Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Earnest Expectation of the Creature




The following is from Robert Anton Wilson's, 'The Historical Illuminatus Chronicles Vol. 1: The Earth Will Shake'. As it continues the theme of the last two posts, it seems appropriate.


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"Sigismundo Celine's initiation as a Speculative Freemason occured on the night of July 23, 1768.
        He had been puzzling over Uncle Pietro's questions for five days and had gone through stages of ecstacy, irritation, boredom, increased sensitivity, and sudden flashes of anger at the whole mystifying business. If the Masons had something important to teach, he thought in these moments of rebellion, why not just teach it and be done. But he knew the answer. From music, he had already discovered that some things simply cannot be taught; they can only be learned.
        On the evening of July 23, Sigismundo was in the living room of Giancarlo Tennone, his fencing teacher, with Uncle Pietro.
        "The lodge meets in the garden," Uncle Pietro explained. "You can probably guess why."
        Sigismundo understood: Tennone's house had the traditional Mediterranean architecture, with four wings, each wing being the side of a square. The garden formed the middle and was therefore the furthest spot from any streets or neighboring houses. It was the place most invulnerable to spies, especially if each wing of the house had a lookout stationed to ensure that no stranger approached uninvited.
        Tennone stepped into the room from the garden. He was wearing a lamb-skin apron with five Hebrew letters on it.


Even though Sigismundo's knowledge of the language was scant, he could read that word. The letters were yod he shin vau he, - Yeshuah, or, in Greek Jesus. Without the shin, it was yod he vau he, JHVH or Jehovah. The shin, which looked like a flame, represented the descent of the Holy Spirit of Jehovah into the flesh in the form of the man, Jesus.
        "Prepare the candidate," Tennone said in a tone that conveyed no admission that he had known Sigismundo for seven years.
        Tennone quickly stepped back into the garden and closed the door behind him.
        "By now," Uncle Pietro said, "the questions which I gave you have turned into monsterous problems. I will now give you the answers. Read them quickly, because you will be summoned to the garden in only a few minutes." He went to Tennone's bookcase and removed the Holy Bible. With a solemn glance, he gave it to Sigismundo, who noticed at once that it had a parchment sticking out of it.
        "Read the parchment and consult the Bible," Pietro said. "I will leave now. You will be called shortly."
        He immediately exited into the garden, leaving Sigismundo wondering if the parchment might say, "This is the final joke. Beware of damnable books of philosophy along with those of Romance."
        Sigismundo removed the parchment. It began:

             Who was Adam the son of?
              See Luke 3:38
             Does God have an opposite?
              See Exodus 3:14 and Ephesians 4:4-6

        And so on. Oh, damn and blast, Sigismundo thought. Why didn't they just write in the texts, instead of forcing me to look up each one for myself? But the answer was clear. Hunting for each text under a time limit would increase his sense of urgency.
        He turned to the first question and its answer. Luke would be near the back of the Bible, of course. He quickly found chapter 3, verse 38:

             "Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth,
             which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God."

        Sigismundo couldn't believe his eyes: he felt like Galileo seeing the blasphemous, unbelievable, non-Aristotelian spots on the sun. He scanned rapidly back through several verses. This was the genealogy of Jesus (who's name was on Tennone's apron....). It began at verse 23, saying Jesus was the son of Joseph and Joseph was the son of Heli which was the son of Matthat and so on, David and Solomon and all, until Enos, "which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God," in verse 38, from which he had started.
        But Adam was the "son of God" only metaphorically, wasn't he? (But Vico said all thought was metaphor.) The text did not seem to be speaking metaphorically; it repeated "which was the son of" in what seemed to be a very real literal sense each time until it reached the astonishing conclusion. It seemed to be saying that Adam was the son of God as literally as Joseph was the son of Heli.
        The Masons were indeed leading him into most extreme heresies. The idea that Mohammed was literally the son of God, and so was Confucius, and so were many others, could easily follow once you accepted that Jesus was not the only one, that Adam had been another.
        Sigismundo quickly turned to the next question.

             Does God have an opposite?
              See Exodus 3:14 and Ephesians 4:4-6

        He turned the pages rapidly. Exodus 3:14 said:

             "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt you
             say unto the children of Israel: I AM hath sent me unto you."

        And Ephesians 4:4-6 was even more startling:

             "There is one body, and one spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your
             calling: one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who
             is above all, and through all, and in you all."

