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Nuclear Reactor
Unclear Reactors

What global spiritual dysfunction is behind the unwise deployment of nuclear reactors? People develop layers upon layers of barriers to the inner being, causing spiritual blockage and darkness. This is a first-degree spiritual sickness. It is based on spiritual and psychological reaction rather than upon action. In this case, the lack of clarity associated to the Human Purpose is behind this reaction, so we can call it an Unclear Reaction. The use of toxic nuclear fission reactors in the world stems directly from a sickness caused by division, just as Fission "releases energy" by dividing atoms. Hence, a Nuclear reactor is the direct analog of the topsy-turvy spiritual condition of the unenlightened human being.

In a world where "socializing" people means teaching us to spend the bulk of our personal energy cutting off the core of our essence, such reactors exist. They could never exist in a world where priorities lean towards personal spiritual development. Nuclear technologies are based upon division and separations. They are completely consistent with the widely promulgated doctrinal and theological fallacy that humans are in a state of spiritual isolation and divided from one another, G-d, and "heaven." This doctrine could not be further from the truth, but its adoption is almost universal. Both Unclear Reaction and Nuclear Reaction are dubiously claimed to be a path of least resistance, an "unfortunate but necessary approach given the circumstances." This is hogwash.

Mystics teach us that spiritual energy is attained solely by unifying. Physicists teach us that the energies and powers of the Sun are derived by nuclear Fusion, which is a unifying activity. The Sun's Fusion Reaction model combines Hydrogen atoms, yielding energy plus non-toxic byproducts Helium and Water. In a world where people have learned to combine energies for the greater good, it is very imaginable that "discoveries" of necessary methods to create sustained energy release from Fusion will appear. As of today, we have not succeeded in sustaining a Fusion reaction. A society cannot deploy a technology that reaches beyond its willingness to live out a higher level of truth in practical terms. In other words, a society cannot move in a direction beyond its current level of moral development. The root of "Moral" - Morum in Latin means "Move."

While the press will never draw the link between mass-unconsciousness and the presence of nuclear reactors, it is supremely evident that fission reactors are the outgrowth of a flawed, self-defeating spiritual dysfunction in large populations. If the Sun is the analog of Unity, Light, and the Supreme Being in the world of Astrophysics, then the Nuclear reactor is the analog of Division, Darkness, and Diabolical activity in Metaphysics.

Keith Critchlow, the recognized Dean among Sacred Geometry experts once said in criticism that Nuclear Reactors had taken the place of "Temples" in Modern society. He said the nuclear reactor had many features and parallels to the ancient temples - including an interior zone where a person could not survive if they entered unprepared, special "priesthoods" comprised of elite persons who alone could understand what is being done in the precincts of the "temple," and "doctrines" that make people dependent on these "temples" for their well-being. In his parable of the nuclear reactor as modern "temple," he criticized what our society values - we have turned to worship shattering rather than unifying, sickness rather than health, and so forth. His observation from the moral point of view is well-taken. We can also evaluate this question using an Economic point of view.

Economics, aside from spiritual questions helps bring clarity and should be considered when one lays the groundwork for any moral argument. Within economics, there is relatively no subjectivity in the realm of cost. The economic truth is that nuclear reactors built by public utilities are so intrinsically unsafe; their cost overruns associated to risk management give the lie to the claim that Nuclear Energy is "cheap." It is far from cheap. The tens of billions of dollars used to build reactors could be diverted to the task of investment in sustainable and healthy energy sources.

Actual and documented records of cost overruns for the construction of reactors at Georgia Power's Vogtle nuclear complex show cost multiples in the range of a thousand times estimates. Steven Prenovitz wrote in the Atlanta Journal Constitution that "From the 1970s to 1989 the cost of Vogtle escalated from $660 million to $8.9 billion, a 1,200 percent cost overrun. On a per kilowatt basis, Vogtle's cost increased from $284 to $3,836 per kilowatt." And, who pays this? Legislative models promulgated by the nuclear industry arrange for construction costs to be paid by electricity consumers. Free-market competitive forces that normally produce lower costs are ignored in this equation. Public Service Commissions simply allow for a "cost plus profit" equation to be employted in rate-setting by the utilities. The notion of "cheap" nuclear power is patently false. So is the notion that it is the "easier" path for us to live our lives in a reactive, defensive, and spiritually shut-down dynamic.

Along the future path of human history a transition will eventually take place in world consciousness. This will yield a condition of well-being and a pervasive sense of unity. In this new environment, we can expect many developments in technology and resource utilization to mirror the awareness of unity and well-being. It could be that we are currently on the cusp of such developments, but realistically, a fifty year time frame is a more likely than than a time frame of five years before we see widespread global evidence of transformation.

The severely carcinogenic byproduct of Nuclear Fission is depleted uranium 238, with an acknowledged half-life approaching 4.5 billion years. Nobody wants this stuff anywhere nearby, so utilities keep the "spent" fuel rods in pools on reactor sites in the wake of Japan's Fukushima disaster. However, the geniuses in the US Defense industry have come to the rescue. Depleted uranium is such a dense material, it makes a great shell casing that can pierce virtually any armor. A variety of munitions as well as tank armors themselves are encased in this radioactive depleted uranium. Enter the Iraq war, and the US found a great place to get rid of tons of depleted uranium, in such places as Baghdad, Mosul, Fallujah and other large cities. In these places cancer rates have skyrocketed.

At Iraqi hospitals, thousands of babies and alarmingly high percentages of children are being born with deformities and many have died. Many which survived were recorded as having developed disabilities later. Adults have not been spared either. Even American Soldiers returned from Iraq with illness purportedly attributed to this weaponry that yields radiation exposure, although radiation as cause of their illnesses is denied by the Pentagon. This nasty stuff is reportedly being used in the Libya conflict and we have no reason to doubt these reports.

The haunting Biblical (Exodus 20:5 etc.) concept "The sins of the fathers shall be visited upon their children for the third and fourth generations" may or may not be factually valid. However, if reports that DNA is distorted by nuclear radiation are correct, it is biologically possible for these toxic effects to last for generations. We can certainly measure the consequences of unclear reaction and nuclear reaction and the results are horrific.

What can we do? In virtually every developed country, some percentage of electricity comes from Nuclear reactors. Aside from direct involvement in the forms of financial contribution to public interest groups, testimony at hearings, petition, and protest against nuclear fission proliferation in any form whatsoever we can take further actions. Spiritual practices that resolve defensive reactive behaviors that make us "unclear reactors" and which cleanse their traces from us are particularly appropriate. They create radiant live-giving results, impacting everyone around us at some level, even passing through time. They are restorative, beneficial, and tangible. Breathwork, Chanting, and Meditation all ground these practices and are superbly restorative. Combined effectively, these are the metaphysical antidotes for radiation poisoning.




Removing the Husk
The Kaballah of Removing Husks

In Spring, around the Vernal Equinox, a purging of husks takes place in a process of natural re-balancing. Kaballah speaks of a husk of woe and disenfranchisement caused by spiritual malignment. It clings to and conceals the radiant, deeper being. In Hebrew this is called the Klipah Nogah translated as "Glittering Shell." It is called a glittering shell because Spiritual Light is heavily cloaked. It is incomparable to the diamond-bright illumination that appears around the ascending Prophet Ezekiel in whom there is found no woe or disenfranchisement whatsoever.

The spiritual presence moving through this husk is constrained. According to the sages, the story of Adam and Eve "after the fall" directly involves changing from the Bright Shining Light to a Glittering Shell. They go from being clothed in Light to being clothed in Skins. Like the state of the primordial couple after the fall, any person you meet is likely to exhibit a degree of chronic identification with and attachment to woe and disenfranchisement.

Identification used here means these feelings are not merely a passing nuisance on the way to a brighter day. They are something we become attached to so tightly, we hold on to them to our own detriment and even fierrcely defend and justify them. The Landmark Forum aptly calls these attachment mechanisms "Rackets." Thousands of volumes of psychology, theology and philosophy are dedicated to this twisted defense mechanism. The very nature of humanity itself, through spiritual dysfunction gets stuck with a dark coating. The fool cloaks his spiritual essence and proclaims himself a "Sinner and thus unworthy of Heaven." This is the stickiness -- and sickness -- of the Klipah Nogah. It can even transfer across generations. What can we learn about it, and what can be done?

It is important to consider this husk because we need to understand how it comes to exist and how it might be eliminated. We can go about claiming to be "light beings" or people who "work on ourselves," "people of faith" or those who "get it" but it isn't actual just because we say so. History is replete with delusional people claiming spiritual advancement. Rather, we have to somehow go through a valid shift in the metaphysical structure of our subtle bodies at the soul, chakra and Sephirot levels which provide for evidence of a change in the fundamental vibrational frequency of consciousness, as brilliantly described by the Kabbalists, Yogis and Seers through history. This sort of shift leads towards genuine enlightenment and extensive flow of Divine revelation.

It is correctly called an "ontological shift." The term ontos in Greek hails to "that which is." Ontology involves the science of existence itself. In other words, removal of the husk of Klipah Nogah causes a genuine polar shift from woe and disenfranchisement to the inalienable and initially-conceived love, and harmony, freeing the pure foundational structure of our existence. To better understand Klipah Nogah, we can refer to a valuable Kaballistic method called Gematriya.

Gematriya is the summation and comparison of the numerical values of the Hebrew letters that comprise various words, leading to clearer understanding of the sacred texts. The word for "Light" is Ohr, beginning with the letter Aleph. The similar-sounding word for "Skin" is Ohr, but it begins with an Ayin. The difference between numerical values of the words "Light" and "Skin" is thus the difference between Aleph and Ayin, valued at 69. The Siddur (prayer book) of Rabbeynu HaRashash points out that 69 is also the numerical value of Yagon or "sorrow." The Kaballists say sorrow is from the Sitra Achra or "other side." Sitra Achra is the realm of shadows rather than the realm of Source. We are told by Rav Levi bar Ido / B'nai Avraham in the name of Rabbi Isaac of Luria there are deep Kavanot or "hidden intentions" available behind the verse in the standing meditation prayer "remove from us Yagon (sorrow) and Anaha (grief)." The numerical values for Ebion - "poverty" "disenfranchisement" and Yagon- "sorrow" or "woe" are identical. According to the Sages, where one is in "poverty" via failing to act in accord with the Mitzvoth or "Divine will," the result is to have sorrow get stuck onto you. S/he lives in darkness, isolation, fear, and disorientation rather than in Light.

This arithmetical approach provides a formula in reverse that reveals a far-reaching secret of how to remove the Klipah Nogah. The formula works like this: Pure light, diminished by woe and disenfranchisement yields Skin, or the external membrane that creates a sense of separation between us and the pure creation of the world around us. Thus, if we begin with separation from the world around us, then deal with our woe and disenfranchisement, we can arrive at pure Light.

The Kaballists point out that in order to attain a higher level of unity, a person has to do a process of Tikkun, or "rectification." The act of rectification has to do with realigning oneself. Doing so requires consciously passing through layers of disorientation. By acts of will or choice, which are English terms related in Hebrew to the term mitzvah, we transform the quality of the experience. It shifts to one of Shalom - unity and wholeness. In other words, once we consciously face the experiences we put ourselves through it is possible to re-experience and re-interpret them differently in order to emerge from them. Doing so, we won't repeat the pattern, and we become free.

The psychology of this works as follows: If we stuff ourselves with self-images of desolation, (de-soil-ation) we must return via the path we have taken, face the desolation squarely, consciously reaffirm a sense of belonging, and thus emerge from it. Jung and others made this clear. Emotional & spiritual reconciliation became the foundation of today's Cognitive Therapy. This is easier said than done. The tendency in people is to be captured by the inertial condition of desolation. We may revert to fear, imagine we are in some mortal danger, and remain trapped. Rather than face and move through the illusion with love and devotion, discovering these are inalienable essences at our foundation, many hold on to the illusion. We retreat or attempt to make an end-run around it. This fails to foster whole-ness. As the Hebrew day moves from sundown - darkness to day - light, so the human psyche must move.

The tribal healers of the Amazon and Sub-Saharan Africa speak of two forces in life - one of Life itself with its love, splendor and glory, and the other of decay, default, and death. Virtually all ancient people's mythologies hinge on the interaction of these two forces. These are described in Kaballah as a Ailyah, "ascending" and Yeridah, "descending" forces. Among aboriginal tribes, powerful purgative medicines are employed that force deeply-rooted feelings and desolation back out of a person from the root in the inverse of the way they came in - through the throat. People "swallow" their fear but it accumulates and eventually becomes embedded in the abdomen. The tribal medicines generally produce heavy nausea and are accompanied by visions. When the "evil impulses" we have buried deep in the gut are purged by these medicines, the person fully re-experiences these impulses in all of their power and mood affect. The accompanying visions may be of death, destruction, and are described as fearsome and terrible. Once these are purged, the visions are described as high levels of unity and perception in which visions are so prophetic and wonderful that life takes on a whole new -- and permanent -- meaning. In reality neither are visions, they are simply unmasked realizations of what is present in the psyche in the "before and after" pictures and emotions.

Removal of dark entities or demons that attach to people causing malaise follows a similar pattern. In order to succeed, it is necessary to unmask the entity and then have it fully explain its purpose, associations, consequences, and reasons for interfering with the host person. If the healer doesn't complete this unmasking process, the likelihood of future demonic interference increases.

Unlike cognitive therapy which may take months or years to reach catharsis, Tribal medicines take no more than a few hours - perhaps the most difficult hours of a person's life, but hours none the less. Early Christian writings about "heavy wine" are accompanied by contemporaneous commentaries explaining that the "faithful" were consuming wine for "communion" tinctured with powerful pharmacological psycho-actives. This suggests the process of Absolution of Sins in the early Church was a cathartic experience, comparable to the activities of tribal peoples. A typical worship-goer does not enter the sanctuary solemnly fasting, with knees trembling, knowing the whole truth of their life will come up for evaluation and rectification at THIS service like what the tribal participants face in their ceremonial temples. Among some tribes in Ecuador, it is said that the tribal medicine healings are so far-reaching, powerful and sacred it is not necessary for them to be experienced more than twice in a lifetime - in youth and again in old age.

The Hebrew word Nogah found in Kaballah is also the Hebrew name of the planet Venus. What do we learn from this? Venus is associated to Desire. Our desires can lead to our elevation - but if desires form a husk that blocks our sovereign qualities, they cause our downfall. Virtually all Kaballists and spiritual Masters speak of the need to master one's desires and appetites. Many of the Zen Koans (parables) speak of matters of desire eloquently. Here is a favorite:

Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling. Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection. "Come on, girl" said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud. Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. "We monks don't go near females," he told Tanzan, "especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?"

"I left the girl there," said Tanzan. "Are you still carrying her?"

We can only remove the Klipah Nogah, the Husk formed by misplaced Desire by squarely facing and uprooting attachments and justifications or payoffs for maintaining "Racquets" of fear, discomfort, woe and disenfranchisement. Only then can we understand and really feel their essence. or payoffs for maintaining fear, discomfort, woe and disenfranchisement so that we can understand and really feel their essence. This feeling experience is a powerful albeit sometimes painful teacher: These experiences exit just as they entered, with emotional intensity that runs so high, we learn never to trifle with them again. From this experience, we gain a "nose" for even the slightest hint that we are impounding ourselves with woe and disenfranchisement, and from this experience we can know from deep inside ourselves, exactly how we uniquely go about doing it.

To "let go and let G-d" means we have to first hold these things in our hands, examine and recognize them, and then, deliberately open our hands and hearts to let them fall behind us as we move forward without looking back. This is a movement from destructive downward and decaying forces towards regenerative, upward, and radiantly fulfilling forces. This purgative activity is gently supported by breathwork, chanting, prayer, and effectively performed yoga where breath is utilized correctly.

Upon the escape from Sodom and Gemorah, Lot's wife ignored angelic warnings and looked back. She was immediately "calcified" into a "pillar of salt." Via this account, the sages remind us of how serious a matter it is to hold on rather than let go.



Priestly Blessing of Love
Casting Love vs. Fomenting Fear

Love is a feature of the Divine Personality and its Presence has tangible effects. When throngs of protesters recently prayed together in Cairo the Spiritual Presence within the entire world was increased. A ray of hope filled all of humanity, and the words of Gandhi and Martin Luther King about the transformative power of non-violence were affirmed. We saw this in many "velvet" revolutions, it is a recurring them of redemption. Catastrophes like the earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, the certainties of radiation risk due to reactor meltdowns associated to explosions in the Fukushima Daichi complex have people all over the world losing sleep. What to do?

Spirituality is potent, present, and immediate when Love becomes concentrated and focused. No-one, not even a passer-by can help but pay mind to the presence of a wedding procession and pause in silent reverence. While spiritual neophytes speak in terms of "energy" and "power" when discussing spiritual experiences, advanced souls describe a Presence of Personality that becomes strong. A sense of Being manifests that shows a greater concentration of Divine Personality, which washes through the person. A sense of unity pervades, and the person is restored, even at the cellular level, to a higher and deeper level of well-being. Medical evidence is clear about the benefits of Love. People who live in Love live longer, healthier lives. Loneliness yields the opposite effect.

My Love is as certain as the wind beneath your wings. You feel completed, relaxed, substantiated, grateful, alive, and your enthusiasm is boundless. Our Love is magnetic, uplifting, and confirming. We rightly feel that our outcome is unconditionally positive. We find strength and courage to overcome obstacles, no matter how great. Those around us are affected, also. They feel our light shining on them; it is like a warm breeze. All receive Love's encompassing benefit. In the presence of Love, all beings reach a deeper level, feel at home. Our home is timeless, as time stands till in reverence and respect.

Hebrew and Arabic call this deeper level of Being "Shalom" or "Salam" which at the root is "Shalem" or "Wholeness." This is an invocation to a level of un-varnished Kabalistic knowledge. To translate these terms as "Hello," "Goodbye" & "Peace" is to miss the dimensionality of the ancient tongues. Wholeness is restoration all the way from the root to the flower. The thousand petaled lotus blooms broadly, the smile traces across the face, the brow relaxes, and the eyes shine brightly. The Sanskrit character "Om" invokes this same essential experience. No matter the culture we live in, the root sounds behind common words invoke levels of awareness that stem from prehistory. Where the consonant phoneme "Sh" or the consonant "S" appears in a word, the element Fire is invoked. The Hebrew word that produces the "Sh" sound is "Shin." This is a unique letter normally appearing with three fiery tips at its top. Two versions of the letter "Shin" are embossed on the cubic box on the right and left sides of the "Tefillin" box (phylacteries) properly placed above the crown Chakra during morning prayers. One has three fiery tips and the other has four, adding up to seven. A four-tipped Shin only appears in one place in the Hebrew custom - on this unique prayer cube. In this box are four parchments which contain extracted scriptural quotes. For those who are interested, the extracts are Exodus 13:1-10, 11-16; Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 11:13-21. Derived from the Torah, these include the original "Shema" prayer. It is appropriate to move the spiritual fire from the base of the spine to the top of the head at the beginning of each day. The ancient technologies built into these sacred prayer articles assist in that process even among those who are consciously unaware of the powers involved.

"Shin" means "tooth" - and a tooth is the part of the body that first heats food for digestion, by grinding it. Fire is the essential force that starts creation - one might note that wherever we find fire we find light. And, Light is the first act of creation. The word "First" is a contraction of the word "Fire'st." "First-ness" is the reduction of all things to their essence, and in a reorganizing act, establishment of new order. The US motto Novus Ordo Seclorum shown on rear of the dollar bill with the shining Eye of the Divine atop the pyramid speaks to this profound reality.

Ancient Sanskrit offers the mantra "Om Shanti," a potent invocation of the creative and formative force, leading to alignment and well-ness. In the pantheon of Hinduism, we find principal players, Shiva & Shakti. The masculine Shiva represents the constitutive elements of the universe, while the feminine Shakti is the dynamic potency, which makes these elements come to life and act. The lesson is the same; it is a lesson of First-ness with all its attending purity and potency. The master prayer of the Hebrews, beginning with "Shema Yisroel" is a comparable invocation of the deepest forces of being, rising from the lowest to the highest levels of the body, linking spirit and flesh in an act of restitution that is unlimited in its potential.

Groups of people of any size are capable of casting Love to others. Nobody who saw the peaceful prayers of thousands in Cairo was unaffected by the feelings of hope and unity, freedom and tolerance, willingness, and resolve expressed. They cast Love to us. We felt it. We were enthralled by it. We put the experience in our emotional and spiritual bank and we felt ourselves empowered, even in our wealthy and seemingly secure environs.

To be spiritual involves many levels and many distinctions. However Love is something of a transcendent nature, while being something immanent, which means we can all experience it no matter our circumstances. Gandhi and Martin Luther King inspired generations of people. Great Kings, Queens, Sages and Seers express this notion because it is the pinion of authenticity and the unconditionally noble and sovereign human character. John Kennedy spoke to this when he proclaimed "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

If we had a leader, we would hear that leader say "Ask not what the world can do for you, ask what you can do for the world." What is our task, aside from immediately sharing needed provisions from our surplus and substance in material terms? It is to cast Love, to join together with others in the act of casting Love, to embrace with dignity and honor, as Mother Theresa did in the slums of Calcutta, seeing an opportunity to find the Highest in every person by touching and affirming every living being. Casting Love is the principal teaching of the Buddha, the primary function of the Jerusalem Priesthood, the Dignity of Mecca, the Native American Anthem shared by all Tribes, the World Mission of authentic Christians, the Force behind festival, dance, song, art, music, birth, death, healing, education, and commerce.

Those who would spew fear and hatred on the media are a falling force. Despite their short term profits, they cannot survive, and their desperation grows by day, while the shrillness of their argument reaches an ever-more feverish pitch. They could buy every media outlet, print every paper and magazine, bribe every public official, fill the minds of the weak until they are cluttered like a hospital medical disposal unit with needles, knives, and all manner of sharp, cutting edges. But they are empty, like the dark beings, unable to make anything live of theirown accord, and can only await the ultimate day of their own moment of justice. Even their moral and spiritual bankruptcy will one day find redemption and they too will come back to the Light and join the ranks of those who recognize, praise, and ultimately return to the One.

Quoting Franklin D. Roosevelt's inaugural address is appropriate in closing this writing. This address was given almost exactly 78 years ago on March 4, 1933. The only edit we might make to his wise counsel bringing it to current circumstances would be to change the words "nation" or "our country" to the word "world." Keep this in mind as you read what he said, in part:

"This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself-nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days."

"In such a spirit on my part and on yours we face our common difficulties. They concern, thank God, only material things. Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone."

"More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment."

"Yet our distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague of locusts. Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered because they believed and were not afraid, we have still much to be thankful for. Nature still offers her bounty and human efforts have multiplied it. Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply. Primarily this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind's goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men." "True they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish." "The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit."

"Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men."

"Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit; and there must be an end to a conduct in banking and in business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing. Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, on unselfish performance; without them it cannot live."

"Restoration calls, however, not for changes in ethics alone. This Nation asks for action, and action now."

Cast Love and cast it abundantly!



Kaballistic Tree of Life
The Kaballah of Spiritual Experience

Kaballah distinguishes and identifies five soul layers. These each produce distinctly different types of spiritual experiences. Most people only attain one, or two or at best, three of them. Everybody says "I'm spiritual" but expertise found in the writings of spiritual masters reveals a Taxonomy, or science of classification, demonstrating varying classes of spirituality. All persons are "spiritual." The Jesuit Priest Teilhard de Chardin's quote "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience" aptly confronts the materialist view and its inability to fully address spiritual matters.

This criticism of materialism is not meant to denigrate the value of science, empiricism, and the foundation of metrics to observe natural law as applied to solve material problems. However the boundary of evidence itself, which involves the capacity to measure, is constantly under expansion. Physics and quantum theory repetitively shatter prior conceptions as the whole is contemplated. Life consistently proves more than some of our ancestors ever imagined it to be. It shows itself to be a self-renewing, infinite exercise of energetic permutations in which the minutest part is consistently representative of the whole. This empirical and theoretical realization is the viewpoint that usurped materialism in the scientific community and led to a "new science" in which the boundaries between science and religion are breached.

The Kaballistic sages understood this thoroughly. They decried the hasty conclusions of a mentality that amassed the nuances of life into a comparably digital system of zeros and ones, or life/death, salvation/damnation, and a host of other binary misconceptions that remain propagated among the ignorant even today.

It is as sophomoric and falsely naïve to lump all spiritual experiences into limited classifications as once practiced. Lumping all life into "Animal, Mineral & Vegetable" was proven superficial by Carl Linneaus as far back as 1735. His Biological Classification sytem of Taxonomy provided for the now widely-accepted descending hierarchic ranks of Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species. Kaballah identifies descending hierarchic soul levels. Rav Reichman, student of Rav Wolfson (Shlita) expresses interpretations of the five widely-described levels of the soul along these lines: Yechida (Oneness), Chaya (Life), Neshama (Identity), Ruach (Forceful Wind) and Nefesh (Rest). As is often practiced among Hebrew scholars, the Initial Letters (Roshei Tevos) of the terms form an acrostic word: NeRaNChaYa. They are customarily discussed in order from lowest to the highest: Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Chaya, & Yechida. This is derived from Breishis Rabbah 14:9 where it states "She (the soul) has five names; Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Chaya, Yechida." The Kaballists know that most people do not attain beyond the basic levels of spiritual experience. Consequently, the Masters begin the teaching with the basic level shared by all participants.

Nefesh is considered to be a property of the blood itself. It is associated to the state of rest that spiritual energies first achieve when they initially separate from the Creator. This is why the "first man" Adam is said to have had Nefesh breathed into his nostrils by the Creator. The Spiritual Forces come to Rest in the Man. And what shall we make of this creature's name in whom the Divine Spirit rests, "A-dam?" It is derived from the Hebrew word DAM, which means - Blood.

And what is this function, of blood? The blood serves as a receptor organ in both positive and negative terms. The blood receives the nutrients via provision of oxygen, or proteins or sugars to the myriad cells of the body. The blood receives the waste products produced by the cells which it transports to the liver for filtration and disposal. Some of these waste products are transported to the heart. If they congeal there, the result is serious disease.

The attribute of love is akin to Nefesh. Hence, the energy of Nefesh is associated to desire and attachment. Among the ranks of spiritual students the first step of conscious awakening is often to recognize cause and effect and to seek betterment by generating better causes. This is only natural. Those who are fascinated students of the Law of Attraction are engaged in a pursuit that lies in the domain of Nefesh. Nefesh spirituality is the spirituality of desire. Its foundation is not in oneness but separateness. Following a Universal First Principal, a person cannot attain oneness that has not first recognized their separate existence. Nefesh consciousness is by definition, a beginning point, not an end point, in spirituality because it is not self-referential but externally-referenced. The Kaballists see the story of Adam not primarily as one of oneness, but primarily as one of exile in the wake of desire, with the consequence leading to the establishment of life and lineage. This pattern is consistently demonstrated in the first spiritual steps a person takes.

Ruach is the part of the soul that the sages say "rises and descends." Like a strong wind, the force of this breath energy moves through the body, rising from the core to the head and back down again. This is analogous to emotions. All emotions stem from Ruach, and speech is the by-product of Ruach. The nose and particularly the mouth are the organs of Ruach. What begins as emotion ultimately moves the entire body into action, and vice versa. The same holds true with fragrance. Emotions in the heart lead us to awe and reverence. They yield an instinct for healing. Ruach spirituality involves enjoyment of emotional and freeing energies. Examples of Ruach consciousness include Bhakti Yoga, chant, evangelism, most cases of Reiki Healing, Trance Dance, Martial Arts, Dervish practices, plus comparable emotion-stirring spiritual activities including preaching and teaching.

Neshama is the part of the soul that retains congruency in alignment with Divine principals and the Divine order within Creation. It is a sense of identity first and foremost, of oneness-with Creator as "beholder." This is distinct from alignment to Divine principals and the Divine order beyond or prior to Creation. The root of "Neshama" is the Hebrew word "Shem," meaning NAME. "Name" hails to the characterization of the ineffable inner essence. This inner essence is called "P'nei" in Hebrew, and this awareness is likely behind the Greek word "Pneuma." This Greek term is often translated as "Spirit" in the New Testament. The term P'nei is the Hebrew root for "Punum" which means "Face." However, Hebrew terms are not to be reduced to externalities. Our face is not the external feature. Rather, it is the expression of our inner essence. This is why every person has a different face, and why people with similar faces tend to have similar essences. Many authorities believe reincarnations demonstrate an uncanny resemblance in facial features, regardless of race or gender in successive lifetimes.

The Hindus teach that the Divine Name is an energetic ordering principal that maintains the Creation in all its myriad expressions. It is the OM, the root and Mother of Being, the "All-that-Is," the wise and perceptive receptive expression of Divine personality. While G-d is called the "nameless One" the ter, "Shem" or "Name" exists as the receptor to the Nameless One, thus "taking his name" in a matrimonial sense. Neshama is the connecting link between the micro and macro Divine identities. Hence, it is associated to the Mind and the Brain, which are different manifestations. The former is pervasive throughout the entire body and is grounded at the root of the spine.

The Neshama is the topsoil in which the Root Chakra is planted, though the Neshama pervades the entire matrix of the physical and spiritual bodies. Conversely, the brain is its organ, and the neuron clusters of the brain are analogous to roots in their own right, except in mirror image, planted in creation, and reaching into the myriad constituencies of response to the Divine. Some people mistakenly claim the seat of the Neshama is located in the brain, but this is invalid. The Brain reflects the seat of the Neshama at the Root. Neshama consciousness recognizes moral principals, laws and permutations of order. It uncovers Oneness everywhere and seeks to be exploited by Oneness. In the general population, comparably few persons consistently engage in Neshama consciousness. Those who do so are like crystals of salt, with vast effects on society and the spiritual worlds. Receipt of and wholly living up to Revelation is the practice associated to this Spiritual level. Neshama involves giving awareness along with being a living example. Both must be timely and new, while possessing truth as universal and timeless principal. In other words, in a person bearing this consciousness we find an active microcosm of the unified whole. This person is not merely an expression of the potential for microcosm. Revelation is thus a transparent and attainable embodiment of Divinity.

Revelation is as distinctly different from "channeling" as a "Prophet" is distinctly different from a teacher. The Sages give the distinction of the Prophet as follows: His or her words are both of eternal significance as well as temporal validity, where a Teacher faces no comparable requirement for eternal significance, for Revelation or for setting a living example. Neshama spirituality is exemplified in the Prophets, some Saints, sages, and Matriarchs who make a permanent impression on world consciousness. The human adventure is essentially encapsulated in the notion of Neshama. Most Kaballists customarily use the term Neshama as a catch-all for all five levels of the soul's enterprise.

A person serving as a "channel" or "trance channel" is by definition not a realization of inner essence, and is not a demonstration of Neshama consciousness. A spiritual channel clearly and without apology represents outside forces or beings. This "outsideness" should not be confused with being a living example of Revelation and its fruit. This is not to denigrate the potential prima-facie value of certain channeled materials from relatively pure sources. However, one must recognize that the very notion of a person providing the channel involves drawing knowledge from beyond him or herself. This externalization is even higher in the or the student of the channel. Because the activity involves a sense of separation, the expression of channeling is that of Nefesh Consciousness. This is why the same population of souls who love to engage in study of channeled teachings are frequently also students of "Law of Attraction" and other exile-based levels of Nefesh Consciousness which look longingly at the "grass greener on the other side.".

