World events have lately overshadowed the inner life and it is regretful that I haven’t been to this site which is more in line with what I am about than commenting on the world which is, after all, the world and is always presenting the same challenges and tests. There is a tradition of understanding that weaves its way through most of the world’s religions and metaphysical traditions that says you have to be in a physical body to make progress on the path. I’d rather it wasn’t so. There can be some real enjoyment and delight in a physical envelope but I am not sure that the pros outweigh the cons. As Buddha said, “All life is pain caused by ignorant desire.”
One of the readers at Smoking Mirrors (and here) made mention of not commenting due to the negative appearance of the last several posts over there. Truth be told, I’m fiercely optimistic about things but... for those who are captured in the web of materialism I am not optimistic. That particular state of being always comes to a bad end because it is the nature of spirit to free itself from the material realm. It is the nature of the soul to collect experience and move on once the work is done in a particular vehicle. Oh... you can argue that it’s all spirit and that God composes everything. I won’t argue about that but... saying something and being in a living state of awareness in relation to saying these things are two different things. Sometimes readers drop in and give me some routine about being and nothingness; about perfect balance and detachment, about the perspective of the eternal witness... as if I hadn’t come across these things in my inquiries. My position is not about pontificating from some snowy heights, speaking in pure math as the snow melts and turns into all the audible colors of the valley below.
There is no question that the state of being that Ramana Maharshi and Ramakrishna spoke of is valid. I’ve been in those states on occasion but I was not allowed to remain. You can’t storm the gates of Heaven. You can’t be where you aren’t allowed to be until you have earned that right. So I don’t like to present things that encourage a remote and detached space. I don’t feel that it helps people to tell them that everything is meaningless and nothing matters. At a certain level this is true but within the bandwidth where most of the readers and I reside... a wall is a wall and if you hit it it’s going to hurt. No amount of telling yourself that the space between the atoms is relatively as large as that between the planets... or however that actually works out affects your contact with the wall.
This is why I stress Love. For me, love answers all and serves every need. Love contains Wisdom and Understanding and all the qualities- the armor of God. Some people are naturally disposed toward the mental end and some toward the emotional. Sure... the emotions operate from a certain location in the brain but no one can tell me the heart is not the seat of a number of states and, in the end, I believe the heart should swallow the mind. We can argue till doomsdays break about minutiae and get all Thomas Aquinas and Aristotelian on each other but that’s late night dorm room stuff regardless of where it’s taking place.
Not without reason do the greatest teachers we have encountered; in person or in books, speak with such enduring humility about their status in respect of the all. I have personally met realized beings and they are inflexibly consistent in denying special status to themselves. They know something. We know it too if we would only be open to the magnitude of that which penetrates and contains us. Pride and vanity are dangerous companions. You don’t want to encourage their presence at all. One of my ongoing prayers and requests is to have my shortcomings and weaknesses removed and replaced by the qualities of God. Paramahansa Yogananda said that you should go to God and ask him for a loan from his spiritual bank. It’s like any other loan. You have to pay it back. Of course, this sort of a loan is repaid by giving it all away to whomever may need it. It made me laugh when I thought this out for myself. If anyone ever needs an example of how to be they have only to consider The Sun. You don’t really need to know more than that and eventually you may not. Sure... there are different yogas for different soul types. Jnana Yoga and Bhakti Yoga are definitely across the spectrum from one another; so... some of us may know a great deal at some point but...
It’s my belief that no matter how much you come to know... you have to come back and become a Bhakti Yogi afterwards. Total surrender is the final word in realization. One of the reasons that I am so attracted to Ganesha/Ganapati is that he is the remover of obstacles to Self Realization. It’s said that he is the one that introduces you to your teacher and that you have to get that from him. Of course, what Ganesha represents is differently personified in other fates but that same force is active in them all. It is Ganesha who gave us The Bhagavad-Gita and he is also the Lord of the Devic Realm, the Lord of Categories and the patron deity of the arts... especially writers. I’ve been working on an album about him and the lines to one of the tunes goes, “If your God can walk on water and rise from the dead, my God can have an elephants head.”
In India, Ganesha is the household God and most every house will have a Ganesha statue around the front door. He’s also the patron God of businessmen and the one you go to, to ask for material things. So, many people would reasonably think that he was less than he is and not so diversified as he is. He’s the most easily approachable of the Gods because he is nearest to us in the way these things are understood and he contains the material world in his belly. Well... although I have framed posters of him around the house they are just reminders to me. I engage in no rituals besides meditation- which comes and goes ...and psychedelic periods where God can be interacted with in a very intense way. Sure... this sort of thing is proscribed by many but this is the Kali Yoga and a time of intense material darkness and I need to burn through the carbon for necessary reminders. That’s me.
Recently I’ve been having experiences with a variety of divine personas from various faiths. For a long time I was very involved in considering the Amitabha Buddha. You can go to his Western Pure Land and reincarnate there as long as needed and not have to come back here. I find that very attractive and I expect to see more of him at some point. For now it’s been a lot of Ganesha and certain realized yogis who have had my attention in a very direct way. I never imagined that I would consider the divine with the head of an elephant but I don’t question this sort of a thing because these things change just as things change down here. It’s a stage I’m going through. We move through different stations and different teachers until ‘the one’ is revealed to us in the most appropriate form for us... after that... awareness of the formless may follow. I don’t think it’s such a good idea (for me) to go after the formless first. It always gets a little too impersonal for my present state and I like God as a friend and a companion and he’s more than willing to give me that. He also turns into the mother at times depending on the need of the moment.
Yes the world is at a critical state presently and I apologize if I’ve been a little intense about it but you will see that that was not inappropriate to the situation. However, I am very, very optimistic about the potential for anyone to come out of this and into a brand new world. I’m extremely optimistic about my own situation, even though not much of what I wanted initially has come to pass... I’ve been surprised to find that I am delighted with what has. God has been very good to me but not so much in the ways so many look for. What is possible within is so far beyond anything the world can offer that to me, what the world offers and the intense competition for it is the very definition of insanity.
Those blessed with so much of the worlds riches are actually mostly cursed and will endure real suffering over it. Those with so much celebrity and power are also in an unfortunate state. It is a truly rare individual who can possess these things and not be possessed by them and these are not just words.
Yes... the world is what it is and points need to be made about that but... there’s another world, unaffected by this world and the door is open if you can find it. You can ask for help and help will come. The more intensely and comprehensively you ask, the quicker it will arrive. How bad do you want it? Don’t think God isn’t aware of that. The real reason you lose everything you have and suffer so much in the process of living is so that you can learn what is enduring and what is not and be capable of asking for the right things. There isn’t much more to it than that.
'The World is a Rumor' is track no. 8 of 13 on Visible's 2007 album
'The Sacred and The Profane'
Lyrics (pops up)