Monday, May 22, 2017

Born of the Night and Twilight

“Manu . . . comes from the root "man", to think, hence a thinker". It is from this Sanskrit word very likely that sprang the Latin "mens", mind, the Egyptian "Menes", the "Master-Mind"; the Pythagorean Monas, or conscious "thinking unit", mind also, and even our "Manas" or mind, the fifth principle in man. Hence these shadows are called 'amanasa', "mindless". With the Brahmins the Pitris are very sacred, because they are the Progenitors, or ancestors of men – the first Manushya on this Earth – and offerings are made to them by the Brahmin when a son is born unto him. They are more honoured and their ritual is more important than the worship of the gods.
May we not now search for a philosophical meaning in this dual group of progenitors?
The Pitris being divided into seven classes, we have here the mystic number again. Nearly all the Puranas agree that three of these are arupa, formless, while four are corporeal; the former being intellectual and spiritual, the latter material and devoid of intellect. Esoterically, it is the Asuras who form the first three classes of Pitris – "born in the body of night" – whereas the other four were produced from the body of twilight.” …………………….The Secret Doctrine, ii 91
Homo Sapiens is a genre which has a high capacity to think. In my previous article, I had traced the emanation of thought from our perceptions. This is the core of the Sankhya philosophy in the Eastern philosophical tradition.
With the culture of the world at large being influenced by Western thought and with Rene Descartes coming out with his position of “Cogito Ergo Sum”, I think therefore I am, the rational dimension of our perception got deeply embedded in the objective physical reality accessible through the five senses.
The evolution of the manifested world including humans is dealt, from an esoteric and consciousness perspective, both in the Vedantic and Kabbalistic spiritual traditions. I will try to trace this evolution of consciousness through the tree of life in Kabbalistic tradition and then move on to the Vedantic, more inclusive, concepts of evolution of consciousness as expounded in the verse quoted from The Secret Doctrine, which was a great work of the mystic of Theosophy, Madame Blavatsky.
In Kabbalah, the Tree of Life describes the lowering of the fullness of Divine or supreme consciousness from the Ain Soph Aur (Ain - Without, Soph - End, Aur – Light, and which existed before all creation)  to the lowest level of the manifested world known as Malkhut
The process of creation in Kabbalah uncannily traces the modern theory of the creation of the universe from a Big Bang’ singularity to the time of material manifestation and the evolution life.
“Kabbalists also do not envision time and space as pre-existing, and place them at the first three stages on the Tree of Life. First is Keter, which is thought of as the product of the contraction of Ain Soph Aur into a singularity of infinite energy or limitless light. In the Kabbalah, it is the primordial energy out of which all things are created. The next stage is Chokmah, or Wisdom, which is considered to be a stage at which the infinitely hot and contracted singularity expanded forth into space and time. It is often thought of as pure dynamic energy of an infinite intensity forever propelled forth at a speed faster than light. Next comes Binah, or Understanding, which is thought of as the primordial feminine energy, the Supernal creative consciousness of the Mother of the Universe which receives the energy of Chokmah, cooling and nourishing it into the multitudinous forms present throughout the whole cosmos. It is also seen as the beginning of Time itself.” [1]
If we then refer back to the philosophical meaning behind the dual group of progenitors quoted in the Secret Doctrine, we realize that the same imagery is used. It is from a probably common mystical route that both the Vedic and the Kabbalistic mystical concepts of tradition are derived. The antecedence and precedence of this mystical concept of creation of man is not important. It is the significance that both Near-Eastern and Eastern philosophical thought resonate on the concept of creation.
To delve deeper, the first three Pitris are said to be formless and are said to be born of the darkness namely manifested reality. In science we come to understand that photons or light particle are fundamental to manifestation to our human mind. The darkness signifies the unknowable referred in the tree of life in Kabbalah as the intellect of the supreme consciousness in the first three levels. While the other four Pitris are said to be born out of twilight or the dawning of light which can be related to the lesser intellect in physical manifestation.
The male and female element of creation is fully encoded in the concept of the tree of life in Kabbalah. In single symbolic representation the descend and the path for ascendance of consciousness to the highest level are made explicit in the mystical tradition of Kabbalah.
The Brahmins are the class of people who are supposed to be one who is a near perfect being in his consciousness as the universal or Divine consciousness, namely; Brahma. Their rituals and mythical positioning must reflect the highest truth.
As cited in the above quote, In the ritual of the birth of a son the father chants the ‘Om medhate devaha’  mantra in the right and left ear of the son. The mantra is as follows:
“‘O beloved son, may The Lord bestow you with sharp acumen and intellect to study the Vedas. May the Ashvini deities who support the pran and apan vital energies and the others like Som (Moon) bestow you with perfect intellect’.” [2]
The father then pronounces the name of the child. It is very vital that when this ceremony is carried out the father is in a Sattvik state. The mother then feeds his son from her right breast as it is situated on pingala or sun nadi. This is to provide, not only physical but intellectual nourishment from the Sun channel.
May this knowledge empower us towards a spiritual life rooted in our journey of ascendancy.
Love to you all

[1]  Regardie, Israel. The Tree of Life: An Illustrated Study in Magic. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications. (2000) pp. 49-54. ISBN 1-56718-132-5

