The Door Opens

The universe never ceases to amaze me in its unfolding of the principles of life. Just when you are on the prespice of change you can find yourself in the most doubt. As I alluded in the last post, change has been coming but it never seems to come at our preferred pace, whether that is slow or fast. The job in Seattle never materialized and that hit me pretty hard. I have been waiting for a door to open and it appeared to be opening only to slam closed in an instant.

My friends and family were very supportive and I heard the old chestnut about everything happening for a reason over and over. I protested that it was the reason I thought the Seattle situation presented itself, and now It had to be the reason it was gone. It seemed so trite and dismissive, but it was true.

There are nuances in the way things came about that could not be predicted under any circumstance. I had a plane ticket booked to Seattle and when that door closed I re-directed myself to San Jose to meet a group that had interviewed me on the phone. Did it make the difference and get me the job? I will never know, but it certainly made me stand out as a cadidate and I would not have bought a ticket to fly to California on the chance of a meeting. With the ticket in my hand and about to be lost, it was a no brainer. It wasnt the last interview with them but I’m sure it helped, and they hired me.

Now I have just completed my first two weeks of work. The company is called Presidio. This is a better job at a similar salary that will keep me in Colorado, working from a home office and doing things I enjoy more than what the other position would have called for. There will be lots of travel, but that is fine with me and always has been. The big thing is when I’m here I have no commute, so the mountain home is a reasonable situation. My book, “Spiritual Practicality” will be released in a couple of weeks and with this job to support my efforts and feed me, a load of pressure comes off. It will mean a longer ride to the airport but I am a step or two closer to my writer’s knook in the hills, and the next book.

The earth feels like it is turning again and the lesson in this case is “keep the faith.” Things do unfold in a perfect cosmic dance when we allow them to. I may have been forcing the situation in Seattle as I was wishing for things to change. The universe said no but just a couple of months later, I feel like I am moving forward again.

Quantum Creativity Part II

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So, all of creation consists of some intangible essence bouncing back and forth from a manifested state to an energetic condition we can only call un-manifest. This is called by science the zero point field and in religious teaching Spirit. It is that potential yet un-manifest field of energy packets or quanta from which all manifestation arises. This is the source-less source, the causeless cause, or God, or Life, or whatever your intuition tells you is the best name for an unknowable root cause for all existence… and guess what? It’s not matter or material in any way we use that term.

That is weird. Especially to a scientist. The bigger question for me is, what is controlling when that manifestation happens? How can matter be the fundamental building block of the universe and the ground of all being if it is only there some of the time? This is where the theoretical physicist comes into alignment in a really uncomfortable way with the mystic investigator or occultist; this zero point field represents the void of Genesis prior to creation and is referred to in Sanskrit as mulaprakriti or virgin pre-matter matter. Manifested existence is caused by vibration or as Genesis tells us symbolically, sound. The first act was not the separation of light from darkness but the word or Logos. “Let there be light.”

Let’s talk about this probability pattern or “wave function” we touched on in part one because it becomes central to our discussion. It is the idea that if you have an electron or some other subatomic particle bouncing around on the inside of a box there are areas of that enclosed space that the electron has a higher or lower possibility of being if and when we look for it.

Scientifically we cannot say where it is but only the likelihood of any particular location and so it has to be considered to be potentially in all of them at the same time. It is a wave of possibility or potentiality. According to what is known as the Copenhagen interpretation of wave particle duality the act of observation is what collapses the wave into a particle. This effect of observation is widely, although not universally accepted and is the basis for much of the scientific investigation going on right now.

But what has any of this got to do with spirituality and the pursuit of increasing levels of consciousness? It is the implication that the collapse of wave like energy pattern into solid form is caused by conscious observation. Matter is not the ground of all being but consciousness is!

Now consider what the essence of a human being is in reality. I am not a physical body, I have one. I am not any particular emotional state. I experience these energies through a tuned mechanism. I am not my thoughts; I have a mind. It is a mechanism for response to and the organization of mental energetic matter. I have the ability in my imagination, the imaging faculty of that mind, to combine these contacted energies and assemble them in new ways, to create, but the mind does not do this on its own. I must direct my mind at this task, but who am I? And does it take a human consciousness to cause this collapse or as Einstein once joked, “would a sidelong glance from a mouse suffice?”

Most of us believe in the human soul and see it as the observer within, and I will tell you now that even that is a vehicle for the true essence of you. You are an expression of that causeless cause as it grows in awareness of itself. What Saint Paul said was “above all through all and in you all” but for many of us, identification with that observer is the next step in our development. You are the observer within and because of what we have been exploring, we are being given scientific support for the concept of that observer being an aspect of the creative agent in the universe.

If observation is what collapses a wave of potentiality into a solid measurable particle than the observer is the creator and the ground of all being is not the material result or the energetic precursor, but the consciousness of the onlooker. The question, “If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear, does it make a sound?” becomes if there is no one there to hear (a conscious observer)… is there a forest at all? The teachings tell us that the forest is conscious so the answer would be yes. The ground of being is not matter but consciousness; and this consciousness expresses itself on many levels including you. You are the creator of the universe in a condition of confused and defocussed ability because you are attempting to function on the physical plane.

