What is the difference
Between your experience of Existence
And that of a saint?
The saint knows
That the spiritual path
Is a sublime chess game with God
And that the Beloved
Has made such a Fantastic Move
That the saint is now continually
Tripping over Joy
And bursting out in Laughter
And saying, "I surrender!"
Whereas, my dear,
I am afraid you still think
You have a thousand serious moves.
-- I Heard God Laughing: Renderings of Hafiz
30 July 2007
28 July 2007
With the first presidential primaries only a few months away you might be interested in some of thePresidential hopefuls that just might make history....
- John McCain would become the oldest United States president if elected. At age 72, he would be 3 years older than Ronald Reagan. He would also be the first Arizona resident to win the White House and the first Naval Academy graduate to become president since Jimmy Carter.
- Senator Barack Obama of Illinois would be the first African-American president as well as the first president born in Hawaii. And the first United Church Of Christ president since Calvin Coolidge.
- Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton would be the first woman president and the first New York State resident to occupy the Oval Office since Franklin Roosevelt.
- ...see more.
20 July 2007
If anybody asks you, "What is Sufism? What religion is it?", you may answer, "Sufism is the religion of the heart, the religion in which the most important thing is to seek God in the heart of mankind."
-- Hazrat Inayat Khan
There are three ways of seeking God in the human heart. The first way is to recognize God the divine in every person, and to care for every person with whom we come in contact, in our thought, speech, and action. Human personality is very delicate. The more living the heart the more sensitive it is; that which causes sensitivity is the love element in the heart, and love is God. The person whose heart is not sensitive is without feeling; his heart is not living, but dead. In that case the divine spirit is buried in his heart.
A person who is always concerned with his own feelings is so absorbed in himself that he has no time to think of another. His whole attention is taken up with his own feelings: he pities himself, worries about his own pain, and is never open to sympathize with others. He who takes notice of the feeling of another person with whom he comes in contact practices the first essential moral of Sufism.
The next way of practicing this religion is to think of the feeling of the person who is not at the moment before us. One feels for a person who is present, but one often neglects to feel for someone who is out of sight. One speaks well of someone to his face, but if one speaks well of someone when he is absent, that is greater. One sympathizes with the trouble of someone who is before one at the moment, but it is greater to sympathize with one who is far away.
The third way of realizing the Sufi principle is to recognize in one's own feeling the feeling of God, and to realize every impulse that rises in one's heart as a direction from God. Realizing that love is a divine spark in one's heart, one blows that spark until a flame may rise to illuminate the path of one's life.
19 July 2007
Each graha is associated with a particular God-Image.
Sun: Siva and the Father
Moon: Shakti and the Mother
Mars: Rama and Dharma
Mercury: Buddha and Jnana
Jupiter: Radha-Krishna and Bhakti
Venus: Christ and Sufi
Saturn: Dattatreya and Tapas
The Moon represents the emotional mind and the virtue of contentment (santosha).
Mercury represents the discriminative/intellectual mind and the virtue of wisdom (prajna).
Venus represents the energic/pranic body and the virtue of love (agape-karuna).
Earth (Ascendant) represents the physical body and the virtue of endurance (dhriti).
Mars represents physical actions and the virtue of vigor (virya).
Jupiter represents the site of enjoyment (rasa) and the virtue of generosity (dana).
Saturn represents the site of dissatisfaction (dukkha) and the virtue of temperance (tapas).
What's the difference between "loss" and "gain"? It may be a matter of perspective. Siddhartha Gautama's loss of his future royal glory, meant the gain of liberation. In Jyotish, Vedic astrology, the 12th house is the house of (material) loss and (spiritual) gain. Among the grahas, or planets, Ketu, or the South Node, is the planet most strongly associated with such spiritual gain and enlightenment. In Hindu symbolism, Ketu was once joined to its other half, Rahu, or the North Node. Together, they constituted a crafty demon-serpent, whose desire for immortality resulted in God Vishnu taking His discus and slicing the demon-serpent in two. (Cf. the story of Perseus and Medusa, associated with the fixed star Algol.) The half with the head became Rahu, who is obsessed with the intellect and desires. Rahu leads to wordly success, if understood correctly. The other half became Ketu, who, lacking a head, now lives from the heart, from the core of its very being. "Losing one's head", then, indicates the process of transcending the mind, with its cycles of back-and-forth, this-and-that, lust-and-hate, greed-and-fear. To be liberated is to live without being bound by the intellect, without a head, with nothing above the shoulders but the evening.
