Enough is Enough

When is Humanity Going to Get That We’re All in This Together?

Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

The Box

Posted by majutsu on July 27, 2010

My wife, who’s a writer, often tells me it’s good for the soul to write. My protestations of lack of craft and sufficient free-time she over-rides by saying that making a sonnet is like making a little toy of words. I love little toys, trinkets, pieces of art, etc as they tend to re-awaken the child-like joy that is the state we aspire to when we seek to find the root one-ness of all, that state of what the Shiva Sutra calls “joy-filled amazement”.

So here’s my naive sonnet filled with fixed formal ideas about stanza purpose, force iambs, and anachronistic contractions: Enjoy! 😉

The Lacquer Box

An antique shop I passed on route to school
had on display a painted lacquer box.
Desiring leafy lacework ‘til I drooled,
I saved to buy the key. My piece, unlocked!

Between my hands, alive, wood resonates,
Enamel tendrils snake ‘round fingertips.
The tiny key’s intelligence innate
pries tumbler pins with clicking, kissing lips.

Once opened, red velour lined coffin walls
entombed a tiny, dazzling, crystal man
with probing sapphire eyes and chiseled jaws
the craftsman’s sacred message held ‘tween his hands.

The secret hid in carvings, secured by locks?
One chip of wood, a simple uncarved block

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The Illusion of the Self

Posted by majutsu on July 21, 2010

The Illusion of the Self

We humans suffer from a serious mental illness which results in terrible crimes against others and the earth. Instead of correctly seeing ourselves as nothing other than the one, formless source of all life, consciousness and being, we identify ourselves with our personal narrative sustained by the running commentary in our heads.

Imagine, as a metaphor, that our thoughts – our past, our relationships, our likes and dislikes, our concepts about the world and its objects – are marbles. Imagine a big bowl filled with these diverse, multi-colored and enchanting marbles. Now, imagine ourselves as obsessive marble collectors, that we have insanely mis-identified our true nature as this collection of marbles. In that case, like an obsessive marble collector, we will perpetually be seeking to add another prize specimen to our collection to “complete” it, or, alternatively, be petrified of losing one of the precious marbles in our prize collection. In this way, we, like the obsessive marble collector, by mis-identifying with our collection of thought-forms, will vacillate between excitement to add another marble (another possession, experience, relationship or achievement) to our collection and fear of losing what we have in the unknown future. Because this chronic unhappiness, this emotional roller-coaster, is the necessary outcome of our mis-identification with the mind, our individual existence and its thought-forms, this unhappiness can never end, despite our stringent, but ultimately irrelevant, attempts to either augment or secure our identity.

As another metaphor, imagine a very skilled metal-smith has fashioned a water fountain, the top of which has an intricate network of twisting conduit-pipes and outlets, fashioned so that water coming from the bottom emerges as transient water-sculptures of birds, angels, people, landscapes, etc., in a dizzying show. In this case, our thought forms are the pipes, the conditioning of our culture, gender, race, and past. This conditioning turns the raw power of formless consciousness, the water in the fountain, into the transient, individual consciousness we experience, the show at the top. This is why we only perceive this cosmic consciousness as the transient dance of forms we call our individual life, and this is why it is so easy to mis-identify with the transient, individual self. This is also how it is that cosmic consciousness becomes imprisoned in our individual self. But it is the feeding of the cosmic consciousness that gives us life and is the source for any new idea we have, impulse to act, or creative endeavor. However, because of the conditioning of thought-forms, our creativity and cosmic consciousness become enslaved to supply the freewill to the actions we create to chase after future objects or achievements, or to run away from fears we may imagine. But as soon as one of the watery doves or other transient thought forms we experience disappears, we see the cosmic consciousness once again fall to reality and return to the source, much like the water from the top of the fountain falls back down and soaks into the earth and eventually back to the sea.

By learning to cease identifying with our individual selves and its thought-forms, we may experience the source of cosmic consciousness. We may be spared the agony of recurrent cycles of excitement and fear that ultimately make us miserable.

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Tree of life and spiritual technology

Posted by majutsu on March 11, 2009

Pan-Consciousness and the Kabbalah

There is an ancient mystery tradition. Elements of the mystery tradition have been maintained in sources such as Greek philosophy, Eastern religion (Buddhism and Shivaism particularly), and in modern mystery traditions. The ultimate goal of such traditions is to understand the interplay between body and consciousness that takes place at the level of emotion. By union with a pan-consciousness, several benefits derive, both in theory and from a practical psychological point of view: 1)Since the person has united with a pan-consciousness not tied to one ego, true empathy and morality may emerge, 2)Because the emotions are derived from the interplay and thought and body, and the top-heavy element of thought is now embraced, one may be filled predominantly with blissful emotions at one’s choosing, like picking a pair of socks, 3)it may be possible to produce scientific but surprising material effects at a distance through neural network control of chaotic physical events.

Consciousness requires concepts. Concepts like Truth and Illusion are very interesting and drive us closer to understanding their mystery. Truth, for example, is the belief that what one thinks or says matches some external reality with a degree of permanence. Illusion is the concept that one’s thoughts or words do not match reality except in a tangential sense relating to momentary desire or mis-perception, a match of reality only in briefest flux. These two, taken together, indicate the need for objectivity and non-ego-oriented perspectives as precursors of true consciousness. Furthermore, there is the fact that living, conscious humans consist of a body and consciousness. Dead humans consist of a body and no consciousness. Yet nothing material has actually left. A process has stopped, and therefore, in a sense, something not visible, not material, and yet in all likelihood, not ghostly either, has left. So do we say consciousness is a process? Fine, but there are many processes in the world, like oxidation in a candle flame, erosion, etc. Are all processes consciousness? Doubtful. Yes consciousness is a process, but since other processes do not share consciousness, there is something special about the process of consciousness.

