The Crisis of Adjustment

Crisis unfolds our lives. Comfort and stasis do not promote growth and it is only through these internal and external tensions that we must overcome by our own efforts that we progress. I have watched as the changes that have come into my life have removed many of the people, places and things that have given me comfort. I do not feel that I was complacent and yet my Soul guides my life, and the removal of these things were obviously necessary to my growth. Their absence makes room for the things that will inevitably replace them in the fabric of my life, and this is true for every one of us.

In my personal experience this has been very painful and now, though I am not immune to pain or the effects of loss, I am detached in a greater way from them. I feel the absence of these things in a different way than before and this is growth. It is not a numbness or immunity but more like an empathy we can feel for a friend in pain. This is the attitude of the observer, focused on the life of the personality from an objective point. This is not outside the self but certainly could be seen as outside of the personality.

I have recently had the experience of a door is opening which was quite frightening as it first began to reveal itself as an opportunity. I went from feeling for years like I was in a holding pattern waiting for the first positive step toward something rather than simply shedding the non-essentials, to wondering how to slow down a runaway train that would have brought me to a new job, and life, in Seattle. It was becoming exciting as I adjusted to the coming changes and I thought this would be an important growth experience for me.

The things I thought I was headed for were refusing to materialize in my life. I thought I would be working from home and buying a small house or cabin in the woods. I wanted a peaceful existence in my “writer’s nook” on a mountainside. I would come into town when needed but have the peace that eluded me in the last few years. Barrier after barrier obstructed my way. My business has struggled. Being self-employed makes it difficult to buy a home, etc. Now out of nowhere an opportunity which represents the complete opposite of those goals had presented itself to me in a way that I could not refuse. Alas, it was not meant to be. Another opportunity has taken it’s place that will keep me here in Colorado and provide the circumstances I was originally looking for. I was ready to do whatever was necessary and that is the key.

Humanity is undergoing a transformation from the Piscean age to that of Aquarius. This is a similar transition from what we want as a group and the mental polarization, focus and training which is our necessary next step. We must progress from the warm fuzzy feeling of comfort in and adolescent (at best) understanding of our relation to deity, to a realization of ourselves as divine. This requires mental orientation and the progress from belief in, to knowledge of, the divine nature and unity of “being.” What we collectively think we want will be superseded by what is really the next step in our awakening as we are collectively guided to a new understanding which we must collectively embrace.

This will not come easily, as the changes in my personal life have not come easily. The old ways, habits, tendencies, and attachments will not be shed without a commensurate amount of struggle and pain. Like an addiction, they will struggle to re-assert themselves in our lives, for these supposedly inanimate things are thought forms imbued with our desires and will be fighting for their “lives.” Ella Wheeler Wilcox said “thoughts are things, endowed with form and wings.”

These thoughts will not “go gentle into that good night.” (Dylan Thomas) What I see today, rather than a smooth transition into a clear understanding brotherhood within the unity of the divine thought, is a raging against that good transition. The forces of desire, emotional devotion and blind belief are tearing the world apart. This may be the only way the transition can be accomplished, just as the attachments in my life had to be ripped from my grasping hands before I was able to assert my will and move into the next stage of my being; something I believe is just beginning. I liked the way things were and thought I was happy. Not all of the time but overall I felt the life I had built was a good one, worth fighting to keep. I needed to fight to keep those things in a way because I not only thought they were of value, I could not let them go without a fight to assert that value. The fight was proof that those things were worthy and worth fighting for.

There is always the specter of what looms ahead as well. Uncertainty is not comfortable for any of us. There is an old saying which asserts “better the devil you know” because you have already made the necessary adaptations and adjustments to cope with the current situation. Change is difficult but it is the nature of everything in the universe to change and evolve. We fight this change at our own peril and cost because it is inevitable, but it seems that this fight is as inevitable as the change it seeks to forestall.

The religious devotees of the world are in the fight for their lives, or so they think. The Christian right wing conservatives in this country are fighting for their very existence against the progress of humanity into a more mature understanding of ourselves which will preclude their notion of the old man on a cloud, which demands worship and exacts vengeance. This is no different than the extremist Muslims who are trying to rule the world through a Caliphate forcing its own version of that self-same old man on a cloud onto the rest of the world at the end of a gun. In both cases I see it as the belief itself fighting for its life like an addiction that cannot find expression in the worlds of human endeavor without the addict’s body to use as a vehicle.

