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