Saturday, November 26, 2011

Spirit’s Progressive Self-Expression in Life

 An Excerpt from Sri Aurobindo's The Life Divine

'It is true that the soul can ascend into worlds of a greater consciousness beyond the earth, but it is also true that the power of these worlds, the power of a greater consciousness has to develop itself here; the embodiment of the soul is the means for that embodiment. All the higher powers of Consciousness exist because they are powers of the Supreme Reality. Our terrestrial being has also the same truth; it is a becoming of the One Reality which has to embody in itself these greater powers. Its present appearance is a veiled and partial figure and to limit ourselves to that first figure, to the present formula of an imperfect humanity, is to exclude our divine potentialities; we have to bring a wider meaning into our human life and manifest in it the much more that we secretly are. Our mortality is only justified in the light of our immortality; our earth can know and be all itself only by opening to the heavens; the individual can see himself aright and use his world divinely only when he has entered into greater planes of being and seen the light of the Supreme and lived in the being and power of the Divine and Eternal. 

'An integration of this kind would not be possible if a spiritual evolution were not the sense of our birth and terrestrial existence; the evolution of mind, life and spirit in Matter is the sign that this integration, this completed manifestation of a secret self contained in it is its significance. A complete involution of all that the Spirit is and its evolutionary self unfolding are the double term of our material existence. There is a possibility of self-expression by an always unveiled luminous development of the being, a possibility also of various expression in perfect types fixed and complete in their own nature: that is the principle of becoming in the higher worlds; they are typal and not evolutionary in their life principle; they exist each in its own perfection, but within the limits of a stationary world-formula. But there is also a possibility of self-expression by self-finding, a deployment which takes the form and goes through the progression of a self-veiling and an adventure of self-recovery: that is the principle of becoming in this universe of which an involution of consciousness and concealment of the spirit in Matter is the first appearance.

'An involution of spirit in the Inconscience is the beginning; an evolution in the Ignorance with its play of the possibilities of a partial developing knowledge is the middle, and the cause of the anomalies of our present nature,—our imperfection is the sign of a transitional state, a growth not yet completed, an effort that is finding its way; a consummation in a deployment of the spirit’s self-knowledge and the self-power of its divine being and consciousness is the culmination: these are the three stages of this cycle of the spirit’s progressive self-expression in life. The two stages that have already their play seem at first sight to deny the possibility of the later consummating stage of the cycle, but logically they imply its emergence; for if the inconscience has evolved consciousness, the partial consciousness already reached must surely evolve into complete consciousness. It is a perfected and divinised life for which the earth-nature is seeking, and this seeking is a sign of the Divine Will in Nature. Other seekings also there are and these too find their means of self-fulfilment; a withdrawal into the supreme peace or ecstasy, a withdrawal into the bliss of the Divine Presence are open to the soul in earth-existence: for the Infinite in its manifestation has many possibilities and is not confined by its formulations. But neither of these withdrawals can be the fundamental intention in the Becoming itself here; for then an evolutionary progression would not have been undertaken,—such a progression here can only have for its aim a self-fulfilment here: a progressive manifestation of this kind can only have for its soul of significance the revelation of Being in a perfect Becoming.'  - Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, p. 707-709

[Bold emphasis added]

Monday, November 21, 2011

World Tension & a New Principle of Force, Consciousness & Power

from
The Mother's Agenda
June 1958
PDF available

One thing seems clear: humanity has reached such a generalized state of tension – tension in effort, tension in action, tension even in daily life – with such an excessive hyperactivity, such an overall restlessness, that the species as a whole seems to have reached a point where it must either burst through the resistance and surge forth into a new consciousness, or else sink back into an abysm of obscurity and inertia.

This tension is so total and so generalized that obviously something must break. It cannot go on like this. Yet all this is a sure sign that a new principle of force, consciousness and power has been infused into matter and by its very pressure has produced this acute state. Outwardly, we might expect to see the old habitual means used by Nature whenever she wants to bring about an upheaval; but here there is a new phenomenon, which is evidently visible only in a select few, although even these few are widespread enough – this phenomenon is not localized in one point or one place in the world, for the signs are to be found in every country all over the earth: the will to find a new, a higher, an ascending solution, an effort to surge forth into a vaster, more encompassing perfection.

Certain ideas of a more general, more extensive, more collective nature, as it were, are being worked out and are at work in the world. And the two go together: a greater and more total possibility of destruction and an inventiveness that unrestrainedly increases the possibility of catastrophe, a catastrophe that would be much more massive than it has ever been; and at the same time, the birth, or rather the manifestation, of much higher and more comprehensive ideas and wills which, when heard, will bring a vaster, more extensive, more complete and more perfect solution than before.

This struggle, this conflict between the constructive forces of an ascending evolution, of an increasingly perfect and divine realization, and the more and more destructive forces – powerfully destructive, forces of an uncontrollable madness – is becoming more obvious, unmistakably visible, and it is a kind of race or battle as to which will be first to reach its goal. All the hostile, anti-divine forces, these forces of the vital world, seem to have descended upon earth and are using it as their field of action; and at the same time, a new, higher, more powerful spiritual force has also descended upon earth to bring a new life to it. This renders the battle more bitter, violent and visible, but apparently more decisive, too, which is why we may hope to arrive at an early solution.

There was a time, not so very long ago, when man’s spiritual aspiration was turned towards a silent, inactive peace, detached from all the things of this world, an evasion of life to avoid the struggle, precisely, to rise above the battle, to be liberated from effort. It was a spiritual peace where, along with the cessation of tension, struggle and effort, suffering in all its forms also ceased, and this was considered the true and unique expression of the spiritual and divine life. This is what was considered divine grace, divine succor, divine intervention. And even now, in this age of anguish, tension and hypertension, this sovereign peace is of all help the best received, the most welcome, the relief asked and hoped for. For many, it is still the true sign of divine intervention, of divine grace.

In fact, no matter what you wish to realize, you must begin by establishing this perfect and immutable peace – it is the necessary basis for any work; but unless you are thinking of an exclusive or personal and egoistic liberation, you cannot stop there. There is yet another aspect to the divine grace, the aspect of progress that will be victorious over all obstacles, the aspect that will propel humanity into a new realization, open the doors unto a new world, enable not only a select few to benefit from the divine realization, but through their influence, their example and their power, bring a new and better condition to the rest of humanity.

It opens vistas of realization into the future and already foreseen possibilities through which an entire section of humanity, which is consciously or unconsciously open to the new forces, will be lifted up, as it were, towards a higher, more harmonious, more perfect life ... and even if individual transformations are not permissible nor possible in all cases, at least there will be a kind of uplifting of the whole, a harmonization of everything, enabling a new order, a new harmony to be established and the anguish of disorder and the present strife to disappear and be replaced by an order that will allow for the harmonious working of the whole.

There will be other consequences that by opposite means will tend to eradicate the perversion and ugliness created in life due to the intervention of the mind, a whole range of deformations that have aggravated suffering, misery, moral poverty, a whole zone of sordid and repugnant miseries that makes an entire portion of human life so hideous. That must disappear. That is what in many respects makes humanity infinitely inferior to animal life, with its simplicity and its natural spontaneity, and which in spite of everything is harmonious. Suffering among animals is never as miserable and sordid as it is in a whole section of humanity perverted by a mentality exclusively turned towards egoistic needs.

One must rise above, surge forth into the Light and the Harmony, or sink back down into the simplicity of a wholesome, unperverted animal life.

