Saturday, March 10, 2018

satan

In the fifth grade, a Sister of Mercy ( a bit of irony here) told the class I was in, stories about how certain saints were tormented by Satan.  Her stories would relate episodes of Satan, not only tempting the particular saint, but also of his unsolicited appearances, some times in forms of the most grotesque nature, i.e. a horned biped, half goat and half monkey, with hoofs and a tail.  Before I heard these stories my concept of Satan was of an interior voice of temptation enticing me towards bad ends.  After hearing these stories, my concept of Satan had expanded to a substantive, menacing form, capable of making appearances at will.  This expanded perception of Satan, plus my imagination caused me many sleepless nights of possible appearances by Satan right in my bedroom.  What was more, I knew that if the saints and Jesus the Christ could not prevent such visitations, how could I?  It seemed to me just a matter of time before my sin infested soul would be made to submit to the Devil's will, and reap my punishment of eternal damnation.

The belief in Satan as an omnipotent god, essentially evil, is extremely damaging to the human soul. It puts such an entity on par with the God of Goodness, and  because there is more evil in our world, the Devil gets a home court advantage; not the most hopeful set of circumstances for those human's aspiring for good.   Yet the fact is, that a belief in Satan as a separate and omnipotent power, is a fundamental doctrine of most all sects of the Christian religions.  Every Christian priest, preacher, evangelist, and theologian the world over uses Satan as the fountainhead for all the evil manifested on earth, and then proclaims in the same breath, that they are the sword of the righteous hand of God that can smite down that evil being.  No Satan could be more persistent in slandering his enemy or more spiteful in his hatred than the priests, preachers, evangelists, and theologians are cursing him as the father of all evil.  In that vehemence against Satan by the ecclesiastical agents of God and Jesus the Christ, resides an unforeseen paradox of a most profound nature.

In there spite, rage, and vehement denouncement of Satan resides the very same evil, on par or exceeding any alleged exhibition of spite and rage by Satan that they are condemning.  There is an old Latin adage, "demon est deus inversus," the meaning is, demon is god inverted.  This adage defines evil as the lining of god and immediately presents a deep paradox; God, the "ideal" of good , is also the initiator of evil.  If God is the Universal Root of every thing in Nature, were comes evil if not from the same womb?  In answering that question we are forced to either accept the emanation of  good and evil as off shoots from the same Tree of Being, or to believe in two eternal absolutes, as is expounded Christian doctrine.

The idea of two Eternal Absolutes is an absurdity of the highest order, and laughs in the face of all  that is reasonable and logical.  Infinite God can not be separated in any manner, without destroying its infiniteness.  Even in the world of the finite,  if a whole or unity is separated, its original unity is not maintained.  It does not become  two separate wholes, with the same unification as its original unity. Thus the idea of an infinite or absolute God or Good co-existing with an infinite or absolute Devil is absurd.  Yet, this very same absurd idea of two eternal absolutes is one of the fundamental doctrines taught and believed in by most Christina religions of our day. 

The biblical authority for such a belief seems to come from, James, Gen. Ep. of James, 1, 13. "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God, for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man."  If evil does not come from God, as is stated by James, and cannot be a random creation because God would have to create it, it must come from some other absolute source.  This absolute source was made to blend in with the biblical account of the "Fall of Satan." and his hosts from heaven.  Satan, the wisest and most beautiful of the Lord's Archangels, decides, "Better to reign hell than to serve in heaven"...Satan is made to "fall" from heaven to earth, thus becoming the fountainhead for all terrestrial evil. This complex allegory of the "Fall," when taken literally as does Christian doctrine, presents many logical flaws.  For instance, if Lord God caused Satan's fall, isn't it a clear act of a superior not an equal.  Isn't Omniscient God the effective cause for Satan's appearance on earth, and mustn't God accept responsibility for Satan's spread of evil?  Further, if infinite God
is of a superior quality than Satan, but sets Himself as Satan's adversary, isn't this action at least contrary to the idea of an infinite God?

In addition to the above logical flaws there is an even greater inconsistency in the Christian doctrines of two eternal absolutes, which comes directly from Jesus the Christ's own mouth: "Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from all evil."  "Lead us not into temptation," is addressed daily to "Our Father, which art in heaven."   It is crystal clear that the petitioner of this prayer believes he is asking God the Father, whom, he believes is a source of afflictions and troubles, to lead him not into temptation but deliver him from all evil.  Jesus the Christ seems to set the paradox clearly on the side of evil as the lining of God.  If accepted literally, the two teachings of Christ and James severely contradict each other, and what known Christion teaching can reconcile the two?
   Here is a recent up-date to the prayer, "Our Father,"  The sentence, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from all evil," has been deleted from the prayer by Pope Francis,  He has the power of infallibility, when it comes to decisions of faith and morals.  Make your own decision of why the Pope changed that sentence.

There exist a teaching, however, which leads to the pathway of truth, and it comes from the ancient doctrine of Pantheism.  Antiquity knew of no absolute 'bad god or evil devil.'  Pagan thought represented good and evil as twin brothers, born from the same mother-Nature.   We can find this same thought echoed within the ancient written and oral traditions of cultures the world over.  For instance, in an ancient creation story told by the Cherokee Indians of North America:
      "Star Woman was impregnated by fruitful winds, stirring her seed to fruition.  These winds surrounded Mother Earth, obscuring light, until her sons captured the fire of inspiration, manifest as lighting flashing forth from the winds of Thunder Bird.  From Star Woman first came two sons of opposite natures.  One son, whose face like ascending light was born in a natural manner.  The second son, whose face was likened to descending light, argued and fought against the natural order of things; he was born from beneath his mother's arm, causing her death." ( pps. 31-32, Voices of Our ancestors).