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Essence of Sankhya Yoga

"The equipoise of mind that arises from profound absorption in the performance of action after renouncing attachment and being even-minded in respect of success and failure is, O Dhananjay (Arjun), given the name of yog.
Take Refuge in the way of equanimity, Dhananjay because action with desire for the fruits thereof is far inferior to the path of discrimination, and they are indeed paupers who are motivated by lust. “ ……….Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 verse 48, 49
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” …………..Matthew Chapter 6 verses 1-4
The central theme of the Divine as the witness to all human actions is the core of the teachings both in Bhagavad Gita and in the Gospel of Matthew. In each of the above sayings there are words that are used which must convey the deeper meaning of the state of mind.
Why is this considered integral to Sankhya philosophy. The root of Sankhya philosophy lies in a causal chain starting with perception, leading to inference and the emanation of words resulting in outward utterance of speech and action. In order to have action devoid of desire our perception and resultant inference have to be rooted in the absolute. This is the reason that the entire second chapter of Bhagavad Gita is denoted as the 'wisdom of Sankhya'.
The word ‘The equipoise of mind ………’ is a state of mind wherein all thoughts originate in a non-judgemental and non-dual state. This leads to ‘…….profound absorption’.
A good example can be seen in the story which is mentioned in the famous Marathi Novel ‘Mrityunjaya’, written by Shivaji Sawant. This story is an extension of the incident in which in the archery contest conducted by Dronachariya, Arjuna hits the single eye of the rotating parrot doll. At this contest Karna, another more adept disciple of Dronachariya was not present. So Karna’s younger brother Shon tested Karna, when he returned to Hastinapur in the evening. The same rotating parrot doll was set as the target and Shon asked Karna to hit the fish’s eye as target. Shon enquired as to what Karna saw expecting the same reply as Arjuna: The parrot’s eye. But Karna replied I see nothing. Assuming that the lighting was dim, Shon lit a lamp and asked Karna to hit the target. It is recorded that Karna took two arrows and hit both the eyes of the parrot. Full of wonder, Shon enquired why he hit both the eyes of the fish, Karna replied that Shon had not told him which eye to hit. When further pressed how he achieved this impossible task Karna said:
“Well, brother, though I couldn’t see the eyes of the bird, I could feel them, just the way we feel our body without actually seeing it. Then I became one with my target, that is the bird, and that is how I could complete the task of hitting both the eyes of the parrot.”
This is the sum total of equipoise of mind and profound absorption.
The moment we have desire of achieving a success in the action, the target separates in space-time from the archer. In the Japanese Zen art of Kyūdō, the target, the archer and the horse on which he is riding all merge in extreme concentration. Every action we perform, if treated in the spirit and essence of the action instead of any anticipatory resultant, becomes part of our own essence. In the battle of life as well as in the epic battle epitomized in Kurukshetra, when the action is of cleansing the negative elements is the sole purpose, the duality of subject and object, the victor and the vanquished and personal relations all disappear.
In a practical way Jesus points to the actions of righteousness and the purpose of the action is totally devoid of any expectation or worldly results. This is why in another section of the Gospel Jesus says about compassion to total strangers:
“‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’  “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” ………….Matthew chapter 25 verses 35 – 40
The essence of Sankhya Yoga is ‘Nishkamakarma’, namely action without desire.
Let me close this article with a powerful quote:
“Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, 'You owe me.' Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky.” …………….Sufi saint, Hāfiz

