Crisis as Opportunity – Part 2

The first real crisis in my life came when I was 33, and my brother died. The ramifications of the downward spiral that ensued would carry on for years. He was my partner in crime, so to speak. We were going to be rock stars together and for a time I reverted to a very self-destructive version of myself. He was my big brother and he was supposed to be there for the rest of my life. I did become active again in music but it was in a very negative way at first. This represents a crisis of adjustment.

Over time his loss actually prompted me to learn to play on one of his guitars. This would seem more like a Soul response growing out of the originally personality based reaction. I wrote a song about him that touches people deeply. I have written others about the growth we all achieve in consciousness at our own pace, and the loneliness that can accompany this journey. Taking a deep life altering experience as an opportunity for growth and the sharing of our lives is much different from getting drunk to cover the pain of loss. We find a way through our own experience to help the next guy get past the need to mask that pain by putting him in touch with what is really going on. The Soul not only makes lemonade from the lemons, but shares it with the world. This could be seen as a change in polarization.

The loss of my father 11 years or so ago represented another most definite turning point in my life and I have come to see it as a gift rather than a loss. I rose to new heights of accomplishment and responsibility. It was a feeling of weight at first because one of my allies and protectors was gone. I felt responsibility to him to produce the books from his manuscripts. I completely re-oriented my life to make sure that this happened. I may have always been destined to this life but I had not taken any defined steps in this direction. This was a crisis of re-orientation.

As I move into my mid-fifties I see a growing contact with my Soul and feel its expression through my actions. I have a book to share and it will be published this year. I am still playing music and learning more about it all the time. My body functions better than it did when I was in my thirty’s because I feed it well, and tend to my mental and emotional state with a detached, interested, and observant awareness. I haven’t had a drink in more than 15 years and don’t do any of the self-destructive things that were habits in my past. I stopped eating meat over a decade ago and eat an almost strictly Vegan diet. I feel I am poised for tremendous spiritual growth because I know I am just getting started. The events of my life have been tumultuous but I have stayed steady as I could under conscious exertion of my will. The so called facts as they present in the outer appearance of the circumstances of my life could be considered negative, and even lamentable. Through all of it I feel not only the growth in my patience but the opening of my heart.

The Tibetan Master Djwahl Kuhl said that “if you are not living eventfully, dangerously, or even painfully, then it is up to you to see that something happens in your spiritual life that will enable you to share in the universal crisis.” I can certainly say that my life is eventful, providing ample opportunity for growth. I see no signs of withdrawal and I believe the most interesting part of my journey lies before me. I have had to let go of some things that seemed very important to me and still feel a sense of loss, and simultaneously, acceptance. I know the things I have lost were never really mine. They were never really real. What is real I take with me on my journey. I need much less than I thought I needed. My life is happy and sad, full and somehow empty. There is much work to do and I think that empty space must exist for us to continue to strive. Contentment can be immobilizing. I am striving, not to get back what I have lost, but to move into my next phase of growth and being.

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.