        Sigismundo thought of God as I AM, as one body and one spirit, in all. Even in Peppino? Even in Caligula? This was pantheism, another doctrine for which Bruno had been condemned. Were the Masons secret followers of Bruno?




        He rushed on to the next question.

             How many sons of God are there?
              See Romans 8:14-17

        Here we come to the heart of the heresy, he thought. But he looked up the text:

             "For as many are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God; for ye
             have not recieved the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have recieved
             the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit beareth
             witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children,
             then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer
             with him, that we may also be glorified."

        Everybody was a child of God -- not just Adam and Jesus -- and the Bible said so. Sigismundo had never heard that in Religious Knowledge class. He went on to the next question.

             Are the sons of God also gods?
              See John 10:34

        Sigismundo turned the pages impatiently.

             "Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law,
             I have said, Ye are gods?"

        There it was in black and white.

             Are any of the sons of God less than others?
              See Colossians 3:4

             "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear then shall ye appear with him in glory."

        In other words, Sigismundo thought, when you can see Christ you are Christ. When your will becomes one with the will of God, as Abraham said.

             What is the goal of prophets and teachers?
              See Ephesians 4:11-13

             "And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists,
             and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the
             work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all
             come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the son of God,
          unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."




        We are to be raised to perfection, Sigismundo thought. Just as the French atheists say. But here the Bible is saying it, too. He rushed on, turning pages rapidly.

             How many minds are there?
                  
        He had thought: billions and billions, all over space. What he read did not contradict that, but gave a new perspective on it:

             See Deuteronomy 4:39 and Exodus 3:14

             "Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he
              is God in heaven above and upon the earth beneath: There is none else."

             "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM......"

        Sigismundo rushed on.

             What is a human being?
              See Genesis 1:26

             "And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness."

             Is mankind finished or still in process?
              See 1 John 3:2

             "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not appear what we
             shall be: but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him,
             for we shall see him as he is."

             How much can and should we attempt?
              See John 14:12

             "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do
              he shall do also; and greater works than these shall he do."

        But that was the heresy of the Alumbrados: the doctrine that we could all perform the miracles of Christ if we were illuminated.

             What is the purpose of consciousness?
              See 2 Corinthians 9:8 and Luke 12:32

             "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, having
             always all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.
             Fear not, little flock; for it is your father's good pleasure to give you
             the kingdom."

        And the last question, finally:

             What is the next step?
              See romans 8:19

 "For the earnest expectation of the creature awaiteth the manifestation of the sons of God."




                
                
        "Psst!" Uncle Pietro whispered. "Come out now."
        Beautifully timed, Sigismundo thought, they were watching to see when I finished.

        He walked toward the garden with his mind in a whirl of confusion and excitement. They have me, he thought, in a state where any shock will be like great music........"



  


Monday, August 23, 2010

Insan-i-Kamil: The Completed Human




"Man is ignorant of the nature of his own being and powers, even his idea of his limitations is based on past experience. There is therefore no reason to assign theoretical limits to what he may be, or what he may do." - Aleister Crowley


"Even such geniuses as Da Vinci, Beethoven
and Einstein are partial foreshadowings of what we may become." - Robert Anton Wilson






Is Mankind finished or still in process? Are we humans, such as we are now, the pinnacle of evolution here on Earth? Are we really already all that we're ever going to be, as individuals and as a species? What about that large portion of the brain that scientists say we never use? One has to wonder what might be locked away in those hidden recesses, or what wonderous transformations might be locked away in those large portions of DNA that are just lying there dormant, which many scientists laughingly call "junk-DNA."

What if there were ways to tap these unknown resources and activate sleeping potentials? What if we were to become the "gods" that we imagine?

The vast, unique and utterly incomprehensible intelligence that informs and animates DNA has achieved, it seems, an ideal and potentially very fruitful physical and mental expression of ItSelf through the "domesticated primate" called the human being. Science says the process of evolution is blind, random and accidental. Science also says the process of human evolution is over, and has been for quite some time. Sages and mystics the world over say otherwise.

Our wisest elders, throughout all of recorded history, from all parts of the globe, have tried to tell us that we are (or can be) so much more than just flesh-and-blood robots, more than just the accidental result of random, mechanical processes, and inconceivably more than our puny little minds could possibly ever imagine. Only a few have listened.

For those who have listened, and for those who have studied and contemplated such things, it appears, from all the available evidence, that the human being is, indeed, "a work still in progress", that we are still evolving, and that there are, indeed, "ways" and "techniques of activation" to assist this evolution.