With every people through out the world, except for the Christians Nations, the devil is to this day no worse an entity than the opposite aspect of the dual nature of the Creator.  Evil is treated as force, which is antagonistic, but at the same time essential to Good, as giving it vitality and existence.  Good and Evil are twins.  Separate them, by cutting off one from the other, and they both die. Neither exist per se, since each has to be generated and created out of the other, in order to come into being.  It is the mortal human mind which separates them in order that they can be objects of perception and bring some understanding. 

Satan never assumed an anthropomorphic existence, until the creation, by humans. of an anthropomorphic, personal god.  The personal god, proclaimed as absolute good and merciful,  needed a scape-goat to explain the crudity and injustices perpetuated by him.  Also, Satan as a personal devil was needed by the Christion Church to up hold the dogma of Jesus the Christ as the second in their trinity.  They are indebted to the Devil and his minions, for their Savior, but if not for them, there would be no Redeemer and no Christian Church as it is now known. 

The concept of Satan as an absolute entity is so basic to the religious syntax of Christianity that the above inquiry about its existence may seem as offensive, even blasphemous.  Satan is wrapped up so tight and thick with fear, that most Christians are troubled by the mere thought of him.  Consequently, most Christians adopt the attitude of fearful avoidance when it comes to any conceptual contact with Satan, leaving such for the demon "experts:" the priests, preachers, evangelists, and theologians.  Not only are most Christians fearful and terrified of any association with Satan,  but also terrified by the wrath incurred by God and by the Church for such association. The only condition under which Satan can be used safely, without fear, is to use him to scape-goat responsibility of their bad conduct.  "The Devil made me do it."  "I take some responsibility for my bad conduct, but the Devil initiated my will to act, thus releasing me from full responsibility."

Keeping in mind the great fear, divine wrath, and moral relief surrounding the concept of Satan, it isn't difficult to understand the great volatility inherent in any examination. Yet, there is a great need for close examination of the Christian concept of Satan, because as it now stands it leads to gross contradiction with the result that confuses and clouds the pathway to true understanding and spiritual growth.  
         



  



Wednesday, February 7, 2018

finding truth

If every human spoke the truth, there would be no arguments, no rebuttals.  If everything that was spoken was the truth the only reply would be agreement, "Yes."  In our experience however, we understand that truth is relative to the speaker; people speak "their truth," and what usually follows are their proofs of their truth.  A Theosophist, G. de Purucker. defines proof as, "the bringing of conviction to the mind, and this conviction is brought by a preponderance of evidence."  Regardless of the preponderance of evidence, our physical world is encased within duality and paradox. All physical manifestation, from atom to star,  functions within apposing cycles: light and darkness, happiness and suffering, etc.  So every personal or even scientific truth and proof can be rebutted by its dualistic opposite.  Even within the scientific method, there is a calculation of finding a point of possible failure within the proposed scientific theory.  How about "believe?" It surely can stand alone as the cauldron of truth?  If and when you might seriously break down what you believe, you would find that most of your belief is based on: cliché, someone else's thoughts, believes or opinions; usually there is no investigation of evidence for you to base your belief on because you have already identified it as truth.  In effect, your belief is a selected bias, not truth.  How about "faith and hope," surely truth can be found within these ideas?  Within faith lies the bias of belief, because without belief, faith has no foundation; it does not have the preponderance of evidence to stand alone.  Alexander Pope, in his poem,  "An Essay On Man," proclaimed, ..."Hope springs eternal in the heart of the human breast," but in his next line, which most people do not know, says, "man never is but always to be blessed."  So, even though there is the idea of "hope," it floats like a phantom, never to be grasped. 'Thanks Lou!' I can hear you saying, 'you just put a crimp in our ideas which we come to rely on for comfort and possibility.'  My response is, "Don't take my word for truth or for any thing else, become a seeker not a believer; dig, investigate, bring truth to your own experience, making the truth you found a reliable building block for your living foundation. 

So the question remains, "Where do you find truth?"  There is a certain quality of truth, that as human beings we are intuitively receptive.  There is a certain steady consistency, a reliable, efficient  cause, a specific outcome that most always occurs, a central vibration, that we harmonize with.  For finding truth we need to look no further than Nature. For instance, here in MN. winter is fulfilling its final phase, and soon, like clock work, spring will emerge, and than summer, than fall, and thus it has been demonstrated, the seasonal cycle has been completed.  In addition to Nature, we can seek and find truth within our solar system, and within our entire Universe.  Think about the consistency of our earth's cycles, our moon's cycles, the regularity of our sun's, and planet's orbit.    You may say, "Even if we were astral physicist we could not comprehend the truth of our solar system, and certainly could not comprehend the entire Universe."  The poet Edmond Burke, suggested a universal connection between us and the entire Universe,  he writes, ..."you cannot disturb a flower with out affecting the stars."  Why do you think that when we humans experience cosmic events like, eclipses, meters flashing through the dark sky, the zodiac signs revealing themselves in the night sky, the dawning and setting of the sun, the northern lights; these events thrill and excite us to our cores, and existentially unify us with the cosmos.

