The Curve of My Heart’s Desire

January 22, 2020

My mother hassles me in her dotage to go to church, to confess my sins, take holy communion and to kiss the priest’s hand. I can’t tell her that I see the priesthood as a costume prop of divinity wrapped around men. It’s not just the presumption of priesthood that grates but also the arrogance radiating off the white dog collar.

priest dog collar

“Matthew 7:1-2 Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

How far do I stray from this advice when I’m confronted by the Church? The whole edifice from its theology to its soteriology and its masonry is riddled with presumption and arrogance. Why must the source of Divine Power and Love be subject to franchise agreements? I cannot believe the ineffable manoeuvres like a lawyer. Is the priest a broker dealing in soul futures? With Wall St brokers, if you’re lucky, you may gain something. The Church provides words that haven’t been digested & transmuted into gold wisdom.

Is this to say that the Divine, the Miraculous, the Living Unknown do not exist? No. It only means that a systemic structure such as a Church cannot be the unpredictable, ineffable symbol of the Real. Now this engenders a whole host of issues of which the question “What is Real?” is at the centre. I don’t know the answer. I do know that the systemisers pretend to know.

What of confession? There’s something so essential, so oneself that hesitates to confess to another man one’s “sins”. The Greek word for “sin” is harmatia which means “missing the mark”. The assumption here is that both the priest and the confessor have agreed on what is sin. Even if they do agree as to what constitutes sin, it still sucks to confess these sins to another person. If it is true that God is not only transcendent but also imminent it follows that all failings and sins are already known to Him. The argument goes that when one confesses one is not confessing to the priest but rather through the priest to God. In other words the priest is an intermediary, a flesh & blood telephone. The priest also has the power to decide what, if any, penance is required. If you pay now you won’t have to worry about the interest rate in the after life. As a consequence, merely by humbling yourself to the intermediary, the priest, you will gain peace of mind and soul.

Really?

Do I need the responsibility of my life to rest on the decisions of a church man? What if the after life, the here after is THIS LIFE again? Yes, instead of a Ground Hog Day – a Ground Hog Life. Does it mean I will be forever doomed to pay lip service to a caricature of divinity just so I secure a respectable soul? Maybe there are souls that don’t fit the respectable mould. This does not mean they are not chosen by God. It only means that they may have another calling.

tree of knowledge

It goes deeper than this, it goes to the curve of one’s heart desire.

In me there resides the need to know, to understand. In me this desire to know who I am, what is my place in the universe and why I am here has directed the shape of my life. This desire has taken me to the edge of sanity where flying saucer landing pads in a commune’s backyard took the place of Hills Hoists. This desire has also turned my mind to the study of numbers, symbols, astrology, magic and divination – all of the mantic arts. The curve of my heart’s desire turns away from dogma & belief to the ever present mystery of simple life. This curvature reveals along its edge another calling that has nothing to do with any church or institution.

The desire to know was also probably Adam & Eve’s original sin. We all know what happened to them when they took a bite of the Apple.

Yes, I am inflicted because I seek knowledge of the Divine and I don’t want church men hovering around the curve of my heart’s desire.

apple

Photo Sparks Along a Country Road

December 31, 2013

 

“When you walk across the fields with your mind pure and holy, then from all the stones, and all growing things, and all animals, the sparks of their soul come out and cling to you, and then they are purified and become a holy fire in you.”

Hasidic Saying

I walk daily along a country road that runs parallel to a river after a bend.  I’ve just bought a second hand Pentax K-r camera and since this is the first time I’ve owned a “proper” camera I’d take it on my daily walk.  I’m especially enthralled by the close up macro capacity of this camera which opened another level of looking and seeing in my walk.

So every photo here is taken as I walk along my country road- except the pictures of Buddha, Jesus and Rumi 🙂

I Walk Daily 1

While walking I try to be aware of myself  by focussing on sensations of my feet touching the ground, the flies landing on my skin, the breeze touching my face and bare arms while attending to my breath. I often say hello to the cows and bulls if they’re nearby. I even try my version of cow talk by bellowing out loudly MMMOOOO!! They just look at me, don’t reply and often just run away.

