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.

Key Seven – Spiritual Truth is Necessarily Given in Symbolism

Remember that when we talk and think in symbols we are placing something

between ourselves and reality – something protective, interpretive and

significant, but something nevertheless veiling and hiding.

The Master Djwahl Kuhl

 

Merriam Webster defines the word symbol as a noun: an action, object, event etc., that expresses or represents a particular idea or quality. Another definition I found was “a letter, group of letters, character, or picture that is used instead of a word or group of words.”

When we think of symbols, most of us think of pictograms and hieroglyphs but that is just one way of using symbols. A glyph generally looks like the object it represents. Language is a complex symbolic system in which the symbols do not look like the objects (or ideas) they represent. Words are symbols made of symbols, because letters are symbols too. The letters represent sounds which when uttered together can represent not only an object but a concept.

The word automobile doesn’t look like a car, but that is what we all get from the word because of our common experience in the world. Automobile simply means “moves by itself” but we have come to associate it throughout our culture as a car. It is a concept because it represents more than just one car but the idea of all cars. This concept of “car” means something slightly different to each person who hears or uses the word. The average driver has one interpretation, and the engineer has another, based on the diversity of their experience, but there is enough common experience for them to communicate about a car.

How deep does this idea go? That same car can represent success or failure to an individual. Other “status symbols” can make you feel success or achievement. Your entire life can be seen as symbolic of a certain kind of struggle to those around you or, if you gain notoriety to the country, or the world. Story tellers can use this symbolic language to teach us a moral through the life experiences of a fictional character, or select specific events in the life of a real person to get a certain type of point across. Some people may readily see the back story as it unfolds and others may need the author to explain it through the denouement.

We all see the same movie but walk away with a different impression. The life experience we bring to the theatre colors the way we interpret the story. This is what the writers of scripture and fable capitalize on when transmitting certain types of truth. When we move into the arena of faith, what is being transmitted by the backstory is the real story. When the idea is abstract, or as in the case of spiritual truth, must be experienced personally, a symbolic transmission of the truth is necessary. For instance, we cannot prove, or even define God. By most definitions it is indefinable (oddly enough). Even labeling it with the word God is a limitation so the Hebrew faith refers to the ultimate creator as “he about whom naught can be said.” Lao Tsu tells us that “the Tao that can be discussed is not the real Tao.”

If we cannot discuss it, or speak about it without distorting the idea, the only thing we have left is to point at it in a vague way from a number of different perspectives and hope the point gets through. For some people it will become clear and for some it will not. Some will gain a faint understanding and never see the whole picture. Some will not realize the story has a point at all. That is the continuum of understanding of spiritual truth. To someone who is unaware of the use of symbolism, or does not have the keys to unlock their meaning the truth remains veiled.

These are the people who will only see the literal meaning of a scripture. They see The New Testament as the story of the life and times of a Rabbi in Palestine. This can offer inspiration to their lives because of the things he went through and the experiences they have had throughout their lives may relate to his in some meaningful way. For others, with “eyes that see and ears that hear,” a deeper meaning is revealed. In the case of The New Testament, we have a story about the enlightenment of not only that particular Rabbi, but the path it takes for every single human being as we evolve our understanding about ourselves and the universe we share. If you are curious about this idea it is treated at length in my father Anthony J. Fisichella‘s last book. It was the final book of his Trilogy, “One Solitary Life” and it is titled “The Christ Epoch.”

There is another aspect to this use of symbolism when it relates to spiritual truth. The awareness of these ideas will empower someone in very specific ways. These truths can be used for the general good or selfish gain (evil). Power in the wrong hands is dangerous, so in order to preserve and communicate the truth it must be veiled from the profane. In the words of Geoffrey Hodson the symbolic presentation is use to “both conceal and reveal” the truth.

It is with these ideas in mind that we will explore the presentation of these spiritual ideas within the pages of my upcoming book “Spiritual Practicality – The Seven Keys to the Mysteries of the Ageless Wisdom.”