(After a moment of silence, Mother adds)

But those who cannot be lifted up, who refuse to progress, will automatically lose the use of the mental consciousness and fall back into an infrahuman stage.
 - The Mother

[bold emphasis added]
_____________________

Related Posts:
Sri Aurobindo on Evolution and Spiritual Revolution

Updating the Vedic Altar - a series discussing the Mother's Supermental Gnosis and vision of universal harmony.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Essential Purpose of the Study of Cosmic Harmonies

The following excerpts are from p. 3 of The Gnostic Circle (the 1st page of the text):
  • ‘… it is our intention to give as clear a picture as possible of the true purpose of astrology, and in which way it can be an asset in the development of the spirit.’
  • ‘Cosmic harmonies give us the understanding of the movement of progression within the eternal. The art in its totality is transmitted so that man may have a clear vision of the process of evolution, and above all, of its ultimate goal for any particular Age. That is, these designs and patterns which are based on the deep understanding of the workings of the Cosmos, contain the history of the evolution, past, present and future.’
  • ‘The zodiac gives us a picture of this outer movement of evolution which has as its support the inherent spirit.’
-- Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet

For readers interested in better understanding how the zodiac is a map of the evolutionary development of the spirit, please join:
The Gnostic Circle Study group


Note: I made the above image, based on PNB's 'Gnostic Circle'.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Reflections on Sri Aurobindo's Aphorism 71 & the Gnostic Circle

by Rose Marion Williams October 2010 Orlando Fla.

Aphorism #71
'A thought is like an arrow shot at the truth;
it can hit a point, but not cover the whole target.
But the archer is too well satisfied with his success
to ask anything farther.' 


Sri Aurobindo wrote this aphorism in the early 1900s.

This is what we, especially ones who consider ourselves to be on a spiritual path, do when we hit the target with what we think of as the truth. Many get their complete satisfaction from the one hit and, as Sri Aurobindo wrote, do not look any farther. The object of this statement, as the Mother expounded on it, is to raise above the one arrow that was shot and see the whole target which is Truth itself.

Many have formed entire religions or devised whole philosophies from their one hit at a truth or a half-truth and called it realization. Thus, roping in as many followers as they can in order to crystallize this form and call it Truth. Then, when someone else comes along with their own hit at the truth, they become closed to any ideas that deviate from their own. When this happens, usually, neither are able to take in and assimilate the others ideas for one or both of them might have to break down their cemented mold and admit the possibility for change. Most often, there is no room for wideness, expansion, discussion or discernment to explore another part of the larger truth.

In my studies over the years I have read many renditions of people's truths but have found only one course of study which covers the whole target of spirituality. That is: the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo. Briefly, this yoga was clearly and extensively documented in the many volumes he wrote, such as The Synthesis of Yoga, The Life Divine, Savitri, hundreds of letters compiled into several books plus the articles he wrote in the early 1900s published in The Arya, a philosophical monthly. Later, in 1926, he retired to his room to do an intense yoga until his passing in 1950. His process of the Integral yoga during those years culminated with the Supramental Manifestation in 1956. As a brief explanation of his yoga he wrote the following in The Object of Our Yoga:
'The world is a movement of God in His own being: we are the centers and knots of divine consciousness which sum up and support the processes of His movement. The world is His play with His own self-conscious delight, He who alone exists, infinite, free and perfect; we are the self-multiplication of that conscious delight, thrown out into being to be his playmates. The world is a formula, a rhythm, a symbol system expressing God to Himself in His own consciousness, -- it has no material existence but exists only in His Consciousness and self-expression; we, like God, are in our inward being That which is expressed, but in our outward being terms of that formula, notes of that rhythm, symbols of that system. Let us lead forward God's movement, play out His play, work out His formula, execute His harmony, express Him through our self-fulfillment; to this end we who transcend and exceed the universe, have entered into universe-existence.
        'Perfection has to be worked out, harmony has to be accomplished, imperfection, limitation, death, grief, ignorance, matter, are only the first terms of the formula – unintelligible til we have worked out the wider terms and reinterpreted the formulary; they are the initial discords of the musician's tuning. Out of imperfection we have to construct perfection, out of limitation to discover infinity, out of death immortality, out of grief to recover divine bliss, out of ignorance to rescue divine self-knowledge, out of matter to reveal Spirit. To work out this end for ourselves and for humanity is the object of our Yogic practice.'
In these words he uses: 'the terms of the formula'; 'notes of the rhythm'; and 'symbols of that system'. These terms became the foundation for the design and blueprint formulated and laid down first in the Matrimandir: the Mother's Temple. This was seen during the first 17 days of 1970 by Sri Aurobindo's collaborator, the Mother, of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India. Her vision was that of the inside chamber of a temple, the Matirimandir, the Mother's Temple. It was designed to be a focus of energy which would hasten the Supramental Manifestation that is the Spiritualisation on earth. This temple, if built properly, would equal the impact the Pyramids had on the earth 12,000 years ago in Egypt.

At that time, the pyramids were built in order to align certain cosmic energies as a focus for the transformation of the initiates in that time. Whereas, the pyramids were built for a small group, who were able to be made ready to receive and to withstand those higher energies for their own individual spiritual fulfillment, the Mother's plan was for the upliftment of all humanity. But mankind was not ready for this modern edifice and so the plan was pirated and perverted by the very architects of the Ashram, who she put in charge of the actual physical building. The design and especially the measurements by the Mother were so important that she had the engineer, not the architects, put them down in a blueprint, for it was symbolic in every part down to the very last millimeter. She emphasized that these measurements were for the inside of the temple and that the globe would be translucent not transparent. The present construction, Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet has labeled 'the Shadow Temple', for the temple that has actually been built is also the symbol of the thing symbolized, the shadow of the real temple. But from the moment the Mother's design was documented, the symbol was born and it lives on; it can be embodied and lived as a focus for the Supramental to manifest on earth in each of us. Everyone who pictures it, can carry it within themselves everywhere they go.

As Robert Wilkinson wrote in a letter: ‘The formula (of the Matrimandir) remained a mystery until 1975 when Thea, Third in the Line, unveiled the Supramental knowledge contained in the Mother's plan for her temple and published her discoveries about the nature of Time (the months and the years) in a cosmological framework known as the Gnostic Circle.’ This formula was revealed by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet (Thea) after the Mother's passing which she developed in a different form documenting it in the Gnostic Circle. (See diagram below from The Gnostic Circle, do not reproduce without permission of author)
The Gnostic Circle, as discovered by the author, is based on two ancient symbols, the Zodiac, a circle of 12, which she then expanded further by incorporating the Enneagram, a circle of 9. They are both all about time combined in one Truth that has been carried over the centuries, possibly over millennia, in the form of a Symbol; teachings that were passed down through secret groups and Mystery Schools of the past. Many since that time have shot their arrows hitting part of this target but were satisfied with their partial understanding of it.

Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet (Thea) is the only one who has seen that whole target and has been able to give it a language which can be understood by those who want to understand. Others have explained the Enneagram and the use of it in their own way, such as, Gurdjieff/Ouspensky's, In Search of the Miraculous. But Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet has defined it and expanded on it in such detail through The Gnostic Circle that there is nothing left to explain. Now, the burden of true understanding lies with the student.