Into what are we evolving? That is the question, and that is what we shall here explore. Let us take a little trip through the world's great spiritual traditions and see what they have to say on the subject.




First, from Tibetan Buddhism and the Dzogchen tradition, we have something which they call the Rainbow Body, or Jalus in Tibetan. The Rainbow body is an immaterial, but conscious "energy-body" that is created as a result of years (usually a lifetime) of dedicated spiritual Work; it is considered the highest attainment.

"The realiser of Jalus resides in the timeless, eternal space that is a mystery." - Wiki -

After the Rainbow Body is manifested, it further transforms into the Sambhogakaya, the Bliss Body, or Glorious Body, which then further transforms into the Dharmakaya, the Truth Body, or Reality Body, which is considered "the most sublime or truest reality in the Universe", "the Buddha-Body of Reality."

"According to Dzogchen lore, the attainment of the Rainbow Body is the sign of complete realisation of the Dzogchen view. As Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche states: 'The realised Dzogchen practitioner, no longer deluded by apparent substatiality or dualism such as mind and matter, releases the energy of the elements that compose the physical body at the time of death.

More specifically, the Rainbow Body is constituted by the Five Pure Lights. When the view of Dzogchen and the integrity of the mindstream which links the Trikaya is realised prior to the death-Bardo, the body-mind of the Nirmanakaya Dzogchenpa enters samadhi and commenses Phowa or the 'transferral of consciousness' into the constituent Five Pure Lights of the Sambhogakaya to the Dharmakaya, sometimes leaving the non-living faecal elements of the body-mind such as hair and nails." - Wiki -


David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk, has joined efforts with The Institute of Noetic Sciences and The Esalen Institute in order to study the Rainbow Body and its possible correpsondence with the Christian 'Resurrection'. He says:

"If we can establish as an anthropological fact that what is described in the resurrection of Jesus has not only happened to others, but is happening today, it would put our view of human potential in a completely different light."


While in Tibet, H.H. Khenpo Achuck Rinpoche, also known as Lama Achuck, emphasized to Steindl-Rast and his travelling/research companion, Father Tiso, that it was possible to manifest the Rainbow Body while still alive, not just at the time of death. I think this is an important point to keep in mind while reading this post.

"Both Tiso and Steindl-Rast emphasize that these experiences are said to occur only in highly evolved individuals who are the embodiment of compassion and love. They speculate these qualities - conscience and consciousness - are a driving force of evolution. 'It is my great hope that the rainbow body research will make us more aware of this fact', he says." 

- from the article, 'Christian/Buddhist Explorations: The Rainbow Body', by Gail Holland


Before leaving the world of Buddhism, we also have this on which to contemplate from the 'Mahayana Secret Sublime Sutra':

"They had therefore achieved the Wisdom Concentration, and acquired Mind-created Bodies, which are adorned with mighty supernatural powers. Such bodies are free of any interspaces, bones, or substances, they are like the sun and moon, like rainbows, electricity, the finest gold, luminous pearls...Pavonine Flowers and Moons, and the images from mirrors."

The Buddhists also use the term 'Diamond Body' when referring to this higher, non-material, "mind-created body."





From Taoism we have all sorts of stories about Immortal beings and "Cloud-Walkers" with supernatural powers. The following is just one example:

"In Taoism, a high level Xian can transmute his flesh body into light (photons), can transform himself into anything, and can have many dividing bodies, so that he can appear as various forms synchronously at many different places, or be invisible to the human eye. When his body disperses, he is the diffuse uncreated (pre-cosmic) energy; when the energy converges, he can appear as a living being. Such an Immortal is also called Zhenren, the 'Real Person' in Taoist scriptures." - Wiki -


There is also something in Taoism called "Creating the Immortal Foetus." The late Taoist Master, Lu K'uan Yu (Charles Luk), in his book, 'Taoist Yoga: Alchemy and Immortality', has this to say about the formation of the "foetus":

"After having gathered the macrocosmic alchemical agent and circulated it through the three gates of the back-bone, all psychic centers (and channels) are cleared of obstructions so that the two vitalities (of nature and life) which have now developed fully, can move freely by themselves, ascending and descending endlessly; this is how the two vitalities help spirit produce the (immortal) foetus....