The Seven Keys – Key 6 – All forms of life embrace lesser forms, and are in turn embraced by greater forms.

If you have been following along, this may seem a little redundant after discussing our 5th Key. It is an important distinction because now we are talking about a hierarchy of life, not just the classification of matter. In addition to worlds within worlds, we have lives within lives, embraced by the One Life. In this context, the idea of a “greater” form of life simply means a more complex and encompassing one which is the result of a higher level of consciousness. The earth is a living organism; an assemblage and community of the differing life forms which make up its totality. It is the macrocosm (big universe) to our microcosm (little universe). It embraces us on our journey as we embrace the billions of varied cellular level lives, as well as the hitch hikers and stow-aways we take along for the ride within our own smaller system, or “ring pass not.” There are many organisms within your body which are decidedly not human, such as the over one hundred trillion microbes of over 400 different types in your digestive tract alone. From the perspective of those lives, you are the macrocosm. These are separate little creatures living within you who are as crucial to your survival as you are to theirs. I hope you are beginning to see how these ideas are all couched within one another.

 

It is the Law of Analogy which reveals truth to the human mind so effectively. If it what we are discussing is universal truth, then by definition we should see it expressed on all levels within our range of perception. If not, we are not dealing with universal truth. If so, we have earned the ability to project that truth into realms we cannot perceive directly to see what our intuition may reveal to us. Let’s start over and project the idea upwards.

 

Imagine what you would be like if all of those little lives within you were capable of knowing your intent and working toward it consciously. What if they knew they were an integral part of “you” and that their efforts served a greater purpose? We have a tendency to anthropomorphize everything and it conjures up images of little people running round inside a big robot yelling “we need more power” but, it is a useful metaphor to a point. You are a unit of consciousness within a greater consciousness which, in turn, is a part of something even greater. If you can in some way perceive and then align yourself with the greater purpose, you can hasten its progress.

 

On a physical level you are an animal body, which is one of literally billions of your own species, evolving together within a greater organism called Earth. You are surrounded by an infinite number of other physical beings who share a destiny, either consciously or unconsciously. We can perceive groups within groups within groups with all manner of classification, and yet one being, clinging to a ball of dust hurtling through space. The same holds true for the concepts of mind and emotion. You are a mental being, which is a fragment of the mind of God. Your love is the love of God in microcosm. Not of some old man in the sky, but of that greater organism; a greater level of organization of not only matter but the life of which it is a mere reflection.

 

This too is a living entity which is part of something greater; a solar system, a galaxy and the universe(s). You are a cell in that being and all of the greater lives in which it is a living part. To know and be in touch with the will of God and live in harmony with the greater being of which we are a part is the stated goal of religious teachings. Can you see now that it is a symbolism created to guide you to this understanding of unity? We will look at symbolism as the necessary method of communication used in the transmission of these ideas in our 7th Key. It unlocks the secrets of the universe if you just recognize it for what it is.

The Seven Keys – Key 5 – As it is above, so it is below.

The Oracle of Delphi advised, “know thyself, and thow hast read the world.” Madam Blavatsky told us the way we would come to an understanding of the universe is through the “Law of Correspondences.” There are many such quotes and statements of this idea; that the universe is constructed in ever-increasing spirals of complexity. It all traces back to the phrase, “As it is above, so it is below.” This was central to the teachings of the ancient Hermes Trismegistus who is said to have taken the Ageless Wisdom from Atlantis to Egypt.

The root of this idea is that vibrations manifest in repeating patterns and harmonics. Through these patterns of vibration we see the emergence of mathematical relationships. The doubling of an audio frequency results in the first harmonic or, in the most common form of musical notation, the octave note. There are relationships between the various planes of existence we will study. Just as every note necessarily has its counterpart in every octave, there are things that we will see repeatedly expressed on varied levels of physical manifestation, and consciousness as well. Cycles repeat within cycles; worlds within worlds.

