Monday, September 17, 2018

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 share it with all beings.















Monday, September 3, 2018

The Quality of Love

The idea of love as an expression of human beings seems to be inborn.  Humans from the inception of recorded history have attached a great importance upon the idea of love.  Humans see love in everything: poets write about it, Barrette  Browning, "shudders in his lover's shadow," song writers flood the airways with songs of love, while preachers proclaim love as a living force.  Great and infamous deeds have been committed in the name of love, from sacrifice of one's own life to save another's, to murdering the one you love.  Yet for all the attention placed on love and all the vociferous affirmations of love, the world of human affairs has more discord than harmony.  Somehow, love has come to be misinterpreted and misapplied  with regard to human expression, otherwise there would be harmony in the world of human affairs.

St. Paul, in Corinthians, 13, helps explain love in its purest expression.  He writes, "I may gain all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all faith to move mountains, but if I have no love, I am nothing."  In this statement, St. Paul dissects love into intention or desire to love.  Where love is, the benefit is "thou."  Where love is not, the benefit is "I."  The man who gains knowledge and understands all secrets, merely benefits himself.  He thus works against his higher nature, and eventually becomes cold, indifferent, and without love.  For such a man, any attempt at expressing love, would be a cheap imitation of love's sentiments, since within each expression is the intention of self-benefit.  Even if the man gave large sums of money and his time to a needy charity, if his intention was to show the world his own beneficence, his actions would be loveless and provide him small merit.  Such a man associates lower selfish passions and desires with higher ideals which is both a delusion and a corruption.  Love, in its purest expression is selfless.

St. Paul continues his explanation of love, "Love is patient and kind, it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with truth.  Love never gives up, and its faith, hope, and patience never fails.  Love is eternal."

The discord within the world seems to be the result of a rigid focus on the "I."  The self-gratifying wills of collective humanity clash and fiercely fight for fulfillment, but frenzy and discord can be the only out come.  If only we could feel the love of the Universal Spiritual Heart that gives us our beat, and strikes each one with a common rhythm.  As one heart beats, so beats the whole planet, solar system, and galaxy.  We are all commonly tuned and even the slightest of discord reverberates through the entire Cosmos, rewriting our common destiny.

Let us choose to resonate with the Universal Spiritual Heart, and begin to become one with it.  In so doing, we will be able to express love in its purest form.  "Love is eternal."

             

Sunday, August 5, 2018

simple, noble ideas-the building blocks of life

Ideas and their manifestation in words, in and of themselves, just add to the general chaos, but because of their affinity to the human mind exert a potential force comparable to the total force wrapped up in our solar system.  It is ideas merged with the intent of humans that make, unmake, and shake our world; ideas that once set loose have a potential to shape and determine present and future realities. They can fizzle and sputter and eventually die out or can, like a giant magnet, create a great field of influence, and attract and persuade the minds of millions of humans.  It was the ideas of compassion and forgiveness seeded and cultivated by the mind of the Buddha and the Christ that lifted the hearts and minds of men and women out of spiritual depression and inertia, into a higher spiritual awareness.  It was ideas of superiority and dominance seeded and cultivated by the mind of Hitler that launched our globe into war.


As I trace my life, I found three simple ideas that serve to motivate, direct and, anchor my  life.  The first idea comes from a phrase used by the ancient Creek Oracles, "Man know thyself."  The second comes from the Buddha's entreatment to live an examined life.  The third comes from the theme of the "Bhagavad-Gita," devotion.  Words so simple yet so engaging that they continually inspire me, and so dense with wisdom that they serve as the fountainhead for the unveiling of the mysteries of life.

The moment I read the phrase, "Man know thyself," my soul stirred, and I immediately knew that I would embark on an adventure of self-discovery.  I can trace the sequence of self-discovery from strategies of economic self-improvement, to a deeper psychological self-discernment, to a conscious spiritual encounter and connection, all stepping stones on the pathway to an ever-expanding consciousness.  This idea of knowing one's self has found a resonance in the deepest region of my soul, and has become a living imperative.  As was said by Krishna  to Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita, ..."the principles of thy nature will impel thee to engage."

The igniting of my inner motivation towards self-discovery was augmented by the second important idea in my life. Buddha's entreatment to live an examined life.  While the idea of knowing thyself pinpointed the subject of study, the idea of living an examined life showed me how to study.  To examine one's life means to be aware of all the experiences occurring in life, awake or asleep, and relating them causally back to one's self.  This requires a conscious connection of the self to the self.  It is as St. Francis  of Assisi, said, 'What you are looking for is what is looking back at you."  What is looking at you is the Self, the divine aspect within your being.  This Self  is a seer, a watcher that you first recognize as an adviser, bringing good counsel, a watcher that you begin to rely upon over a course of time  and believe is your friend, and then becomes your beloved friend.  And finally you discover that this beloved friend is in part your true essence.  you are it and it is you.  In the Bhagavad-Gita, recension by, William Q. Judge, Chapter 11, Arjuna just having seen Krishna in his full divine form says, "Having been ignorant of thy majesty, I took thee for a friend, and have called thee 'O Krishna, O son of Yadu, O' Friend, and blinded by my affection and presumption, I have at times treated thee without respect in sport, in recreation,  in repose, in thy chair, and at meals, in private,  and in public; all this I beseech thee, O inconceivable Being, to forgive."  Arjuna is illuminated by his divine quality, understands Its source, and humbly surrenders to It.  Krishna responds, "Thou hast seen this form of mine which is difficult to behold.  But I am not to be seen, even as I have shown myself to thee, by the study of the Vades, nor by mortification, nor alms giving, nor sacrifices.  I am to be approached and seen and known in truth by means of that devotion which has me as the object.  He whose actions are for me alone, who esteemeth me the supreme goal, who is my servant only, without attachment to the results of action and free from enmity towards any creature, cometh to me, O son of Panda."

