Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Old Spirituality and the New Vision

[This open letter to a friend is pretty much Part III of a series beginning with The More Real You Get the More Real the World Gets; and The World As a Harmonious, Luminous, Dynamic REALITY.]

Dear X,

The point that I tried to clarify in my second post is that the WORDS themselves of the Lennon ('The more real one gets the more unreal the world gets') are tied to a negation of the world that was epitomized by the teachings of Gautama the Buddha regardless of what Lennon meant or how anyone interprets his words. This age-old negation can be understood as a seed that rooted in the dim consciousness of the Buddha’s time. Similar negations of the Feminine/Mother/Matrix (in favor of the Masculine/Father/Spirit) can be detected in ALL the major religions spawned in the same age or time frame. 

Words mean something. At their best, they are symbolic of reality. At their worst, they are subject to being twisted around, distorted and used incorrectly by those out of touch with reality. I do not believe that anyone with an integral consciousness could ever make such a statement positing an inverse relationship between higher consciousness and the unreality of world. Other words would be chosen ... other poetry would be constructed to make the very valid point (if that was the point to be made) that the mental consciousness has a distorted perspective and experience of the world. The lowest possible meaning or fragmented definition of the word 'world' would not be assumed.

Regarding your comment that ‘Modern Western Buddhism [is a] better balanced between Spirit and Matter than traditional Buddhism,’ Buddhism and other religions may be changing their face and modern day teachings to be seemingly (superficially) more in tune with the irreversible spiritual tide of the times, but you have to consider the seed of consciousness that the whole system springs up from. The tree of Buddhism with all its branches and offshoots springs from the seed realization of emptiness, nothingness and the void ... positing the absence of a soul and an exit from the dynamic world as the highest goal or fruit of this realization of ‘the void’. The design of this seed that was planted thousands of years ago can not be changed. The fruit a tree will bear is entirely dependent on the inherent indwelling qualities of the seed. The fruit of modern-day Buddhism is still the fruit of a seed of nothingness and soul-negation no matter how well-meaning teachers adapt and spin the core teachings.

In stark contrast, Sri Aurobindo’s life and world mission was to introduce and establish an entirely new seed of consciousness whose essence is fullness and perfection in detail, and whose force is all-integrating, all-organizing, all-harmonizing, and whose fruit is the realization of a higher evolutionary order and a divinized world.
‘[T]he old spirituality was an escape from life into the divine Reality, leaving the world just where it was, as it was; whereas our new vision, on the contrary, is a divinisation of life, a transformation of the material world into a divine world. This has been said, repeated, more or less understood, indeed it is the basic idea of what we want to do. But this could be a continuation with an improvement, a widening of the old world as it was ‒ and so long as this is a conception up there in the field of thought, in fact it is hardly more than that ‒ but what has happened, the really new thing, is that a new world is born, born, born. It is not the old one transforming itself, it is a new world, which is born. And we are right in the midst of this period of transition where the two are entangled ‒ where the outer still persists all-powerful and entirely dominating the ordinary consciousness, but where the new one is quietly slipping in, still very modest, unnoticed ‒ unnoticed to the extent that outwardly it does not disturb anything very much, for the time being, and that in the consciousness of most people it is even altogether imperceptible. And yet it is working, growing ‒ until it is strong enough to assert itself visibly.’ (The Mother, The Mother’s Agenda, 10 July 1957)
This new birth or seed (as all seeds are) is programmed to unfold its inner design and power in due course of time. The Mother and Thea (Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet) have been absolutely indispensable to the establishment of this seed. It could not have been established without their combined Integral and Supramental yoga revealing the eternal connection between the Transcendent, Cosmic and Individual Divine. The ‘fullness’ and all-pervading, all-uniting influence of this new seed of consciousness is based on the ONENESS of this Divine Trinity. Thus this new seed is, in a real sense, a compression of that triadic Oneness. The Individual and Cosmic forms are not considered opposite to the Transcendent Divine or Spirit. They are all three One

The emptiness and disharmony and apparent chaos of our modern world, is solidly and irrevocably based on a BIPOLAR seed, whose inner potential, power and fruition has been the false division in our minds between Spirit and Matter (between Spirit and Self, and Spirit and Cosmos). And although this seed birthed and fulfilled a necessary stage of our evolutionary journey, giving us both the wonders and horrors of modern civilization, it bears no centering and unifying force. Its force is fragmenting and polarizing. It is easy enough to see the real fruits of this fragmenting and polarizing seed everywhere around us. However much we may appreciate the ‘good’ fruits the bipolar seed has produced, the ‘bad’ fruits are part of the package; and nothing can change the fact that the essence of this seed is fragmentation, un-sustainability, mortality and death. It is death-bound.