Incidentally, you can see a physical plane correspondence to this phenomenon in a demonstration here  A plate is fixed to a speaker and made to vibrate at increasing frequencies. Salt is poured on the plate and it forms a definite fixed pattern because of the vibration. As the frequency is increased there is an increasing complexity to the patterns created. It opens with a statement from Nicola Tesla which fits in beautifully with our fourth and fifth keys. He said “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.”

Because the universe is built up from a single substance, we see the structure of the atom repeated in the Solar System and the Galaxy. Complexity comes with scale because the Solar System is made up of atoms and the galaxy is made up of solar systems. They are orders of magnitude apart, but the patterns repeat because they are the result of the same forces, acting upon the same materials.

In the Ageless Wisdom teachings we are told that there are 7 physical sub-planes starting with solid, liquid, and gaseous, followed by 4 ethers. There are similarly 7 emotional sub-planes each with a correspondence to one of the physical ones. The emotional “octave” is of higher frequency and finer, subtler material. This is repeated with the mental planes which are finer and subtler still, on up through the finest called Adi. The coarser planes of the physical world are forged from the finer materials of the subtler planes and that is why thought and emotion can have physical effects. That is why energy, the substance of the universe, is said to follow thought, (or mind) which is its first and final organizing force.

Everything in manifestation started with an idea. The mountain in the mind of the Logos, and the carabiner and the peton in the mind of a climber. As above, so below. You are a creator in the image of God. You don’t look like God. You create within the same system of natural laws with the same techniques. The next step in your evolution is to do it consciously.

 

 

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.

The Seven Keys – Key Three – Consciousness is the result of the interaction of Spirit and Matter

In order to justify such an esoteric statement we will have to look to the scriptures of the world. Science has no opinion as of yet on creation. They start with the big bang, and that is fine. We are really concerned with the moment prior to creation so this is going to stay theoretical (just as the big bang is). Sorry, but the real answer is that only you can decide for yourself what the truth of this matter may be. Nothing like this can be proven except by the self, to the self. You will find that a recurring theme when it comes to this level of teaching. No one should insist you believe anything on their faith. Only your own intuition can tell you what is truth. Spiritual matters must be worked out by each individual conscious entity. We cannot communicate our experience of God or any of the universal truths through language, because it can only be used to relate common experience. you cannot describe “blue” to a color blind person, no matter how intense your experience of “blue” may be.

Most of the religious traditions of the earth are constructed around a trinity of equally divine aspects of the One Life. The Christian voices this as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost. This Holy Spirit always confused me. Why is there no Mother aspect? If the father is spirit why does it appear again? Well, this is simply a distortion that came down through the cultures adhering to this particular doctrine. The Holy Ghost is matter imbued with the Spiritual Essence, and it is female. Matter is the feminine aspect. Spirit is positive, not because it is better or righteous, but because it posits. In the same way, matter is negative because it receives. In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna tells Arjuna “Having pervaded the whole universe with a fragment of myself, I remain.” This is a statement of that concept. Spirit, also known as the father, pervades pre-existent “proto matter” (mulaprakriti) which is in essence energy. Then it interacts with it, producing form and with it, consiousness. The Father, The Mother, and the Son. The son is consciousness. My father used to say “consciousness cannot be hung in a void.” There has to be something to be conscious, and something of which to be conscious. It requires, and is the result of the manifested universe.

The trinity has also been characterized in Hinduism as Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma. The Buddhist refers to Atma, Buddhi, and Manas. The Hebrew faith refers to Kheter, Chokma, and Binah. The Theosophical Society and other researchers and teachers of the philosophy known as “The Ageless Wisdom” have characterized these aspects of divinity as Will, Love, and Active Intelligence. This more modern terminology serves the western mind more appropriately. In every case there is the male principal (Spirit, Will) interacting with the material or female aspect (Maya, Matter, Body), which is seen as organized by mind, producing the Son (Consciousness, Love, Soul). I slipped it in there but we have all heard of the trinity in terms of Spirit, Soul and Body as well. This falls perfectly in line with all of the other characterizations. Soul is another synonym for consciousness. Just as a side note, you may have noticed that I did not include Islam above. The tradition resists the trinity because the “three persons in one” seems to diminish in some way, the ultimate creator. My impression is that the trinity is a result (like everything else) of the One Life that animates all into manifestation. It is the first result of the creative process. The creator cannot be diminished by the act of creation.