Love to you all

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Called Out of Bondage

“One must remember the central truth... about Easter and Passover. We are all called out of the house of bondage, even  as the Jews were called out of their bondage in Egypt. We are called out of bondage in the way in which the moon throws off its shadow to emerge anew, in the way that life throws off the shadow of death.” …………..Joseph Campbell, Thou Art That, page 104.
When we are called out of bondage, the transition is not spontaneous but there is a stage of purification or purgation, In this process all the attachments and trappings that we had in the worldly manifestation needs to be burned away.
I would like again to refer to the events narrated in Genesis and the instruction given to Moses by God regarding the ritual of Passover. The sacrificial lamb is slaughtered and the blood which carries the life force is to be used for marking the door post as a sign of purified habitation. The meat is to be consumed so as to provide the energy needed for the new body in liberation to reach the safe shores from the pursuing Egyptian army which is the symbol of the enslaving elements in our previous existence. But any remnant of the meat which signifies the unwanted nourishments that sustained our physical existence must be burned. This is the significance of eradicating all physical attachments. The Passover ritual has a beautiful spiritual symbolism.
Here I would also like to visit the episode of Nachiketa, the teen age son of  Auddilaki Aruni, who is given away to Yama, the Lord of death by his father as a concluding element of the Viswajet Yajña.
Nachiketa descends to the kingdom of death and has to wait for three days to meet Yama. The three days of descent into hell is a common metaphor and can be seen in the descent of Christ into hell after his physical death. A wonderful understanding of the significance of this descent from a spiritual perspective is brought out by Carl Jung, in his book “Psychology and Religion”:
“The present is a time of God's death and disappearance. The myth says 'he was not to be found where his body was laid'. 'Body' means the outward visible form, the erstwhile but ephemeral setting for the 'highest value'. The myth further says that the 'value' rose again, in a miraculous manner, transformed. It looks like a miracle, for when a value disappears, it always seems to be lost irretrievably. So it is quite unexpected that it should come back. The 'three days' descent into hell during death describes the sinking of the 'vanished value' into the unconscious, where by conquering the power of darkness, it establishes a new order, and then rises up to heaven again, attaining supreme clarity of consciousness. The fact that only a few see the 'Risen One' means no small difficulties stand in the way of finding let alone recognizing the transformed value."
Yama grants Nachiketa the three boons he has asked. These boons signify a state of restoration from a previous existence into a higher realm of consciousness
The first boon is a fulfilment of acknowledging with gratitude the relational bond in the previous existence. The first boon is that; ““As the first gift, O Lord, offer this to me: when I return, released by you to the world of my father, may he receive me with a calm mind, free from anger, recognising me as I have been before; not thinking that I am dead and returning.”  ……Kathopanishad Chapter I Verse 10
This is a conscious choice of a liberated soul. This is the continuation of the final conscious words of Christ on the cross “Father forgive them for they not what they do” …………….Luke 23:34
The second boon is the liberation of all souls. This magnanimous gesture can only come from a self-realization of the non-dual nature of all existence. This is a subconscious choice through transcending the ego and physical barriers of separation. This can only be achieved from a state of total annihilation of all attachments and this is why Yama grants this boon and names it Nachiketa Yajña.  
The Holy Mass in the Catholic tradition is a ritual meant to signify this subconscious transformation where the Divine takes residence in the human.
The third boon is the state of the soul after death. Reluctantly, Yama teaches him Atma Vidya or the true knowledge of the soul. This wisdom is the wisdom embedded in the universal unconsciousness. Using this wisdom the transcending self realizes ultimate liberation.
Let me conclude this article with a quote from Kathopanishad:
“Atman, smaller than the small, greater than the great, is hidden in the hearts of all living creatures. A man who is free from desires beholds the majesty of the Self through tranquillity of the senses and the mind and becomes free from grief.” ………………….Kathopanishad Chapter II Verse 20
This lived in wisdom is the true liberation from bondage.
Love to you all

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Frog as a Symbol of Metamorphosis

Recently I read an article by Leigh Melander, Phd., a Joseph Campbell scholar on the symbolism of the frog in various cultures and mythologies signifying fertility, fortune, resurrection, and magic. She opens the article with what she experienced in the Catskill Mountain in New York state of how the Spring Peppers, a little green frog native to these regions, sing the very first warm night of Spring.
I experience this every monsoon in Chennai, India of how the tiny frogs come out with the onset of the very first heavy monsoon shower and continue their chorus throughout the night.
The few examples she had brought out were the following:
“Egyptian mythology, the Frog Goddess Heqet is a creator of life as the force that brings life into the womb, mirroring the regenerative life of the Nile as it blew past its banks each spring, bringing with it not only water and rich soil, but thousands of spring frogs. She was the patron of midwives, who called themselves ‘Servants of Heqet’ and protector of women giving birth, who often wore amulets of her as they went into labour.  But not simply a fertility and birth goddess, Heqet became a symbol of resurrection as she breathed life into Horus at the moment of his birth and his father Osiris’ death at the hand of his brother in the central myth cycle of Egyptian culture.” [1]
We can all recall the fairy tales which we read as children of the Frog price and the princess. In this story we read how the kiss of the princess transform the frog into a handsome prince. This story is a mythological episode to convey how the Divine Sophia or wisdom develops an intimate relationship with a lower nature of created manifestation resulting in a metamorphosis  into higher consciousness level.
An important point that we need to note is the capacity to hibernate till the right ambiance is available. It is the withdrawal from worldly sustenance and attachments into a deeply tranquil state, a near death state of the physical, which ensures the survival of these species. This world in which we live is the crucible where the spiritual sustenance that we need is poured. If we do not wait for the right nourishment of the soul but fully engage in activities to cling on to physical sustenance and life, we miss the moment of the arrival of true sustenance.
The new element which I wanted to bring to the reader’s attention is the deeper significance of the frog in Vedic writings.
“THEY who lay quiet for a year, the Brahmans who fulfil their vows, The Frogs have lifted up their voice, the voice Parjanya hath inspired.” [2]
“SING forth and laud Parjanya, son of Heaven, who sends the gift of rain. May he provide our pasturage. Parjanya is the God who forms in kine, in mares, in plants of earth, And womankind, the germ of life. Offer and pour into his mouth oblation rich in savoury juice: May he for ever give us food.”[3]
Life giving water is the symbol of universal consciousness in many spiritual traditions. The letter ‘Mem’ in Hebrew spiritual tradition is water, the waters of wisdom, knowledge, the Torah. Representing both waters and manifestation, it is the ability to dive deep into the wisdom. It is said that in every person is the thirst for the words of the Creator, which are the waters of life. As the frog awaits the arrival of heavenly water so also every manifested creation longs for the touch of the waters of wisdom.
This water of wisdom is the Divine consciousness which is creative force in the elevation of our consciousness to the higher domain.
One of the greatest spiritual significance of the frog can be seen in the naming of the sixth most important of the 108 Upanishads as ‘Mandukya Upanishad’. Mandukya in Sanskrit means ‘Frog’ or ‘arousal’. This Upanishad is the shortest and comprises of only twelve verses. This Upanishad forms the basis of Advaita philosophy of Adi Sankara.
“We are told [in Mandukya Upanishad] how, "the syllable Om is verily all that exists. Under it is included all the past, the present and the future, as well as that which transcends time. Verily all this is Brahman. The Atman is Brahman. This Atman is four-footed. The first foot is the Vaisvanara, who enjoys gross things, in the state of wakefulness. The second foot is the Taijasa, who enjoys exquisite things in the state of dream. The third is the Prajna who enjoys bliss in the state of deep sleep. The fourth is Atman, who is alone without a second, calm, holy and tranquil". This passage has been verily the basis upon which all the later systems of Vedantic philosophy have come to be built.” [4]                
So when we hear the frogs croak in unison, let us feel our heart resonate longing for the Divine Wisdom to drench our being.
Love to you all

