Friday, December 23, 2016

Inseparability of God from the Self

“If the ego does not exist as a separate entity, then the god image does not really exist either. God is a consequence of consciousness, it is born in the human soul parallel to the nativity of Christ. That God requires conscious man in order to come into existence was first stated clearly by Meister Eckhart. He was a depth psychologist manqué.” ……………….Edward Edinger, Commentary to Aion
“The individual ego is the stable in which the Christ child is born” …........Carl Jung, Psychology & Religion
Usually at Christmas time I post about some unique dimension of the meaning behind the nativity of Christ. It Is unfortunate that even those who have been given the mind to deeply reflect simply conform to the age old practice of a celebration rooted to the material plane thus loosing the all important spiritual content which this commemoration is meant to evoke.
Hence it is good to listen to a great Catholic mystic, such as Meister Eckhart, on his take on nativity of Christ. Every event portrayed in the life of Christ has a personal dimension to the individual spiritual self. God is a consequence of individual ego consciousness without which we do not have either the powerful subjective experience of the Divine nor the ritualist objective symbolism to reach deep down into one’s soul for a subjective experience of God. This is the reason why both Meister Eckhart and Carl Jung placed the birth of Christ in the individual ego consciousness.
In the celebration of the Holy Mass, the ritual of communion is to evoke the transformation of the human nature of an individual’s soul through its many trappings into its unpolluted Divine nature through the ritual of consuming the consecrated host.
A colossus in the understanding and interpretation of mythology writes:
“This is an essential experience of any mystical realization. You die to your flesh and are born into your spirit. You identify yourself with the consciousness and life of which your body is but the vehicle. You die to the vehicle and become identified in your consciousness with that of which the vehicle is but the carrier. That is the God ... Behind all these manifestations is the one radiance, which shines through all things." ……………. Joseph Campbell, “The Power of Myth”
The essential metaphor here is "You die..." Here this means, metaphorically, that you experience in a subjective mode a transformation in conscious awareness that completely relocates and transcends all previous awareness. Misinterpreting this metaphor literally, that this is speaking of life after death, and hence the Divine access only after death, is the fundamental mistake that many religions make and which Joseph Campbell and depth psychologist like Carl Jung tried all their life to address. Yes, this deeper interpretation is the essence of the standard Catholic doctrine, and it is common to many spiritual and mystic traditions, but its literal interpretation is a mistake, and misses the whole point.
This has raised some valid points as to “Is not the body which is vehicle of the Divine, is itself a manifestation of the Divine” I do not refute this claim that the body is the glorious manifestation of the Divine.
But when we say that the body is the vehicle, it is a metaphor and in no way demeans the manifested radiance of God's creation. But this understanding is often downgraded due to our over indulgence in the material nature of our existence and a new level of conscious awareness is needed to bring forth the Divine within from its material trappings.
This is the reason that in Bhagavad Gita, the body is compared to the chariot, the mind to the horses, Lord Krishna, the Divine, is the charioteer but it is the individual ego of Arjuna which directs the course of battle. The whole of Bhagavad Gita is God prompting words of wisdom to the individual ego of Arjuna.
The mind, body and soul (or consciousness) cannot be segregated in their true subjective nature, this is reason for Joseph Campbell saying “……..Behind all these manifestations is the one radiance, which shines through all things."  but are only objectively segregated at the individual ego consciousness level.
The whole human is Godliness and this is reflected in Teilhard de Chardin's saying: "We are spiritual beings having human experience, not human beings having spiritual experience"
To go back to this realization we need a metaphorical death of the physical.

Wish you all a renewed birth of Christ consciousness and a blessed new year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Triune Female Forces