Among Kaballists, it is widely acknowledged that the two highest levels of the soul , Chaya (Life) and Yechida (Oneness) are only indirectly associated to the human earthly existence. A relative glimmer of Oneness that takes place in Samadhi or Enlightenment is incomparable to the sort of conscious steady-state levels of Chaya and Yechida. In fact, these levels are unsupportable by the physical human body for more than a few moments. The exception to this is the life of an Avatar, and such cases in the history of Earth can be counted on one hand. Even in the minutest presence of these forces, the human body may lose its strength and collapse. This is why we find many scriptural examples of people falling on their face in the Divine Presence.

Chaya and Yechida are without physical analogs. They are reserved for functions of the soul beyond the level of the body. In some schools they are associated to particular forms of spiritual initiation involving vessels for Light and work "beyond the veil" or "behind the curtain" of the inner Holy of Holies. Even then, many such schools teach only a facet of this awareness, so vast are these realities. Chaya and Yechida supersede and precede physical existence. In this realm, the two higher levels of the soul are more G-d than Man. In most examples, should a human being be privileged to encounter a being in the embodiment of these two higher levels, it is quite possible, to mistake this level of manifestation for G-d the Creator Itself!

The human being is a unique being. We are essentially a conduit, or a pipe that connects vast worlds and allows them to interact. The two worlds, described in Genesis as the "waters above" and the "waters below' the "firmament" are the worlds of Sprit and Creation. Our waking minds cannot imagine the incomparability and uniqueness of the human being, which serves as a point of contact between the vast universes. Where the pipe becomes clogged, the flow between these worlds is staunched. Our Light diminishes. Our eyes, the windows of the soul, become visibly cloudy and the potency of our gaze is defeated. Our opportunity to witness the flow from Creator to Creation and back again is replaced with a sense of futility, lack, loss, and defeat. We become the living dead, the "damned" by our own actions and choices. But a condition of congestion is not our destiny. Rather, an unconditional positive outcome is our destiny.

Our destiny is to grow the size of our conduit to larger and larger dimensions. As our sphere enlarges, soul consciousness is deepened by dint of the spiritual congruency with Creator that ensues from this enlargement. The medieval iconographers, showed brilliant light emanating from the being who lives is a fully-open vessel. Consciously living between the worlds is not without its risks, but when mastered, is shown with an illuminated "halo" around the head. In the life of a spiritual master, the channel between the worlds grows larger than the body itself. This person has become what the Gnostic Christians call "word made flesh." Similar terms for this spiritual level are found all across the spiritual landscape. This is why the spiritual master is able to endow others with direct experience of the Divine.



relationship
Tuesday Feb 22nd 7:30 P.M.
at Frederick's OM

Truth Beyond Question?


Religions mandate belief and compliance based on a claim they are founded on Divine Revelation. Usually they were founded on Divine Revlation. But human interests often subordinate spiritual impetus. Subsequently, in the context of infallibility a host of excuses are made for the simple fact that most religions distract people from direct spiritual experience more than they foster it. We will contribute more on this topic shortly.

Plan to join us for our spiritual practices, leading to direct spiritual experience, the foundation stone of religions that is so often obscured in institutional religious settings. Also, keep in mind, we once again hold our events on Tuesday evenings.





Heart<3
Matters of the Heart

Valentine's Day began as a commemoration of Martyrdom for the Love of G-d involving Roman Catacomb Christians, among whome a person named Valentinus was numbered. We are told a variety of stories though none achieve the full credibility of authenticity. My favorite includes an account of Vanentinus, a leader among the early Christians who was imprisoned. He was a wise leader and scholar who attracted the attention of the Prison Warden, who sent his young daughter to the elder Valentinus for instruction. The daughter benefitted greatly from the association and grew in wisdom, spirituality, and knowledge. On the occasion of Valentinus's death sentence, the daughter wrote him a letter of loving appreciation, in which she said “You will always be my Valentinus” from which we derive the expression “Be My Valentine.” More will be posted on this shortly.

Our weekly quartet of spiritual practices proceed from the Devotional/Mythic archetype, and can gradually lead you home. Join us, the benefits accumulate.


Partial Eclipse
Shadows of the Jan 2011 Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipses cast a line of shadows across the face of the earth. Along this line of shadows, we often find that long hidden forces “emerge from the darkness” and come to the fore. The same forces released from behind the shadow can pop up elsewhere in the world as well. The January 2011 eclipse is a prime example of the predictive nature of eclipses. Its shadow passed across north Africa, moving through the middle east, and into northern Asia. It could be seen from Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Yemen, Israel, and Iran among other places were long hidden forces are quite likely to emerge come to the fore. As predicted, this is what has happened, with popular uprisings against autocratic governments and powerful forces whipping through the path of the Eclipse's shadow.

Eclipses are astronomically organized as “Saros Families” according to the geometry of the eclipse, which is a byproduct of the Moon's distance from the earth, its node, and time of year. Members of these eclipse families are called “Saros Cycles.” A single Saros Cycle is 18 years, 11 days and 8 hours. Each Saros family lasts approximately 12 to 13 centuries, has a beginning point and end point. For those who predict world events based on eclipses, the Saros family leaves a unique wake of world events. These incidents can help us consider potential world experiences that may take place under an eclipse, and can be helpful as a researcher pursues correlative data points.

We witness solar eclipses at various times through the year, currently beginning in January shortly after each new year. However, each eclipse does not spring from the same Saros Family. NASA publishes all the details about which Saros family is associated to each particular eclipse. To interpret the possibilities inherent in a particular eclipse we check to see if there is historical consistency among members of the Saros family. For instance, the Jan 2010 eclipse had some large earthquakes in its family history. Haiti experienced a devastating earthquake shortly after the Eclipse.

The January 2011 eclipse belongs to a group of 72 eclipses, Saros 151. This family first appeared in 1776, and will culminate in 3056. Saros 151 includes the US and French Revolutions in 1776, the execution of Robespierre in 1794, the War of 1812, the Belgian Revolution in 1830. Virtually all European nations experienced popular uprisings and revolutions under this cycle in 1848. Saros 151 includes the beginning point and the near-end-point of the 131-year pre-eminence of the Qajar dynasty in Iran. It includes historic events involving the Suez canal and the Sinai peninsula. It involves transportation, with a number of catastrophic airplane crashes, and the inceptions of several important rail routes. Venezuela (1902) and Korea (1866) in military relation to other countries are both involved. The League of Nations, precursor to the UN is founded (1920). Widespread destruction occurs in Australia by due to Storm (1974).

Already, Uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt deposing long-standing autocracies are likely to be followed by similar uprisings all across the Arab world. Political and/or military incidents involving Iran and Israel are likely to be in the news. It would be good to be an owner of oil reserves at low prices because the price of fuel is likely to rise substantially, either due to war or regional instability.

We heard quite a clamor for putative significance around the Lunar Eclipse that occurred close to the 2010 Winter Solstice. However, for forecasting purposes, Lunar Eclipses do not cast a shadow across the face of the earth, so there is no practical triggering effect. Lunar Eclipses may speak to the emotional nature of society's qualities, but it is the Solar Eclipse that speaks to world events. Clearly the January 2011 eclipse has established itself among other members of Saros 151 with strong correlation to past world events under the cycle. Correlations of this sort may be of interest to any student of history.



Thumbs
Relationships & Sacred Geometry

It is worth exploring how during times of celebration and holidays, a combination of harmonious and challenging exchanges take place between people. We cannot but notice that some experiences we share with others are strained and disruptive, while others are pleasant, enjoyable, and affirming. The energetic interaction between any two people involves potential for angular and/or circular patterns to interact. Where there are more angles than circles, tensions arise, the lines of boundaries are breached, and a sense of difference or even conflict pervades the air. When there are more circles than angles, a sense of belonging is felt, and unity is pervasive.

Our DNA imprints radiate measurable and coherent non-visible light frequencies that create these rhythmic patterns in any interaction between two or more people. Where the interpersonal contact is prolonged, the sum of these radiant patterns creates the “chemistry” of the relationship. Some chemistries are tense, others are relaxed.

Mystics, informed by Biophysics and Astrology recognize two sources for the DNA imprints involved in creating personal chemistry. At the foundation level, we have the genetic material and its potentials as expressed in heredity. The second is the planetary configurations appearing at the time of the birth, which serve to activate specific potentials in the DNA sequence more than others, giving body type, disposition, and opportunities that trigger certain lessons the soul has sought to experience in the coming life. The entire genome as found in your DNA is potential, but not necessarily active - rather, those components that serve the temporal purpose for which this particular birth is intended are highlighted. This highlighting is comparable to striking certain strings on a piano. Selecting those notes intended by the composer, we hear harmony or tension in music. The same effect takes place as a consequence of the activations present in the natal planetary configuration. Astronomical movement of the planets from this time forward until death yields waves of emphasis that play upon the original configuration, amplifying here, muting there, and a symphony of life expression is the result.

Synastry Astrology examines of the effects of two peoples' planetary positions (Horoscopes) on each other. Certain combinations of touch-points or “Aspects” between the two Horoscopes become evident upon examination. For instance, the position of Venus at the time of your birth speaks to your desire nature. This planet shows much about how you handle attraction. The position of Mars at the time of your birth shows much about how your energy, boundaries, and initiatives. Should you meet a person who has Venus or Mars positions that make contact with your Venus or Mars positions, you are likely to interact. If these combined positions are harmonious, at multiples of 60 degrees from each other, you will likely enjoy each other. If these combined positions are in tension rather than harmony, (called “hard aspect” by Astrologers) or in multiples of 90 degrees from each other, you may conflict with each other. Add Sun, Moon, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and the Moon's Nodes to this equation and you have quite a dynamic web of possibilities.

Medieval and Vedic astrologers leave out planets beyond Saturn, but if we add all the planets and the nodes, and the sign at the eastern horizon at the time of the birth, we find there are 144 possible touch points between two people. While it is astronomically impossible for the combination of two people's Horoscopes in Synastry to actively exhibit all 144 possible combinations, it is possible for people to have several dozen instances in which planets affect each other. More intense and potent relationships might involve more instances of contact, or very strong contact points between the parties. For this reason, despite popular books on the subject, the combination of Sun sign with another's gives only sparse and inconclusive information about the real web of chemistry that can occur between two of us.

Taking notice of the two images combined above, on the left, notice the Flower of Life's circular and swirling energies. Compare them to the angular and piercing patterns within the Sri Yantra on the right. Imagine you are visiting a glass-calm pond and a circular wave is set in motion and begins interlacing with another circular wave. A secondary set of waves appears as they merge, creating many levels of pleasant secondary patterns. Now imagine a pond where one corners of a square is moving into the corner of another square. A secondary set of waves appears as they merge, creating many levels of secondary patterns. But these patterns are far more turbulent than the waves between the circles. In the personal combination of two circles, we have a feeling of well-being and shared purpose. In a combination of two squares, we have a feeling of intrusion, disruption, and it is even possible we my feel invaded.

This circle vs. square illustration, while far simpler than an actual Synastry Horoscope can be a way to reconcile the facts that certain combinations between people we meet "bring out" the best or worst in us in certain ways, sometimes all at once.

During work, or other intensely social periods of time, especially when interpersonal dynamics are making impressions, it is helpful to interpret the underpinnings of chemistry in terms like these mentioned above. This context helps us more clearly interpret what is going on between family members, spouses, children, and comrades. .



Thumbs
Mass Gatherings

Mass Gatherings are representative of expression and influence vectors at work in society. They reveal cultural current clusters of shared consciousness and appetites. Those who participate in mass gatherings represent much larger groups of people who gravitate to certain orientations. These gatherings demonstrate states of consciousness and reveal important information about culture and peoples aspirations. The tentacles of the mass gathering's influence reach far through time. These influences bear witness to common cultural currents, and attitudes reach across all levels from mass to individual. Cultural currents are like wind socks at an airport which reveal the presence of unseen influences and trends in society. Mass gatherings concretize these unseen forces by transforming the “feeling” of the experience into a currency that can be exchanged among people far along the social chain for unifying or identifying purposes.

As we consider mass gatherings for Sacred, Sporting, Music-Arts, or Political-Religious purposes, we discover that those attracted to these events express what fluid dynamics refers to as “specific gravity.” The term refers to the level of natural buoyancy achieved by a substance. Following the principal of Specific Gravity that "water seeks its own level," we find the people gravitate to gatherings which serve as disseminators or cultural touch-points. What is actually being touched does matter. The spectrum of character expressions found in mass gatherings ranges from renunciation of personal individuality seeking alignment to a greater principle, to relatively blind following of corporate and mass-marketing imprints and influences, to expressions of liberty and individualism that can range from innocent exploration to full-on engagement, to political or military control and the making of war.

Four primary archetypes of attitudes in behavior are expressed: Devotional-Mythic; Compliant-Loyalist; Liberating-Rebellious; and Controlling-Persuasive. The Devotional-Mythic is found in mass Religious gatherings. Compliant-Loyalist is found primarily at Sporting Events, in Racing, and in such crossover scenes as a visit of a Pope. Liberating-Rebellious gatherings are exemplified by the annual Rainbow Gathering, Burning Man, and many diverse music festivals. It is fairly evident that large political, military, and some very large scale religious rallies are established to fulfill the Controlling-Persuasive objective.

All four of these archetypes operate within shared notions of identity: Sacred (Cardinal), Tribe (Fixed), Spiritual (Mutable), and they take individual expressions such as Priest (Air), Prophet (Water), Adventurer (Earth), and Hero (Fire) are common. However, in the USA none of these notions are expressed in full flower. This can be attributed to the short history of the USA and its commercial bias as a nation. USA culture, ever dominated by media and commercial messages seems incapable of grasping any notion that is not somehow profit-generating for the corporate masters who control cultural messages. This leads to commoditization or commercialization of all of the archetypes and shared notions we've listed above. This is even so among those who naturally belong in an expression such as Native Tribe. Today's tribes are at risk of being far more readily identified with gambling operations than with nature conservancy and sacred ceremonies. Whenever we find a confluence of people who share an attitudinal archetype, we will also find general consistencies in their chosen clothing styles. A glance at the clothing worn at a mass gathering can be indicative of which archetype is being expressed. Clearly there is a substantial difference between the impressions we receive viewing monks in vestments vs. those we receive viewing marching soldiers carrying weapons, or individuals wearing tribal costumes compared to people wearing team gear or corporate logowear.

Since America does not have a long history, mass gatherings in America trend to express individualism or authority as perceived around individualism in some or another form, rather than the explicitly sacred. It is almost unheard of for a mass gathering in America to maintain a spiritual song or any form of unifying chant for more than a few brief minutes. However, one who attends music festivals in Northern California cannot help but notice large numbers of dread-locked young people wearing flowing garb of the sort Abraham and Sarah might be seen wearing in the Holy Land. At Burning Man, people report seeing creative costumes that expand the gamut of imagination, and many report feeling liberated by participating. Conversely, we find vast numbers of people at Sporting or Auto racing events wearing team colors or corporate logowear of different varieties. Such gatherings are favorites of those who become loyal to a cause célèbre such as a Team, School, League, Country, Brand, etc.

Historically, Sacred Mass Gatherings are at the inception of all large-scale events. In order to comprehend the possibilities inherent in any mass gathering, we should first look to the sacred gatherings. After all, they preceded everything else, and their imprint is felt in our collective memory. Pilgrims in attendance relate themselves to the heavenly beings who gather in attendance before the Divine Throne, singing praises and committing themselves to expressions of the Divine Essence. Dressing style depends on the culture and climate, but modesty is emphasized even in places where little scant clothing is typical. Wearing of long flowing garments is typical.

Mass Gatherings for sacred purposes dwarf even the largest gathering that has ever taken place in the USA. They express the Devotional-Mythic archetype. In India, the world's largest known mass gathering is known as Kumbh Mela. Over 70 million pilgrims converge, and maybe 10 million, smeared with Ash, immerse themselves in the River Ganges quadrennialy. They seek spiritual and moral upliftment. A relatively sparse security force of over 10,000 is deployed to help maintain order.

At the time of the Hajj(pilgrimage), in Saudi Arabia's city of Mecca, we annually witness millions of devout Muslims completing their pilgrimage by walking the seven-fold clockwise Tawaf (circumambulation) at Islam's holiest place, the Kaaba. The Kaaba is said to have been built by Abraham. This occurs at the Al-Masjid Al-Haram, the world's largest and holiest mosque which can accommodate 4 million within its precincts during Hajj. People are found fully engaged in the character of Ihram, in which purity, self-denial and shared intentions are expressed explicitly. Contrast this sanctity with the free-for-all we find in American arts and music festivals, where a notable shared intention is heavy consumption of mind-altering substances or alcohol. It is not difficult to understand Islam's suspicion towards dissemination of American “values.”

The Sufis teach us that surrender or self-denial is the very key to Islam. From the start of the pilgrimage, no scents or deodorants are applied, cleanliness is emphasized, pilgrims wear special white clothing, engage in ritual bathing, and avoid trimming the hair or beard. The sense of shared purpose in the Hajj is so powerful after this experience, the person who has made the pilgrimage has an added name, “Hajji” giving honor to the fact of their experience.

One can only imagine the scene and shared state of awe and Kedusha (Holiness) at the site of the Sacred Mountain in Jerusalem surrounding the Temple at any of the incidents of sacred in-gathering festivals which punctuated the ancient Hebrew calendar. The potency of these events is testified to by the mass recollection of them that persists until this very day. The holy week services at Taize Community in France attract hundreds of thousands of European young people, who engage in beautiful, melodious chanting in a celebration of unity and yearning. These gatherings have opened the eyes and hearts of many people to a pursuit of peace and reconciliation for decades. At the Vatican, “the Faithful” are wont to gather at Saint Peter's Basilica which can accommodate upwards of 60,000 people within its interior alone.

Sporting Events are mass gatherings under the Compliant-Loyalist archetype. This is because the sporting industry essentially followed the demise of the era of militias in the US. Something had to take the place of the physical training, competition and exertion associated to militia involvement, and organized sporting skyrocketed. The character expression involves a shared sense of admiration for discipline and personal achievement, and agreement on the superiority of this expression. However, unique to this particular archetype, this superiority is virtually never attributed to the adherents, the “Fans” themselves, hence we find a compliance expression. The profile of this particular archetype is about loyalty, where team colors and team images dominate the attendees clothing. Violence between competing fans is frequent and generally considered acceptable, should home team fans become irritated by representatives of the visiting team. Lack of compliance and loyalty are thus shown to have severe consequences. Costumes are somewhat different in Auto Racing where official corporate logowear is routine, and a billion-dollar business. Loyalty is expected, however, and speaking against the “sport” is discouraged.

Within a large crowd attending a sporting event we also find Compliance expressed as a common enterprise of “team spirit” and Loyalty pervades the air of competition. Even the elite who attend such events are merely place-holders, none of the “fans” hold real rank, because at sporting events, individuality is subordinated to loyalty. The notable exception is the Players themselves, who fulfill the Hero archetype and sit above all classes.

Among mass gatherings in the form of sporting events, the FIFA World Cup boasts the largest attendance, both physically and through global media. One can hear national songs being sung by representative crowds exceeding 350,000 at the finals, not to mention many millions comprised by worldwide audiences. The nearly 100,000 people in attendance at a stock car racing event, at least in part, express morbid interest that can be associated to the militia-based roots of sporting, as they anticipate the inevitable carnage of wrecks and destruction. News reports generally show more footage of the crashes than the victory and subsequent podium. Their editorial also follows a custom of omitting reports on details concerning injuries sustained by hapless competitors just as military reports speak little of the personal price of war. This is a telling statement about the Loyalty-Compliance archetype

Music and Arts festivals are distinctly expressions of the Liberty-Rebellious archetype. The clothing uniformity we tend to find in all of the other mass gatherings is entirely absent here. Those who attend large music and art festivals pursue shared and often highly-intoxicated mass acquiescence aimed towards a sense of belonging to some sub-cultural identity. People who gather in this character generally express the notional sense of modern tribalism. A palpable sense of friendship, love, and beauty in artistic and human facets pervades the air. Common themes include universal friendship, harmony, the need to make the world better and the sense that the answer lies within us. The clothing is anything but uniform on some levels, but consistent in broadly theatrical terms. Feathers, flashing lights, flowing or wispy garments, head-gear, and other costumes consistent with neo-tribalism are common. The mere mention of having been present at such an event is often enough to formulate conversational currency down the social chain. The “what was it like” conversation is often filled with superlatives.

Consistent with the Liberty-Rebellious archetype, these events confirm a sub-culture that is “unlike” and “independent of” society. Such anything-goes events punctuate US post 1960 history, from the iconic one-time Woodstock experience attended by upwards of 400,000 to the annual Burning Man with 51,000 attendees in 2010, and Rainbow Gatherings which were seminal Liberty-Rebellious mass gatherings which sometimes exceed 20,000 attendees.

Mass gatherings for political or military purposes, from the Controlling-Persuasive archetype are far less common in the US than they are in Europe and Asia, but regardless of locale, they express the Controlling-Persuasive archetype. Such gatherings are far more likely to take place under dictatorships than in free countries. We have all seen unforgettable images of such activities from the Nazis, and the Communist countries still employ them widely. The attire tends to be militaristic; a sense of duty and shared destiny is conveyed.

Mystics throughout history have paid particularly close attention to the presence and underlying messages of mass-movements and mass gatherings. They cannot be ignored, and sensitivity to their appetites helps the mystic to address spiritual needs and formulate insight suitable to the purpose of sharing Light in the world.



Thumbs
Rule of Thumb

A quick examination of flexibility in the top joint of a person's thumb instantly reveals quite a bit about them. This is because, in the study of chiromancy, or “reading hands” the thumb is analogous to the subject's neck. Historically, the flexible neck connotes openness, while a stiff neck connotes stubbornness. However this is an oversimplification. A “Straight Thumb” person follows an internal paradigm and asserts a more predetermined outlook on life. A “Bendy Thumb” person follows an external paradigm and is open to discovering what the outlook should be. Straight Thumb or Bendy Thumb people are neither masculine or feminine. Neither thumb type is “better or worse” than the other. The thumb's top joint flexibility simply connotes one's orientation. It's very accurate. The range of motion in the top joint differs, and experience testing thumbs will afford you with perspective.

The straight thumb could be called the Hitchhiker's Thumb, and the query associated to this person's outlook is “Going my way?” This means, “I have a direction and my intentions are FIXED. In your interactions with me, expect me to be self-directed. I will not vary, no matter the distractions or inputs. Any new input inconsistent with the paradigm I am already following will be turned aside.” The Bendy Thumb could be called the “Explorer's Thumb,” and the query associated to this person's outlook is “What is the way?” This means, “I am seeking input and my intentions are MUTABLE. In your interactiosn with me, expect me to be open to change. I will consider input and do not consider new information to be distracting, so expect me to be flexible and willing to take new information as my own. Any new direction can offer me a paradigm shift and I will add new input to my existing paradigm or possibly even change it outright.”

One might imagine that people expressing the attitudes of Stoic, Skeptic, Cynic or Realist might be prone to exhibit straight thumbs while those with Idealist and Spiritualist attitudes might have Bendy thumbs, but you will find this is not accurate. Each of the seven attitudes exhibit both types of orientation. It's amazing to discover the orientation of our thumb, and it gives insight.

The terms FIXED and MUTABLE may have you thinking about other medieval uses of the terms such as those applied in Astrology. The "Fixed" signs are Taurus, Leo Scorpio and Aquarius. The “Mutable” signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces. Fixed-oriented people tend to learn via their own choices, while Mutable-oriented people tend to learn via the shared experience in life. Hence, the notion of an internal vs external paradigm for the two types of thumbs follow suit. The person who possesses a Straight Thumb will make their own choices. The person who possesses a Bendy Thumb will learn through the shared experience of others. This begs an obvious question - what of the “CARDINAL” orientations of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. The thumb's top joint does not predict the level of CARDINAL orientation in a person. Cardinal oriented people learn via taking action. If anything, the distance a person's thumb can span between the thumb's tip and the tip of the index finger tells more about whether Cardinal orientation is exhibited in your expression. A more accurate measure of Cardinal expression would be how large the hand can spread out relative to the size of the hand itself, with fingers splayed. The person who has fingers that splay out widely is more Cardinal. In expression, they are able to REACH in any direction to start something.

To discover which type of thumb a person has, we perform the “Thumb Test.” Have the person extend their Right hand forward, palm down. Simply touch the person's right thumb with your index finger at the inside tip of the thumb, place your thumb from the same hand below the first joint and gently bend the thumb-tip backwards. Sometimes it is helpful to hold the person's hand with your free hand. If the thumb doesn't bend back, voila, it's a Straight Thumb. Sometimes it is possible to predict thumb test results without touching their hand, but with touch the examination is far more accurate. One should learn the technique by predicting whether a person might have a Straight or Bendy Thumb, and THEN, test them to see if the prediction is accurate. Your accuracy will increase substantially with practice, and this experience will help you grow intuitive skills. If you are dealing with a total stranger, a quick thumb-test can be performed in the context of a hand-shake, but be careful not to send the wrong signals. In a large and casual group of people, it's fun to do the Thumb Test on every person in the room. You will gain quick insight and the topic will foster lively and entertaining conversation.

In any relationship, whether work, play, creative, or interpersonal, the person with the Straight thumb will typically be the one who establishes the protocol or context for the shared experience. Where we find two people with equally straight thumbs in any form of relationship, we will typically discover they have each learned to provide the other with significant degrees of independence. OR, we may discover them engaged in a contest of wills. Where two people with comparably bendy thumbs form a relationship, we might overhear them saying “I thought I was following you, but you were following me. Where ARE we going?”

In any application where uninterrupted focus is mandatory, a Straight Thumb person might have a performance advantage, but they will require procedural training until they grasp the paradigm of “what to do” within the range of expected situations. In an application where the ability to perceive needs or changes in circumstances is a key requirement, a Bendy Thumb person might hold the advantage. A bendy thumb police officer will be more willing to yield to an explanation of why you don't deserve a ticket than a straight-thumb officer. But don't ask the officer to take the Thumb Test while you are in a traffic stop!

Aside from the thumbs, the hands offer many other valuable insights into a person's orientation. Many people mistakenly believe one must look at the palms to learn about a person, but this is often inconvenient or unavailable. A few insights: Aside from a person's paradigm revealed by the thumb, a quick glance at the back of the hand can help you determine quite a bit. When we view a person's hand, we ignore the manicure or any part of the nail that extends beyond the fingertip. The hand can help you determine whether a person generally falls into any of the four humors: Choleric (fire) , Sanguine (air) , Melancholic (water) , or Phlegmatic (earth).

To ignore a person's hand is to ignore a huge part of their unspoken expression. One looks at the overall shape and size of the hand first. A square hand connotes practicality and utility. The more pointed the hand, the more inspired and laden with initiative the person is. Very narrow and pointed hands are fairly rare, and may indicate other-worldly abilities, but these skills are not limited to persons with narrow, pointed hands. When the pinkie separates widely from the rest of the hand this indicates independence in perspective and musical talent. Large hands connote abilities and stick-to-itiveness with respect to fine details. Small hands connote fantasy and fascination. Pointed fingertips connote sensitivity. Squared-off fingertips connote practicality and determination.

A long thumb shows a person is able to accomplish what they set out to do, whereas a short thumb indicates a person's effectiveness may encounter challenges, either internally or externally produced. Both of these speak to a person's capacity for independence. The most powerful thumb reaches all the way to second joint of the index finger. A person with such a long thumb will prevail over a person who has a shorter thumb in competition.

Pronounced knuckles suggest a philosophical nature, the more pronounced the knuckles, the more analytical a person might be. Large fingernails bespeak confidence where small fingernails often indicate introversion and/or hidden elements in the personality. When the tips of the fingers broaden out, like a spade, this person may be quite passionate, physically. A person with spade fingers is practical and could be an excellent mechanic, or gardener. They definitely need and express touch in their life. They may be far less verbal than kinesthetic. Long, slender fingers connote artistic capabilities. Short, stubby fingers indicate a person's energy is condensed and they may be comfortable doing routines and repetitive activities. The relationship between the ring finger and pointer is important to understanding the balance within a person between receptivity and initiative. People whose ring finger is longer than the pointer are more intuitive than those who have longer pointers than ring fingers, who often exhibit powerful leadership abilities.



Girl on Beach - Photography by Trey Ratcliff
Nature & Choices

We need to examine the role of nature in the making of good choices. Once upon a time, people were classified as either landlubbers or sailors. Now the distinction lies between indoor vs. outdoor people. Most people spend the majority of our time indoors, or in vehicles surrounded by glass and metal. Contrary to this is the practice of spending large amounts of time outdoors. Indoor life leads to dysfunction, disassociation and lethargy. Outdoor life leads to renewal, revitalization, and self-rectification. A political choice between two parties who both represent “indoor thinking” is an illusion of choice, it's not a real choice.

Consider these factors: For most of history important choices in life were made outdoors. This was the case in the lives of the sages, prophets, seers, chieftains, and many others. It was the case all across the world, when conversations and councils between people took place beneath the sky. The quality of these choices had a sense of depth and perspective. A sense of permanence was involved. The ideas put forward were sensitive to the delicacy of life and its variety. A sense of humility pervaded the conversation. Here was found a sense of awe, a sense of reverence, and a quality of over-arching respect. A notion of the presence of the Source of Life is witnessed across cultures in records of these conversations. Weddings were held beneath the sky. Babies were born in sheltered environments, but more often than not, with fresh air flowing. Life involved constant interaction with plants, animals, weather, within the embrace of the cycles of life, and the ever-evident sense of Providence was on the lips of all.

Once most choices were made indoors, many things changed. There was a loss of depth, perspective, sensitivity, and awareness. The worldview increasingly led towards mutability, impermanence, and expendability. It happened that the flow of resources normally brought to bear when considering questions was staunched. The results of choices made this way involved the escalation of unintended consequences, cascading to a point where the unintended consequences became topics of much consternation. The elimination of intrinsic connection with the living world caused this. The sense of permanence in life that guided choices was lost, and expedience was the consequence.

We need only to look at the pharmaceutical industry to see shadow of choice-by-expedience and unintended consequences in full array. Today in the midst of a corporate pharmatocratic culture that seeks to outlaw natural herbal remedies, many “approved” pharmaceutical products present a horrific range of side-effects that even include death. Yet, these laboratory-created substances are ironically divorced from the natural and perfect plant world that fostered them. They are unrecognizable mutations presented as a somehow-more-valid substitute for the unaltered and unadulterated plants that could not be improved upon. This expediency is closely aligned with the pursuit of profit. And when authorization for distribution of remedies is controlled by a pharmatocracy, what is the foundation for this authorization? Money, millions and billions of dollars, available to spend on large-scale “studies” with the objective of profit, not health, as the real purpose. And since herbal remedies are not “profitable” they cannot “justify the expenditure” of monies for studies and natural medicine is consequently cast aside.