[1] MythBlast: Life, Resurrection, and the Mythic Teachings of Frogs ………… Leigh Melander, Ph.D.
[2] Rigveda 7.103 verse 1
[3] Rig Veda Hymn to Parjanya
[4] RD Ranade, “A Constructive Survey of Upanishadic Philosophy”, Chapter 1, pages 35-36

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Resurrected Christ as an Image

“Let us beware of creating a darkness at noonday for ourselves by gazing, so to say, direct at the sun …………………… as though we could hope to attain adequate vision and perception of Wisdom with mortal eyes. It will be the safer course to turn our gaze on an image of the object of our quest.”  ……….Plato in ‘The Athenian Stranger’
The image of the resurrected Christ which we see in all Christian churches immediately draws us to a great spiritual mystery. Why did the canonical Gospel writers surround this great mystery with physical events? What was the purpose of this episode? Unfortunately, the doctrine of the church has assigned a miraculous and unique evet of Jesus conquering physical death through a physical resurrection. This is counter intuitive to the very great and deep spiritual mystery and dilutes a universal truth to a very individual event in an individual’s life. St. Paul in his letter to the Romans is very clear in a language a common man can understand:
“Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.” ………Romans 6: 4-6
The universal nature of death and resurrection is very clearly explained by St. Paul. This happened in his own life as if Saul had not died Paul would not have resurrected. To circumvent this ontological conundrum, we have conveniently instituted a universal time delay for humanity to a physical resurrection at the end of time. With today’s truth revealed in modern cosmology, the Earth has a potential life span of billions of years and as scientific advancement takes place, humanity will spread far beyond the solar system. This raises a big question on the ‘end of days’.
The words of St. Paul has to be seen from a deeper level. When Paul talks of sin, it means the corrupted nature of the physical embodiment and when he talks of the ‘Father’, it is a reference to the Divine consciousness from which all manifestations happen.
Raghavan Iyer, a great theosophist writes in an article “The Gospel According to St. John”
“There is another meaning of the 'Father' which is relevant to the opportunity open to every human being to take a decision to devote his or her entire life to the service of the entire human family. The ancient Jews held that from the illimitable Ain-Soph there came a reflection, which could never be more than a partial participation in that illimitable light which transcends manifestation. This reflection exists in the world as archetypal humanity – Adam Kadmon. Every human being belongs to one single humanity, and that collectively stands in relation to the Ain-Soph as any one human being to his or her own father.”
A number of things have to be revealed through deeper introspection. In my previous blog article, I had dealt with the mystery of Christ and the significance of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. It is a process of redeeming the Divine consciousness which is housed in the poverty of the human body. Jesus, by subjecting himself to physical suffering and death, demonstrated how a human life has to be lived. This is the course that every human life should follow before ultimate liberation of the Divine consciousness through dispensation of the lower habitations to ultimately unite with the Father.
Jesus demonstrates the fact that it is the Divine consciousness that inhabits every manifestation through a transfiguration on Mount Tabor as well as appearing to Mary Magdalene after his resurrection and appearing thrice to the disciples.
As Plato says, human eyes cannot behold the grandeur of the Divine light which has a powerful potential of annihilation all material manifestations. Our eyes can be blinded by a direct look at the Sun.
In Bhagavad Gita in Chapter 11, Lord Krishna bestows a special sight to Arjuna to behold his universal form.
“But you cannot see Me with your present eyes. Therefore I give to you divine eyes by which you can behold My mystic opulence. …………………… If hundreds of thousands of suns rose up at once into the sky, they might resemble the effulgence of the Supreme Person in that universal form.” ……….BG Ch 11:8,10  
The bridge between human consciousness and the Divine consciousness is fraught with hurdles and difficulties to traverse. When seeking a passage through our mental capabilities only a limited perception is possible.
In the very first chapter of the Gospel of St. John, the apostle writes:
“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it..” ……….John 1:4-5
Human beings have increasingly evolved in the darkness of illusion, of self-forgetfulness, and forgetfulness of their divine lineage. The whole of humanity may be tarnished by forgetfulness of their true eternal and universal mission. Every man or woman is born for a purpose. Every person has a Divine destiny. Every individual has a unique contribution to make, to enrich the lives of others, but no one can say what this is for anyone else. Each one has to find it, first by arousing and kindling and then by sustaining and nourishing the little lamp within the heart.        
The human Jesus and the Divine Christ in a single embodiment is the greatest gift we could receive,  As Jesus says in the Gospel of Thomas:
"I will give you what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, what no hand has touched, what has not arisen in the human heart." …………..Gospel of Thomas, Saying 17
It is very unfortunate in the past 2000 years we are trying to see with our physical eyes and hear with our physical ears and touch with our physical hands. Only a handful of mystics have gone to the heart level to perceive the Divine light. Let us transcend the physical and historical dimension and grasp the inner revelation that is given to us in Easter mystery.