 

I Walk Daily 2

 

It’s my attempt of walking meditation – an extension of Buddha’s suggestion:

I Walk Daily 3

“When walking, the practitioner is aware, ‘I am walking’; when standing, is aware, ‘I am standing’; when sitting, is aware, ‘I am sitting’; when lying down, is aware, ‘I am lying down.’ In whatever position one’s body happens to be, one is aware of the position of the body. When one is going forward or backward, one applies one’s full awareness to one’s going forward or backward. When one looks in front or looks behind, bends down or stands up, one also applies full awareness to what one is doing. One applies full awareness to wearing the robe or carrying the alms bowl. When one eats or drinks, chews or savors the food, one applies full awareness to all this. When passing excrement or urinating, one applies full awareness to this. When one walks, stands, lies down, sleeps or wakes up, speaks or is silent, one shines his awareness on all this.” So said the Buddha.

 

 

I Walk Daily 4

While walking I’m also aware of the chattering monkey mind climbing and swinging on mental vines in my skull. To calm the monkey and to see the chattering thoughts as clouds passing by I recite a mantra.  This mantra is the Trisagion chant I learnt in the Orthodox Church as a child. It is an ancient Christian prayer believed  to be an expansion of the angelic cry recorded in Revelation 4:8 :

The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying:

“Holy, holy, holy, holy, holy, holy, holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty,
Who was and is and is to come!”

I Walk Daily 5    Below is the chant in Greek and the translation in English.

Ἅγιος ὁ Θεός, Ἅγιος ἰσχυρός, Ἅγιος ἀθάνατος, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς.

   Agios o Theos, Agios ischyros, Agios athanatos, eleison imas.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

 

I inwardly chant this in Greek while watching my breath.

I Walk Daily 34

The words of the Trisagion are enhanced by the beautiful tune of the chant. You can hear a version of this chant here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbVBC1zQll4

I Walk Daily 6

I Walk Daily 7

I also love the quote below from Rumi, the great Islamic scholar and mystic, founder of the Whirling Dervishes:

I Walk Daily 8  “I searched for God among the Christians and on the Cross and therein I found Him not.
I went into the ancient temples of idolatry; no trace of Him was there.
I entered the mountain cave of Hira and then went as far as Qandhar but God I found not.
With set purpose I fared to the summit of Mount Caucasus and found there only ‘anqa’s habitation.
Then I directed my search to the Kaaba, the resort of old and young; God was not there even.
Turning to philosophy I inquired about him from ibn Sina but found Him not within his range.
I fared then to the scene of the Prophet’s experience of a great divine manifestation only a “two bow-lengths’ distance from him” but God was not there even in that exalted court.
Finally, I looked into my own heart and there I saw Him; He was nowhere else.”

 

 

If everything is in tune and there descends a silence within which may only last as long as a breath cycle or a few seconds then the words of this Hasidic saying come alive for a nano moment:

“When you walk across the fields with your mind pure and holy, then from all the stones, and all growing things, and all animals, the sparks of their soul come out and cling to you, and then they are purified and become a holy fire in you.”

I Walk Daily 9

I Walk Daily 10

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I Walk Daily 23

At the end of the bamboo grove I always eat fruit in season – winter an orange or mandarine – home grown, and in summer  stone fruit – peach, plum or apricot. I relish the taste, feeling the life force zing of fresh fruit as I look across the river to the mountains in the distance. At times a pelican may fly overhead or a hawk dive down to the field. Always there are ducks gliding over the river’s surface.

I Walk Daily 24

After eating the fruit, I take three deep breaths and now aloud, chant the Trisagion followed by the Lord’s Prayer said in the original Greek.

I Walk Daily 35

The only beings who hear me are the flowers and trees nearby, birds nesting, insects buzzing around, lizards near my feet scurrying away and the river and breeze. I ponder on the meaning of this prayer amongst the “lilies of the field”. I wonder why the word translated as “daily”, the Greek word “epiousion” is a huge mystery because the only time it is used in Greek is in this prayer and no one knows what it means! Here we have a set of words memorised by millions and millions with a hidden mystery word – “epiousion”. I like to think that the “bread” the prayer is referring to is the “sparks of the soul of things”.

