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.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Purusa and Augustinian Time

““Purusa” means “man” “person” “human being” its primal meaning however, is “Pura” meaning “before” and “Isa” meaning “Lord” as in "the Lord who stands before everything” he is the background upon which everything takes place. The “Purusa” is the Supreme being, Krsna, who forms the background to everything, it is that which is before ( pura ) that which is in front ( pura ) and that which is first ( pura ), it is the ultimate reality which stands “before” everything.” ………..James Robinson Cooper
As the title of this article states, I would like to bring to the reader’s attention the commonality of Eastern and Christian thought as expounded by St. Augustine of Hippo. In the above verse the meaning of the Sanskrit word “Purusa” is explained. It is amply clear and a fundamental tenet of Vedic philosophy that Divine consciousness pervades everything. The emanation of manifestation in the world which we witness is from a background of unchanging symmetry, called Divine consciousness.
khya Karika is one of the six philosophical system which expounds  metaphysical dualism consisting of Prakti and purua. Prakti, or Nature, is comprised of three gua-s or attributes. The highest of the three is sattva (essence), the principle of light, goodness and intelligence. Rajas (dynamics) is the principle of change, energy and passion, while tamas (darkness) appears as inactivity, dullness, heaviness and despair. Purua is manifest in a karmic modification and contains among other things the epistemological apparatus of embodied beings (such as the mind, intellect, and senses). This is why unlike Abrahamic religions, where there is only one life, in Eastern philosophical system there is repeated karmic cleansing through various gross bodies until the state of Samsara is reached when the existent state of Purusa attains a state non differentiated from the primal Purusa. A time experienced by the  unique combination of Purusa and Prakti in any manifestation is unique as time is unique to a specific gross body.
In Christian theology, St. Augustine, through his deep reflection, proposed that God was the creator of time and hence before the Big Bang, which was the instant of all creation as conceived by human consciousness, there could have been no such thing as time. This concept could be extrapolated to state that when human consciousness is extinguished at the dissolution of the gross body, time ceases to exist.
Eternity as commonly misquoted as that period which extends into immeasurable past and future. This perception arises from a temporal consciousness. But as Marilyn E. Ravicz, in his article "St. Augustine: Time and Eternity," states: “Eternity, on the other hand, is defined as the "eternal present" or "eternal day" understood as the Abidingness and unchangeableness of God which "embraces and transcends time”
Augustine saw, through his non-dualistic intuition, that eternity existed within time as an eternal present and, rather than being found through outward searching, it is when one turns the attention of their soul, their "inner eyes," toward God, that they are brought into contact with the Light and the Truth. "It is eternity which hides behind the temporal flow, revealed, if at all, within the instant which we cannot capture." ……… Polk, "Temporal Impermanence,"
This concept resulting from non-dualistic dimension could be understood from the point of view that “past” is created through human memory. This rationalistic approach of before and after and the causal relationship to events contribute to the flow of time from the past to the present. Anticipatory and imagined forward causation creates the future.
In St. Augustine’s life, his realization was that his past was mired in darkness that resided within, yet his "inward" turn brought the true light from without. Augustine directly related this illumination as Godly intervention or as the Eastern thought calls it “Enlightenment”. 
This great intuition of St. Augustine was greatly appreciated and Cosmologists today call the period before the Big Bang event as “Augustinian Time”.
If we take a detour and delve into the study of particle physics, it is now clearly understood that all particles are the result of “broken symmetry”. This was predicted by Professor Peter Higgs, after whom the Higgs Boson is named and is aptly called “God particle”. All particle creation or manifestations evolve from this underlying plenum od supreme symmetry which we can call Purusa or God consciousness.
I hope I have been able to give you some thoughts for reflection.

Love to you all.