ATTENTION BLOG FOLLOWERS: All posts prior to January 2018 have been removed as these posts are currently under publication as three volumes under the title: "SELF EMPOWERING WISDOM - THROUGH DEEPER INTERPRETATIONS OF MYTHOLOGIES, SCIENCES AND SPIRITUAL TEXTS"Printed editions will be available soon through most book stores and I will keep you informed.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Myths of Mortal Gods

"Sometimes gods die for the benefit of their people (sacrifice), in which case they're a savior. Other times the god is reborn, actually or symbolically, representing regeneration or seasonal rebirth." ……Alan Watts
In many spiritual tradition that flourished after the onset of agrarian age such as the Indus valley civilization, the Egyptian civilization or the Greek and Hebraic civilization and later the Mayan Civilization, the mythos of sacrificial God and Divine reincarnation was a common theme.
In the various avatars of Lord Vishnu, the preserver of creation, Lord Rama’s story of disappearance from earth happened when he entered voluntarily into the Sarayu River. In the Krishna Avatar he is killed by the arrow of the hunter Jara.
In the Egyptian mythology, the story of Isis, Osiris and Horus in the third century BC was typical of the theme of the virgin birth of Horus, Horus was a redeemer of health and humans in their earthly form; not of souls needing salvation from sin and eternal punishment. Horus the Child was one of a number of so-called 'child gods' of ancient Egypt who appeared in the form known as Shed (Savior) but was a savior from earthly troubles, not eternal ones. The legend of restoration of Horus from death on the intercession of Isis by Thoth is the resurrection theme seen in the Egyptian mythology.
“Examples of gods who die and later return to life are most often cited from the religions of the Ancient Near East, and traditions influenced by them including Biblical and Greco-Roman mythology and by extension Christianity. The concept of a dying-and-rising god was first proposed in comparative mythology by James Frazer's seminal “The Golden Bough”. Frazer associated the motif with fertility rites surrounding the yearly cycle of vegetation. Frazer cited the examples of Osiris, Tammuz, Adonis and Attis, Dionysus and Jesus Christ.
In the study of comparative mythology, Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung point to the dying deity motif in various mythologies such as Baldr in Norse mythology to the feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl in Mayan mythology to the Japanese Izanami.
After having some background on this powerful mythological theme, let us examine some practical understanding of the life process from a cosmological perspective.
When we look at nature, both in our near vicinity or on a global scale, we see that birth and death are universal phenomenon. In our evolving consciousness, humans witnessed this when they moved from being hunter gatherers into settled agrarian societies. The process of growing food and replenishment of all that nourishes the individual and family as the very rudimentary requirement for survival became a vital daily function. In planting and germination of the seed, its growth and harvest as well as in nurturing domesticated animals and feedstock from birth to slaughter for meals was witnessed as purely in an objective mode. At the individual level birth and death was witnessed as something inevitable and not to be abhorred and was integral in nature with the early human’s psyche. With the onset of increased rational thinking and especially with the installation of monotheistic religion, humans were indoctrinated into believing that they have only one life and then we are faced with the uncertainty of eternal reward or damnation. This introduced and increased the fear element into the human psyche when they face death. This is because we have consigned all the deep meanings of mythological symbolisms to a story or fantasy of human imagination deprived of better occupation.
When we lift our eyes to the heavens and look at the stars and how over the ages they have evolved, we can have a more realistic process of thinking about our own existence. Let us see our own Sun. The Solar system and our own Earth is roughly 4.6 billion years old and our Milky Way galaxy is about 13.2 billion years old. This means that our Sun is a middle aged star and it has already gone through three life cycles of creation or birth as well as death. The elements in our body like calcium, Iron and Oxygen are from exploding stars or death of stars. When we eat and nourish our bodies with elements such as Calcium, Iron etc. they come from the very cycle of birth and death. It would be extremely unnatural to perpetuate life and not participate in the cosmic process of eternal revival. What I have written so far is on the physical level but then there is the underlying substratum of vibrating energy of consciousness which is the binding and nurturing force. In truth only through this substratum we receive our individual identity.
The mythology of mortal Gods should evoke our thinking to accept this cyclic process of birth and death or creation and annihilation.
In his book “The Tibetan Book of the Living and Dying”  The great Tibetan Buddhist master Sogyal Rinpoche writes:
”When I first came to the west, I was shocked by the contrast between the attitudes to death I had been brought up with, and those I now I found. For all its technological development and achievements, modern western society has no real understanding of death or what happens in death and after death.
I learned that people today are taught to deny death, and taught that it means nothing but annihilation and loss. That means that most of the world lives either in denial of death or in terror of it. …”
Life is cosmic process and let us participate fully by going with the flow.