18 July 2007
17 July 2007
You, the Ultimate Reality, are All in All.
Atheism confesses the ineffability of Your Essence.
Polytheism personifies Your manifold Attributes.
Monotheism witnesses the unity of Your Being.
In every God-Ideal an emanation of You shines forth.
The heart receives of You as much as it can contain.
When the heart is supple it is capable of every form.
Then Your manifestations surpass the limitations of belief.
"Adam" (which is related to the Hebrew for "ground", "adamah") refers to the Earth, and "Eve" ("mother of all living") refers to living creatures. Living creatures "came out" of the Earth (Eve "came out" of Adam), just as the theory of evolution proposes.
The above interpretation fits with Creation Narrative #2, which starts at Genesis 2:4. In that narrative, Adam is created first, out of the dust of the ground. This creation of Adam represents the formation of the earth 4.5 billion years ago. From the earth (or "adamah"), God then created living creatures, symbolizing the evolution of life out of primeval terra. Finally, Eve is created last: Eve represents the culmination of the process of "Eve-olution". Adam, or the earth, is not complete until Eve, or life, fulfills it.
In terms of Jivanta, "Adam" represents a relatively amorphous form of Jivanta, not yet highly organized, whereas "Eve" represents the eve-olutionary pinnacle of human consciousness-in-matter, Jivanta ready for the next stage: the realization of Buddha-hood.
16 July 2007
The final installment of the Harry Potter series awaits. The extremely popular books of adolescent wizardry and sorcery close at the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on 21 July 2007. What will happen to Potter? Will he overcome 'He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named'? Will he sacrifice his life for the sake of his friends?
Given the books centeredness on the hidden wisdom of the ages (otherwise known as 'magic'), it might be useful to look at Potter's numerology profile. Doing so reveals fascinating insights into J. K. Rowland's psychology:
(1) Harry reduces to 8 + 1 + 9 + 9 + 7, or 34; which reduces to 3 + 4, or 7. (See this for what numbers mean.)
(2) Potter reduces to 31, or 4.
(3) Harry's "soul urge" is the sum of the vowels in his name, whose sum is 19, which reduces to 10, which reduces to 1.
(4) Harry's "outer personality" is the consonant-sum, which is 46, which reduces to 10, which reduces to 1.
(5) Harry's "overall personhood" is the sum of all letters, which is 65, which reduces to 11. Now, 11 is a so-called "master number", indicating some special destiny or fate, and it is not reduced.
Here's what one website described as Potter's "soul urge":
You are the essence of individuality and independence. You are intense and convicted when it comes to defending your beliefs, as you never doubt your inner strength and ability to handle any challenge. Many are inspired by your confidence, while others may feel irritated and view it as arrogance. You are likely to attract people and situations that allow you to express this part of yourself or else they will mirror these traits back to you .Potter's "outer personality" (or "persona"), which, like the soul urge, is defined as 1, is described thus:
Others see you as a unique individual who always does their "own thing". Independent, capable and pioneering, you seem to take control of the situation and make it run effectively. You are very concerned with your image and always seem to dress in a way that gets noticed.And Potter's "overall personhood" (or "expression"), as seen via the master number 11, reveals as:
You are endowed with a high vibrational energy that may be expressed through inspirational, teaching, preaching, acting, art or invention. You have access to prophetic wisdom and your positive attitude is a transformational force in other people's lives. Fame and notoriety is very likely at some point in your life, as your kind of energy gets noticed! Much will be required of you in life when you have a master number vibration, because much will be given.It seems J. K. Rowling had some good reasons to choose "Harry Potter" as the name of her protagonist.
15 July 2007
Sabbe sankhara dukkha: All conditioned processes are unsatisfactory.
Sabbe dhamma anatta: All phenomena are not-self.
Sabbe sankhara sundara: All conditioned processes are beautiful.
Sabbe sankhara rasa: All conditioned processes are enjoyment.
Sabbe dhamma rocana: All phenomena are bright.
At the heart of impermanence, is lunar beauty.
At the heart of dissatisfaction, is buddhic enjoyment.
At the heart of not-self, is solar brightness.
14 July 2007
During the last 30 years, the capture and study of free-ranging dogs in remote areas of South Carolina and Georgia has revealed the existence of dogs of primitive appearance fitting the typical long-term pariah (i.e, primitive/dingo) morphotype. These Carolina Dogs physical appearance suggests a dog created by and preserved through natural selection to survive in the remote lowland swamp and forest land regions of the southeastern United States, They closely resemble types of dogs first encountered by Europeans near Indian settlements in the region as is evidenced by paintings, drawings and written descriptions made by these early explorers and settlers.