God/Life/ the force/ the quantum field… made man in his own image. This does not mean he looks like your body. It means that you are a lower correspondence to, or a reflection of, that creative essence and so on your own plane, a creator. When we look at ourselves in a mirror we are identifiable, as is anything we see reflected off of a surface as pristine as a mirror, but a dimension is lost in the process and the “image” does not retain the depth of the original. If the surface is distorted so will be the image. If the reflector is covered in dust or dirt or if there is a fog between the object and the reflector even more will be lost.

The reflector in this case is the mind, and the level of accuracy in the reflected image is dependent on the clarity of mind. All is energy and energy follows thought. Your consciousness directs your thought patterns and so the teachings have told us that whatever you focus your mind upon most will become your reality. Your thoughts create your world, so why does life seem empty to some of us? And why haven’t we all won the lotto no matter how sure we have been that our numbers were up?

It is because we can’t all win. We can’t all even get the green light. What we can do is surround ourselves with positive creative loving thought forms and work every day toward a harmless and giving attitude with gratitude for every opportunity to learn and grow. This aligns our will and intention with Spiritual Will or what Andrew Cohen refers to as the evolutionary impulse; that driving force behind manifestation. Who do you want on your team?

The problem is that our petty desires are not usually on the agenda of the universal mind. We may have to redirect our energy in order to align with such a high aspect of our universal nature. This is not aligning ourselves with some outside and interfering force but with the highest aspects we are capable of contacting within ourselves.

You and I are reflections of this creative force who have lost consciousness of the whole. As we become clearer of mind and remove the fog and miasma of our emotional turmoil we become more accurate in our recreation of the image of God/ life/ the force in our lives. Since that is our true essence and we are all a part of the original creative principal this means we become better more consciously directed versions of ourselves and better more beneficent creators on the physical plane.

Using that impulse and infusing it with spiritual aspiration rather than physical plane desires we create our world in a different way with a different intent. You are consciousness… your job is to wake up. Begin to look at the life you are creating and see where you may be able to change your approach to get better results. All is Energy and energy follows thought. Think. In order to create something out of the pure potential it has to start with thought. Before God said “let there be light” he thought, wow, it would be really cool if there was light.

It starts with an idea but that is not enough. We have to want it and this desire galvanizes our will to act. This is the creative process that has made your life what it is today. If you want to see change in circumstance you must change what you are thinking. The mind is the reflector which brings spirit into manifestation on the lower planes.

Recognition of this sets up a new creative rhythm in harmony with the underlying causes bringing consciousness to a higher level of self-awareness through manifestation in form. The universe has no choice but to respond to this new rhythm and vibration just as the air has no choice but to resonate with the vibration of my voice or the frequencies of the words I create on the physical plane, or the ideas behind them, or my hope and desire to have you understand them… or a guitar string.

Krishnamurti once said that “the eagle has no intent to cast his shadow and the lake has no mind to receive it.” Each simply plays its part in the perfection of the universe by being true to its own nature. Your nature is that of a creator. Create.

Quantum Creativity – Part I

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“I want to know God’s thoughts; the rest are details.” –  Albert Einstein.

He also said that he came to his understanding of the universe by something other than his rational mind, that this understanding comes in a flash of intuition, and most interestingly for the purposes of our brief discussion today… “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” I agree. We need to take what each of these disciplines, (and they are both disciplines) has to offer. Science is Magic, understood.

We have to acknowledge the idea that whether the philosopher (or lover of wisdom) takes the scientific approach to life or the spiritual approach, in truth a blending of the two will be required. This is what is referred to as the spiritual or esoteric sciences. It is Theosophy in its pure form – Wisdom Religion.  The Ageless Wisdom put forth in all of the Mystery Schools of the ages. This is the wisdom at the core of the religious teachings throughout the world. Esoteric in that it represents the inner teaching beneath the surface that must be rooted out and discovered by each and every spiritual aspirant. It reveals the underlying causes that result in the phenomenal world of experience. In both cases we are dealing with the search for truth. They are the same path.

I am an Esoteric Scientist in that I use my analytical mind to discern or discriminate what is real and important. The meaning of a situation rather than the circumstance. The cause rather than the effect. We use not just our feeling nature in our exploration but also the reasoning faculty of the mind. Faith is important but not a substitute for reason. Why feel your way through the world if you can see by the light of mind? In the words of Esme Wingfield Stratford, “Blind belief is no less sure to err than blind unbelief. The free heroic spirit commands its destinies in the full light of consciousness.” I see Consciousness as both the method of exploration and the field of enquiry.

We are dealing here in some abstract ideas and principles and much must be taken theoretically at first, if the intuition tells us this is a direction worth exploring. Henry Steele Olcott, one of the founders of the Theosophical Society said it this way. “We accept nothing without proof and reject nothing without cause.” Remaining open to going wherever the information leads us as investigators rather than seekers, we take an individual spiritual path which will converge with others, if we are in fact-finding truth.

The work of Einstein, Niels Bohr, Max Plank, Faraday, Eisenberg, and many other ground breaking physicists started out as theory and “way out there” theory at that. The woo woo stuff that sounds like spiritual mumbo jumbo to your 8th grade science teacher but is the work of the true cutting edge scientist who is actually an esoteric investigator. We on the other approach wrapped in the spiritual teachings of the ancients have been forging the same road although science seems to have taken the long way around.