Love to you all

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Mythos and Logos

Since I am teaching a course on “Science  & Theology – From Conflict to Confluence”, I thought, for the benefit of my students as well as my blog audience,  I will share two very deep insights. The first from a Nobel prize winning Physicist of the early twentieth century and the father of Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum physics, Niels Bohr and the second from the contemporary Franciscan Theologian Fr. Richards Rohr. OFM, founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, promoting universal awakening within Christian mysticism and the Perennial Tradition.
"We ought to remember that religion uses language in quite a different way from science. The language of religion is more closely related to the language of poetry than to the language of science. True, we are inclined to think that science deals with information about objective facts, and poetry with subjective feelings. Hence we conclude that if religion does indeed deal with objective truths, it ought to adopt the same criteria of truth as science. But I myself find the division of the world into an objective and a subjective side much too arbitrary. The fact that religions through the ages have spoken in images, parables, and paradoxes means simply that there are no other ways of grasping the reality to which they refer. But that does not mean that it is not a genuine reality. And splitting this reality into an objective and a subjective side won’t get us very far." …………., Niels Bohr “Subjective vs. Objective Reality and the Uses of Religion in a Secular World.”
“The Judeo-Christian creation story is told in the form of a cosmic poem (Genesis 1). The realm of myth, art, and poetry can heal and create coherence, connection, and deep trust for the human psyche much better than prose that “tells it like it is.” Rather than orient us toward solving a problem, symbolic language and images turn our focus toward being itself, toward meaning, purpose, and inner life forces. They evoke the depths hidden beneath the practical, self-centered ego, and speak to our personal unconscious—as good therapy does—and our collective unconscious too—as story and myth often do.
There are several levels of knowing and interpreting reality—a “hierarchy of truths,” as Pope Francis calls it.  Not all truths are of equal importance, which does not mean the lesser ones are untrue. So don’t fight useless battles against them. Something might be true, for example, on a psychological, historical, or mythological level, but not on a universal level. Fundamentalists think the historical level is the “truest” one, yet in many ways literalism is the least important meaning for the soul. Facts may be fascinating, but they seldom change our lives at any deep level. I do believe the “historical-critical” method of interpreting Scripture is a helpful frame, without which fundamentalists create a fantasy that looks a lot like their own culture and preferred class perspective.
Scholars since Mircea Eliade (1907-1986) have been making good use of a distinction between logos, or problem-solving language, and mythos. Logos language includes facts, data, evidence, and precise descriptions. Rob Bell describes how “logos language and thinking got us medicine, got us airplanes. . . . For the past three hundred years we have had an explosion of logos language. . . . But the problem is, there are whole dimensions of our existence that require a different way of thinking.”
Bell rightly says, “The Bible is mostly written in mythos language. . . . Good religion traffics in mythos. . . . Mythos language is for that which is more than literally true. . . . Evolutionary science does an excellent job of explaining why I don’t have a tail. It just doesn’t do so well explaining why I find that interesting!” We need mythos language to express the more-than-factual meaning of experiences like falling in love, grief, and death.
Good religion, art, poetry, and myth point us to the deeper levels of truth that logos can’t fully explain. Early Christians knew this; but the Western Church spent the last five centuries trying to prove that the stories in the Bible really happened just as they are described. For some Christians, it’s imperative that the world was created in six literal days, otherwise their entire belief system falls apart. Christianity came to rely heavily on technique, formula, and certitude instead of the more alluring power of story, myth, and narrative. These give room for the soul, mind, and heart to expand. Ironically, from such an open and creative stance, we can actually solve problems much more effectively.
The whole point of Scripture is the transformation of the soul. But when we stopped understanding myth, we stopped understanding how to read and learn from sacred story or Scripture. Children delight in hearing the same fantastical stories over and over again because they are open to awe, mystery, and discovery. Oh that we could all read the creation story with similar childlike wonder and open-heartedness!” ………….Fr. Richard Rohr from “Daily Meditation – Creation”
The beauty of the advancements in current sciences and new findings and hypothesis proposed in Biology, Physics and Cosmology points to a realm of pure abstraction through the use of new language of higher dimensional manifolds and mathematical concepts which are akin to the language of mythology.
Love to you all