There are two dimensions to the triumvirate of female supernatural beings in mythological texts. They are the roles in the spiritual domain and the psyche of the individual.
“In Greek mythology, the Fates were three female Deities named Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos who shaped people's lives. In particular, they determined how long a man or woman would live. Klotho spins the thread of life, Lachesis determines the length of the thread and Atropos cuts the thread when she decides your time has come. In Rome they were called Parcae Nona, the weaver, Decima the measurer and Morta cut the thread.”
The image of a triple goddess may be linked to very ancient worship of a moon goddess in three forms: a maiden (the new moon), a mature woman (the full moon), and a crone (the old moon). All these symbolisms bring to light the mortality of created beings.
This is a spiritual dimension in which the role of the goddesses bring meaning to the life process. Why should human beings be born, grow up and then wither away. The inevitability of the common fate is sanctified through a Divine agency. Ancient religious mythology assigned a benevolent attribute to the trinity of male divinity and a probable response, in the ancient cultures of Greece and Rome, was to assign the role of an organizing agency to the female triune divinity.
Vedic philosophy provides a more intricate dimension to the trinity of female goddesses. The goddesses Lakshmi, Sarasvati and Parvathi have a very complex and morphing relationship with the male trinity of gods, namely; Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. While the role of the gods are more cosmic, the goddesses are assigned a more human related role of providing life empowering knowledge. Wealth, fertility, love and devotion; as well as of divine strength and power. It is in this philosophy that both the male divinity and the female divinity are assigned positive roles and all negation of these gifts originate in the karmic field and it is up to the individual to mitigate these influences.
Triformis is a threefold nature. In witchcraft this is viewed as mother, maiden and crone of the great goddesses. In ancient times the triformis goddesses were often called ‘Trivia’ which Latin means ‘crossroads’. Aeschylus, the Greek tragedian, equates Artemis  with Hecate and Catullus. The symbolism is the confluence of life functions of birth, life and death. These goddesses were assigned the role of protector of virgins, aids for birthing mothers and guardian of the underworld.
The Egyptian pantheon contained three natures of the mother goddess but what made ISIS so universally famous is she became the first Goddess to embody the persona of all three Universal Goddesses in ONE form.
We have briefly looked at the spiritual mythological roles and now let us look at the roles they play at the level of the personal psyche.
Whenever there is a dramatic shift in the course of one’s life the interplay of three can be seen in all mythological context. Abraham is visited by three angels and they foretold the birth of a nation through Abraham, though Sarah, his wife was beyond the age of conception. It was left to him to believe and he is tested.
Shakespeare may have based those fate-deciding ‘weird sisters’ on the goddesses Fates—the Moirai of Greek myth or Parcae in the Roman version—of whom there were also three. The three witches of Macbeth may be the original dramatization conveying a deeper yet sinister meaning to the mythology wherein the trinity play a role as a catalyst to the personal ambitions and ego driven desires of Macbeth. The idea of the Fates may have influenced Norse belief in the Norns, also a trio of divine female arbiters of destiny. Shakespeare had other intensions to convey. As mythology had a very close route to the psyche of the individual and conveys a set of meanings that ordinary language fails to do, the three witches could be seen as three dimensions of the psyche of Macbeth. The Three Witches represent evil, darkness, chaos, and conflict, while their role is as agents and witnesses. This is an internal process in the ego mind of Macbeth but visualized through the external agency of the witches for the audience to comprehend.
Darkness, chaos, and conflict are all state of one’s mind. This is clearly demonstrated in the very opening dialogue of the witches which is: "Fair is foul and foul is fair". This answers both the doubt in the mind of Macbeth on the strange appearance of the witches as well as the presupposition of the justification to the prophecy about to be told.
Fate, which according to the socio-cultural and religious context in which one lives, could be predestined or in a more spiritual sense, well within the capacity of the individual, through free will, subject to spirit empowering rectification.
While more esoteric spiritual traditions taught of the capacity within the humans to change one’s life destiny the majority of people from a pagan tradition believed is the subject of arbitration in the hands of the divine. This is the reason that mythology and its symbolism holds up a mirror to the psyche thus empowering it to take control.
May the power of mythology empower us spiritually.

Love to you all

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Creation in Egyptian, Hebrew and Vedic Tradition

