Saturday, December 23, 2017

Giving Birth to a Deeper Wisdom

When the new Sufi master came to Baghdad from his native Nishapur, in Khorasan, his fame had long preceded him. He had a great reputation for his high spirituality and his own approach to ‘Ishan’ (“perfection”), but also a reputation for his unorthodox methods of teaching. A small group of aspiring disciples, all well dressed and well behaved, and with pious demeanour, had gathered at the inn to welcome him, but also even teachers and students from the nearby university gathered at the inn. As time passed, the crowd was growing impatient. The sheik certainly took his time.
As always on such occasions, among the expectant crowd there were also beggars and bums and other bystanders. One of them turned out to be particularly annoying. All in rags, unkempt beyond description, and smelling badly of wine. The bum inching his way closer to the pious-looking, anxiety-ridden disciples. Taking his time, between hiccups, he examined them intently, one by one, which made the boys even more nervous: the last thing they wanted was to be found out by the great master in such unholy proximity.
Thank goodness, it now appeared that the bum was drifting away. As he was doing so, however, he addressed himself to the embarrassed youth, in such sober, educated Persian that their prayer beads suddenly froze in the palms of their hands: I’ve come for nothing, methinks. What am I to teach you? By the looks of you, you’ve all reached a state of purity compared to which I am nothing. My ways are messy, my teachings tentative, and my quest, far from pure, always gets entangled with my flesh, with my earthiness and my complicated commerce with the world. I am a failure, whereas you — just look at you! — you seem to dwell with the angels already! Now, if you will excuse me … And, with that, he slipped out of the inn. It was then, the story adds, that people at the inn realized that the sheik they had been waiting for had just left them.
A beautiful story to celebrate Christmas. When Christ was born he had no place even in the inn and his place on earth was in a stable within the proximity of animals and as the Bible says he was wrapped in whatever ragged clothe that was available. While Christ lived on this earth, he was not seen with the Pharisees, who were considered wise, but he was seen with the poor, tax collector, the sick, the out castes of society like the Samaritans and people who needed his touch and wisdom.
Today, we live in a world that celebrates surface values, the clothes we wear, the makeup we apply, the degrees that we acquire, the position and power we hold etc. But the most important thing always slips our attention. Namely acquiring wisdom. This wisdom is not the wisdom of the books or intellectual mastery but wisdom of a meaningful life rooted in humanity and in Divine image
There are two types of intellectual knowledge one can acquire. The first, which predominates in the world today through science and technology, is knowledge which exploits the ecosystem and human beings. This type of knowledge has resulted in creating extreme inequality and destruction of the ecosystem.
The second type of knowledge can be acquired through a deeper understanding of the biodiversity, the interrelationship between all existence and the responsibility that we have through our evolved level of consciousness to safeguard, protect and enrich the life of all creation.
In his path breaking encyclical Pope Francis has brought out this very well:
“In this universe, shaped by open and intercommunicating systems, we can discern countless forms of relationship and participation. This leads us to think of the whole as open to God’s transcendence, within which it develops. Faith allows us to interpret the meaning and the mysterious beauty of what is unfolding. We are free to apply our intelligence towards things evolving positively, or towards adding new ills, new causes of suffering and real setbacks. This is what makes for the excitement and drama of human history, in which freedom, growth, salvation and love can blossom, or lead towards decadence and mutual destruction.” …………Laudato Si - Chapter 2 section 79
Jane Goodall studied the Chimpanzees in Congo most of her life and she says:
“Chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans have been living for hundreds of thousands of years in their forest, living fantastic lives, never overpopulating, never destroying the forest. I would say that they have been in a way more successful than us as far as being in harmony with the environment.”
Dr. E. O. Wilson, Professor Emeritus and Honorary Curator in Entomology at Harvard University and called "the father of sociobiology" and "the father of biodiversity" Is an American biologist, researcher, theorist, naturalist and author who spent nearly 40 years in the Amazon forest researching on the leaf cutting ants writes:
"I think we ought to have another go at the Enlightenment and use that as a common goal to explain and understand ourselves, to take that self-understanding which we so sorely lack as a foundation for what we do in the moral and political realm. This is a wonderful exercise.“
Let our celebration of Christmas take on a new meaning - as a celebration of a new birth of this holistic awareness and our responsibility as the empowering consciousness and truly as a creation which is in Divine image.
Love to you all

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Birth – Fully Savouring the Moment

The Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh teaches this wisdom through the ceremony and meditation of tea (a Buddhist parallel to the Christian Eucharist):
“You must be completely awake in the present to enjoy the tea. Only in the awareness of the present, can your hands feel the pleasant warmth of the cup. Only in the present, can you savor the aroma, taste the sweetness, appreciate the delicacy. If you are ruminating about the past, or worrying about the future, you will completely miss the experience of enjoying the cup of tea. You will look down at the cup, and the tea will be gone. Life is like that. If you are not fully present, you will look around and it will be gone.
You will have missed the feel, the aroma, the delicacy and beauty of life. It will seem to be speeding past you. The past is finished. Learn from it and let it go.
The future is not even here yet. Plan for it, but do not waste your time worrying about it. Worrying is worthless. When you stop ruminating about what has already happened, when you stop worrying about what might never happen, then you will be in the present moment. Then you will begin to experience joy in life.”
Recently when I was in our ancestral village my chauffeur asked me why people in the village, in olden times, lived up to a very ripe old age without all the new diseases which are prevalent today. My answer was very simple, there was no pollution and then he said our village also has no pollution, the air is sharp, there is food and water. The answer to this is the following part of my article.
Pollution comes in many forms. It is not only what we generally categorize as ; air, water and food. Even in villages we have lost the art of providing snacks for children. The wholesome nutritious peanuts and sprouted beans have been replaced with packaged snacks which are very tasty but unhealthy. Milk which used to be plenty in our village is replaced with milk from the milk vendour of questionable quality. Water for drinking comes from bottled water. The second type of pollution is noise pollution. It is not the audible noise but the high frequency communication noise from mobile phones to TV screens. In cramped houses the children sit hardly a few feet away from the screen. The visual contents of television leaves much to be desired as it puts extremely high stress at the psychological level especially for young children. The third type of pollution is the stress pollution. Irrespective of wherever we are, whether in the village or the city, There are innumerable causes, such as family, social, religious, work place and personal expectations, which induce high levels of stress.
Practically no one lives without stress. These stresses are injected into individual from self-imposed expectations over which one has no control except the subject experiencing the stress.
Hence wherever we are we live in a highly polluted environment. This does not mean that we have to run away looking for a clean environment. This is impossible as we are the creators of the environment and wherever we go we take this environment with us. There is nice episode told to novices in meditation.
A young Buddhist monk in Tibet went to his master and asked him to teach him a very deep level of meditation which he saw the master practice. His master could sit for hours without any lack of concentration. Knowing the sincerity of the aspirant, the master taught him for many years but warned him that he could only guide him and it is up to him to master this intense spiritual practice. It was then, there arose a vacancy in a monastery in Kolkata for a monk to guide the spiritual seekers. The master assigned the task and told the young monk, who told his master that he has made great progress, to take up the position in Kolkata. On reaching the monastery in Kolkata and after a few weeks the monk called up his master in Tibet and told him that he could not meditate as there was too much noise in the environment. The advice the master gave him was that the noise was not in the environment but in the young monk’s mind.
This episode tells us that if we are not totally awake to each moment on what we are, whether drinking a cup of tea or juggling with any task given to us in the process of life, we allow the exterior pollution to dominate.
It is worth reflecting how time is defined in our life. We measure time in a calibrated way and keep track of it in our mind and generate our past and future with their associated worries and anxieties. If we live in the moment, time becomes highly nonlinear. With practice the graph of time becomes an inverted parabola or inverted bell curve from a straight line, which practically every one of us experience. Masters, like Buddha, who practiced extreme mindfulness are able to experience infinity. This is the great truth why infinite wisdom is hidden in the present moment.
In the Gospel of Thomas in Saying 18  Christ says:
The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us, how will our end come?" Christ said, "Have you found the beginning, then, that you are looking for the end? You see, the end will be where the beginning is. Congratulations to the one who stands at the beginning: that one will know the end and will not taste death."
The end will be where the beginning is …..will not taste death. What a beautiful way of defining how to live in the present moment. Every moment is a birth of the Self and the true meaning of celebrating Christmas is to birth this renewed consciousness in our lives.

Love to you all

Friday, December 8, 2017

Lesson from Phaethon Myth

Phaethon, the son of the Greek sun god Helios. Ancient myths told the story of how this rather insecure-sounding young god was challenged to prove he was related to Helios, who was said to pull the sun across the sky
To prove his divine provenance, Phaethon decided to have a go in his dad’s chariot and was unable to control the horses, who then ran wild across the sky dragging the hot sun with them. Humanity was almost destroyed in the subsequent chaos, which scorched the Earth, burned vast amounts of vegetation and created the great deserts of Africa. The Earth was only spared when Zeus blasted the horses with a thunderbolt, killing Phaethon in the process. Here’s what the Greek philosopher Plato wrote about the myth in his famous work, Timaeus:
“There have been, and will be again, many destructions of mankind arising out of many causes; the greatest have been brought about by the agencies of fire and water, and other lesser ones by innumerable other causes. ‘There is a story that even you [Greeks] have preserved, that once upon a time, Phaethon, the son of Helios, having yoked the steeds in his father’s chariot, because he was not able to drive them in the path of his father, burnt up all that was upon the earth, and was himself destroyed by a thunderbolt.”
This myth resonated with what we are doing to ourselves through shallow thoughts and reasoning in the area of development of technology and sustainability of the ecosystem.
Let us take for an example the use of fossil fuel such as coal, oil and gas which are drawn out of the very innards of the earth. These resources have developed over millions of years and the unbridled rate at which we are consuming these resources is equal to the action of Phaethon in driving the horses of Helios in the Greek mythology. A deep reflection will point out that it took the Sun’s energy millions of years to convert decaying vegetation into deposits which is utilized not only to conserve and convert nature’s waste into useful structures of trapping the latent energy but contain the pollution of the atmosphere. By burning the fossil fuel and converting its energy content at a rapid rate, we have polluted the atmosphere with greenhouse gas such as Carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide.
There is a saying in the 12th century wisdom traditions of the Iroquois tribe of native Indians of America which states as follows:
“The Seventh Generation philosophy mandates that tribal decision makers consider the effects of their actions and decisions for descendants seven generations into the future. There should a clear understanding that everything we do has consequences for something and someone else, reminding us that we are all ultimately connected to creation.”
The irresponsibility with which we approached the technical development in the Industrial age has to give way for more eco-sensitive and life oriented decisions in future developments of science and technology and our own responsibility to the entire ecosystem.
Like Phaethon, we have not evaluated our core strengths and the holistic thinking and skills needed to control the vehicle which has tremendous potential to destroy the whole of humanity.
The thunderbolt of Zeus is the ethical and moral principles which destroys all devious paths and keeps us on the straight and narrow. It is the ethical and moral principles on which every decision in future technology development has to take place. Be it in the development of Artificial Intelligence or Gene manipulation, the extreme foresight that is needed to guide us should take a front seat. This is the reason why today we are talking of Spirituality Based Leadership. Spirituality is not a my belief system but the acute awareness of our connectedness to the entire cosmos.
In the spiritual Vedic tradition the symbolism of the chariot and horses are again brought out as to why one should develop a singular focus, as was the strength and capability of Helios, who could keep the horses in tight control so that the Atman or Soul which is symbolized by effulgent Sun could trace the correct path. I quote the verses from the Katha Upanishad:
“Know the Atman as the Lord of the chariot, the body as the chariot; know the intellect as the charioteer and the mind again as the reins. They say, the senses are the horses and their objects are the roads; the Atman, the senses and the mind united, the wise call the enjoyer. He who has no discrimination and whose mind is always uncontrolled, his senses are not controllable like vicious horses of a driver. But he who has understanding and whose mind is always controlled, his senses are under control like good horses of a driver. But he, who has no discrimination, and whose mind is not under control, and who is always impure, does not reach that goal, but enters into the round of births and deaths.” ………..Katha Upanishad Chapter 1 Section 3 Verses 3-7.
The lesson we learn from the myth of Phaethon and from the symbolism of the scriptures should takes us into deep reflection.