Sadhguru, in his book, Inner Engineering, crystalizes our life's greatest ambiguity:
   "The planet is spinning on time; not a small event.  All the galaxies are managing fine, the whole cosmos is doing great.  But you have one nasty little thought crawling through your head, and its a bad day.  The problem is you are living in a psychological space that bears no connection with reality.  And you are insecure, because it can collapse at any moment.
     In the vastness and grandeur of cosmic space, if you look at yourself in perspective, you are less than a speck of dust.  But you think that your thought-which is less than speck of dust- should determine the nature of existence.  You have lost your perspective of life; that is the basic problem."

Life, is the ultimate cause of life.  Since we live in a dominate, objective world, we consequently attach, unquestionably to the truth we can see, hear, touch, smell, and taste, and because our mind identifies and fosters these material truths, we create a psychological matrix that is used to express our living perspective.

Existentially, the Universe is in us and we are in it; we are both the same in essence.  If you explore deeply into the nature of life you will find that any previous conclusions you have drawn, will fade away within the endless processes of life.  Theoretical Physicist have suggested that life, in whatever form, material or ethereal, is produced by the same matrix of energy.  So, rock or atom are produced by the same quality of energy.  As an example, back in 1984, there was a science fiction movie called, "Cocoon."   Aliens from another solar system, came back to earth to retrieve members of their party that had been left on planet earth some thousands of years previous.  They needed help from humans in order to retrieve their members.  However, the quality of their natural form was pure energy beings, and in order to not frighten the humans they shape changed into humans.  Here we have pure energy beings, seamlessly shifting themselves into physical beings. all within the realm and guidance of Universal Nature.  Here on the other hand, are we humans whose quality of being is physical. but through evolution, aspiring to shape change into spiritual, realized, ethereal beings, under the realm and guidance of Universal Nature.  There is a saying, that we humans, are spiritual beings, experiencing a material world.  As such we are, aspiring within the eternal urge of our human heritage to be a realized, spiritually enlightened being.

As fascinating and incomprehensible as this appears to your biased mind, use your imagination, try expanding your perspective, dig, seek your experiences, memories, your cosmic identification,  your identification with Nature, any verification of the truths that surround  you; expand yourself, there is much more joy in expansion then in repression.  Don't take my word for it.                     



  


Friday, December 22, 2017

EXPANSION OF HUMANNESS

You are a human being, "I know that," you are probably saying.  "I learned about human beings somewhere in elementary school."  Some times however, that which appears simple and obvious actually turns out to be complex and obscure.  How many times have you been surprised to find a more comprehensive meaning in otherwise commonplace materials, events, people, and ideas.  For instance, the teenager who absolutely believes that his parent's attitudes about life are narrow and old fashioned, but after a few years of maturity comes to find wisdom in those very same parental attitudes.  It seems that facts have  "real" meaning only so fare as you can find an experiential value in them.  Facts in the form of data, gathered solely for the sake of gathering and increasing the amount of information, no matter how intricate and organized, do not automatically synthesize into their intricate value.  You and our culture at large, must deliberate and ascribe meaning and corresponding value.

Somewhere in elementary school, a teacher gave you what appeared to be a complete definition of a human being.  He or she explained that humans were scientifically classified as a species of mammal distinguished by having vertebrae, self-regulating body temperature, hair, and in the females, milk producing mammae.  He or she also explained that humans were further distinguished from other mammals by having a superior intellectual capacity.  You accepted that explanation and immediately crystalized it into "real" fact merely on the authority of the teacher.  For most of you, the understanding of a human being remains at this unexamined casual level.  You probably never considered that there might be something deeper to discover.

Over the ancient temple at Apollo was the carved Greek phrase, "Know thyself."  This phrase was not meant as a decoration or as a catchy marketing slogan, but as a practical reminder that human life is a microcosmic of the macrocosmic principles of our cosmos.  You and the cosmos are one, you in it, and it in you.  Can there be any wonder why that famous oracle gave answer to many inquiries with the now famous phrase, "Know thyself."  Your humanness lies within the vastness of the Universe, and is only slightly reflected in the scientific definition of a mammal.

Human beings, by comparison to all other animals, are nowhere as physically and psychologically specialized . Physically humans are generally homogenous, varying only as to size and color.  The equatorial human's exterior form is not that much different from a native human being living in the arctic region.  Psychologically the human mind, in relationship to animal instinct seems to exhibit a much greater potency for evolvement.  While animals are relatively limited by a primary set of behaviors, human beings can transmute habitual behaviors.

You are much more then an animal of flesh and bone operating in an external environment.  You are multidimensional, functioning beyond the exact measurement of any of your parts.  You are a composite of several distinct but mutually inclusive elements.  These elements range from the physical and psychological, to the spiritual.

Over the course of human reflection or the knowing of thyself, certain elements have been identified in the make-up of human beings.  This distinction, in terms of elements, does not fully express the deep comprehensiveness of the nature of these parts of the human constitution.  Humans are composite beings, and their composition can be identified and classified, yet these classified elements represent more than their mere naming and ordering. They are essentially principles of conscious energy or force, manifesting and operating under their own cosmic laws.  These principles have been classified and divided into several different patterns by various human races and cultures.             
One pattern was a categorization into four principles, another into five, and still others expanded into seven or ten principles.  In our Western culture, three basic principles have been distinguished: body, soul, and spirit.  This pattern was followed and pasted foreword by St. Paul. while the expanded patterns are the understanding of the ancient Hindus and Orientals.

