything." ....... Acts 9:9

The resurrection symbolizes the new state of the soul devoid of all physical inhibitions. The supernatural powers of Christ personal capacities demonstrates the new state of the soul liberated from pure physical manifestation. This is the reason that Paul writing to the Corinthians says: 
"......... So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body..........." ................. 1 Corinthians 15:42-44

In the journey of the hero, on his return there is a gift of the Goddess. The promise of the Holy Spirit, which the symbolic representation of Sophia or Divine wisdom, is the gift that Christ gave in the redemptive journey.

Let us meditate on this monomyth, not as a historical distant sequence of events but as a template for our own spiritual journey so that all the rituals we perform or participate becomes internalized as effective tools for our own transformation.

Love to you all.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Illusionary Nature of Manifestation

In  "The Hindu" yesterday, there appeared an article on one of the key aspect of the Krishna consciousness, which is his role as "The architect of Maya". Throughout Bhagavad Purana, we are a given events in the Lord's life , from childhood to his role as ultimate adviser to Arjuna where he transcends his limited manifestation and shows his devotee his universal form in the 11th chapter of Bhagavad Gita.
In this context yesterday's article was thought provoking and elicited an immediate desire in me to write my thoughts. The content of yesterday's article is briefly quoted below

"............. Brahma wonders at the idyllic and happy life Krishna leads as a simple cowherd mingling with the calves and other gopas in Brindavan. On one occasion, when Krishna and others share their lunch with one another, Brahma, bent on testing Krishna’s powers, hides away all the calves. The cowherd boys are worried that the calves have disappeared. Krishna then goes in search of them. though he is intuitively aware of Brahma’s plan and wishes it to be carried out. Brahma uses this opportunity to hide the cowherd boys as well. By virtue of His illusionary powers, Krishna then assumes the form of the lost calves, the cowherd boys and also their equipment such as slings, flute, blow-horns, and sports in the woods as usual and then returns to Vraja in the evening. The cows find the calves special and the Vraja women find the cowherd boys exceptional since it is the very Lord who is now present in these forms.

One year later, which according to Brahma’s calculation of time is one moment, Brahma comes back to the scene and finds Krishna as usual playing with his retinue of boys and calves. Brahma is confused and is unable to guess which of the two sets of boys and calves is genuine. Brahma is shown the truth and in great humility he sings in praise of the superiority of the Lord’s Maya by which the entire creation is manifested."

The significance of this episode is that even the creator in the trinity of Saguna Brahma is confused over the manifestation dimension. This confusion is imprinted in all creation as creation is an inseparable entity of the creator. This is the reason for the manifestation of duality in our perception.

Sanskrit is a beautiful language to convey deeper meanings. As I had in my  earlier articles explained Gau has an alternate meaning in ancient Sanskrit. As Lakshmi Thathachar says; "Words in Sanskrit are instances of pre-defined classes, a concept that drives object oriented programming [OOP] today. For example, in English 'cow' is a just a sound assigned to mean a particular animal. But if you drill down the word 'gau' — Sanskrit for 'cow' — you will arrive at a broad class 'gam' which means 'to move'. From these derive 'gamanam', 'gatih' etc which are variations of 'movement'. All words have this OOP approach, except that defined classes in Sanskrit are so exhaustive that they cover the material and abstract — indeed cosmic — experiences known to man. So in Sanskrit the connection is more than etymological.
"Vraj" is derived from the verb "Vraj" the word "Vraj" is used in the following two senses; A stable where the cowherds stay and a stable where cattle are kept. It also can mean a path or a road.
The universal nature of the cows, calf, cowherds, their place of stay, the path they take are all contained with the basic meanings of gau and Vraja, which also merge in a the cosmic context as explained in the contextual origins and roots of these two words.

The episode also brings out the truth that though the creator has the power to annihilate  through himself that which was the vehicle of manifestation, the underlying nature of creation which is Divine consciousness cannot be annihilated. this is brought out in this story that  Krishna himself who is the preserver of this consciousness is ever present as an indelible manifestation of creation.

The nature of time perception, which was the topic of some of my earlier articles is also touched upon in this episode. Time dilation in the manifested realm is explained in Brahma's time of 'one moment' being equated to 'one year' in the manifested world of limited perception.

This episode demonstrates that the nature of space-time is highly relative and subject to distortion in our objective perception.