Love to you all.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Mystery of Christ

‘God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering,’ Abraham tells Isaac, and although there on the mountain at first we see only two figures – Abraham and Isaac, father and son – after a time it turns out that there is someone else in the picture: the ram caught in a thicket by its horns. The lamb, which God provided for Himself for the burnt offering! Neither Abraham nor we the readers could see how and when the ram got there; he simply was there, and had been from the very beginning. In Jewish sources, this ram is considered a creature of great importance and is included in the list of the things created at twilight at the end of the 6th day of Creation. The entirety of God’s design for the ages, His complete plan for humanity, is within this scene. At first, there are two: the father and the son; however, in the dispensation of the fullness of the times it turns out that there is also the Lamb, who from the creation of the world, was destined for sacrifice. “I heard from behind the Heavenly Veil these words: ‘Not Isaac, but the ram predestined for the burnt offering.” The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world replaces, on the altar, the one whom Father Himself has called His son and firstborn. ………… Julia Blum, Aqedah: Sacrifice of Isaac
I am writing this article as a dedication to the Holy week of the Christian calendar which we commemorate this week. The central theme of this celebration is the sacrifice of Jesus.
As Fr. Richard Rohr, the great Franciscan theologian says; the Christian community has lost the rich tapestry of the relevance of Christ consciousness as it is rooted in the historical Jesus in all its dissemination of the sacred knowledge that has come to us through the Biblical writings. The above passage from the writings of Julia Blum and how the backdrop of Christ consciousness can be seen from the very beginning of creation from a mythological perspective could be useful in our seeking the deeper truth hidden in the Biblical writings. In the New Testament Jesus himself declares:
“Very truly I tell you, before Abraham was born, I am!” ……..John 8:58.
Also in John’s Gospel the very first chapter deals with Logos. The Logos or Vac in Vedic philosophy is the ever-existent Divine consciousness. "Vac is essentially the creative force that brings forth all forms expressions as also the existence. It is an emanation from out of silence which is the Absolute. Vac is also the river and the embodied or god-personified as word," ……..Chandogya Upanishad Ch 3:2:1
This consciousness finds its fullness in the physical Jesus as the Christ manifest. It is contained in limitation. This is a great mystery and difficult to comprehend. As Jesus says in the Gospel of Thomas:
"If the flesh came into being because of spirit, that is a marvel, but if spirit came into being because of the body, that is a marvel of marvels. Yet I marvel at how this great wealth has come to dwell in this poverty.” …….Gospel of Thomas - Saying 29
The children of Abraham were shown this mystery through a mythological symbolism of the ever present Lamb which is intended for sacrifice. The father and son existence is ever present as the Divine consciousness and in its temporal embodiment, but it is Jesus the Lamb that is sacrificed and the ever-existent Christ who is raised to be seated at the right hand of the Father. This Christ consciousness is imbibed in the second coming when every son and daughter of man is born again of the spirit. This is the Trinitarian third person as Holy Spirit.
Orthodox Christian faith believes that Jesus of Nazareth was personally identical with the eternally existent Son of God or Logos. Here Christians hold the pre-existence of a divine person—something distinct from other notions such as the pre-existence of the Jewish Torah in which we have the mythological symbolism of the Lamb created on the sixth day of creation.
Pre-existence means rather that Jesus (not Christ) personally belongs to an order of being other than the created, temporal one. His personal, divine existence transcends temporal (and spatial) categories; it might be better expressed as trans-existence, meta-existence, or, quite simply, eternal existence. Current theological view is a very limited and distorted one in the light of current cosmology where time is only a product of the human mind and revelations in our study of nature of consciousness.
In one of my talks to a group of theologians, I was asked if what I hold be true then given that there could be billions of planets only in the Milky Way and the billions of galaxies in the universe, can it be assumed that Jesus came to redeem only humanity on earth and what about other planets where we could have human like souls. I think the question itself answers our limitation when we equate mythology to history.
The all-pervading Divine consciousness can only be perceived in limitation with the human mind and mythology plays a role in revealing the deeper layers of higher order truth and capping it with a fossilized dogma is crippling in our spiritual journey.

Love to you all.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Defining the Holy Grail