Love to you all.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Free Thinker – An outcast from Society

“I was strolling in the gardens of an insane asylum when I met a young man who was reading a philosophy book. His behaviour and his evident good health made him stand out from the other inmates. I sat down beside him and asked:
‘What are you doing here?’ He looked at me, surprised. But seeing that I was not one of the doctors, he replied:
‘It’s very simple. My father, a brilliant lawyer, wanted me to be like him. My uncle, who owns a large emporium, hoped I would follow his example. My mother wanted me to be the image of her beloved father. My sister always set her husband before me as an example of the successful man. My brother tried to train me up to be a fine athlete like himself.
And the same thing happened at school, with the piano teacher and the English teacher – they were all convinced and determined that they were the best possible example to follow. None of them looked at me as one should look at a man, but as if they were looking in a mirror.
So I decided to enter this asylum. At least here I can be myself.” ……………..Kahlil Gibran
This is an apt story for what happens in society even today. Our education system, our parenting  and social milieu are all out to get the individual to be modelled after their own perceived identity of being that which suits us.
This mindset has evolved in our society due to two reasons. The first reason is the prevailing religious influence of western religions which played a powerful role till the 18th century. The unquestionable imposed belief system and the concept of that human beings are powerless entities requiring hierarchical power structure to dictate what is good for them created a society of mental slaves. 
The second reason is; with the advent of scientific achievements from Galileo to the 20th century, the authority of the scientific knowledge started to assert its influence. In classical Newtonian thinking, the first law of Newton states that “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” This classical mechanical billiard ball model imposed the need for a higher level of external energy to convert inherent potential to a well-directed destination.
Recent scientific studies in biology has discovered that there is an inherent potential bestowed on every living system and this potential has the unique capacity to emerge as its own kinetic energy capable of propelling itself toward its full realization in an act of co-creation, this is called “Autopoieses”.
This lack of understanding leads to imposition of an external will in moulding the inherent potential and results in stunted growth or decay. As Humberto Maturana, the Chilean  Biologist, Cybernetician, Scientist  and philosopher says:
“Only love expands intelligence. To live in love is to accept the other and the conditions of his existence as a source of richness, not as opposition, restriction or limitation.”
This open acceptance of the other as he or she is, is the process of nurturing free thinking, thereby opening the flood gates of one’s individual intelligence and creative capacity.
In spiritual traditions, Buddhism encouraged free inquiry. Buddha believed that every individual had his or her own path to enlightenment.
In “Kalama Sutta” - The Buddha's Charter of Free Inquiry, the Buddha says:
"Come, Kalamas. Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumour; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon specious reasoning; nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over; nor upon another's seeming ability; nor upon the consideration, 'The monk is our teacher.' Kalamas, when you yourselves know: 'These things are good; these things are not blameable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness,' enter on and abide in them.”
This advice is given by Buddha, not only for the self but also for those who come under your influence.
Let us be free thinkers and allow the full freedom for others to benefit from their own inner reflection.