This is true and it’s not true at the same time. Some of these theories are now over 100 years old and there is a reason that we don’t see them as that far out any more. Much of the theory has now been born out in experiment and quantum theory has become quantum mechanics. Having decided that matter was the font of being they have had to prove anything they are to build upon materially and 100 years ago their instrumentation was incapable of proving what the mathematics was telling them. Because of this assumption of matter as the root of being, theory has to be turned into a hypothesis and then proven or disproven through experimentation on what we call the physical plane. There is nothing inherently wrong with this idea, and in certain areas of exploration it is essential, but it completely takes you out of certain conversations.

You can’t prove or disprove God on the physical plane so, scientific materialism excludes not only the possibility of either case but refuses to even entertain the question. This was all well and good during the era of Newtonian Physics named for its founder. He is seen as the father of scientific materialism and the scientific method of investigation. His laws of inertia only hold true for large objects but in his time they had no way to look into the properties of atoms and subatomic particles, so in the beginning it didn’t matter.

As the technology moved forward they had to come up with theories or thought experiments to explain the mathematical, and then later, observational results of their increasingly complex experiments, based on the increasing sensitivities of their instrumentation.

Let’s take an example… Light is a form of electromagnetic radiation. Visible light is a small section of a wide range of frequencies which start well below those of sound up into the Radio frequencies and well beyond visible light into the x-ray and gamma ray bands. These waves vibrate at different frequencies or rates. The difference between Red and Blue light is frequency. The difference between the microwave radiation that heats your coffee in the morning and the sunlight coming in the window is frequency.

It had always been seen as a wave of radiation (a disturbance in what was called the ethers like sound waves are a disturbance in the air). This held up until experimentation revealed what is called “the photoelectric effect.” This is the release of electrons from materials exposed to light. It implied the impact of particles and the “photon” was born as well as the idea of wave particle duality. This is a central concept in Quantum Physics and states that all particles exhibit wave-like tendencies and this is where it gets really interesting.

The light behaves like a wave of potential energy until it hits something. At that instant it materializes as a photon and is capable of knocking an electron out of its orbit around an atom of the material it “hits.” We can’t really see light until it bounces off of some object unless we are looking at its source.

Along with the uncertainty principle which states that we are unable to simultaneously ascertain the speed and location of a particle, this wave/particle duality changed what we consider to be the nature of the material world. Einstein’s laws of the conservation of matter and energy are pretty familiar. Neither matter nor Energy can be created or destroyed but only converted one to the other.

If the fundamental building blocks of our world now had to be described in terms of “probability patterns” and matter and energy are considered two opposing states of the same universal essence, our little world gets a lot less hard, dense and certain.

Energy Follows Thought

We have all heard this phrase but I would like to go into a bit of depth as to what it means to raise it up a bit above a catch phrase or platitude. It is a fundamental tenet of esoteric thought. Genesis tells us that “In the beginning the Earth was null and void and darkness was upon the deep”. The first question that should bring to mind is “what is the deep?” We’ll get to that in a moment. This nothingness then stirred and God said “Let there be Light”, and divided light from the darkness. It was an act of pure spiritual will through the use of the divine mind. We haven’t actually divided the light from the darkness (its obvious source) only the idea has actually been created. A thought either created or accessed by the divine mind.

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The mind created the idea before the will was able to manifest it, empowered by the desire to see it manifest. This is “the deep.” The astral or desire plane is always associated with liquid and usually water. It is interesting also that instead of just doing it we see that God crystallized this idea or thought form in a mantra or word of power; “Let there be light,” and then created a physical plane change through his desire. Thus the first manifested result of the omniscient being at the center of our system is organized sound, or vibration, and after that all that will ever be in the world is a product of vibration. The word Logos is used to describe this entity in manifestation and literally means “word”.

Now why is any of this important? This first act of creation out of the mind of God is repeated in every other creative act on every level in every plane and it is used by you and I to create our world. We have talked about resonance and how we attract into our reality the things we think about most, but when we conceive of an idea and build a better mouse trap, we are the creator in the microcosm. Nothing is created without first being imagined. There has to be that moment when the creator says “wouldn’t it be cool if…” in this case the rest would be “there was light”. The image making faculty of consciousness is the imagination. When we visualize and idea we are creating an image. The energy and potential of the thought form is based on the ability of the consciousness that created, accessed, or simply organized it. We do this constantly but with little result because we are not very good a focusing our minds. The idea may just pass.

If the desire is strong enough then it is brought into physical “reality”. It is and always has been energy and has simply been organized at different levels until it has fully crystallized. The will of God creates through the love of God as do you and I.

The organizing force in this process of creation is mind. It may be the universal mind or the mind of an individual creator of some level of consciousness like that of a Logos or a human being. The process is the same. Creation is governed by the intelligence of the system.