The bizarre tyranny of pharmatocracy is not the only example of societal deterioration as consequence of simply not being outdoors. Military exploits, economic programs, political and legislative initiatives, health and agriculture policy, all of these are made by people who tend to be indoors people. There are not greater “halls of justice” than the forests of the earth, but one can walk through the cavernous office buildings in Washington DC and observe precious few plants. However, the Oval Office in the White House has a large Swedish Ivy on the mantle below Washington's picture. It's diametrically opposed to the location of the President's desk, and if he would but look straight ahead, he could contemplate it. Unfortunately, is as though the language the people of the indoors speak is a foreign tongue compared to the nature-informed language of history. Orwellian in nature, the language of indoors societies involves controls and consequences, superimposing counterfeiture for the renewing and ever-cleansing forces of nature itself.

The more shrill and arrogant the voices of this twisted culture become, the more they refer to the authority of their “Faith.” This is a faith that sees no problem whatsoever with irreversible Genetic Modification of the Natural Genome for expediency's sake. And this same expediency offers the natural solution of destroying the Amazon, and disenfranchisement of humanity and nature in every form. The global spectacle we witness today is a subjugation of all living things, not just people. Today's policy involves subjugation to a range of expedient political and technological tyrannies unimaginable even in the minds of the most demented autocrats history gave us.

The same indoors people speak to the need to bring G-d back into schools; By Law they regiment and enslave children, and even so much as prevent them from speaking in hallways between classes. These are not the schools of our youth. Physical education became an “elective” and setting foot outdoors is comparably quite rare among this generation of students. G-d forbid they might be a child “left behind” so keep them in the classroom so they can learn more. The questions are, “More of what shall we learn?” and “From whom shall we learn it” The same indoors-oriented planners carved multi-lane highways through the midst of the great cities, splintering and dividing human interaction, building sterile sky-scrapers in the name of the great ideal of the industrial objective of the 1950s - “more leisure time as a result of increased efficiency to allow for the freeing of the human spirit.” Sixty years later, people are whisked to the upper floors of glass and steel buildings looking down on clogged highways, indentured servants to banks and creditors, struggling to “keep up.” The same indoors-oriented planners destroyed the electric-powered public transportation systems in Philadelphia, Chicago, New York and other cities in favor of placing people in cars powered by gasoline. The list goes on, and on.

A further derailment of clarity in choices took place where the exchange of information between people stopped happening face-to-face. It used to be that the people held council around fires, and later, together in the house of prayer. In this setting, “news” was a shared commodity. Ideas were discussed between individuals who could see each others' reactions. Here was a conversation - not a dictation - of the news. We invented the telegraph, and news began to travel by wire, and “wire services” sprang into being. The Conversation ended. Thus began the dissemination of news and the birth of unilateral propaganda and mass anonymity. Radio, and later television, cable, and internet, by stages, further decreased the intelligent exchange of ideas. Today the skills involved in debating with clarity and depth are rare indeed. People are virtually tongue-tied when it comes to making distinctions about life. We have become a generally-silent population, unable to articulate. We say, simply, “Whatever.”

In the absence of quality conversation we share the dubious distinction of now being free to “text” and “tweet” one another. So long as our ideas don't exceed 140 characters, we can express ourselves. What a boon to the articulate! We can “friend” each other on Facebook but the skills required to befriend one another in social situations are vastly under-developed. Just visit a megachurch as a stranger and see how many people spend more than a few seconds in conversation with you as they rush in and out of their prayer services. A comparable situation would be the warmth and conviviality of Grand Central Station. Internal time-line production planning at some megachurches is so precise the time-control practices of network broadcasting would seem comparably improvised. The expediency reason is given: “If services last for more than our planned one-hour time allotment, a huge traffic jam will ensue with the people coming and going from the church campus.” For another example, visit a singles web site and see the pathology of poor communication and human interaction skills at work.

“Business Networking” events are a cascade of rude behaviors associated to the accelerated acquisition of Chattel property. Where people show interest in others it is generally done for the expedience of either financial or personal acquisition. This is affirmed over and over again by business "gurus" who remind you not to be “left behind” in the rat race. It has been drilled into people that other people are a commodity, a wholesale item that can be replaced readily and easily in a world where “it's a numbers game.” Corporate “human resources” theory is unambiguous about this. Toe the line or find a bread line, the mantra of the second decade of the 21st century is the hallmark of our social progress. The American Dream turns out to be the World Nightmare.

The only real solution to this profound dilemma is literally “just outside your door.” Simply being outdoors, sharing ideas outdoors, and making choices outdoors has cumulative benefits. Lead by example in this activity. Invite others to do likewise. Gardening is an excellent start. Athletics is helpful, but involves pre-occupation because the goal is human victory, not unimpeded sharing. Hiking, camping, a host of outdoor activities that involve interaction in nature are wonderful. The unimpeded flow of intelligence from nature remains sufficiently potent to make its impression upon all living beings. The question is not “where are you going.” The question is “where are you going outdoors.” If you have a child, the most important inheritance you can ofer is to share a diligent and intelligent commerce with nature.



Seasons
Routines

During a time of great stress, routines can be a life-saver. Just ask the 33 trapped Chilean miners who survived scores of days underground in cramped, hot quarters. The mine disaster occurred when Saturn was approaching a 90° angle to Pluto. Saturn (Rocks) and Pluto (Hades) created a prison and death trap for these men. They survived because they governed themselves with routines, chores, times for exercise, and a host of other activities. These men were not alone, they were not the only ones affected by the Saturn-Pluto square that came exact on August 21, 2010. Everybody who has planets or cusps close to the beginning of each cardinal sign would have been feeling constrained, held back, unable to change their circumstances, and forced to make do with what they have at the moment. There really was not any “clear” light at the end of the tunnel, and for many people facing the effects of the Saturn/Pluto square, no rescue has been promised.

Routines can be negative activities, when they are regimented or positive activities, where they are a source of inspiration, challenge, and opportunity. We hear of “walking dead” who “get up at the same time every day, head through traffic to the same job, and come home to zone out before a TV every night.” They might not be in a healthy routine. However, what can happen if this same person throws in a Yoga class, a study group over lunch, an evening each week playing music, time in a craft workshop, dance, painting, gardening or maintenance, cooking, and an hour of exercise several times weekly? Where routines are inspirational, we find a person with some glowing humanity where we only saw a shadow-human when only regimentation was involved.

Just as certain as inhalation follows exhalation, we are all beneficiaries of routines. Infants thrive on consistency in nap and bed times, and their comfort and behavior proves this. Young children need a bath and a story prior to bed time. Teens benefit from completing homework on a regular schedule in a regular location, and similarly, completing their household chores. Pet owners and pets each benefit from feeding, walking, play time, and in the case of draft and farm animals, feeding and work times on consistent schedules. Medical research shows that the stimulation derived from healthy routines increases life expectancy and decreases incidence of morbidity from cardiovascular, cancer, and other diseases.

Rudolph Steiner observed that children thrive in classrooms where some form of ritual and routine are consistently observed. This led him to make ritual and routine a key component of the classroom experience in his Waldorf Schools. Where schools fail to create routines for students, chaos ensues. Similarly, where a person who is recently retired, out of work, or unable to function normally due to exigencies of health cannot maintain routines, it is not uncommon for depression and anxiety to snowball. Happiness depends on routines.

Abraham's son Isaac was sensitive to the fact that his father left a profound legacy, and he sought to consolidate and develop it. Isaac is credited with setting time aside daily for morning and evening prayers. His son Jacob added to this, and the sages who followed after did their part. Orthodox religions and cultures the world over are replete with routines and cyclical observances, and a modern person can learn much about the values of our ancestors by studying such rituals. The clear lesson to this study is to recognize that a life is best lived in a sense of relationship and cooperation with time. Without specific times set aside consistently for spiritual development in some form or fashion, we find modern, not ancient cultures. Only modern culture spans long periods of time without fixed activities associated to spiritual growth and personal communication with the Divine in Nature. And only modern culture imagines a person spending most of his or her time indoors! This is quite a departure from the historic norm of behavior.

The Essenes are generally credited with keeping many of the routines and spiritual rituals of the Prophets alive during the period of the 2nd temple in Jerusalem. They were not alone in this, but their approach led the way for the desert monasticism formalized by people such as St. Anthony and other monks of northern Egypt. The monastic traditions of Mt. Athos and the Rule of St. Benedict were largely influenced by Anthony's desert monasticism. It was these desert monks who laid the groundwork for routines of prayer, work, exercise, and so forth that cast a long shadow upon western and middle-eastern cultures. For instance, the notion of a tri-partite 24-hour day with three eight-hour periods, one for sleep, one for work, and one for study, is a monastic tradition stemming from the Anthony's Northern Egyptian “Thebaid” period of monasticism. Among the Hebrews, there was never a monastic life, because the culture had been indoctrinated from its earliest history to integrate between family, work, spiritual, and academic life. But the Hebrews' culture was replete with sacred routines from the earliest recorded times.

There are some interesting routines worthy of mention in a brief conversation on this topic. Among the Yogis, it is said that every hour of sleep prior to midnight is equal to two hours of sleep after midnight. “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise” is an old English proverb. Among the Buddhists, it is customary to chant mantras proximal to sunrise and after sun-set. It is similarly customary among the Hebrews to say the Sh'ma prayer (G-d Is One) which invokes the spiritual and serpent forces known to the Yogis as “Kundalini” before the first quarter of the sun's travel from sunrise to sunset, and, once again, once three stars can be seen to appear in the sky after nightfall. They knew that such invocations would set spiritual momentums into motion, and were so intrigued by the impact of this momentum that they instituted these times as a binding legal requirement upon all Jews above the age of reason.

Today, unlike past eras, we require routines of exercise that prior generations would have considered superfluous, or even distracting from life's necessities, because their lives were far more physically active compared to ours. One cannot estimate the cumulative benefits of multiple one-hour Yoga, Pilates, Step, Core, Spin, or other exertive classes upon a modern person's wellness. It is impossible to imagine a spiritual person from past generations not being involved in heavy manual labor for a portion of each day. Spiritually attuned people of this automated and sedentary time in history require special attention to physical health. Wise leaders of contemporary spiritual schools strongly advise their adherents to engage in strenuous physical activity, building a strong body that can more readily handle the powerful forces that spiritual practices and divine revelation trigger in a person's life.

In the midst of powerful planetary configurations such as the Saturn-Pluto square Routines play a key role. Other rare and powerful configurations are heading in our direction, such as the coming seven Uranus and Pluto squares in 2012-2015. These have not been seen since the mid 1960s, when social turbulence was commonplace. Healthy and inspiring routines may be the line of demarcation between a life kept in balance and a live over-run by powerful unseen forces in challenging times.




Gears
Wednesday Oct 13th 7:30 P.M.
at Frederick's OM

Spiritual Exercises


Every spiritual school prescribes a series of spiritual exercises that must be mastered by each student. Along the path of increased awareness, these exercises serve the objective of improving concentration, subtle awareness, spiritual sensitivity and other purposes. Such exercises fall in classifications such as Visualizations, Expansions, Manipulations, and Meditations.

Spiritual exercises are a mandatory training component and those who seek the fuller-flower of humanity are wise to undertake them.

More will be provided on this topic shortly. Join us for this wonderful series of spiritual practices. The benefits are cumulative.


Our weekly quartet of spiritual practices can gradually lead you home. Join us, the benefits accumulate.


Akiva
Spiritual Attachment or Detachment

Many people sample every morsel of life's smorgasbord; and even when they have really had it all, they inevitably still don't find happiness; they consequently turn inward towards spirituality. A few people encounter some sort of cathartic personal spiritual experience at some point that cracks open their head and heart, leaving them with a necessity to digest and integrate spiritual matters. A large number of people augment their self-images with spirituality or religion, enhancing the ego with spiritual accoutrements that adorn status. And an even larger cohort of people never have a spiritual experience, the entire notion of it is foreign to them. What can we make of this?

Spiritual experiences come or do not come to all kinds of people for a host of reasons. The valid measure of value in the aftermath of the spiritual experience or lack of it, is a successful, integrated and balanced development of love and wisdom. It's clear that the saints of all cultures managed to integrate their spiritual life effectively and the "fruits of their labors" was validated by a good and practical report. Many people who never had a spiritual experience also turned out just fine. For many of those who did, their spirituality did not spin them out.

On the contrary, Psychiatric Journals are full of stories of individuals who suffer some sort of dissociative disorder with or without visions or spiritual revelations. Many of them even exhibit antisocial or even criminal behavior. For those who do receive spiritual experience, it almost appears that this direct spiritual experience is like a lab experiment of an unseen nature that more often than not, contributes to gentle progress. Rarely do we find immediate, miraculous results. Rather, spiritual experiences bring us “back to the drawing board” to refine the process.

The Talmud (Chagiga 14b, Zohar I, 26b and Tikunei Zohar, Tikun 40) reports the following incident regarding four Mishnaic Sages:

The Rabbis taught: Four [Sages] entered the Pardes (Paradise) [literally "the orchard."]. Rashi explains that they ascended to heaven by utilizing the [Divine] Name [i.e., they achieved a spiritual elevation through intense meditation on G-d's Name] (Tosafot, ad loc). They were Ben Azzai, Ben Zoma, Acher [Elisha ben Avuya, called Acher-- the other one -- because of what happened to him after he entered the Pardes] and Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Akiva said to them [prior to their ascension]: “When you come to the place of pure marble stones, do not say, 'Water! Water!' for it is said, 'He who speaks untruths shall not stand before My eyes' (Psalms 101:7).” Ben Azzai gazed [at the Divine Presence - Rashi] and died. Regarding him the verse states, “Precious in the eyes of G-d is the death of His pious ones” (Psalms 116:15). Ben Zoma gazed and was harmed [he lost his sanity -- Rashi]. Regarding him the verse states, “Did you find honey? Eat only much as you need, lest you be overfilled and vomit it up” (Proverbs 25:16). Acher cut down the plantings [he became a heretic]. Rabbi Akiva entered in peace and left in peace.

This story garners a host of wise commentaries. In short, only Rabbi Akiva emerges from the elevated spiritual experience as a present-time leader. Ben Azzai dies a righteous death; when he died, it was said he was the “last industrious man” because he was so evidently diligent in his study. Those claiming great effort at gaining knowledge called themselves “a Ben Azzai” as a proof of their study. As for the other two, Ben Zoma became crazy and Acher denied the existence of afterlife and reincarnation. The story makes it clear that just because a person has a spiritual experience of a lofty nature, it doesn't mean a “pass” is given, allowing smooth sailing from then on.

Despite the difficulties, Spiritual Masters are perpetually encouraging people to take up the work of spiritual practice and seek depth. Many made a profitable business of it. In nothing less than a huge Madison Avenue campaign, Spirituality was commoditized and packaged for sale. In the 40+ years since the 1960s hippie movement's widely broadcast embrace of beautiful spiritual themes, enlightenment has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Huge popularization of spiritual awareness has come to both in Eastern and Western, and now, Shamanic spiritual forms. But this doesn't change the proposition of the four sages and their outcomes.

To understand why Rabbi Akiva held his peace as he went through the experiences, we should look at attachments and detachments. Rabbi Akiva and Ben Azzai were not entering into Paradise for personal gain or self-gratification. They were detached, and worshipful. Unlike Rabbi Akiva, we know that many people such as “Acher” in our story exploit false spirituality to accessorize the wardrobe of their egos without actually entering in to the spiritual life. This is possible, a person under this influence can reach a convincing spirituality, which in extreme cases, is caused by demonic interference. Hitler is a prime example of this. This behavior should be gently called out and shown as defective. The story of the four Sages effectively serves such a purpose.

We need to show that attachment is the opposite of spirituality, that detachment is where it begins and that attachment eventually leads to devastation. This is why the person who has sampled every morsel of the world's smorgasbord is still feeling empty, and becomes ready to turn inward. We need to help people who are using spirituality as an ego-boosting accessory reach a point where they sufficiently recognize that ego-gratification using spirituality is bizarre conduct, quite contrary to the enterprise of spiritual growth. We need to help them drop their guard, let go, allow, and receive genuine peace, let the mental chatter go. Ben Zoma was known for his keen intellectual erudition. In our story, Ben Zoma is criticized for being stuck in his head. A person stuck in the head has to move from concept to inward knowing in the form of gnosis. However, the delicacy of human nature being what it is, this is a subtle matter, and has to be handled with care. Love is the best tool to bring a person out of mentalist fixation.

It's now “fashionable” and “trendy” to be “spiritually evolved.” In parts of southern California, especially Los Angeles and some circles in Europe and Asia, the vocabulary of “spiritual evolution” is mandatory. You are seen as a despicable pariah if you don't adopt it, you are face exile to the dreaded Spiritual Guantanamo, away from the socially accepted consensus experience. In many cases, we find tyrannical demand for compliance with a “spiritual” outlook and severe social consequences for non-compliance.

In societies where this is the case, we curiously hear an oft-accepted notion that “consciousness is rising” spontaneously and that everybody is sharing a part of that rising tide. However, some indications suggest that this is wishful thinking because the mark of rising consciousness is not that benefits inure to the subjects of the spiritual experience, but that they are felt by those who are NOT involved in the idyllic milieu of spirituality. In other words, if we see that demand for prisons diminishes, the hungry and naked are fed and clothed, the sick are healed, and standing feuds are resolved, we can say consciousness is truly rising.

Those who use spirituality to accessorize the ego and sense of separate self are in for a surprise. If one narcissistically asks for spiritual experiences to feed the ego, the intention is a deceptive one at the root. This is because the separate-self ego is at the opposite pole of the spiritual enterprise. This ego-attachment is what the spiritual enterprise ultimately dismantles. Self-deception is quite commonplace among so-called spiritual aspirants who not only deceive others, but themselves as well. Just as one might find in a trendy nightclub, we find plenty of poseurs who with a mere flip of the wallet dress the part of the “real thing.” Since deception begets deception, experiences they invoke would be of the deception. There is such a thing as a false spiritual experience.

The manner of approach a person takes towards spirituality is crucial to the outcome. People who approach under false pretenses frequently experience deception. In attachmnt, or any hypocrisy, a house of cards is being built that must eventually collapse. In a painstaking sincere effort a solid foundation is built. This is the objective of detachment.




Eye of The One
It's PERSONAL

Here, we will explore how to move from mere conceptual notions and theoretical projections to lofty personal experience of the Divine. Deep spiritual experience is ultimately PERSONAL. Inward awareness is NOT merely a focus on impersonal “energy” or “visions.” It is an experience of the ONE BEING, the ONE PERSON. Understand the following: “Intensity of experience in The One is inversely proportional to attention we place on ourselves.” This means we can't be in The One if we are being in “separate self.” The Scripture says “for there shall no man see me and live.” (Exodus 33:20 KJV) In other words, only when we let go, and die to our externality and attachments can we merge into the spiritual embrace of Divine Personality.

Most spiritual traditions speak directly to this. Buddhism does not even recognize the “personal self” because, in the fully undivided “Buddha Mind,” there is simply no “individuated” self. In Buddhism, there is only “Suchness” or “All That Is.” Hebrews routinely say prayers mentioning a “world without end” L'olam vo'ed and discuss a “world to come” Olam ha-bah' which temporally follows “death” but spiritually is ever-present. Christians quote the verse: “Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of G-d.” (John 3:3 KJV). This is widely distorted in doctrine and restated as “a person dies and goes to heaven.” The term Muslim itself means “surrender.” All authoritative paths of inward spiritual teaching broadly proclaim that this “death” is not interpreted as the physical death of temporal mortality, but a spiritual ego-death in the now. They all teach that once an ego death takes place, it becomes possible to experience the full range of “heaven” even while retaining the human physical body. This is a super-conscious state of heightened awareness.

Kaballah (acceptance) hangs on surrender, entirely. In the Kabalistic view the enterprise of Life itself from the unknowable Divine to the last particle of existence is housed within the “(world) Without End,” in Hebrew, the Ayin Sof. The Hebrew Root KBL, or Kaballah (to accept) clearly refers to this heightened awareness which Kaballah writings refer to as “Supernal Wisdom” or Chochma. Three levels expressed in the teaching express distinctions where the Omnipresence meets a created being's spiritual acceptance to become a wide open and uninterrupted flow of Divine Awareness. All exist in a realm of “withoutness” - Ayin. At the lower two levels, they rely on “Nullification” or Bitul.

The first and universally-present level, the Withoutness, does not take place in a vacuum. It takes place in the unseen Presence, above the first Image and Likeness, Mark and Insignia, of Personality. This Presence first manifests as the Holy Light, the Ohr HaKodesh. The Light is an Ineffable Expression of Divine Personality. In its presence the Sovereign nature of the Divine is fully in evidence, causing everything that is comparably transient to melt back into the Presence. A second level is the “Existential Nullification,” or Bitul Metzius. In this level, all sense of individual existence is entirely unmanifest, all is permeated by the ever-dwelling supernal flow of Chochma. This occurs in the highest Kabalistic world “Divine Emanation,” of Atzilut. Human physical existence does not characteristically take place in this world but a portion of the eternal Human Being never entirely leaves it. For a few in the approach towards the end of the Human life cycle, this second level is attainable. For anyone in the Human world, the third level is always encouraged and available, being the practice “Nullification of Something-ness,” or M'batul haYesh. This involves the continuous practice of nullifying the outer layer of the ego-self. The invitation to Divine Revelation is letting go, always, and without exception.

What shall we make of those widely disseminated doctrines which ignore or contradict what we say here, those that teach people they cannot experience "heaven" while on earth? Such is a corrupt and false teaching, a doctrine of darkness, not Light. History illustrates many examples of such doctrinal objectives; the shadow of this mis-teaching is found in every culture, in all times, and in all places. The notion that one cannot experience G-d directly is an ever- present adversary against true spiritual teaching. It is reasonable to suspect that anyone perpetrating such a teaching is doing so with a conscious or unconscious nefarious intention. This has a result of limiting the spiritual opportunity of those who buy into it. It yields cases of “the blind leading the blind.” People who instinctively can not buy into such teachings eventually depart from institutions or groups who propagate notions that are fueled by themes of spiritual limitation. These people often become what we call “spiritual seekers” today. Unfortunately, becoming a spiritual seeker does not guarantee a positive outcome.

For a variety of reasons, chiefly led by the materialization of all pursuits in modern times, Spiritual experiences if they even take place in a person's life are often profoundly misinterpreted and mischaracterized. This more often than not only leads spiritual seekers to dead ends. People commonly speak of “Energy,” “Light,” “Power” or they employ other nebulous and non-personal quasi-scientific expressions. Such are terms from Physics, a science that became predominant as the perfection of the Materialist Philosophy of the late 19th century. In Materialism, we find a paradigm that holds that all phenomena including consciousness, are results of material things. As this viewpoint emerged, though it was strongly refuted, it eventually won out in the common perception and consensus view of modern societies.

Under the tyranny of 19th and 20th century science, everything had to have a physical explanation or face expulsion as a non-truth and this viewpoint spread like cancer. The pernicious materialistic distortion of reality expressed itself further through corporatism and was disseminated by media-indoctrination. By extension, it became linked to profit, social welfare, government sovereignty, and it became an undermining factor in making modern religious beliefs and even spiritual seekers impotent. Society was thus weakened society as a whole as it became increasingly IMPERSONAL. Hence, even claims of “truth” itself became bound to the tethers of materialism and physics, its faceless handmaid.

We find that materialistic science shifted the common view from awareness of the personal qualities of Being towards an awareness of the measurable quantities of things. We moved from META-Physics that referred back to supernal SOURCE to Physics that claimed to BE source. Even as recently as September 2010, the press reported theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking essentially affirmed this Materialistic view.

Modern spiritual “teachers” often speak in a variety of materialistic terms, including Acquisition, Gain, Attainment, and Having. As a vehicle to add credibility, they routinely use Physics and more recently, Genetics terms to describe the phenomena of Spiritual Experience such as Energy, Light, Power, Manifestation, Quantum, Radiance, Magnetism, Genome, DNA, Brainwave, Infusion, and other scientific and technical terms that have been sanitized of attributes of Personality. None of these are inherently wrong and their usages may be technically accurate, but they lack context by failure to refer back to SOURCE. The intensely Personal, Loving, Nurturing Presence that is the Universal Divine Being is ignored, and that cannot be a sign of holistic awareness or sustainable progress. Failure to invoke the Personality presumptively omits it. This would be like making a habit of deliberately leaving the home without first telling the spouse “I love you.” The physical home may survive, but the marriage certainly might not. Omission of the context of Personality devolves to a separation FROM Divine Being, paving a broad avenue for the outcome, not of genuine enlightenment, but of spiritual stagnation.

Precisely, and regrettably, this is what happens to many spiritual aspirants, through no fault of their own except ignorance and perhaps pride. And pride, being what it is, makes many unwilling to admit disillusion; that outcome would be too crushing to honestly face. Lacking the unifying experience of un-divided Divinity, many pursue long chains of workshops and seminars offering peak or emotionally-charged experiences. They become habitual affirmers of their now-spiritualized materialism of individuality. They remain seekers, searching, “growing” but not really, and expressing in such popular terms as “change, growth, transformation, channeling, energy shifting, modification, consciousness revolution, harmonic convergence, 2012, ascension, law of attraction,” and all manner of notions that presume separation from the Divine as a fundamental premise.

Even among “successful” spiritual seekers who manage to avoid being trapped in self-justification via materialism, we find that perceptive faculties differ widely. This even happens with great Teachers. We all orient ourselves towards the experiential nodes that emphasize a facet, such as visual, feeling, or hearing approaches. Master Paul said: “SEE the Light.” Kirpal Singh said “HEAR the Sound.” Frère Roger said “FEEL the Love.” But few students of these great souls really entered into the level of experience their Teacher had. Especially in the ensnaring web of the media-driven separate self reinforcement, all find it difficult to leave go of the grip and sense of personal identity. Our sense of separate self, the ego, makes an end-run in the midst of spiritual moments, and says “I am experiencing Spirit” effectively shutting the spiritual experience down right then and there.

Is the whole pursuit of a genuine spiritual life all for naught? Not if seen through the lens of Kabalistic nullification. The task of meditation is not attainment of visions, answers, or revelations, although these may be residual byproducts of Divine Communion. The task of meditation is to regularly bring oneself to the threshold, cast oneself aside and bask in the Great Knowing, to be m'batul ha Yesh. A wonderful verse expresses this pursuit: “Whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall it will grind him to powder.” (Matt 21:44 KJV) The verse implies that a person is far better off to pursue the renunciation of oneself into the Divine Presence.

The following is the crux of the matter: The path of spiritual development and the initiations that foster it deals directly with the fact that people have multiple bodies on different levels. These bodies have to be working together and aligned correctly in order for living consciousness to emerge in the human experience. This sort of alignment is not a given, it requires conscious effort to become active. Many people speak about and some are even experienced with the Chakra energy wheels associated to the major ganglia of the spine. But, this knowledge alone does not enable a person to align and restore the bodies in order to experience the Divine Personality directly. This is why so few are able to self-nullify and submit, and why so many inaccurately claim a substitute for it in the form of an emotionally-based extension of their ego-self. Linkages between the subtle structures of the human being must be active. Only then, can experiences we are discussing be something other than theory or concepts.

Spiritual development, and initiation is Ontological in nature, or associated to the structure and nature of Being itself. This means that the Energetic Structure of a Person, from Divine Self to the Physical Body can only serve as a unified vessel for awareness of the Divine Personality if they are sufficiently aligned, developed, and filled with Divine Light. In other words the more Divine Personality is working through the various bodies of the Human Being, the more an Image and Likeness of G-d a person becomes. Word Made Flesh is a specific reference to this phenomenon.

Spiritual Masters, if they are anything at all, are people who distinctly know how to trigger the latent or undeveloped energy channels and connections between the various spiritual bodies. They create supporting environments in which Divine Experience is likely to happen naturally and spontaneously. Such Masters rely heavily on the help of naturally-occurring unseen heavenly influences. Alternatively, the Master may, through gentle personal intervention, invoke such experiences for confirmation and training purposes. This is done when a person is consciously prepared, or occasionally, for healing or restorative purposes. In any case, in order for the recipient to directly experience the flow of Personality in Being, the spiritual bodies have to be reset properly.

Re-setting the spiritual connections in a person allows for a congruent expression of the Creator Personality within human awareness. Once this is set in motion, it tends to mushroom; as this flow becomes more well-established the supply of personality-flow grows exponentially, and a person becomes directly involved in the loving awareness of Divine Personality. Much of the work that leads to this is caused by invisible forces, but where a physical person is present who knows how to invoke this experience the awareness of life as a Human Temple becomes possible. This is why most traditions call for a person to eventually train directly with a “living spiritual master.”




The Season of Judgement
Being Real

Constant pursuit of change and growth is a spring-time theme but it mightn't resonate in the Autumnal spirit of a mature person who has been building and acting upon a strong calling. For responsible people, life is about acting on the foundation they've built with discipline and commitment.

As we approach the Autumn we are called to take practical account of ourselves and deploy the resources we nurtured in the summer growing season as honed tools to gain insight about the results we can achieve. This is one reason why many cultures hold festivals in the fall associated to the theme of Judgment. These festivals invoke a sense of seriousness and accountability for one's actions, while celebrating the themes of harvest and reward for a job well done. In China, a celebration of the Autumn Moon is a widespread observance that frequently occurs just as the Hebrew Feast of the Tabernacles, Sukkot is held. Similar intentions are expressed in Japan, Viet Nam, and in Hong Kong, testifying that western culture's observance of Fall festivals is not globally unique. Ancient Persians, Druids, Hindus, Babylonians, Sumerians, and all cultures across the globe marked the power of this season with rich observances.

Rudolph Steiner observed that meteor showers of late August disperse the influences of “Meteoric Iron” into the earth, causing a reversal of the up-trending energies stimulated in the spring and summer seasons. This reversal leads to adoption of practicality and consolidation in the Autumn. In this context, schools return to session, annual plans and calendars are set in motion, and the traditional labor of the fields becomes focused on harvest, canning, preservation, laying up fuel for winter, and preparing for colder days. These are followed by taking greater time for study, an activity one might not have sufficient time to pursue during the busy growing season.

For many people regardless of culture, life is not filled with daily awe or spiritual reflection of any particular significance. These festivals create an atmosphere where the focus is diverted from work for a period of time. Though it might just be a couple of days away from routines, the time is sufficiently long enough to redirect us. We recover awareness that we live in a context of a Creator and a Creation that can be measured, a world in which every secret is eventually brought out, and in which Justice will ultimately yield a reward or consequence for actions. Ultimately, practical questions of judgment dominate the season. This is seasonally appropriate.

Any rural and self-sufficient community has a need to ask significant questions and make wise policy choices as summer exits. How much did crops yield? How much food will we harvest? How much can we set aside for winter, allowing for sufficient surplus? Aside from our family and community needs, how much livestock can that food support? The practical judgments that come upon us in the Autumn are life and death matters. The difference between bushels of grain at harvest time and the amount each chicken, goat, cow, or horse must eat is a life and death determinant. The choice must be made whether this animal must be slaughtered before the winter or whether it can be fed until the first barley or wheat harvest. No agricultural community conducts slaughter without reflection on human mortality and the questions of accounting for one's life at its end. This is why questions involving judgment of human affairs pervade the air.