The Rishis of the Rig Veda revealed the essence and creative field-womb of this seed using the image of Martanda – the Dead Egg. Martanda is the 8th son of Aditi (the ‘Mother of Light’ who has 12 ‘sons’ altogether). Thea makes the clear connection between Martanda and the 8th month of the 12 month Vedic Year (i.e. the 8th sign of the Zodiac: Scorpio). Martanda/Scorpio represents a period wherein the mental consciousness has achieved remarkable capacities of self-expression and exploration; but the true seed, design and energies of the self, the world and cosmos are hidden from the mind. Hence the mind creates its forms and systems based on a deep ignorance of the self and world and cosmos. The name the Rishis gave to the true seed of our self and world existence was Hiranyaretas – the Golden Seed, planted within Hiranyagarbha – the Golden Egg.

In order to continue the journey and move into the 9th stage of the evolutionary journey  (Sagittarius), the calcified forms and systems of the Dead Egg must be broken, dismantled and thoroughly defeated by those with higher knowledge of the essential and immortal ONENESS and divinity of creation (gnosis of the Golden Seed and Egg). This is not mythology as most people imagine mythology, as something irrelevant to their own reality. It is an accurate vision of the perilous stage of our collective evolutionary journey that we are living. We would have little or no hope of surviving this death-march, had not the Vedic Seers well-recorded their measurements and higher knowledge of the journey and their knowledge of the triadic oneness of the Transcendent, Cosmic and Individual Divine.

Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and Thea have been uniquely able to receive the transmission of the Vedic Seers, to reformulate their higher knowledge in modern language, and thereby to reveal (rebirth) the Hidden One or Golden Seed that is in its very nature, victorious over the lowly and misaligned perspective of the divisive mental consciousness, even before it unfolds its true power. It is designed to conquer the reigning darkness (fragmented consciousness) of the 8th stage of the evolutionary journey via illumination and integration of all parts of the whole, by the light and force of the One. In India this conquering seed is know as Kartikeya – a victorious child (son of Shiva) born in the 9th month of the 12 month Zodiacal Year. He is also known as Skanda or Guha. 1

The very least point I hope to make in all this is the seed and roots of things matter. They manifest and bear fruit above the surface of the soil. Understanding the real consequences (meaning 'with sequence') or unfolding of a seed in the course of time is a crucial key and passageway to the highest understanding and experience of World and the Self. The divisive, immature and deadening mental consciousnesses, from which many naturally have wanted to escape or transcend over the past few thousand years, is completely ignorant of and even hostile to the idea of this organic and orderly unfolding in large and small cycles of time. This ignorance continues to live on in, and increasingly impede the progress our individual and world consciousness. As such, it is just about the furthest thing from people’s minds to appreciate or even be slightly interested in the importance of the unfolding sequence of events, i.e. the connections of real events and real world-expressions spread out through cycles of time. So most proceed as if the continuity and 12-stage progression of the individual soul and the world soul, as SEEN by the ancient Vedic seers, has absolutely no meaning or significance in terms of self-realization or self-organization.

This ignorance (however passive or aggressive) is not a minor foil in our world play. It is an epic barrier to approaching the unified consciousness which now lies before us to be realized and lived into. Regardless of the deadly backlash, Thea has taken on this epic barrier or blockage by explaining in the simplest terms possible, that understanding the realities of time and the realities of what exactly manifests here on planet Earth, in the course and stages of time, is crucial to realizing the supramental unifying consciousness-force introduced by Sri Aurobindo as the next step in our evolutionary journey. This understanding is crucial because Time and Space are the field, body, and substance of this unifying force. The inherent super-logic and perfect design of the Golden Seed and Golden Egg is made manifest in Time and Space, and is visible in terms of simple geometries, harmonies, cycles, waves and patterns of expression. For those who refuse to acknowledge or integrate such geometries, harmonies, cycles, waves and patterns of expression into their scientific or spiritual pursuits, the higher consciousness that pervades and integrates all layers of and all movement within our world-existence will remain invisible behind the barriers and blinders of the old consciousness. One may intuit such a higher consciousness or believe in it, but one will not be able to see (to become a seer of) the play of the all-unifying supramental consciousness-force in the unfolding circumstances of one’s individual life or in the world play unless one learns to recognize the reality of its own terms of expression … including the reality of its most basic math and measure.