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Humanity as Cosmic Pilgrims

In Bhagavad Gita lectures Srila Prabhupada defines the Supersoul as Adhiyajña, and the soul as Adhibhūta.
The Adhiyajna or the Logos is the perennial source from which a human being is breathed into or breathed out of a cosmic body or vesture. Each is a blessed beneficiary of the ceaseless cosmic sacrifice, from dawn to dusk, from birth to death. The meaning of sacrifice must be understood here in its proper context. The word ‘sacrifice’ comes from two Latin words meaning ‘to make holy’. Hence the material manifestation of man is made holy through the investiture of Adhibhūta. At the initiation of manvantara (the end of man) and pralaya (the cosmic dissolution), it is through gratitude and devotion to the Logos as Adhiyajna (the concept off true worship), maintained over many lifetimes and ascending through ordered levels of manifestation, that human beings fulfill the true purpose of their cosmic existence. This gradual ascent is the work of the whole of evolution, and in the end it takes the host of immortal souls to the great day of 'Be-With-Us', which is not a fixed locus or final epoch but a sublime state of spiritual consciousness or in human terms Krishna Consciousness.
In Theosophy, Madame Blavatsky puts the above concept in her own illustrious way:
“It must not be supposed that the Logos is but a single centre of energy manifested from Parabrahmam; there are innumerable other centres...and their number is almost infinite in the bosom of Parabrahmam.' Hence the expressions, 'The Day of Come to us' and 'The Day of Be with us,' etc. Just as the square is the Symbol of the Four sacred Forces or Powers – Tetraktis – so the Circle shows the boundary within the Infinity that no man can cross, even in spirit, nor Deva nor Dhyan Chohan. The Spirits of those who 'descend and ascend' during the course of cyclic evolution shall cross the 'iron-bound world' only on the day of their approach to the threshold of Paranirvana.” …..............Secret Doctrine i 134
For the information of Christian believers, this resonates with the evolutionary trajectory proposed by Teilhard de Chardin as the Omega Point culminating in the Divine Logos. Teilhard argued that the Omega Point resembles the Christian Logos, namely Christ, who draws all things into himself, who in the words of the Nicene Creed, is "God from God," "Light from Light," "True God from true God," and "through him all things were made." In the Book of Revelation, Christ describes himself thrice as "the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end." The Divine manifestation in the human nature of Krishna or Jesus must be referred as Krishna consciousness or Christ consciousness (Teilhard called this as Cosmic Christ). We dilute and distort this beautiful and spiritually empowering concept when we assign only the historical and physical dimension of a Divine manifestation.
In his book “The Spirit of the Liturgy “ Pope Benedict XVI, wrote:
“And so we can now say that the goal of worship and the goal of creation as a whole are one and the same—divinization, a world of freedom and love. But this means that the historical makes its appearance in the cosmic. The cosmos is not a kind of closed building, a stationary container in which history may by chance take place. It is itself movement, from its one beginning to its one end. In a sense, creation is history. Against the background of the modern evolutionary world view, Teilhard de Chardin depicted the cosmos as a process of ascent, a series of unions. From very simple beginnings the path leads to ever greater and more complex unities, in which multiplicity is not abolished but merged into a growing synthesis, leading to the “Noosphere”, in which spirit and its understanding embrace the whole and are blended into a kind of living organism. Invoking the epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians, Teilhard looks on Christ as the energy that strives toward the Noosphere and finally incorporates everything in its “fullness’. From here Teilhard went on to give a new meaning to Christian worship: the transubstantiated Host is the anticipation of the transformation and divinization of matter in the christological “fullness”. In his view, the Eucharist provides the movement of the cosmos with its direction; it anticipates its goal and at the same time urges it on.” (emphasis added by the book’s author)
Let every moment of our lives, which is a Divine gift for restoration of our true Divine nature, be spent in constant endeavor towards a sacrificial worship, making holy, through every thought, word and deed.

Love to you all