Rosh HaShana, the Jewish New Year falls on the New Moon of the Lunar Month Tishre, usually occurring in September. This day is called Yom ha Din “Day of Judgment,” and Yom haZicharon “Day of Remembrance.” It is a time of the trumpeting of Rams Horns, a joyous time in which apples are dipped in honey. The congregation assembles wearing the unique white vestments of the High Holy Days, with the assumption that it will be found not wanting in the eyes of the Creator. However, Rosh HaShana has a more subtle and consequential meaning - the notion behind this day is that Adam, the first Man received the Breath of Life on precisely this day, which is interpreted by the sages as an occasion when not only humans, but the entire creation is weighed and measured. The implication of the prayers offered at this time is that each creature writes his or her own story in the Book of Life, and that this writing is read and considered by the Creator at this time where choices must and will be made about fate.

The onset of the New Year initiates a period of 10 days, called the Yomim Noraim “Days of Awe” during which each person is able to avert a decree of negative consequences for his/her inadequacies or misdeeds through Repentance, Prayer, and Charitable Giving. This period is followed by Yom Kippur, the “Day of Atonement” in which the High Priest would make his singular annual entry into the sacred precincts of the Kodesh haK'doshim “Holy of Holies.” Once behind the curtain inside this cube in which the Ark of the Covenant was enthroned, he would verbally pronounce the “unspeakable Name” the four-letter “Tetragramaton” Name of G-d. While in the Holy of Holies, he would pray the prayers of atonement. And what would be the evidence of this atonement? Nurture - that mothers would bear young, and life would thrive was the object of his prayer.

Even Yom Kippur involved a life and death choice, one accomplished through a lottery, in which two reasonably identical Goats faced the fate of choice, the winner being sacrificed in the intimacy of the Holy Temple and the loser becoming the renowned “scape-goat” upon whose head the “sins of the nation” were laid, and which was subsequently cast down before witnesses over a steep cliff. The scarlet woolen thread tied between the goat's horns was observed by these witnesses to miraculously turn white as soon as the goat was cast over, a sign of atonement and forgiveness. The notion of the two goats, one honorably ascending in a cloud smoke and the other falling in destruction laid a heavy symbol on the nation, anchoring the perceptions of the consequences and opportunities associated to one's choices. The story of these dramatic proceedings resonated from the eldest to the youngest of the people. Those of every imaginable stature carried these powerful images in their hearts.

The Autumn Festivals typically fall in the Zodiacal sign of Libra, the Scales. Libra is associated with choices that are best made in a context of harmony and cooperation. Libra is the Cardinal sign of the element Air, is associated to the conveyance of awareness. Following upon the heels of detail-oriented and practical Virgo, Libra considers the weight of issues and pursues balance and thus harmony between all factors creating a context in which awareness can thrive. Libra is the ONLY zodiacal sign not symbolized by a human or animal. This signifies a super-natural force is involved in matters of Judgment, that something is active beyond earthly scope in the restoration and rectification of creation.

The season of judgment in Autumn is as powerful for growth as is the season of hope in Spring. It is entirely appropriate for us to consider ourselves and realize how things fit together, how they relate and how they balance. If a change is called for, it is not so much one of growing as it is of deepening and being practical. Living with the consequences is the essence of Being Real.




Michaelangelo
Is the Notion of “Sin” Real?

Here is a challenging inquiry: “Sin” is an English word that arose with the King James translation in Elizabethan England, a nearly totalitarian monarchy, where hierarchic control, domination and subordination were commonplace. Punishments meted out for violations of Royal decrees, however flippant, were extremely severe. In common modern usage this word “sin” substantially obscures the meaning of its Hebrew source in meaning, substance and consequence. One cannot attend an Evangelical or for that matter any Church service where sin is not mentioned. Revivals and prayer meetings focus on it, it is connected with notions of damnation, “going to hell” and all sorts of frightful and negative images.

Spiritually oriented people are often offended by this term, not necessarily because they are under the influence of “dark forces” which reject the Christian dogma, but because they sense something of great spiritual importance is amiss in the Doctrinal recipe. What is their justification? They generally feel that dwelling on sin obscures the important activity of dwelling on the living Presence of the Divine, and focus on the Light and its redemptive effects. Many of these people who grew up in Churches that espoused such Doctrines were disappointed and disenchanted when they came of age because of the discovery of extensive hypocrisy. These people permanently left these Churches as adults. For some, leaving these Churches was a matter of emotional survival. For others, perhaps it was a mistake because had they stayed on, they could have brought a positive outcome. There is no clear answer, each case is different.

The entire Doctrine of Redemption and its companion, the need for Repentance and associated themes involving “salvation” have very long tails that extend well beyond the precincts of the Church in Western cultural orientation. The Church teaches that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is caused by deliberate human violation of Divine commandments, that his Crucifixion is an atonement by the Divine as an answer to the presence of this “sin” and that “sins” are washed away by it. This sounds excellent - but it is neither valid in the context of Hebrew scripture or practice. The operating premise of the Christian Doctrine is that the life of Christ fits precisely into Hebrew scripture and Doctrine. If this ultimate sacrifice of crucifixion and loss of life as reported in the New Testament does not dovetail with Jewish practice and scripture, THAT would be a huge conundrum. And conundrum it is, because it is universally known among the Hebrews that the institutions of redemption in the Hebrew Scriptures do not provide for Sacrifices as atonement for intentional sins of any sort. No such institution exists in Judaism. Sacrifices were only permitted to be brought in the Holy Temple for unintentional wrongdoing. The chasm between the Christian and Hebrew doctrines is neither addressed nor resolved. It is a huge problem because the notion of how we interact with the Divine and how we become our best possible self is at stake. Christianity says one thing and Judaism says another. They differ in the entirety. This would not have happened if the early Christians had not made such a monumental effort to disenfranchise the Hebrew teachings in the formative days of the Church.

Ask a Rabbi about the term, and he will state the Hebrew term is Chayt, which essentially means “to miss the mark.” The term Chayt pertains to circumstances when a person fails to meet the possible excellence they might have met. Chayt is divided into two classes - intentional and unintentional. Since this significant term is used nearly 500 times in the English translation of the Hebrew and New Testament scriptures, it plays a pivotal role in Theology and the formation of Religious Doctrine. However, the failure to translate the term correctly has sweeping consequences that cast a long and unfortunately ignorant shadow over history.

There are hundreds of references to Sin and its consequences across the entire body of Western sacred writings and commentaries. The New Testament English usage of the term would appear to give a flat and unambiguous meaning of deliberate wrongdoing, or deliberate violation of Divine commandments. As demonstrated above, this is generally invalid. The term as used by the Hebrew sages and likely by Christ and the Apostles is typically NOT associated to the notion of deliberate wrongdoing. In fact, Sacrifices conducted by the Hebrew Priesthood for the rectification of “sins” is not applicable to deliberate wrongdoing at all - a person cannot bring a sacrifice in the Holy Temple to atone for deliberate wrongdoing. The Hebrew Doctrine insists that there is no atonement for deliberate wrongdoing aside from deliberate right-doing.

This writing is designed to introduce the sweeping scope of this Doctrinal conundrum, but it is far too brief to resolve it. However the following may serve as guidelines: To be true to the notion of “Chayt” as it should have been used in the formation of Doctrine, we have to begin with the notion that a human being is perfect, not flawed. This perfection is the beginning-and-end point of a human being's existence. However, this perfection is not static. It exists in a dynamic which involves being more or less aligned with the harmonics of the Divinity which is at the core of the Human Being. A type of oscillation takes place in which a person loses sight of the target, and on the occasions when the person misses the target, the energetic dispensation of the Divine in creation is reduced, leaving disorder and disharmony. This “missing” is part of the mechanism of learning and development that lies before the soul. It causes the soul to regret, to aspire to higher levels of alignment and association with the Divine. This is good for a person. When a person deliberately violates the Divine harmony, there are serious - and personal - consequences. That cannot be removed by anything other than restorative actions on the part of the person who has committed the violation. As Longfellow wrote from an old proverb:

Though the mills of God grind slowly,
Yet the grind exceedingly small;
Though with patience he stands waiting,
With exactness grinds he all.

Our actions and their consequences are ours to reap and enjoy - or ours to rectify.




Stupa in Khatmandu
Living Symbolism & Alchemy

Living Symbolism is the means by which Form is used to supercharge environments, leading to the opening of spirtual doors within us. Alchemy is the active combination of such enviornments with words, actions, and symbolic rituals to create a self-referential spiritual experience in the perception of the initiate.

More to come, this full article will be posted shortly.




Prophet
Prophecy and Kaballah

How did the Prophets meditate, and what became of their methods and of Prophecy itself? Is there any direct link between the Prophets and Kaballah? These are important questions. The Hebrew word for “Meditate” is Hitboded, from the root Baded, meaning “to be alone.”

There are extensive oral and written traditions about the Prophets' meditation techniques in which we obtain a clear picture of their method. They are described as entering into meditative states only at night and preferably near midnight or before dawn. Prophet Isaiah makes veiled reference to this custom in his statement: “With my soul have I desired thee in the night, yea, with my spirit within me I will seek thee early.” (IS 26:9 KJV). We learn that playing music in conjunction with meditation could be part of their method, “[they] would prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and cymbals” (1 Chronicles 25:1) The physical posture employed by the prophets during their periods of deep meditative trance was also carried forward. They were accustomed to bowing upon their knees, or sitting on the ground, and in either case, rolled into a ball, they placed the head between the knees, with intense focus, effort, and concentration. They did not do this just anywhere, they ascended a mountain, entered the Holy Temple, or otherwise engaged in a process of retreat towards either isolation of sanctity. They never practiced this in the daytime - unlike Moses, who was considered the greatest of the Prophets - who received revelation either day or night. Accordingly, the tradition teaches that while the Prophets were instructed “by dreams and visions” and Moses was instructed “face to face” (or properly translated as essence to essence).

The common Western European conception of the “loner” Prophets as depicted in art entirely fails to capture their extended contact with - and compassion for - society. The Prophets were reported to have had tens of thousands of disciples, and were seen conducting the era's spiritual universities; However, during periods of prophecy they wholly isolated themselves, sometimes for extended periods. The context of their approach involved spending extended time alone in nature, receiving revelation, and coming back to society with message, training, and urgency.

We find this same pattern in the lives of the great Kaballists Rabbi Shimeon Bar Yochai, Rabbi Isaac Luria, the Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, and so forth. All of them were known to spend extended periods of time in nature. Rabbi Shimeon was a student of Rabbi Akiva, a great mystic regarded as a person who had returned unharmed from Paradise and able to cogently tell about it! Rabbi Akiva deserves a dedicated conversation. Rabbi Shimeon was known to have spiritual visitations from Elijah the Prophet, who is regarded as the Keeper of the Keys of Kaballah. Rabbi Shimeon's seminal Kabalistic text Zohar Shel Torah was written after he spent ten YEARS in a cave in the Galilee, where he reputedly spent his days buried up to his head in the sand to remain cool, while he contemplated the mysteries of the Torah in conversation with his saintly son Rabbi Eliazar. In fact, there is a strong parallel between the Prophet and the wilderness Shaman or Native American on Vision Quest because both are known to uncover the mysteries of life with Nature's help. The city-dweller who meditates in an enclosed room may be meditating but this person is not meditating the way the Prophets did.

Back to meditation, how did the prophets' form of meditation come down through history? Meditation was first instituted as a common practice outside the Prophetic schools under the guidance of the later Prophets in a council called the Anshe Knesset HaGadolah, (AKhG) or “Men of the Great Assembly.” The term “great” is not used because the council included “great persons” although several Prophets were part of it. It was used because the Divine Presence was very strongly felt in these councils, and those who were present felt the “Greatness.” The AKhG in its earlier form included the last of the Prophets found in the Hebrew scriptures, namely, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. However, the Talmud interestingly states there were 1,200,000 Prophets, male and female, Jewish and non-Jewish. Those who made the cut to the Hebrew Scriptures bore messages with the distinction they were not intended solely for their own generations. The AKhG was founded by Ezra the Scribe and its existence spanned a 320 year period from about 520bce towards the time when the Prophets suspected the 2nd temple would be destroyed. The last member of the AKhG was Shimon haTzaddik, who died in 273bce. Aside from Prophets, the AKhG also included the precursors of the group who are known today as the Rabbis, very learned and studious types.

The most important upshot of the AKhG was the institutionalization of the synagogue services with the Shemoneh Esreh (18 Benedictions) “The Standing Meditation,” composed by the Prophets on the council. Over time, the Shemoneh Esreh effectively replaced Prophetic meditation, but not entirely, as we shall see later. Subsequent to the AKhG a time called the Zugot, or “Pairs” began. Two men comprised the pair, and this pair included the Nasi or “Prince” who shared leadership with the Av Beit Din, (Father of the Judgement House, loosely paraphrased as Supreme Court Chief Justice). The Av Beit Din also headed the Sanhedrin. The Nasi was effectively responsible for the Revelation-based oral traditions and the spirit that kept them alive. The Av Beit Din was responsible for maintenance and interpretation of the Tradition and customs. Most famous among the Pairs, were Hillel and Shammai, Hillel being the Nasi and Shammai being the Av Beit Din.

Parenthetically, Hebrew scholars stringently forbid quoting someone without giving attribution even in our modern era. It was common practice to quote the Nasi or the Av Beit Din; these are quoted extensively in the Talmudic material. Such quotations would be written in the form of “And Joe Shmo said in the name of Hillel…” etc. There is an example in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 22 : 36-40) where the text has a man coming to Jesus repeating a story told about Hillel and Shammai without attribution. In this verse Hillel is quoted “Love the Lord your God with All your Heart Mind and Soul and Love your Neighbor as yourself, this is the sum of the Law and the Prophets.” It is significant that Jesus' quotation of Hillel was NOT attributed to Hillel, an absolutely standard Hebrew practice. This departure from Hebrew custom is part of the “great divorce” where Christianity wholly ignored Rabbinic sources and also adopted a Hero literary form and dropped the Jewish literary form and requirements for attribution. The notion of “in the name of Jesus Christ” is EXACTLY consistent with the universally accepted practice still used today to repeat a quotation somebody else said -- and repeat it precisely -- by saying In the Name of Joe Shmo. A quote from Kesher Shem Tov (Connecting to the Good Name) from the Baal Shem Tov: “The Baal Shem Tov said in the name of Rav Saadiah Gaon: 'A person should learn a lesson from his desires for physical pleasures how he should desire to serve G-d and love Him.' ”

As to the outcome of Prophecy, and Prophetic meditation, the Prophets at least implied there would be a shifting of the method and style of N'vuah (prophecy) in the world. Guidance would be given, but it would take a different form in coming times. We know that great teachers appeared on the scene and continue to appear. The method of of meditation, Hitbodedeut, used by the prophets changed in posture and circumstance, but the authorities cite its active use down to the present era. However, perhaps few people were really meditators at any time in history, and this remains the case relative to populations today.

Conversations about meditation in Rabbinic literature are abundant. Highlights include the 13th Century writings of The Ralbag, or Rabbi Levi ben Gershon clearly states that Meditation is a necessity in the reception of Prophetic revelation. He further made the intriguing distinction that the kind of meditation he was referring to isolated the consciousness from the imagination. This parallels the long-held notion that an individual cannot enter the Holy Place, because only the Holy One exists in the Holy Place. Therefore a person must be devoid of individuality to make entrance, not a level of awareness most people experience.

The great Kaballist and student of The Arizal, Rabbi Isaac of Luria, Rabbi Chaim Vital, (1543-1620) was very explicit about preparations to be undertaken towards meditation. His point was that meditation had to exist in a context of a serious commitment to worship, holiness, good character, and only after certain ritual purifications such as immersion in a ritual bath. He taught a procedure involving meditation just after midnight, in isolation, and after much dedication.

The Bal Shem Tov, (1698-1760) described meditation as a time of looking directly into the Divine, “as a man sees another man” and “if you persevere in pure thought, then the Creator also looks at you as a man looks at you.” This is a clear instruction that the eyes must be used properly in meditation.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810) made it clear that meditation ideally took place in the fields and forests, as was the practice of virtually all meditators in the Hebrew tradition. While Rebbe Nachman indicated that meditation would eliminate negative traits from a person's moral character, the ultimate goal is to transform to a non-dual realization of the “Imperative Existent” which is the Divinity inherent in all being. All of the masters of meditation made it clear in their teachings that the “payload” of meditation did not come all at once, and certainly not upon first attempt. Because the result of meditation is associated to the raising of the vibratory level of the soul, spirit, and body, a progressive development takes place in which there can be periods of limited results followed by breakthroughs. The key is that a person's non-meditative life should be consistent with the meditative dimension.


Alternatives
Dominator Culture vs. Spiritual Growth

A common cultural element routinely threatens to contaminate spirituality. It prevents spiritual awareness from becoming rooted in lasting beneficial action and thus forestalls or defeats cultural transformation. We need to look carefully at how this works and what it means.

“Dominator Culture” a term coined by Dr Riane Eisler, is a top-down social system expressing a pattern of control and supremacy on the part of individuals, ideas and groups despite context or costs. It is a toxic system that places near-term self-preservation above all other impulses, even where self-preservation can lead to self-extinction. A disconnect between sustainable balance and the near-term appetites for self-preservation is the hallmark of Dominator Culture. Its consensus viewpoint is the force behind Political and Economic Tyrannies, Environmental Degradation, Subjugation for Religious or Gender reasons, and Genocide. It is the primary driving influence behind Allopathic or “Modern” Pharmaceutical-based Medicine, Legal Systems, Mass-Production Agriculture with attending Food Supply Management, Taxation, and Corporatism in general. The overall delivery and toxic effects of Dominator Culture and its impact is too broad and comprehensive for us to address here. We will limit evaluation of its factors to those of a spiritual nature.

Within the core doctrine of any widespread world spirituality we find themes that hearken back to Dominator Principals of control, supremacy, punishment for non-compliance, reward for obedience, the characterization and interpretation of “Principals” as “Laws,” control by elites, myopic disregard for unintended consequences and other self-justifying themes. For some people, while they may be taught of the Loving G-d, they also adopt messages that incorporate that Love with Jealousy, Anger, Vengeance, Punishment, Judgment, Destruction, and even eternal Damnation or comparable Ostracism.

Spiritual movements are consistently overtaken over by Dominator Culture, regardless of the holiness or cultural detachment of the founding holy ones who themselves may have been martyred by it. No surviving popular religious movement today has avoided becoming broadly embedded in the political system of its region within a few centuries of inception. Religious teachings and scriptures were routinely usurped or stripped of elements that might challenge the status quo. These utterances of the Great Ones were edited, rewritten, otherwise modified to support the Dominator agenda; Leaders who excelled at supporting the agenda were given honorifics that once meant something, such as “Saint,” “Sage,” “Teacher,” “Lord,” “Guru,” “Reverend,” “Rabbi,” “Patriarch,” “Master” and other terms connoting combinations of holiness and domination; Females when and if mentioned at all are often praised primarily for humility, submission or subservience; Those who were not compliant were branded as heretics or traitors; Whole empires including enforcing armies were established. History and not only Western History is so replete with examples of this activity, citations are unnecessary.

In the inner circles of most spiritual communities, “us-them” terminology that couches “the world” as opposed to “the community” is common parlance. While a community's leaders often identify structural, philosophical, moral problems and challenges posed by the non-transformed or uninformed world outside the community, leaders often simultaneously substitute a variety of perspectives and behaviors that reinforce the Dominator Culture in different terms. For instance, in most spiritual communities, Dominator Principals such as widespread social compliance to standards such as fashion or status is roundly criticized. However, these are generally replaced with a psychologically-enforced expectation of uniformity under different terms. Members of a spiritual community may be reminded of the unsuitable and improper nature of relationships as they exist in the perceived “un-transformed world” outside the realm of the community. But under the shadow of Dominator Culture, an internal system of rank, hierarchy, influence and praise is erected as its substitution. The Dominator Culture challenge is so pervasive that most communities are entirely incapable of divesting themselves of its influence and the observer simply finds a repackaging of it to meet doctrinal objectives in the name of sanctity. This is not sanctification, it is subordination. That is counterfeit and non-spiritual.

What does spiritual growth look like if it is not defeated by Dominator Culture? Despite the popularization and co-opting of the term “Spiritual” by promoters of Dominator Culture “religious” expressions we can explore important facets of legitimate vs. counterfeit spirituality. For certain, Spiritual Growth has little or nothing to do with compliance to a set of terms or conditions posed by a religious or spiritual doctrine. Rather, spiritual growth is marked by formation of a sense of shared involvement, otherwise known as Unity, within persons. A sense of Unity has a very specific fingerprint and evidences a generally-consistent topology regardless of the originating culture.

Within the whorls, loops and arches of this fingerprint, a sentiment of loving engagement with Source, in the form of Divine Guidance and Nurture is primary. The engagement can be personally felt and its impact is evident to neutral observers. Radiant Spiritual Light is perceived within the person's being and in the creation. This light can be used for healing. The physical eyes become increasingly clearer and brighter. The voice deepens. A desire to meditate or become peaceful is noted. Patterns from Source imbuing creation with overarching organization and harmony become increasingly noticeable. Sometimes these are visual and sometimes they are sentimental. The person feels able to respond and dance within such organization and harmony. Powerful yet subtle movements that shift the symmetries of the brain's neural architecture towards spiritual receptivity and attunement are physically felt in the head. The person's breath deepens and the gait becomes more refined. Disease or somatic complaints may be healed or resolved.

Spiritually oriented persons feel they are receiving direct, loving and supportive Divine communication and guidance, and that this communication calls for a loving response. The desire to serve and help others increases. A sense of discernment becomes a factor in the person's appetites, which lean towards increasingly more subtle objectives. Foods play a significant role in the person's exercise of choice, and sensitivities or concerns involving consumption of foods involving slaughter or killing of other creatures become heightened. In many cases such foods are eliminated from the diet. Sexual conduct becomes more refined and attachments exhibit partnership biases rather than control-oriented biases.

Spiritual persons see their actions as being effectual in the context of a whole that is not limited merely to human participants but to all creatures. A sense of the presence of Source in all things, and even in acts and circumstances of nature is developed. Intelligent communication from any level in creation, from winds, to weather, to insect conduct, to waving of leaves in a tree and so forth all afford vehicles of communication. A sense that life can be an expression of balance that is like a dance involving delicacy and continued input from Source is developed.

The spiritual person becomes aware that Source appears within as Self. G-d is not above in Heaven, G-d is within as Essence. Source appears among myriad Beings, not limited to angelic or heavenly beings which may be powerful but which are not intrinsically and organically connected to the earthly, seasonal and human body cycles. The sanitized spiritual world of Dominator Culture admits only the existence of limited manifestations of “The Myriads,” and it is telling that Dominator culture does not recognize any of the forms linked to other physical creatures as noteworthy in its cosmology. Spiritual persons begin to perceive Source guidance emanating from all places, and become sensitive to the voices of spiritual delegations that inhabit plant, animal, mineral, water, sky, and other kingdoms as well as those of Heavenly origin.

Awareness of the non-physical dimensions and the characteristics of these dimensions grow to a point where persons learn to distinguish between Source and various types of misguided and deceptive spirits, demonic entities, earthbound spirits, and other types of beings or creations of misguided beings that are not aligned with Source and the Light. This awareness is used for rescue and restorative purposes and to return such spirits to the Light and its work.

The appetite for and ability to receive revelation is refined and to spiritual persons, revelation appears as a continuum rather than a merely as a historic phenomenon. In our times, this sort of Revelation is primarily specific to practical applications for remediation of natural, environment and other malaise caused by humanity. Frequently Revelation will alert the spiritual observer to notice an incursion of Dominator Culture in newly developing situation so the person can pray or act to restore balance.

A spiritual person's environmental and political conduct shifts. Resources are not seen as inanimate “things” to extract, and upon obsolescence, throw “away” but as living components of a closed, cyclical and robust organism that deserves honor, which bears awareness, and towards which humility should be directed. Political choices are guided by this sense of a possibility of shared adventure, joy, resolution and most importantly, Peace.

Above all, the sense and appetites related to individual accomplishment and achievement or acquisition is replaced by a shared sense of purpose, linkage and responsibility. The world is are no longer seen s a place for ME, it is a place for US.



Simplicity
Simplicity

Among the wise, one finds the exposition of simplicity. Being simply or simply being is the byword of every spiritual path. In order to be simple, one must have a sense of the all-sufficient foundation of life. Simplicity is an attribute of the Divine Personality, acting as a force, not merely as a state.

Because many of us have very crowded lives, both temporally and materially, we have difficulty relaxing. In a telling 1977 interview in Molde, Norway, Muddy Waters, Father of Chicago Blues, spoke of the benefits of simplicity. He mentioned that he did not have much money, and cautioned that having millions of dollars just crowded one's mind and life with worries.

Many travelers return and marvel at the effervescent joy expressed on the faces of “poor” people throughout the world, while wealthy people from developed countries look comparably glum. Simplicity has clear benefits.

When a person first enters a spiritual community, one dispenses with the vast array of possessions and lives with very little. As Monks, we each kept all our personal possessions in a single - and uncrowded - dresser drawer, aside from a few books, robes, hanging clothing, and footwear. The uniformity of our clothing allowed for distinctions in personality to become more apparent in our community. We sometimes observed that people who dressed in stylish and thus widely different clothing often acted very uniformly. Ironically, their uniformity stemmed from their desire to be different.

The desire to be different is a manufactured desire, affirmed hundreds of times daily in modern homes by media messages that bombard a child millions of times even before the permanent teeth erupt. It is no surprise that our culture is pathological. Archaic cultures and even such as the culture of Bali, Indonesia does not engage in the quest for social differentiation. In archaic culture, the quest is for fulfillment of family, spiritual, and community obligations. Thus they avoid the trap and the tyranny of consumerism, which cannot survive when people are satisfied with their shared human nature.

Shared human nature reveals itself in the traditional prayers of the Sages of Israel and other indigenous nations. Only G-d speaks in First Person. Everyone else speaks in Third Person. Expression of first-person terms I, Me, My, Mine, etc are virtually non-existent among the prayers we have been handed. The traditional orders of prayer do not presume a person prays alone, but with others. The terms “we,” and “our” proliferate. A prayer in the first person is virtually non-existent. What does this tell us?

The true expression of spiritual purpose is not a me-oriented self-interested or narcissistic activity. This would seem rather obvious, but many spiritual groups are plagued by a pattern of feeling themselves distinct from and better than the “non-spiritual” people in society. Spiritual groups and many congregations speak disparagingly and view “the world” with condescension. If your congregation or teacher adopts such language you are in a toxic environment: This is clear evidence of a false and harmful doctrine.

The Buddhist maxim that one's engagement in life is for the enlightenment of ALL sentient beings is consistent with the theme that ALL spiritual life is for the benefit of all, not oneself. One does not acquire enlightenment, it cannot be purchased. The oft-quoted Native American Lakota prayer Mitakuye Oyasin, or “All My Relations” involves recognition of a world where all forms of life, including the elements and winds are members of one's family. Such recognition leads to simplicity. The Sanskrit greeting Namaste bespeaks bowing to the Divinity in another person. The Hebrew greeting Shalom Aleichem bespeaks Completeness, as we might say in the Southern US Dialect: “Wholeness on ALL of Y'all.” It amazingly addresses another person in the plural, not the singular.

Simplicity is not only a consequence of living in relatedness. It can also be the CAUSE of spiritual enlightenment and an enabler of relationship. Many spiritual Teachers have advised followers to “Sell what you have, give to the poor;” By divestiture, attention to our own needs ceases and we free up. The practice of maintaining silence in monasteries has a comparable effect. The silent person's mind eventually becomes still.

We learn from this that a person who is simple is more likely to maintain a sense of relatedness and is free from neediness. We also learn that a person who has many attachments can simplify and attain freedom.

Simplicity is expressed beautifully in the Shaker Song:

Tis a gift to be simple Tis a gift to be free
Tis a gift to come down Where we ought to be
And when we find our selves In a place just right
'twill be in the valley Of love and delight. .



Sackcloth & Ashes
Burnt Offerings & the Blind Spot

One asks: “How could Burnt Offerings possibly create intimacy with the Divine” This is a good question, because the notion that somehow G-d would be pleased by a person taking an animal, slaughtering it and roasting it seems mysterious to us at the very least.

In many approaches to discussion of spiritual transformation, conversation is being offered about a “blind spot” that even spiritual masters exhibit. This “blind spot” is something every person has, our friends can easily get together with us and tell us what OURS is, yet we STILL have trouble addressing it.

There is a relationship between the “inward parts” of a person and this blind spot. The blind spot is associated to the inward part of a person that lingers untransformed. It remains even after who-knows-how-much effort to attain consciousness. In ghetto vernacular, the Blind Spot is the place "where the sun don't shine," the bowels of a person.

The Hebrew Priest would reserve the broiled flesh of the sacrificial animal, called Terumah in Hebrew for a sacred festive meal. This flesh is considered very sacred and access to it was restricted. Conversely, the bowels of the animal had to be entirely consumed by fire. The notion of consuming the bowels by fire is found in many ancient and aboriginal cultures.

The Hebrew term for “sacrifice” is Korban, from the root KRB, meaning “intimacy.” There is no correlation between the English word “sacrifice” and Korban. Contemplating of the notion of animal life being lost by act of slaughter cannot help but trigger deep feelings of irony except in a callous person. We cannot help but note that in the days of the Temple in Jerusalem, the murder rate was comparably low. Unlike modern society where we can go to the grocery store and grab some cuts for dinner without a moment's reflection, meat for food consumption had a sacred context because it reminded the eater of Terumah and of G-d. Absent this sacred context, the price of flesh becomes cheap, and murder rates skyrocket.

There are two common terms that associate to deepest pleasure and pain in one's inner parts. One is YUM, and everyone who has fed a child knows this pleasant expression. The other is YAK, and for most people nausea is the most undesirable possible experience. Among indigenous and aboriginal medicine practices, bringing on nausea is desirable, praiseworthy, and even ceremonially solicited. In the context of burnt offerings, nausea is literally the removal of embedded attachments from a person's deepest parts. Digestion is all bound up with fire, from the first grinding of food by the teeth, represented by the Hebrew letter Shin, connoting fire and meaning tooth, to the precious heat within the furnace of the stomach, praised, and protected by wise practitioners of traditional Asian medicine.

We often find that a person's blind spot is associated to any of a variety of forms of spiritual dysfunction, where the person's will becomes vulnerable. This dysfunction is the end-result of inappropriate desires and resulting attachments. Since desires and attachments built momentum, once these take root deeply in a person, it becomes easier for the person to function without complete integrity or to compartmentalize otherwise-unacceptable behaviors.

Not all attachments result from less-than conscious choices such as bad habits, lifestyle, integrity issues, and so forth. Many have spiritual dimensions. Causes include forms of soul fragmentation, where trauma leads a portion of the soul to withdraw, attachment of spirits of persons who have died and not transitioned completely to the Light, and demonic entities who engage in cascading levels of destructive effort. Some authorities state that as much as 95% of the population experiences some form of spiritual dysfunction at one or another time in their life. This type of problem can be addressed much more easily than some people may imagine, and without any of the drama and adversarial context associated to Hollywood movies about the topic.

First and foremost, the means of address for any of these conditions involves willingness to make whole and sweeping spiritual progress. Secondly, issues associated to a person's Blind Spot are not typically addressed directly because it is the very nature of the blind spot to be impossible to access directly. Finally, since such issues are best addressed from the root, always invisible, but subject to examination and extraction in the proper light.

