Thursday, July 20, 2017

Triad of Perceptions of the Self

Triad of Perceptions of the Self
“He dreamed that he was walking through a vast wasteland. He heard steps behind him. Anxiously he walked faster, but the steps too become more rapid. He began to run, the terror still behind him. Then he came to the edge of a deep abyss and had to stand still. He looked down; deep, deep down, thousands of miles below he saw hell fires burning. He looked around and saw, or rather sensed in the dark, a demonic face. Later on, the dream recurred exactly as before, except that instead of the demon the dreamer saw the face of God. And when he was almost 50 years old he had the same dream for the last time, but this time panicky fear drove him and he jumped off the edge of the abyss into the depths below. As he fell, thousands of little square white cards floated downward with him from above. On each card, in black-and-white, a different mandala had been drawn. The cards floated together into a kind of a floor so that he did not fall into hell but found a firm landing about halfway down. Then, he looked back, upward to the edge of the abyss, and there he saw his own face! The pursuer in the dream is the Self, which appears first as the uncanny, then as God, then as the dreamer himself. In the final dream, which evidently brought with it the solution since it did not recur, the similarity of ego and Self, one the mirror image of the other, is underscored.” …………..Dream of a patient of Marie-Louise von Franz
A powerful depiction of the state of one’s consciousness exhibited through dreams at different stages of one’s life. The three images that the dreamer sees are three different self-perceptions of one’s own self. In Jungian psychology the shadow was an important aspect of the psyche. The shadow is the ‘unconscious aspect’ of one’s personality  with which the ego does not identify itself and usually is largely negative. This is predominant in the first version of the dream as the dark demonic face that follows him to the abyss.
There are, however, positive aspects which may also remain hidden in one's shadow (especially in one’s inferiority complex, anxieties, and false beliefs). To know yourself completely, you must accept your dark side. To deal with others' dark sides, you must also know your dark side. The face of God which the dreamer sees is the positive nature of one’s true consciousness.
We always live in the turmoil and contradiction of trying to relate to these two aspects of our psyche. The jumping off the precipice indicates the plunge into the process of individuation. All mystics go through the dark night of the soul in their individuation process wherein one’s true spiritual nature is realized and united with the universal consciousness.
As Jung explains the more consciousness gains clarity, the more demanding its content becomes and this can be equated to the slippery steep slope of darkness or the abyss as seen in the dream. The individual who has embarked on the process of individuation courageously takes the plunge knowing well that at the end of the plunge he will discover his true identity.
The white cards with mandala are the symbols displayed in one’s intuitive opening up of higher conscious experience, the integration of which finally reveals his own face or his own Self. A mandala is the symbolic representation of the universe in a microcosm. The four portals employed in a mandala symbolizes the four dimensions in which our human consciousness resides. The first requirement for transcendence of consciousness is a perfect balance in spacetime in which we exist. The inner circular patterns based on their intricacy and symbols and colours employed aids our meditative reflection to transcend to higher meanings.
I would like to end this short article with a quote from the same author with whose quote I started:
“The mandala serves a conservative purpose—namely, to restore a previously existing order. But it also serves the creative purpose of giving expression and form to something that does not yet exist, something new and unique. ... The process is that of the ascending spiral, which grows upward while simultaneously returning again and again to the same point.” …………. Jungian analyst, Marie-Louise von Franz, C. G. Jung: Man and His Symbols, p. 225
In my 2006 article in my website I had referred to this oscillation between or spiralling between the human and Divine plenum in the following words:
“As matter encounters singularity at the event Horizon and as the soul encounters the timeless dimension of divine essence or the Zen concept of Sunyata wherein one reaches Satori or enlightenment, we are all talking the same language of manifest creation standing at the very threshold of a true realisation of its current created status and yet knowing that this is illusion or Maya and our destiny lies beyond this creature horizon.”[1] ……….Tiburtius. B
Human existence is on a plane of ‘returning origin’ of our humanity. But this cannot be a permanent presence in our base material and physical nature but a constant ascendency, a spiralling upward journey to our authentic higher nature, for spiritual replenishment. Due to this diligent exercise our returning origin shifts upward towards a new level of transcendence.
Love to you all

[1] http://www.livingspark.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/CREATURE-HORIZON.pdf

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Form is Emptiness and Emptiness is Form