During the study of the Gnostic Circle as a symbol, there is a process which one must go through in order to get it. On the first reading, it is found to be a very interesting concept which explains astrology in its global aspects, the solar system, the universe, as well as the individual's life in the cycles of time thus making all the necessary facts and diagrams available to study the work with. (see diagram above)

On the next reading, the student goes deeper into the blueprint where one tries to remember/memorize the specific points, the many functions and mechanics depicted in this construction. One's gaze must first see it as a whole then as your eye travels around this symbol one sees all the straight lines with their numbers, following them up and down 1>4>2>8>5>7; another formation in the separate inner triad of 0>3>6>9; then the enclosure of the concentric circles 1-2-3-4-5-6-7. Further addition of the central point and the inner circle brings the number to 9 as she explains, is the number that represents material creation, the cell or matter; 9 is the number of completion. At the apex of the triangle, this 9 point is aligned with the 0 point, which represents spirit, the Seed/potential. From the beginning of the circle the 0 point of spirit travels around the circle, developing the seed only to meet the 9 point of material manifestation just as from conception an embryo gestates and is born completing circle. This in effect, is not a final ending, rather it is a point of transition to start another round towards a new level of becoming. For in the Gnostic Circle we are not working in linear Time where the end is a cut off point. We are working here in circles, cycles of time, just as the Moon circles the Earth with out fail and the Earth rotates every day from Sunrise to Sunrise, never ending its orbit of the Sun from year to year. This work is used for the measurement of time in order to understand the cycles of our lives.

Continuing to look at the Gnostic Circle, as seen below, the next step in the study is to begin to see these circles and lines in motion for they are actively moving energies, circles going round and round in their calculated timings; lines going up and down in their progressed order. Now, again seeing it as it emerges from a two dimensional flat figure circling to its three dimensional global movements, much like a gyroscope, dynamic, alive, it is then a symbol of perpetual motion. As your perceptions slowly change, you are able to transform your vision of this phenomena from out there to in here, embodying it and realizing that it can be lived. A living symbol, a Book of Knowledge, for that is exactly what it is. As Sri Aurobindo has written, 'A symbol is the thing that is symbolized.' Sri Aurobindo once posed the question: 'What is there new that we have yet to accomplish?.... 'In a word, godhead; to remake ourselves in the divine image.' When I look at the Gnostic Circle I see it as the image of God.

In order for me to reach this depth of seeing, I have had to take many steps over many years, in the process, breaking down multiple barriers or veils within myself to be open to that Point of understanding, still knowing that I have a long way to go. During this time, I have focused on the Gnostic Circle as a way of healing first by seeing this blueprint as the tapestry of my life and then further learning how to analyze, then redesign it. You can see how the tapestry of your own life works if you will look at the diagram of the Gnostic Circle below. Starting with all the concentric circles/cycles of time you will also see the 360 straight lines fanning out from the center marking out segments of time. These lines are like the warp threads strung on a loom, the loom of your life. As the days go by the weft thread fills in with the lessons learned day by day with relationships and events, big and small; good and bad. The colors weave in and out; but one thread is steady and unchanging like the drone note in a musical chord, holding the underlying timbre of your life; others vibrant; some intertwining for long stretches; some brief; some knots occur as it weaves its way around and around. This tapestry is a record of every minute of your life, imprinted year by year.

Now, for the healing process: The events themselves in one’s life can not be erased, however, they can be healed. The Mother said in the Agenda: ‘The past can be completely purified and abolished, on condition that one does not keep making it into a perpetual present. I have said it there in one sentence, but I didn’t want people to believe that they can continue making the same stupid blunder indefinitely and have the Grace indefinitely annul all the consequences. It isn’t like that! The past can be cleansed to the point where it has no effect of any kind on the future, but only on condition that you stop the wrong vibration in yourself, that you don’t reproduce the same vibration indefinitely.’

I have found that by following the threads back through the past as Reshad Feild has said, 'can be redeemed'. We can look at these events, review the negative painful, hurtful events. We can review the rules and regulations embedded in our psyche that we may still live by which are no longer helpful to us, for these often distort our thinking, our relationships, our actions and reactions. When we go back and detect these knots and blockages we can then change our perceptions, releasing the chains that have molded our character; who we think we are and who we think we should be. Lessons learned as children were necessary to socialize us once born into the world. Many that were helpful to us in the past are now hurtful to us in the present. It is possible to change the past in this way by redeeming it and in many ways, the harm it is doing to us even now. As Sri Aurobindo once wrote: 'What was once a helper, is now a hurter.' What do we need to leave behind or release from our past? For by changing the past we are actually able to change the future by not living with what William Blake called, 'Our mind forged manacles'.

‘It is possible by a certain psychological discipline to remove this veil of separative consciousness and become aware of the true Self, the Divinity within us and all.’ Which is not to say the psychology as it has been seen with the influence of Freud and Jung. It is the psychology based on the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo.

For me, at first, this process started with the intellect while slowly over time, taking it in piece-by-piece, until a fuller understanding was reached; was embodied and lived as a Book of Knowledge, pages turning one after the other. This is a process which does not happen in a day, for it is perceived only in flashes as each piece comes into play, one piece or flash after another. It is much like the ocean's waves coming onto the shore, receding each time but coming closer until the waves reach their peak at high-tide. The ocean does not stay at high-tide but then as the waves recede we can wade out into the water and become a part of it. We can become the Gnostic Circle, use it, live it, to become an element in the Supramentalisation of the Earth, of humanity. We cannot sustain our high-tides of realization but with each influx it raises us up in a spiral, ever widening to higher levels of understanding. Even with this, I know that I still have a long way to go.

'From Truth to greater Truth.'


Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Gnostic Circle Study Group

Robert Wilkinson and I are hosting a Gnostic Circle study group on Google Groups focusing on Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet's book 'The Gnostic Circle - a synthesis in the harmonies of the cosmos' (1975). This book discusses the supramental order and sacred geometry of Time and Space, inviting readers to partake in a profound initiatic and all-integrating journey/yoga in which secrets to the proper understanding and use of the Tropical Zodiac and the Enneagram are revealed. Mahayogis Sri Aurobindo and the Mother spoke of a need for a Supramental Vision of Time and for knowledge how the Supramental consciousness-force would be applicable and visible in the material world. This book and Ms. Norelli-Bachelet's body of work is a full revelation of these looming needs/questions, and if understood correctly, is portal into unity consciousness, by which all is seen with  new eyes ... all-integrating eyes. Readers are invited to discover for themselves the keys to seeing the myths, symbols, religions, and cultures of the world within the context of the Whole evolution of matter and consciousness. And if all goes well, readers will directly see how the stages of an individual's evolution and the stages (ages) of collective/Cosmic processes are intimately related as micro and macro versions of the same Vedic Journey, eternally supported by the Divine Agni/Fire/Soul.

Group Requisites: Before requesting to join the group, please obtain a copy of The Gnostic Circle and be prepared to read and to interact with the group via comments, questions, and insights you may be having about your reading. Sincerity in study is requested.

To Request Membership: CLICK HERE

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sri Aurobindo on Evolution and Spiritual Revolution


 [The following excerpt, from Sri Aurobindo's Thoughts and Glimpses, is a good reminder for those who are ready for a new Revolution]

Occupy Oakland, 26 October 2011, Jim Wilson/The New York Times 
'Evolution is not finished; reason is not the last word nor the reasoning animal the supreme figure of Nature. As man emerged out of the animal, so out of man the superman emerges.

'The meeting of man and God must always mean a penetration and entry of the divine into the human and a self-immergence of man in the Divinity.

'All would change if man could once consent to be spiritualised; but his nature mental and vital and physical is rebellious to the higher law. He loves his imperfections.

'The Spirit is the truth of our being; mind and life and body in their imperfection are its masks, but in their perfection should be its moulds. To be spiritual only is not enough; that prepares a number of souls for heaven, but leaves the earth very much where it was. Neither is a compromise the way of salvation.

'The world knows three kinds of revolution. The material has strong results, the moral and intellectual are infinitely larger in their scope and richer in their fruits, but the spiritual are the great sowings.

'If the triple change could coincide in a perfect correspondence, a faultless work would be done; but the mind and body of mankind cannot hold perfectly a strong spiritual inrush: most is spilt, much of the rest is corrupted. Many intellectual and physical upturnings of our soil are needed to work out a little result from a large spiritual sowing.