This process is characterized in Genesis as God hovering over the waters and stirring into activity. God represents the unity from which all is derived. The waters represent this null or proto matter. The first thing that happens is a thought. I jokingly charachterize this as “hey, wouldn’t it be cool if there was light?” Then the words “let there be light” and vibrations separate light from the darkness and bring the manifested universe into being. Duality is created and instantly a relationship between the two aspects is seen as the trinity upon which all these systems are derived. More on that in the next post.

For now I’d like to close with the idea of evolution. I have been talking in religious terms about creation and most people think that evolution is a contradiction of the creative process, but it is an integral part of it. Eveything evolves. Your consciousness has evolved in the course of your lifetime, and humanity has become more conscious over Aeons. This process of the evolution of consciousness is layed out beautiflully in the book “Cosmic Consciousness” by Howard Maurice Bucke. Early scritpures and other writings make no reference to color or fragrance. The first references to color are reds. This is the low end of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum that were call visible light. It is possible that we have even evolved the ability to see color over time. Our understanding of the universe has changed dramatically in just the last few hundred years and it governs our behavior and interation with all we know.

We have evolved as a race, and are different just as you are different from the 5 year old you that you were. Think about it.

The Seven Keys – Key Two – “The One Life expresses itself through matter in order to experience and master form”

So why would this perfect divine and singular life force enter into form? Material expression is limiting and imperfect, confining and restrictive. The short answer is, “to know itself,” but don’t worry, I will go a bit deeper than that. TS Elliot once said that “We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” This is an expression of two factors combining in the creative process. The first is referred to in the esoteric sciences as the “Law of Necessity.” Deity must create. That is it’s nature and it’s purpose. In order to be a painter, one must paint. Interestingly, the converse is also true. It is said that man is made in God’s image and that has been reverse engineered to mean that God looks like a man. This is the “old man in the sky” myth that seemingly overtakes every other concept of Deity. There is no old man in the sky, and I have said many times that if that is our only definition of God, than I am an atheist. There is only the One Life which is “above all, through all and in you all” as we discussed in our last post. The second factor is that the process of creation is how the creator becomes aware of itself. The painter is exploring his own mind and heart through his painting as well. This is also true of the musician, the sculptor, etc.

I have only come to understand these two reasons for the manifested universe. The life force creates form in order to experience, and express. Some add the word experiment but I think that is implied within the first two. We are trying to boil things down to root causes, so I will stay with my first two. It is up to you (as always) to determine  the validity of my position in your own life, mind, and heart. Consciousness cannot be hung in a void. It is the result of the interaction of the initial driving force, known as Spirit or Will, and its material expression. We will explore that concept in more depth when we get to Key Three.

Self exploration is the highest calling to which a creator can aspire because it brings one into closer contact and awareness of the divinity which is our source. The Oracle of Delphi advised man “know thyself, and thou has read the world.” Man is a divine creature and to know one’s self more deeply is to come closer to that divine nature. In all of my studies and meditation, self discipline and introspection, I see a single result. I am now a better version of Doug. There is something that exists which is not my body, but uses it. When we do something that is below our own expectations of our “self” we say, “that’s not me. I am better than that.” Through these spiritual disciplines (or any discipline) we come closer to the perfection that we know ourselves to be. and we feel in line with our true essence. That is a form of integrity, or integration. We come closer on the outside to what we know to be the true self on the inside and there is a harmony and beauty in our lives because of this more true and complete expression of the self. As we master the expression in form through the experience of having form, we are literally “God” becoming aware of itself.