These Carolina Dogs have been brought into a captive breeding program. Several behavioral traits have been discovered that appear unique to these Carolina dogs, and many behaviors labeled as primitive are consistently manifested. Such behaviors include pack hierarchy, communal pup rearing, regurgitation for pups, and organized, cooperative hunting.
Preliminary mitochondrial DNA testing performed by the University of South Carolina's College of Science and Mathematics shows a possible strong genetic link between Carolina Dogs and other primitive breeds like the Australian Dingo..
Rasa Ariya Sacca: The Awesome Truth of Rasa
Now this, monks, is the awesome truth of rasa: creation is rasa, existing is rasa, release is rasa; joy, laughter, pleasure, elation, and hope are rasa; compassion for the unbeloved is rasa; sympathetic joy for the loved is rasa; giving to others is rasa. In short, the five phenomenal realms are rasa.
Rasa Samudaya Ariya Sacca: The Awesome Truth of the Origination of Rasa
And this, monks is the awesome truth of the origination of rasa: the heart of love, that leads to greater acts of love, accompanied by fiery resolve and bright delight, enthusing now here and now there, desiring divine pleasure, desiring divine life, desiring divine energy.
Rasa Upachaya Ariya Sacca: The Awesome Truth of the Increase of Rasa
And this, monks, is the awesome truth of the increase of rasa: the constant brightening and strengthening, adherence, dedication, maintaining, and keeping of that heart of love.
Rasa Upachaya Gamini Patipata Ariya Sacca: The Awesome Truth of the Path Leading to the Increase of Rasa
And this, monks, is the awesome truth of the way of practice leading to the increase of rasa: precisely this awesome eight-full path: full view, full intention, full speech, full action, full work, full effort, full concentration, and full awareness.
[Inspired by the Four Noble Truths. The realization of dukkha is the realization of that very rasa at the heart of dukkha.]
13 July 2007
12 July 2007
The Moon represents the emotional mind.
Mercury represents the discriminative and intellectual mind.
Venus represents the energic and pranic body.
Earth (Ascendant) represents the physical body.
Mars represents physical actions.
Jupiter represents the site of enjoyment (rasa).
Saturn represents the site of dissatisfaction (dukkha).
A child is born on that day and at that hour when the celestial rays are in mathematical harmony with his individual karma. His horoscope is a challenging portrait, revealing his unalterable past and its probable future results. But the natal chart can be rightly interpreted only by men of intuitive wisdom: these are few.The message boldly blazoned across the heavens at the moment of birth is not meant to emphasize fate–the result of past good and evil–but to arouse man's will to escape from his universal thralldom. What he has done, he can undo. None other than himself was the instigator of the causes of whatever effects are now prevalent in his life. He can overcome any limitation, because he created it by his own actions in the first place, and because he has spiritual resources which are not subject to planetary pressure.Superstitious awe of astrology makes one an automaton, slavishly dependent on mechanical guidance. The wise man defeats his planets–which is to say, his past–by transferring his allegiance from the creation to the Creator. The more he realizes his unity with Spirit, the less he can be dominated by matter. The soul is ever-free; it is deathless because birthless. It cannot be regimented by stars.
-- Swami Sri Yukteswar
11 July 2007
In Christianity, the Father represents the Heart and the Beloved; the Son represents the Buddhas; and the Holy Spirit represents Jivanta, or the "heart" of Jivanta present in all Living Beings.
In Buddhism, the Buddha represents the Beloved; the Dhamma represents the Heart; and the Sangha includes both the Buddhas and the Jivanta.
Thus, using Jivanta as the connecting link, we can propose the following: the Father of Christianity corresponds to both the Buddha and the Dhamma of Buddhism; the Son of Christianity corresponds to a portion of the Sangha in Buddhism; and the Holy Spirit of Christianity corresponds to a portion of the Sangha in Buddhism.
232 Christians are baptized "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit". Before receiving the sacrament, they respond to a three-part question when asked to confess the Father, the Son and the Spirit: "I do." "The faith of all Christians rests on the Trinity".
Buddham saranam gacchami
I go to the Buddha for refuge.
Dhammam saranam gacchami
I go to the Dhamma for refuge.
Sangham saranam gacchami
I go to the Sangha for refuge.