An ancient immortal said, 'Shape is formed by Tao (immortality) and life is made eternal through alchemy, which consists of borrowing boundless pre-natal vitality to continue (the existence of) limited bodily form; in other words, this boundless pre-natal vitality which is the true essence of the positive and negative principles between heaven and earth, is used to create the immortal foetus which now has shape. This is the union of (positive) and (negative) spirits which produces the immortal foetus."


After giving birth to the "immortal foetus" in the lower Dan-Tian (the area around the navel), the "foetus" is nurtured and developed and raised up through the energy centers, and at the time of full maturity, is released through the top of the head (crown chakra?), as in the picture above.

The Taoists, as well as the Buddhists, use the term 'Diamond Body' (among others) when referring to this finer, non-material, but indestuctible "body." The practices of Chi-Kung (Taoist Yoga), which the Chinese call an "internal martial art", and which work with the subtle energy known as Chi (Qi), are supposed to enable one to evolve to this higher level of existence.





From Hinduism we have the concept of the Ativahika-deha, the Superconductive Body, which at some point thereafter, transforms into the Boga-deha, the Enjoyment Body, very similar to the Rainbow and Bliss bodies in Tibetan Buddhism. And of course, here, too, we have a plethora of legends about immortal Yogis with miraculous powers.

In the sacred Hindu text, the Yoga-Vasishtha, the Superconductive Body "is equated with the universal, omni-present 'body' of the singular Reality. This is glorified as the true body of human beings, the physical body being considered a mere illusion." - Wiki -

The text itself says:

"The ativahika body is but a subtle void...Yet, in the field known as infinite consciousness, countless universes will continue to appear. The cosmic subtle body....becomes a solid substance by being thought of as such, even as a dream may appear to be real when it is prolonged. Thus even materiality and substantiality arises of its own accord from the subtle ativahika body."


And from the book, 'Yoga in Modern India: The Body Between Science and Philosophy', by Joseph A. Alter, we have the following on the "superconductive body":

"It is not suprising that Dr. Karandikar frames his theory of cellular health in terms of biochemistry, since he is a biomedical physician. It is noteworty, nevertheless, that in the context of his nationalist sentiments he does not make reference to the concept of functional metabolism known as dhatu transubstantiation in the Ayurvedic corpus, since dhatu transubstantiation is homologous to the process whereby the body 'cooks' itself into shape and becomes ativahika-deha, or "superconductive."


*Note the use of the word transubstantiation.

Hinduism also gives us the concepts of Kundalini and Prana, the energies (in Hindu terminology) that are involved in the transformation of which we have been speaking; and of course, the Chakras, the energy centers in the body through which all of this supposedly takes place. The practices of Yoga, like those of Chi-Kung, are ultimately meant to fascilitate this transformation.





Entering the world of mystical Judaism and Kabbalah, we have what is known as the Merkaba, a Hebrew word meaning 'chariot', from the consonantal root r-k-b with the general meaning 'to ride.' The Merkaba is an immaterial vehicle of conscious-light-energy, in other words, a "mind-chariot." This "vehicle", it seems, must be created, as it is in all other traditions, through certain physical, mental and spiritual exercises.

The description and imagery of the Merkaba in the book of Ezekiel and other Hebrew texts is, of course, not meant to be taken literally. It is not a material, "nuts-and-bolts" space-craft of any kind, like the "new age" types would like to believe, nor is it the "throne-chariot" of some bearded old man called "God." It is best considered a "vehicle of consciousness", a "chariot of ascension."

Traditional Talmudic and Torah scholars prohibited Merkaba study and speculation, limiting discussion of the subject to "worthy sages", "exemplary scholars", and as the 12th century Kabbalist and Sufi, Abraham Mamonides, said, to "those who have minds of their own."

The African Zulu spiritual leader, Credo Mutwa, says that the word 'Merkaba' is also a Zulu word meaning a "space-time-dimension vehicle". According to Zulu legend his entire tribe had come to Earth from another dimension using the Merkaba.

Proclus, the Neo-platonist philosopher, also used the term "vehicle", as in the 'augoeides ochema', the Radiant Vehicle.

In the Qabalistic system of The Golden Dawn, the term "augoeides" is also used. As part of their curriculum, students are expected to learn, and perform daily, 'The Qabalistic Cross' and 'The Middle Pillar' rituals, both of which work with "visualized" light-energy and energy-centers in the body, much like the practices of Chi-Kung and Chakra meditations. These are two additional ways of possibly helping to create this "immortal vehicle."

And speaking of The Golden Dawn, I think I would be remiss here if I did not briefly mention what Crowley had to say on the subject.