A look at the pattern of seven principles will provide a good representative view as to the nature and organization of the principles.  The brake down is as follows, with the original Sanskrit names and the translations:
                            1. Rapa.............................the body
                            2. Prana or Jive...................vitality
                            3. Lingra Shaeira................astral body
                            4. Kama Rupa.....................animal body
                            5. Manas.............................human body
                            6. Buddhi.............................spiritual soul
                            7. Atman..............................spirit

It would be impossible to separate and exhibit each of these principles because they are not on the same plane of existence.  The finest gases of which the human body is in part chemically composed would be gross substances when compared to the higher principles.  These principles can only be separated in a conceptual manner, allowing them to be "looked" at individually.

The following description of the principles start from the lowest to the highest.  The Body, represents an atomic aggregation outlined as to body-form in enert matter.  Vitality is a psycho-electric field manifesting in the individual as life current or vital fluid.  It is made alive or matter as an aspect of force.  Astral Body, a model body around which the physical body flows or develops as a growth process.  Animal Soul, is were all the material elements dwell, various desires, affections, hates, loves, in short the various mental and psychical energies, and also the vehicle of the will.  The Human Soul, is the center of the ego-consciousness, and is the seat of mental activity.  The Spiritual Soul, is the principle which gives spiritual consciousness to humans, and is the vehicle of the most high part of a human spirit.  The Spirit, the highest part of a human, his Higher Self, pure consciousness.  The essential and radical power or faculty in humans which gives him or her knowledge of Selfhood.  This is not the personal ego-self, but is the Universal Self; the inner most link with the Unutterable, Supreme Intelligent Power, which in ancient India was called the "Self."

As extraordinary as these principles of human beings may seem to you, their naming and classification only represent the most basic understanding.  These same principles penetrate into the very essence of our cosmos.  Truly, you are much more the a species of mammal with a larger and more potent mind capacity.  



      .

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

my two cents-again

The Hindu calculation of the current evolutionary cycle of our world, is what they call, Kali Yuga, and means, "The Dark Age."  The duration of this dark age, is to be, 500,000 years, of which 5000 to 6000 years have been already spent.  The time period of 500,000 years, is more or less than this estimate of duration, for with the Hindus the exact duration of cycles given to the public is always cloaked.

If we ever awaken from our obsession with our electronic devices, remove the tyranny of time, for only a few minutes, mature  beyond seeking satisfaction for every sensation, we might gain just enough clarity to understand the real dangers and affects of  this dark age.  The force of direction of this dark age is toward materialism and rampant self-satisfaction; the negative or dark side of life.  Of course, the light side is not completely extinguished, but exposes itself continuously and opportunistically through out the dark age's course.   The primary affect of this dark age is what might be called the "Pinocchio Affect."  Using the Disney interpretation of the story of  Pinocchio as an metaphor: we see Pinocchio, school books in hand, walking to attend school, when on his way the Wolf intercepts Pinocchio and seduces him with an invitation to Pleasure Island.  There, said the Wolf, "All your desires can be satisfied, twenty four hours, day in, day out, and at no cost to you."  Pinocchio, engrossed with the idea of having all the pleasures he could want, skips happily and voluntarily under the arches of Pleasure Island.  As Pinocchio and the other children indiscriminately feed their desires, they begin to, slowly but surely, morph into donkeys. When the morphing process is totality completed the Wolf and his cohorts lead the now donkey herd into wagons, and bring them to auction houses, where they are sold to business people as slave labor.

If you haven't figured it out as yet, we live within a dualistic reality: hot/cold, pleasure/pain, male/female, night/day, spirit/matter, etc.  There are three very ancient symbols which represent the duality in which we live: first, the Buddhist symbol, a circle with dark and white  forms within the circle's interior; you might recognize it by thinking of the Chinese, yin and yang. Next, (keep in mind that this is a very ancient symbol), is the swastika, another favorite Buddhist symbol, a cross with broken arms bent at right angles.  The German Nazi Party used this ancient symbol to designate their party, but defaced the original, ancient meaning to meet their needs.  The vertical line of the cross represents the spiritual aspect of life, while the horizontal line represents the matter side of life.  The right angle arms suggest, life, movement, and forward progress.  The third symbol is known as the Egyptian Tau.  It is a cross with a circle at the top of the vertical line descending from it.  Its meaning is similar to that of the swastika, however emphasizing the movements and circulations of consciousness in evolution.  If you study these three symbols, single mindedly and separately, they may bring insights that substantiates your empirical idea of the characteristics of the duality in which we life.  When you bring enough pertinent facts together the truth emerges.

Lets us write a litany of the effects of the full morphing process into donkeys, using our country as a point of reference.  When all our U.S. power and influence is measured against the qualities of life, such as peace of mind, harmony, tolerance, and joy, we are found to be severely lacking.  While we proclaim our superior economic "standard of living" far and wide, we allow vice under every form to flourish in every city and community.  While we advise other countries to follow our principles of living, we consume a quarter of all the world's resources, yet we represent only one-fifth of the world's population.  While we are mentally absorbed in inventing new, cheap products or innovating old products to make them cheaper, our waste of resources is vast enough for entire countries to use and live well.  While we shop in a pet store and become frustrated over which brand of dog food to purchase, people over the world are starving to death.  In our country forty-five million citizens are living in poverty.  While we indulge ourselves on every level possible, the air and water the whole world breaths and drinks is being polluted by those very businesses'  providing the means for our gratification.  While we measure our Gross National Product in the zillions of dollars, our rate of drug addiction and over does deaths, murders, and suicides are among the highest in the world.  While we look great and powerful from the outside, we are corroded on the inside.  We have become self-seeking and self-satisfying, and in turn have become slaves to our own vices and to foolish social and economic customs.  This is a form of mental slavery of the most destructive kind.  This litany of the effects of the Dark Age have not here been exhausted, much more can be added;  and as the pertinent facts expands the truth emerges.