In the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, the Korbanoth, or Intimacies were offered in a variety of forms on a daily basis. Likewise, a person who takes takes time daily for spiritual practices invoking Divine Intimacy creates a kind of momentum that leads to uncovering and illuminating the roots of the Blind Spots and spiritual Dysfunctions we all carry.



Sackcloth & Ashes
Sackcloth & Ashes

There are 47 references in old and new testaments to wearing or sitting on “sackcloth” as an act of mourning and penitence. In part, this act along with self-denial should be our response to the Gulf Oil tragedy. According to the Prophets, a nation that cannot recognize its transgressions is abhorrent in the eyes of the Divine. “Let them be covered with sackcloth, both man and animal, and let them cry mightily to G-d. Yes, let them turn everyone from his evil way, and from the violence that is in his hands.” (Jonah 3:8 KJV)

We cannot but expand upon our theme from the past week's writing “Oil and Consequences” that the pathological conduct of life in modern society is the true cause of this mess. Laying blame on corporate malfeasance is valid but also hypocritical because blaming others does not address the root cause. Would that we could purchase vast amounts of sackcloth (also known as a hair shirt, typically woven from Goat's hair) and distribute kits of sackcloth and ashes to be worn by every member of congregations throughout the world. If speaking today, the Prophets of Israel would call for a Global Act of Mourning and Repentance. We cannot help but wonder what is wrong with a society that fails to mourn and repent from its transgressions.

The Gulf Oil Spill is not alone in a series of events suffered by the US in this new century that call for national mourning and repentance. The question is: “Why does no such mourning take place?” The answer is that we have compartmentalized ourselves to the extent that leads us to unresponsiveness. We suffer from a type of paralysis that causes us to be disconnected from the simple fact that as micro-agents in a macro scheme of resource extraction and planned obsolescence, we have become a source of death and destruction unlike anything conceived in any time in world history. Our sense of identity, discussed below, is not equipped to correlate such factors.

The entire premise of consumerism is bankrupt. Architect William McDonough said there is no way the world could sustain another “industrial revolution in India and China” but this is the direction towards which we run, headlong. The model behind the economics of consumerism is a trap of the worst proportions. While “expanding middle classes” in India and China seek to “have” what the Developed Countries “have” we wonder what sort of outcome could be the consequence. It is not without chagrin that one drives down interstate highways clogged with vehicles designed to use 99% of their energy consumption for the purpose of moving the vehicle and 1% of their energy consumption for moving the person behind the wheel. Amory Lovins, founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute has explained this irony. The Rocky Mountain Institute's web site is a must read for anyone seriously considering the relationships between policy, personal conduct, and intelligent technology application. From Amory, we learned that the several important sea changes in energy and natural resource utilization were not decades-long transitions, but took place in a matter of years.

The pathological state of mind that leads a person to adopt a position of powerlessness is one of being a debtor, rather than a creditor. The Creditor is a Sovereign, who is aware that the power lies within him or her to do whatever is right. The Debtor is a subject, unaware, who readily consigns “rights” and “assets” to others, thus being weakened and stripped of the capacity to call for accountability. While a corporation is perpetual, a corporation is not a Being; it does not have the seed of G-d within it. For a Human Being, who bears the seed of G-d within, to consign the rights of creating and holding accountable to a corporation is the ultimate convolution of proper placement of authority. It is an act of diabolical and demonic proportions for a living Divine Being to become the subject of an entity that does not bear the G-d seed. But, what happens each and every time we engage in a transaction involving a bank is precisely that sort of abdication of the Sovereign Throne upon which we rightfully hold power. With the collapse of Sovereign self-cognizance, a person becomes a shadow of being, an ever-needy vacuum rather than a Source. The results are what we have in the world today. Where a person's primary sense is of lack, this person is lost to the Sovereign nature of the human experience. A sense of lack is the abdication of the Sovereign Throne associated to Human Divinity.

The time-tested method used by spiritual masters to resolve a sense of lack is ironically self-denial. Doing without can lead a person to discover one's inner world possesses everything needed - and more. The person discovers that the quality of inner resources is radiant by comparison to outer resources which are comparably pale and flat. Attachment to outer resources as though they can provide comfort is also a form of abdication.

Within the traditional model of mourning, employing Sackcloth and Ashes, a person fasts from a wide range of pleasures. Where a nation fasts from pleasures, profound insights are made available. These come from recognition that so many pursuits are simply machinations - they are seen as unnecessary and wasteful distractions. This is why many communities who fast routinely wind up simplifying their lives substantially. They break the bondage of lack. We should all fast, learn to do without.

The opposite of doing without is being within. The cascading effects of being within are profound and can bring previously unimaginable solutions to the practical challenges we face as a society. The secret of being within is that such an approach invokes the affirmation that we share our destiny. In this context there is no secret or separate action isolated from impact on others. We act in concert more naturally. This could be a part of the solution to the fragmentation and compartmentalization that leads to ever-more toxic outcomes in the world.



The Maze of Life
Oil and Outcomes

When we see choices we make leaving dreadful consequences like the Gulf Oil Spill, you just can't help but wonder about outcomes. What is language spoken by the release of ancient energies and spiritual elements behind them flooding the fertile Gulf of Mexico that have been laying beneath the earth's surface for millions of years? What is the language of the animal and plant entities who face immanent destruction, possible extinction, and where survival is possible, years of reconstitution? What are the impacts on the people of the USA, regional, and national, and the Nations of the World with respect to policy, economics, natural resource and energy acquisition, and reassessment of what was presumed to constitute the societal norm? What should become of corporate governance and transparency in the wake of cited large scale engagement in short-cuts for profit's sake yielding a corporate culture of involving hundreds of egregious safety violations that lead to wholesale death and destruction? What kinds of Technologies with positive or unintended consequences might come to the fore in the effort to address this catastrophe? What will be the effect of chemical dispersants being added every second to the spill at the well head and what alternatives might be better? And, the ultimate question is "Who is in their right mind that has good ideas that could be helpful now, and are such people being invited in or barred from the conversation, and for what political or economic reasons? The scope of the matter is vast and will doubtless be a resonating source of controversy and reflection for the remainder of the century.

A few mathematical facts we don't hear combined in one paragraph might be relevant. We do know is that the Gulf of Mexico is the seventh largest body of water on earth, with an estimated 650 Quadrillion gallons of water. The relationship between the size of the Gulf and the spill is worth exploring. If the oil spill is at the current US Government maximum estimate of 2.52 million gallons daily and lasts for 258 days before being stopped, the huge quantity of 650 million gallons or 15,476,190 barrels of oil would be involved. This quantity of oil represents one ten-millionth of the liquid in the gulf. After 56 days, based on this daily estimate we now have a total of 141 million gallons to deal with. For comparison, the Exxon Valdez spill involved 10.8 million gallons, an amount reached every 4.29 days.

These impacts challenge at least part of our world-view. To most of us, the outcome of life is at least partly predetermined. In short, we live, we learn and improve, and expect to return to Source, having reconciled any trailing issues, or Karmas. The range of choices associated to the widely-held doctrine of Free Will come to play. The "rules of the game" of life, at least in a "spiritual" person's view are based on the notion that we are all here to attain a positive outcome. Under Free Will, we recognize a person could make any of a number of choices given a set of circumstances. However the notion that there are deliberate negative intentions leading to murder, death, environmental degradation, theft and depravity represents a ragged edge of our world view that is difficult to reconcile.

This oil spill is all about that kind of world-view. It runs counter to the view of right-use, balance, and wholeness. Yet, as fossil fuel consuming participants in the vast sea of micro-choices that led to this crisis, we are among those people who compartmentalize such choices that range beyond the ragged edges of the "rules of the game." Relative to the world's population and with our highly out of balance patterns of consumption among the world's population, the quantity of developed country citizens is less than the one in 10-million ratio of oil to the Gulf. Yet, we sustain far more devastating impacts than the oil spill the world over without blinking. We have major house-cleaning to do. We need moral and technological guidance mixed with workable and easily adopted solutions. We have to stop compartmentalizing because our compartments have sprung a toxic leak.

This incident is one in a recent series of world-historic events that calls for us to look carefully in the mirror. The first in the series involved the destruction of the World Trade Center. Our leaders responded with endless blame, war and retribution. Persons calling for self-reflection were called traitors or terrorists. This event is one of a different character, yet it is one in which blame and themes of war unfortunately arise. President Obama regrettably speaks in military terms of “fighting” the spill and “siege of oil.” This language is the offering of a completely bankrupt societal model. The choice of such language avoids calling for citizens to take responsibility for the events involved. We should repudiate the use of such language and recognize that our compartmentalization is no less toxic than the choices made by BP to cut corners and defy regulations in its pursuit of profit.

We find ourselves in a maze. The entry point is today. Wherever we turn, we must come out at the other end. The duration of our transit through the maze is up to us.



The Visionary Art of Pablo Amaringo
The Parallel Universe

The Great Secret of the Ancient Mysteries involves a Parallel Universe that carries the essence of the Divine message without corruption of any kind. This is the universe of Master Plant Spirits. Just as the sentient being Man has a physical body endowed with unique powers, the Master Plant Spirits are sentient beings that possess physical bodies endowed with unique powers. Where Man has eyes, plants have seeds. Where fowl and insects have wings, plants have leaves. Where many have legs, plants have roots. And, like the powers of Man which involve the ability to speak, build, and propagate, Plant powers are communicative, conscious, medicinal, healing, nutritive, and restorative in character. All cells contain DNA, whether found in plant, mammal, reptile, fish, bird, arachnid or insect. And DNA is known in biophysics to broadcast coherent light, transmitted as a digital signal. The intention of this broadcast is communication of intelligence, pure and simple. The notion that a plant is "only a physical thing" is as incomplete as the notion that Man is only a physical body.

A person who engages in a living foods diet becomes far more susceptible to the intelligence fostered by the Master Plant Spirits. The claim that people who eat fresh, wholesome diets primarily composed of raw plant materials are more healthy, knowledgeable, and sensitive to Divine Guidance is proven manifold. Those who seek to become initiated into the Parallel Universe of knowledge provided by the plants must do so by eating a diet appropriate to this endeavor. It was said that Man was vegetarian until the flood, after which time it was permitted for Man to eat flesh, but discouraged because "the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all the moveth upon the earth and upon all the fishes of the sea" (GEN 9:2 KJV) It is notable that the Plants are exempt from the dread of Man, because by design they were created for consumption and nurture in order to bestow their knowledge. They are the physical extension of the Divine Feminine expression. The elemental difference between chlorophyll and blood is that chlorophyll is built around magnesium while blood is built around Iron. Otherwise they are similar. This is a clue to the wise. Combined with the widely-observed rule from India to Jerusalem that one must not build a holy Temple using any object or hardware of iron, we detect a pattern.

The Rishis of India, the Oracles of Greece, the Essenes, the Hebrew Prophets, and many other supreme examples from of holy societies did not eat flesh, and they were known to live in areas where natural plant medicines with great psychoactive potencies grew in abundance. In the Amazon Jungles the Shamans and Tribal Healers strongly forbid the eating of Pork, and cautioned against eating other red meats in the context of their curative work. Virtually ALL of the ancient societies eschewed distilled alcohol and alcohol byproducts of fermentation except when combined with powerful plant infusions. Beer recipes held closely by European families still include all sorts of psychoactive plant infusions. Beers without plant infusions are common only in very recent history. The Vedic literature describes the use of Soma, clearly a psychoactive plant product. The Tabernacle accoutrements, Hebrew Priests and Kings were ALL anointed with oil containing vast quantities of "sweet calamus," called Knei-Bosum in Hebrew (Exodus 30:23) known today in nearly identical phonetic terms as Cannabis.

The "heavy wine" described in the rituals of the early Christians contained psychotropic plant infusions, and was known for its ability to invoke Divine revelation, produce Divine communion and healing at such depths that forgiveness of sins was not merely symbolic. Early Christians are shown in various artistic depictions passing around baskets of cubensis or other psychotropic mushrooms in the context of their communion rituals. The original story of Santa Claus is actually one of a Siberian Shaman who gathered mushrooms and due to high snow, entered through the chimney of the yurt to hold ceremonies during the Winter Solstice.

The Rabbis often repeat an old Kabalistic saying of the Sages that a person should consume Wine and Flesh to attain happiness, but the physical wine and flesh described in the old saying was not today's wine, and it was not the flesh of cattle but of certain plants. Here we must emphatically offer a warning: Such plants and their Spirits are invoked under strict limits among traditional societies. They are outlawed in modern society because the powers unleashed by these Spirits are not to be trifled with and can undo a person. The exception to the law is indigenous proceedings. Under indigenous proceedings, invocations are undertaken under controlled and sacred circumstances where appropriate supervision is maintained. Modern laws related to this topic are simply an outgrowth of these ancient precepts.

The Master Plant Spirits are endowed with the knowledge of creation unencumbered in any way by human foibles. They deliver an unadulterated and completely integrated perspective about the purpose and weight of human existence from the soul level. They show the linkage between and foster communication between all types and levels between the Father and creation, whether spiritual or physical at any depth. Their view is from the perspective of one who was fully conscious and present at the inception of each soul. They are in possession of the knowledge of the PURPOSE of each soul and the necessary steps it will take to restore each soul to its full and appropriate awareness.

They vehemently discourage escapism, drug abuse, and the "curse" of laboratory-based pharmaceutical treatment applications. Why? The allopathic approach strips the plant intelligence away. This leaves only the pharma-physiological action that by itself does not require CONSCIOUS changes in the patient's will, actions, and orientation. One cannot but note that the term CURSE is an anagram for CURES. The Aboriginal Tribes of the Amazon and other Rain Forests advise us that they learned all of their knowledge, including the Pharmacopoeia, AND their unique verbal-musical languages and vocabularies directly from the Master Plant Spirits. They are very critical of pharmaceutical companies' extraction of plant essences and the notion of patenting these extractions. This form of testimony is consistent throughout the Aboriginal world.

Master Plant Spirits comprise the class of the most pure and multi-dimensional spiritual experiences possible. Their experience is not primarily conceptual, it is primarily physical and thus organic in orientation. Perhaps a surprise to some who may wonder, these Spirits are cognizant of the One Creator, and thus particularly and deeply supportive and respectful of the Sages, Prophets, holy prayers, and their invocations that are expressed in monotheistic ancient traditions. It appears as though these traditional offerings are creations of the children of the Master Plant Spirits. The Plant Sprits are decidedly Feminine in nature. They are aligned with the Mother force - as might be expected, they are the manifestation of "Mother Nature."

The testimony of Scripture makes mention of the Master Plant Spirits in veiled terms - we hear much of the Archangelic, Angelic, and other guiding Spiritual beings, but mention of the Master Plant Spirits is subtextual. We infer from the norms of the priestly and traditional indigenous culture that Moses and the Prophets were well-schooled in the use of such vehicles of communion. However, the broad applications of various Master Plants are found in every religion, from Siberia, to China to South Asia, all through Europe, Africa, and Polynesia. Of course the Native North and South Americans hold them in great esteem. For most of us, knowledge of this realm of spirits is the "Half of the Story That Has Never Been Told." Where we do hear of psycho-actives, we hear mostly of impure instances of abuse and ineffectual applications that foster disorientation. While this knowledge is at the core of the formation of every world religion, often being the school of the Prophets and Sages, the Oracles, and the Seers, it remains esoteric and hidden from the common eye, and initiation into this Kingdom is rare. This is a central reason why Western societies are weak with respect to environmental sustainability - the institutions of Western knowledge were aware of the powers bestowed by the Master Plant Spirits, and for corrupt reasons, found a variety of ways to forbid or restrict access to this knowledge for the purpose of maintaining control of the population.

In place of this knowledge, religious institutions established comparably diluted rituals and practices that only mildly hailed to the inner work that only the Master Plant Spirits could produce. However, when properly invoked, the Master Plant Spirits are most extraordinary in their intimate knowledge of each soul and of the procession of Human engagement on Earth. When properly invoked, it is not unusual for Master Plant Spirits to lead a person directly into physically cathartic and visionary restorations that can reset a person's orientation at organic levels. Such experiences affect the emotional and physical bodies from the core of the body and spirit. These results are unequalled in any therapeutic regimen known in modern medicine. One student of the topic, paraphrased, said "Entering a prayer chapel, a person does not fear, but undertaking a ceremony among tribal people, one enters with knees trembling. There is no question you will face any and all obstacles, NOW and be reduced to your essence to presently deal in immediate terms with your existence. You can expect to be reconstituted according to your proper image and likeness under the set and setting of indigenous ceremony."

Yogic and Kabalistic Meditation and Breath practices are said to have been provided to the early mystics in the context of communion with Master Plant Spirits. These can be very powerful where the leader is familiar with the invocation of the purity and presence of these Beings who are created by the Divine as a repository of the unadulterated nurture and nature of the Divine intention. Their intervention alleviates the digressions of the human will, and restores the human to right-action. Whether one undertakes the cathartic experience of direct communion with the powerful Spirits is one question, but there is no question that the vestige of their teaching in Yogic and Kabalistic forms is potent and helpful.

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Work Sign
Short Cuts

US society used to value work. Today it cuts corners. The examples are everywhere. The language of income has changed from "earn" money to "get" money. The Kabbalists call one's profession Parnosseh. The root of this term is the same as Furnish. There is a sense that the Divine furnishes a person with the necessary resources. The Divine Flow of Nurture, called Shefah in Hebrew, streams through creation. We have to access it. The means of this access is Work. King Solomon (Proverbs 12:24 KJV) "The hand of the diligent shall bear rule, but the slothful shall be under tribute." In other words, a hard-working person becomes a ruler while a slacker becomes a slave.

Examples of cutting corners multiply almost daily. This week alone we have news stories of Mega-Food companies punishing member-farmers for appearing at FDA town meetings where disclosure of unsafe food practices is made. Corporate Lawyers and Public Relations firms angle to prevent revelation of the true size of the oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. Shortcuts are reported circumventing safety provisions. The Catholic Church declares its Bishops and Priests are not its employees. Corporations paying minimum wage of $130 monthly, forcing employees to work massive amounts of overtime in China discount employee suicides. US Federal border security enforcement is so lax Arizona takes matters into its own hands and awkwardly ignites national debates. In the UK, the physician who first offered peer-reviewed linkage between autism and popular vaccinations is ousted. And the Duchess of York is caught soliciting bribes in exchange for access to her powerful Prince and Trade Minister ex-husband. We are reminded there are at least four lobbyists for each Member of Congress. All of this was reported in one week.

In the "business" of enlightenment, we find other examples involving money, and often large sums: The self-proclaimed ascended master, now approaching age 60 and with dyed blond hair, has a web site hawking dozens of books, CDs, seminars. Pay to Play was apparently the byword behind The Secret: "Advanced" seminars for a price upwards of $10,000 per participant were reportedly offered. Commoditizing enlightenment is a practice that often feels patently hypocritical. But within a culture of short-cuts "anything goes" and "what the market will bear" is the presumed standards of "fair trade practices" since you have willing buyers and sellers who are not compelled to exchange services and money. The give-away is that MONEY is the actual discussion; it is only filtered through a provision of some spiritual access.

Accountability becomes an endangered species. I once sat on a UN Panel discussing Spiritual Matters in the Western World. When I specifically identified certain Church Councils that had stripped away large portions of the mystical teachings from official doctrine, I was roundly criticized by the Chair. "We cannot point fingers" was the terminology. What I took this to mean is that Politically Correct means nobody is at fault even if G-d is subordinated. Now if you are a Church and you make G-d irrelevant by disgorging the teaching of the Masters, and get away with it, you are profoundly corrupt. If it was not the UN, one would have considered the position laughable. In this instance it was tragic. In protest I withdrew from the Panel. This is the same UN that certain spiritual leaders have tried to endear, as if UN involvement is a form of credential, as if to say, I'm accepted by the UN thus you should accept my Teaching.

You would not recognize a classroom in a public school, and if your kids are in public school they probably don't tell you what's going on. No personal article is secure - articles are routinely stolen. In the cafeteria, food is a commodity of influence much as it is in prisons - the bully gets the pie even if the child's mother packed it in the lunch box. Accountability for misconduct is unheard of. In public schools the norm is an unspoken language of "stressing high standards" while "confounding discussion" of impropriety. "Snitches get Stitches" is a term every kid knows. You keep your mouth shut. A regime of intimidation is involved. It builds upon itself, becomes a part of the norm of every strata of social life.

As for the matter of enlightenment, our fast-paced instant gratification model should be compared to older models. Today, we have weekend retreats where "initiation" is offered and "enlightenment" is conferred. In traditional India, it often took as long as 40 years before a person received initiation from his Guru. Loyalty to the teaching and its dispensation was strongly emphasized. Today, money being contributed takes the place of loyalty. In archaic societies, a retreat was not a weekend matter, or a week away, it lasted a year, or more years. For instance, in the Kashmir State lies a country called Ladakh. Here strong family support for spiritual practices is featured. A man might join a monastery for a few years, while his brother provides for his household. Then the monk-brother would return and relive his other brother and provide for the home. Many brothers thus look after their families, and themselves, spiritually and materially. About 150 years ago, Franz Liszt spent over two years at the Madonna Del Rosario Monastery near Rome, and subsequently entered the clergy in a minor order. He continued to write and practice music, but he kept his priorities. Today if a person joins a monastery or ashram, it is looked upon with a jaundiced eye, because "you are sacrificing your financial security." As if financial security was the goal of salvation.

Mass media has influenced our view of respite. When you asked to think of vacation, you are presented with a scene at a beach involving alcohol, with balmy breezes and palm trees. Or a mountain, with Ski runs, or shows in Las Vegas. Perhaps you are enticed by an all-inclusive resort package, again, with alcohol, and among these you will find many alternatives, but they are generally populated by people who are taking their "two-week vacation" from work. We do not normally envision a quiet chapel, or a hut in the jungle, a book of scripture, and a nearby small and plain cell or hammock for sleeping.

Nature is the model we must follow if we are to understand how to grow and prosper. We must observe the gradual formation of seeds, roots, stalks, branches, leaves, flowers, and back to seeds. Among the witnesses from the world of plants, the great plants are not the ones that come and go in a matter of days. Those are called weeds. The majestic redwoods take hundreds of years to mature, often become very large, and the power they store in their physical forms can be immense. Many stories are told of the medicinal power and healing potency of the bark, leaves, roots, or other parts of an ancient plant.

Similarly a person's career is often formed early in life, not by award of a special vocational credential, but by a combination of factors that include facilities of the soul and its mission, parents chosen by that soul for nurture, and extension of the soul's purpose into education, pursuit and engagement in life over time. A large number of historic personalities maintained a consistent effort from their youth that led them to the career for which they are remembered. This is especially true for spiritual leaders, but is also the case for the spectrum of careers, from scientists, attorneys, artists, musicians, scholars to military leaders, etc. By the time these people attained their mid 20s, typically we see a clear path of career. Almost universally money and compensation is a byproduct of the life's work, not its intention. This is significant.

If a person is looking for money, and asking what career will deliver that money, that's disoriented and vampirist. Career is the externalized love of relatedness. The world was created for people, not people for the world. We did not come to the world to become employees; we came to employ the world. Your work is your stage, your theater, thus Parnosseh includes the people and circumstances needed for you to receive your portion of Divine supply. Cosmically, there is no such thing as a "job." Our orientation and expectations followed are crucial to the process. Those who are primarily concerned with providing a reward to the world will be rewarded in due course. Those who are primarily seeking to be rewarded may receive a quick response, but they are far more like weeds than majestic redwoods.



Oil Rig Fire
Current Astrological Insights


Under what sky does the failure of the BP-contracted Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig, collapse of Greek debt, fall of the Euro, largest point-drop in US market history, volcanic ash air travel interruption, and a host of challenging personal life-experiences take place? What should you do personally if you are experiencing upheaval, emotional strain, high stress levels, romantic upset, or health concerns? What and when are the next likely steps along the path of probable events?

To raise such a question is not a modern pursuit. Among the Hebrew Prophets, Sages and the Kabbalists, it is universally accepted that the actions of the planets in motion have powerful -- and predictable effects. These have been empirically observed for thousands of generations, and observations about planetary influences tend to be consistent, across cultures around the world. Where disagreements exist, they typically relate to how one calculates the positions of the planets, rather than the effects they are likely to have.

Without exception, all of the major authorities recognize and teach that day of the week and hours of each day are specially influenced by different planetary attributes. These attributes are associated to what we might call "spheres of influence" symbolized by the planets. For instance, Moon is associated to matters of comfort & emotion, Mercury to communication, Venus to desire, Mars to initiative or energy, Jupiter to expansion, enthusiasm & generosity, and Saturn, to contraction, commitment, work, responsibility, & maturity. It is no mistake that the day of Shabtai, (Saturn) is Shabbat, (Sabbath) coming from the same three-letter Hebrew root as the name of its ruling planet. And what happens on Saturn-day? There is a contraction, bringing a state of rest, cessation from work, assessment of one's primary responsibility to G-d and a mature self-identification with the sacred.

The acceptance of this doctrine is so universally imbedded it is a societal norm among the Children of Israel. When a wedding is planned, it has been common practice to travel to a sage seeking his blessing for the couple. A groom might travel for many days or even weeks prior to the development of air travel to attain such a blessing from his Rebbe. When he would arrive to see the Rebbe, if the Rebbe approved of the intended union he say “B'Sha'ah Tovah” meaning; It should happen at a GOOD TIME. Upon completion of the sanctification of the marriage in ceremony, when the groom steps upon a glass, symbolizing the breaking of the vessel of the past in creating a new life together, all present acclaim “Mazal-Tov” And what is the meaning of this word Mazal? Planet! The people wish the new couple “Good Planets.”

No monarch or important personage undertook major exploits, whether in forming a treaty, waging war, marrying a child to that of another leader, or determining which person to appoint to important positions in the court without consultation of sages who knew how to read the times. There are many examples, either self-evident or directly reported. Nostradamus' prophetic expertise was primarily founded on this skill, the Treaties created by Ronald Regan employed it, the US Republican Party appeared to select dates for their conventions for their nominations of George W. Bush based on it, and a host of other examples are widely documented. Ptolemy (2nd Century AD) used planetary motions to make accurate forecasts about the potential for success or failure of crops and commodities, and this work has been carried forward to this day, providing the foundation for far more accurate macro-economic forecasts than are provided by those only trained in university economics programs using modern quantitative approaches alone.

Careful attention is given to 3x-yearly approx. three-week periods when Mercury is in retrograde because endeavors beginning under the retrograde often encounter logistical, communications, and electronics or network problems. Networks and software often break down, electrical circuits fail and contracts signed under the retrograde often require revamping. Examples of this include both US Gulf War invasions of Iraq, which were flawed by logistical nightmares. Initial failure of the attempts to burn the oil slick, use chemical dispersants, and employ a containment box to ameliorate oil damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon Well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico are examples of measures complicated or forestalled under Mercury in retrograde. Our sincere hope and prayer that this Gulf oil flow will be capped off before Mercury goes direct on May 11 is a guarded version of optimism.

Today, we have a series or sufficiently rare and significant planetary alignments strongly affecting the geopolitical, financial, and personal or individual forecast. These began with the November 2008 ingress of Pluto into Capricorn, nominally a once-in-240 year event that includes the French and American Revolutions and previously, the Protestant Reformation. Pluto (profound transformation) in Capricorn (large scale societal matters and potentially, geological incidents) often involves overthrow of seemingly implacable tyrannies. Under this Capricorn transit, Pluto could lead to overthrow of Banking cartels and Corporatism after initially strengthening them. A large number of people are experiencing substantial life-changes of epic proportions as Pluto makes squares (90 degree angles) and oppositions (180 degree angles) to natal planetary positions. These people are experiencing career, financial, romantic, and other forms of serious upheaval. People who have planets in early degrees of cardinal signs, or the angles of their horoscopes (Ascendant Descendent, Midheaven, and Nadir) at these degrees are the most likely to need some support to sort out how to handle this time. Given the very slow motion of Pluto, this series of transformations will take several years to complete.

An interesting example of this transformation brought about by the Pluto transit was seen in a female astrological client who confirmed she experienced child abuse after it was mentioned that her birth chart showed this was likely. Under this transit the abuse issues come to the surface and she has to deal with them, free herself from anger, grief, shame, and other attachments. The ability to transcend the impossible is one of the hallmarks of Pluto's impact, but sometimes Pluto takes a person to the gates of their own subconscious Hades underworld to show them the full scope of the transformation they must accomplish. Pluto transits often begin with a person feeling isolated, disempowered, and facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Resolving the issues leading to a person's weakness is the purpose of such a time.

Uranus (change and innovation) and Saturn (holding to the old ways) have been in a pattern involving five oppositions, an even that most recently took place in the tumultuous mid 1960s. The first of this series took place on the exact day of the Obama/McCain election and it was clear that the themes of these planets yielded a polarizing of political situations the world over between reformers and staunch advocates of “staying the course.” The dialogue is not limited to the US, with elections during the opposition in many countries revolving around reform vs. traditionalism. The fourth of the five oppositions took place on April 26, 2010 just days away from the Oil well blowout and UK Elections which left a hung parliament. The fifth opposition takes place on July 26th. This opposition will be the first occasion when Saturn and Uranus opposed in cardinal signs since 1828, when South Carolina declared the right to nullify Federal laws.

People with sensitive points in their horoscope are being strongly affected by Pluto and the five occasions when exact oppositions between Saturn and Uranus occur in the current series. Nov 4, 2008, Feb 5 & September 15, 2009, and April 26 & July 26 2010. As for a specific forecast of political, geographic, weather, and financial market volatility, the near term group of planetary events suggest one should remain flexible because changes are taking place at a rapid pace. We have a few upcoming events that should be watched carefully for potential reversals in trend and volatility. Jupiter approaching Conjunction with Uranus on June 8 is a time when one would expect extra-ordinary volatility. It follows the May 23 Saturn-Jupiter opposition which will likely represent a tug-of-war between influences that cause markets to rise or fall. Those who are looking for indicators of direction in the financial markets should give careful attention to the period between the Saturn Uranus opposition of April 23 and these subsequent occasions.

Those who have sensitive points in their horoscopes to any of these events are likely going to be looking for answers. If you or those in your life are experiencing upheaval, unexpected changes, health issues, emotional or financial disruptions, or challenges with relationships, it is a good time to contact us at yes@reallyfree.org. Ask how to handle these situations for your greater good and well being.



The All-Seeing Eye
The Father


The most-used Hebrew words for G-d and the Spirit of G-d are in Feminine gender. According to Kabbalah, the world is the domain of the Feminine, nurturing quality, and many say that to experience the Father is extremely rare in the earthly realm. This knowledge did not filter down to contemporary American Evangelical Christianity, where we hear a vast array of prayers given to the Father in ways that feel twinged with pride and self-interest. In Protestant forms of Christianity the Mother is all-but-ignored.

According to the broadly- researched and widely-read text translated into over 20 languages, The Chalice and the Blade by Dr. Riane Eisler, the history of Earth is mostly one of a co-operative and feminine-based culture where fertility, nurture, and collaboration are prime. In fact the first commandment of the Torah, when enumerated in order of appearance is "Be fruitful and multiply." The Hebrew Kohen Gadol (High Priest), on his annual Day of Atonement entry to the Holy of Holies beneath the Shekinah (Feminine Presence) pillar of Glory above the Tabernacle said a prayer that is surprising on first hearing. He asked for mothers to bear young, for good crops and rain. Propagation of the Hebrew race is Matrilineal, not Patrilineal, meaning that a person's status as one of the Children of Israel is determined by the Hebrew Status of the Mother. In the Consensus Reality of Mass Mind, the notion of direct access to the Father is a confabulation because it misses the nuance of the Feminine. And to engage in Universal Laws and invoke their powers, one must know the structure of such things.

