Saturday, June 20, 2009

Piscean Hangover or Aquarian Age Appropriate?

‘As If the Universe Were One Single Organism’ attracted a comment from a friend who is increasingly open to the idea that existence is a divine manifestation and is at the same time a bit of a skeptic when it comes to the idea of a divine order or a divine precision that expresses itself in the smallest of circumstances. He wrote:

‘"All universal designs are found in human body proportions" [a quote from Michael Schneider’s book]. That seems more like a leap of faith. Examples don't necessarily lead to a "therefore" statement such as that.’

I replied: ‘… It is not so much a leap of faith ... it is actually a process of measuring and learning to appreciate relationships between parts of any whole (and of course parts of THE Whole).’

How to put this in another way? When it comes to growing a vision of the underlying consciousness-force (or divinity) that ties microcosm to macrocosm (the above to the below, the inside to the outside, form to soul), faith has just about nothing to do with it. Just like faith would have just about nothing to do with learning a new language or sport, or with deciphering a coded message. There is a structure to be learned, keys of knowledge (including keys of measure) that allow one to see through appearances and become increasingly aware of the sacred geometry/sacred architecture/divine will unfolding in time and space in one’s individual and collective field. As one takes on the task of learning this particular language or sport of deciphering the coded messages of the Divine as found in material existence, direct experience continues to expose or bring to the surface the hidden order and consciousness of the Self. As a result, one becomes increasingly in tune with the divine harmony. [The symbol of the Freemasons - the compass and ruler, represents this task of measuring]

The primordial note (OM), the underlying shruti or the sanatana dharma (eternal truth) which describes the central tone or the ‘One’ that harmonizes the ‘Many’ notes of existence, becomes increasingly ‘audible’ or directly perceivable so one no longer needs to have faith in Divinity. One sees and experiences the consciousness-force at play in the cyclical course (in the circumstance) of the journey and recognizes the continuity of the Divine not only from form to form and event to event, but also from day to day, year to year, in past, present and future. From this point of view, the ‘negative’ as well as the ‘positive’ elements of the journey are seen to be in cahoots towards furthering the evolutionary progress of the Whole. The world pulse and flow is seen to have the express purpose of bringing about the full material expression of the indwelling Soul – the full material expression of the Soul’s light, truth, consciousness, force and bliss.

Currently our civilization is suffering the inevitable consequences of a whole belief structure that is frozen or encrusted around the idea that the divine is absent in the flow/structure of time and in the details of material creation. Maya originally synonymous with material creation and measure, came to be known as an illusion, and Time (Kala) as a force of destruction [as depicted in Goya's painting of the god of time, Chronos] Such perspectives are firmly rooted in and grown from the experience of life as a random, disharmonious and perhaps meaningless parade of strife, suffering and loss. This pain-born belief structure was dominant in the Age of Pisces (234 BCE – 1926 CE) and out of its world-weary womb came our modern-day religious faiths (faith in a better pasture and divinity beyond the chains of this world existence), as well as the yawning chasm between science and religion and an apparent desire to conquer, dominate, subdue, plunder and own the Earth and its riches. Also out of this belief structure came a thorough dismissal of ancient cultures and wisdom traditions that ordered, harmonized and coordinated their lives and all their systems of knowledge according to the divine measurements or dimensions of the cosmos, the solar system, the Sun, the Earth and the Moon. The sacred, multi-dimensional, and measurable journey known to our ancient relatives and their efforts to keep track of vast cycles of time so that future civilizations might not lose the plot (i.e. might not get lost in a seemingly random evolutionary journey without a map or without the map keys), have survived the ages to be largely taken for granted, ignored or misinterpreted by modern mankind. For instance, few people on the planet have considered that the Lion/Man, the Sphinx of Giza is a temple most likely built in the Age of Leo (the Lion), nor how amazing it is that the Lion body of the Sphinx was hidden under sand for thousands and thousands of years, only to be uncovered in 1926, the very beginning of the Age of Aquarius (the Man).


If one has read the collective work of Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, one knows that this situation is being rectified; one knows that the ship-wrecking, self-wrecking world-wrecking belief structure that became dominant in the Piscean Age is being melted, dissolved or dismantled, bit by bit, chunk by chunk in our current Aquarian Age by a new influx, current or ‘descent’ of knowledge. The gist of their world-rectifying story is that we actually do have the right map keys by which to re-orient ourselves and remember ourselves (our divinity, our love, our joy, etc.) within a larger process, an all-encompassing (integral) process inclusive of the trials and tribulations and accomplishments of previous Ages and previous civilizations as well as those of our present. The matter of how long it will take for larger and larger swirls of people to notice, study and use these keys, i.e. to make the needed effort to see or know the Divine Maya (the Divine Measure) has been a bit of a nail-bitter for me; but over time I have learned to better appreciate the suspense of the Divine Play.