'Each religion has helped mankind. Paganism increased in man the light of beauty, the largeness and height of his life, his aim at a many-sided perfection; Christianity gave him some vision of divine love and charity; Buddhism has shown him a noble way to be wiser, gentler, purer, Judaism and Islam how to be religiously faithful in action and zealously devoted to God; Hinduism has opened to him the largest and profoundest spiritual possibilities. A great thing would be done if all these God-visions could embrace and cast themselves into each other; but intellectual dogma and cult egoism stand in the way.

'All religions have saved a number of souls, but none yet has been able to spiritualise mankind. For that there is needed not cult and creed, but a sustained and all-comprehending effort at spiritual self-evolution.

'The changes we see in the world today are intellectual, moral, physical in their ideal and intention: the spiritual revolution waits for its hour and throws up meanwhile its waves here and there. Until it comes the sense of the others cannot be understood and till then all interpretation of present happening and forecast of man's future are vain things. For its nature, power, event are that which will determine the next cycle of our humanity.

'And what is the end of the whole matter?

'As if honey could taste itself and all its drops together and all its drops could taste each other and each the whole honeycomb as itself, so should the end be with God and the soul of man and the universe.'

- Sri Aurobindo (15 August 1872 - 5 December 1950) 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Exploring the Etymology of Kali, Kamakhya and Makar

I am wanting to elaborate more on the quote in my last post, from Kamakhya Tantra:

"It is certainly well known that Kamakhya is truly none other than that mother goddess Kali, who is in all things the form of wisdom." 

Before October 6th, I had never heard of Kamakhya as a name of Kali, and I had also never heard Kali described as being 'in all things the form of wisdom'. It begs the question, how exactly is it that the 'mother goddess' Kali is 'in all things the form of wisdom'? What does that mean practically? Is this some romantic description or does it point to some applicable wisdom or knowledge? 

Why is the form of Kamakhya known to have 12 arms, just as Aditi has 12 sons and just as the Zodiac has 12 months/rays? Why is the form of Kali traditionally depicted with 4 arms, one which carries a 3-pronged weapon (trident)? What is the practical and applicable wisdom that we are suppose to realize in these forms? Or are these forms of the Mother/Goddess just meaningless and applicable/useful in no way whatsoever?

The truth is that we cannot fully apply, utilize, appreciate and enjoy that which what we don't understand. And often, humans set out to ridicule, destroy or demonize that which we don't understand ... as exemplified by Judeo-Christians who have made a habit of destroying the 'false idols' of Hindus and other ancient wisdom traditions. The obvious question to be asked by honest seekers of a universal Divine-Consciousness and by sincere scholars is whether or not the symbolic and precise forms/icons celebrated by Hindus and other ancient wisdom traditions are indeed 'false' or are simply not understood.

After a few thousand years of mass mis-understanding, it is time for our civilization to wake up to the realization that the REAL FORM, measures, geometries and mathematics of the Cosmic Mother, and hence of our own material matrix, are inseparable from our knowledge of the Divine Self. Systems of 'knowledge' (religious, scientific or academic) that do not integrate this universal realization, will continued to be crippled and blinded in a real sense ... separated in heart and mind from the whole operating system.

I will offer a couple of etymological intrigues for those who find themselves interested or engaged in this 'waking up' process.  

In Sanskrit, ka means many things, including, 'the body', 'the sun', 'time', 'the soul', 'fire', 'light' and 'a peacock'. Remembering that ma means 'measure', the root word kama of the 'mother goddess' Kamakhya can be understood as the measure of the body, the measure of the sun, the measure of time, ect. The peacock's tail is an apt symbol for honoring and celebrating the 360 degree form and measure of time and space as the peacock unfolds its seemingly linear tail feathers into a beautiful 360 degree display.


Khya means to 'be known', 'make known', 'declare' or 'praise'. So, in these terms Kamakhya, the goddess, who is also known as Kali, means something on the order of 'to make known and praise the measure of the body of time, the body of the sun, the body of the soul'.

The li root of Kali has many meanings, most pointing to connotations of 'concealed in', 'lurking in', 'absorbed in', 'linked together', 'sitting on' or 'hidden'. When combining ka, as defined above, with li, the result is something to the effect of 'hidden in the body', 'linked with time' or 'sitting on top of the body', just as Kali stands on top of Shiva. She stands 'on top of' Time. She dwells in Time. Her force and Her truth are hidden in the body, in the sun, in the soul.

The original purpose of these words, and the realities they express, need to be remembered. The original sense of our own language, mathematics and symbols needs to be remembered. We need to remember that our own systems of measure ... our mathematical language as well as our written and spoken language (our verse) hails from a Vedic civilization who truly knew the Mother. Her measures, Her math, Her geometries and Her harmonies were the basis of the Vedic civilization's language and measure. Their verse was not something separate from the Mother's verse and measure ... not separate from Her dynamics and form ... not separate from Her math and Her mandalas. There is the common saying 'to be versed in' ... well the Vedic seers were extremely well-versed in the language of the Matrix/Creatrix. In our modern-day civilization, not only are we not well-versed in the sacred measures of material creation (including the Geometry of Time), but most have a truly poor idea what it means to recognize and praise the Divine Mother. Her SONG remains hidden in the body, hidden in time ... not heard or seen by most.

As a small example of that which we do not typically 'hear' or 'see', consider the English words 'make' or 'maker'. Reference to 'the Maker' – as in 'meeting one's Maker' – usually drums up images of a masculine God. Most would not think 'maker' refers to a feminine principle or that we have inherited the word from our Vedic ancestors. But when we consider that in Sanskrit ma means … to measure out, mete or mark out, it is clear that the English words 'make' and 'maker' are firmly associated with matri/mother/matriarch rather than with pati/patriarch/father.

In English, as a noun make means: 'structure, texture, constitution of parts; construction; shape; form'. As a verb it means: 'To find, as the result of calculation or computation; to find the number or amount of, by reckoning, weighing, measurement;' and 'to cause to exist; to bring into being; to form; to produce; to frame; to fashion; to create; to construct. To bring about; to bring forward; to be the cause or agent of; to effect, do, perform, or execute.' And the word 'maker' means: 'One who makes, forms, or molds; a manufacturer; specifically, the Creator. One who writes verses; a poet.'

If we look to the above connotations of the Sanskrit roots ma and kyha, makhya (of Kamakhya) would mean 'to make measure known'. Such is the original essence of the English word 'make'. Makhya also seems to be related to both the Sanskrit word makar and the English words 'maker' and 'mark'. In India Makar Sankranti marks the December Solstice, wherein the Earth passes into the 10th sign of the Zodiac Capricorn or the 10th month of Makar as it is known in India, signifying the return of the Light.

Sri Aurobindo wrote in The Secret of the Veda circa 1920's that it was not known (he did not know!) what the 'precise significance' (nor the usefulness) of the Vedic Rishis' special exultation of and special expectations for the passage between the 9th and 10th months of the Vedic journey (i.e. the Tropical Year). 

This victory [the recovery of the lost Sun/Truth-Consciousness] is won in twelve periods of the upward journey, represented by the revolution of the twelve months of the sacrificial year, the periods corresponding to the successive dawns of a wider and wider truth, until the tenth month secures the victory . . . What may be the precise significance of the nine rays and the ten is a more difficult position which we are not yet in a position to solve.’ – Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda

But as a natural consequence of the evolution of consciousness and the continued descent of supramental knowledge via the Mother of Pondicherry and Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, the 10th month of the Vedic year (Capricorn/Makar) has been remembered/recognized as the victory or full illumination of the Divine Mother (Aditi), wherein her true face and form is no longer hidden and the individual and collective is REBORN in the 'true form of wisdom', in the true form and knowledge of the Divine Mother.