He speaks of "the Adept" whose "Mind be perfectly knit together in itself, and conjoined with the Star" ('Star' being Crowley's word for the "True Self"), and that, unlike the majority of the masses after death, this Mind-conjoined-with-the-Star "resisteth the Ministers of Disruption for a Season, according to its Strength", and that "it seeketh a new Vehicle in the Appointed Way."  - Liber Aleph, pgs.192-193 -

Thus, Crowley, like Gurdjieff below, seems to be saying that not everyone reincarnates or continues, in some way, to exist after death; only those who have created this Merkaba, this "Mind-Chariot."





When one first encounters the teachings of Gurdjieff one is immediately confronted by his notion that human beings are not born with a "soul", but that it has to be created, or developed, through certain types of physical, mental and spiritual Work. (Beginning to sound familiar?)

Gurdjieff doesn't actually use the word "soul" all that much, but speaks of it in terms of "higher-being-bodies", with the highest "body" being what most people would call a "soul." This is what he has to say:

"The 'man-machine' with whom everything depends on external influences, with whom everything 'happens', who is now one, the next moment another, and the next moment a third, has no future of any kind; he is buried and that is all. Dust returns to dust.... In order to be able to speak of any kind of possible future life there must be a certain crystalization, a certain fusion of man's inner qualities, a certain independence of external influences.... In certain cases of fuller crystalization, what people call 'reincarnation' may be possible after death, and, in other cases, what people call 'existence on the other side'.....

In both cases it is the continuation of life in the 'astral body', or with the help of the 'astral body.' You know what the expression 'astral body' means. But the systems with which you are acquainted and which use this expression state that all men have an 'astral body.' This is quite wrong. What may be called the 'astal body' is obtained by means of fusion, that is, by means of terribly hard inner work and struggle. Man is not born with it." 

- 'In Search of the Miraculous', pgs. 31-32, by P.D. Ouspensky -


Gurdjieff does say elsewhere, that we humans are born with something which he calls essence, which, like the 'prima materia', the 'first matter' of Alchemy, is the substance that is "worked on" and transmuted into something higher.

Reminiscent of "the Immortal Foetus" in Taoist Alchemy, the Wikipedia entry on 'Prima Materia' has this to say:

"The alchemical operation consists essentially in separating the prima materia, the so-called chaos, into the active priciple, the soul, and the passive principle, the body. They are then reunited in personified form in the coniunctio, the ritual combination of Sol and Luna, which yields the magical child (filius sapientiae or filius philosophorum), the reborn self, known as the ultima materia."



After the "astral body" (which G. calls the 'Body Kesdjan') is formed, there are two higher bodies still to be created and/or developed, because (according to G.) after a certain amount of time, the "astral body" itself can die just like the physical body. In the Gurdjieff tradition, the Body Kesdjan is looked at as an incubator for the "soul", with the third "body" being the 'Mental', or 'Spiritual Body', and the fourth being the 'Divine', or 'Causal Body' (the "soul" itself).

He also speaks of developing a Real "I", as opposed to the false "I", or the ego (the 'man machine' in the above quote), which is in reality a legion of "I's", or as Dr. Robert Ornstein calls them, "a squadron of simpletons." The process of creating a Real "I" leads to the creation and/or development of a "soul" through the "alchemical" crystalization of finer energies.

So whether we are born with "souls" or not, I do not know. But if it's not "creating a soul", then it's probably just a matter of waking it up and educating and maturing it. Either way, one thing is clear: We have Work to do.





This naturally brings us to the Sufis, the mystical representatives of Islam, who were speaking of evolution at least 600 years before Darwin, and they too have a multitude of stories about highly evolved bilocating adepts with supernatural powers.

As Shaykh Laurence Galian writes:

"Scientists have known for some time that in the quantum world, a single object can exist in a multiplicity of forms and places. Of great fascination is that not only can a single object exist in more than one place, but also these two manifestations of a single object can respond instantly to each other's expreriences.

For many centuries, one possible sign of a Sufi saint is that he or she has the gift of bilocation, or being able to appear in two places simultaneously. There are many stories of Sufi Sheikhs performing this wonder. Yet we can go still further in our extrapolations, and posit that if there is ONE ULTIMATE REALITY, then this new science is showing that ONE THING can manifest into an assortment of shapes and locations."