Such viewpoints leave us considering three realms of reality. The first is an ideal realm, characterized by natural law and consciousness. Just as we can speak of natural law governing the period between expansion and contraction of the universe, where there is nothing in between that is material, and also we speak of sharing the consciousness of a dead writer on a rainy afternoon, we can speak of this ideal realm, but it is still rather mysterious, but clearly primary, and permanent within flux. The material realm of flux, gain and loss, is very obvious by contrast. A third realm, represent by the conscious man, is the interaction between these two. While we refer to consciousness in a permanent sense in the ideal realm, the interactional realm is the world of the garden-variety consciousness of the living human being, the emotional/conscious level. So the three realms may be loosely defined as the ideal, the material and the conscious. This is also identified in Hindu philosophy as the three gunas” sattva (ideal), rajas (action), and tamas (darkness). In a sense, we can look at any property and it’s opposite. There is the material level where contradictory properties are excluded from being at the same moment – a la Aristotle. At the level of universal oneness and abstraction, opposites are identical. The infinitely big and the infinitely small would be indistinguishable, both are extension without limit. Now as this whole conception sees the universe in terms of union and differentiation of opposites with a constant in-breathing or outbreathing between these poles, each of the three realms may be subjugated to the same breaths and differentiation itself. And any subsequent sub-worlds may also experience the same infusion of breath, in fractal-like recursion. However, as in programming, one recursion is enough to recursively call a function until an end-point, so it is common to show the three realms recursively divided into three sub-realms each, when compounded with the totality of human experience, equaling the 10 sephiroth (3×3 + 1).

Each of these sephiroth is associated with a number and several other images from various religions and myths. This is done to pull the body, mind and emotions into a study of the breathing and flux between these worlds. This amounts to a curious science, a sort of atheistic spiritual technology. Atheism is in the sense of seeing this as an experience of the human being as unified and inseparable with the one conscious being that is all that is, therefore, denying a separate personal god apart from his creation as most religions dogmatically profess. As J Smith states in his analytical treatise on atheistic terms, pantheism is atheism, but not positive physical materialist non-skeptical atheism, but a negative (denying something not asserting anything) non-skeptical (not agnostic or denying human ability to understand) atheism. Yet it is spiritual in the sense of using myth and ritual as a technology, like a tv set, to induce personal change. This would probably be the clearest understanding of my beliefs I can deliver at this time, atheistic-pantheistic-pagan-humanistic-spiritual-technology. This is sort of taking prayer and myth and ritual and peeling it off any dogma, treating it as a realm open to scientific explanation and rational exploration just like any other perceivable phenomena. Comparative religion is the tinniest, earliest most immature part of such a study, but one that most are familiar with through J Campbell, Sam Harris, etc.

So the first realm is the Ideal, then Conscious, then Material. All nine subrealms are therefore:

Ideal
1. Ideal of Ideal -i.e. God, Shiva
2. Conscious of Ideal – will of god, creation
3. Material of Ideal – i.e. angels, mystical forces, mediation etc

Conscious
4. Ideal of Conscious – perfected self, boddhisattva, christ
5. Conscious of Conscious – inspiration, creativity
6. Material of Conscious – morality, ethics

Material
7. Ideal of Material – forms, patterns, unconscious
8. Conscious of Material- life, procreation
9. Material of Material- rationality, logic, science

10.Malkuth – the totality, real human experience, phenomenology.

Using associated images, rituals, meditation and prayer, these levels and their interplay may be understood. This replaces mere physical atoms with phenomenological atoms, packets of matter/consciousness/emotion whose assembly and disassembly make the phenomenology of a real human experience, replacing the simplistic and skewed view of material atomism obtained by looking at human life either exclusively subjectively or objectively alone.

Why is this done? Lacan and psychoanalytic theory, not surprisingly conceived by atheistic kabbalistic Jews such as Freud, provides insight into the outcome of the process:

“[The practitioners] realize that, in fact, they had little idea what they were saying, why they were saying it, or even who was speaking when they opened their mouths. The what, why, and who of their utterances has become problematic to them. Everything becomes questionable; what was most certain is no longer at all certain, and they are now open to listening to the unconscious, to hearing the other voice that speaks through them, and to attempting to decipher it. The desire for wisdom has been formed.” Bruce Fink on Lacan

This is not intended to still more pointless debates with two tiresome groups of people, believers in revealed religion and teenage-minded antisocial atheist/anarchists. This does not well represent the agnostic, merely beleaguered and wishing for respite from the fascists and theocrats. It represents a third way. I see classical humanism as a true third way and the progenitor of all culture and knowledge we have. I see the fascist and the theocrat as extremes that meld into the same mentality exclusive of subtlety. Therefore, please do not litter this note with comments if you are from either group. That which is not spoken to you should be ignorable by you if you have attained a modicum of maturity. There is a large group of people, usually oppressed and battered by the grand poles of ignorance, who is interested and involved in this spiritual technology. These are the people with whom I dine, with whom I share hope, and with whom I wish to commune.

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