Upon this realization, humans can collectively know and celebrate the December Solstice as the point in our evolution of consciousness wherein the Truth of the Mother – the truth of her Divine Measure (geometry, form, mathematics, etc.) – is remembered ... including the truth of the Tropical Zodiac itself, which is absolutely a true form of HER wisdom. As long as the true importance (the 'precise significance') of arriving at that MARK and making that essential SHIFT or PASSAGE in consciousness is not understood, humanity is in effect a Motherless Child, cut off from that which would love nothing more than to nourish us to full maturity/self-knowledge.

The Mother's Symbol
[Discussed/featured in Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet's latest series
'Updating the Vedic Altar']






Friday, October 7, 2011

The Mother - Supporter, Creatrix & Revealer of Truth

'She Who Protects'
[as published in Times of India, 3 October 2011]

The Goddess is the power expressed through all the gods,
They are united in her, who shines with consciousness,
Her presence is all-pervading; she supports all of creation,
She is the source of righteousness and the revealer of truth,
She is the source of all worlds; she shines transcendent beyond them.
 
Rig Veda 10.125
*
You destroy the wicked; you sustain and uphold the universe.
As Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kali you are a mysterious
and unique reservoir of immeasurable power .
Ma Santoshi Chalisa
*
In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary,
call upon Mary...under her protection you have nothing to fear.
St Bernard of Clairvaux
*
There is one divine Force which acts in the universe
and in the individual and is also beyond the individual and the universe.
The Mother stands for all these.
Sri Aurobindo



"It is certainly well known that Kamakhya is truly none other than that mother goddess Kali, who is in all things the form of wisdom."  Kamakya Tantra


In my last few posts,  ('Revisiting the Measure of the Yugas' - 24 Sept 2011, 'Revisiting the Measure of the Yugas, continued' and 'What Does Kali Yuga have to do with Kali, the Goddess?', 2 Oct 2011) I discussed the miscalculation of the Kali Yuga. In the latter, I discussed the need to understand the Kali Yuga in terms of Kali the Goddess and the attributes given to her persona. A day later the above quotes/article appeared in the Times of India, discussing the divine force of the Mother which pervades the individual and the universe.

One of the quotes above celebrates the Tridevi: Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kali. Tri means 3 and devi means goddess, and these 3 faces of the Goddess describe the One Devi, the One Mother ...  'the one divine Force divine Force which acts in the universe and in the individual and is also beyond the individual and the universe'. Sri Aurobindo's description of the Mother itself points to the triadic nature of the Mother's power. She simultaneously pervades the Transcendent, Cosmic, and Individual.

So the question looms, how is the Kali Yuga not readily seen or understood as part of a TRIADIC whole (as Kali herself is understood as part of a triad)? ... Why is it so challenging for people to correct the errors and miscalculations of the past and see the Kali Yuga as precisely ONE THIRD of the Precession of the Equinoxes (as 432,000 seconds of degrees of celestial arc)?

The answer is simple: the Mother/Divine Feminine has been epically misunderstood in our day and age. She has literally been mis-figured and miscalculated. I am speaking of the Mother not only in terms of the Vedic Devi, but also as she has been cast in other religious/spiritual traditions, including Mother Mary in Christianity.

The Sanskrit root of 'mother' and 'math' are one and the same: ma - meaning 'to measure, mete out, mark off'. And yet the Mother/Goddess/Mary is hardly known in terms of the geometries and the harmonies that SHE measures out and marks off in the course or field of time and space.

She is not widely recognized as the Point and the Circle (the Sun Symbol), nor as that which becomes all divisions of the 360 degree Circle containing infinite creation. She is not recognized as the Zodiac ‒ the circle of life. Some who are concerned with Vedic cosmology, do recognize Aditi (the Universal Mother of Light) and her 12 sons as the Zodiac with its 12 months; but typically, most do not associate the Mother/Goddess with the design and function of the Zodiac. And hence the Divine Mother is hardly known as the Mother or source of all sciences.

Of course, science could not exist without the mathematics, measures, harmonies, geometries and dynamics of the Mother/Matrix which exist whether or not there are creatures advanced enough to recognize Her formative powers or not. Yet few in our modern times are ready to admit that the Zodiac is a real and eternal symbol of the Mother’s formative power ... a real symbol of Her eternal geometries and harmonies. If this simple fact were seen, then the human collective would be at the at doorstep of recognizing our common Divine Mother/Matrix as the original basis of not only all our sciences, but all our religions as well.
But, as it is, ignorance of the Mother (the Divine Feminine principle) has reached epic proportions in our civilization. She is a colossal  and disastrous blind spot in our collective consciousness. Her function as the universal and eternal cause and force of measure, division, mathematics, geometry and harmony is long forgotten. We may have some romantic idea of who the Divine Mother is, but most have NO IDEA whatsoever what roll She actually plays in our existence and how real knowledge of her geometries and dynamics might alter the entire course of civilization for the better. Most ignore Her entirely in their spiritual, scientific or academic pursuits.
Human’s have accomplished so much in ignorance of the Divine Mother. It is encouraging to imagine what we will be able to accomplish once this long-standing ignorance is corrected. The most important and basic accomplishment being the accomplishment of a unified consciousness, no longer distorted, contorted and fragmented by ignorance of the Mother.

__________________

Acknowledgements: The above thoughts are inspired by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet's new series 'Updating the Vedic Altar' ... which for me had 'updated' and deepened my love, appreciation, and understanding of the Divine Mother. The series discusses, among other things, the Vedic measure and gnosis which was the foundation of the Mother's temple (the Matrimandir), which was predictably mis-measured, and mis-figured by the students and builders who did not understand the geometries of the Divine Mother.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

What Does Kali Yuga have to do with Kali, the Goddess?


‘Religious movements and revolutions have come and gone or left their mark but after all and through all the Veda remains to us our Rock of the Ages, our eternal foundation.... The Upanishads, mighty as they are, only aspire to bring out, arrange philosophically in the language of later thinking and crown with the supreme name of Brahman the eternal knowledge enshrined in the Vedas. Yet for some two thousand years at least no Indian has really understood the Vedas.’ Sri Aurobindo, India’s Rebirth (emphasis added). 

It is worth considering that the 2,000-year extended lack of understanding of the Vedas that Sri Aurobindo points out, extends our modern-day understanding of the Yuga cycles. I have been reading up on the characteristics of Kali the Goddess, figuring there must be clues to the true nature of the Kali Yuga as a measure of the Precession of the Equinoxes in the mythology and iconography of the goddess. As pointed out in a previous note, Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet describes the Kali Yuga as a unit of measure covering 4 astrological ages of the 12-age Precession. 3 Kali Yuga (Treta Yuga) equals a full Precessional cycle. In this seeing of the Yugas, Kali Yuga is a measure, not a manifest age. Interestingly enough the goddess Kali is traditionally known to have 4 arms and to carry the 3 pronged Trident as her weapon. She is also known as an incarnation of Shakti/Parvati who is the wife of Shiva (a member of the Trimurti or Trinity of Vedic Gods: Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva). I read this about her on Wikipedia:
‘She is often depicted naked which symbolizes her being beyond the covering of Maya since she is pure (nirguna) being-consciousness-bliss and far above prakriti. She is shown as very dark as she is brahman in its supreme unmanifest state. She has no permanent qualities — she will continue to exist even when the universe ends. It is therefore believed that the concepts of color, light, good, bad do not apply to her — she is the pure, un-manifested energy, the Adi-shakti.’
With these characteristics in mind, is not too farfetched, to see Kali Yuga as ‘unmanifest’ and to understand the Goddess and the Yuga as inseparable from the Trinity that is so fundamental to Vedic mythology and gnosis. [See 'Revisiting the Measure of the Yugas, continued'] The mathematics of Kali’s persona do beg some consideration … the 4 arms and a 3 pronged trident are the very essence of the 12 month Zodiac, which is divided into 4 seasons of 3 months each, and is also based on the 4 elements (fire, water, air and earth) and 3 gunas (rajas, sattva, tamas or creation, preservation, destruction/dissolution). Also Kali wears a garland of 108 human heads. The sacredness of the number 108 is literally a product of its factors 9 and 12 (9 x 12 = 108). These are the formative numbers of our cyclical-circular 9/0 number system and our 12 month year inherited from Vedic civilization. Learning to see these two numbers as formative divisions of the One Circle of life, just as the 3 and the 4 are formative divisions of the One Circle of life is an important key to developing some understanding of the Vedic cycles of time (as discussed in The Gnostic Circle). 