I am not preaching doom and gloom of Judgment Day proportions, because Universal Nature's essence is not annihilation, but evolution within harmony, balance, and unity.  Yet, "We cannot (either) always live on the enthusiasm of heavenly joy.  The rosy hue of dawn does not reach round the world; it chases darkness," (Recension by, William Q. Judge, "Bhagavad-Gita", page 122).  The relationship of the extremes within the duality are not static, but dynamic; they interact, and in so doing, commingle.  Let us use, as an example, Kali Yuga, the dark age of the Hindus as it reacts and interacts within the its opposite, the light side.  All dualistic extremes originally start at a point of balance.  From this balance point or rest point, the Dark Age begins its unfolding, (think of a clockwise circular movement around the outline of a circle). within the parameters of Universal Nature.  Simultaneously, as the dark side unfolds, the light side. begins to inscroll itself.  This movement continues until the dark side maxis-out, and reaches its balance or rest point.  The balance point is an inner pause in which progress takes place. The pause is like sleep, like the stillness before a storm.  It is the point before transition; where all things are cleared or exhausted to make ready for the change.  From this half rotation, (keep in mind a circle), the light side begins to unfold, and the dark side inscrolls, until the light side maxis-out and reaches its balance point.  The full rotation of the light side and dark side is called, in Hindu parlance, the Day and Night of Brahma, the duration of which is some where around 8,640,000,000 years.

This great wheel of evolutionary life, evolves many minor wheels, like wheels within wheels: the 24 hour day/night, the solstices and equinoxes, the four seasons through the 365 day year, the fourteen day moon wheel round the earth, the wheels of the sun and planets and their moons, etc..  All the above, comes under the operational guidance of Universal Nature, who marks its own time and effects in relation to the quality of karma of evolving life within the various wheels.  Put that in your pipe and see what kind of smoke comes out.  Who said that ascending the ascent to wisdom would be easy?

Pythagoras of Samos, one of the wise men who walked on our earth, is credited with using the word, "philosopher."  His meaning and use was, "a lover of wisdom."  The meaning of philosopher has morphed over the centuries, into systems or schools of thought.  Now days a philosopher is one who expounds on a particular system of thought.  Pythagoras's meaning did not particulate certain systems of thought, but the seeking and utilizing the truth, no matter where it is found.  As the Dark Age evolved into our current time, we see that truth is expounded on by self proclaimed experts, degree academicians, scientists, preachers, and anyone who is connected to the internet. There is such a diversity and high-volume of wisdom-less truths constantly flying through our eyes and ears that our likes can quickly attach to, and because of our loose attachment to our likes we can swiftly change to the most popular expert's theory or opinion.  Since most of the expert's theories and opinions lack comprehensive wisdom,  our beliefs are weakened. This weakness compels us to seek strength, power, and zeal at the extremes.  Thus, here in the twenty first century, we sit stuck in the mire of the extremes. with little ability to compromise.  Instead we stand on false principles, and are willing to go to war up-holding these weakened principles. 

Again we see the effects of living in the Dark Age.  The good news is that the light side has not abandoned us.  Although, the dominance of the Dark Side makes it more difficult to incorporate the light side into our lives, it is not an impossible achievement.  We must learn how to build spiritual knowledge, and use it as a foundation and shield, by making yourself the center of authority and filtering all information through the standard of the light side and truth.  In that way you can withstand all the illusions and force of the Dark Age.  It is like anything we aspire to and highly value; plant your desire within your will, imagination, and faith.  Whether you like it or not, the evolutionary wheels continuously revolve, alternating the light and the dark side, leaving you to choose which path to follow.

I leave to contemplate a poem by, Maximinus, a Renaissance, Roman poet, about the Pythagorean Y.

                                  The Pythagorean Letter two ways spread
                                  Shows the two paths in which Man's life is led.
                                  The right hand track to sacred Virtue tends.
                                  Though steep and rough at first, in rest it ends.
                                  The other broad and smooth, but from its Crown
                                  On rocks the Traveler is tumbled down.
                                  He who to Virtue by harsh toils aspires,
                                  Subduing pains, worth and renown acquires.
                                  But who seeks slothful luxury, and flies,
                                  The labor of great acts, dishonor'd dies.
                                         


       

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

idenity


Some time ago I lead a workshop entitled, "identity."  I had drawn a neutered figure of a human being on a piece of paper: arms no hands, round face, no hair, nose,  eyes, ears, torso, legs no feet,  and gave each participant a copy.  I instructed them to write down every thing, in a column, that they believed identifies their selves' as "me."  A curious thing happened before the participants begin to write their identities down, many of them felt compelled to complete the neutered form by drawing in hair, eyes, nose, ears, lips, hands, and feet, according to their race and gender .  It seemed to me that they had a  personal need to fill in the blank spaces because they had already identified their selves' with that neuter form.  My next instruction was to take those identifying features, and select and place each feature under four categories: physical/material features, psychological/mental features, emotional/sensitivity features, and spiritual/religious features.  I advised them that they could change, add on or subtract, any of the identities of the four columns as they wished.  My next instruction was to rank each of the four classifications and their specific identifications in terms of their importance to them: either, high, medium, or low, and their accompanying feelings of either, happiness, joy or bliss.