I Walk Daily 25

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I keep walking trying to be present, trying to be in the moment all the way back home. Once at home I try to re-member the tiny moments of awareness that sparked across my synapses and along the river’s edge.

I Walk Daily 33

 

 

 

 

 


The veritable basis of symbolism – Rene Guenon

January 26, 2013

All that exists, in whatever mode this may be, necessarily participates in universal principles, and nothing exists except by participation in these principles, which are the eternal and immutable essences contained in the permanent actuality of the Divine Intellect. Consequently, it can be said that all things, however contingent they may be in themselves, express or represent these principles in their own way and according to their order of existence, for otherwise they would be purely and simply nothingness. Thus, from one order to another, all things are linked together and correspond, to come together in total and universal harmony, for harmony is nothing other than the reflection of principial unity in the manifested world; and it is this correspondence which is the veritable basis of symbolism.

Rene Guenon, Autorite spirituelle et pouvoir temporel ( from studies in symbolism compiled by Michel Valsan in the posthumous book “Fundamental Symbols – The Universal Language of Sacred Science.”)

guenon


Carlos Suarès – a Unique Qabalist

November 21, 2012

Carlos Suares

Carlos Suares (1892–1976) was a painter, writer and Qabalist. Qabala, also known as Kabbalah and Cabala is generally thought of as the esoteric side of Judaism. Carlos Suares spent over 40 years intensely studying the Qabala and he writes of the Qabala as a science of undifferentiated energy written in code embedded in the Bible, particularly Genesis and the Song of Solomon.

“I begin our study by saying that the Qabala is a science and that The Sepher Yetsira is a precise and accurate treatise on the structure of cosmic energy, written in a hidden code. This should not be a surprise: all the physical sciences are nowadays, written in cipher codes. If the code referring to the letters E, M, C was unknown, Einstein’s equation, E=MC2, could not be understood. The mystery of the Qabala is simply due to the fact that the cabalists are not aware of what its language is and to the ignorance both of the analogical mode of thought characterising this language, and of the necessity of connecting this text with modern scientific research, instead of with the archaic stages of a science. In this they are like people who call themselves great physicians because they spend their time studying Archimedes, or mathematicians because they know Euclid by heart. This kind of scholarship is no more than an intellectual diversion, contributing nothing to our strife-riven world, or to our present consciousness which has lost its past mythological illusions and is in the process of bridging religion and science…”

He makes the point that in reading the Autiot (the letters of the Hebrew language) and making the effort to connect with the “meaning” the reader partakes in a transformation of consciousness, even if the reader does not “understand” the apparent associations of the sacred letters – the Autiot.

I noticed when reading the Cipher of Genesis that a certain quality of energy became manifest in my mind. It is difficult to describe but it was more like ingesting a psychedelic substance in tiny doses with one’s eyes and the mind was a stomache digesting these letter – number doses. After making the effort to “understand – digest” the input of the letter – numbers a feeling of lightness and focus appeared. Like I say, it is difficult to describe and to even call it “reading” does not do the effort and material ingested justice.

By showing that the energising properties of the Autiot have a dual cosmic flow, the way to an essential stage of modern physics is cleared: the study of consciousness, in its material manifestations, as energy.
–Suares, Sepher Yetsira p.41 (Carlo Suarès)

In his book, “The Second Coming of Reb YHSHWH : The Rabbi Called Jesus Christ”  he presents his stance on what The Kingdom of Heaven is.

“The Eight Propositions”

“And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21). And this would be the keynote of the New Era. Here are the eight propositions:

1. Seek your total individuality. Don’t write it down anywhere. Don’t give it a name. Any definition of yourself is a deceptive hideout.

2. You will not find your total individuality. It is your total individuality that sees you, that witnesses your doings. It acts in our space-time continuum but is not restricted to it.

3. Your total individuality is your soul. It abides in the indeterminate plurality of universes. Because it is alive, it is evolving. Because it is outside of time, its evolution is only the time that you need to permit it to find you. Because it is multidimensional, it contributes to the composition of an Ecclesia. It is one and innumerable.