The answer, the teachings tell us, is in the assertion of the will. There comes a time in the life of the disciple where all of the study and accumulation of knowledge must be put to use to create change. Desire as a force for change must evolve and transform into spiritual will; the will to good. The recognition of our unity, like any acquired understanding must be applied in the real world. We often see or hear the term “stand” used in the teachings and in meditation seed thoughts. We must stand in the light. This is an assertion of the will, for it is not enough to see the light. We must stand for something. It is a statement of strength in the face of adversity. In alcoholics anonymous they say that the addict must hit “rock bottom” before he can find the strength of a deep abiding disgust with things as they are. It is because we are so reluctant and fearful of change, but change we must and change we will. If we can accept this without losing all, we may not need to lose it. It is not what we possess that impedes our growth, but what possesses us.

The crisis of adjustment is one recognition, as are all growth experiences. It is a recognition of what is real and permanent. When things are removed from our lives it teaches us what is real, permanent and true. It shows us our identity and the reality of our being.

Christmas and other Solstice Celebrations

It’s here… That time of year when to all of the pressures of everyday life are added the pressures of the holiday season. In addition to the demands of Higher Ground, kids, the day gig, (I am an engineer) and everything else that seems to pile up over time, we now have shopping, family pressures, decorations, (inside and out) advertising blitz’s, the “must have” toys of the year and everything else that is attached to a holiday that is shares a season of well wishing with many other holidays. Many of the traditions associated with Christmas are shared by other faiths and religious systems in addition to the fact that their celebrations center on the winter solstice.

If you get down to the true meaning behind the origins of the Christmas Holiday as opposed to  that into which it has grown, I think it’s safe to say that Jesus lost that fight to Corporate America a long time ago. If we want to “put Christ back in Christmas” I can get behind that, but I wonder if we have come too far. The modern Christmas celebration, including the Coca Cola Santa Clause that I grew up with, would be unrecognizable to anyone from the 19th Century, let alone the year zero. That leads pretty easily to what I want to talk with you about.

There are aspects of the real holiday that do survive. You will see the classic Nativity in front of a home or church and just for a moment you remember what we are celebrating. But what are we really celebrating? It is supposed to be the birth of Jesus Christ. A nice Jewish boy born 2000 years or so ago, who had a profound effect on humanity. I say “or so” because no one really knows the date. Many don’t even know he was Jewish. We just assume it was December 25th exactly 2015 years ago (or would it be 2016?). Now, if this was in fact the case, it would not have been called the year zero, it would have been 754AUC (referring back to the start of the Roman Empire). People in the year 45 BC didn’t call it that… how could they know? The calendar was later re-calibrated to center it on the birth of Jesus and the so called start of the “Common Era”. Are you confused yet? Wait, it gets worse. Without getting too lost in all of this, doesn’t it seem strange to re-organize a calendar to a date and year we can’t identify? That gives you an idea of how unique the impact of this one individual.

Now why do we have such a hard time setting this date? Don’t we have his whole life story? Well, yes and no. The two gospel stories that do cover the birth of Jesus conflict with each other, and the earliest of the books in the canonized Bible (Mark) which doesn’t mention the birth, wasn’t written until about 60-70AD (we can’t set that date either). Mathew says he was born while Herod the great was King of Judea (he actually died in 4 BC) and Luke tells us it was in the time that Quirinius was the Governor of Syria. Ironically, history indicates that those two things didn’t happen at the same time. In addition, census that put Joseph and Mary on the road to Bethlehem was most likely the one commissioned by Cesar Augustus in 6 AD, 10 years after Herod died. So we are left to wonder…

Well, I guess it doesn’t really matter what year it was as long as we have the day right. Birthdays don’t mean as much to me anymore and I’m not 2000 years old, I just feel that way sometimes. We can still celebrate and just not have the right number of candles on the cake right? Sorry, we don’t really know the day either. As a matter of fact in the first 337 years of the common calendar 136 different days were used to celebrate Jesus’ birth. That means there is a 1 in 3 chance; no matter what day you are reading this story, that it was Christmas Day at least once. In 337 Pope Julius decided that they had to do something. That mess was OK before, but Rome had basically adopted Christianity in 325 at the council of Nicea. I guess he figured they had to be more organized. So how did he decide? In the absence of reliable historical evidence where would you turn?