Will this happen without conscious effort? Yes. Just look around you. There are many people, who are equally divine in their essence and nature who are completely unconscious of this fact. They are on the path and do not know it. We are all travelling to the same place and when we arrive, we will know the place for the very first time. The process is merely accelerated when we take our own spiritual development in hand and “aspire” to be something greater than ourselves. This is in fact impossible, because we are already perfect and divine in our essence. What we really do through the experiences of living in form is to come closer to that essence through the mastery of material expression. What are you expressing with your actions in the material world? Is it enhancing your experience?

The Seven Keys – Key One “There Is But One Life”

There is but One Life. All of the following Keys and everything within the religious and philosophical teachings throughout the history of humanity can be boiled down to this one concept. This infinite singular Life force expresses itself through what Lao Tzu called the myriad (or ten thousand) things. It is the basis of the teaching on the brotherhood of man, and the unity of all being. Religious systems have tended to personify this life and describe it as separate and transcendent. They mistakenly attribute to it the male principal, but the truth is that this life force is the predecessor, cause, and source of both male (spirit) and female (matter) principals as well as the consciousness (Christ) that is the result of their interaction. It is you and I and the space in between us, united and alive. In the Book of Acts we read that it is God “in whom we live and move and have our being.” St. Paul described the reverse idea when he said God was “above all, and through all, and in you all.” These two statements combined give us the idea that this life force and source is both imminent, and transcendent. All is in God and God is in all.

I would ask at this point, whatever your idea of God may be, if there is anything that could be a part of this life force, this supreme creator, and still be “dead” matter? What part of God is dead? The belief that all in the universe is alive is called Hylozoism. It is closely related to Pantheism. The problem with Theist and Deist doctrine is that it separates God from not only humanity, but from everything else. These dogma’s then suggest that “He” interferes with what he has created, and for some, he evidently doesn’t like evolution; the process by which life expresses itself in ever expanding and more complex forms.

If we ascribe the word Life as a synonym for God, most of the scriptures of the world not only still work, but they work better. Life is above all, through all, and in you all. It is within Life that we live and move and have our being. We are all immersed in a resonant translucent jello which is teeming with life. It is not always apparent, but it is there. Atoms and molecules are in constant motion and interact in predictable ways. Chemical affinities will break down when a substance with a stronger attraction is present and these bonds will re-form when the interloper is removed.

We are not, as scientific materialism suggests, apart from our environment and studying it. Where would we be? We are an integral part of all that surrounds us and this results in the observer effect recognized in virtually all areas of physical science. On all planes of existence this environment resonates and responds to all we think feel and do, and it is all permeated with a living essence shared by everything else you see, feel, and touch, along with everything you can’t see, feel, or touch.

One of the interesting aspects of the abortion issue is the question of when life begins. When did it end? The only way to “create” life is with life. A living egg fertilized by a living sperm transforms it into a living vehicle for another living entity, the human Soul, which uses it to express its infinitely more complex life. Each cell within this vehicle or body is another life unto itself and a part of the more complex organism. Each Soul is itself an expression of the One Life force animating all into being. Krishna says to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, “Having pervaded the whole universe with a fragment of myself, I remain.” The Soul (a fragment of the whole) repeats this process on its own level, giving purpose, cohesion, and direction to this newly organized expression of life.

This process is reflected in infinite layers from the most restricted form of the life essence in the mineral kingdom up into levels beyond our ability to comprehend, and it is all alive. It is all brought into being by the supreme creator who, having pervaded it with a fragment of itself, remains… One Life.

Spiritual Practicality

The title of my upcoming book is “Spiritual Practicality.” I’d like to take a moment to explain to you what I mean by that, and then in my next post I will begin to address the Seven Keys I have discovered underlying these teachings that, if kept in mind, will bring clarity to you as you read. This is regardless of what particular book or religious system you draw upon in order to interpret the world around you and guide you on your way.