4. Your soul will not find you as long as your consciousness is made of the stuff of false evidences created by your mind: as long as you do not feel a sense of suffocation in those space-time false evidences.

5. The death of false evidences is a psychological death, announcer of resurrection. Each false evidence denounced opens a window in the inner space where the measurable dies.

6. This death of the measurable in the inner space is a personal experience. All that is said to you about it will prevent it from occurring. Do not listen to the professionals of any religions.

7. Beyond this death, our infinitely multiple individuality reveals to our present person that we are only one of its multifarious manifestations. We then meet the other manifestations of our soul spread out through history, still present and alive.

8. So this consciousness emanating from our soul integrates its earthly past and also its future. It knows itself continuous, without limits. It is all-consciousness, it penetrates every consciousness, it understands every consciousness, and that understanding is love.

The Sephiroth Cube

I suggest that you read his books so that you get a first hand account of the “energy” transmission mentioned above rather than have someone like me give you my filtered and flawed interpretations. Indeed, I would be lying if I said that I understand Carlos Suares’ Qabala. All I can say in truth is that I am in awe of what he brings and one day I hope to get an inkling, a taste of his understanding.


A Nano-Flash from reading “The Theory of Celestial Influence”

February 21, 2012

I wrote the stuff below after I read Rodney Collin’s book, “The Theory of Celestial Influence”. I was attempting to put in my own words a ” flash ” his book gave me. Rodney Collin began writing this book during P D Ouspensky’s last illness. He completed it soon after Ouspensky’s death. In fact, Collins believed that much of the book was transmitted to him by Ouspensky both before and after his death. Whether this is true or not doesn’t concern me.

The Theory of Celestial Influence” is one of those books which have thrilled me with the vision of worlds within worlds with onion skinned layers of Eternity and Time. He sets out to reconcile the considerable contradictions of the rational and imaginative minds and of the ways we see the external world versus our inner selves. It is subtitled MAN, THE UNIVERSE, AND COSMIC MYSTERY. You feel that it is an on the spot documentary report of the way the world is. It is staggering in its reach and depth.

For readers familiar with Gurdjieff’s cosmology you will here find further examinations of the systems outlined in by Ouspensky in In Search of the Miraculous. If you get a chance read it.

======================================================================

Let us attempt to visualize the metageometrical form of a four dimensional solid using as a model the planetary world.

From this view when looking into the sky we are actually observing cross sections of the sun and the moon. Planetary movement is no more than our perception of a succession of discrete points along the greater line of time. Yet in order for us to appreciate the magnitude of a four dimensional form we must take as our subject of investigation a sufficient number of points along the timeline of our solar system. But inasmuch as our own individual lives are quite trivial relative to the solar existence we cannot hope to formulate an interesting or even approximately accurate representation unless we view a much longer span of time than that occupied by the mere life of either a human or, for that matter, humanity.

Therefore, let us take as our “point in time” a one million year segment. In order to simplify our model let us first presume that the direction of the sun comprises a straight line. The four dimensional body or form of the sun over a million years would appear to an observer capable of perceiving such a thing as a large burning rod . Bound and tightly coiled about the rod spiral twelve much smaller concentric threads These are the planets. Upon closer examination we detect even smaller ridges spiraling the planetary threads. These are various moons and satellites. We could further complicate our model to include asteroids and comets as they traverse the sun, and as a matter of course we would have to significantly expand this now growing model if we were to place the sun in its proper place, because the sun itself spirals “through space” on its own predetermined path within the much larger galactic cosmos. Thus, instead of a straight rigid rod we would likely observe a curved, twisted, and spiraling rod. In fine, within this new model our time has become space. Imagining space thusly (i.e. in four dimensions) begs the question, “What of a man’s life?” Dissecting tightly wound threads from the central core and subsequently stripping away the outer threads (planets) we would eventually reach the third to the last thread, our earth. 

Living Solar System “Sperm” from book.