Trying to understand the Yuga cycles without these keys, I truly think, is something of a wild goose chase … trying to decipher, read and accurately interpret an ancient sacred code with the wrong cipher. 

Shakti (part of the Tridevi of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati/Shakti) is known as the source of all forms (sarvarupe) and as the power that mobilizes the immobile. In other words, she informs the geometries and dynamics of time and space. The whole matrix comes to being and into motion through her geometries and dynamics. Shakti’s incarnation as Kali, ‒ the dark one, associated with death and the destructive nature of time ‒, can better be understood in terms of how the Mother/Material Creation seems when TIME IS NOT SEEN and EXPERIENCED in its proper measures and proper light … i.e. She is seen and experienced by our ‘darkened’ consciousness as fearsome and destructive … as a killer. But this is not Ma Shakti’s (Parvati’s) true nature. The fact alone that our Vedic ancestors structured their gnosis and hence their civilization firmly on a vision of a Triadic-Oneness, should give students of the Yugas reason enough to seriously consider that our Vedic ancestors also measured the Precession of the Equinoxes in terms of a Triadic-Cycle – i.e. one great cycle made up of 3 Yugas (TretaYuga), each Yuga consisting of 432,000 seconds of degrees of celestial arc.


Related Links:

'Updating the Vedic Altar' (a series by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet on Puranic Cosmology Updated)

Revisiting the Measure of the Yugas, continued


Below is more commentary on Revisiting the Measure of the Yugas ... after being asked about the full measure of the Yugas, An inquirer made calculations, using Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet's seeing of the Kali Yuga as a THIRD (120°) of the 360° Precession of the Equinoxes (432,000 seconds of degrees of Arc of the Circle = 120°), and figured that adding Kali Yuga + Dwapara Yuga + Treta Yuga + Satya Yuga = 10 Yugas, which would in turn equal 3 and 1/3 Precessional Cycles. 

Hi X, you should get a hold of The Gnostic Circle if you can, it is a powerful initiation into these matters. It builds this knowledge more organically and thoroughly than I can manage here.

Regarding the 3 and 1/3 Precessional Cycles ... well here's the thing about that:

According to Ms. Norelli-Bachelet, the Kali Yuga functions as a Unit of Measure, like the integer ONE is a unit in the circle of Nine. If the Kali Yuga is understood as a unit, and not an Age itself, then the Dwapara (2) + Treta (3) + Satya (4) Yugas = 9 Yugas = 3 Precessional Cycles (i.e. 77,760 Years or 36 Astrological Ages). When we remind ourselves of the numbers for Kali Yuga/Radius of the Sun 432,000 ... and remember the function and potency of the circle/cycle of the 9/0 number system of Vedic origin, this understanding of the Yugas makes much sense.
    

Patrizia writes: 'In truth, mankind is in the 'dark' simply by not realising that there is no such thing as a Kaliyuga, and that in effect the Age of Darkness is only determined by an ignorance of Truth, which can come about in any Age. Man has believed himself to be in an age of darkness, which is only the illusion of Time, and consequently Time is illusion only in so far as vision is fragmentary. When one breaks through to a full vision of Truth, Time then is the key and saviour, not the bondage.’ (The Gnostic Circle)

According to her, we have been in Satya Yuga since 0 degrees Leo of the previous Precession (some 10,800 years ago), and have 11 Ages in the 25,920 year Precessional Cycle ahead of us. If you look at the the Map of the 12 Manifestations, look for the Age of Aquarius in the outer ring … that is where we fall. 

Image from The Gnostic Circle,
as found at www.aeongroup.comhttp://www.aeongroup.com/mani.htm

The ‘Manifestations’ in this map are 3-Age ‘Seasons’ or ¼ of the Precessional Year. It is interesting to think that perhaps the Sphinx of Giza was built in the Age of Leo as a marker for the Earth’s passage into Satya Yuga. Patrizia points out the fascinating coincidence that the Lion body of the Sphinx was not excavated/unburied from the sands of Giza until 1926, the beginning of the Age of Aquarius ... half a Precession, perhaps, from when it was built as a monument to the Leo-Aquarius (Lion-Man) axis of the Zodiac.

In an even larger cycle, the 3 Precessional Cycles formed by the Dwapara, Treta and Satya Yuga (MahaYuga) form a Season of an even greater Year. Four of such seasons would be 311,040 years (77,760 x 4) or 12 Precessional Cycles (144 Astrological Ages). In THAT macro cycle. Ms. Norelli-Bachelet writes that we are 9 ‘months’ into the last Season (77,760 years) of this macro cycle, which corresponds to the 9th Astrological sign Sagittarius.

This is a lot to take in, and I think it all REALLY needs to be read within the larger context of The Gnostic Circle. It is all laid out there with pictures and better explanations of the measures, geometries and forces at work. Also in Secrets of the Earth, Patrizia discusses the way the Vedic lore of the 10 Avatars of Vishnu (the Preserver) plays out in the Manifestations, as incarnations in the astrological ages corresponding to the PRESERVATION or fixed signs of the zodiac. It is very intriguing and eye opening reading … making sense of these ancient myths and measures.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Revisiting the Measure of the Yugas


[The following is a re-posting of something I wrote in a forum on The Theosophy Network regarding the measurements of the Yuga Cycles.]

From what I've been studying, the measure of the Yugas has been misunderstood for quite some time ... perhaps for thousands of years. Ms. Norelli-Bachelet teaches that the figure for the yuga  (432,000) was never meant to be understood in terms of years, but in terms of seconds of degrees of arc in the 360 degree circle. 432,000 seconds of degrees of arc equals ONE THIRD of the 360 degree circle.
432,000° = 120° x 60′ x 60″
864,000″ = 240° x 60′ x 60″
1,296,000″ = 360° x 60′ x 60″
1,728,000″ = 480° x 60′ x 60″
Thus, the sacred measure of the Yuga (which is also the measure of the radius of the Sun in miles) is known as a measure of the Earth’s 360° Precession of the Equinoxes, in harmony with the 12 astrological ages. 432,000″ = one third of the Precession = 4 Astrological Ages.
432,000″ = 120° x 60′ x 60″  =  8640 years = 4 Ages 
864,000″ = 240° x 60′ x 60″ = 17,280 years = 8 Ages
1,296,000″ = 360° x 60′ x 60″  = 25,920 years = 12 Ages (1 Precessional Cycle)
1,728,000″ = 480° x 60′ x 60″ = 34,560 years = 16 Ages
Note that the measure of the Ages in this ancient system of measure is 2160 years, and that 2160 happens to be our measure of the diameter of the Earth’s moon in miles. These correspondences between measures of Time and Space should give the modern mind pause to consider how such ‘coincidences’ came to be, and what is the significance behind such coincidences. People do not normally stop to notice or think about why the 360 degree measure of the Circle, shows up in the measure of our Sun (360 x 1,200 mile radius), Moon (360 x 3 mile radius) and our Earth (360 x 11 mile radius) as well as the measure of the Yugas/Ages. Being multiples of 360, these important measures are also naturally multiples of both 9 and 12. It is a wonder that few take the time to wonder about.