Love to you all 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Crippling Self Deception

Why does the vast majority of people in this world believe in a very limited perception of GOD. This anthropocentric view evolved through ignorance and fear. God has been assigned an unassailable objective domain.
"Dogmas are collective conceptual prisons. And the strange thing is that people love their prison cells because they give them a sense of security and a false sense of 'I know.' Nothing has inflicted more suffering on humanity than its dogmas." ………….Eckhart Tolle
Today, when we have solid knowledge on the vastness of the universe, with the latest count of two trillion (2,000,000,000,000) galaxies, each with billions of stars, what is so special about humans that God has the task of minding our business. There could be billions or trillion of conscious beings in this cosmic creation and yet through our egoistic mental attitude we think we are special.
We ignore our teaching when we say God is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. Christ said "the kingdom of heaven is within you" and It is only through this power of God, which arises from the level of cosmic consciousness, that man is able to fathom the depth of the Universe and recently come to the conclusion that our universe itself may be one of 10500 (10 followed by 500 zeros) universes, which is described as the Multiverse.
As a young person, before I entered college, I had a strange experience which taught me a big lesson in life. I was studying for four years wanting to take up a life of dedication to serve as a priest in the Catholic tradition. But due to my ill-health and a very intrusive questioning on some matters which were on the imprimatur list, I was told that I had some other calling in life.
It was at this juncture, feeling totally lost, I returned home to my very disappointed parents. I was told that I should take the council of a Capuchin priest, who was our distant relation,  and went to meet him at an ashram on the banks of river Caveri.  I had not called him for any appointment as there were no facility at home to make a telephone call. I landed up at the ashram and found that this venerable priest had gone for the last rites of a dying man and would return in about an hour. To while away the time and being a warm afternoon, I decided to go and sit by the river bank. At the place I sat, the river bed was about three feet below my dangling feet and the water’s edge was six feet away. I was so depressed that I shut my eyes and was lost in a flood of thoughts about what the future was in store for me. I must have spent about thirty minutes in this confused contemplation. I was suddenly woken up by the cool waters touching my feet. Then a sudden thought flashed across my mind. “Go with the flow”. Feeling more positive I got up and went back to the ashram and found that Fr. John of the Cross, the man I had come to meet has come back and I called on him. I had earlier played chess with him and he taught me some very good opening moves. When I told him the purpose of my visit. He said “Life is very vast and there are many paths to take. You are good in chess so you are a good logical thinker, so take engineering or science for your college studies and do not stop learning. Flow like a river.” When he concluded, I felt a shiver run down my spine. This synchronized Divine touch which was bestowed by the river and then by this venerable priest launched me on this wonderful path.
To be very sincere, I had never prayed for Divine guidance on choosing my path but I am sure that this guidance came from a deep unfathomable source.
Why I bring out this experience is that we are very limited when we get locked into the prison of externally dictated guidance. This is like a swimmer getting caught in a whirlpool or vortex. He or she has no freedom and cannot take the many paths that the open waters offers. You get drowned in the misery of a false sense of hope that somehow the answers would come from out of the waters, a helping hand from heaven.
Christ sum up the concept of the Heavenly kingdom as follows:
"If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is within you and it is outside you. When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty." ……….Gospel of Thomas, Saying 3
The vastness of the multiverse proves to us the infinite domain of the Divine and as individual perceivers of this vast domain, it is simply not possible to have this perception unless it comes from our own internal unmitigated source.
The allegorical story of Satyakama Jabala in chapter IV of Chandogya Upanishad is a wonderful narration to illustrate this deep listening and learning.
When Satyakama Jabala, who was the son of a courtesan, went to learn the Vedas from a Sage, the Sage, seeing his truthfulness, does not want to impart the ultimate knowledge of the Vedas in the Gurukulam along with the other students but sends Satyakama to tend four hundred cows, and come back when they multiply into a thousand. The symbolic legend then presents conversation of Satyakama with nature, with the bull, the birds and fire, to grasp the deep truth of the nature Brahman (the metaphysical ultimate reality – here symbolically represented by the thousand cows).
Let us open up our minds and move away from given belief system and analyse critically the truth hidden around us, especially in mythologies and ancient sayings and by learning to listen deeply to mother nature.

Love to you all.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Monad’s Role in the Evolutionary Chain

