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.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Role of the Shadow in Our Lives


There is Sufi story with which I would like to begin this article.
A man entered a village and went to see the Sufi Master. The visitor said "I'm deciding whether I should move here or not - and I'm wondering what the people here are like?" The Sufi Master said "Tell me, what kind of people live where you come from" The visitor said "They were robbers, cheats and liars" The Sufi Master said "You know, those are exactly the same kind of people who live here" The visitor left and never came back. Another visitor entered the village and asked the same question of the Sufi Master "I am thinking of moving here - can you tell me what the people are like?" Again the Sufi Master asked "Tell me, what kind of people live where you come from?" The visitor said "Oh, they are the kindest, gentlest, most compassionate, loving people. I shall miss them terribly" The Sufi Master said "Those are exactly the kinds of people who live here too"
There is a practice in the native tradition of an African tribe called “Ubuntu”.
A human being from an Ubuntu perspective should be kind, generous, friendly, living in harmony with himself, the environment and others, and at one with the creator. “This is what Africa can teach the world,” said Credo Mutwa, the respected Zulu Sangoma, “We have forgotten how to be human beings, and we must remember quickly if we are to save the world. Life is an instrument and we have lost the ability to play it. People live but they are not alive. We must use life and play it like an instrument and make beautiful music.”
If a person in the tribal community commits a grave mistake, this person is brought to a common area where all the local community gathers around the offender and starts reciting all his good qualities and deeds. This is the process of immersion of the person in all his goodness so that his negative elements which were responsible for his wrong doing is washed away. There is no blame.
We have examples in the lives of great spiritual masters of this method of removal of all negativity from society. Christ when the woman caught in adultery was brought before him to be stoned as per the law of Moses, reveals the negativity in each person in the crowd who are calling out for the woman’s punishment by saying: “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” They all went away starting from the oldest first and Christ says to the woman: ““Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” ……….John 8: 3-10
It was Carl Jung who stated the shadow to be the unknown dark side of the personality. According to Jung, the shadow, in being instinctive and irrational, is prone to psychological projection, in which a perceived personal inferiority is recognized as a perceived moral deficiency in someone else. Jung writes that if these projections remain hidden, "The projection-making factor (the Shadow archetype) then has a free hand and can realize its object—if it has one—or bring about some other situation characteristic of its power." These projections insulate and harm individuals by acting as a constantly thickening veil of illusion between the ego and the real world.
If we develop a position of constantly projecting our shadow, all perceived objective attributes, irrespective of their inherent qualities, becomes negative in nature. This type of feed forward and feedback in our daily relational transactions strengthens the individual ego complex and plays havoc with our emotional intelligence.
A typical example is the life of Adolf Hitler. whose personal shadow aspect of the psyche was strengthened towards anti-Semitism due to his own early childhood perception of his ancestry.  Even before Hitler came to power, there were rumors that he was of Jewish descent, a detail of personal history that would be highly damaging, even humiliating to him, and which he went to great lengths to quash. The idea was primarily derived from the fact – not a secret – that his father, Alois Hitler, was illegitimate. Early childhood of Hitler was spent in Vienna which had open anti-Semitic atmosphere.
We are shaped by our social, religious and knowledge environment from early childhood and undoing many of the damages which build up our shadow side of our psyche is a spiritual exercise.
Now the opening Sufi story bears its full meaning when we realize that we bring to our table of transactions what we inherently qualify to be our perception of the objective world through projected attributes of our psyche. This knowledge is the feedback in the process of stabilization of relationships in a mode for empowerment and not unidirectional unqualified control.
Love to you all.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Blending the Mind and the Soul


“O Teacher, what shall I do to reach to Wisdom?
O Wise one, what, to gain perfection?
Search for the Paths. But, O Lanoo, be of clean heart before thou startest on thy journey. Before thou takest thy first step, learn to discern the real from the false, the ever-fleeting from the everlasting. Learn above all to separate Head-learning from Soul-wisdom, the "Eye" from the "Heart" doctrine.