"The individual psyche is the Holy Grail, made holy by what it contains, produced by the experience of the opposites suffered, not blindly, but in living awareness. Every human experience, to the extent that it is lived in awareness, augments the sum total of consciousness in the universe. This provides "meaning" for every experience and gives each individual a role in the ongoing world drama of creation." ………………………..Edward Edinger, Page 32 of “Creation of Consciousness”
This passage invokes a deep cosmological principle.
When the basic question as to how matter was created in the early universe is asked, we have to go back to the very beginning and if symmetry was maintained, we should have seen equal amount of matter and antimatter being created but we do not see any antimatter but only matter in the universe. This is because of  Some unknown entity intervening in this process in the early universe which could have caused oscillating particles to decay as matter more often than they decayed as antimatter. This signature can be seen in the Microwave Background Radiation which has been mapped very accurately by the Planck Satellite launched in 2009.
Forget the scientific stuff - what general principle that is glaring at us is that the breaking of symmetry is what causes a matter based species consciousness to observe a matter based universe. Similarly an antimatter based species consciousness would observe through its own unique sensory apparatus an antimatter universe.
This analysis is equally applicable to composition of the individual psyche. As the great Theosophist Madame Blavatsky observed:
“THE mind is dual in its potentiality: it is physical and metaphysical. The higher part of the mind is connected with the spiritual soul or Buddhi, the lower with the animal soul, the Kama (desire) principle. There are persons who never think with the higher faculties of their mind at all; those who do so are the minority and are thus, in a way, beyond, if not above, the average human kind. …………………….. This difference depends simply on the innate power of the mind to think on the higher or on the lower plane, with the astral or with the physical brain. ………………….This is why it is so very difficult for a materialist – the metaphysical portion of whose brain is almost atrophied – to raise himself, or for one who is naturally spiritually minded, to descend to the level of the matter-of-fact vulgar thought..”
The dual nature of the mind is akin to the matter-antimatter world. The inner apparatus of the mind has the potential to access both the higher and lower nature of the mind, the physical and the metaphysical.
When Christ says in Matthew chapter 13 verses 13-15:
“This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “ ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.”
Both Blavatsky and Isaiah use the same language in describing the lower mind and the heart of those rooted in the material world. In them “……the metaphysical portion of whose brain is almost atrophied” and their hearts “has become calloused”.
The metaphysical or astral or what Edinger describes as the Holy Grail is the higher mind, attaining which the mission of the holy warrior in the mythological lore.
There are two types of creation that we witness in the universe. One is the material world from atoms to Galaxies and the other is the expansion of the universe or creation of perceived spacetime. While the first process is created by gravitational attraction the second is created by the anti-gravity effect of Dark Energy which is the more mysterious and yet to be experimentally observed. All our mental energy to comprehend both these processes puts out information into the universe. This is what Edinger calls “the sum total of consciousness in the universe”
Modern cosmology has come to the conclusion that it is not matter or energy which is the fundamental constituent of the universe but information. When we say information, which John Wheeler called “It from Bit”, we mean a unit of some fundamental constituent beyond energy. Only through this the physics of Black Holes can be even thought of.
This is the same information that we are putting out into the universe in terms of active involvement of our consciousness.
It is only in grasping the seamless interconnection between our individual consciousness and the consciousness pervading the entire universe the Holy Grail can be sought.
The Holy Grail is not a goal but an ever expanding flow of experience of the individual consciousness into the infinite vessel of Cosmic Mind.

Love to you all.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Longing Creates the World

“To be or not to be – that is the question” is the very famous line from the play Hamlet. Hamlet is contemplating suicide, and this phrase, according to philosopher Schopenhauer “is, in condensed form, that our state is so wretched that complete non-existence would be decidedly preferable to it.”
Nagarjuna, the proponent of the concept of “Sunyata”  refuted all logical combination of ‘being’ and ‘non-being’. His reasoning was that the two states are the result of concepts from a rational mind and true reality has to have a ground state beyond the mind.
In a recent talk the great Vietnam Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hahn, clarified that the origin of the classification of the state of being and non- being as purely related to human existence. He said:
“If we are caught in the notion of being we will also be caught in the notion of non-being. From the perspective of life span, we think we start to exist at the point of time we call birth; and we think we continue to exist until the point of time we call death, after which we think we cease to exist. Thus the notions of birth and death form the basis of the notions of being and non-being.”
From a cosmological perspective, in his famous book “A Brief History of Time”, Stephen Hawking argues that quantum mechanics shows us that the classical picture of a “well-defined spacetime arises as a limiting case of the quantum perspective.” Time is less fundamental than space and, as a consequence, spacetime cannot have a singular, initial boundary. There is no singularity, no initial boundary at all; the universe has no beginning! Even though unbounded, the universe is finite. Here is how Hawking sets forth his view:
“The quantum theory of gravity has opened up a new possibility, in which there would be no boundary to space-time and so there would be no need to specify the behaviour at the boundary. One could say: ‘The boundary condition of the universe is that it has no boundary.’ The universe would be completely self-contained and not affected by anything outside itself. It would neither be created nor destroyed. It would just BE.”
Hence the concept of being is intimately correlated with time and hence our post Big Bang dualistic concept of Being and Non-being.
But embedded within the fundamental substrate of all creation is the first principle or cause which is time independent and hence eternal from a temporal perspective and all manifested realm is spatial-temporal and hence have a very limited reality. This principle which is the cause is hence eternal but the effect is temporal. To the human mind the definition of this first principle is called ‘desire’ or ‘longing’.
In the macrostructure we can relate this cause and effect through an allegory to the great ocean which has great tranquillity and extended existence but the moment it meets a boundary, which we can equate to the Big Bang spatial boundary, waves, estuaries and shorelines are created, The essence of the ocean by its innate nature is to spread to find equilibrium but this desire is realized at the boundary condition as a different manifestation.
From a western mystical tradition, the German Cobbler mystic, Jacob Boehme said:
“the basis of the world is nonbeing... because the beginning [of the world] is desire, longing, and only an absolute vacuum can have longing. A vacuum, nonbeing, can by longing draw or attract into itself.. something exceedingly positive because it creates the world.” ……C.G. Jung, Visions, Vol.1, p.524-5
Vacuum Boehme refers to is perhaps akin to the Lurianic Kabbalist notion of ‘tzimtzum’: contraction that proceeds emanation. Again resorting to the ocean analogy, when there is a great pressure generated deep within the ocean floor due to an earthquake, the innate pressure tries to find expression as a propagating sub-surface pressure differential. When this pressure differential reaches near the shore, first there is a great contraction of the shoreline and then a very huge tsunami wave created. The creation of our universe is very similar. We are in the forefront of this travelling wave which due its rapid expansion (cosmological theory of inflation) will dissipate all its energy and return to the equilibrium. This in Vedic philosophy is called Pralaya.
Our understanding of Tzimtzum can be clarified through an analogy from the world of mathematics. An infinite perfect mind sees immediately that the arithmetical expressions (21/3), (126/18), (6.72 + .28), etc., etc., are all equivalents of the number 7: it is only from the point of view of a limited intellect that these expressions appear to represent different mathematical ideas. Indeed, as the mathematical philosophers Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead painstakingly demonstrated, all of mathematics is predicated on a very small number of logical axioms, and an infinite mind would in an instant intuit the entire world of higher mathematical construct as an amplification of the simplest of ideas. So it is with the world. It is a multifarious manifestation of unique singular principle which only the Divine intellect can comprehend.
We are a small effect of the Divine cause which pervades all creation and all universes. Let us enjoy this ride with the assurance that one day we will transcend this temporal manifestation and merge with the Divine reality.