“The Monad, which is essentially ever the same, participates through the various vestures in succeeding cycles of partial or total obscuration of Spirit or of Matter. Everything occurring in daily life could be seen entirely in terms of the continuous ascent or descent from the One, or in terms of obscuration and illumination, but these could pertain either to Matter or to Spirit. Once one has grasped this philosophical and metaphysical basis for comprehending the complex scheme of monadic life and transformation, one can reckon with the fact that there are seven kingdoms of Monads:
    The first group comprises three degrees of elementals, or nascent centres of forces – from the first stage of differentiation of (from) Mulaprakriti (or rather Pradhana, primordial homogeneous matter) to its third degree – i.e., from full unconsciousness to semi-perception; the second or higher group embraces the kingdoms from vegetable to man; the mineral kingdom thus forming the central or turning point in the degrees of the 'Monadic Essence,' considered as an evoluting energy. Three stages (sub-physical) on the elemental side; the mineral kingdom; three stages on the objective physical side – these are the (first or preliminary) seven links of the evolutionary chain.” …………….The Secret Doctrine, i 176
Do not be put out by the title of the article which has a philosophical flavour. A Monad in the philosophical domain is an indivisible and hence ultimately simple entity, such as the very fundamental particle of matter or life form. Madame Blavatsky explains the first of the seven links in the evolutionary chain. In Theosophy the seven links are represented as seven globes or they are the seven levels of consciousness. Let us now explain in detail what The Secret Doctrine is saying with respect to the evolution of the human consciousness.
The first point that is made is that both the material and spiritual manifestation in the earthly domain is due to the different vesture (clothing) which the very fundamental monad takes on. This understanding has come to the spiritual masters through a deep intuitive inquiry. But, today. we have powerful knowledge Through science, especially through particle physics, which theoretically propose that a particle in nothing but energy vibration in different dimension. Contemporary, leading String theory Physicist, Michio Kaku says:
“In string theory, all particles are vibrations on a tiny rubber band; physics (particles and forces) is the harmonies on the string; chemistry (elements and interactions) is the melodies we play on vibrating strings; the universe (all conscious manifestations) is a symphony of strings, and the 'Mind of God' (multiverse) is cosmic music resonating in 11 dimensional hyperspace.” – (all italics in the quote are the author’s definition)
What The Secret Doctrine is laying out is this complex truth in simpler language. What we see as fundamental sub-atomic particles such as Quarks, Electrons and the atom, molecules and elements are all essentially the same basic Monad but having different arrangements through force linkages. It is vital to understand that even the very forces which form the linkages are made of the very same Monads. In this definition of Monad, the words ‘matter and spirit’ are to be referred, with our current knowledge, as ‘particles and forces’.
The first stage of differentiation, in the past, had varied history. Democritus, in the 5th Century B.C, proposed the first crude atomic theory but it was only in the 18th century that John Dalton proposed an indivisible atom as a constituent of elements. And it was only in 1888 A.D that Madame Blavatsky wrote ‘The Secret Doctrine’. Ever since, with continued research and with the advent of String Theory in particle physics, the fundamental constituent of matter has been revealed to be an energy field in ‘hyperdimension’. Forgive me for this rambling, but, in my understanding, it is vital for us today to assert that the level of the Monad both at the material and Spirit level is the fundamental field of consciousness.
This understanding needs to be broadened based on the fact that essential elements in the human body, such as Calcium in our bones, Iron in our blood and Nitrogen in our DNA are all created in the exploding stars. There is a vast interconnection which affirms the role of ‘Cosmic Consciousness’ in the evolutionary process of the various ‘Conscious kingdoms’ such as ‘metals and minerals’, ‘plants and vegetation’ and ‘animals and humans’.
Evolution has not reached its full cycle and this is reason that many esoteric spiritual traditions talks of seven planes of consciousness.
Madam Blavatsky writes that “These seven planes correspond to the seven states of consciousness in man. It remains with him to attune the three higher states in himself to the three higher planes in Kosmos. But before he can attempt to attune, he must awaken the three “seats” to life and activity. And how many are capable of bringing themselves to even a superficial comprehension of Atma-Vidya (Spirit-Knowledge), or what is called by the Sufis, Rohanee!” ……………..“The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 1, p. 199
The seven levels or kingdoms of the Monad pervades from the worldly level, where man occupies the fourth level (the three lower levels being, elemental, vegetative and animal) and the evolutionary path leads up to the three higher levels of Solar, Galactic and Cosmic. The potential is very much within the individual to evolve and this is a journey that lies beyond space-time dimension. Through spiritual practices, such as deep meditation, a higher level of mindfulness and constant focus on non-attachment, one can aspire to reach the higher levels of spiritual consciousness.

Love to you all.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Ceasing to Exist in Existence