Having lived even just a few baby steps into this realization/recognition, I can say without any reservation whatsoever, that it is not wise and literally pointless to be attached, in whatever subtle or not-subtle ways, to the seed and roots or branches of the painfully fragmented consciousness that has produced our modern-day predicament – a World over-populated by thoroughly lost and empty and self-destructive people. 

What is clear to me is that individuals can utilize and apply the re-formulated Vedic gnosis presented by Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and Thea to become conscious of the individual soul and world soul (the Golden Seed and Golden Egg) and to thereby break the hold of the ‘Dead Egg’ and its entirely distorted field … or they can ignore it and continue to be a moribund (death-bound) fixture of this distorted field … however happily or unhappily depending on how comfortable or uncomfortable one is in this Old World Order.

Becoming a Singularity

I know that for you, and for many there must be some kind of social consensus and social component in order to feel drawn to any spiritual teachings or practice. Because, understandably, many people are attracted to religion and spiritual groups because at their core, they feel empty, lonely and want company. They naturally want to feel part of something larger than themselves. But the truth is that if one wants to enter into an entirely new field of consciousness organized by the Golden Seed or Hidden One (hidden to those in the darkness), any attachment to mass-agreements about what constitutes higher knowledge has to be shed. If one wants company more than one wants to uncover the indwelling Truth of all being and becoming, then one will not uncover the indwelling Truth of all being and becoming. In order to make the transition from the 8th stage of the evolutionary journey, Scorpio, to the 9th stage, Sagittarius, one must be willing to stand alone, to journey alone into the seed/core and inner matrix of the individual and collective self no matter what or who is lost in the process. That is the essence of the fearless Vedic conqueror or hero, the One who must emerge, based on the strength of his or her own soul rather than on external indicators and support, from the suffocating ignorance that holds an entire civilization in its death-grip, and establish a true – not imaginary or sentimental – alignment with the point of all existence.

Accordingly, the symbol of Sagittarius is an arrow, which must sail through all attachments, distractions and distortions in order to reach the ‘Bulls Eye’, the target, the One … the point at the very center of the circle of the Self. This arrow symbolizes the true and absolutely sincere focus that one must have in the process of becoming a conscious Individual (microcosm) within the whole of the Cosmos (macrocosm). In order to progress beyond the chaos and randomness of the fragmented mental consciousness, one must become a singularity … one must become the Golden Seed, knowledgeable of its vast Design. But this task is the ultimate kicker and the ultimate test that will eliminate most in our times from transitioning from the death-bound consciousness that is our ‘comfort-zone’ to the immortal all-sustaining consciousness that Sri Aurobindo introduced. The reason being, of course, that most people are far too interested in protecting their own small designs or the designs they have inherited from their families, communities and society, to even consider something else, even if that something else is the hidden point and design of all of creation. Attachments to the reigning death-bound consciousness of our civilization and its distortions and deformations, effectively veil or hide the unifying point and design of the One Self in All Selves. As the Vedic Rishis saw, this is the way our journey is designed … the natural course of our evolution. The individual either remains trapped and dies within a web of pointless relations, or emerges as the Eagle, the Hero, the Conqueror or Savior … the true Individual, perfectly aligned with the luminous and eternal point of all relations.

It is important to acknowledge that the Hero in this real evolutionary play does not simply emerge out of a sea of tranquility with no effort required or exerted! The Hero of the journey does not meditate his or her way into the 9th and 10th stages of the 12 stage evolutionary journey. There is a battle to be fought that requires real skill and ‘all-in’ involvement. The Hero faces and conquers an unimaginable mass of deadly pressures and antagonists in a sea of toxicity. Sri Aurobindo recognized all of this and pretty much dismantled the idea that the spiritual quest (in our day and age) should be peaceful and the idea that everyone should just accept the relativity of our existence and our belief systems so that everyone can get along without incident. The Hero of the Vedic journey, armed with knowledge of the One Self, faces and annihilates all dead, empty, pointless and toxic structures and enemies of the past mercilessness. It is via this crucial battle that the Hero ‘wins’ (firmly establishes in oneself) the truth-consciousness.
‘If one is among the ... seekers of [the] Truth one has to take sides for the Truth, to stand against the forces that attack it and seek to stifle it. Arjuna wanted not to stand for either side, to refuse any action of hostility even against assailants; Sri Krishna, who insisted so much on samata, strongly rebuked his attitude and insisted equally on his fighting the adversary. ‘Have samata and seeing clearly the Truth, fight.’ ... It is a spiritual battle inward and outward ; by neutrality and compromise or even passivity one may allow the enemy force to pass and crush down the Truth and its children.’ (Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga, Ch. 23, pp. 665-666) 2
I know this response is much more than you bargained for when you wrote your thoughts to me on the subject of the Lennon quote, but regardless, this is the response that your brief thoughts on the subject evoked in me. From the start I knew I wanted this to be an open letter … diving more deeply into the subject of seeds and formations of the old consciousness and seeds and formations of the new. Anyhow I hope this makes some sense to you and maybe to others who are truly interested in cultivating a higher consciousness and experience of our wonder-full world.