There are many stories about the great Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. This one is unique
One day, when he was sitting by the old dried river bed wondering how to alleviate the thirst of the tribal people, his mind was in turmoil as he was the chieftain and it was his responsibility to find water for them. Many years before this river was a torrent providing abundant water but now only a trickle flowed. He was sitting and looking for alternatives of how to find water when he realized that a troubled and anxious mind cannot think constructively. He should let go of his thoughts and focus his awareness on the river bed where abundant water once flowed. He then realized that with no rain or spring to feed the river, there must be some other source. He then saw many huge boulders up the river, he suddenly realized how in the past the force of the once wild stream must have hollowed out that rock. He then remembered how water tended to puddle in those kind of hollowed out rocks and boulders.
He suddenly cupped the palms of his hands to mimic the hollow shape that he saw in that rock and he wondered why he had never considered that a hollow shape could hold stuff, contain something... water for instance.
Suddenly he became aware of the sound that a few drops of water made that still slowly trickled down the rock wall behind him.
He could hardly find the right words to express what he had just discovered, he somehow blurted out, "Form is Emptiness!" but realizing that people will not understand him he added "and Emptiness is Form!"
When Buddha expounded the “Diamond Sutra” He has the following dialogue with his principle Bhikkhu, Subhuti and the dialogue is as follows:
'Subhuti, what do you think? Are there many particles of dust in the universe?'
Subhuti replied: 'Many, World Honoured One!'
'Subhuti, the Tathagata says these particles of dust are not (real), (but) are (merely) called particles of dust. The Tathagata says the universe is not (real), but it is (merely) called the universe.'
Buddhist cosmology is very advanced and the above dialogue points out to the deep understanding taught by the Buddha. The story and the teachings of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, as well as the Diamond Sutra teaches that the fundamental aspect of reality is emptiness.
As we now understand through research in particle physics and in our exercise of reconciling Quantum theory and Special theory of relativity that the concept of matter as consisting of particle is an illusion. String Theory posits that particle are manifestations of strings of energy vibrating at different frequencies in different dimensions. So the observable universe is an illusionary, collective, objective reality created by perception in a conditioned mind.
If we delve deep my understanding is that consciousness forms the very substratum of both the world of observation as well as the observing mind. Hence in these undifferentiated entities how can one arrive at a duality. Hence all dualities result from a conditioned consciousness rooted in forms.
All ‘rupas’ or forms and ‘lakshanas’ or attributes or the result of corrupted mind.
In a frustrated rational mental mode the existential philosopher Jean Paul Sartre declared:
 “Anything, anything would be better than this agony of mind, this creeping pain that gnaws and fumbles and caresses one and never hurts quite enough.” But this is the truth that grasping reality with our rational mind leads us to a frustrating experience.
The criticality of our mental self-annihilation, a burning to ashes of our overloaded rational mind, is brought out by Friedrich Nietzsche, in his book ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’.
“But the worst enemy you can meet will always be yourself; you lie in wait for yourself in caverns and forests. Lonely one, you are going the way to yourself! And your way goes past yourself, and past your seven devils! You will be a heretic to yourself and witch and soothsayer and fool and doubter and unholy one and villain. You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame: how could you become new, if you had not first become ashes?”
The realization of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara on the river bed and the deep exposition of the Buddha to Subhuti as well as our current enquiry into nature of reality in science should take us on an inward journey of realizing our true nature.

Love to you all

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Voice in the Street and the Wilderness

"The alchemists say that this mystery lies in the most insignificant & cheapest things, rejected and thrown away by all men. This is an excellent description of the unconscious which always seems a minus to us because we cannot see it. It is actually the most insignificant thing, it is everywhere, & yet no one sees it. “Per vicos acclamans", It is calling through the streets [concerning the alchemical mystery & the unconscious], is a very peculiar remark. When the bride in the "Song of Solomon" is searching for the bridegroom, she says : 'I will rise now, & go about the city in the streets, & in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth.'" …………………..C.G. Jung
“As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.” ………..Luke 3:4
While physical alchemy is purely a materialistic process by altering and transforming the properties within matter, spiritual alchemy is concerned with freeing your authentic Self which is trapped and conditioned within you by the polluted content of your consciousness (e.g. your fears, personal beliefs, self-loathing, etc.). Spiritual alchemy is vastly more multi-faceted.
Jung is commonly accorded the recognition as the main advocate and promoter of alchemical process in psychoanalysis. He argued that he had noticed many of the symbols found in alchemy texts mysteriously showing up in the dreams of his patients – most of whom had no prior knowledge of Alchemy.
He concluded that alchemy was a superb expression of the universal symbols of consciousness, and was therefore a highly effective tool for psychological insight. Materia Prima, The Philosophers Stone and Gold are the most commonly known symbols relating to Alchemy.
Materia Prima (or “first matter”), is an Alchemic symbol that reflects the notion that all the universe originated from a primitive, formless base which in Jung’s classification is the universal unconsciousness. This is the materialistic symbolism of Gold in alchemy. The idea of a “Materia Prima” can be traced back to Aristotle who understood that there is a force that holds all other forms in existence together but is itself invisible – these days, this is called “Spirit” in the western philosophical tradition. Science and especially particle physics points to the sub-quantum foam of pure potentiality from which all particle are but vibrations into grosser manifestation. This invisible substratum is a field of pure potential that can only come into existence when it is embodied into a “form.”
It is by refining the base material, such as lead, that the Materia Prima is arrived at. In psychoanalysis, it is the regressive method of using symbols in the dream state of consciousness or evocative symbols that manifest in waking consciousness that pure content of the spiritual status can be derived. This new knowledge can then be used to formulate a process for spiritual transformation. This transformation is a self-actualizing process where the psychotherapist or counsellor plays a catalytic role.
The universal presence of this state of pure potentiality is present everywhere and its expansiveness is symbolized by stating its presence in the ‘street’ as well as in the ‘wilderness’.
A voice calling out in the street as well as in the wilderness symbolized a universal presence which bears meaning only when there is someone to hear. The conscious, subjective tuning into this voice is the tool of transformation. As the Gospel says; it is a call to prepare and straighten the path for this higher state of consciousness to pervade our being.
Jung rightly points out the meaning of the search for the bridegroom by the bride in the streets and broad ways.

Love to you all