10 July 2007
The Gospel of Inclusion: Reaching Beyond Religious Fundamentalism to the True Love of God. By Bishop Carlton Pearson. 2006.
From the cover-jacket:
Speak the name "Carlton Pearson" and you will get one of two reactions: "heretic" or "prophet." Pearson was a Christian mega-star, host of his own TV show, traveling in private jets to speak at evangelical Christian gatherings. His church, Higher Dimensions, drew 5,000 people every Sunday. He was Oral Roberts' beloved protege.
Then, Pearson watched everything he had built crumble due to scandal. He didn't have an affair. He didn't embezzle church funds. He stopped believing in Hell. Following a revelation, he began to preach that a loving God would not condemn most of the human race to burn in the fires of Hell for eternity. Shocked, the Pentecostal community made him an outcast.
This book is the story of one man's turning his back on fifty-plus years of religious teachings and on a "family" of millions to preach a new truth-The Gospel of Inclusion. In this book, Pearson shows that all of God's children are already saved by the sacrifice of Christ-gays, Muslims, Jews, atheists, everyone. Weaving theology, biblical scholarship and cultural history, Pearson asserts that the dogma of Hell is nothing more than a device to control the faithful, that authoritarian religion is at the heart of the world's troubles, that God is not a Christian, but indeed belongs to all humankind.
Commentary: In these two commandments, Jesus of Nazareth outlines the basics of Jivanta. "Thy heart" refers to Hridaya, the Heart of Reality, which, in the human body, can be felt bodily to be located just to the right of the physical heart. "Thy soul" refers to Vallabha, the Beloved, which, in the human body, can be felt bodily to be located around the navel. "Thy mind" refers to Buddha, the Awakened One, who subsists near the forehead above the eyes. From the Beloved to the Heart to the Buddha, and back down again, represents a cycle of Life, from earth to heaven, back down again, and up again, continuously, forming the vertical mission.
Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
"Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" refers to Jivanta, all Living Beings, who are indeed not different from yourself. All beings want to avoid pain, and want to enjoy pleasure, and that connects them all, on the horizontal level, from woman to man, man to woman, human to animals, plants, minerals, and stars; and back again, forming the horizontal mission.
The vertical mission and the horizontal mission, together, constitute the cross. The cross, or dukkha (in Sanskrit, "duhkha"), must be seen, understood, and penetrated, before its suffering can be alchemically and tantrically transmuted into enjoyment, rasa:
(Inspired by the Heart Sutra)
Rasam duhkha duhkhaiva rasam; rasan na prithak duhkha duhkhaya na prithag rasam; yad rasam sa duhkha ya duhkha tad rasam; evam eva vedana-samjna-samskara-vijnanam.
Enjoyment is suffering and the very suffering is enjoyment; suffering does not differ from enjoyment, enjoyment does not differ from suffering; whatever is enjoyment, that is suffering, whatever is suffering, that is enjoyment; the same is true of feelings, perceptions, conceptions, and consciousness.
Let's start with the dreaded atheism:
1a. Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods. b. The doctrine that there is no God or gods. 2. Godlessness; immorality.It might help if "God" or "gods" were defined:
1. God a. A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions. b. The force, effect, or a manifestation or aspect of this being. 2. A being of supernatural powers or attributes, believed in and worshiped by a people, especially a male deity thought to control some part of nature or reality. 3. An image of a supernatural being; an idol. 4. One that is worshiped, idealized, or followed: Money was their god. 5. A very handsome man. 6. A powerful ruler or despot.We can safely exclude #3, 4, 5, and 6 from the pool of relevancy. The problem with #1.a. is that "God" need not be seen as a 'separate' something that created the universe (which is separate from God). So #1.a. is not satisfactory; as is not #1.b. That leaves #2, which is also not satisfactory, since it implies that God is only supernatural, and thus excludes the natural.
So, our working definition of God would be a being that is not necessarily separate from the universe, and not necessarily merely supernatural. If that is the definition used, then Jivanta is not atheist. (However, if God is defined as necessarily separate from the universe, then that sort of God, Jivanta rejects, atheistically.)
Is Jivanta deist? Deism:
The belief, based solely on reason, in a God who created the universe and then abandoned it, assuming no control over life, exerting no influence on natural phenomena, and giving no supernatural revelation.Jivanta is not deist, because Jivanta includes experience, as well as reason; and also because the deist deity is held as necessarily separate from the universe, which, in Jivanta, is an unfounded assumption.