Love, Lori

PS. A few hours after sending this letter to Thea, she sent out today (to her circle) on Sri Aurobindo's 140th birth anniversary, a letter that she had written in 1989 that was recently typed up by a student/colleague. It is uncannily in tune with the above letter and she has given me permission to publish it. So here's a link to that Addendum: 'OLD AND NEW EXPERIENCE'.

1 Sri Aurobindo wrote of this ‘victorious child’ in his 76th Aphorism: ‘Europe prides herself on her practical and scientific organisation and efficiency. I am waiting till her organisation is perfect; then a child shall destroy her.’ Link to the Mother’s discussion of this Aphorism.

2 For more on Sri Aurobindo and the spiritual battle, see Michael Danino’s, ‘Sri Aurobindo and the Gita’, a keynote address delivered at a seminar on ‘Relevance of Bhagavad Gita in the New Millennium’, January 2000.


Addendum: A few hours after sending 'The Old Spirituality and the New Vision' to Thea, she sent out (to her circle) on Sri Aurobindo's 140th birth anniversary, a letter that she had written in 1989 that was recently typed up by a student/colleague. Given its uncanny similarities, she has given me permission to publish it in conjunction with my open letter.

Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet
1989 OCTOBER 20

…After reading a couple of things I received (from him) and you about [Wilber], I can only repeat what I wrote then. One piece was especially hard to wade through. The interview he gave to Quest Magazine. What mental contortions! And this is what everyone raves about… He is really so very much in love with his mind. It is frightening. And then there is that piece on his wife’s death. Well, what to say…

I don’t exactly agree with you that he was misinterpreting the signs, such as the raging wind when she was dying. I think it was all very legitimate. What happened, happened, and it confirmed, his Buddhist beliefs. But, so what? I mean, it confirmed Buddhism. That is, it only proved that if you follow a certain path you will get results along the lines that path lays down. But this we have known for ages. His experiences are real and true and valid—in Buddhism. But the point is; does it have any value for something else, for a new consciousness and a new manifestation? Of course not. And this is where people go off. They are convinced that the new consciousness which everyone wants and feels must be the basis for a new life can come by or through any path. This is the fallacy. If you practice Buddhism you attain Nirvana; if you follow Vedanta you reach the experience of the Self and then the Brahman Consciousness, and so on. If you follow Tantra you get the rise of the Kundalini and then dissolution beyond and into the Absolute Brahman. And on and on. But none of these have anything to do with the new thing. This is the point. But this is what is so hard to get across. Again I have to state: All paths do NOT lead to Rome!

I suppose that this will all work itself out once the new way is finally established in the world. Then the difference will be clear and unmistakable. For example, Wilber’s experience at his wife’s death means something only to him. I mean, objectively speaking. If we abstract that from the world nothing goes with it. He could have that experience or he could not. It changes nothing here, means nothing. It is purely subjective and only subjectively real. I wonder if I am explaining this properly. All these experiences of all the paths we know NEVER involve the world, or even groups. They are singular and cut off from everything else. Even when they convey to one the sense of the interconnectedness of the world and the interrelation between things, this is still a subjective experience. And by this I mean that its ‘reality’ lies strictly in this subjective meaning and importance. You can use that experience to make something different out of your own life. But if you withdraw the whole thing from life in this world, the world stays the same and remains unmoved, so to speak.