As beautiful and complete as the story of Jesus may be, it is not unique in some of its aspects. There are many avatars over the ages and in different civilizations that are celebrated as the “only begotten sons of God”. Edward Carpenter identified 21 common characteristics of these Scriptures and traditions in his “Pagan and Christian Creeds” starting with a virgin mother, (many of whom were named Mary) and including the flight from “a slaughter of the innocents.” Interestingly, many of them were (supposedly) born on December 25th. Are they copying Christmas? Not by a long shot. Christianity is one of the most recent tellings of this ancient story.

Dr. Annie Bessant explains this unlikely coincidence in her book Esoteric Christianity discussing the plurality of these traditions.

“He is always born at the winter solstice, after the shortest day in the year, at the midnight of the 24th of December, when the sign Virgo is rising above the horizon; born as this sign is rising, he is born always of a virgin, and she remains a virgin after she has given birth to her Sun-Child, as the celestial Virgo remains unchanged and unsullied when the Sun comes forth from her in the heavens. Weak, feeble as an infant is He, born when the days are shortest and the nights are longest…”

Alice A. Bailey, in her definitive work on the subject, From Bethlehem to Calvary, states, “At the time of the birth of Jesus, Sirius, the star in the East, was on the meridian line, Orion, called ‘The Three Kings’ by oriental astronomers, was in proximity; therefore the constellation Virgo, the Virgin, was rising in the east, and the line of the ecliptic, of the equator and of the horizon all met in that constellation.”

Hence, we celebrate the birth of the “light of the world” at the birthing of the light at the winter solstice, along with countless other celebrations in varied cultures… Does this sound farfetched? Why would a Pope care about hokey astrological signs when dealing with purely Christian issues? If we dig a bit into history we find some interesting facts. Did you ever wonder why Easter Sunday moves around every year? The date is set each year in accordance with rules set in the same council of Nicea anchored to the Vernal Equinox. It is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring. As a matter of fact it was among the reasons for the reform of the Julian calendar into the Gregorian calendar in 1582. The older Julian was skewed and over time the date of the equinox had drifted 10 days, effecting the Easter celebration. The new calendar bearing the name of Pope Gregory XIII would “reset” Easter to the date established in Nicea in 325 AD and correspond with the solar or tropical calendar, the actual time it takes for the earth to complete its path around the sun. So, as you can see there is precedent for this kind of basis for the timing of a Christian celebration.

So where are we now? We celebrate a definitive event in human history, the date of which cannot be fixed, at the same time that many other celebrations occur, for many of the same reasons. Insecurity alone can be the reason for thinking that the other celebrations are less important or somehow diminish the one that is most important to us. In my father’s One Solitary Life series, this information is given in much greater detail including two dozen virgin born Sons of God.

If we look together at what the teachings of the world have in common we may find even greater reason for our faith. If differing civilizations and cultures all over the world center around the same tenets without the possibility of a common language to have effectively bridged or communicated these aspects of faith, does that diminish the tenets of any? On the contrary, I believe it is compelling evidence of the central truths. Let’s celebrate our faith together and truly honor the teachings and life of the Lord of Compassion along with all of the other celebrations of light around the world.

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Quantum Creativity Part II

quantum_mechanics

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

quantum_mechanics

“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.

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.

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 Journey Continues – What a Differene a Year Makes

I was driving home yesterday from the location of a huge national client where I have been surveying and essentially inventorying a multi-million dollar access and security system. I made a couple of stops on the way and now I was turning my SUV towards “home.” I thought “I love my life.” What a weird thing for me to think or feel. In essentially the same moment I realized that it had been a year in the making. That thought of contentment and gratitude for the way my life is unfolding had come through the toughest year I have experienced in decades. It was about 51 weeks ago that I lost my job, finished my book, and moved out of the home I had shared with my wife of nearly 20 years.

I decided to share the transition through this blog, because I know others have had experiences like this and sometimes it is reassuring when someone else puts those experiences into words for you. I knew even at the beginning that my life would change, that it would be tough, and that it would change me in the process. I also knew that although I did not know what it would look like when it was all over, that I would be OK and even better over time. That time has come. Life is not all roses, but its better and I have the autonomy in running my own company that will allow me to support my upcoming book, “Spiritual Practicality” in any way necessary. I have signed a publishing contract with Balboa Press, a division of Hay House Books and I am now working from home on both efforts.