If we had a powerful enough viewing instrument we might discover various geologic ages. If our microscope were capable of finer resolution we might even be able to discern the age of man. As yet, an individual man, or even a single civilization would not be apparent. Perhaps certain age old relics would be observable such as the Sphinx or the Great Pyramids. And maybe the period between 1945 and 1965 would somehow be detected as the many above ground atomic explosions conducted by the U.S., U.S.S.R., and China were measured as strange bursts of nuclear energy.

Still, the life of any individual would not be missed. The wars, deaths, and all the suffering of humanity would be a minor thing indeed. And what we revere in our science, religion, and art would be nothing. In reality and if such a thing were possible it would be even less than nothing since we must remember that we are dealing with an almost instantaneous fragment of the life of the sun, i.e., a mere one million years.


Starry, starry questions?

February 21, 2012

Does astrology really let me hear the echo of bells on Earth? Do stars really pull the heart strings of a doe and petals of a rose? Is my life only one long bale of circumstantial strings held by mind stuff that is on the same pallete as every other bale of humanity? Whose pallete, and, whose Farm do we belong? The bale of wheat that we are according to this image must be food for someone or something. Perhaps not food but material or ingredients. a part of a recipe Man eating gods? Why not? After all we have a major religion that practises on a regular basis god eating.


Sciatica, a Hair Shirt and Attention

April 13, 2011

So, this is sciatica. I get pains from my lower back and down my leg. I walk stilted and my leg is sometimes numb. I’m getting treatment for it and it doesn’t seem to be a chronic condition even though I’ve had it off and on for about 3 months. Each time the sciatic nerve becomes better I inflame it, twice now. Each inflammation was due to my helping Kevin the Handyman. It’s not his fault and neither mine. The jobs needed doing and I had to help him otherwise they wouldn’t get done and he could have got hurt if I didn’t help. Each job seemed small and if I didn’t have sciatica they were. I did not listen to my body.

Sciatica - diagram from Wikipeadia

This is the key – my not listening to my body.

In fact, if I view this situation from a Work perspective, the sciatica, instead of being a useless pain, could be useful as a powerful sensation reminding factor. I remember when I first came across the idea that sensation was the anchor, the platform, the foundation of awareness of oneself, I thought I found the key to my tan tien, my centre. Up to the discovery of sensation as an anchor for attention I visualised where my centre was. Informed by my Tai Chi teacher the centre, the tan tien was about  3 inches below my belly button and about an inch or two in towards my spine. I tried to direct my attention by visualising the surface of my body. With the discovery of sensation as an anchor things changed. I theorised that if I can place my attention on my body, or a part of it and at the same time carry on doing what I normally do, I have the beginnings of separation between “I” and “me”. The attention is divided between sensation and what I am doing. (Check out a development of this idea in my post Kites and Consciousness.)

I went about trying to find means of remembering my tan tien, my centre while watching and counting my breath using the sensation of cold incoming breath and warm outgoing breath through my nose. This was the simple Buddhist meditation of counting the breath. I scratched the spot where the tan tien should be on the surface of my body gently, I even put tiger balm on the area because the heat generated would draw my attention there. I thought I’d figured out why some monks wore hair shirts. It reminds them that they have a body and not to just squat in their minds.

Tan Tien

Did it work?

I gained a sense of my centre but this was also due to the growing sensation of my whole body. It was easier to remember the tiger balmed spot and it was the heat of the balm that drew my attention.

My sciatica has freed me from the need of a hair shirt or tiger balmed strategic spots. Sciatica has given me the “gift” of pain sensation in my lower back and leg and attending to it with awareness of my breath – I type or eat or drive as needed. The pain is there when inflammation fires up but my awareness of it is not. Reacting and feeling the pain is not being aware of it – the pain leads and my mind follows.

If I can build a floor, a stable point of attention in my body I will have the beginnings of separation.

Why the need for separation between the body and awareness?

Why the need to say I see through my eyes not with them; I hear through my ears not with them; I sense through my pain but not with it?

Without that separation “I” am not here, there’s just a happening, an event but no observer.

I wish to be present to what is happening and if what is happening is witnessed within the mind-body then I witness through this mind-body.

So, who am I? Who is the Observer? The Witness?


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