Yea, ignorance is like unto a closed and airless vessel; the soul a bird shut up within. It warbles not, nor can it stir a feather; but the songster mute and torpid sits, and of exhaustion dies.
But even ignorance is better than Head-learning with no Soul-wisdom to illuminate and guide it.
The seeds of Wisdom cannot sprout and grow in airless space. To live and reap experience, the mind needs breadth and depth and points to draw it towards the Diamond Soul. Seek not those points in Maya's realm; but soar beyond illusions, search the eternal and the changeless SAT, mistrusting fancy's false suggestions.
For mind is like a mirror; it gathers dust while it reflects. It needs the gentle breezes of Soul-wisdom to brush away the dust of our illusions. Seek, O Beginner, to blend thy Mind and Soul.” ……….”The Voice of the Silence” by Madam Blavatsky
In the short passage above, Madam Blavatsky captures the entire essence of the true nature of liberation which all spiritual traditions teach. Let us analyze some of the deeper layers hidden in these pronouncements.
The very first advice which the master gives is to “search the paths”. This reveals that there are innumerable paths through which one can travel in one’s search for wisdom. The common fallacy which predominates the spiritual landscape today is that there can be only one assured path to liberation from our ignorance and our ultimate enlightenment. This is strongly pronounced in monotheistic religions. This trend which has been the cause much bloodshed in the world and is the basic cause in the evolution of fundamentalism that conveniently takes a firm footing in the power-mongering political agenda of many countries. Spiritual path should be an individual’s choice after a period of open guidance in the early stages of one’s life.
The role of religion can be compared to a walker which a caring and loving parent gives a child while he or she takes the initial baby steps. Once the child has learned to walk, the aid for further mobility is leveraging the inner potential of the child by proper nurturing and providing the means for a healthy lifestyle. The walker or any external aid has to be dispensed with once the discernments of the individual reaches a certain self-sustaining stage in life. By providing a ‘spiritual-walker’ throughout one’s life, we are totally curtailing the spiritual upward mobility of the individual.
The next advice from the master is the possession of a clean heart. A clean heart cannot be the product of a belief system which debilitates the mental and emotional intelligence of a person, especially in his young age. A clean heart is the product of three dimensions of living. The first is ‘respect’. A respect for all that is life empowering. This includes our parents, elders and teachers. It also includes the whole ecosystem from which we derive our physical and emotional sustenance. The next is a compassionate outreach to all creation. This is reason that the Buddha gave such a top priority for Ahimsa in its true holistic dimension. The last is an ethical and moral attribute in all our relationships especially with all life. The web of life is a Divine gift in which we are called to participate in a role of nurturing. Any thought, word s or actions which is counterproductive to this true purpose cannot be the true path to the spiritual wisdom we seek.
Third important advice is the damage of “Head-learning”.
All bookish knowledge that we may master will not lead us empowering wisdom as the work of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century, “Faustus” brought out in an elegant drama. Head-learning without moderation from a heart based emotional and experiential foundation leads to ego glorification and sense gratification. This is when the master speaks of when he says “…….To live and reap experience, the mind needs breadth and depth and points to draw it towards the Diamond Soul…”. If all the knowledge we gain is purely out of the rational mind, then what we gather is result of illusionary concepts which have their origin in inputs from other minds whose matrix is entirely different from the fundamental nature of any individual’s mind-matrix.
The mind is an intermediary tool or device gifted to us at our human birth. It comes with a preconditioned evolutionary aberration and further gets modified in our worldly nurturing. Our duty is to remove these modifications which distorts our grasp of our true inner nature or empowering spiritual wisdom, only through which we can realize our life purpose of ultimate union with the Divine.
By blending the mind and the soul, we bestow the power to restore the rational mind to become a translucent intermediary in our relation to the created world and the creator.
Love to you all