If at first I am somewhat horrified by all of the ‘New-Age’ teachings that are actually a throwback or a hangover from the Maya negating, time blind, cosmologically backward Age of Pisces, I am ever the more thrilled when studies of world and self prove themselves to be age appropriate – that is appropriate to the Aquarian Age in which we are now living. That which continues to ignore or dismiss the Divine Maya, the cosmic order and divine consciousness uniting all beings and reverberating, replicating and evolving itself throughout time, in our individual and collective lives and in the cells of life and atomic particles of matter, is simply no longer age appropriate. The time for forgetting, discounting or being otherwise oblivious to these fabulous and spectacular aspects and dimensions of ourselves is coming to an end; as is the time of hemorrhaging monumental amounts of precious time, energy and life due to a profound ignorance of THAT which we all have in common.

What I am really trying to say is that FAITH in the idea of an orderly, harmonious divine existence is thankfully not going to cut it in this day and age, nor is a vague or merely artistic or mathematical appreciation of sacred geometries (literally ‘earth-measure’). The demands of our Age will necessitate that we cultivate a lived experience of these things.


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Thursday, June 11, 2009

As If the Universe Were One Single Organism

‘If we can see and understand nature as a harmony in which we participate, we’ll want to transform ourselves and our relationships to align with that harmony.

'We often act as if inner human nature was unconnected with outer nature … the geometry outside us shows us the principles within ourselves. It’s time we, as a global whole, relinquish old models of looking and learning and begin to cooperate. Literacy in nature’s script dispels the stereotype of nature as disorganized, unintelligible, and hostile. ... Learning nature’s language and reading its message helps abolish the attitude of separateness and encourages us to appreciate diversity. It will lead to nothing less than our own transformation as we find all nature’s principles within ourselves.

'To learn to resee the world in terms of its patterns requires a shift within us. But once this shift occurs and we see the familiar world in terms of its shapes and principles, a light turns on and the world brightens, comes into sharper relief. Everything speaks its purpose through its patterns. … All universal designs are found in human body proportions, which we have see can be repackaged to produce the proportions of a crystal, plant, animal, solar system, and galaxy. It is as if the universe is one single organism, motivated by a single power, developing in many ways to gradually become aware of itself through the awareness of the creatures and forces it produces.’ – Michael S. Schneider, A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe

Michael S. Schneider is a mathematician turned visionary educator, educating those who may be unaware of the ‘patterns that recur through the universe and underlie human affairs’. When I read A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe this Spring I was hardly one who needed convincing of the importance of ‘resee[ing] the world in terms of its patterns’; but still I learned a lot about number, geometry and nature's designs. I learned, for instance, that one reason cats' faces are so appealing to me (and apparently to witches) is because they display a pentagonal harmony. Thus the number 5 beautifully figures into the design of the feline face.

Schneider proceeds through the numbers one through ten and helps readers to see how number, form, art, myth, music and history are inter-related and how they can be seen as part of an inter-connected whole.

He closed the book with a quote from the founder of Integral Yoga, Sri Aurobindo:

Inaudible to our deaf mortal ears
The wide world-rhythms wove their stupendous chant

To which life strives to fit our rhyme-beats here,

Melting our limits in the illimitable,

Turning the finite to infinity.

- Savitri, Book 1, Canto 1

Though Schneider quotes Sri Aurobindo a couple of times in his book, he seems oblivious to the progress Sri Aurobindo's successors (the Mother and Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet) have already made in the realm of sacred geometry, integral vision and world-rhythms and the divine design. Still I appreciate his knowledge and his understanding that living geometrical patterns have something to do with personal growth, with the expansion of consciousness and with establishing world harmony. The number of people with such an understanding is not large and I imagine his teachings will inspire many to reconsider what it means to be conscious of one's Self, one's World and one's Cosmos.

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Tribe

‘Nope that’s not going to do it,’ I kept repeating in many different and yet not discouraging ways to a friendly salesman at Fairfax Hardware. I had tried to explain to him that I needed two L-shape nails to brace a statue of a goddess I had just mounted near the front door of my house. He thought a wire around her neck would do the trick.

‘Ummm … No.’

‘Who’s the goddess?’ he asked, increasingly curious and even excited about my project.

‘Saraswati – the Indian goddess of wisdom and harmony.’

After many attempts to find the right hardware for my noble task he went rogue. He grabbed a piece of bronze wire from a bin, ushered me to a back room, and made me the L-shaped nails using a vice and wire cutters.

Then he took me off guard and asked what tribe I was from.