It is from the close examination of my life that has lead me to become acquainted with the voice or watcher within and recognition of my higher self.  Even though my recognition of the divine within comes no were near
Arjuna's revelation of Krishna's full glory, and even though my acts are involved in faults and failures, I recognize the truth.  And in striving towards that truth as an object worthy of devotion I am provided with an ultimate goal, and with an infinite source of hope.

Although the above three ideas serve as a continuous source of inspiration and as a spiritual beacon on my path, the walking stick that I rely upon is the  study of the great ideas coming from the God-Wisdom.  The doctrines of the Ancient Wisdom are the mortar around which my life is supported.  They provide me with a point of view from my spirit, and an universal perspective that brings guidance and meaning to all of my experiences.  The doctrines of that Wisdom provides boundless opportunity to stretch the  capability of my knowledge to an infinite level.   









  










Saturday, July 14, 2018

ignorance

The dictionary definition of "ignorance" is: the condition or quality of being ignorant; lack of knowledge, education, etc., unawareness.  This definition of "ignorance" gives us little clarity as to the quality of ignorance and an explanation of the psychology behind ignorance   However, we might be completely satisfied, that because the definition came from the authority of Webster, it must be true.  If we stand, stead fast on that interpretation,  I think, we would have exposed, ironically, a clearer and existential definition of ignorance.  By excepting Webster's authority for the meaning of ignorance, without any further examination, we are showing our ignorance, and creating that ignorance into a belief with faith as an attachment.  There is error in this make shaft logic.  Error now intermingles with truth, and Webster's authority turns belief into bias, and faith into blind faith.

 "Ignorance," says Katherine Tingley, a theosophist, paraphrasing, is that false, pernicious fear of forces or powers, that push against our good conscious.  She continues, "Again and always it is ignorance, lack of moral knowledge, that opens the door to peril."

If we want to dispel ignorance we must find a way to expose it. and the path for exposer is to begin to become seekers of truth.  In order to expose the truth we must do a deep excavation; digging out authorities' opinions, public opinions, expert opinions, common clichés that have over time, come to be used as truth, and all the remaining bullshit.  As we continue to excavate all the sludge, we hit bedrock, and from here we can now unobstructed, begin to mine for truth.  Finding truth needs a practice, and a cogent practice would be to resurrect the idea and practice of "virtue." 

"Virtue," when was the last time you heard that word?  Perhaps it was in Catechism Class or Sunday
School, some 40 or 50 years ago. These days no one speaks or cares to know virtue.  Most of us expend our physical, mental energy around ideas of material gain or sensual pleasure or entertainment. Who in their 21th. century right mind, would be caught wasting their time becoming vitreous?  Although virtue in our society is not generally practiced, it is not altogether dead.  If we pay close attention to the daily news we would find acts of courage, where a stranger risks his life to save the life of an accident victim.  We would find, wisdom from a 15 year old boy who's death by disease is eminent, but he transcends his misfortune into a deep understanding of life and death.  We would find humility from an athlete who credits her success to her god, her parents, family and friends.  Virtue, then is not dead, but for the majority of us there is little interest in practicing it.

After we distill the aroma of virtue and begin to take it in, we  will have begin to set a solid foundation for the mining of truth,  The practice of virtue will have expanded our awareness to the point of digging out intent and falseness of the words being used.  We will begin to sift out the inner  meaning of the spoken words, thus exposing the truth. With this combined practice of virtue and deeper consciousness, we will build a strong and lasting foundation for knowing he truth.    .              

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The hyper use of the spoken word

Hold your tongue and listen a minute, to the great avalanche of words entering your ears.  Day and night, words are pumping out through mouths in rapid-fire succession.  Where once they were used sparingly, and now derelict of truth they spew out faster then a machine gun, with little care and little heart.  Most words spoken today are wasted words, as if there were an eternal supply; much like  puffs of wind traveling the air and dying off as does smoke, only to have them reaper, ready to again be spoken.

But where do they disappear to?  Do they reverberate through the canyons of space like some eternal echo?  Do they completely dissolve into emptiness?  Do they gather at some cosmic point and mark their selves on some universal, verbal ledger?

Every word spoken and its intent imprints upon the cosmic waters.  There every boast, every syllable, every atom of sound lives and follows its path to manifestation.  There is no escape, not under the deepest ocean, not atop the highest mountain.  It is your breath that breathes them out and they will seek their indented  desire.

Thunder is the voice of lighting and responds only to the bolt; never more, never less.  What would the world be like if all humans spoke so succinctly?  

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.