Let me conclude with a quote more contemporary thinker. Joseph Campbell in his recent book "Mythic Worlds, Modern Words", writes:

"Any object can open back to the mystery of the universe. You can take any object whatsoever—a stick or stone, a dog or a child—draw a ring around it so that it is seen as separate from everything else, and thus contemplate it in its mystery aspect—the aspect of the mystery of its being, which is the mystery of all being—and it will have there and then become a proper object of worshipful regard. So, any object can become an adequate base for meditation, since the whole mystery of man and of nature and of everything else is in any object that you want to regard."

Think deeply on this wonderful episode and the spiritual meaning it conveys.

Love to you all

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Time Does Not Exist

Think deeply for a moment and meditate on the following three quotes from science and spiritual teachings:

“It is utterly beyond our power to measure the changes of things by time. Quite the contrary, time is an abstraction at which we arrive through the changes of things.” Thus, time as such does not exist but only change. ..............Ernst Mach (1872)

"Time is not separate from you, and as you are present, time does not go away. As time is not marked by coming and going, the moment you climbed the mountains is the time-being right now. If time keeps coming and going, you are the time-being right now." .............. Zen master Dogen

"If we could stand outside the universe and ‘see it as it is’, it would appear to be static. I arrive at this radical conclusion by considering the most basic structure of Einstein’s general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. These are the two fundamental theories of physics, and both have been confirmed to exceptional accuracy within their respective domains of validity: large-scale phenomena for Einstein’s theory, microscopic phenomena for quantum mechanics. They have, however, remarkably different structures. In particular, time is treated in completely different ways in the two theories. This presents a severe problem," ...........Julian Barbour (1999)

I have been fortunate to read, over a long period of time (pun not intended), and try to grasp both the scientific and spiritual dimension of reality. While the metaphysical view of objective realty as illusion is experienced through deep reflection of our sense perceptions translated into the symbols it promotes within our mind, the scientific view is promoted purely through sense perceptions derived through experimental objective observations and repeated verification. In both methods time as we know seems to hit a road block. In science the concept of time has been downgraded from its Newtonian absolute nature to an Einsteinian relative nature to a questionable nature in Quantum physics.
In the metaphysical method we learn that time is an attribute of manifestation and hence limited and is a product of conditioned consciousness and in science the divergent nature of time at the macro and micro observed reality seems to be staring down an unfathomable divide.

While in the scientific domain time is precisely calibrated to an accuracy of attosecond {An attosecond is 1×10−18 of a second (one quintillionth of a second) using Laser Spectroscopy} in Eastern philosophical domain, it is loosely defined by two Sanskrit words; ksana and kalpa. (ksana is a very small unit of time and its accuracy is not critical in our life journey and in a recent entry in the Sanskrit dictionary it is defined as "a measure of time  [ 4/5 second or 24/35 second or 4 minutes or 48 minutes ] Kalpa is again loosely defined as eons or very large amount of time).

In Buddhist tradition  time is not given any significant measure as what matters in the progress of humanity is the ultimate Nirvava or merger of all human beings. This ultimate nature from which all manifestations came is explained in the following quote:

"... our fundamental nature of mind is a luminous expanse of awareness that is beyond all conceptual fabrication and completely free from the movement of thoughts. It is the union of emptiness and clarity, of space and radiant awareness that is endowed with supreme and immeasurable qualities. From this basic nature of emptiness everything is expressed; from this everything arises and manifests." ....... Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

A very common analogy that explains this ultimate nature and manifestations within in the philosophy of Monistic idealism, is an ocean of consciousness where there is absolute stillness and the inherent nature of this emptiness is a creative potential and this potential is transformed into kinetic movement through a manifestation like a whirlpool in a very large still pond. The whirlpool is transitory by nature and hence being self aware marks the period of its existence in units of time. As long as a manifestation exists it interacts with other manifestations such as elements, micro organisms, plants, animals and fellow human being (all different whirlpools) and arrive at a common standard from the most evolved manifestation as a measure for grasping a false perception of existence and survival as if this is our true nature.

Science is slowly waking up to look beyond objective reality, a path which has already been set by the spiritual mystics in various traditions. While time becomes a necessity of our existence, extending time beyond our physical manifestation or in our spiritual journey is futile and does not serve any purpose.

Love to you all.