“When I meditate, I like to imagine I was never born and I’ve been given just 10 minutes to experience life, and then I will again cease to exist. Now I look out and survey the universe from that standpoint. The line of Sophocles about “never being born” is good to ponder for those who are sad, unhappy or have no zeal in life. What a miracle it is to be alive at all. I also repeat these 3 orienting thoughts :
1) The disciples asked Jesus, "When will the Kingdom of the Father come?" Jesus answered, "The Kingdom of the Father will not come by waiting for it. Men will not say, 'See here, see there.' The Kingdom of the Father is spread upon the earth, but men do not see it." It is here, it is here. Change the focus of the eye.
2) ‘Tat tvam asi.’ You are the mystery that you seek to know.
3) ‘Om mane padme hum.’ The jewel (the treasure) is in the lotus (the world right now).
“All your attempts to reach me are in reality my attempts to reach you." We are the universe looking at itself. It does no good to know "who" you are if you don’t know “what" you are.” ……………..Individuation – Carl Jung
We are so preoccupied with existence that to think of non-existence is a horrifying experience. This leads most of humanity to fear death. To be spiritually proactive in our existence, it is necessary that we meditate up on non-existence. The three basic tenets expressed through the teachings of Christ, Vedic Rishis and Tibetan Buddhist masters point to a fact that we exist as an integral part of reality that lies beyond our sensorial perceptions.
The arena of contemplation or meditation is the ideal ground wherein one can remove existence by incrementally reducing the period of existence by closing the mind to gross reality. When we stand in a desert or hill top with a clear night sky and see the millions of stars and the arching Milky Way, we are far removed from our own existence. As I had pointed out in my writings and talks, this experience is called “Yugan” which is the word used in Japanese aesthetic expression for mysterious joy.
When we talk of existence, the primary subjective experience gives us the perception of “I exist”. This “I” is the result of our physical and mental action which again is a conditioned response to our socio-cultural and environmental ambiance and evolution. This is not the real essence of our existence. But this has lead us, in Abrahamic religions, to look for an external and a totally inaccessible God’s kingdom during our earthly existence. This false perception is pointed out by Christ when he answers the disciples when he says: “………The Kingdom of the Father is spread upon the earth, but men do not see it." It is here, it is here. Change the focus of the eye.” …………..Gospel of Thomas Saying 113
And in another context Christ tells the disciples “……..“The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed,” ………. Luke 17:20.
If this ultimate reality is around us and in us, Christ gives two remedial actions.
The first is to change the focus of our eyes. This means that this perception cannot be concepts from our normal visual observation. This seeing requires a special spiritual eye. This will resonate with what we read in Bhagavad Gita chapter 11 on the cosmic form of Lord Krishna, when Arjuna is bestowed with special eyes to behold the cosmic reality.
The second action is to seek this higher reality beyond mere physical observation. This is reflected in Luke’s Gospel.
The saying from Vedanta “Tat tvam asi.” Is taken from Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7, in the dialogue between Uddālaka and his son Śvetaketu; it appears at the end of a section, and is repeated at the end of the subsequent sections as an exhortation. The meaning of this saying is that the Self - in its original, pure, primordial state - is wholly or partially identifiable or identical with the Ultimate Reality that is the ground and origin of all phenomena. The knowledge that this is so characterises the experience of liberation or salvation that accompanies the mystical union.
As Rumi from a mystical perspective wrote: “Your longing for me is my message to you. All your attempts to reach me, are in reality my attempts to reach You.” This is a seamless circular process wherein the observer and the observed are one and the same.
This dying to oneself as a spiritual preparation is a vital element in Tibetan Buddhism. In “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” there is a story told how a single reality could be perceived in many ways.
We perceive the world depending on our karmic vision.
Six different kinds of beings meet by the banks of a river. The human beings sees the river as water, a substance to wash and quench one’s thirst.; for an animal such as fish, the river is its home; the gods sees it as a nectar that brings bliss; the demigods as weapon; the hungry ghost as pus and putrid blood and the beings from hellish realm as molten lava. Six different perception of one single reality.
In this story, the six gradation of spiritual consciousness is given an allegoric personification from Gods  to beings of the hellish realm and depending on the level of consciousness one’s perception changes.
The invocation during meditation “Om mane padme hum”, according to the 14th Dalai Lama, means: “The six syllables, om mane padme hum, mean that in dependence on the practice of a path which is an indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech, and mind into the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha”
Hence only through moving out of our temporal mental existence in our consciousness through deep meditation, we can reach a higher reality. It is an arduous exercise worth attempting.
Love to you all

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Sequential Process But Concurrent Being

"Before discussing the Trinity as three functions we must look at it in a different way, namely, as three successive stages. And we find that in reality the historical Trinity is also in three stages: the Father, the Creator; then the Son; and then the Holy Ghost. The Paraclete, the Comforter, is left by the Son. So we see that even in the dogma the Trinity is a succession, yet it is in eternity. What is to us separated is together in eternity because there is no time. In the light of the dreamer's associations, then, the Trinity is to be understood in this case as three existing not at once but in succession. His three stages are representations, so to speak, of his three successive conditions- spiritualism, the Father; theosophy, the Son; and psychology, the Holy Ghost." …………………….C.G. Jung, Dream Seminars, p. 605
The concept of the triune God or the Trinity is a doctrine in both Hinduism and Christianity. The three elements of divinity are assigned a function in Hinduism as creator, Sustainer and transformer, within a generic class of Saguna Brahman or the Absolute with qualities.
The Hindu concept of Saguna Brahman was never debated as much as the Christian trinity. This was due to the authority of people like Adi Sankara, Ramanuja and Madhavachariya. They were the  principle proponents of Advaita (Nondualism), Vishishtadvaita (Qualified nondualism) and Dvaita (Dualistic). It was also the nature of the Vedic philosophies being considered as many paths to the same goal.
In the Christian doctrine of the Trinity (Latin: Trinitas, lit. 'triad', from trinus, "threefold") it is that God is three consubstantial persons or hypostases—the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit—as "one God in three Divine Persons". This doctrine was subject to much debate until the pro-Nicene Consensus. The one God and three person concept gelled with two church fathers namely: St. Gregory of Nyssa, and St. Augustine of Hippo.
Till modern times the Christian God was treated as some entity which could be grasped and can be reached only through an unflinching devotion and worship or through a mystical path. Many examples are available in the history of the church. In both modes of ascendency of the human soul to God and ultimate union was available only through divine grace which was a gift to deserving souls. The integral nature of spirituality as non-differentiated and available within one’s individual level of consciousness found no place in the Christian doctrine. This was a qualified nondualism. All worship, rituals and personal spiritual exercises, such as fasting, meditation and mortification, of individuals was to reach an unfathomable external reality. The reformation did a further damage by installing the ‘Doctrine of Justification’. This doctrine assigned the role of salvation or being united with the Godhead only through unflinching faith. The role of the human psyche was relegated to a purely passive role. There was no subjective inner experience or role to play in the process of one’s soul attaining a higher status except through a static level of belief in an archaic dogma.
There are two arguments for the unity of the Godhead in the Trinity and they are the creation argument and the Spatio-temporal argument.
A Lutheran mystic, Emmanuel Swedenborg argues as follows through the creative argument:
“But God, being infinite, cannot create another infinite Being, or another God or gods, to receive His Love and Wisdom. It is impossible for there to be two or more infinite Beings. If there were a God from God, that God from God would either have to be not infinite and not eternal, and thus not a real God, or He would have to be infinite and eternal and thus absolutely one with the first God. For God to create and love another God would thus be God loving Himself in Himself. And this is contrary to the essence of God, which is to love others outside Himself.”
The second is the Spatio-temporal argument. Here we have recourse to science which forces us to take a radically new look at the level of the Godhead. Since the Godhead is the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent plane of unmodified consciousness, it forces us to examine the basic characteristics of consciousness. Today Quantum physics and the study of deeper reality points out that the field that connects all of manifestations and the unmanifest is beyond spacetime. Time is only a subjective experience in the four dimensional world and as I had pointed out in an earlier article, St. Augustine says that time was created along with the universe and hence for God, who exists at all times, he cannot be subject to time. With this knowledge we can safely assume that God and all his attributes transcend time. Hence the three consubstantial persons of Godhead lies beyond time. This is difficult to grasp with our rational, mental level hence it was pronounced as a dogma.
Now we can understand the statement of Jung “What is to us separated, is together in eternity because there is no time”.  The three stages are representation presented to us in dogma so as to grasp our own three successive conditions; namely spiritualism (knowledge of the spirit), Theosophy (knowledge of Divine wisdom) and Psychology (knowledge of our own inner self) as Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
As Divine wisdom operates in our deep understanding of the Trinity, the three stages relate to evolving a Philosophy, a higher level of wisdom and an open mind that operates beyond purely the rational level, this being from a deeper universal unconsciousness. This course of thinking is very much in line with the depth psychology of Jung.