The Sanskrit “na” means “waters” it indicates the “primal waters” from which everything came. This is also found in the Egyptian scriptures where everything comes from the “primal waters” and in the Bible it says "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." …………….Genesis 1:1-2
“That which lies within the “waters” and from which everything comes is known as “Narayana” the “nara” meaning “waters” and the “ayana” meaning “dwells” that which “dwells within the waters”. From Narayana comes a lotus upon which Lord Brahma is born who proceeds to engineer the universe and in the Egyptian scriptures a lotus appears from the primal waters from which “Ra” appears who proceeds to engineer the universe.” ………….. James Robinson Cooper
I am happy to say that I am a friend with J. R. Cooper who is an expert etymologist in Sanskrit which is the proto Indo-European language and deeply connects Greek, Latin and many East European languages. It is his above post in Facebook that inspired me to write this short article.
In the discipline of life science, it is common belief that, the origin of life may be traced to formation of protein and according to major theories, this could have occurred in an ambiance of water. This could have been in the ocean or deep sea vents where volcanic activity provides the right energy for formation of bacteria or a pre-packed extra-terrestrial delivery from a water bearing meteor or comet.
In a recent scientific paper, it has been proposed that when You start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be so surprising that you get a plant.  This is the observation of Dr. Jeremy England, Assistant professor at MIT. Complex self-replicating structures can form given the right combination of initial conditions. This same physics can be used to explain how the right temperature and atmospheric conditions and the presence of an attractor (which is atmospheric dust particles) can create self-replicating patterns such as hexagonal shaped snowflakes. Hence the two basic constituents of creation are matter and energy but a third important player who makes the difference between organized forms of matter and life is the organizing principle of replication and evolution which according to spiritual science is patterns in the consciousness field or Akashic field. Now let us go back to scriptures which tried to address this process through the limitation of language.
In the Sumerian mythology the text ‘Enuma Elish’  also invokes waters from which creation takes place.
Suriya or Agni in Vedic mythology and Ra, the Sun god in Egyptian mythology or more directly, the spirit of God which produces light, the very fundamental first creation in the Universe after the Big Bang are all related to a hyper dimensional energy domain which cascades down in creation to form both matter and the energy, which in spiritual tradition is given various names,
In the mythology of Ra, it is believed that he rose out of the waters or ‘Nun’.  In certain other creation myths, Ra emerged from primeval waters known as Ra-Atum and created Tefnut (Moisture) and Shu (Air). From this first divine pair sprang the entire creation. What should be noted is that ‘Tefnut’ and ‘Shu’ though in common language denote moisture and air, it signifies matter and life giving spirit. There is a better word in Sanskrit ‘Prana’ or life force.
The Hebrew Talmud explains that the letter ‘mem’ represents the word of God through which all creation comes into being or the Torah and the open 'mem' represents the revealed Torah and the closed 'mem' represents the Torah’s secrets. In essence ‘mem’ represents water or the womb. water is the womb of Creation. This is the opening verses of Hebrew Torah and Christian Genesis. What is the waters which the scripture talks of? Since the earth’s waters had not yet been created, the waters mentioned here is the womb from which Creation emerged, the place of gestation before the world came into existence.
We can see the helplessness of the authors of these myths struggling to give meaning to a dimension which is beyond human comprehension.
Perhaps the most appealing and candid enumeration of the creation story in spiritual mythology is from the Rig Veda in Mandala 10 and Hymn 129.
I would like to close this article with the English translation of Arthur Llewellyn Basham which appeals to me as it tracks the cosmic dimension:
Then even nothingness was not, nor existence.
There was no air then, nor the heavens beyond it.
What covered it? Where was it? In whose keeping?
Was there then cosmic water, in depths unfathomed?

Then there were neither death nor immortality,
nor was there then the torch of night and day.
The One breathed windlessly and self-sustaining.
There was that One then, and there was no other.

At first there was only darkness wrapped in darkness.
All this was only unillumined water.
That One which came to be, enclosed in nothing,
arose at last, born of the power of heat.

In the beginning desire descended on it -
that was the primal seed, born of the mind.
The sages who have searched their hearts with wisdom
know that which is, is kin to that which is not.

And they have stretched their cord across the void,
and know what was above, and what below.
Seminal powers made fertile mighty forces.
Below was strength, and over it was impulse.

But, after all, who knows, and who can say
whence it all came, and how creation happened?
The gods themselves are later than creation,
so who knows truly whence it has arisen?

Whence all creation had its origin,
he, whether he fashioned it or whether he did not,
he, who surveys it all from highest heaven,
he knows - or maybe even he does not know.