My wife and I have rented a condo, and this is the first time in a year that I have a true home. I don’t know where this will go either, and I won’t live here forever, but I can handle anything and I know I will look back at all of this from a safe and sane quiet place somewhere in my future. I am almost there. This is the most comfort, space, privacy, and even safety, that I have felt in that space of time. I like it.

What a difference a year makes.

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.

When the Student is Ready, the Teacher Appears

But, who is the teacher? In what would seem under any other circumstances a simple question with a simple answer, we are given the opportunity to take a multi layered look at the problem of the disciple. Who the teacher is, depends on the level of the disciple’s understanding. There is always a teacher present and as the disciple realizes this presence “the teacher appears,” as the old saying tells us. He is ready for the next stage in his development and becomes aware of what was already present.

We are told is the Soul is the first teacher in the life of the disciple, but there have actually been many teachers prior to his awakening to the presence of his Soul. Other travelers on the path are his instructors and every situation in which he finds himself is a teachable moment. In the life of discipleship these circumstances are not random, but of the Soul’s doing. Long before he has conscious contact with his Soul, it begins to influence his life and his life circumstances (note those words) in ways he will not understand immediately. This will lead him into trouble, for until he has some awareness of this influence he will not be changing his behavior consciously. This is why the probationer falters.

We can train a dog to change its behavior with various techniques over time. In this case the dog must be conditioned over and over in order to have the behavioral pattern change. The repitition is necessary because the dog is not consciously aware that it is being taught. It is simply responding and adapting to its environment. The trainer is changing that environment with an intent the dog cannot comprehend. This trial and error takes much time and in the case of the evolving human entity, many lives. Once the urge to meditate and search for the inner meaning of life’s occurrences sets him on the path to conscious recognition of the source of these changes, he must face himself clearly and responsibly. As responsibility grows in him, he begins to sense what is right and does it because he can see no other way.

As he learns and grows, the Soul takes an ever increasing role in his life and he (as a personality) begins to gain conscious contact with this guiding force in his life. This is when he has the power to use the discipline that has led him up to this point in carrying out the Soul’s purpose for this incarnation. Obedience to these clues and intuitions will accelerate his growth. Ignoring them will cause him trouble. A teacher named Dr. Trenton Tully, who founded the Denver Metaphysicla Research Society, and whose lectures I was privileged to listen to after his passing, said that all suffering was due to the aspirant failing to “live up to what he knows.” In this context it is very true. It illustrates the warnings we hear of the danger of refuting the teaching once it is understood. Ignorance is bliss, but knowledge is power. Failure to use this power correctly puts one “in the service of darkness.”

There are other teachers along the lighted way and more advanced disciples can save him time with their guidance based on a deeper understanding. Failure to heed these other more advanced travelers (or even recognize them) will cost time, and potentially result in painful experience. The student must discern for himself, but part of that discriminatory process is the ability to recognize guidance and take advice. Even the Master, who will appear later in the life (or lives) of the disciple, will not insist on a particular path, but allow him to make his own choices. They do not insist on obedience but progress along the lighted way depends on this.

The free will of the human consciousness is not infringed and necessarily, we all begin as black magicians developing our awareness for our own benefit. The New Age movement of the 70’s had this sort of inherent selfishness. People desired personal and spiritual grouwth for the effect it had on themselves, not for the benefit of humanity. As we gain in development, and the awareness of ourselves as a part of a greater whole, our further progress requires us to use that knowledge for the greater good. This is obedience to the plan itself. The obedience to the Master is really obedience to his work. If you want to come into the service of one of the guides of the race you must show yourself as useful to him by serving humanity. That is what he is doing. They do not seek our worship. They seek useful servants in the furtherance of the plan. If you wish to receive further instruction and responsibility then you must fulfill the tasks he has already assigned to you. In this way it is the disciple’s choice and his will which is developed, and incidentally, his karma.

The Masters do not seek trained puppies to do their bidding. They require those who become capable of working on their own for the greater good. This system of the relating of the teaching and delegation of responsibilities stands up leaders among men. They become what the military would call “force multipliers” in the service of humanity.