One of the issues that is discussed with regard to spiritual living is that is it considered by most to be impractical and ill-suited to living in the modern world. If we are talking about trying to live your life according to a literal or “dead letter” reading of The Old Testament for instance, I can see the point as at least partially valid. Those of you who have read some of my work will probably know that I don’t believe that is the way to read any scripture. They are written symbolically so they can bring truth to a wide variety of readers along a continuum of conscious awareness. To a child the Gospels tell the story of a preacher roaming the holy land teaching love and compassion. To a biblical scholar they give insight into a period in human development and history as well. To me and many others, they tell the story of the awakening human consciousness. The path to that awakening is presented in the story through the events in the life of Jesus, who never claimed to be the only begotten son of God, but did refer to himself as the light and the path and the way. How can those words be interpreted in any way other than symbolic?

So how can any of this be of practical use? There has been an attempt by some to qualify practical spirituality as the application of some of their system of belief to the practical world around them. Embracing principles which do apply to daily life, and there are many that do. “Thow shalt not kill” is a great example of a pronouncement that makes as much sense in the modern world as it did when Moses first spoke it to the Israelites. As a matter of fact, it was true and practical before that as well. These ideas are in many cases moral in their nature, and adopted (appropriately) by the various systems of faith and belief, and used to guide the congregation in just and right behavior. It’s a start, but I believe this is an incomplete way of living your faith because it really involves cherry picking tenets you think still work and applying them in your daily living.

I turned the phrase on its side for a reason. I refer to “Spiritual Practicality” because I believe that when you understand what is being taught, you can live a spiritual life that is completely practical and applicable in the modern world. Now there are things which are included in many of the scriptures of the world that need to be, and have been abandoned as we have grown in our conscious awareness. Many others still need to be dropped by the segments of the populace who still adhere to them. Just because an idea is old doesn’t make it true. The second tier status of women as human beings is one that cannot go too soon. Even though Leviticus tells us it’s OK to sell our daughters into slavery, that has more to do with the structure of a society created thousands of years ago than it does with the teachings at the core of the Judaic traditions. Many of the old texts have those kinds of “don’t eat stuff off the sidewalk” instructions that are really not necessary in modern society.

The spiritual living that is at the center of the various religious teachings of the world is still very practical today. Instead of trying to figure out which parts of our spirituality are practical and applicable to modern life, I propose that the only practical way to approach modern life is the spiritual path. How many of you have done what was asked of you throughout your lives from a practical angle and still feel empty? You went to college or work, raised your children to the best of your ability, worked hard at your job, bought tons of stuff with the money you made, and yet your life does not feel full. You have concentrated on the results, and gotten them, but something is missing. The materialistic approach to living in the West is an empty and illusory lifestyle. I met a woman who represents a product line we use in my work. She travels 4-5 days a week 3-4 weeks a month and so does her husband. It’s commendable to work that hard under the right circumstances, but she has an infant at home. He mother is raising the child so that they can accumulate stuff. Can you see the possibility of an “aha moment” later in her life when she feels she has missed out on living?

When you live spiritually you will find that every aspect of that approach to life has a practical application in the modern world. Spiritual Practicality means applying your spiritual life, your inner being, to the practical world. Instead of taking a few seemingly practical aspects of the teachings you hold dear to your current circumstances, you live spiritually through every experience, because your awareness is changed. Meditation may seem like an impractical waste of time to someone who does not practice it, but the results in your consciousness from its practice will make you a more effective human being in any walk of life. Kindness and compassion can be practiced in any circumstance. Harmlessness is a way of life. You cannot have happiness or bliss if there are incongruities in your life and actions. Being a cut-throat business man, because that is the only way to survive in a hostile world does not square with what one claims to believe in church on Sunday. Integrity is the continuity between your inner life and your actions in the physical, emotional, and mental worlds. Physical acts have physical repercussions that can be seen and tested. What many don’t realize is that not only do emotional and mental acts have effects on their own planes but those effects precipitate down into the physical as well. Do you think that understanding these things has any practical application in everyday life? Obviously I do.

Stay tuned. We will be going through the Seven Keys one by one.