Love to you all

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Divine Union through Annihilation

"The secret essence of the soul that knows the truth is calling out to God: Beloved… strip me of the consolations of my complacent spirituality. Plunge me into the darkness where I cannot rely on any of my old tricks for maintaining my separation. Let me give up on trying to convince myself that my own spiritual deeds are bound to be pleasing to you. Take all my juicy spiritual feelings, Beloved, and dry them up, and then please light them on fire. Take my lofty spiritual concepts and plunge them into darkness, and then burn them. Let me only love you, Beloved. Let me quietly and with unutterable simplicity just love you.” …………………Mirabai Starr
Mirabai Starr writes, speaks and leads retreats on the inter-spiritual teachings of the mystics. Known for her revolutionary translations of John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, and Julian of Norwich, Mirabai renders mystical masterpieces accessible, beautiful, and relevant to a contemporary circle of seekers.
Her language may be lyrical but it has deep layers which needs to be peeled back to reveal the rich meaning at their innermost level. There are parts of the above dialogue, addressed to God, for a special gift for pure love of the Divine.
First of all, we should note that it is the essence of the soul that is making the supplication. It is not the rational mind. The essence of the soul is always in resonance with the frequency of the communication channel between the mortal and the Divine as they both exist in the same domain.
Gift 1: “strip me of the consolations of my complacent spirituality” – Redefining spirituality
In our lives we have a false sense of spirituality. This is the result of the modification of our consciousness through the influence of family, society, religion and culture. We are complacent in our approach to spiritual existence due a dualistic thinking that prayers, mantra, rituals are the goal but not the means for a spirituality oriented living resulting in ultimate union with the Divine. Due to this posture our lives are lead in a perpetuating dichotomy of a meaningless spiritual exercise and worldly living of attachment to the ego dictates. This is what Mirabai calls complacent spirituality. This mental belief system is highly debilitating and hence has to be removed.
Gift 2: “Plunge me into the darkness” – Removal of all separation
The second supplement to the Divine is a process of plunging into utter darkness. We are aware that all of our perception are the result of sensory inputs through sight, hearing, tasting, smelling and touching. The darkness which Mirabai talks off is the total absence of all these medium of communication. The allegory to physical darkness is easy to understand because in utter darkness all separations of objects disappear. The world of duality disappears and we are presented with one field of pitch black reality. This is known to many spiritual mystics as the “Unknowing”. Mirabai says: ““It can be terrifying to find ourselves alone with Mystery.  Yet it is necessary to undergo periods of radical unknowing.” In another mystical text it is beautifully said: “When I say "darkness", I mean a privation of knowing, just as whatever you do not know or have forgotten is dark to you, because you do not see it with your spiritual eyes. For this reason, that which is between you and your God is termed, not a cloud of the air, but a cloud of unknowing.” …………..Anonymous – A Christian Mystical Text “The Cloud of Unknowing” Ch. 4, p. 128.
Gift 3: “To give up on trying to convince myself that my own spiritual deeds are bound to please you” – Removal of the Ego
This conviction that we are in the right spiritual path results from our lifelong operating mode in looking for the guidance of the spirit from an external source such as, prayers, rituals such as worship of external iconic representations, periodic fasting to appease an external personal God. Our Ego has been shaped to consume these activities with a false sense of security. In some religious instructions there is also a threat held out if these rituals are not performed as per diktats of the powers that be. The self has to break this straight jacket in which we have been imprisoned. This cannot be done by an individual alone but requires the assistance of Divine grace.
Gift 4: “dry them up, and then please light them on fire” - Total extinction of my current spiritual status
The emphasis on the nature of annihilation by drying and burning stresses the severity of the false mould in which our spirituality is cast. Total eradication of our current concepts of spirituality is a must to begin the process of integrating our soul or Atman to the supreme reality only through complete realization of the interconnectedness of all that we observe through our limited sensory perceptions and feel the mystical power of the Divine consciousness pervading the entire cosmos. This lead us to the final supplication.
Gift 5: “Let me quietly and with unutterable simplicity just love you.” – Union through surrender
“When we become lost in our lover, what is happening is that our souls are merging. This is an experience that is independent of the physical body. It can be compared to two lights moving closer and closer until they occupy the same space." …………….Sant Rajinder Singh
It is this type of merger of the individual soul with the Divine lover that Mirabai speaks of.
Love to you all.