When we imagine or visualize something we are building in mental matter. Although it is interwoven with desire, another necessary aspect of the process, the mind is always the organizing force. If we are effective at visualizing what we want to “see” come about we will be more effective at bringing it about. Visualization is an important aspect of meditation because of this. We are learning to create, and through training we are taught to visualize in accordance with the things that the teacher see’s and knows as fact. The creative process and the ability to make changes are being used along proven lines and will be improved greatly. We will eventually find our way but time can be gained through a guided and monitored approach to meditation. There are pitfalls that can be avoided on the way.

What we need to keep in mind is that there is a collective human consciousness that is creating all the time as well. Groups and subgroups of subconscious and super-conscious entities creating in mental and astral matter and this is what decides the directions in which our societies move. There is a unique way that each nationality approaches life because of its group identity. It is responsible for the beautiful colorations in cultural expression throughout the world and the thought provoking effect that is the result of some one individual swimming upstream.

It is fairly easy for us to create in line with the over-riding dream of our society and the planet herself, but to create something extraordinary requires much more personal power. These are the people we say are “on a mission” and will not be denied. Their vision is so clear and the desire so strong that nothing will deter them from seeing is brought to a reality. This is why the training in business can produce, once a redirection of focus is triggered, a student of the spiritual sciences that will excel in these endeavors as well.

This is the reason for goal orientation and all of the attention that gets in business training. We want to be more effective in bringing about change on the physical plane and the only way to do that is to learn to focus our minds and visualize first. The first creation is not done on the physical plane. Everything we see in the physical world was first created on the mental plane. The energies were organized by the mind and brought to be through activity fired by desire. Think about the word “emotion” for a moment and how we express ourselves in this area of our lives. We can be “moved” or “affected” by a person or a situation or even a song. Emotions are what move us to move. If you want it bad enough you’ll go get it. It is not enough by itself but neither is the mind. We have to be harmless in our intentions and balance and align all aspects of ourselves to our real purpose, and then we can create true beauty. Gandhi once said “be the change you want to see in the world”. Creation starts within.

Esoteric Training and Psychic Development – Part 2

We have covered the basic ideas of study, meditation, and service and I have not yet mentioned psychic development. This is to a certain extent, by design. Psychic development may be running parallel to the entire process described above, but this is a natural process and somewhat misunderstood. We have been told that telepathic as well as other sensitivities are not developed but rather, recognized over time as having always been present. We don’t become sensitive but become aware of our sensitivities. This is done in part by quieting the mind in meditation and is a natural part of the unfoldment of consciousness through esoteric training. There is no need to work on the development of psychic sensitivity. If it is present it can become over emphasized in consciousness and control must be maintained as well as a sharp eye for the glamour that can accompany it.

This kind of sensitivity can be a blessing or a burden which holds the student within a crystallized thought form. If the mind and the awareness are trained first, it seems the student can handle those sensitivities more ably when they do arise. I believe my intuition is strong and I do not have the need to assign the things that occur in my thinking and feeling natures to some outside source. We are taught to contact and identify ourselves with the soul aspect of our nature because it is in tune with all else we can know. Contact with this aspect of our being opens the door to what is limitless in potential in all of us.

This contact is Psychic Development on a deeper level. It is not the glamorized voices in the head or imagined channeling of the neophyte but the heightened awareness of the trained Disciple. The word Psyche means Soul so anything truly Psychic in nature relates to Soul awareness. This is the central objective of Esoteric Training as I understand it. Of course my understanding is based on limited exposure to the training and will expand as I grow in both my intellectual grasp and direct apprehension over time. Emphasis is bound to change as progress is made but the general direction can be assumed to remain, upward and inward.

In “The Teachings of Don Juan – A Yaqui Way of Knowledge”  there is a quote inserted as a precursor to the journey Carlos Castaneda is about to embark upon by a philosopher named George Simmel. “…nothing more can be attempted than to establish the beginning and the direction of an infinitely long road. The pretension of any systematic and definitive completeness would be at least a self illusion. Perfection here is to be obtained by the individual student only in the objective sense that he communicates everything he has been able to see.” It should be noted that he is not talking about Mr. Castaneda because Simmel had long since passed when Castaneda began his training.

The idea is that any attempt to map out the individual steps of an infinitely long journey is at best a waste of time and at its worst, delusional. In either case the effort is futile but in my eyes the failure to recognize that futility and thinking that you can map it out is worse. I found this illustrated in my experience in the labyrinth. If you look at the whole thing it is dizzying, but the next few steps are always obvious and the ultimate goal is always in view. The best one can hope to do is keep the big picture in mind so you don’t lose your general direction, pay attention to the next few steps right in front of you; the business at hand… and then share the experience as Mr. Castaneda did in bringing us with him.

Another interesting phrase I have heard in this regard is that “no battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.” The world seemingly has its own ideas about what is going to happen and if you want to influence the outcome you are going to have to adjust. That is what consciousness does; sense the environment and alter behavior in response. Observe the results and adjust again.  Were we to map out the entire process we would have to change the entire process and any adjustment would mean recalculating the entire route like a GPS does when you make a wrong turn.