In Irina Tweedie's book, 'Daughter of Fire', a record of her 5 years in India training with a Sufi Master, we have this intriguing little tidbit:

"Last night, while I was looking at the sky, I noticed an object lit brightly... It was passing at a terrific speed in complete silence; no engines could be heard, nor a motor noise, and the speed was far greater than that of any airplane. It passed right across the sky, coming from the west, and disappeared behind the roof-tops to the east. I was wondering if it was one of those things people call a flying saucer... Later, I saw another object passing, also very swiftly, but slower than the first."

The next day she mentioned this to her Sufi Master:

"Talked to him for a while. Don't remember one word.... only remember saying that I saw one object in the sky.

'There were two of them,' he said quietly, interrupting his prayers for a moment to change the position of his legs.

'Yes,' I said, 'two,' and I described them. 'Do you know what they were?' He nodded. 'Will you tell me what they are?' He shook his head.... When later, I asked him again, as politely as possible, to tell me what they were, he said sternly that one should avoid useless talk. And that was all."

Obviously, the Master felt that she was not yet ready to know of such things.

Considering the above, I can't help but think of all the "magic carpets" and "flying carpets" in Arabic/Islamic/Sufi lore.....and the Shaykh kneeling on his prayer rug, deep in meditation.....

It also reminds me of the last lines of one of Rumi's poems:

"Love comes and gags me: 'Scribbler!
                        Forget mere verse. The star-ship departs!'"


Maybe now we a starting to get a glimpse of what Rumi meant by "star-ship."




In Sufism, this higher "body" we have been speaking about is called, 'Wujud al-Aqdas', the Most Sacred Body, and 'Jism Asli Haqiqi', the Supracelestial Body.

The Sufis also have a concept which they call, Al-Insan al-Kamil (Insan-i-Kamil), the Completed or Perfected Human. They teach that humans, as we are now, have not yet fully evolved into what we potentially could become, what we are meant to be. According to the Sufis, the purpose of the human being is to be a pure vessel receiving and transmiting the energy of God. As Shaykh Kabir Helminski writes:   


"It has become an accepted spiritual idea that each part of the universe in some way reflects the whole. Contemporary spirituality has borrowed the holographic model from contemporary science. This notion has always existed within Sufism and is expressed, for instance, in the idea that the human being is not merely a drop that can merge with the Ocean, but a drop that contains the Ocean. Every divine attribute is latent within the human heart, and by the cooperation of human will with divine grace these attributes can be awakened and manifested. We human beings contain within ourselves the potential to experience completion, to know our intimate relationship to the whole of Being in such a way that we reflect this completion through ourselves. The highest spiritual attainment has been expressed by the phrase insan-i-kamil, The Completed Human Being....

The attributes of the Complete Human Being are the attributes of God appropriately reflected in human nature."


Of all the spiritual traditions I've studied, the Sufis seem to be the only ones really concerned with evolution, both individually and collectively. The following poem by the already mentioned Master, Jalaluddin Rumi (peace be upon him), is a good representative of their views:


"I died as mineral and became a plant,
I died as a plant and became animal,
I died as animal and became Man,
Why should I fear? When was I any less by dying?
Once again, I shall die as Man
To soar with Angels blest;
But even from Angel-hood I must pass on:
All except God doth perish.
When I have sacrificed my Angel-soul
I shall become what no mind ever conceived."





Moving on to esoteric Christianity, we have the concepts of being "born-again" and "rebirth", along with the Resurrection Body, the Glorified Body, the Wedding Garment, the Seamless Robe of Glory, Joseph's "Coat of Many Colors" (which is a direct reference to the Rainbow Body), and even ol' Paul called it the 'Soma Pneumatikon', the Celestial Body, or Spiritual Body.

According to John White, the Rosicrucians called it "The Diamond Body of the Temple of God", reminicent of the Diamond Body in Taoism and Buddhism.

It should also be noted that Gurdjieff called his system "Esoteric Christianity", and it does share many similarities with Gnostic and esoteric Eastern Orthodox teachings, aside from his Sufi connections.

And of course, we can't forget our old friend J.C.:

"And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringing them up into a high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light." 

 - Matthew 17: 1-2 -


Did he not have "mighty supernatural powers" like it says in the Mahayana Secret Sublime Sutra? Did he not transmute his flesh body into light like a Chi-Kung Master? Did he not have the ability to manifest in different places at the same time like a Sufi Shaykh? The mistake, it seems, is to think that only Jesus, "the one and only Son of God", had that ability, or that potential.