Love to you all

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Alchemy as a Transcendent Function

"The secret of alchemy was in fact the transcendent function, the transformation of personality through the blending and fusion of the noble with the base components, of the differentiated with the inferior functions, of the conscious with the unconscious. No one who has undergone the process of assimilating the unconscious will deny that it gripped his very vitals and changed him.. [moving the centre of awareness to the Middle Plane between the inner and outer worlds] where the centre of the total personality no longer coincides with the ego, but with a point midway between the conscious & the unconscious. This would be the point of new equilibrium.. which ensures.. a new & more solid foundation." …………………………….C,G, Jung, Two Essays, para.365
Traditionally, alchemy was understood as a chemical process where a base material is converted into a noble metal such as Gold. The esoteric interpretation of alchemy as a process of inner transformation is being dealt with in the above quote from the writings of Carl Jung.
In the Bible, we find some events of radical changes in the consciousness of people: there is the "thief on the cross" at Golgotha who realizes the spiritual nature of Christ and was promised by Jesus that he would be with him in paradise the next day as a reward for his transformation; and the chief of a gang of robbers who was converted by Francis of Assisi and became a monk. Cases like these have always moved the hearts of the religious-minded and have raised the question how such changes could be possible. Angulimala's story might give an answer to these questions.
In the Buddhist story of Angulimala, though warned of the notorious bandit Angulimala, who wore a garland of the fingers of his victims – ( "necklace of fingers" in Pali is Angulimala) hence his name, Buddha, unflinchingly went into the forest infested by this bandit. The bandit gave chase but could never catch up with the holy one, though Buddha was walking at a normal pace. Then this conversation took place: The murderer said "Stop, monk! Stop, monk!". Buddha replied "I have stopped, Angulimala. Do you stop, too."
Then the bandit Angulimala thought: "These monks, followers of the Sakya scion, speak truth, assert truth; but though this monk is walking, yet he says 'I have stopped, Angulimala; do you stop, too.' Suppose I question the monk?" Then he addressed the Blessed One thus:
"While you are walking monk, you tell me you have stopped; But now, when I have stopped, you say I have not stopped. I ask you now, O monk what is the meaning of it; How is it you have stopped and I have not?" The Blessed One replied: "Angulimala, I have stopped for ever, Forswearing violence to every living being; But you have no restraint towards things that breathe; So that is why I have stopped and you have not."
The above events pointed out are to emphasise the spiritual alchemy that is at work when lower order consciousness is instantly transformed to higher level consciousness.
I would like to point out another event in the life of Christ where we witness a transitory alchemical process. In the Bible the symbol of a higher consciousness revelation is always the mountain top or the peak experience. It was on Mount Sinai that Moses is revealed the Divine presence, it was in Mount Horeb that Elijah found Divine presence and it was on Mount Tabor that Christ reveals his higher consciousness nature through a radiant transfiguration as witnessed by his chosen apostles. Finally it is on the mount Golgotha that he undertakes his journey to his final transcendent nature of a physical death and a spiritual resurrection
Let me conclude with a classical story of transformation:
A great warrior samurai once went to see a little holy monk.
“Monk!” He barked, in a voice accustomed to evoking instant obedience.
“Teach me about heaven and hell!”
The monk looked up at the mighty warrior and replied with utter disdain,
“Teach you about heaven and hell? I couldn’t teach you about anything. You’re dumb. You’re dirty. You’re a disgrace, an embarrassment to the samurai class. Get out of my sight. I can’t stand you.”
The samurai got furious. He shook, red in the face, speechless with rage. He pulled out his sword, and prepared to slay the monk.
Looking straight into the samurai’s eyes, the monk said softly, “That’s hell.”
The samurai froze, realizing the compassion of the monk who had risked his life to show him hell! He put down his sword and fell to his knees, filled with gratitude.
The monk said softly, “And that’s heaven.”
This instantaneous transformation in the Samurai is an alchemical process where a base nature is instantly transformed into a nobler nature.
May we all realize our true higher nature and undertake this life journey to eradicate our ego dominated lower nature