That is why living the teaching is a must. If we don’t apply what we learn, we really haven’t learned it yet. This is especially true in the field of conscious exploration. Consciousness serves as both the instrument and field of enquiry. There is nothing else that will do the job and so we must use what we know and sense as the bootstraps we incorporate in lifting ourselves to the next level. Mathematics is built in this way for the same reason. The only thing we can use to explore math is math. We prove a theory through repetition and then correlation to earlier established laws, which it now joins as a part of a larger foundation for further theoretical experimentation. Without this new discovery as a tool, the next theory may not even be postulated and the journey is misdirected slowed or halted completely. In the case of the exploration of consciousness through esoteric training the opened mind and heart will continue opening as long as there is a question to pursue.

If the student is willing and can be directed into certain types of activities, there is a layered effect. One can develop the will, for instance, through any act done with discipline. The act of standing on a chair for 15 minutes every morning will exercise the will. You must do it every day whether you feel like it or not, and anything done this way will strengthen the will. The problem with this approach is that standing on a chair does little else, and it’s not even good for the chair. If we decide to Meditate for 15 minutes each day we develop the will and also get the benefits of Meditation. If we follow a plan developed specifically to an end, like soul contact or the development of specific attitudes of harmlessness and right speech, we add another layer to the same practice.

If we now study harmlessness as we meditate on it, over a period of time we will find a depth to the idea that we could not come to by any other means. We now add another layer, and benefit more from the study through meditation, and more from the meditation through further study and the increased ability to understand what is being studied. We are exploring the world of meaning and Meditation is central to our journey because it is the application of acquired knowledge in the furtherance of this conscious research, but the deeper application of this knowledge is service. To live the teachings is to serve.  As Meditation creates a better Meditator, service creates a better server.

I am a servant of humanity and I feel for my fellowmen. I see them sleeping and know that even though I am barely awakening, the world looks very different to me and I want them to experience it. I have an urge to shake them awake but I know it is only possible to plant an occasional seed that will take hold when the person is ready. Many strive to further their spiritual development by serving the Masters. Djwahl Kuhl reminds us that the Masters serve humanity. If you want to serve the Masters help them in their work, don’t worship them.

Nothing can bring a man closer to his fellowman than to help when he is in need. It is mutually beneficial and both parties grow in the process. Nietzsche told us to serve an unfair master better, to “put God in your debt”, knowing that we are in a sense paying into a system that reflects back into our lives the results of our actions. We create beauty or horror, and then live in it. Esoteric Training gives us the ability to recognize the choices and then choose consciously. Given the knowledge that our world is of our making who would not choose to create beauty?

As a group and a social aggregation we have the ability to raise our collective consciousness as well. Bruce Lipton in his book Spontaneous Healing said that a cell only has two states of being, and they are protection and growth. Interestingly the cell cannot grow while it is protecting itself. Human beings and groups are higher reflections of the same spiritual laws and thus we cannot grow while our attention is consumed with survival. Our job as parents is to create a safe and yet challenging environment where our children can thrive. This has gotten us where we are today, but we need to recognize a larger family and widen the circle of influence and cooperation to eventually include all of humanity.

If we all feel safe enough we can all begin to explore the world of meaning. The search for the inner meaning in the events and circumstances of our lives is the road to the discovery of the inner self as well. I feel my role as a teacher is to bring as many people as I can to the point where they are becoming observant. Observation leads to understanding. Many of us spend so much time in a state of near unconsciousness. Esoteric Training is the exploration of and therefore the expansion of conscious awareness. It is the realization of our creative role in our lives. We make that role real through the act of understanding and begin to create consciously instead of the haphazard way the average man creates his life.

Through this training and the attitude of observation which it necessitates, we learn to interact with the universe in a more harmonious way. Our sensitivities become more apparant becasue we are observing not only our surroundings but our  selves and our reactions or responses to the events in our lives. This recognition results in what is characterized as Psychic Sensitivity but it is more simply an increase in our overall awareness. We are all psychic. We are not all aware of it.

Esoteric Training and Psychic Development – Part 1

In considering any subject from Philosophy or Science to Literature, it seems the first step is to define the field of enquiry. Just what is it we are to consider and will there be any boundaries? Esoteric training is in the broadest sense so all encompassing as to make the term almost meaningless. The moment we look at a happening, a thought, a feeling, or perhaps an inspiration, in considering its “meaning” we have crossed a line into a new realm. Every pursuit of something as yet unknown fits into this category, and is in that broad sense Esoteric Training because in such pursuits the student is essentially self taught. The moment he asks the question “why?”, with regard to what he observes in his world, his quest has begun. Only he is qualified to say when he has found the answer. There is an implication of detachment in the question “why?” even if it is voiced as a complaint about some outside circumstance to which he feels he has fallen victim. And then, even this could be seen as the beginnings of the journey toward the conscious direction of one’s life when looked at retrospectively from some future time, whether it is recognized at this moment or not.

There are stages and classifications that can be made within the realm of this inner training and we will certainly take this discussion to a greater depth in a number of them. We are all on our own path and yet we all simultaneously share the path of the evolution of consciousness and will tend to encounter similar problems at similar stages of our development. Those who have gone before us can serve as guides, if we let them. It is, in the last analysis, only the individual student who can determine the approach he will take to life and learning. The guides of the race are there to lend a hint when the student is open to their aid, but the responsibility lies with the student alone.