The standard belief about the Zodiac is that it came to us through Babylonia, but serious study of the matter reveals that, along with the Circle divided by 9 which is the basis/framework of our 0/9 number system, our civilization has also inherited the 12-rayed Zodiac from our Vedic ancestors. There are passages in the Rig Veda (thought to be at least 5,000 years old) which clearly describe Vishnu the Preserver as traveling through the ages of the Zodiac/Precession of the Equinoxes. Vishnu rides on an Eagle (Scorpio), backwards through the Preservation signs of the Zodiac to the Lion (Leo), to the Bull (Taurus), and to the Friend (Aquarius). This backward order corresponds exactly to movement through the Precessional cycle.  [See RV 1.154]

So if these connections are SEEN, then the Vedic Yugas are known are measurements of the Earth’s Precession, calculated in terms of the 12 ages of the Zodiac and in terms of the Circle of 9/0 (of which the circle of 360° is just an expansion).  The Gnostic Circle (1976) by Ms. Norelli-Bachelet gives readers a thorough background in these matters and conveys the importance of restoring our civilization’s understanding/knowledge of the spherical and cyclical geometries and dynamics of material existence and time that have been encoded in the Vedas for many thousands of years.

The grand theme that comes across in her teachings is that the evolution of our consciousness and our material experience on Earth includes the evolution of a Supramental Gnosis/Knowledge of Time; and that such knowledge of Time illuminates the connection between our own soul and our 360° journey in Time and Space. Such an illumination must necessarily include a seeing of the real geometries that arise from the ZERO POINT/Sun/Soul and extend into our 360° field of Time and Space … including the geometries of the Earth’s Day, the Earth’s Tropical Year, and our Precessional cycle.

See Revisiting the Measure of the Yugas, continued

Some Related Links:
The Yugas & the Precession of the Equinoxes
234 and 432 - the Basic Numbers of the Zodiac, Radius of the Sun ...
'Fractals and the Divine Matrix'
'Updating the Vedic Altar'
(PNB's latest series)
Map of the Manifestations (as found in The Gnostic Circle)

___________________

Subsequent Comments:

In a subsequent comment, I was thanked for the post, with the exclamation 'Brilliant Work!'; but since the original seeing of the correct measurement of the Yugas is not mine at all, I responded:

Your so welcome, ... Ms. Norelli-Bachelet really deserves the credit. I would have little to NO understanding or interest in these matters if not for her work. Reading The Gnostic Circle at the age of 31 was like entering into a whole new level of understanding of what KNOWLEDGE is (like entering into a true UNIVERSITY). From that point it became clear to me that true knowledge must have true power to Unify and Integrate and Harmonize the whole field, just like the true power of the Sun.

[Regarding X's mention of the importance of the date 3100 BCE:]

I meant to mention to you (and anyone interested in these issues), that Ms. Norelli-Bachelet sees the start of our current Precessional cycle (0 Degrees Aries) as 234 BCE. Meaning the Age of Pisces lasted from 234 BCE to 1926 CE, and the Age of Aquarius began in 1926 CE. [See 'The New era has dawned'] Several years ago I wondered what the significance of 3114 BCE was in terms of using 234 BCE as the Zero Point of the Precession (Because of the importance of 3114 BCE in the Mayan calendar). Well the span from 3114 BCE to 234 BCE equals 2,880 years. And amazingly it just so happens that 2,880 years is EXACTLY 1/9th (40 degrees) of the Precession of the Equinoxes. I find that to be quite amazing. In terms of seconds of degrees of arc, 1/9th of the Precession, or 40 degrees of the circle equals 144,000". This makes me wonder if the sacred significance of the number 144,000 as it shows up in the Vedas, the Bible, the Mayan Calendar and in various religious or spiritual traditions has been misunderstood, just as the measure of the Yugas has been misunderstood.


As 1/9th of the circle, 144,000" is equivalent to ONE integer of our 9 number system. Does this make sense?

Just as 1 x 9 makes up the full circle of 9, and 40 degrees x 9 = a full 360 degree Circle .... 144,000" x 9 = 1,296,000" equals the full measure of the 360 degree circle (the measure of 3 Yugas or Treta Yuga). Or in terms of years, 2,880 years x 9 = 25,920 years or the full measure of the Precession of the Equinoxes. For more information on the circle of 9/0, see 'The Vedic Circle of 9 and 0' and 'The Circle and the Point'.

It seems to be an amazing 'coincidence' that 3114 BCE - 234 BCE marks off ONE integer of the Precession of the Equinoxes, especially in light of the fact that the Mayans Ages seem to correspond to 1/5th of the Precession of the Equinoxes (5184 years). Perhaps the Mayans were aware of other divisions of the Circle/Precession. Or perhaps the coincidence has been organized 'Supramentally', i.e. not mentally, but played out in time via the consciousness-forces at work through out the whole journey, regardless of human ignorance. Who is to say, really, how this correspondence/precision regarding the measure of the Mayan Calendar, the Ages of the Zodiac and the beginning of the Great Year as measured from 234 BCE came to be ... but it certainly invites us to take notice of and contemplate the geometry of time.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

CIIS, Sri Aurobindo & the Practical Transformation of Human Consciousness


An Open Letter to Robert McDermott, Part III

Robert McDermott is president emeritus of CIIS, author of The Essential Aurobindo (1973), & program chair of CIIS's 'Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness' department.

 [Link to Part I or Part II]

30 August 2011

Dear Robert, Thanks for taking the time to reply to my 2nd letter. [Link to RM's response] I was left wondering why you wrote ‘NO’ regarding Haridas Chaudhuri being a Sri Aurobindo student. Perhaps you misread that part of my letter. He was a student of Sri Aurobindo and I was not implying that Sri Aurobindo knew anything about CIIS (especially considering his Mahasamadi was 5 December of 1950). I did find in my research that, as you write, Sri Aurobindo recommended Chaudhuri to Speigelberg for a position at the American Academy of Asian Studies (AAAS) in San Francisco. I also found an excerpt of a letter that Speigelberg wrote to Chaudhuri:
‘Aurobindo is the guiding spirit of this earth and the prophet of our age. I believe that the last most important contribution that Sri Aurobindo made before passing was to send you here.’
I did read directly from the CIIS website that CIIS was originally established as a branch of the Cultural Integration Fellowship (CIF) which was known as California Institute of Asian Studies (CIAS) until 1980.

Here is some more history on that matter for you or anyone else interested in the back story of CIIS: ‘… a disagreement arose between some students and faculty who wanted to seek accreditation for the Academy, and others who opposed accreditation in the belief that it would limit their freedom of expression. Haridas Chaudhuri sided with the former group, and in 1968 he left the Academy [of Asian Studies], taking many of its students with him to continue studying at his Cultural Integration Fellowship. The Academy could not withstand this split, and soon collapsed. Meanwhile, the Cultural Integration Fellowship continued its educational activities with many students who had been at the Academy, and began to call its educational branch The California Institute of Asian Studies. In 1974 The California Institute of Asian Studies was incorporated separately as a private, non-sectarian, non-profit graduate school.’ (Excerpt from ‘The American Academy of Asian Studies’, CIIS Archives)

So I guess what I do not fully understand yet is how CIIS, being in its origin the ‘educational branch’ of CIF, has lost its close ties with CIF…. and also how CIAS/CIIS so quickly lost the sense expressed by Speigelberg that Sri Aurobindo ‘is the guiding spirit of this earth and the prophet of our age.’