Love to you all.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Process of Spiritual Awakening

"Christ is the western formulation of what the East calls the Self, Atman, the Purusha or Buddha. If one may interpret him as a symbol, he symbolizes the Self. The dogma claims that Christ was God who became man. In psychological language this means that the Self approached the consciousness of man.. And indeed in a very peculiar form, the Self approached from outside autonomously, not as a human realization." ………………..C.G. Jung,

In the first part of this article, I intend to bring out the bestowing nature of Divine consciousness and in the second part the needed preparation of the individual consciousness to accept this great gift.
There are two specific elements of the Self that we need to understand when reading Jung’s take on the autonomous nature of the Self.
The first element which distinguishes the Self is its purely independent nature and when we say independent it means that the Self cannot be defined through perceptual or physical spatiotemporal boundaries and qualities. It is beyond the grasp of the human mind. Hence all adjectives that we use such as omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient are inadequate. Language struggles with definition and hence calls it Self, Atman, Purusha or Buddha or Christ.
The second element which differentiates Self is its relation to all forms of manifested consciousness. Hence when we talk of Christ being God, it is the ingress of untainted consciousness into the human frame in the virgin birth of Yeshua or Jesus (Yeshua is the Hebrew name, and its English spelling is “Joshua.” Iesous is the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name, and its English spelling is “Jesus.”). Hence it is in the virgin birth that Yeshua becomes Christos or Christ. Gautama becomes Buddha.
As Jung says it is not through human realization but through a Divine or cosmic gift that the Self bestows itself on the individual. While an individual, deeply desirous of knowing one’s true nature, seeks incessantly to realize the Divine within, the moment of realization and the state of a realized individual is a bestowed gift.
In Zen Buddhism, it is called Satori. Satori refers to a mystical experience of kenshō, "seeing into one's true nature". Ken means "seeing," shō means "nature" or "essence." This is commonly translated as enlightenment, a word that is also used to define the state of Bodhi, Prajna and Buddhahood. It is an insight that is more or less deep and thorough, but an insight none-the-less. It could be temporary. Rare few are gifted the state where one ceases to be a human experiencing it's true nature, and instead one becomes a true nature experiencing being a human. At that point one no longer has an existence in duality but is fully conscious of one’s true nature.
What are the hurdles we face in this transformative process as well as the only tool that can leverage the state of the individual soul to reach this higher state of enlightenment, are again pointed out by Jung in the following quote.
“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” ……………….C.G. Jung
At all cost the conditioned consciousness fights tooth and nail to evade its own annihilation. The dross sticks to the inner being and it is only through a conscious and painful scrubbing the receptacle of the inner being can be brought to readiness to accept the Self.
What Jung means by saying “………making the darkness conscious” is that in our lives we are constantly engaged in using the ‘light of the world’ in constructing false perceptions through the inputs we receive from our senses. But these false perceptions can be eradicated only be utilizing the hidden potential of the darkness, here signifying non sensory potential, to become the conscious organizer of our perception of our true reality.
Matt Licata, a psychotherapist, spiritual counsellor, and teacher, from the Preface of his book, “It’s Okay to Be Broken: Embracing the Joy and Heartbreak of Spiritual Awakening.” Says:
“Much is being said these days about spiritual awakening, and the causeless joy, clarity, and peace that are inevitable milestones of the inner journey. Not all that much is mentioned, however, about the disappointment of awakening, or of the ways it can break our hearts, cracking us open to the reality of the crucifixion, the resurrection, and the transfiguration we are likely to encounter along the way. In the full embrace of life—right inside the yucky, messy, shadowy nether regions of the heart—we are invited to meet the wholeness of what we are, which includes the dark and the light, the movement of separation and union, and the entirety of what it means to be an embodied human being.
As Carl Jung so poignantly reminds us, we do not become enlightened by “imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” He went on to say that the integral journey of the dark and the light is one that is often “disagreeable” and thus would never be popular. I believe Jung is offering very important guidance for us and the voyage of the heart in contemporary times.”
Let me close this article with a real experience of mine.
When I was in college there was a drama staged which had the main character, a man who wanted to know the mind of a woman and used a concoction like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to transform himself into a woman. In the pre digital age in 1960s, we had to use light and darkness with some amount of smoke to effect this transformation on stage with a live audience. The main actor was standing as he took the magic potion and there was smoke and then darkness. Quickly we introduce a second actor dressed as a woman and made him lie down on the stage while the main actor stood perpendicular to the second actor. A sheet glass was introduced at 45 degrees and two lights were use one on the main actor and the second on the lady. At first the light on the main actor was in full brightness and the light on figure lying down was switched off. There was smoke drifting and then the light on the main actor started dimming and at the same time the light on the female figure started to increase. The effect was magical as the male figure through the glass vanished the female reflection became prominent and ‘voila’ the transformation was complete.
Indeed the darkness brought into the conscious is great in achieving a radical transformation.

Love to you all