Formal training can hasten the process of development because the student is guided by those who know the path from their own experience and have gained insight and wisdom. They have developed the ability to see firsthand what the student is only able to perceive in fleeting moments, and to imagine. They apprehend the meanings behind events because they perceive the world of energy and force, and have learned to work on these planes with facility. They can forewarn of pitfalls along the way and suggest practices and visualizations based on their knowledge of these things rather than having the student feel his way along the path blindly until he has gained the ability through trial and error, to see for himself.

This is always the way the early parts of the path are traversed. The eager neophyte opens many doors looking for a system or method that will suit his personality equipment, although he may not be conscious of the fact that this is what he s doing. He just thinks he is “dabbling” in something. In the early stages of character building the student is not aware that he is a student. He is awakening to the need for integrity in his life but he does not know what he is integrating. He is trying to do the right thing in each circumstance because that is “what you do”. He is already practicing right aspiration, he is likely to be looking at his occupation and other aspects of his orientation outside of the context of what he might consider “religious” matters. Harmlessness, right speech and other aspects of the philosophies are creeping into his consciousness because he is realizing that he has a responsibility to “act” a certain way.

This can cause conflict in his life as he establishes this new rhythm. Old ways will resurface at weak moments and he will fail to live up to what he is learning over and over as he develops this feeling of responsibility. In my experience it was prompted by the birth of my daughter. It made me want to be a better man. When I later took conscious control of my life and started traveling this road with intent, I did look back to this period of my life and realize that it had been a turning point. One of many, and I had been on the path long before I knew it consciously. I had begun a process of “cleaning up my act” which was purifying my body and bringing my emotions under control. I stopped drinking alcohol along the way and became physically active and healthy again.

Without the alcohol causing friction in our lives my wife and I reached new levels of intimacy and communication. We talked openly about the things we could do to make our relationship better and then did them because we were aspiring to a better life and decided these things would get us there.

This leads to a kind of vigilance about one’s behavior. The student is detaching from the situations and seeing from a different kind of vantage point what impact a particular kind of stimulus is having, and metering the response instead of just reacting. He is living the examined life.

Perhaps the student at this stage has already been consulting books and other media for help in dealing with these situations but he is really still on his own in the sense that he is finding his way based on the experimentation of living in the world. All of the development in the life of the disciple is born of this livingness and the active observation of the reactions of the personal self by the shifting of the identity to a higher level within the myriad aspects of the individual human consciousness. He is looking at everything in a new way and soon he becomes aware of this too.

A moment must be reached when a commitment is made and this good-hearted wanderer becomes a disciple of the truth and knows he can never go back to the way he lived before. He must live up to what he knows, and he must know. There comes a need to understand, and then the Universe becomes the University. He is a conscious traveler on the path and I believe this is where true esoteric training can begin.

He has been inspired to study and the mind and awareness are being honed, but the next step is to turn consciousness upon itself through the use of Meditation. Meditation applied within a disciplined program rather than an occasionally practiced form of relaxation. There are many forms of meditation and the student must find his own way in to an effective form. I found my way to the Arcane School and find an amazing affinity to the work of the Tibetan Master Djwahl Kuhl. In that way he is my teacher and I believe that through his work I have gained a better understanding of the world. He once said a true esoteric school would never be large and I can see very few people who are really working on themselves in a serious way, but many are fertile ground for the seeds of future development if encouraged just a little.

The true nature of the path we trod is that the student cannot be denied what he has earned, any more than he can be given what he has not. That is because he travels the path of wisdom. This is knowledge lovingly applied. If you do not live this lesson you don’t get to see the next. To an extent we can move on but there is an undeveloped part of us that we now must drag along until we deal with it. These things eat away at people and cause irritation. We see adults that simply turn back into their child self under circumstances they have not learned to deal with. For me it came out as anger. Some get depressed or feel hurt, some act out, I got angry and yelled. There are also those who become observers in their own lives and recognize those things in themselves that the average person can only see in other people. The immediate goal is to become one of them. All we need to do is to begin paying attention, and Meditation facilitates conscious awareness. That seems redundant on its surface, but we truly become aware of being aware.

Coupling the meditative practice with the topical study of the spiritual principles brings the student concurrently into the intellectual grasp and personal experience of the process being undertaken. Rather than blindly following meditation instructions, the student is taught why he is visualizing in a certain way and what it symbolizes. I have found that this process has brought the teaching out in my life. I am living the teaching and the teaching is living me.

The introduction of service as a living ideal amplifies every part of the process. This is the “living the teaching”, and “living up to what you know” part. We can serve as examples to those around us; examples of harmless living and open loving and tolerant attitudes. I try to help anyone any way that I can. I have many gifts and talents and I give them freely. This type of behavior is contagious, like all else. It brings a different kind of awareness into the equation. The awareness of interdependence, unity, community, family, and an attitude of gratitude.

Soul Contact and Illumination

As I learn and grow I get a feeling that I am becoming a better person, but not just in a general sense. I feel I am becoming better at being me. We all fall short of our ideals sometimes. That ideal expression of what it is to be me. The closer I come to my Soul the more pure and true does it shine through me. Meditation is the gateway to Soul communication.