On this and other very holy occasions, the Priests assemble for the Nesiat Kapayim (Raising of the Hands) before the entrance to the Inner Court of the Temple in Jerusalem (and in today's synagogues.) The Shrouded Priests repeat their prayer covered entirely by prayer shawls. Their hands are extended and covered underneath the broad wings of their shawls. The THUMBS AND FOREFINGERS JOIN TO FORM AN EQULATERAL TRIANGLE and the RING AND PINKIE ARE SEPARATED POINTING OUTWARDS. Hence, they would recite the Priestly Blessing over the people, who also were entirely shrouded in prayer shawls. All bow their heads, and none look upon the Priests during the Blessing. All recite prayers asking for good outcomes of their dreams! The literal translation of the words is:

May the Lord Bless you and Guard You,
May the Lord make his face shine upon you and shower Favor upon you ,
May the Lord lift up his face onto you and give you shalom (Wholeness, peace).


A derivation from Eisler's insightful observation is the perception of two variant cultures and their affects. Archaic culture, based on a Kaballistically-correct understanding of the engagement of the Feminine in near-term human experience was superseded by a Dominator culture. Dominator culture is a construct of patriarchal and controlling appetites. In the context distortion where the gentle Feminine aspect is subordinated, the turbulent wake of this development is unambiguous: Biological, cultural, political and economic devastation as a consequence of lost nurture are fostered.

We have an economy centered on consumption, resource extraction, and planned obsolescence rewarded by short-term profits and stratification of social hierarchy. In short, it is a recipe for disaster, and the footprint of this approach grows in significance. Wall Street has rewarded profits in isolation, meaning investors have ignored the broad context in which profits are attained. Over the passage of time, it will likely become clear to investors that there is no such thing as a valid resource-extraction paradigm as imagined and vehemently defended by Milton Friedman and the Chicago economists. When this happens, a long-necessary sea change in the practice of economics may ensure, where the view of the economist is not limited to two or four quarters forward as practiced today by the herd of Wall Street intellectuals.

The Greek term Oikos is the source of Eco. Its rubric is the Whole World in summation. Nomos, or Nomia are Greek terms for the ability to identify with and relate to something. So when we speak of Economics we are speaking about relating to the whole picture as it really presents itself. Rabbi Shimson Rafael Hirsch identified an interpretive correlation between similar sounding Hebrew words, showing many examples of subtle relationships between their underlying intentions. Nomos and Pneumos are potential examples of this principal applied to Greek. And, Pneumos is the word for Breath, or Wind. And Wind, in the alchemical paradigm, is associated to Thoughts. By extension we could derive that the Thought is the Logos, Word, and then we come to the whole perception of the World as an expression of the Divine Thought. And this brings us to the Father.

According to Babylonian, Egyptian, Buddhist, Christianity Masonic and other ancient Hermetic iconography, a unique manifestation in creation is the All-seeing Eye. It is called the Sun God, Eye of Buddha, Eye of Providence Eye of Jove (Jupiter), the Eye of Apollo, the Eye of Baal, the Trinity and the Nameless One. It appears to be an ancient symbol of the direct experience of the Father with certain mystical examples modern verification in direct experience to support it. In other words, the symbol is a representation of a unique class of direct spiritual experience that has similar visual effects.

In Freemasonry, this symbol is called the Eye of Providence and the Masons referred to the Father as the Architect of the Universe. In the books of Kabala, the term for the Creator is often referred to as haMakom or "The Place." It is rare for this image to be referred to with gender specificity, because the experience of the Father transcends Male and Female. The Eye is often depicted as floating in the sky surrounded with clouds of Glory. Above The Eye on the dollar are found the words Annuit Coeptis, translated literally as "Favors Undertakings." The interpretive translation is that the Eye of Providence gives the supply, or prospers our endeavors. The terms Novus Ordo Seclorum below the Eye literally translate New Order Cycle. The origin of this phrase is Virgil's Ecologue (ecology again?) IV Line 6: "Magnus ab integro seclorum nascitur ordo." This is a poem about Sybil, who prophesies the fate of the Roman Empire. From C. S. Calverley's translation:

Come are those last days that the Sybil sang:
The ages' mighty march begins anew.
Now come the virgin, Saturn reigns again:
Now from high heaven descends a wondrous race.
Thou on the newborn babe -
who first shall end That age of iron, bid a golden dawn. . .

Thou, trampling out what prints our crimes have left,
Shalt free the nations from perpetual fear.
While he to bliss shall waken; with the Blest
See the Brave mingling, and be seen of them,
Ruling that world o'er which his father's arm shed peace.

A close examination of The Eye as shown on the US Dollar Bill reveals a curious and potentially prophetic attribute about this particular depiction of The Eye: A slight hint of the Sclera (white of the eye) is seen below the iris. Any positioning of the pupil in the eye, with Sclera showing either above or below the pupil is called Sankapu in Japanese by George Oshawa, one of the founders of the Macrobiotic philosophy. White showing from BELOW the Iris is a Yin condition, and according to Asian medicine, represents danger coming from outside a person. This Yin condition occurs in a person who has too much intake of Sugars, Alcohol, Refined Grains, and Pharmaceutical Drugs. These habits sound like the American culture and diet in a nut shell. Oshawa noted that Kennedy and Lincoln, as well as Indira Gandhi, were shown to have Yin Sanpaku before their death. All were assassinated.

The mystical experience of the Father is the Vision of the All-Seeing Eye. This experience is almost never documented, except graphically, but it is clear from the wide array of sources we have shared above that the experience is something from beyond the earthly life, something has been known to spiritual masters since pre-written history. Like most spiritual experiences that are reduced to symbols in modern times, we can understand the workings of the unique presence of The One as expressed through the symbol and attending phenomena.

There are a few points the ancient ones share about this extraordinary and rare spiritual experience when the Father manifests as the All-Seeing Eye. From a distance, The Eye seems to be a point of indescribable light moving in a cloud of Presence. Some report heavenly beings surrounding The Eye. One observation is that the Divine presence of compassion is so strong when the Father manifests up close and personal that a person is nearly or completely speechless, though a person might shed tears of joy and feel reconciliation like a child welcomed home after a lonely separation. The reason for these tears is the enormous unconditional acceptance of one's existence, and an overwhelming kindness that flows from The Eye. The person is literally showered, and absolved with Divine Favor and recognition that one is inseparable from the Father, belongs to the Father entirely, as a part of the Selfsame Being without constraint or limitation. The experience leaves a person entirely and unconditionally in a state of peace, a sense of wholeness, and uninterrupted tranquility. It is neither an inner experience or an outer experience, it transcends all creation and is an experience of unity in the entirety.

Tales of this mystical rapture report that one cannot look upon The Father with BOTH eyes. Because of the brightness emanating from The Eye the visionary becomes entirely and completely illuminated with the brightest imaginable and ineffable spiritual Light, greater than any spiritual experience, even of heavenly realms. However, it has been observed that one might be able to look upon The Father with ONE eye, reminding us of the powerful statement in Luke 11:34 oft-quoted by Paramahansa Yogananda and other Masters of India: "When thyne eye is single thy whole body shall is also full of Light." It is further observed that when a person attempts to look upon The Eye with BOTH eyes, the Presence is too bright to look upon and a person can only LOWER THE HEAD with profound gratitude and surrender. Scriptures and prayers are replete with the references to "bow (the) head in prayer" but no reference is made to the specific and undenyable cause of this bowing that really leaves no other option. We also hear of people falling to their knees or prostrating themselves in this degree of Presence. It is entirely common for a person who was standing at the onset of this vision to involuntarily but graciously fall to the the knees or to the ground.

Once a person experiences this direct blessing of The Father, the words of Psalm 16:8 "I have set the Lord always before me" become clearer and more laden with meaning. Such an exalted Vision never entirely subsides. It is worthy of a lifetime of meditation and invocation. Invoking and retaining the Practice of The Presence, the vision continues to guide a person upon the paths of life, helping one intelligently discern choices and retain the sense of the living Truth. Even a brief glimmer of this Vision is life affirming. One cannot but benefit from meditation on the All-Seeing Eye.



Daisy Chain
Attachments
Just like the Earth's close orbital zone exhibits “space junk,” thoughts expressed as words create relatively permanent objective forms on the spiritual planes. The more emotion given into words, the more they possess a life of their own. Once spoken, all words attach to similar words, potentially creating massive systemic entities founded on intentions. Positive words create harmonious life. Negative words create chaos.

For illustration, imagine every spoken word created a piece of furniture. If you could see them all, the world would appear stacked from the ground to the sky with chairs, tables, lamps, sofas, and decorations. As you walk around you would be constantly bumping into them. Some would feel good and comfort you, others would bruise you. In reality, we walk in a sea of thoughts the world over called Mass Mind. Since Mass Mind is composed of individual thoughts, it is possible for these thoughts to enter our minds and become attached to us. Manipulation of Mass Mind is the objective of advertisers and public relations firms using media. It is a dark objective of propagandizers who seek control over populations.

Another way of looking at this is that as we pass through life, our words not only create objects, these objects have mass. They have mass because we have expended our life-forces via our words. When a word comes out, just as when beings come out, attachment to words with similar purposes begins. Words produce gravitational, cohesive and adhesive forces involved on spiritual levels. All being attracts similar beings. Just as G-d creates beings by the Word we create Beings by our Word. This is what the Bal Shem Tov meant when he said “Every word issued from your mouth creates an angel.” He warned that we should be careful to create good ones.

We are told that Angels do not possess a will of their own; they are endowed by their Creator with a purpose. They function as messengers. Many have observed that once an angel endowed with a message reaches its destination, it discharges that message. They resonate with their target's energy pattern until they produce their impact, releasing their energy and adding to the energy of their target.

Words and the attachments they create, like “a cat let out of the bag” cannot be put back into the bag. If they are inappropriate, with great expense of energy, they can be restated, clarified, or apologized for, but they cannot be withdrawn. Consequently, as words create growing attachments, the intentions behind them continue to grow unless the person who created them deliberately changes them. This is the reason why so many fairy tales refer to a “spell” that cannot be broken except by the person who cast it. One should always remember that words must be properly SPELLED. In most of these fairy tales where a spell must be broken, a great feat or test of character must be successfully undertaken in order to overturn the power of the spell. So it is with the attachments that issue from our words.

Where we create expectations, spiritual beings including beings created by the words of others congregate around these expectations until they reach sufficient mass to create a manifestation on some level. Hopefully we have created positive expectations, which invite positive beings and yield positive results. However, there are many here who unwittingly or even intentionally contribute to creating negation in a variety of ways. Some are parrots of negation. Others are sources of it. No matter how it begins, when this happens we invite negative beings, ranging from like-minded people to spiritual beings that are disoriented and engaged in negative activities. Because negative thoughts are a part of the Mass Mind, which were placed there for destructive purposes, we are all potentially subject to the influence of these and can become attached to them. We have to remain discerning and on guard at all times. To be effective in the act of self-guardianship, we dispense our word with great caution, knowing that it will ultimately lead to attachments.

Should you find yourself persistently cycling negative self-language, experiencing some types of pain, or engaging in self-destructive behaviors, a negative mass attaching itself to your pattern may have contributed to this. This can be released and you can be restored and freed to pursue your proper expression. Some find that short of releasing this attachment at the core level, the habitual negative behavior cannot be brought to a close. This is why spiritual teachers pay very keen attention to peoples' attachments and work out remedies for negative ones. This is why detachment has been taught in virtually every spiritual school since the beginning of recorded history.



Shivti
The Golden Chain
There are some among us who are known as the “Links of the Golden Chain,” or “Keepers of the Keys.” Over the illustrious span of history, souls of the righteous are known to reincarnate. They continue the work in which they have established traditional pathways of spiritual traditions. These are capable of receiving what the Kabbalists call Chochmas Nistar, or the Wisdom of Secrets. There are two means by which a person can merit the knowledge of the Wisdom of Secrets: the more common is to receive the Wisdom of Secrets from his Rebbe or Teacher. A higher merit is found in the rarer cases where the person arrives with the teachings and spiritual faculties embodied in the soul. Even these often need a teacher to recapture their faculties. The key to understanding “spiritual transmission” as described by the Chasidim, Yogis, Lamas, Bishops, and the Sufis among many others is to understand that the offering of spiritual knowledge is a recursive cycling of Divine offerings that have been refined in many lifetimes of dedicated engagement with the dissemination of Divine revelation and truth.

This generation offers some who become enlivened and enlightened, who bear the capability to pass spiritual knowledge directly to other individuals. Here, we are witnessing examples of reincarnated Teachers from past generations. There are some among us who are living links in the Golden Chain of Divine Revelation. These exemplary beings have dedicated their souls, much after the fashion of what is called Bodhisattva in the Buddhist tradition. No matter whether these people function in business or education, trades, clergy, homemaking, government, or any role in the spectrum of careers, these peoples' lives are characterized by a tincture of Divine service which is inalienable from their continuous life expression.

Spiritual authenticity differs substantially from the charlatans who constantly speak of pseudo-spiritual matters for the purpose of manipulating people, who pretend to emulate the work of the righteous while profiting handsomely, justifying service to the passions rather than the higher purpose of Divine revelation. Of such are the proponents of the “New Age” who in all but words, disavow the traditions created by the Golden Chain and which has never once produced a single living saint. In essence, the New Age promotes manipulating the universal laws for personal gain, turning outside oneself in the quest for success rather than turning within for the truth. In short it is a diabolical enterprise, even leading to cases of demonic possession and all manner of tragedy.

In the history of the Kabbalah, with its crystalline understanding of the nuances of such details as the spelling of a great Master's name, we find a cogent discussion of the Golden Chain of reincarnation that produces great leaders who become the light of their generation. This is a unique example because many links in the Golden Chain do not continuously incarnate in the same traditions. It is held as very significant that great Masters of the Kabbalah received given names containing the same initials as the great master of another generation. One case of this type is the acronym RIBSh, which permutates to the following first initials, those of The “RaShBI.” Rabbi Shimeon Bar Iochai, the inestimable student by spiritual revelation of Elijah the Prophet. Nearly two thousand year ago, he authored the seminal Kabalistic commentary on the Five Books of Moses Sefer Zohar shel Torah, “Brightness of the Torah.” He was reincarnate as the “Holy Ari (Lion)” Rabbi Isaac Ben Shlomo of Luria, a man capable of cleansing a person from lifetimes of error due to the power of his Divine communion. They both lived a lifetime within walking distance of one another. The Ari was reincarnated as Rabbi Israel Bal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidism, who ranks among the greatest of history's miracle workers. According to the famed Rebbe Isaac of Berdichev, the Bal Shem Tov was reincarnated as Rabbi Israel Ben Shlomo Shachna; the famed Ruziner Rebbe. He, like the Bal Shem Tov was able to raise the dead. The Kabbalists call this kind of facility Coakhos ha Nefesh, or “Powers of the Soul” who attribute this capacity to what they term Gilgulei Neshamos, or the Cycling (reincarnation) of Souls.

We should find it worthwhile to identify and recognize the mark of a true spiritual Teacher, and distinguish between such a presence and that of a charlatan in this time of tremendous deception. The reason why we are vulnerable to so much spiritual deception is that Western cultural history involves a supreme example of throwing the baby out with the bathwater: Increasingly materialistic scholars turned away from metaphysical knowledge in their well-intentioned search for valid science. There is nothing wrong with the search of true evidence-and-data-based science, but the inability to reconcile the evidence-based orientation with the quest for inward knowledge is a failure of consciousness. The Latin for inward knowledge is “Scientia.” This omission cast a dark and materialistic shadow on future generations who lost their spiritual roots. Among the distinguishing marks, a true Teacher endeavors to diligently learn from AND show tremendous respect for the traditions and pathways that have been established in times past. There is a simple reason for this: Such Teachers personally played a historic role among teams of souls dedicated to Divine service. They personally established and refined pathways for Divine experience as building-blocks among the world's spiritual practices. In their times, these pathways offered followers the capacity to receive Divine revelation directly from the spiritual worlds. And revelation, only when coupled with respect for past spiritual efforts obviously stands as proof of the legitimacy of a spiritual practice. This is because “G-d does not contradict the Prophets.” One might mention here, that the term Religion comes from the Latin root religiere, meeting to re-bind, from the same root that yields the term ligature. Clearly, the binding is to Spiritual Revelation and this does not contradict its well-established history.

In this epoch of world integration where information is broadly shared among cultures and communities throughout the global village, many of the precious jewels embedded in the world's spiritual traditions have resurfaced. There is a specific reason for this resurgence. During this era, a tremendous number of exalted souls who played roles in establishing spiritual offerings known throughout the world have reincarnated. And, those who have completed the earthly cycle are very busy supporting and “magnetically attracting” the awakening of consciousness in those remaining. Thus, they reactivate the Coakhos ha Nefesh (Soul Powers). Most of these influences are invisible, along the lines of the mystical aphorism “There is more to the Unseen than to the Seen.” These older souls, whether public or private, engage in the nurture and reaffirmation of the legitimate spiritual practices and knowledge they initially purchased through hard work, often at a great personal cost. During many lifetimes dedicated to the breaking of spiritual ground, we should recognize many the world over were imprisoned, shunned, or put to death, both male and female. This is one evident factor in the Holocaust of the six million Jews, where four out of five in Eastern Europe, notably the Bal Shem Tov's followers, were annihilated. This loss of enlightened souls precipitated a loss that might be compared to a wide-spread technology devastation. The lost ability to communicate with the Divine as instructed by the Bal Shem Tov paved the way for the dark age of materialism that engulfed the second half of the 20th century and remains a curse upon humanity. However, these souls remain active and many are present among us, painstakingly working to reinstate the links of the Golden Chain. The point is, offering access to direct Divine revelation is challenging - and ofttimes dangerous. It offends the crystallized mentality of decay embodied by the unenlightened character of the earthly enterprise that withholds spiritual revelation and Divine presence.

Again, we need to cite the reality of our situation in the context of history and the future. From the spiritual domain, this time is viewed as a time of choices; This will not be an overnight or one-time choice like the climax of a Hollywood script or the erroneous and wisely-refuted apocalyptic interpretations of the 2012 “end” of the Calendar of the Mayas. Such instant gratification expectations are unrealistic byproducts of the failed mentality of materialistic philosophy when ineptly and ignorantly applied to spiritual matters. The work that is being done by the enlightened ones will not affect everyone immediately, but this is nonetheless a time of tremendous and accelerated opportunity for awakening. Our present era will be regarded as one in which people and nations will offered the opportunity to make key choices -- choices that will have substantial repercussions in every respect. This is not a time during which most souls will be cycling off in Rapture, another materialistic distortion. Rather, it is a midpoint in the current group of souls' growth-process. Hence, this era has the character of a pinion gear in a machine - propulsion and energy cascades to many levels within its orbital sphere. More than several thousand years of effort and development lie before the work of the present group of earthly souls reaches its conclusion.. The hoped-for horizon of a peaceful world with a balance of resources and creativity combined with healthy competition and the expression of a Divinely inspired human enterprise remains a long way off. However, this is of no consequence, because as every great Master has said: “Now is the time to do the work of the Divine without hesitation. The reward will be reaped by those who follow.”





Buddha Mind
The Buddha's Paradise


The Buddha is not found among these people making claims of special events on the calendar destined to change the human being on a wholesale basis. The Buddha does not come with promises of imminent Nirvana and claims that challenges on the horizon and human suffering are easily circumvented. The Buddha does not come with claims of non-events such as the fraudulent but highly profitable Harmonic Convergence or its perennial list of imagined offspring "just around the corner" on the calendar. The notion that time alone is somehow pregnant with an evolutionary force towards enlightenment in a special way that subordinates the responsibility of the individual would be viewed as absurd. In fact, the Buddha taught that the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth (Samsara) involved all sorts of illusions unique to the problem of time itself.

The more people who believe something is true, the less likely that so-called truth is one of the great teachings of the ancient ones such as the Buddha. When the famous mystical writer Manly Palmer Hall compiled his famous monograph of mystical stories known as “Ways Of The Lonely Ones,” his title referred to the instinct that those who possess true and exalted knowledge are ever-rare in society.

Today we find ourselves in the midst of vocal “spiritual” people whose ideas differ substantially from the great Teachers in respect to the conclusions they reach and teach. One cannot but conclude such people must have been robbed or knocked unconscious, having not taken sufficient time to for study, training, or spiritual discovery. This is a old dilemma and those who partake of it are engaged in an old routine called ignorance or arrogance. The routine looks a little bit like this: Folks with all sorts of pseudo-prophetic information emerge at the cusp of every world event of significance, especially around the turning of centuries or millennia. They bring us all manner of forecasts and discussions that may include hope for a positive world and a wonderful outcome. But, unfortunately, they deceive themselves and others because they did not call upon people to patiently make the important choices, but rather encourage people to simply ride along and experience the wondrous and instantaneous “evolutionary” transformation that is “coming any moment from the sky.” One would think that 21st-century people would be smart enough to see the silliness in that sort of outlook. But the lack of historical perspective leaves many vulnerable to exactly this superficiality. Without a doubt the “coming” so-called 2012 non-event is no exception, because people with limited historical perspective and exposure to critical thinking are unable to see the inconsistencies in notions presented. Those promoting the idea of a world-transforming event are grasping for all sorts of straws. The entire notion of this is completely inconsistent with the Buddha's Teaching. While passionate, it is a relatively poor effort to try and correlate truths and half-truths that themselves fall from an amalgam of meaningless and groundless convolutions that has been roundly criticized by the Maya themselves.

The Buddha emphasized that the passage of time does not necessarily have anything at all to do with the alleviation of suffering. The Buddha said that Mindfulness alone is the key to the mediation and amelioration of the challenges faced by man. Consistently, and without exception, the Buddha explained that Mindfulness is not something that comes from outside of a person, but from within. Buddha decried the notion that an external factor such as a day on the calendar or event announced by a central authority someplace could have any significant lasting impact on the Mindfulness of an individual unless the person was striving upon life's path.

While the Buddha indicated that one could reach Mindfulness rapidly, more often he said that mindfulness comes from effort through passage of time and patience. The Buddha demonstrated compassion for all of us because we DO require significant time and effort to attain the deeper levels of awareness possible in an awakened soul. Likewise, it is part of the Buddha Nature to recognize that there is a reward for effort, and that instant gratification and its ilk are not consistent with the general path of nature or the spiritual world. The Buddha's Paradise comes slowly, it does not arrive from snapping one's fingers on a single weekend retreat or upon a special date on a calendar like an order of Fast-Food. It comes from commitment. And commitment involves a distinct difference from person to person, obviating the notion that a calendar has anything at all to do with Paradise on Earth.


F
Finger of God
Divine Providence vs. Coincidence


Scientists and mathematicians argue with Mystics about the origin of events on earth. Spiritually-based observers notice "random" circumstances falling into distinguishable patterns while skeptics argue no particular order is in play. Many people seem unable to identify patterns of guidance that sift through daily life. However, it remains possible for a person to become highly attuned to guidance. This is an art. Such a person enters into a life of powerful and transformative dialogue. This dialogue is known among the Hebrew sages Hashgocho Protis - or Divine Supervision.

The mystics, after Isaiah 45:15 say the Divine Presence is not powerful because it is so large, but because it is capable of hiding itself in the midst of everything. In fact, the mystical Kabbalah says the action of gentle withdrawal from creation is what causes the creation come into existence in the first place. This retreat is essentially a reduction in size, if we imagine it in human terms. And, when we closely examine the creation and organism, we notice construction and forms with amazing and mathematical consistency. The distinction between organism and mechanism is that organism displays a myriad range of variants, while a mechanism is limited and lacks variants.

A person who seeks to learn from guidance first should look for evidence of guidance in the smallest places and circumstances. It is a mistake to look for big miracles and earthshaking revelations early in the process of discovering Divine Providence. Rather, pay attention to a slight breeze, a change in the light of the afternoon, the differences in the song of a bird; These all evidence the infinite variants that occur in course of life. To the shaman and the seer, these are texts to be read and comprehended. In the small variants we are ultimately offered a symphony of evidence demonstrating the Divine Supervision at work.

Each one of us is capable of citing examples that, from a probability standpoint, were astronomically unlikely to occur. But, they occurred anyway, and their occurrence taught us something. Our lives can be entirely changed simply by paying attention to subtle hints that come to us from every direction, and from within our hearts. Many great minds have written extensively on the subject of Divine Providence versus coincidence.

During the prayer over bread which takes place at each Holy Sabbath meal, the loaves ideally remain concealed by an embroidered cover. Like the Holy of Holies from which the sustenance of all Life proceeds, both in the interior realms within the human being, and center of society itself in the form of the Holy Temple, the use of a cover that lies over the source of power is involved. For a person to directly see or enter the source power requires a form of transcendence such as the act of divesting oneself, perhaps many times, just as High Priest was commanded to do on the holy day of Yom Kippur. The inference is obvious: a person potentially has to shed layers of preconceptions about what life is in order to discover its underlying reality.


inger o

Angelic Calling
Convocation


Increasingly, a sense of urgency pervades the atmosphere when spiritually oriented people meet. This sense of urgency addresses the unfinished business of the human race. Granted, many people feel a sense of pressure because of economic circumstances, and this pressure does lead to valuable reflection. However, such reflection is often a form of looking for answers from the material world. Materialism does not address the spiritual, so a person who looks for material answers during a time of material decline is no better off than a person who does not look for such answers.

Among the Wise, there is a strong sense that many of the sacred teachings and sacred points of knowledge are at risk at this time. This is partly because the great traditions which have delivered mystical awareness to the world in times past are now effectively arcane. "New Thought" and comparable movements deliver a kind of approach that is much like pop psychology was in the 1960s and 70s. It was fascinating at the time, everyone enjoyed trying it out, and it made very few people healthier. “New Thought” never has produced a Living Saint. This reality has not escaped the eyes of the Wise. On the other hand , the dedicated activities that are common practice to Temples, Monasteries, Ashrams, etc. are not being absorbed by the modern culture. And while the presence of this awareness is intrinsically regenerative, the modern cultural risks loss of a great resource by inattention. This is a resource that has taken thousands of years and many lives to invest in Earth.

We make this point because while the grounding experience of spiritual revelation on earth is not subject to removal by the folly of man, there have been losses in the direct transmission of tools for revelation over Earth's history. And when this happens, it is necessary to reconstitute these pathways for knowledge in the mind of man. In circumstances where there is great crisis or upheaval, a break in continuity sometimes means the avoidable loss of life and spiritual opportunity for people. This is why we find the Wise becoming more and more urgent in their appeal to folks who are at the threshold of engagement in spiritual practice. The invitation is “Come across and enter the room.”

Late in July and the subsequent months of 2010, a series of planetary configurations of considerable rarity and challenge appear in the sky. Astronomers and astrologers who recognizes the infrequency of major planetary configurations such as these are scanning the history books to see what kinds of things took place under comparable influences. The last event of this nature took place in 1931. We know that the world was in a serious economic depression, and that the fundamentals of life at the basic levels were at stake.

This is one of the reasons why we have been called to work together. We did not come just to enjoy the higher buzz that comes from spiritual practices and personal purification, although they are certainly benefits of our work. We came together because we are asked to do so by the spiritual community of beings who are beyond the physical world. This group of spiritual beings has a better understanding of history. They have watched the cycles of the human experience. They are calling to us and asking us to take greater responsibility for our own spiritual development. From their standpoint, there are gifts we need that they are capable of giving us. And, in order for them to give us their gifts, we have to get together and invoke. This kind of invocation is called a Convocation. Not the Academic awarding of Degrees, but the Spiritual Expression of intention solely for the purpose of creating measurable positive outcomes. Metrics vary when one considers what should be accomplished but they are within the range of creating alighment and balance from within the matrices of the soul and physical worlds.



Raw Foods
Food, DNA & Spiritual Development


The secret to our spiritual development is found in what we desire. The evidence of our desire is on the plate of food we eat. While it is true that we are able to receive benefit from the exercise of our will, and the experience of the results of our actions, the food we eat and the DNA within it has the most immediate impact on our development. This is why most spiritual schools have provided specific dietary regimens which must be followed by adherents to the Teaching. In fact, for many spiritual schools, the matter of diet is so primary that the entire topic rises to the level of Law rather than being limited to simple guidance or suggestion.

Hugh Lovell, the internationally famous biodynamic farmer is fond of saying: “If you put good things into your gut, good things in your life will follow.” Then, he would pick a leaf of biodynamic spinach which was full of texture and aroma, and say: “This is the sort of food that'll make your life powerful.” As we approach the spring equinox, the evidence that all life is renewed with an opportunity to “turn over a new leaf” becomes a symphonic physical demonstration from nature. Further, plants that flourish at this time of year are broadleaf dark green vegetables full of chlorophyll and vibrancy that cause the body to reach a more alkaline state. And, it is this alkaline state which is known to eliminate the cellular conditions that support development of cancer and other forms of disease. Hence, raw plant material offers at least a hint of life eternal.

Plants have some substantial information to share with us, of not only through being a part of us through consumption, they have watched us grow. They can share knowledge just like grandparents can tell us stories of great value about our childhood when we become old enough to hear them. In the plant kingdom we find some of the creation's most efficient biological and intelligent life expressions. No person experienced with pharmacology and the healing properties of plants would claim plants are not bearers of intelligence. But, the plant is very simple. In its simplest form, leaves are comprised of cells composed primarily of water, and DNA. And, DNA in any form is of principal interest to the mystic. Symbolically, the Snake or the Vine is the primary ancient symbol of DNA. And, what Biophysics teaches us about DNA is that it generates photons. Biophysically, the DNA helix itself is said to dance wildly within the cell, springing and emitting photons, and possibly, according to some researchers, even music. While the luminosity of this photon stream is extremely faint, equaling approximately 1 candlepower at 1 km distance, it exists nonetheless; with many leaves we have the potential for much photon bombardment, and thus, much information transfer. Those photons persistently carry intelligent information into creation, and the awareness is then shared within the matrix of creation. From a spiritual perspective this allows creation to resonate specifics of intentionality into the physical milieu. Or, in simple words, the plants serve as an agency for the transmission of Divine communication into the here and now.

The most direct means of transfer between the realm of underlying spiritual intention available to the creation and to the creation itself is through direct cellular transfer, otherwise known as “eating.” When we put a morsel of raw, uncooked and unadulterated natural food into our mouth, we take the living message being broadcast into creation directly into our body. Amazingly, this information first makes contact with our tongue, is swallowed, and passing our heart enters our stomach above our core. The intelligence helps us deal with our circumstances in THIS TIME AND PLACE. This is a fact in all vertebrates, which comprise the highest expression of biological development and thus symbolize the highest levels of potential spiritual function on earth.