Theists argue thus:
Belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in a personal God as creator and ruler of the world.If one excludes the phrase starting with "especially", (and given the caveats concerning "God"), then Jivanta can be seen as theist.
Is Jivanta absolutely sure that God exists? Agnosticism presents the following:
1. The doctrine that certainty about first principles or absolute truth is unattainable and that only perceptual phenomena are objects of exact knowledge. 2. The belief that there can be no proof either that God exists or that God does not exist.Jivanta argues that "absolute truth" need not be outside of "perceptual phenomena". So, Jivanta rejects a strict agnosticism. Jivanta does allow, however, that, at any given point in time, absolute truth need not be presently perceived. (By "absolute truth", is meant "God".)
What about pantheism? Sources often define pantheism in a manner similar to this:
1. A doctrine identifying the Deity with the universe and its phenomena. 2. Belief in and worship of all gods.If we exclude #2, then we can critique pantheism as limiting God to the universe of matter/energy as presently conceived by modern Western science. God need not be so constrictedly defined. Jivanta rejects pantheism.
OK, is panentheism a workable solution? Panentheism argues that God transcends the universe (as deism and some forms of theism teach), but God is also within and permeates the universe. Jivanta lauds panentheism's attempt to create a workable synthesis of theisms, but panentheism's limitations exist in its assumption that God merely permeates the universe, like the water in the ocean permeates all that lives in the ocean, such as whales, sharks, starfish, and horseshoe crabs. In panentheism, God is necessarily limited, even though pervasive.
Jivanta thus finds all these terms unsatisfactory (or dukkha!), and thus proposes a new term that is more satisfactorily descriptive of the Jivantic stance: Holotheism. (Jivantic "holotheism" should not be confused with the holotheism associated with neo-platonism and ideas of the "Mind of God".) In "pantheism", the "pan" refers to the "all" of the universe of energy and matter, the universe currently acknowledged by modern Western science. In contrast, the "holos" in "holotheism" refers to the "fullness" of reality, whether that reality be matter/energy or some other phenomenal fullness nonetheless perceptible (e.g., an "image", apparently held in the brain; this image is neither matter nor energy as defined by modern Western science). In holotheism, God is nature, and supernature; not exclusively one or the other; and God is thus not necessarily separate from nature, nor necessarily separate from supernature. God is fullness.
08 July 2007
This method can be further reduced into five steps:
1. Define the problem
2. Develop hypothesis
3. Test hypothesis
4. Analyze data
5. Redefine the problem
Religion is, essentially, a scientific method.
In Buddhism, for instance, the problem is dukkha. The hypothesis is that selfish craving causes dukkha and that the end of selfish craving ends dukkha. The testing of the hypothesis is the noble eightfold path. The analyzing of the data is the awareness of one's own life of cause-and-effect: does the practice of the path decrease or increase dukkha? Redefining the problem occurs on the basis of whether the path reduces or fosters dukkha in one's life.
In Christianity, the scientific method does not take as logical a form as in Buddhism, but the method is present nonetheless. The problem is lack of eternal life, the presence of death. The hypothesis is that the lack of eternal life is caused by sin, 'missing the mark', failing to walk in the Way of God. The hypothesis is tested by following Christ, by loving God and loving one's neighbor as oneself. The analyzing of the data occurs during one's life: does following Christ lead to greater or lesser life? Redefining the problem occurs when following Christ produces or does not produce, life.
Faith is the willingness to put the hypothesis to the test, day by day.
We can further develop the original seven steps of the scientific method into the scientific-tantric method:
- Define the question or problem
- Gather information and resources from both oral or written (textual or scriptural) tradition and modern sources
- Form and develop hypothesis
- Test the hypothesis: construct experiments that would confirm hypothesis and perform the experiments via embodiment and praxis
- Collect and analyze data resulting from the experiments
- Interpret data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new hypotheses
- Publish results
07 July 2007
2. Jesus Christ
3. Bhagavan Krishna
4. Gautama Buddha
5. Guru Nanak
8. Lao Zu
9. Kong Fuzu
10. Swami Sivananda
11. Paramahansa Yogananda
12. Ramakrishna Paramahansa
13. Swami Rudrananda
14. Mata Amritanandamayi
15. Meher Baba
17. Swami Vivekananda
18. Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati
19. Hazrat Inayat Khan
20. Guru Rasa
21. Mother Meera
22. Upasni Maharaj
23. Adi Da Samraj
24. Eknath Easwaran