Did he not say that we are all "sons of The Most High"? Did he not say the Kingdom of God is within us? Did he not say, "Have I not said, 'Ye are gods?'" And did he not also say, "All that I have done, ye shall do, and more?" ----- Maybe we should listen with new ears.





This brings us to that infernal land of Hollywood, and a Star Trek: TNG episode appropriately titled, 'Transfigurations'. Here the crew of the Enterprise comes across an injured, runaway fugitive, a mystic, from a nearby star-system. The "authorities" of his home planet are chasing him and trying to capture (and possibly kill) him because they consider he and all his kind to be a threat to society. (Isn't that the way it always is?)

Captain Picard gives him asylum aboard the Enterprise, and during the duration of the episode he experiences all sorts of bodily symptoms, reminicent of "kundalini symptoms", and light briefly coursing through different parts of his body. He also exhibits the power to heal people with a touch of his hand.

At the end of the episode, his physical body transforms completely into a 'Body of Light', still in humanoid form, and he gives this little speech:

"Captain, my species is on the verge of a wonderous evolutionary change, a transmutation beyond our physical being. I am the first of my kind to approach this metamorphosis. They tried to convince us that it was a sickness we would never survive, that the pain and energy pulses would kill us. They claimed we were dangerous, so they destroyed anyone who exhibited signs of the transformation.....Some of us suspected that what was happening to us was not evil. Four of us decided to flee Zalcon and let the metamorphosis take its course."

Then he says his thank-you's and goodbye's to the crew, and then proceeds to turn into a ball, or bundle, of golden light-energy about the size of a basketball, or a little larger, and shoots through the ceiling/roof of the Enterprise and off into space.





And last, but not least, we have this from Carlos Castaneda, Don Juan, and the native shamanic tradition of ancient Mexico. It's from his book, 'Tales of Power', and speaking of his shaman teacher Don Juan, he relates the following:

"His body kept twirling a few feet above the ground. The circles were very rapid at first, then they slowed down.... Then he began to ascend; he gained altitude until he reached the top of the cliff. Don Juan was actually floating as if he had no weight. His turns were slow and evoked the image of an astronaut in space whirling around in a state of weightlessness.... He moved away from the cliff and as he gained speed I became utterly sick.... I felt that the speed which his floating body had gained was blurring his shape; he looked like a rotating disk and then a light that was spinning."


Commenting on this passage in his article, 'Through the Looking Glass', Jason Wynd writes:

"Such a concept blows the whole UFO mystery to bits and rearranges it into a delirious new image. Squinting at the mystery thus, the paranoid begins to imagine that some UFO's spinning about the Earth's stratosphere are neither space-ships nor time-machines, angels nor dragons, but simply men of prodigious talent! In a sense they would be men of the future, beings who have evolved to such a degree beyond us as to be no longer bound by space or time as we are, having become what they always were, luminous balls of energy, 'stars', spinning their way through the labyrinth of matter, signalling to us the way to follow."






I think all of the above paints a very interesting picture of our potential and future possibilities. There seem to be no limits.

At the moment, I can think of no better way to end this piece than by quoting the last two paragraphs of John White's article, 'Enlightenment and The Body of Light':

"The traditions speak of the process in different ways. Is the immortal body created or released, attained or manifested? Is it pre-existent within the individual and the gross matter of the body simply 'burned' away? Or is the gross matter of the body altered through a process not yet recognized by physical science, which changes the atoms of flesh into something unnamed on the Periodic Table of Elements? Is there more than one route to the final, perfected form of the human body-mind? Is it necessary to actually die biologically, or is there an alternate path to the light-body that bypasses physical death?

These are provocative questions which remain to be explored. However this state is achieved, the perfected individual is then capable of operating within ordinary space-time through that altered vehicle of consciousness which is immortal. That vehicle of consciousness is no longer carbon-based as is biological flesh. Rather, it is composed of a finer, more ethereal form of energy substance unknown to conventional physics, but long known to metaphysics and higher mysticism. That condition is, for the individual, the most exalted stage of higher human development; for humanity in general, it is the final stage of evolution."






R.S.


Death, Resurrection and the Body of Light
The Tibetan Rainbow Body and the Christian Resurrection
Transcendence, Tao and the Attainment of the Rainbow Body
Energy Body and Subtle Body
Body of Light
Gnostic Hymn of the Robe of Glory








          

Friday, August 20, 2010

Example of Sufi Ideas

from Jalaludin Rumi (1205-1273 a.d.)