What I was intending to do with all the above classifications is to awaken an awareness within the participants that their identifications make up a defining matrix for their living persona.  There are obvious questions that should be asked and answered within this identification process: "What is it about our identifications that allows us so incidentally, to attach them to our selves, and what is the process that makes it possible?"  The simple answer to both of these questions is, the processor is our mind.   Our minds are an essential piece of the unity of the cosmic technology that make up human beings.  Our minds are a highly sophisticated soft-ware implanted within our bodies.  Our minds are always on, 24/7, 365. and are subtle and fluid, moving quickly in and out, attaching to our memories-past, present, and projecting memories into would-a, could-a, should-a, stories. The ancient alchemists claimed that the most powerful qualities of mind are: will, imagination, and faith, and also added a qualifier, "desire" as the instigator.  Our mind is agile, flitting from one thing to another, seemingly beyond our conscious control, excuse the following pun, our mind seems to have a mind of its own.  Our mind is so frenetic because it is seeking, under a unrelenting cosmic urge, to find repose, and not just repose but total repose, total peace, total fulfillment.  This cosmic urge is built into the technology of all manifestation.

The mind is not an objective thing, but encompasses many functions, and  one of these functions is intelligence.  The mind's intelligence is qualified evolutionarily, to the dimension of the physical world.  It receives memories and sensations from the senses, and then asserts direction from our lived experiences. This part of our mind we call our intellect, and our intellect is built to dissect, to discriminate one thing from another.  Once your intellect identifies with something, you begin to move within the sphere of what has been identified.  Whatever you are identified with, all your thoughts and emotions evolve from that identification.  It is your identity that determines your intellect.  I can hear you saying to yourself, "What!!!!."  Our mind is usually considered on an equal par to our brain, however our brain is the physical computer, a desk-top, if you will, of the mind. The mind can bridge the physical dimension, and can exist naturally in the higher cosmic, or if you will, spiritual dimensions.

Our minds are the frenetic, primary culprit for our inability to bring it under our control.  The mind operating within the material plane can satisfactorily maneuver, with its quality of rationality, bringing a level of consciousness for survival. However, because of its lack of complete repose brings mostly suffering, stress, and anxiety to our lives.  St. Augustine is said to have said, para-phasing, "I can tell my finger to move and it responses, but when I command my mind to do something it has other ideas."  Those spiritual seekers who try to discipline their mind tell us "It is like lassoing the wind,"  Yet, as Yoda might say, "Difficult yes, impossible no."

So, the difficulty with controlling our mind is it's fleeting quality, its magnetic ability to identify itself with objects, ideas, senses, and emotions.   You maybe asking yourself,  is there a practice or an assortment of practices I can use to control my mind?  Let us take an example, you are driving with a friend, and suddenly a car passes you and cuts in front of you, nearly hitting your car. You become enraged, yelling and screaming.  Your friend tells you to take several deep breaths. You take the advice and almost magically you calm down, but it takes more time for your emotions to settle.  The seekers of mind control tell us that the mind follows the breath.  So, you can control your mind by using breathing techniques.  Seekers of mental control tell us that using a mantram is another practice to help control the mind.  A mantram or Holy Name, is a powerful spiritual formula which has the capacity to transform consciousness when it is repeated silently in the mind. The mantram works to steady the mind, and all those enflaming emotions and anxieties.  Select a mantram that appeals to you deeply. My mantram is "Father."  Another powerful practice that fits in with our mind control is meditation.  Meditation is the most powerful practice for control of your mind.  Essentially, you sit quietly with yourself, paying attention to your breath, going in, and going out.  Some Zen Masters are known to have sat for fifteen hours or more, and some gurus have sat for days.  

Let us bring the discussion back to identity, and tie it into the elements of the above.  Our lives dwell within the dominant, evolutionary period of our current material world.  We perceive the objectivity of this world as unqualified truth, and fix our intellect and rational around identifying with specific objects that fit in with our perception of ourselves: body, gender, family, qualifications, society, race, creed, community, nation. etc.  Our perception originates from our intellect which is rationalized
by dissecting one thing from another, and then making a judgment which is the more valuable.  This judgment process brings in a certain amount of prejudice, because it functions from limited data derived from our discrinatory intellect.  So, each feature of your identity is a choice made under the auspicious of most value or belief or opinion. 

At this point, you are identified with so many labels, and at the same time trying to employ practices for the control of your mind, a task which is too difficult.  Make your first goal to disencumber your intellect with your identifications, thus freeing you up to move naturally toward your ultimate nature. It seems that every human being has self hypnotized themselves into their own fixed boundaries, and believe they must live within the limitations of that reality.  If you can undo that hypnotism, your life will move from suffering to joy. You will become like a child again.

        
                             THE PLAY OF LIFE

As human beings living in our material world we constantly
move through a wave of conditions and circumstances.
Our lives seem to be constantly bombarded by them.  They
are the realm and environment in which we navigate. If we
are not prepared to deal with them they bring us suffering,
stress, and anxiety, a triple threat to our stability.

The conditions and circumstances are schools through which
we pass to invoke within us, knowledge which we can process
into a foundation of wisdom. And when our foundation is built
strong and sturdy, no amount of negativity can brake our
stability, we will remain "four square."

Stand forthright, my companions, with integrity and right action
inherit the bounty of your gained wisdom, and then share it with
all beings.

 
.







Monday, June 5, 2017

the fault dear Burtes is not in our stars. But in ourselves.