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Undiscovered Self

“If you look around, you can find a face of God in each thing, because He is not hidden in a church, in a mosque, Temple or a synagogue, but everywhere. As there is no one who lives after seeing him, there is also no one dying after seeing him. Who finds Him, stays forever with him.” …………..Shams Tabriz
In explaining the title of his book “The undiscovered Self”, Carl Jung states:
"Why has the ‘Self’ gone undiscovered?" I must tell you that my American publisher had the grace to invent this title. I would never have thought of it, as the Self is not really undiscovered, it is merely ignored or misunderstood. For about 1900 years we have been admonished & taught to project the Self into Christ, and in this very simple way it was removed from empirical man, much to the relief of the latter, since he was thus spared the experience of the Self, namely the “unio oppositorum”. He blissfully does not know the meaning of the term."
The above two references are from a Sufi mystic, whom Rumi considered as his teacher, and a great depth psychologist. These two contain a great truth which results from a question as to why the “Self has not been discovered.”
Ludwig Wittgenstein, the great rationalist philosopher, in articulating his take of how it is that we can think and speak at all writes in his book “Tractatus” by giving an expression, probably very close to high validity, to a conception of ourselves that was arguably already embedded in our intellectual culture. A conception of ourselves through a composite of our individual representation – mind, which can represent, in a purely subjective mode, the outside world to ourselves, through this mental disposition. we think and say things that are true or false. This mental existence is assumed to be infallible and is used as a tool for acquiring truths about the world – which we call science. This picture of the nature of mind, and hence of ourselves, continues to be the default conception in the cognitive sciences. Minds are representational engines. This reasoning from Wittgenstein could be used as the nature of the only artefact of the “Individual self”.
As Jung says, the higher Self, which is very much within oneself, was assigned to an external metaphysical objective concept such as Christ or any other Divine object of adulation and worship through which various religions taught us the path to realization of Divinity. This is a misleading path orchestrated for humans to have an innate satisfaction that the process to seek the “True Self” was this sole path.
When Shams Tabriz says “there is no one who lives after seeing him” he means one who is a purely materialistic existence because in this mode we assign an external attribute to the Self. This is is a futile exercise. As long as we have a rational mind rooted in this bodily manifestation, the subjective experiences which do not conform to apriori objective concepts are pushed back and invalidated. This is the evolutionary burden we carry. A consciousness which has increasingly become divorced from unitive perception, through nearly 40,000 years of increasing dominance of the rational mind. This is the main block in reaching back into the very depth of our inner self.
In this article I am limiting myself to the early Christian father’s understanding of “unio oppositorum”, an androgyny of opposites.
One of the emergent concepts in the writings of the Fathers of the early Greek church is that of theosis, or the deification of humankind. This idea—that humankind is to find communion with God through assimilation to him, that humankind is to be glorified and become divine itself—finds its locus classicus in Athanasius's statement that God became human so that we might become God. “For he [the Word of God… was made man,” Athanasius declares, “that we might be made God.” [1]

Gregory of Nyssa holds that the very purpose of the Incarnation, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus is to deify humankind and render it immortal through its union with and participation in the divine nature. “In the suffering of His human nature,” Gregory writes, “the Godhead fulfilled the dispensation for our benefit, that all the corruptible may put on incorruption, and all the mortal may put on immortality, our first-fruits having been transformed to the Divine nature by its union with God. [2]

We have lost track of this line of thinking through an extreme control agenda in all religious traditions and it is time with the emergence of integral consciousness in Homo Sapiens we transcend in the evolutionary ladder to Homo Deus seeking and finding the “undiscovered Self”. This is what Christ says in the Gospel of Thomas:
“Jesus said, "Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will marvel, and will reign over all. [And after they have reigned they will rest.]" …………Saying 2
This is the unrelenting process of seeking the higher truth and in its discovery a radical disturbance or transformation and then Joy unbounded then a final culmination in Nirvana,
Love to you all

[1] Athanasius, On the Incarnation, sec. 54, in Christology of the Later Fathers, ed. Edward R. Hardy (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1954), 107. Literally, Athanasius's statement reads, “He was humanized that we might be deified.”

[2] Gregory of Nyssa, Contra Eunomium, bk. 2, sec. 13, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, 2d ser., vol. 5, ed. Philip Schaff and Henry Wace (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1890–1900), 127; see also 101, 179.