Taking into account the fact that I was in Fairfax (CA), my first thought was that he was asking me in a souped-up new-agey way what my sign was. Instead I made a face that suggested he had lost me; after all who in this day and age referred to the twelve astrological signs as the twelve tribes. It seemed somehow unlikely to me that he was speaking that eternal language.

‘Native American,’ he grinned and added that he was from the Moon tribe.

‘Moon tribe’ meant absolutely nothing to me but I did offer that my great, great grandmother was a Cherokee from the Midwest.

He noted that his Native American ancestors were from the Midwest as well and thought maybe that was why we got along so well in the hardware store. I looked into his kindly blue eyes looking for some signs of familiarity and thought, sure we could be related … we could be descendants of the same Native American tribe. Why not?

After paying $1.62 for my hand-made nails and getting into my car, I was still shocked that someone had asked me what tribe I was from. It took me a few minutes to realize that when I had said that Saraswati was an Indian goddess, he thought I meant Native American.

Days later I remain fascinated by the question. My TRIBE? Usually the word refers to a group harmonized in certain ways, bound by certain commonalities: a common journey, common circumstances, common language, common calendar, common beliefs, common needs, common interests, common boundaries, common laws, common goals and often by common enemies.

Families are a certain kind of tribe. Groups of friends or co-workers are another kind of tribe. Spiritual communities and religious groups must also count as tribes, as do people belonging to the same race, the same country, state or territory or perhaps the same school, project or team. But these are all microcosms of varying sizes within larger macro-tribes.

The prefix tri is Sanskrit for the number three, so etymologically and structurally the word ‘tribe’ means something along the lines of ‘to be three’ … Tri-Be. Given the importance of the trinity in the ancient India, hundreds and hundreds of Sanskrit words contain the prefix tri. The word most resembling ‘tribe’ in the Sanskrit language is actually tribha, meaning three zodiac signs that form one season or quadrant of the year, or 3 x 30 degrees of a circle). Tribhuj means ‘three-fold’ and tribhuja means ‘triangle’ or ‘triply born’.

The equilateral triangle is the first 2-dimensional shape born within the circle. It seems to me that this triangle within the circle is an archetypal tribe, a first tribe of sorts – three points of the same circumference, 120 degrees apart, emanating from and bound to the same seed/source and bound to the same laws – three who share one heart and one field or journey. No matter what essential tribe or trinity we wish to acknowledge, whether it be father, mother, and child; or past, present, and future; or the Indian trigunas: rajas, sattva and tamas (i.e. creation, preservation and dissolution) it is good to recall that each member, or each element of the group, holds its own perfect place within the circular or spherical whole. Sri Aurobindo writes of the ‘three powers of the eternal manifestation’:

'While the Divine is One, it is also manifold... It is at once Transcendental, Cosmic and Individual. By knowing the eternal unity of these three powers of the eternal manifestation, God, the Cosmos and the Individual self, and their intimate necessity to each other, we come to understand existence itself.' -- A Synthesis of Yoga

[Image from The Gnostic Circle]

Perhaps if more micro-tribes were aware of this essential Tri-Being, this triadic structure of our shared existence, harmony between men would not be so hard to come by. In our day and age the universal and eternal A-U-M, hum or tone of the Tri-Being is apparently a hard tune to summon in the depths of one’s heart/being. It is as if most have forgotten to even long for such a grand ‘Tribe’, for such a harmonizing tone, for such a unity among all our parts.

Harmony certainly has not been the outcome of sciences that examine the material creation with no realization of spirit, or the outcome of religions that recognize something of the spirit (such as the Divine Father or Absolute) but consider the cosmic and individual aspects of existence to be a temporal illusion to be transcended or escaped.

Indians, especially those in tune with India’s Vedic heritage, seem to be the Earthly tribe most aware of themselves and others as individual Tri-beings, representatives of a larger universal Tri-being. The idea of a tri-fold unity in which spirit and matter and all individual beings (or forms) are One – the Many who are eternally One – seems better understood on the Indian subcontinent than elsewhere. The entire population hums along, consciously or unconsciously, to the primordial triadic tone of AUM.

Yet many Indians and most of the world’s religions or spiritual philosophies have given up on the idea that matter/material creation is in itself the divine in motion – have given up on the idea that the Divine Mother or Divine Maya is in profound, constant, visible harmony with the Divine Spirit (God the Father). As a result the absolute and the relative (the source/point and the circumference/material and temporal circumstance) are not recognized as equally divine. Perhaps if this situation, this view, were corrected and the true relationship between the temporal and the eternal were seen, the Earth tribe could settle into its common divine ground, its common divine substance, its common divine journey in time, its common divine language and its common divine goals rather than continuing to crave transcendence or heaven or a nirvanic dissolution of the evolving soul into a timeless and formless void.