Many of us do not listen to that still small voice, so what they are expressing is the personality. The programmed responses that have been put there by our parents, teachers, family and friends. That is not what it is to be me. That is what it is to fit the societal programming with cultural morays etc. It is the fears that a violent father may burn in. It’s the insecurity that may be the result of the neglect of a mother who was an addict.

All of these things are like mind viruses or emotional ones. They are not the self. Modern Psychology has become a system of behavioral modifications. This is the re-programming of the personality and it is a useful step, but it is not the knowledge of the psyche or Soul as the term originally meant. You have to get the personality straight first but then the urge to meditate comes in and over time Soul awareness grows and the Soul’s purpose for incarnation becomes an attainable goal. For most probationers on the path the awareness of the Soul is the next step and goal. If you are consciously walking a spiritual path, as anyone reading this forum undoubtedly is, then you are striving to that higher expression of self. I do see it as a more pure expression of what really is. The goal is to “burn away the dross” as scripture puts it.

I think of an analogy with a light bulb covered in dust. The light inside shines bright, but the light can barely be seen from the outside. That is the average person walking down the street. Divine in essence but not in expression. As we clear away these obstructions it is like burning off the debris and then the light of the bulb, which internally has always shined intensely, is now apparent and lighting the world in a different way. Now, if you look closely at the frosted surface of the bulb you will see that there is actually a filament inside the bulb. This is sometimes described as the light within the light. The bulb shines but there is a visible hot spot which is really the source of illumination. The inner self illumines the outer and as we clear away more and more of these obstructions we have a person who shines like a light in the world.

Were we able to get rid of even that frosted coating you would see only the light of the filament right through the now perfectly clear glass of the bulb. This is the point where Gandhi tells us the man has reduced himself (the lower personal self) to zero, and his power and influence are irresistible. Now the lower self is of no hindrance whatsoever to the indwelling Soul, or the true self. Spirit in individualized but purified expression and aware of its unity with the whole.

This awareness is sometimes termed “isolated unity” because though the self is fully aware of this unity with all beings and its part in the one, it is alone in this recognition. None of the beings with which it knows this unity it realizes the one-ness, like the baby who does not know it is a part of a loving family. As the baby grows, its circle of awareness and influence will begin to include family, then friends, school, community, country and all of the other groups with which we humans identify. We will eventually come to know humanity as one being. One among many earthlings, and take responsibility for the life of our planet, whin whom we live, and move, and have our being. And eventually, The One Life of which it too, is a fragment.

The Mental Plane and the Antahkarana – Part Two

In order to gain access to a greater level of understanding we must tune our consciousness and bridge a gap in awareness. The life force flows downward from the Spiritual Triad into the form and vivifies it. The amount of this vital force that makes its presence felt in the physical, mental, and emotional man, determines his vitality and effectiveness as an individual. This is true even though it flows from an aspect of himself that knows the whole. The gap is in consciousness, for we are all connected to the one at all times. We are simply incapable of the awareness of this fact until we reach a certain level of development and begin to bridge this gap in consciousness, consciously.

The Antahkarana is the name given to this complex bridge of living mental essence which connects the form to the life giving reality behind its manifestation. The Antahkarana is known as the consciousness portion of the bridge as well as its totality. The Sutratma or silver cord is a portion of this stream of energy which brings the life force into the form. It extends from the spiritual triad to the physical being and it is anchored in the heart. The Antahkarana or consciousness thread extends from the personality to the Soul and is anchored in the head. The early stages of building are accomplished unconsciously and are related to this part of the bridge. This is part of the process of Soul infusion. The direct connection of the Soul, and the greater awareness and wider field of impression, are brought into the range of the personality. They become one spiritual man on the mental plane oriented toward the highest aspect of the self through intent. This is an act of the Will, and we can see how the aspiration of the neophyte is transmuted into spiritual will in the disciple. This requires a true mental orientation, the development of the powers of visualization and the subjugating of personality desires into a life of discipline and dedication to the expansion of one’s awareness.

The heart and head begin to work together and the result is creativity. We have the intelligence aspect brought to bear on the problem through a loving approach by the personality. Another stream or thread related to creativity is woven by the personality, bringing these separate parts of the human nature together. In fact, they are only separate with regard to personality expression so this is necessarily so. As the disciple grows, he moves from the early signs of responsibility to a greater expression of creativity. The head and heart centers relate their energies into the force of expression seen as the activity of the throat center.

We have knowledge (force), wisdom (energy), and truth (spirit), as related to the lower concrete mind (personality), the son of mind (Soul) and the higher mind (the Spiritual Triad of Atma Buddhi and Manas). When the disciple becomes more competent at the work of building consciously through visualization, we see that he is now bridging the gap between the Soul infused personality and the Triad. As we approach the knowledge of that unity consciously, the need for the Soul as an interpreter disappears and at the fourth initiation, after the transfiguration of the mind and unification of the personality, the Soul is burned up and sacrificed. The Master that is the result of this process is now aware on a level beyond Soul consciousness which can be seen as monadic consciousness. As we approach the awareness of unity we become a more effective, clear, and true reflection of the divinity that is our essential nature. We do this in awareness alone, because it has always been the truth. It has simply been beyond our ability to understand while we related too closely to our form aspect.