Please note the words such as ‘Cosmic water’ and ‘unillumined water’, which have been used in translation. The common denominator is the word ‘water’ which when substituted by ‘consciousness’ gives you a spiritual perspective making it more meaningful.
I have tried to point out the commonality in various mythological tradition regarding the creation story but as long as humanity exists it will continue to probe this great mystery.
Love to you all.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Fallacy of Absolute Certainty


“Science does not aim at establishing immutable truths and eternal dogmas; its aim is to approach the truth by successive approximations, without claiming that at any stage final and complete accuracy has been achieved.” ………………..Bertrand Russell, ‘Sceptical Essays’
“Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve.” …………..Karl Popper
"Do not think that the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth. Avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. Learn and practice non-attachment from your views in order to be open to receive other's viewpoints. Truth is found in life and not merely in conceptual knowledge. Be ready to learn throughout your entire life and to observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times." ……………….Thich Nhat Hanh
This article comes out of the personal urge to change the mind set of people who have grown entrenched in a milieu of autocratic parental and societal control in all departments of their lives. These especially include their view on religious practices and cultural influences that shape their lives.
There are two areas which had been heading on a collision course throughout history. They are science and religion. In the current times, however, there has appeared a glimpse of a spiritual alternative through the deeper enquiry in science. A cosmic religion which was foreseen by people like Albert Einstein
Purely due to historic reason, religion has stamped its irrevocable authority on individuals and society. The diktats and dogmas of religion have outlived their social, cultural and individual consciousness dynamics that existed when they were formulated. In the last 500 years, science has exploded and expanded its outreach to provide answers to many complex questions which were earlier answered mostly through a religious background with few individual who usurped authority in the name of the Divine. A clear example is the Geocentric view of existence in the west. The freedom to think and formulate one’s own understanding through deep enquiry was denied and the carrot of heavenly reward or hellish punishment was dangled before a hapless society. The east survived this dictatorial domination for a long time until the impact of the founding fathers faded through usurped spiritual leadership which set up sectarian cultural and religious constructs. The west suffered the imprisonment of true spiritual flowering at the level of individuals with the installation of monotheistic religions in Hebrew, Christian and Islamic religions. Any attempt to percolate down to individual experiential revelation and resulting pronouncements were declared as heresy and punished ruthlessly.
The consciousness of humanity is evolving and this is an undeniable fact. Man has moved on from the age of archaic, magical and mythological consciousness into the realm of the rational during the age of enlightenment. In the twentieth century humanity is stepping into the age of integral consciousness. Twentieth and twenty first century philosophers, psychologists and scientists confirm that an integral view of reality is mandatory. Though great spiritual masters like Buddha had pointed out that all that we perceive is a dependent arising from the substratum of non-being or emptiness and the great philosophy of Advaita of Adi Sankara elucidated the non-dual nature of reality, the vast majority of humanity continues to be trapped in the attachment to world resulting from sensory perceptions and their resulting concepts.
The clear difference between true science and religion is the damaging precept of infallibility. Most religions operate from an unsurmountable platform of Divine authority. While the advances in science and the deeper probing is made possible through a process of conjectures and refutation. The first two quotes from two philosophers, Bertrand Russel and Karl Popper, clearly demonstrates the basic framework in which true science operates. There are no immutable truths in science and through this position further enquiry is enabled without fear of condemnation or excommunication from a richly sharable group of intelligentsia or a group of people to whom the resulting truth can be an enabler in their transcendence to a richer existence.
Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Buddhist monk puts it very aptly by saying "Do not think that the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth.” The attachment to this state of thought itself is a big blockade to receiving further valuable inputs from around us.
It is very vital to know that truth cannot be obtained purely through the mind. Mind is an instrument to launch a series of experiences. These experiences leads to a incrementally richer state of being. This is an intuitive internal process and our entire life’s purpose is to have a series of richer and more fulfilling experiences so that our consciousness may ascend to a higher level. Let me close this short article with a quote from the great German philosopher, Immanuel Kant:
“But to unite in a permanent religious institution which is not to be subject to doubt before the public, even in the lifetime of one man, and thereby to make a period of time fruitless in the progress of mankind toward improvement, thus working to the disadvantage of posterity - that is absolutely forbidden. For himself (and only for a short time) a man may postpone enlightenment in what he ought to know, but to renounce it for posterity is to injure and trample on the rights of mankind.”
These are very strong words and the thoughts I have tried to open up in this article are not to endorse rampant freedom without recourse to all the knowledge and wisdom that has been unfolding. The seeker must employ his mind in an open enquiry on the canvass of all wisdom that has evolved over the time in the full blossoming one’s own consciousness..
Wish your journey a fulfilling experience.

Love to you all.