So … my Tribe? I certainly belong to a smattering of micro-tribes. But to me the question itself is strange, something akin to: ‘Who do you identify with at the expense of others and at the expense of embracing a wider vision of your Self and World?’ Why cling to the smaller frames of one’s Self? Why limit one’s being to small ideas, small goals and to fragmentary, isolated bands of existence?

Why not recognize the whole of existence as one’s community? Why not place oneself within an all-inclusive sacred design (sacred body) that lives and breathes and moves, ALL together, in time and space? Why not strive to be a universal being, to learn what one truly has in common with all others? Perhaps it is a steep challenge. Maybe the thought of betraying or loosing one’s old tribal connections, bonds, belief systems and such is just too overwhelming, too frightening. But how could any progress towards recognizing and reuniting with one’s universal Tribe not be worth whatever struggles arise along the way?

Many thanks to the goddess Saraswati (herself an essential part of a tri-being known as the tridevi – the three goddesses) for leading me on this consideration of Tribe.




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Friday, June 5, 2009

E Pluribus Unum

In his June 4th call for greater harmony on planet Earth, Obama mentioned America’s seed motto, E Pluribus Unum meaning 'Out of Many, One.' [Link to speech]

‘The United States has been one of the greatest sources of progress that the world has ever known. We were born out of revolution against an empire. We were founded upon the ideal that all are created equal, and we have shed blood and struggled for centuries to give meaning to those words - within our borders, and around the world. We are shaped by every culture, drawn from every end of the Earth, and dedicated to a simple concept: E pluribus unum: "Out of many, one."’

The history of this beautiful universal truth (and seed realization for remembering how to reverse engineer harmony and unity within a system that has forgotten its Wholeness) which was adopted by the United States circa 1776, is commonly traced back to Moretum, a poem attributed by some to Virgil (70 – 19 BCE):

‘… color est e pluribus unus [out of many comes a single colour]’

The deepest roots of this wisdom – which could if properly understood and applied, be the foundation of a new and improved civilization, a universal brotherhood of men, women and everything else – are actually found in the Rig Veda which was written (some historians believe) 5000 years ago.

‘Ye found the light, the one light for many.’ – Rig Veda 1.93.4 (An homage to Agni – the Divine Flame or Will, and Soma – the Lord of Delight and Immortality)

The Vedic realization of the One that is equal to the Many has been recalled by Indian sage Sri Aurobindo (1872 – 1950):

‘We see that the Absolute, the Self, the Divine, the Spirit, the Being is One; the Transcendental is one, the Cosmic is one but we see also that beings are many and each has a self, a spirit, a like yet different nature. And since the spirit and essence of things is one, we are obliged to admit that all these many must be that One, and it follows that the One is or has become many . . . .’ The Life Divine

Often E Pluribus Unum is associated with the symbol of the Eagle. The Eagle in the American Seal carries this message in its beak. This Eagle has its own esoteric significance, which is perhaps worthy of another entry, but the symbol which best expresses the unity, harmony and structure of the One and the Many is the symbol of the Sun: the Circle with its central point. Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet writes:

‘[The Circle] represents the unified multiplicity. By living the experience of the Circle we can come to know the play of the Multiple as the indispensible ingredient in the question of Unity…. In [the symbol of the Sun], all the secrets of the universe are contained; likewise, in the physical sun the secrets of the material universe and their correspondence to the Spirit are contained.’The Gnostic Circle

Obama heralded a day ‘when the Holy Land of three great faiths [Christianity, Judaism and Islam] is the place of peace that God intended it to be.’ He continued, ‘The Holy Koran tells us, "O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another."’ One must truly wonder how all the contentious nations, religions and tribes of the Earth might truly come ‘to know one another’ as the many faces of the same One … as many points along the same Circle of Light.

The Rig Veda speaks of the Earth’s Year, (its 360 degree journey around the Sun in 12 stages or months) as a symbol of Man’s (and the Earth’s) common evolutionary journey. A common path – the One Path we all share – towards the cultivation/embodiment of our full truth, our full consciousness and our full bliss. My life has led me towards the Vedic Idea that it is an awareness of this common journey, our common ‘playing’ field of time and space, the common geometry shared by our souls as expressed in matter that will gradually help to slough off our forgetfulness of the One Self in many forms.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Galaxy Song



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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Blog is Born

Considering disharmony is a byproduct of forgetting what one truly has in common with others, this blog is meant as a place to remind myself and my fellow earth-mates that we are not only 'one in the spirit' as the song goes, but we are also one in body and one in time. If we leave out the last two in our quest for knowledge or spiritual growth, I think harmony among human beings will remain an ideal and not a realization.