The ideal Passover Diet, which has tremendous Kabalistic power, is entirely void of aged food components and made up of fresh nourishment. Naturally, the Passover observance only last for one week, but it represents a significant and clean break from the customs of the past. In this activity of eating a different diet, we become far more likely to receive present-term revelation, inspiration, guidance, and strength. These together comprise the foundation for a better life. There is one exceptional aged food in the Passover Diet, namely Wine. However wine is uniquely associated to Royalty and to blood and the Bloodline itself. It is appropriate for me to be connected to our bloodline if I'm seeking consciousness, because our bloodline carries our DNA. However, we cannot drink spirits such as whiskey or other aged drinks during the Passover because they take away from the strength of our bloodline. This should be a message to those on the spiritual path who consume alcohol with frequency. A little bit of wine is fine, but distillery alcohol in the form of spirits is often very destructive and is frequently shunned by those on the spiritual path.

Why now, why Spring? The guidance provided with the application of appropriate diet for the spring season is useful and exemplary all year long. If we begin now in the spring, and discover what works best for us, we are far more likely to have better experiences with the diet and receipt of spiritual revelation throughout the remainder of the year.



Parochet
Passion in Meditation


The calm portrayal of meditation in contemporary imagery simply does not capture the passion involved in our approach. Simply assuming a posture, letting go and relaxing, closing one's eyes, and minding one's breath over a mantra is beneficial and often proves to have medical benefits. Nevertheless, in terms of the classes of spiritual experience, relaxation alone is not meditation by definition.

Meditation is the conscious subordination of the entirety of the mental and physical being to higher forces and living awareness that stems from the Self. This means, if you cannot leave the inertial condition of body awareness you are not in meditation. It is as different from the daily mental life as the state Sabbath is from the Six Days of Creation. Just as the Tribes of Israel encamped around the Mishkan (Tabernacle of the Presence) in a very deliberate array, the meditator engages in a very deliberate form of communion with the Divine.

To make the shift between the normal mental state and meditation, one must powerfully overcome the inertial mentality, with all its self-talk, perceptions, habitual thoughts, physical sensations, appetites, and other accoutrements of physical life. In the form of our teaching, there is no such thing as meditation while walking, or taking physical action, because meditation involves an entirely non-physical awareness of being. The key to meditation is the act of Concentration. The stronger one's concentration is, the greater the ability to meditate because you become more able to focus on single un-alloyed point of Divine Presence within, which is the Self. Masters over history and across the world's traditions have often taught concentration exercises concurrently with basic steps for meditation.

Concentration seems challenging, but is not difficult to learn. It's simply a matter of harnessing our desire. This is why the condensation of one's passion is so critical to successful meditation. No person truly in love has any difficulty whatsoever concentrating on the beloved. No hungry person is unable to concentrate on the plate of hot food within reach.

To concentrate prior to meditation, one has to invoke “being real.” And there is nothing more real than anticipating all of the good, and all of the love, power, awareness, support for uniqueness, embracing of community, and general benevolence that we will ultimately and eternally contribute to creation. Conversely, anticipating all of the same, returning in even greater measure back to us is also a significant part of concentration. Harvesting even a small portion of this awareness within the locus of a few minutes stirs great passion almost instantly, with the byproduct of breaking down the inertia of our mentality. And this breakdown allows us to refocus on the inner life and begin the communion of mediation.

The following oft misunderstood quote articulates this process and its rewards: “Whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” (Matt: 21:44, KJV) In other words, it is much better for a person to seek out rather than be confronted with the destruction of one's inertial condition. Why? The inertial framework for reality is rarely valid and it is rarely sufficiently inclusive to be a bearer of Divine Revelation. And the absence of Divine Revelation is the absence of Life. So would you rather gather your passion and break up your inertia, or would you prefer a crisis arrive that leaves you completely undone? We choose the first of the two paths.



Parochet
Meditation Basics


Meditation cumulatively causes your awareness to become rooted in the reality of your soul's eternal intelligence. it is the act of entering the Holy of Holies.There is no substitute for the cumulative effects of meditation. The meditation method we teach is the most direct path to Self-realization we have found. When the Soul's eternal intelligence is tapped, a person is able to live their lifetime with the full intention the Soul brings to incarnation. Harvesting the Soul intention has impact on the choices made in conscious awareness and leads to fulfillment on profound levels, making the lifetime far more resonant with its multi-dimensional possibilities. This is why the wise meditate.

Many people are unable to reach deep meditation because they have not learned to court the experience of inward communion through adequate preparation. Taking a honeymoon is not the first step in a relationship, and likewise, going into meditation requires many levels of preparation. The deepest meditations are possible after the preparations of prayerful chanting, breath-work, and when the stomach is not full of food. For this reason it is best to practice meditation before meals, and following some devotional activities which quiet and focus the mind and heart. Once these pieces are in place, the following is our method for meditation:

Meditation is the spiritual practice associated to the element EARTH. This means the posture you keep will be maintained without variance or even the slightest attention to your body. Begin by choosing a comfortable position in a non-distracting environment where you will not need to move for any reason. The full focus of intention and feeling is then drawn to the center of the body and the center of the spirit through the gateway of the Solar Plexus, or "Place of the Sun."

Focus in meditation follows Breath and a repeated phrase or Mantra. The ideal meditation breath is silken, gentle, soft, round, consistent, and determinately steady. This breath is like the certain rotating movement of a great round mill-stone driven by water wheel. It involves two forces, expanding Ying and contracting Yang, where the Yang Intention of Inhalation and the Ying Renunciation of Exhalation are brought entirely in balance. As the mill-stone gently turns, upon inhalation, the spiral of awareness deliberately augers down and down into the core of being, in deliberate pursuit of communion. At the turning point of the breath, finding Communion, the exhalation involves letting go and experiencing, and allowing the fountain of energy to release and resolve.

The inhalation should be like silken thread, drawing into the Center like pulling on a rope which draws you to the point of attachment. With coherent focus like a LASER, draw the breath simultaneously up through the root and down through the crown, with all intention, prayer and desire. The nexus of the meeting-point of the breath is the center of the body and spirit, deep in the middle of the body. The exhalation is a total release, allowing surrender and resolve with complete fulfillment and relaxation. The exhalation's complete relaxation is cumulatively deeper with each breath, just as the inhalation pulls more deeply with each breath.


The Mantra should have two parts, one that resonates with the inhalation and the other that resonates with exhalation. A Sanskrit example is “So Hum;” an English example is “The Lord is My Shepherd, I am thus Whole.”

Your closed eyes should be focused on this place, gazing softly and gently down the nose towards and through the solar plexus into the Place of the Center. Though the eye-lids remain closed, the eyes engage in piercing and deep pursuit of the inward horizon. Deep within this inner horizon, a Center will be felt, and later, seen. The eyes should look straight into this Center, where Light becomes visible. The senses feel a strong presence of being in the Center, the Only Being, the One. Should the eyes gaze encounter a vision, it should be duly noted, but the eyes and feelings should continue to pierce on the inhalations, and retain the focus on the Center, where the God-Self is. The Center, when pierced, becomes a Ring as you reach deeper into the next level of Center. The Ring, upon the exhalation, becomes the garment of Light that fills the body and restores your entire energetic and physical architecture.

The cyclical breath practice may fall away in the midst of the energetic flow. In deep meditation, breathing becomes subordinate to the energetic flow of focus and letting go. You should abide within this experience as long as you can tolerate it, and then some. The increasing of your tolerance of the Divine Communion is the fruit of meditation and this is why people who meditate are deeper, healthier, and more at peace.



Parochet
The Veil


If we are not busy fooling ourselves, we realize that spiritual experiences don't necessarily manifest for us “on demand.” Why do we have to go through a process of self development in order to become “spiritual?” And, why is it that once a person experiences a spiritual breakthrough, it is as though the entire world looks and manifests differently than ever before?

As soon as we try to open ourselves to the Divine, our awareness turns to the matter of availability. We realize that our mental or emotional state has obscured the Divine from us. What is the explanation for this?

Throughout the Creation a type of membrane in the form of a transitional energetic field exists known as The Veil. In the Holy architecture of the Hebrews' Tabernacle, the Holy of Holies was separated from the outside world by a Veil or curtain called the Parochet. The Parochet serves as the separation between that which was entirely Holy and “everything else.” Crucial components of the process of life itself are made possible in Creation by the presence of The Veil. The veil lies between dimensions of the Resonant Being and the Reflective Creation. The Veil, like a filter, is capable of allowing or blocking the flow of Life from either direction. The presence and function of The Veil is the reason why one person has spiritual experiences while another person can only imagine them. The Veil is also the reason why a person has free will, and is able to develop the relationship with the Divine according to his or her own appetite. However, where an individual is on the fragmented side of creation outside the veil, perception is inaccurate and the attainment of truth is effectively impossible.

The Law of Separation explains the distinction between that which is Holy and “everything else.” Here is how the Law of Separation works: In order to create Life the Divine being exhibits a form of contraction known in Kabbalah as tzim-tzum. Tzim-tzum happens when the Divine Creator withdraws slightly from the Creation, creating a void which stands between the Creation and the presence of the Divine Being itself. It is not that the Divine being seeks to separate from the creation, but the Divine Being contracts causing the creation to rush towards the Divine Being and elevate itself in a spiral of enhanced relatedness. This is what causes growth to take place in creation and it is a cyclical activity which from the standpoint of time is eternal. The space left between the Divine Being and creation upon tzim-tzum is The Veil.

As a result of the lessons and individual experiences during a lifetime, the person gains perception of the effects of actions and chooses to take actions which lead to better effects. Over time, the person becomes more and more consistent with the Divine purpose for which they are created, and this allows a greater volume of awareness and life to pass through The Veil. As a person grows and becomes more and more congruent with the inner guidance that has been received, the realm of The Veil or its filtering characteristic becomes thinner and thinner. Eventually it disappears altogether.


Sleeping Buddha
Spiritual Work While Asleep


Night is key to the growth of the soul. Going to sleep with a clear purpose for the night and the coming day is the beginning of night-time spiritual work and common practice among the wise. You will find that coherent momentum in spiritual life can be substantially enhanced at night. Here are steps you can take.

Before going to sleep, review the previous day in reverse sequence, and notice any experiences that stand out on the memory horizon. These experiences are the learning-points; they hold energetic charges that can lead to lasting transformation.

Review these experiences carefully. If they are viewed as positive, affirm them. If they are viewed as negative, correct them: Reverse and restate them the way they should have taken place. Seal this perspective and affirm it.

Before drifting into sleep, choose one simple objective for the coming day and roll it into the mind on your breath. Doing so embeds the affirmation in your sub-conscious. Your affirmation will be most powerful when it is Affirmative, stated in the First-Person, and in Present Tense. For example, if you want to be more productive, you could affirm: “With focus I complete tasks gracefully and easily.” This affirmation meets all three criteria. To embed the affirmation, on the inhalation, the first five words of this phrase are invoked, including the word tasks. On the exhalation the final three words, “gracefully and easily” are stated. It is important to split the affirmation into phrases and auger them into the deep mind using breath.

Upon rising, the first engagement of mind is always towards Creator and the second engagement is towards the affirmation you created the night before. You will notice its depth has become stronger and clearer during the night. Affirm it some more before beginning the day. And, in the coming night, return to and use this affirmation as a point of reference while evaluating the past day. Employ the same corrective approach as needed. Affirmations work best when they are used for at least a few nights and it's advisable to write them down. Once the intention of the affirmation is fulfilled, it is time to bring in a new affirmation. In crafting the new affirmation, be cognizant of areas that have persistently needed attention over the recent past, and tackle one of these. You will find this simple practice will open a variety of dimensions and opportunities to you at night and by day.


Relationship
Resonance and Reflection in Relationships


All relationships involve a transfer of energy and consciousness. This involves the very simple Universal Law of Resonance and Reflection. Beings in Transparency are naturally RESONANT. Beings that are not in Transparency are naturally REFLECTIVE. The more a person has worked diligently to associate themselves towards inner revelation, the more they will find themselves on the Resonant side in most interactions.

This Resonance occurrs simply because revelation brings us into a more highly charged state. The higher the Resonance, the more likely it is that most encounters will involve Reflection among others. When it comes to personal or intimate relationships, this can lead to imbalance and people can get hurt. Or, it can lead to life-changing and gracious experiences that lead to gratitude. Consequently, it makes sense to resort to a verification process before taking a person into your heart and sharing your body.

During the intake phase of a personal relationship, our simple suggestion is to verify using a “Screen of Patience.” This can prevent hurt feelings and becoming tangled up on karmic levels of debt with people who aren't carrying something comparable to your level of vibration. To accomplish this, take your time; try to assess the basis for a person's attraction towards you. You need to discover whether a person is RESONATING together with you on their own or whether they are REFLECTING your Resonance back to you. Either experience can be very attractive and leave very positive results. When you find individuals who Resonate on their own, you can be more confident they could potentially Friend, Playmate or Partner in some enduring or meaningful and balanced way.

If individuals are Reflecting, yet unable to reasonably account for the foundation-building spiritual experiences that yield inward Resonance, the differences in energetic possibilities between you become evident. Strong Resonance attracts Reflection. The experience of Reflection is most often transient. In this type of relationship, such individuals relatively reflect Light; they do not radiate Light. If the Light is withdrawn, the source for the Reflection is withdrawn and the person returns to their own place in the spiral of development. History shows many positive examples of this phenomenon, scriptures and mythology are full of such stories, and those who return to their natural place in the spiral are counted as fortunate. This is a Universal Principal and one of the common means by which Resonant Knowledge is communicated across spirals of existence. As such it is a means by which much growth is shared. One should realize very frequent temporary attractions occur between beings who occupy different places among the spirals of Resonance and Reflection.

In the Resonance of unconstrained Being, Reflecting individuals may begin to uncover their own fragmentation and disassociation. When that happens, the Reflecting person must choose. When they choose negatively, we might just find ourselves blamed for their fragmentation or disassociation. If the individual does not “pick up their own dirty clothes,” should we remain engaged, they might continue the process as long as we permit. This would be an example of vampirism, and such cases call the integrity of both parties into question. When they polarize and choose positively they will be transformed and gain greater Resonance. In essence, many mis-steps can be avoided by employing the Screen of Patience.



Illuminated Being
The Path


The Divine emits portions of the One Being, The Self, which cascade into life for the purpose of experiencing and manifesting creation. The sum of this experience accumulates as Soul, the sheath of the consistent Self. Just as Souls enter creation to experience it, we are likewise drawn to return to the Divine. This consistent pattern of emanation from and return to Oneness is called “The Path” or Derekh in Hebrew.

Though some people make progress unconsciously, we consciously set foot upon The Path once we deliberately orient our appetites and actions towards returning to the communion of Oneness. Through disciplined, responsible heeding of life lessons, integrating spiritual experiences, and making progress in practical and integrated ways, we become more authentically “Spiritual” in our orientation. This does not mean we forego our earthly responsibilities - quite the contrary - but our earthly activities become increasingly potent signposts towards the Divine presence within us and evidenced in all creation. Eventually we reach a point where we live in “Heaven on earth” and serve as Way-Showers. Advanced examples of this include the great Prophets.

All that can be known is ever-available in the Present moment. We can tap into this present moment by reorienting our awareness towards the limitless Being and allowing Its character of One-ness, our Essence, to infuse our consciousness completely. This is the purpose of meditation as taught by Teachers of The Path.

Meditation upon the Inner Light is the most direct approach because it invokes direct experience of the radiant Divine emanation. This approach to meditation is as different from various respected types of meditation (such as Vipassana, Zazen or Transcendental) as a coherent laser beam is from diffuse, incandescent light. Taking this direct approach straight to the Light, one doesn't pursue seeing the Chakras, but the Realm of the Self and Soul which exist on more central dimensions of being than the Chakras. During such Meditation, we eventually become able to inwardly see and feel the Light as brightly as the noon-day sun even while in a dark room. This is key to our development and requisite to entry into Self Realization Meditation.



Moses
Kundalini - The Serpent Force


Spiritual transformation precipitates with “Rising of the Serpent of Kundalini.” It is universally sought after as a powerful spiritual and phyical healing experience because it yields a sense of undivided one-ness in a person's consciousness called Samadhi, Shalom, Salam, Chrism, and Nirvana by Hindus, Jews, Muslums Christians, and Buddhists respectively.

This experience can be invoked between Spiritual Master and Aspirant in the giving of a blessing called “Shaktipat” in Sanskrit, “Brocha” in Hebrew or “Baraka” in Arabic. It can be spontaneously triggered by breathwork, spiritual practice, tantric sex, and events. Under its influence many people experience physical shaking sensations and an overflow of the energy from the head down the arms to the hands. It can be initially frightening if a person is oriented towards attachments and not experienced with letting go, because its fiery energy vaporizes illusions in favor of revealing the unity of Life and Being.

The universal symbol associated with this and with healing is the Caduceus or more properly Rod of Asclepius. The related moniker Shake-Spear is associated to Pallas Athena, who personifies Kundalini and is the “Muse” under whose influence culture is transformed for the better. Archaic symbolism the world over exists, from Balinese costumes, to the Chinese, who regard this experience as Kung-Fu itself, the Tibetans (and Michelangelo in his sculpture Moses) who show it produces protrusions or “Yamantaka” atop the head, though this is not necessarily seen in physical form. The powerful energy itself is called “Qi” or “Chi” among the Asians. Stimulating its movement is the basis of Acupuncture and Shiatsu. It is called “Chai” among the Hebrews, who associate it to the Life Force. Rabbi Isaac the Blind, the Kaballist wrote down his father and my namesake ancestor Rabbi Avraham Ben David's (the RAYVID) seven-leveled diagram called the “Tree of Life” which was revealed to the Rayvid by Elijah the Prophet. This diagram invokes the Serpent teaching, integrated in typical Hebrew fashion with other profound knowledge.

In the Hebrew Scriptures this is mostly referred to as “Yirah” -- a term used over 330 times. Beyond scripture there are ubiquitous references to it but many do not understand it today. It is associated with Trembling, and generally mistranslated as “Fear.” “The Kriya Shema,” primary (and daily) Jewish prayer which says “Hear, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is ONE” can be a direct invocation of this experience and its letters Shin-Mem-Ayin invoke the Root, Heart and Crown along the path of the Kundalini or as it is known in Hebrew, the “Nochosh” (Snake) which interestingly is also the word for the element Copper. The term for the Jewish skull cap, “Yarmulke” is a contraction of the words “Yirah Malkha,” connoting “Trembling in the presence of the Queen.” Notably, the Hebrew term used here for God as Sovereign is Feminine in gender. “Moshiach,” (Messiah) or Annointed One is a description of a person who remains in this state. Thus the sought-after time of the Messiah is the time when all persons will attain this one-ness and unified awareness.

In the Christian traditions this is widely described as a “Visitation of the Holy Spirt” - also Feminine, depicted in iconography east and west as a Golden Halo. There are an assortment of Greek terms for this experience, most accurately Tromos (Phil 2:12) among other terms. “Tongues of Flame upon heads” described on the Apostles' Pentecost is a direct reference to the changes in a person's aura that manifest when Kundalini has risen to the top of the head from its dormant position in the root of the spine. Churches in many parts of the world have seven nexus points from the Entrance to the High Altar which represent the major neural ganglia along the spine and crossing-points shown in the Caduceus where the snakes cross the Staff.

Few modern people including clergy have received training in how to handle or invoke this sort of experience, but regardless, it happens quite regularly and to people of all sorts and circumstances.


Dancing Chasid
Let Go & Let G-d


We have to “Get out of the Way” if we are to experience Divine Revelation. Without personal experience of Divine Revelation we only pretend to live a spiritual life. Spiritual experiences involve direct outpourings of Divine Wholeness, Guidance, Blessing and Love, manifest in the Here and Now.

Revelation is not something we command on our own terms but we can consent to accept it. One who faces the choice of accepting revelation and gives consent is called a “M'Kubal” in Hebrew. This, the Act of Kaballah, happens when the time and circumstances are right. No more than we can control a Geyser, we cannot control when and how the Divine presence might come. When it does come, genuine Revelation can range from the whisper of a butterfly's wings to the strength of a Tsunami which can overtake us, washing away anything that is transient in our existence. In the wake of Revelation, we are reconstituted moreso in the “image and likeness” of the ONE. Gentler forms of revelation come to those with less experience and the power builds over a person's development. You always have the choice to say “No” but why would you?

To deny the perennial emergence of Revelation is to confess spiritual bankruptcy. It is clear that every person plays a part in bringing Revelation to the world, each person is part of the equation. There is no such thing as a Saint who brings the Revelation, there is only a Creation that is accepting it and a Creator who is giving it by whatever vessel is willing and avaiable.

Routine spiritual practices, especially Meditation and “The Inner Work” create substantially more responsive spiritual structures within a person. Eventually this work allows the Divine to fashion each of us into a vessel that can be a party to Spiritual Revelation.



Spiritual Calling
The Calling


If you experience a “Spiritual Calling” you MUST make a choice between two very distinct paths: One clearly leads to life while it may involve uncertainty or even risk, while the other, while comfortable, clearly leads to collapse and lost spiritual opportunity.

Not everyone experiences this, but if you experience a Spiritual Calling, you are put “on notice” that something is expected — and rewards may be profound — for answering “YES.” It feels like the “only way to go.”

Your Calling may or may not come as a complete surprise. Sometimes it happens once you begin to engage in spiritual practices that stimulate the Soul to rise in Sovereignty. This rising allows elevated consciousness and awareness. Sometimes you are offered the calling directly by The Almighty or even by another non-physical spiritual being who may appear in a vision, but these cases are rare. Most people report their Calling came to them without phenomena, but that it was like a bolt of lightening. In any case, virtually ALL felt they had to make an obvious and consequential choice.

Once it is known that a Calling has been issued, you have important work to do and only you can do it. It is your task to examine the work of your life, and to take on the disciplines and practices that will support your Calling.



Mass Mind
Tuesday December 29th 7:30 P.M.
at Frederick's Om

Mass Mind



Mass Mind involves the relentless dispersion and widespread adoption of themes designed for social and behavioral control, often centered upon Greed or Fear. The spiritual student must be ever alert to themes of Mass Mind because they can sabotage spiritual development. Mass Mind consistently teaches two notions: “You can Achieve Happiness Through Buying Stuff,” and “You are alone and without support.”

The Christmas Season in the USA is a pernicious example of the mass-mind at work. Nowhere else in the world is Christmas such a commercial enterprise. Beginning each year at an ever-earlier date, Americans are bombarded with consumerist advertisements and messages reminding us that we must buy something. Images of luxury, feasting, and elitism are intrinsic to this emotion-tugging strategy. By the time Christmas comes, if a person is not surrounded by gifts, lights, decorations, smiling people and so forth, one is surely tempted to feel like an abject failure. Seeking to alleviate the emptiness, the malls are found chock full of people before and after Christmas, obediently buying.

Imagine for a moment that between Thanksgiving and Christmas you undertook a strong spiritual focus. Imagine you engaged in very intense spiritual preparation for a powerful spiritual transformation to come on the occasion of the “Rebirth of The Light” at Christmas. Would you be found stocking up on goodies the minute your month-long retreat and the anticipated holy festival ended? Hardly! Rather, you'd be less attached to material things than ever, attuned to deeper awareness and unlikely to be found in a crowded mall.




Mystery Temple
The Mystery School


Small, sometimes secret groups of people gather across history to share direct spiritual experience, knowledge and service to humanity in “Mystery Schools” which become Academies of Enlightenment. The core impulse behind these groups is direct revelation from the Spiritual World, with tremendous impact on those involved. Long trails of cultural impressions result, fostering many great artists, musicians, scientists, writers, and scholars.

It is said one does not “join” a mystery school. “Members” are invited by forces initiated in the unseen realms of the soul, and confirmed by the wise on earth. However, such schools often coalesce in the presence of a Way-Shower or Teacher who may have many lifetimes experience in comparable activities.

The mere existence of a Mystery School does not guarantee enlightenment or rapid spiritual progress. However, where knowledge learned is applied in acts of kindness, a greater chance for success is found. Occasionally, the exoteric teachings of Mystery Schools crystallize in the form of Religions and while this is generally a positive outcome, Religious communities rarely manifest the comparable esoteric connections to the higher worlds as compared to Mystery Schools.





Scales of Judgement
Tuesday December 8th 7:30 P.M.
at Frederick's Om

Hug the Homeless



The Exercise of Compassion towards the Unfortunate is material evidence of Deep Spirituality. Blessing any person of lesser means absolutely floods the world with light. When I saw a woman give money to a drunk on a subway in Boston, I also saw tremendous light infuse the rail car. Wanting schooling, I asked “why” and she answered: “Because he asked for something I had that I could give. Should I ever be in that position I would appreciate being treated the same way.”

Newcomers to Monasteries, Ashrams and Temples often are pre-occupied with self interest in their quest for enlightenment. The Master will frequently assign them to serve the poor. This transforms the individual from a narcissistic seeker to someone who embodies sainthood.

If you ever feel depressed or like your world is collapsing around you, make 25 sandwiches with fresh, quality ingredients and take them to homeless people. Take your time. Smile with them. Ask questions and share laughter together. Laughter is the Boulevard along which Human Unity travels.


Our spiritual practices become meaningful when we put our aspirations into action.


Scales of Judgement
Judging a Spiritual Teacher


Hindu Astrology warns the exact skill set that makes a good guru makes for a crafty THIEF! Watch your back! Spiritual Teachers are almost all very gifted, but should be required to meet conduct standards. How do you know if a Teacher meets a high standard?

Aside from the rather common practice of simply giving out nonsensical teachings without foundation in history or common sense, the most common misconduct issues are around asking for the exchange of high sums of Money, using Control Trips on Students, Abuse of Authority, Isolation of Students from Family & Friends, and Substituting Obedience or Devotion for a Student's own Common Sense.

Teachers get away with abuses most often when they are offering the opportunity for rare and difficult to attain spiritual experiences. Unfortunately, those in society who crave high level spiritual experiences are keenly aware that they may not have other opportunities to gain access elsewhere, and throw their common sense out, winding up hurt.


We emphasize that genuine and powerful spiritual transformation of the highest order can be attained without loss of sanity and integrity.


sacredgeometry
The Quadrivium

Arithmetic, Astronomy Geometry & Music comprise the Quadrivium, which in neoplatonist education succeeds the Trivium of Logic, Rhetoric & Poesis. Once mastered, these seven studies produce a “Doctor” of the “Seven Soul-Liberating Arts.” Later, this was called a “Liberal Arts Education.” The modern study of Sacred Geometry is offspring of this pursuit.

To master life and thus show fullness in education required study, first in the Trivium, in which the True, the Good and the Beautiful could be discovered and mastered. Then came the Quadrivium, the advanced study, of which it is said:


Arithmetic is the Discrete at Rest.
Astronomy is the Discrete in Motion.
Geometry is the Continuous at Rest.
Music is the Continuous in Motion.

And the derivative of these, Architecture, is Frozen Music.

The spiritual path is not only one of engagement with the inner life and its forces. It is also a life of exhibition of divine principals by exploitation in artisanship, creativity, and in the application of Form, the Silent Language. The master poets, composers, architects, and masons knew this. We should all discover illustrations of how culture becomes the vessel and artifact of spiritual revelation.


Healing
Self Healing

Self Healing happens when we take complete responsibility for our well-being rather than passing responsibility to outsiders while changing little. We become amazingly powerful and self-aware by doing so.

To be a self-healer requires patience, a coachable attitude and a willingness to change habits. Necessary changes may include diet, internal dialog, exercise, reconciliation with our past, and “stories” about ourselves that must change. Every soul possesses a powerful internal compass that knows what to do if heeded.


With the help of media the world over, Governments routinely promulgate hoaxes and fear about sickness and death, while fostering highly toxic and profitable nanotechnology-engineered vaccines that are approved without significant trial. Swine flu is but one example of such a hoax. These vaccines have led to epidemics including autism and death. The dark spectre of Social Engineering is clearly part of the agenda. Corporations are pitching products based on fear of sickness. Under government-declared states of emergency, hospitals and drug-based medicine businesses are experiencing boom times, while medical professionals themselves know better and privately avoid receiving “treatments.”

Healing has always been part of the spiritual path - most saints have been healers in one form or another. Spiritual practices combined with health awareness make the world a better place. Inward practices provide guidance as needed. Sharing of herbal and other forms of knowledge has long been the province of spiritual communities.


Depression
Depression and Self Karma

Self-Karma is unfinished business in the soul that comes from incomplete tasks related to our creative expression. Examples include issues such as trusting society, having enough money, accepting others as partners, friends or playmates, resolving personal matters without anger or frustration, comfort with one's body or gender, health issues, and a variety of other facets of life.

The key difference between Self-Karma and Karma with others is that actions related to others are not involved with Self-Karma. Rather, by somehow missing the mark when it comes to tasks the soul has set for a lifetime, we find ourselves with unfinished business that we can address. Our souls seek opportunities to address these, in the quest for strength and wholeness.


Depression sometimes results when the soul is asking us to face a long-established pattern that requires rectification. Depression does not necessarily mean a pathological condition has arisen - it simply represents a turning inward. However, where a person resorts to self-destructive behavior, pathology is present and must be addressed.

Every person on the spiritual path has faced such challenges and chosen a self-constructive approach to facing our self-karma. This does not mean depression or sadness are forever banished. It simply means we have chosen self-construction. Self-construction is easier when we engage in powerful spiritual practices that connect us to Universal Joy and Wholeness.



Samhain
Death
Plus Special Musical Guests

Samhain is the precursor of Halloween. Celebrations are related to the Final Harvest, Thin Veils between the Worlds, and Ultimate Choices in preparation for the hard winter. The notion of the Grim Reaper is associated to Final Harvest and he is oft pictured carrying a scythe. The Paul Foster Case Tarot features him.

From time immemorial, at the time of the first frost, we had to consider how much food we would need to lay up, and our choices included how much livestock the farm could support during the winter months. It is no surprise that the final produce of the farm, namely pumpkins and squash, play such a strong and visible role in seasonal lore, imagery, and legend.


Under the attempted tyranny of a planetary corporate culture bereft of all but the most tame among symbols and meanings, Samhain, or Halloween plays a very important role. It gives us the costumed opportunity to “come as we aren't.” In it, we take advantage of a last time for play-with-abandon before the intrinsic seriousness of the colder months strips us of frivolity. But, there is more. The image of the woman with full moon behind her astride the flying broom is a direct reference that bespeaks the mastery of woman in preparation of herbal remedies -- ointments, cures and elevated above the earth by other-worldly wisdom.

What of the thin-ness of the veil between the worlds, in which the inhabitants of other worlds seem more prone to offer access? According to the Celts, there are seven times of prime opportunity for this to happen, being the solstices, equinoxes, Samhain (Oct 31), Imbolc (Feb 2) and Beltaine (May Day).


No one spiritual tradition encapsulates the full scope of the pre-historic earthly wisdom acquired over millennia. This is why we reverently cite “Not all that is told is all that is known.” Spiritual practice means nothing without organic linkages to plants, seasons, and cycles. Combined rightly, they make awareness of our present purpose stronger.


Obama-Trumbull
Reincarnation

The case for Reincarnation is strongly supported by Rabbinic literature, though the Rabbis' approach does not show that a human can reincarnate as a dog, rock or anything other than a human. The Rabbis tell many examples of reincarnation, the most famous of which is that King David was a reincarnation of Adam. The notion was never in question in Hebrew culture, and even the Christian gospels mention it when Jesus asks “Whom do men say I am?” and the response is “Elijah the prophet.” The most widely accepted understanding is that incarnations often build on our past history. The notion that a person with many lifetimes is somehow insufficient is not neccarily valid because some may voluntarily choose to return to earth to be of help for their own reasons.