The Mental Plane and the Antahkarana – Part One

The Mental Plane can be defined as a range of living energy within the continuum of spiritual expression through matter. It is where the creative aspect organizes what will become manifest on the physical planes. Mind is above all else an organizing force and we are taught that energy follows thought. Thought organizes and gives shape to form. This is why we call that aspect of the trinity Intelligent Activity or Active Intelligence. This organizing force is automatically creative, because in a sense the act of creation is really more an act or re-arraigning preexistent material into something new. Even in the case of an idea.

This is a meeting place where divinity and the material world merge within the cosmos and within man himself. Man is a creator and a creation as well. He is a system, as well as an atom in a greater whole, so he is also a meeting place where these forces and energies interact. When we speak of the lower mind we are considering the aspects of intelligence in man which are most closely related to the physical planes, and the personality. Newtonian physics provides us with an understanding of how physical objects behave. The hard facts associated with the physical nature allow us to project force on that plane. The mathematics of trajectory give us the ability to predict where an object will land, knowing the force and angle with which it is thrust into the air.

We can understand the physical world and predict events based on this type of knowledge, but it falls short of wisdom because its application is cold and calculated. In order to be considered wisdom there is another factor involved. Wisdom is knowledge lovingly applied, or love intelligently applied. Knowing the effect a decision will have on the other planes such as the emotional, and not simply the physical, requires a higher level of understanding and application of principals. King Solomon offered to cut a child in half in order to settle the dispute between two women who each claimed to be his mother. This was because he knew the emotional effect this would have on the child’s actual mother. She would never allow it even if it meant losing her son. He applied this wisdom and understanding to the situation and knew who’s child it was by the reactions of the women. This is a Soul aspect of mind and higher than the first because it incorporates another aspect of the Trinity, Love.

As the Soul’s love is infused with the personality traits like concrete mind and activity, we see a transformation of the selfish personality based love, and individual mind, into something greater and more encompassing. We know that person to not only be smart, but wise. Soul infusion is not just direction by the Soul, having taken control and subordinated personality needs to the greater good. It is a transformation of the personality and its needs. It is a re-defining of those needs, because it is an increase in the scope of the consciousness of the individual into an awareness of an ever expanding whole. This is the One Life, of which he has always been a part. This expanding awareness and the fusion of these two aspects of himself give him the first opportunity to contact an even higher aspect of mind. This higher mind is capable of understanding without a concrete reasoning process, so it is more than the wise or loving application of what has been reasoned through. It is awareness of truth, through the faculty of the intuition.

We are all capable of an intuitive understanding of things. We can sometimes know the truth of a set of circumstances after having heard three or four versions of these events from different people. A bell goes off and we feel we “know” what was at the root of the matter. This is a lower reflection of the intuition with which we can all relate. The higher intuition is resonant with a higher form of truth because it is not stepped down as far on the continuum between the spiritual essence and the forms it creates.

In my next post we will discuss the bridging of the gap in consciousness through the building of the Antahkarana.

The Seven Keys – Key Four – All manifestation is cyclical. It is the result of, and conditioned by vibration.

The world around you is vibrating from every corner of existence. These vibrations sometimes harmonize, and sometimes they do not, but patterns emerge out of chaos like the autogenic effects we see in fluid dynamics. Like all of these keys, this is impersonal and factual. Science defines heat, and therefore energy itself, by molecular movement. There is perpetual motion in the universe at scales that we cannot imagine. The microwave background radiation famously and accidentally discovered by Arno Penzias and Robert Woodrow Wilson are reverberations of the Big Bang that started our current great cycle or “Mahamavantara.” This is science’s version of Genesis, and since that moment when time, space, and matter began it has all been vibrating.

Ever notice that nearly everything floating around in space is round? There is no up or down in space so objects don’t make piles and liquids don’t make puddles. Gravity exists and affects everything, although this weakest of the physical forces requires a close relative proximity to be felt. If you are on the surface of the earth you feel it strongly and the moon, with its lower mass, has less ability to hold on to you. The sun holds the earth in its system because of their relative mass but we don’t feel its affect. The earth and sun are spheres, like every other large body in space and as they move and spin we see the cycles we have come to know as the seasons and days of our lives.

These cycles are caused by the very nature of the universe and they can be seen represented in every aspect of it. The orbit of the moon around the earth is as life giving at the radiation of the sun and the rotation of the earth allows for that radiation to ebb and flow just like the tides, caused by the gravity of the moon. All manifestation is cyclical. The earth’s path around the sun gives us our year and the tilt of its axis gives us the seasons. It’s not summer when we are the closest to the sun, but when the tilt of the earth makes the sunlight impact more directly. For us in the northern hemisphere that actually happens when we are farther away.

Why am I bringing all of this up? Because it is the nature of our universe and nothing escapes these cycles. Without them there is no life. Without day and night we would fry or freeze. Without the cycles of the tides provided by our moon there would be no life on earth. The seasons play their part and affect when animals and plants reproduce. You are a part of this universe and you are born of, and participate in this cyclical expression. Look around you and you will see that this fourth key is pivotal. Next we will look at how these systems and cycles are nested in one another.