Man is the product of evolution. He continues this process. But the 'new' faculties, for which he yearns (generally unknowingly) come into being as a result of necessity. In other words, he now has to take part in the development of his own evolution. "Organs come into being as a response to necessity. Therefore, increase your necessity."

When he does not realize this, man is in a state which is referred to as 'sleep'. He has to 'wake up'.

There is a means of doing this, but the means is not through scholastic endeavor and what man takes to be the exercise of intellect. The means is by what is called the 'direct perception of Truth'.

Man's thinking pattern is in the ordinary way based upon alternation and changes of mood. He needs what is conceived of as a unification of mentation.

Man's perceptions are faulty, because they are subjective and relative. They are also 'conditioned', so that he interprets things according to limited, not objective, standards. He may therefore be said to have little capacity for real judgement.

There are realms of mind far beyond the ordinary state of man. These advanced realms cannot completely be rendered in the language of the brain as it stands.

Because of these limitations, man needs the guidance of one who knows more.

The methods used to help in the production of the higher states of perception include historical, religious and fable frameworks, as well as exercises of all kinds.

All such formulations are 'ways'.

Men have warped and made useless these 'ways' by repetitiously insisting on literal meanings for the figurative. Thus are 'idols' made.

When man reaches behind the exterior form, he can see that such forms, apparently multiple, stand before one and the same thing.

These teachings were given by ancient sages, and by Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. They have been changed and used in a minor and ineffecient way.

This changing process is due to the use of man's vanity, where, for instance, he imagines that he can conceive more than he can at any given moment. As a result, giving a name to an undefinable concept makes him think that he has mastered it; or can master it, through having named it.

Beyond the confines of outward religion, man cannot truly call himself a Jew, a Christian, a Muslim. Ritual and dogma have no place in this sphere.

Man can be conceived as incomplete, a 'limb severed from a body'.

The effort of man to reunite with the understanding from which he is cut off can be called 'the religion, or duty, of Love'. But this is not a religion as such things are normally understood by man.




The 'eye', the advanced organ of perception of that from which man is cut off in the normal way, is within man.

External impressions 'condition' man, so that he is insensitive to inner impressions.

Any 'language' (terminology) may be used to refer to the transformation of man. This is why such conventions as the language of alchemy are used; or the language of myth and fable, which often refers to psychological processes, not to historical events.

Those who have developed the 'higher perceptions' sometimes have to conceal this fact, for social and other reasons, behind a locally acceptable facade.



From the book ~ Special Problems in the Study of Sufi Ideas, pgs. 35-36
By ~ Idries Shah








   

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Mirror of Non-Existence





What is the mirror of being?.. Non-being.
Always bring a mirror of non-existence as a gift.
Any other present is foolish.

An empty mirror and your worst destructive habits,
When they are held up to each other,
That's when the real making begins,
That's where art and craft are.

A tailor needs a torn garment to practice his expertise.
The trunks of trees must be cut and cut again
So they can be used for fine carpentry.

Your doctor must have a broken leg to doctor,
Your defects are the way Glory gets manifested.
Whoever sees clearly what's diseased in himself
Begins to gallop on the way......



~ Mevlana Jalaludin Rumi ~








   

Reflection

 



~ Reflection ~ 
(By - TOOL, Lyrics - Maynard James Keenan)



I have come curiously close to the end, down
Beneath my self-indulgent pitiful hole,
Defeated, I concede and
Move closer
I may find comfort here
I may find peace within the emptiness
How pitiful

It's calling me.....

And in my darkest moment, fetal and weeping
The moon tells me a secret -- my confidant
As full and bright as I am
This light is not my own and
A million light reflections pass over me

Its source is bright and endless
She resuscitates the hopeless
Without Her, we are lifeless satellites drifting

And as I pull my head out, I am without one doubt
Don't wanna be down here feeding my narcissism
I must crucify the go before it's far too late
I pray the light lifts me out
Before I pine away

So crucify the ego before it's far too late
To leave behind this place so negative,
blind and cynical
And you will come to find that we are all one mind
Capable of all that's imagined and all conceivable
Just let the light touch you
And let the words spill through
And let them pass right through
Bringing out our hope and reason.....


Before we pine away

















 


The Dawn of Nothing

 



One Moment in Annihilation's Waste,
One Moment, of the Well of Life to taste:
    The Stars are setting, and the Caravan
Draws to the Dawn of Nothing -- Oh make haste!


 - Omar Khayyam -