In a new incarnation, we often physically resemble our past selves, though we do change race or gender. Plus, other people with whom we have soul experience may agree to incarnate with us in order to share new tasks. We begin anew, and pursue new, yet retain consistent expressions of our soul's journey.


Many historic figures in History have notable prior incarnations who also have historical significance. This could include President Barack Obama, who some say is the reincarnation of Senator Lyman Trumbull. Sen Trumbull chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee and who co-wrote the 16th amendment which abolished slavery. He was a close friend of Lincoln's and practiced law in Chicago. Sen. Trumbull also served in the IL General Assembly and as IL State Attorney General. Of course many interesting examples exist that are worth considering. The Reincarnations of Frederick Chopin as rag-time music pianist Scot Joplin and Ludwig Von Beethoven as one of the world's most prominent living Jazz Pianists are fascinating.

Most people don't have a reliable way to verify or even consider past incarnations. Humorously, Edgar Cayce seemed to identify every person he met as a member of the Court of one or another Pharoah. No garbage collectors or laundry-servants ever seem to be indentified as reincarnation cases. Is it important to know your prior incarnations? The Dalai Lama said that we have to know at least 14 of our prior incarnations in order to be a Lama. But for most of us, knowledge of what we have done before can be a burden. There is no clear consensus on whether we need to know about our past or whether it should remain a mystery.

We can, however, learn from our past, including mistakes, if that awareness becomes available to us. The soul does have the ability to create circumstances where our grasp of past life resources becomes a present-time grasp. For some people, soul identity is so strong, the present lifetime is only a projection of the strong awareness of one's eternality.


To become aware of past lives is not as important as to be aware of one's purpose NOW. Upon review, after this life we will see the correlations between our direction in life and that of past lives. Spiritual practice makes this awareness of our present purpose stronger.


Mayan Calendar
2012 The Audacity

Growingly shrill repetition of forecasts for a 2012 “event” stirs imaginations but it's a hoax. The Mayans themselves say “NO, this prophesy has nothing to do with us.”
What is going on here?

The 2012 conversation was popularized around a writing from José Arguelles called the “Dreamspell Calendar” where Arguelles attempted to synthesize a single calendar from 22 disparate Mayan systems. He later disavowed this work as naíve, but some of its ideas had already been swallowed hook-line-and sinker by the New Age, a dark conglomeration of wishful thinkers ever in search of legitimacy outside themselves. Self Realization is a path WITHIN yourself, not outside of yourself.

The New Age has a shockingly bad track record when it comes to conveying accurate understanding. They fomented all sorts of excitement around the “Harmonic Convergence” in 1987, the Millennium in 2000, and desperately have tried to vault on the shoulders of several calendar occasions since. The only problem is that these were all non-events. They sought transformation from OUTSIDE themselves. This would compare to eating a happy meal expecting that meal to make us happy. Do not ignore that pesky fact that not ONE of their vaunted events actually precipitated anything at all, except that money changed hands.

The foundation of the 2012 claims involve alignment with the Galactic Center on the 2012 Winter Solstice with all sorts of powerful potentials. The only problem with that is astronomers know that alignments with such far away bodies are not transient one-time shots relative to our zodiac. My calculations can prove the earth's Winter Solstice would be actually aligned with the Galactic Center for a minimum of at least 75 consecutive years, not just once.


What's the point? Enlightenment is not instant like fast food and it very gradually comes from within us. It doesn't come zapping in, piping hot, and ready for recognition. It is a soul process, yes, with occasional high points, but it takes work and commitment on our parts.


Mask
The Effect of Affect

Fake it till you make it? As sure as children play “Let's Pretend” adults magnify the game till it casts a long shadow. When we forget we are acting, we become conflicted, or adult-erated. So, then, why and when is “Posing” OK?

When a person enters life in a Monastery, Ashram or Temple, it is customary to dispense with the secular wardrobe and don some sort of ceremonial clothing day and night. The sages say it is good for a person to employ a “Holy Affect” because it forces one to consciously match outer appearances with congruent actions.

Yet, more often than not, Affect is used to create an image of success or power. Employed to stimulate confidence, such habits make “cons” as in con-men of us. Note the case of the rookie salesman in 3-piece suit, with suspenders and hair filled with “product” or the girl with The Hair, The Make-up and Those Shoes. They mask inexperience and lack of gray hair with clothing. Image consciousness plays a role in our every day, yet we do it automatically. And, automatic behavior is the enemy of spiritual growth.

It is important for us to take images, masks, and affects with great seriousness. We can't hide who we are underneath any more than the groom in White Tie (Tux with Long Tails) I passed who was dip-spitting (tobacco) to the gravel road outside a rural NC wedding. Unlike native cultures where the full regalia of costume comes out mostly for SACRED occasions, our society brings out the costumes mostly for secular occasions. It's an adulteration, a perversion. Unadulterated pride in who we really are and living as THAT person is the key after all, yes?




mercury
The Illusion of Security

“Mental Numbness” will be history's scathing critique of our times. While catastrophic dangers lie ahead, the mass mind of society turns to fantasy, booze and “reality TV.” Mass Illusion comes from wishful thinking supported by lost perspective. Those are the very ingredients in the recipes that Mass Media use to control you and separate you from your money.

Seers know better. Immanent planetary configurations indicate historic times are fast upon us. These times will prove to have few comparables in history. What do we do?

Like the Sergeant At Arms who quietly guards the proceedings of a legislative body, older souls take responsibility according to their mission, for the tenor of the mass mind. To do so requires a prescient sense of what is likely to come, and a deft, devoted capacity to recognize the flow of influences and possible solutions. “Positive Thinking” alone on the part of those otherwise ignorant but well-meaning people makes nary a dent. One has to be fully engaged in facts, details, lives, and the impact of actions to leave a truly deep impact through radiant contemplation.

This is why many Masters eschew the notion of being a “renunciate” who avoids the turmoil of the world. These Teachers see that only through direct contact and personal involvement can we make a real difference.



mercury
Mercury in Retrograde

When Mercury moves from West to East, “progress” gets stymied, so you can either get frustrated or gain a sense of humor. In either case, the stress is on topsy-turvey communication and broken continuity. Electric circuits fail, calls drop, and SNAFU becomes the constant.

During the three annual three-week periods of the year when this astronomical phenomenon occurs, the wise are cautious to observe the possibility that details will be ignored or lost, and agreements may come apart. The key to Mercury Retrograde is that vaunted CONTROL of one's own life becomes a subject of Mercury's farcical sense of humor. If you can flow with it, you're better for the lesson that you are not the center of the universe after all! If you can't flow with it, you're the Fool and mercury shows little mercy as your packages get lost, messages don't get delivered, electronics finally give up the ghost, etc.

From a spiritual standpoint, the period of Mercury in Retrograde asks us to REVIEW and RESTATE the details and linkages between ourselves and our world. During this time it's helpful to be retrospective and look for clues that it's time to go back over something in our life that needs further attention and refinement.


Polarity
Initiative and Timing
Plus Special Musical Guests
The Masculine brings INITIATIVE and the Feminine brings TIMING.

Where a man lacks a sense of timing, he becomes an oaf. Where a woman lacks control of initiative, she becomes a shrew. The balanced combination of these facilities makes a gracious life possible. History offers myriad good and bad examples of Initiative and Timing.

Both genders express some degree of balance between the two polarities, but a wise man learns about timing from a woman and a wise woman gains insight into initiative from a man. This practice of balancing Initiative and Timing is one of the great secrets of creation.



Shaman
Comfort

Under the crunch of daily responsibilities and a changing world, we sometimes lose perspective.

The feeling that “everything's OK” doesn't disappear, it is simply eclipsed. So, it's reasonable to ask - what do the Masters mean by the ubiquitous expression that “all is well” when evidence of sickness, strife, and dysfunction is abundant?

Being “OK” means that there is awareness of the ever-present OPPORTUNITY for Divine communion and reconciliation. This opportunity is a birthright, but like all things held in reserve, we have to access it. To access Comfort requires no special skills, but an enlarged perspective. And gaining that perspective is one measurable consequence of routine spiritual practice.




Shaman
Calming The Storm

The younger a soul, the more prone it is to create drama, become loud, and resort to emotional or even physical violence. At televised town meetings displaying tumult, you can be fairly certain the screamers are younger souls. Older souls know this doesn't succeed, and more patiently project their inner communion to bring about change. Their approach changes polarities in an atmosphere that otherwise could become charged with negation, and permits more positive courses of perception and action to become available to all parties.

Forecasts indicate that political storms are likely to become a more frequent experience in the next several years. Plus, the storms are likely to become more and more intense. We must ask ourselves: How are we prepared to deal with such eventualities, because unchecked, they lead to civil unrest. This is a serious matter because there is no substitute for the inner calm and radiance that only comes from continued and consistent spiritual practice.

We cannot ignore increasingly inflammatory dialog in our society and be called servants of the Light. Rather, we must learn and employ spiritual tools that genuinely nullify such energies and transmute them to higher purposes. The “peace of heaven” does not come to earth without invitation. Our leadership can show that all arguments have two equal sides and that neither pole by itself is the “Truth.” Peacemaking is an important function of enlightened people.



Shaman
The 7 Attitudes

You embrace most of a lifetime via ONE of 7 Attitudes. Awareness of how the Attitudes work is absolutely key. Your functionality with differing people & their approaches will be greatly enhanced along with your self-awareness once you begin to notice the Attitudes.

This information comprises a “key” awareness component that can be tremendously helpful to you. If you have not made it to one of our events or only have time to come to “Special Events,” this is one of those occasions!

The Expression Attitudes are Idealist and Skeptic. The Inspiration Attitudes are Spiritualist and Stoic. The Action Attitudes are Realist and Cynic. Each of the 7 Attitudes has a positive and negative pole. Where a person operates in the positive pole of an attitude, it works beneficially, and vice versa.

For instance, people embracing so-called “New-Age Philosophy” are in the Idealist Attitude. They are not as concerned about Reality as they are about Possibility. Those who are the most effective in sharing their possible better world are in the positive pole of Coalescence. Those who seem to be grasping at delusions are in the negative pole of Naivité. No matter which Attitude you have, you likely imagine that others should share it, and this is simply not the case. Your Attitude is a construct of your soul's appetite for experience of creation, and is expressed as such for important reasons.

I


Shaman
Compassion

The greatest healers often suffered or faced death. Asked what is the essence of healing, they answer “Compassion.”

One can truly know the meaning of healing once one has reached deep within oneself to face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. We cannot measure the wellspring of possible compassion that abides in the opened heart.

Compassion is perhaps the most distinct divine attribute. No person who has had spiritual experience fails to speak of the sense of Divine Compassion and Acceptance of us, no matter what state of disrepair we imagine about ourselves. Once we gain experience of the Divine Compassion towards us, it is easier to be compassionate towards others!



Shaman
Shaman

Fascination with Shamanism has grown exponentially. Yet, our limited personal experience with Shamanism or Tribal Culture begs the question - What exactly is a Shaman, and what is to be expected from him or her? Was Moses or Jesus a Shaman? And, with the proliferation — and commercialization — of all-things-Shamanic, should you trust somebody who makes claims to be a Shaman? What questions should be asked?

Shamans are generally recognized to have three traits. First, they are healers, and in many cultures, they ingest medicine instead of administering it to the patient while their healing frequently involves some form of purge. Secondly, they remain in communication with the subtle world of Spirit or Spirits who are perceived as potentially helpful or harmful. From these spirits, they determine what course of action needs to take place in order to resolve a sickness or situation. Thirdly, a Shaman is intimately familiar with the natural flora and fauna of his or her environment, and the Spirits that underlie these, having received this knowledge from many previous generations.

The World's religious observances seem to consistently spring from comparable Shamanic roots. But, one factor is certain. The world view of the Shaman is so entirely different from the world view of the “developed world” that it is nearly impossible to reconcile the two. This is because the developed world views the environment as a series of disparate resources to control and dominate. The Shaman views the world as filled with holistically related energies and influences that if used or extracted improperly, invoke spirits that may backfire on the users with serious consequences. For instance, from the Shamanic View, IRON invokes a Spirit that must be approached with great care, lest it take over the life of the one who deploys it. And in the “modern” world, Iron has come to dominate, indeed. “He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword” is an ancient warning about this danger.


Walking the Talk
Different Perceptions

One viewpoint sees a devastating financial depression only beginning. Another sees a bright new age headed our way. Which is true?

A person who is anchored in the sense of separate self, who relates primarily to money and possessions might be feeling like the future will be very destructive and a time of great loss. But a person who is anchored in the unity of being, who relates primarily to creativity and shared experiences might be very excited, sensing that “finally” the long-awaited opportunity for a better world becomes available to our grasp.

What if it's true that we are only in the first phase of a long term economic depression? If you're primarily a materialistic person, you might be filled with fear. But for those who can lighten up, not only spiritually, but in terms of possessions, budgets, and perceived needs, you may be looking at the “time of our life” just around the corner.

The question we must ask ourselves is “Why did I come” to this world? If the answer is “To SERVE,” then we have no worries. But this pending future requires preparation. And THAT is why people need to gather together to develop spiritual strength.



Walking the Talk
Walking the Talk

How do we distinguish whether we are REALLY on a spiritual path vs. a person who is a poser? Are there any reliable clues to spiritual development?

One would suppose that a holistic quality would pervade the life of a spiritually-engaged person. Holistic practices such as integrity in business dealings, what one chooses to eat or serve, the practice of altruism, and how relationships are conducted - all of these may offer evidence of our spiritual scope, aside from personal inspiration or communion.

Some say that a person who is walking a spiritual path earns the attention of "Beings of Light, Spirits, or Angels" who are known to assist in the growth and development of humanity. If this is true, one would expect a person who claims to "love the lord" to be held to higher standards by those beings who bear the sacred divine trust throughout many levels in creation. The ancient story of Abraham our Father is exemplary of this.

One thing is certain. No matter a person's life choices, a spiritual person never tires of being closer and dearer to the heart of the Divine Creator. Come what may, we never give up, we keep trying.




Courage
Courage

Courage is the joyful and fearless assumption of unconditional existence. The mark of a fully engaged soul is the ability to step into new, uncharted territory. In doing so, the individual relies on the intelligence and guidance intrinsic in Life itself. Knowing that nothing can stop us, we passionately embrace our objective, even if it means accepting changes to ourselves in so doing.

All of the great Masters speak of this. The theme of stepping forward with faith is found in every tradition the world over, from the jungle tribes to the monks on mountain tops. Willingness to try something new, to open our hearts, actions, and intentions to new possibilities is incontrovertible proof of Life's embrace.


Life, itself, is the message of the heart. In the drumbeat of our heart, we are reminded of our life from our first waking breath to our last thought of the day. In Life, we are equipped with the innate ability to try new experiences and expressions. Our souls are filled with glee as we expand our scope. There is no person who does not have the ability to grow and who is not moved by the desire for increasing engagement in creation.



Opposites
The Path of Opposites

The most dynamic Spiritual Growth comes from experiences that oppose what we would otherwise have chosen. For example, a very mental person will grow rapidly along the path of devotion. A very devoted person needs to learn the path of reason. No matter the opposite, balance ensues. Knowing your Modus Operandus, knowing yourself, you can explore the opposite polarity that will balance your natural approach.

Part of any wise Teacher's task is to observe a person's nature and encourage or help that person face situations that stretch the skill set beyond the “original equipment.” The person is then enabled to freshly experience life.

One reason Ashrams and Monasteries give people new names is to foster this change of perspective by labeling the person. Typically, the new name itself represents a level of consciousness that will take a lifetime to attain. This practice keeps the person simultaneously affirming while reaching forward. Whether or not a person lives in a Spiritual Community, our souls, in conjunction with the Spiritual Beings and Guides, will create situations that gently raise the matter of the Opposite in our lives. This helps us reach true growth.


Ant
Confidence

Even people who experience strong spiritual communion waver under the force of life's changes. However, there is no doubt that confidence deeply rooted and grounded in Self-Knowing has a dimension of certainty not found in the fragile creations of the ego. One stands like a stone temple and the other, like a house of cards. The human being naturally wavers between deeper truth and superficial illusion. Knowing the difference between the permanence that comes from detachment and the “temporariness” that comes from holding on is one of the great lessons of self-mastery.

A big part of our early socialization involves modeling or attaching ourselves after external examples. For instance, early teens wear hair styles, certain clothes, and choose affiliation groups and language style based on admiration and competition. At some point in time, most of us realize part or all of this modeling is fake and we dispense with it. But none of us dispense with it entirely. Some externals we've adopted become part of the outer shell of our lasting “identity” -- even if we may have completely passed the need for them, we may still retain them.

That is where the challenge arises. Because these “constructs” are products of coping rather than divine communion, they stand at odds with the now, and thus, the soul's purpose. Eventually the soul will create life changes to expose us once again to the present and the dynamics of present choice. The test lies in whether we go deeper and dance with the present, or if, stuck in the past or the future, we quickly reconstruct ourselves in the hope of avoiding the now and its change, ultimately setting ourselves up for catastrophe while keeping a “stiff upper lip.”

Our spiritual practice, with its inspiration, devotion, purgative and strengthening experiences helps us gain genuine confidence based in the now.



Heart Chakra
Opening The Heart Chakra

To gain lasting spiritual experience and wisdom the heart chakra has to open. This makes it possible to free ourselves from the ever-whirling gears of our mind.

Having “spiritual” feelings does not mean the Heart Chakra is open. This simply means the Emotional Body is involved in perception. Opening the Heart Chakra is best described as being enveloped in a sea of compassion -- and calm. This is why devotion to the Divine Mother leads to opening the heart.

The ancient Hebrew sages felt that spiritual experience on earth is limited to the Mother aspect of Divinity, not the Father. This is why the spiritual presence abiding over the Tabernacle in the Wilderness and the Temple in Jerusalem is called by the feminine term “Shekinah.” It is notable that the Hebrew codeword “SheMa,” often translated as “listen” or “hear” is a feminine term. The Rishis of India, Tibetan Lamas, and Desert Monks of the Egyptian Thebaid also focused on devotion to The Mother. Aboriginal people, especially jungle tribes, clearly focused on the Mother. The Catholics and Orthodox Christians have maintained formal devotion to the Mother, and only certain relatively recent types of “Conservative Evangelical” and “Protestant” Christianity omit devotion to the Mother.




Babysmile
The Kaballah of Gratitude

Gratitude comes from a sense of proportion where we recognize the “beyond” has touched us. The Hebrew word “HOD” means Thanks and refers to the cognizance of Majesty, leading to Gratitude. This is so important, it is one of the 10 Sephirot in Kaballistic Tree of Life. The name “Judah” and the world “Jew” are DIRECTLY derived from this word. This is significant because the notion of the Jews as a People of Gratitude is brilliantly illuminating to Jews and Gentiles alike.

Proportion is mentioned here because a “Ratio” exists between the boundaries of our general awareness and the possibilities of awareness beyond those boundaries. When a person is "rational" they recognize these possibilities exist. An irrational person fails to recognize these possibilities. And when that happens, a spiritual blindness sets in. Hence, the ancients of days remind us to give thanks.

Giving thanks and expressions of gratitude are key elements in spiritual life. Kaballistically they are on the opposite pole from Netzach, which is translated as “Victory.”



Balance
Fasting

Fasting is practiced by virtually every spiritual tradition the world over since the beginning of oral history. The strength derived from mastery of appetites is an essential building block in self-awareness and has a domino effect in the refinement of the soul's capacity to take the lead position. Where a person does not fast, the body assumes control, leading to distortion of the Will. A person who learns to fast quickly learns to recognize the “tug” of desires and becomes able to become their master. Prayer during fasting becomes effortless and inner communion is enhanced, a foreshadowing of the transition away from our physical body.

Fasting also has innumerable health benefits. Fasting permits the body to reconstitute its energetic fields which foster restoration of the organs.

The Master Jesus mentioned that certain spiritual anomalies including some types of demonic possession “goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” This is because obsession and loss of the oversight of the soul over the body weakens the aura and permits interference from outside forces. Fasting includes not only that which goes into the mouth, but that which comes out of it. A person who fasts from food, alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, or other pleasures in life also must learn to fast from negative conversation about oneself or others. This is a powerful art indeed. Where medically suitable, weekly fasting is ideal, ceasing food intake, say by midnight on a Tuesday and resuming food intake on the following Thursday morning. During a fast, water may be consumed but no caffeine or sweeteners. After a fast, it is best to consume simple whole grains such as a bowl of oatmeal. While fasting you will feel a certain point after around 15 hours, where a metabolic shift takes place where the body begins to cleanse itself. In case the shift brings on pain or a headache, this is simply evidence that the body is doing important cleansing work and in reality the work of the fast is just beginning!





Balance
Karma

Karma is caused by turbulence in the deep and polarized energy patterns stemming from our actions. Radiating like tangled ribbons from our souls and bodies, these patterns attract similar ribbons in Creation and Others which have “receptors” which snag and attach to our pattern. This dynamic is similar to the action of distinct Amino Acids which lock precisely into the DNA strand, functioning as receptors for specific genetic codes in reproduction. It leads to experiences that bring awareness to underlying causes, and hopefully resolve ensues.

The Soul seeks to create a harmonious emanation pattern, free of entanglements. When we encounter a situation that triggers Karmic meshing, the soul may elect to create conditions that can yield absolution which can free it from the turbulence. There are many possible scenarios. The wise maintain a sense of detachment, oft praised by the Buddha, which allows life experiences to restore balance and repair the energetic field.





Balance
Real Astrology

Through Astrology a skilled reader can quickly help you identify issues related to the mission and character of your lifetime and those with whom you interact. Astrology has been practiced by Prophets, Sages, and Mystics for thousands of years, including by Abraham and virtually all the Hebrew Prophets.

Since Astrology reveals such a detailed perspective on your potentials, the wise seek at least a basic understanding of Astrology with a particular focus on the interpretation of your own chart. However, Master Paul and many great Teachers over history forbade the uses of Astrology to FORECAST the future for individuals. Forecasting a person's future is like stealing from them. It is far better to help a person understand their present and past and leave their future in their own hands!




Balance
Balance

Attraction to images of balance speak to the soul's quest for equilibrium. Our first love is for the experience of creation. This love is so strong we are drawn to experience ever-more powerful situations and forces. The proof of our soul's attainment is in how we maintain balance in the midst of this love.

Nobody ever said this would be easy, yet we usher ourselves headlong into creation undaunted by the challenges we face. As experiences accumulate, we seek to reconcile to the facets of our experience. Spiritual practices exist primarily to help us restore our balance. From this point of restoration, we are able to make choices about what the Creation means to us, and what we should do about it. Without Balance, we lose track of our Purpose and become lost at sea - the Sea of Karma.



Kingdom Within
The Kingdom Within

Direct personal experience of the inner worlds, the “Kingdom Within You” is at the core of the highest degree of strength known on earth.

The Kabbalistic expression - “As Above So Below” gives voice to the profound depth of this reality. Our culture remains rapt with fascination towards the outer trappings of accomplishment and success but when people come with information about universal laws that lead to inner success, this is called a “Secret.”

The Prophets stated that a time would come when “All Mysteries Would Be Revealed” and many believe this time is at hand in the present era. In order to foster this reality in our lives and actually reveal the mysteries, we have to engage in deep spiritual work and powerful practices. There is no substitute for consistent effort and loving embrace of the spiritual path on the inner level. To those who persevere, “the Kingdom Within” opens and a deeper pathway opens with it.



THE GOD SELF
The GOD SELF

Certainly we hear frequent mention of the GOD SELF in spiritual conversation. The SELF is the spiritual core of our being and all being. There is but one SELF, The Divine Being, all-encompassing, omniscient, omnipotent, and ever-streaming the love, awareness, and intelligence of the Creator.

Described variably as a “Cell of the Mind of God,” a “Spark of the Divine,” or “The Holy of Holies,” the SELF is the Infinite Place within. Entrance into SELF REALIZATION is the ultimate objective and destination of all spiritual awareness. In the Act of Creation, called Tzim Tzum in Kabbalah, the SELF fragments while remaining indivisible (a great spiritual mystery) and as a sojourner, travels through and gathers experience within creation, ultimately returning to the One. This experience gathers in layers around the SELF and comprises the substance known as the “Soul.”

The Torah says “No man may see God and Live.” Yet in SELF Realization one is able to See the SELF and entirely enter into the SELF. How can this be? To enter the Sacred Precincts of the SELF, all attachments must first be laid aside. Only then, from a state of oneness and completeness, otherwise described as Shalom, Communion, Nivrana or Samadhi, can a person return to the SELF. This is the culmination of the earthly human evolution and leads to different types of function and service.

The paschal images of freeing the Children of Israel from slavery in Egypt, the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus -- these all hail to the same understanding of this inner process of release from attachment and return to source of life within.



Seder Meal
Kabbalah of Passover

The Pesach Seder is The Pre-eminent Kabbalistic Ritual, leading us into a fully altered condition - that being of release from attachments, or on ancient parlance, slavery. Who is not enslaved by some attachment or perceived need that separates waking consciousness from soul awareness? It is called the Time of our Freedom, and involves shedding of attachments, leading to reunification with our Source. Not merely symbolic, the Rite functions in the Four Worlds of Vision, Spiritual Awareness, Emotion and Action. The cornerstone of the observance is the unleavened loaf, Matzo, archetype of simplicity, bearing no pretense, just the pure grain in usable form. The Four Cups of Wine punctuate the shifts between Kabbalistic worlds. The rite employs extra-ordinary means and demands genuine sacrifices to achieve its end.

The Seder Meal is only the initiation of this experience, with densely-packed richly adorned Kabbalistic symbolism, from the Seven Lower Sephirot of the Tree of Life Array displayed on the Seder Pate itself to the progression of events taking place from prior to and beyond the Seder Evening. This experience is sealed into our consciousness through a dietary shift that lasts for an entire week. The opportunity presented is awesome.

The universal message of the Pesach has captured the imagination of the entire world, and with good reason. This ancient practice contains every key ingredient of the Four Elements that awakens the soul, those being Study, Devotion, Purging, and Surrender. It is an awesome experience in the deepest traditional sense of the term.



Your Aura
YOUR AURA

Your Aura is a spiritual organ. It is the first point of entry and exit for energy in your body field. It extends approximately three feet from the skin in every direction, a virtual egg-shaped microcosm of being. Understanding how to manifest energy in the Auric field is absolutely crucial to self-mastery.

Much like the Earth's Atmosphere, your Auric Atmosphere is a zone of protection, inclusion and exclusion. Yet, we hear virtually nothing about how tap its capacity for creating the world we all claim to want. This is because there is comparably little spiritual training in the midst of so much spiritual chatter.

Have you ever walked into a room and noticed that everybody pays little or no attention to others? This is because folks' Aura gets contracted. Contracting the aura can be helpful if you don't want others to notice or approach you. But if you are trying to create a vibrant spiritual and loving world community, clearly our goal, the opposite is the case. It is said The Buddha's aura extended for 40 Kilometers!




Sri Krishna
Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti Yoga Bhakti is the Sanskrit Term for Devotion.

Bhakti Yoga is often expressed often through song, dance, anything passionate, colorful and full of beauty. The Bhagavad Gita describes Bhakti as the ultimate spiritual expression and many Yogis consider the Bhakti path to be the most accessible of all paths.

Almost all Yoga that takes root as a spiritual practice in America has the experience of Bhakti at its root. The universal archetype of Bhakti Yoga is expressed as self-donation and devotion to the Divine.

Clearly, Bhakti is at the core worship, of romance, and inspiration. In South Asia and the Middle East, many religions have quite a bit to say about self-donation to The Beloved. Hanuman yearns only to please Ram. Rumi's poetry is replete with amazing illustrations of yearning, honor, and respect for the Beloved. The Children of Israel imagine themselves as the bride of God.

Clearly this Beloved is within you, the Self, and to find the Self is to be a living expression of Bhakti. Once this is found art, culture, and all manner of creative legacy ensues.



4-leaf clover
The REAL Meaning of “Good Luck”

Good Luck is a theme we hear quite a bit in the context of St. Patrick's Day. You probably know the story of St. Patrick - that he drove the snakes our of Ireland and is her Patron Saint. But we really know very little about him at all, except that he was an evangelical and that he worked against the Druids and Pagans to establish the Church. Not such good luck for many, it seems. It does not surprise me, then, that abuse of alcohol, the drug of choice for the Dominator Culture is heavily associated with his memory. Sad, but not surprising.

The term Good Luck is derived from the words “God's Light.” (Luck=Lux) This makes sense, because we know that as we grow in spiritual illumination, amazing events flourish and grow exponentially in our lives. Master Paul maintained a constant focus on development of skills and precision around what he called “Bearing the Light,” and was legendary for the sheer numbers of people who came into spiritual illumination in his presence. His work was so effective that famed Seikh Guru Kirpal Singh was astounded by Master Paul’s illuminated disciples following a western path, and as his jaw dropped upon seeing them, he exclaimed: “Where did you get such Light?”


eye
Spiritual Sight

The ability to accurately “see” what is happening on non-physical levels is a skill that can be refined. It is taught and discussed in many schools and is a key component of spiritual training.

While it goes by a variety of names, practitioners from Shamans to Shaolin Monks, Yogis to Mystics, to Priests and Kabbalists use and develop it.

Spiritual sight becomes possible when a person's angle of view shifts slightly from what we can call “direct” to a view that comes from a different angle. But this is not simply an exercise in optical geometry. It is a different angle of being that makes Spiritual Sight possible. The skill requires practice, and when used for the deployment of compassion, can become a powerful healing force. We'll share more including examples on Tues as we prepare for Kirtan, Kriya & Self-Realization Meditation.


fractal
The Chakras

Conversation about the Chakras has become so commonplace, but what have we really learned about these energy centers in the spiritual body that met with major ganglia in the spine?

We will explore questions about the Chakras this evening.

Are the Chakras really colored like the spectrum from red at the root to violet at the crown? They Aren't, this is an error that has crept into mass thinking due to oversimplification and symbolic expression, but what DO they look like and how do you SEE them?


What is their function, and more importantly how do you activate and BALANCE them?

Understanding the aspects of life associated each chakra is an amazing lesson. For instance, the stomach/umbilical Chakra is associated to contractual and fixed arrangements. People who have attachment issues sometimes face balance issues around this Chakra. And each Chakra has keys to its portion of our whole expression.

cobra
Yoga Breath Refinements

It's typical of the oft-superficial West that so many people have taken "Yoga" classes with such limited emphasis laid upon breathing techniques, which are, in reality, the foundation of Yoga.
During our gatherings, when we breathe through Kriya Yoga before meditation, I've noticed that many people are unaccustomed to the vigorous breathing and release-to-cleansing and power that is so essential to Kriya Yoga.

It's a good idea for us to pause this week and examine a variety of breathing approaches refined and shared over centuries by the Yogis. Many "spiritual leaders" do not teach certain techniques to the public, but only offer them when money -- sometimes in large sums -- is exchanged for "initiation." These are generally referred to as secret breathing Yogas, or "Advanced Pranayams." There is no reason YOU must pay a sum that equates to a big slice of your monthly pie to somehow "show" that you are committed to learning the powerful techniques that really maximize the transformative experience Yoga offers.

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