As you move through your daily life, listen carefully to the words and to the kinds of experiences those with whom you associate are expressing.  You will probably hear about someone who was "let go" from a job in which he or she had accumulated many years of satisfactory service, and where the reason given by the company for termination was to "trim the fat."  You will probably hear someone who's medical coverage had a hidden technical exclusion for their particular illness, and found out about the exclusion only after incurring the expense. You will probably hear about someone who had fallen victim to a violent crime, murder, rape, or assault. You will probably hear cruel and debasing words directed at certain races, people with different sexual orientation and with different religious beliefs. You will probably hear words impregnated with emotions of disgust and unfulfilled rage coming from someone talking about the abandonment of the public trust by political leaders.  You will probably hear about schemes directed at employers, institutions, or relatives or friends for purposes of personal ambition, profit, or fulfillment of hatred, revenge, or jealously. You will probably hear stories of excesses of all matter of sexual debauchery.

After your listening, what conclusions could you draw about the general conditions of your associates.  One obvious conclusion is that the kinds of experiences your associates are expressing are of a low moral quality.  Another conclusion you could draw is that the frequency of low quality experiences seems to be very high among your associates.  These conclusions would probably not surprise you, but would serve only to reinforce what you have already intuitively suspected.  Your listening however, may have provided you a surprise.  It may have sparked an insight, that the problems of our nation and the problems perceived among your associates are common in essence and differ only along the lines of scale.  For instance, when you see race riots in our cities, and when you hear racial prejudice and hate coming from your own associates, you should then understand that the problems are not centered exclusively in our cities, but are also rooted in the hearts and minds of your acquaintances.  When you see and hear local, state, national politicians, governmental institutions, and business men and women, invested with the public trust and civil welfare, flagrantly disregard that trust for their own ambition, power, and profit, and when you see and hear your fellow employees scheming to cheat their employer, you should have understood that the problems are not contained within the circle of your acquaintances.  And there may even be a bigger surprise waiting for you when you take the measure of your own conduct and personal prejudices.  You should then understand that the problems are not exclusively centered with our nation, our own cities, our acquaintances, but are also rooted within your heart and mind.

In Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar, the scene where Cassius is speaking to Brutes about Caesar's high renown as compared to their's, he says, "The fault dear Brutes is not in our stars.  But in ourselves, that we are underlings."  In like manner, the fault dear citizen is not in our governmental system, but in ourselves that, as a nation we are in grave trouble.

Little by little, generation after generation, we have been moving at an increasing pace away from the good of the Commonwealth, towards self-satisfaction, while at the same time rationalizing, that what is good for us as individuals must be good for the Commonwealth, and that our governmental system has an innate ability to automatically conduct itself towards the good of the Commonwealth.  Thus with our heads filled with self profit, material ambition and power, we have shamefully neglected our responsibilities as human beings and as citizens, by allowing our selfish impulses to dominate our minds, we corrupt and falsity those lofty and grand principles which corner-stone the organization and development of our nation.   Now in our false display of freedom, we give prizes and honors for every best thing: the fattest hog, best pie, the strongest man or woman, the best pornographic actor, and on and on.  While, proclaiming our nation's principles far and wide to be of the highest value, we allow vice under every form to flourish in every city and community.  We have become slaves to our own lower selves, to our own vices, to foolish social customs, and current cultural thinking.  This is a form of moral and mental decay of the most pernicious kind. The fault dear Citizen, is not with our system of government, but in ourselves; in our own hearts and mind.

"But!," you may protest, "I live a moral life.  I don't injure anyone; obey the laws, even recycle, and I know there are many others citizens just like me."  But! what did you do or say when a woman in your work place was sexually harassed?  How much time do you allow, apart from your "getting and spending," and your entertainment, for your children's physical, mental, and spiritual needs?  When you see or hear acts or words of racial prejudice what is your response?  "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to do nothing."  This statement by Edmund Burke. clearly portrays the weakness of the above protest.  Silence or the none action in the face of unethical acts or spoken prejudice by good men and women, even though they hold to ethical ideals, is an act of complicity.  What good are cherished ideals unspoken and undone?  Every citizen of America is responsible, either by overt thoughts and actions, or by silent complicity, for the moral degraded condition of our nation.  The fault dear Citizen is still in ourselves.

When as a nation we choose to focus the majority of our mental and psychic energy on selfish impulses the result is a repression of our moral conscience, and a corresponding weakening of our moral resistance.  We lose are ability and the strength to do what is right for the Commonwealth.  Under the influence of our selfish thoughts and conduct we see no urgent or compelling reason why we should do right, when "no one else is doing it," and when what is right conflicts with personsl profit, material ambition and power, and sensual satisfaction of all kinds.

Citizens. in order to bring harmony and truth to our nation we must unencumber our conscience, and begin to heed its voice.  Good men and women every where must speak out or act in the face of prejudicial words and unethical conduct, where ever, and with whom ever it appears.  We cannot allow silence or none-action, to be our answer.  We must cultivate, foster, and praise, maybe even give prizes for expressions of moral virtue.  We must expand our definition of our lives, to not only encompass our immediate community, but also the entire planetary community, and must learn to express and to live that new definition.  We are in truth, sons and daughters of the Cosmos, and as such are intricately involved and connected in a most primal manner.  As the poet, Frances Thomson says, "You cannot move a flower without troubling a star."  Hear is a corresponding piece of wisdom from Gandhi, "If you  seriously want to change something, become the change." 