Clearly this sense has not made it into CIIS’s current community as was spelled out in your words to me, ‘… I WISH YOU COULD UNDERSTAND THAT TO THE EXTENT THAT THERE IS INTEREST IN SRI AUROBINDO AND THE MOTHER AT CIIS IT IS DUE TO OCCASIONAL LECTURES ON THE FOUNDING VISION AND BASED ON BOOKS IN COURSES FOCUSED ON INTEGRAL PSYCHOLOGY.’

I suppose I have suspected for quite some time that there is little true interest in Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s yoga at CIIS. Certainly the majority of the guiding faculty and staff of CIIS has not shared Speigelberg’s original sense (and perhaps Chaudhuri’s) of the importance and magnitude of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga.

You write, ‘… FROM ITS FOUNDING CIIS HAS BEEN PLURALISTIC, HONORING AND TEACHING MANY TEACHERS AND TRADITIONS.’

I see that is true. Alan Watts gives an interesting description of the original atmosphere in which CIAS/CIIS immerged, which gives a sense of this pluralism and of the transformation of consciousness which was the eclectic faculty’s and community’s concern.
‘The entrepreneur [Louis Gainsborough] who gave the initial funds for this project [AAAS] leaned to the view that it should be an information service at the graduate level. At the time this made sense, because American universities were largely ignoring Asian studies; their offerings at the undergraduate level were almost nil, and at the graduate level were mainly preoccupied with research. But Spiegelberg and I had no real interest in this nonetheless sensible idea of an information service about Asian culture, nor was this what really concerned Chaudhuri, Aiyar, and Tyberg. We were concerned with the practical transformation of human consciousness, with the actual living out of the Hindu, Buddhist, and Taoist ways of life at the level of high mysticism: a concern repugnant to academics and contemptible to businessmen, threatening to Jews and Christians, and irrational to most scientists. Two professional fund-raisers cost us more than they raised, and the Ford Foundation shrugged us off with a shudder. Clearly, we were just another California cult trying to assume the mask of a respectable educational institution. But then ‒ only twenty years ago ‒ it was not as easy to see as it is today that when you make a powerful technology available to human beings with the normal form of egocentric consciousness, planetary disaster is inevitable. Moreover, the point had to be made that the egocentric predicament was not a moral fault to be corrected by willpower, but a conceptual hallucination requiring some basic alterations of common sense; a task comparable to persuading people that the earth is round rather than flat.
‘This was very largely the subject of discussion at the weekly colloquium of the Academy's faculty, at which Spiegelberg was the invariably provocative moderator, and which became an event increasingly attractive to San Francisco artists and intellectuals.’ ‒ Alan Watts (‘The American Academy of Asian Studies’, CIIS Archives)
It is just endlessly curious to me that this search for ‘the practical transformation of human consciousness’ did not take more advantage of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s teachings on the matter. I am now wondering if the faculty of AAAS, CIF, or CIAS interacted with the Mother at all before her passing in 1973. I have not seen any records on this. I have recently been reading from the Mother’s 1961 Agenda about her assessments of an organization called World Union, which makes me imagine that she would have felt similarly about the pluralistic mixture of teachings at AAAS and CIAS.
4 March 1961

‘Z was saying, ‘Nothing can be done unless we base ourselves EXCLUSIVELY on the teaching of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and they are behind us giving support.’ And J. said, ‘No, no! We are not sectarian! We accept all ideas, all theories, etc.’ I replied, and as it happens, I said that Z was right, though with one corrective: he had been saying that people had to recognize us as their guru. ‘No,’ I said, ‘it’s absolutely useless – not only useless, I refuse. I don’t want to be anybody’s guru. People should simply be told that things are to be done on the basis of Sri Aurobindo’s thought.

‘Y asked me some direct questions, without beating around the bush, and I replied directly: ‘World Union is an entirely superficial thing, without any depth, based on the fact that Sri ‘Aurobindo said “the masses” must be helped to follow the progress of “the elite” – well, let them go ahead! If they enjoy it, let them go right ahead!’ ... I didn’t say it exactly like that (I was a bit more polite!), but that was the gist of it.

‘Now it has all fallen flat. They are carrying on with their little activities, but it’s absolutely unimportant.

‘These people aren’t even asked to understand what Sri Aurobindo has said but simply to participate. It’s a different matter for those in World Union, who are working for an ideal: they want to prepare the world to receive (laughing) the Supermind! Let them prepare it! It doesn’t matter, they will achieve nothing at all, or very little. It’s unimportant. That’s my point of view and I have told them so.

‘… at World Union they asked me what their mistake had been (they didn’t state it so candidly, but in a roundabout way), and I replied (not so candidly, either – not exactly in a roundabout way, but in general terms). I told them their mistake was being unfaithful and I explained that to be unfaithful means to put everything on the same level …. I told them, ‘Your error was in saying: “One teaching among many teachings – so let us be broad-minded and accept all teachings.”’ So along with all the teachings, you accept every stupidity possible.

‘But if someone is taken in, it proves he’s at an elementary stage and unready.’
Ten years later (30 June 1971), she wrote in the same vein:
‘We’re receiving letters from all over with the “true knowledge” of what should be done according to Sri Aurobindo, and.... There’s such a mixture, things are all scrambled, oh!...

‘It is Falsehood putting on a mantle of truth in order to appear credible.’
For many years, I have had the idea in my head that CIIS was originally founded on Sri Aurobindo’s teachings and then veered off. But it seems from what you are saying and from what I have gathered in my research, that CIAS/CIIS was, pretty much from the beginning, like this ‘World Union’ endeavor described by the Mother in that CIIS founders simply mixed a limited understanding of Sri Aurobindo’s yogic ideals with the ideas other teachings and teachers that were considered the cutting edge of the transformation of consciousness at the time.

So from that point of view it does seem highly unreasonable and unrealistic to expect that CIIS would somehow now, after all these years of academic and intellectual pluralism/freedom, begin to give the Integral Gnosis/Yoga of Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet any central importance.

But still, if the issues of the ‘practical transformation of human consciousness’ and developing an Integral perspective of world existence remains in the interests of the CIIS community, I am fairly certain that Patrizia’s teachings on Integral Gnosis, Supramental Truth-Consciousness, Vedic Wisdom, Sacred Geometry, the Enneagram, the Zodiac, Evolution, Geo-Cosmology and the Supramental Vision of Time would add much to CIIS’s knowledge base.

You asked where Patrizia lives and where I live. She is in the Palani Hills near Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu (Southern India) and I live in Marin County, 20 miles from CIIS. Whether Patrizia would actually be able to make the long trip from India to California to present at CIIS, I do not know. All I know is that if CIIS wants to maintain some real and meaningful connection with the Integral and Supramental yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (no matter how tangential), Patrizia should be invited to share her knowledge on the matter. If she cannot make the trip, then perhaps other means of transmission of knowledge can be arranged.

Wishing you the Best of Light in your pursuits, Lori

[Additional Note]
I forgot to address above, regarding the bit in my Letter #2 about 'Sri Aurobindo’s perspective that these incarnations [Christ and Buddha] were indeed evolutionary forces, in a sense, errors in consciousness that plunged humanity deeper into darkness and encouraged an escape from the material woes of the world for the past 2,000 years.' I was referring to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother's perspective not yours. My thought was that this contrasted or didn't match your own perspective. I would like very much to read your introduction to The Bhagavad Gita and the West.