We are not beings thrown haphazardly into the eternal expanse and there to dwell as worthless spects until physical death takes us, but are a complete living analogy of the entire Kosmos, a magnificent participant.  The same forces and qualities that uphold the Kosmos, uphold us; we in it, and it in us.  We are a microcosm of the macrocosm.  We straddle two distinct but unified and harmonized realms: the realm of space and timelessness and the realm of manifestation and time.  This unique position of ours grants wondrous potential, awesome enough even for the comprehension of the principles of the whole of Universal Nature.

Citizens, the fault still lies in our hearts and minds for the poor condition of our nation, but there also resides the remedy.  We can but look into our own reflections and inner consciousness to find that which will convince us that we are more than we seem.  Can you go out under the night sky or read a line of beautiful poetry, or listen to beautiful music, without being awakened to higher possibilities?  Cosmically, we are all  related, and cosmically none of us is ever over looked or forgotten in any situation from the most important to the most trivial.  There is a chamber of our hearts were we can begin to know our true Kosmic heritage, one that lies beyond mere color, race, gender, or creed, and the knowledge of which leads not to self-importance, but to great impersonality, balance, and unity.
 


        

   

Sunday, April 2, 2017

my two cents again

I have written several blogs with the title "my two cents again."  It all started with my friend, Burke Rogers. We would be eating lunch in the school cafeteria, and he would say, "If what I had to say would be lessened to by the administration, here is what I would say, " then he would say to me what was on his mind.  In the tradition of Burke and I, this blog will be "my two cents" worth.

Within our being, where our memories are the effects of our desires and wants, all under the whimsical control of our mind, we tend to neglect the primary aspects of our lives.  The most damaging neglect coming from not  being aware of our relationship with our Mother Earth and our bodies. These two, 'taken for granite' parts of our being, are essential, without which we would not have a habitable place to live or a place to live within.  We are familiar with our earth and our body, but we have not thought it necessary to create a deeper relationship. There is a saying, "familiarity breeds contempt," but even worse, is neglect.  With us, and the earth and our body, it is usually "a one way street."

When we think of  "me" we certainly include our body as "me," but although we place our experiences  and sense memories within our body we only think of our body as an archive.  This sense and experiential memory archive we use as a foundation for our survival.  The poet Delmore Schwartz, wrote a poem called, "The Heavy  Bear Who Goes With Me," This poem will give you an idea how, more then a few humans, view their bodies.

       "The heavy bear who goes with me,
        A manifold honey to smear his face,
        Clumsy and lumbering here and there,
        The central ton of every place,
        The hungry beating brutish one
        In love with candy, anger, and sleep,
        Crazy factotum, disheveling all,
        Boxes his brother in the hate-ridden city...
        ...The scrimmage of appetite everywhere."

Our body however, is the ultimate technological system manifested on our earth. Think about it!  Our body is an intricate, multi-associative, unity of operative systems and qualities, under the directive of evolution,  balance and survival, impregnated by multilevels of  mind, intelligence, senses, and emotions; a full package!  Think about its involuntary control systems.  What if we had to operate our own heart beat, blood flow, nervous system, digestion system, we would kill ourselves in no time.  Think about the zillions of cells, bacteria, that are all coordinated using their special qualities to maintain general health, and how about our organs and glands, muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage.  Our body is like  your dog, always happy to see you and to please you, regardless of any mistreatment on your part.  Our body works over time trying to bring health back to balance, when the unstable mind fixates on our negative obsessions and compulsive behaviors, it responds with wagging its tail.  Our problem is that we view the ingredients which make up our body as commodities, used to accommodate our whims and  not as an organic part of our life process.

It is not surprising, that given the limited quality of our current awareness we have a similar relationship to our body as we do with Mother Earth.  The reality is that our earth, our "space ship earth," is our home, and we have a mutual responsibility for the well-being of both of us.  Our commodity view of earth is enhanced in that we believe that earth's primary purpose is to furnish us with our material needs; again, a one way street approach.  All the ancient and contemporary masters and sages that walked the earth, taught that the entire kosmos is united by life, and that you cannot disturb  a flower without disturbing the stars.  Life permeates all; the organic and inorganic.  Our earth is a being, and within the kosmic unity of all beings there is a symbiosis.  We see this relationship clearly playing out within our present time. We humans are presently, fearful, paranoid, stressed, anxiety ridden, all this extreme, negative energy, is vibrationally affecting earth's behaviors.  Mother Earth is sensitive to our negative behaviors and positive behaviors, however when she acts-out, on  her affected behaviors they are on a more extreme scale: extreme climate and weather events, deluge of rain and snow, tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, forest fires, mud slides, floods.  Therefore, if we could bring our minds under only a slight control of our negative thoughts and actions, Mother Earth would in equal parts limit her affected behaviors. 

The path towards harmonizing with our body and Mother Earth, is to become more aware in an experiential manner.  That is, to bring awareness not merely from an intellectual perceptive, but from an inner consciousness perceptive.  For instance, watch your breath, see how your breath changes its breathing pattern in relation to your slightest movements.  As you use your consciousness to experience your body you will become intimate with its operations, bringing you to a greater unity  and consciousness with your body.  The same consciousness approach in transforming your relationship with your body, will work with transforming your relationship with Mother Earth.  To begin, bring your consciousness to bare on the cosmic truth that you and Mother Earth are created out of the same "star stuff," the only difference is that you are the micro being and earth is the macro being. Therefore, you both were created out of the same "stuff," making you off-spring; brother and sister.  As your consciousness expands towards knowing your body and Mother Earth, you will fine that the new joy and stability that you will realize will be beyond anything you could have imagined.