Whereas, you have the New Way. As you yourself have experienced, and it is the constant experience of all of us, there is no experience of this New Way separated from the world. And therefore if you were to extract it, you would have to draw the world with that extraction. The experiences are thoroughly interwoven in the planet’s time being and the universal harmony. Without that they do not exist and this gives to the experience a continuous sense of the objective. The new way is the lived experience of truth on this planet, at this particular time. This does not mean that it is therefore ‘relative’ but that it is simply an integrated part of the planet’s destiny. No sense can be made out of the experience if we abstract that destiny; in fact, there would be no experience at all. At the same time, this is what is so disappointing to people. When one pivots the ego and  knows nothing else but that binary structure of which the ego is the axis of being, then only subjective experiences and perceptions will be found satisfying. Only that will be ‘real’ and meaningful. The moment one moves into the true realm of the Objective, then it is the unknown and becomes a frightening perspective. This is the main difficulty in trying to introduce people to this new way. The experience is so new, so unsatisfying according to these old patterns. It is a wonder that there is even a small group still involved and hanging in there!

So, the point I wish to make is that Wilber’s experience is subjectively valid because Buddhism is an entirely subjective experience since central to its truth is the Void. With that central you cannot have the miracle of true interconnectedness AS A LIVED EXPERIENCE, that is, objectively valid, truly REAL.

© Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet 1989

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The World As a Harmonious, Luminous, Dynamic REALITY

One of my friends who posted the John Lennon quote – 'The more real one gets the more unreal the world gets' – wrote that he interpreted the quote to mean that the more real one gets, the more one sees that most people live in an imaginary world. He thought that I should not assume that Lennon meant to negate the world of material existence, or that that is how others interpret the quote. It's a good/valid point. I really don't know if Lennon wrote or others read this statement as an expression of affinity with the Buddha's teaching that ‘A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering.'

But, to me, it seems clear that there is a direct and definite connection, however conscious or unconscious, between the words and phrasing of the Lennon quote and the age-old misguided spiritual tendency to consider the world unreal, regardless of what Lennon actually meant or how anybody interprets the words. My friend thinks this connection to be too far of a leap, but for me it seems to be no leap at all. The actual words of the quote posit an INVERSE relationship between becoming more real and the reality of the world.

My friend thought my interpretation of the world as material existence was too narrow, and that the word 'world' could be used to mean many things. To him, in the context of the quote, I believe 'world' meant the world of mental or emotional illusions in which most people live. So I will clarify that my understanding of world and material existence includes all facets, layers and systems of life on planet Earth as nestled within the cosmos. My understanding of 'world' and 'material existence' includes the vital, emotional, mental and spiritual layers of our material existence, regardless of how un-illumined these layers may yet be in the course of our evolution. For me our world is our whole dynamic and unified being/body evolving towards full-consciousness and full-experience of our Divinity. I understand that Lennon and others may well have a less-integral or less-positive association with the word 'world' and with the world itself.

But, from my perspective, the world is a glorious wonder and the idea that the world gets more and 'more unreal', as one gets 'more real' is not a only grossly untrue, but disastrously and inevitably Self-destructive. My feeling is that individuals and our civilization will benefit much much more from striving for and achieving a higher perspective, understanding and experience of and relationship with the world than we have benefited in the past and present from the narrow mindset of considering our world and all of our worldly trials and tribulations to be so lowly as to be unreal (i.e. the antithesis of Divine reality).

I think it is good to admit and have compassion for the fact that the mind of man has not been in a good position to fully appreciate the world we have been born into. It is understandable that many have reacted to this uncomfortable position by promoting and practicing transcendence of the world and worldly existence itself. But what is becoming clearer and clearer in our new age, thanks to the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and his co-conspirators, is that we are absolutely capable of and destined to rise to a higher position, perspective or consciousness from which the world occurs as a 'Heaven on Earth', i.e. as a harmonious and luminous dynamic REALITY. If the seed of our Self is indeed designed to become THAT in the due course of time, as Sri Aurobindo and the Rishis of the Rig Veda have written, then it would behoove humanity to focus on the process of becoming THAT Divine fullness, rather than to stay cemented in and even enamored by the idea, perspective or consciousness that the world is a hostile and illusory womb or prison to be left behind for greener spiritual pastures  ... which for some is dissolution into nothingness.

Perhaps it all boils down to whether or not we see or want to see our world and our existence as FULL of purpose or EMPTY of purpose ... whether or not we see or want to see a real point to our lives to be individually and collectively realized, or no point. I think it is clear that our civilization has reached a certain critical mass wherein the point and purpose of our world, of our collective journey must be realized. It seems to me that the 'grace period' for our Ignorance is over. Welcome to the Apocalypse as predicted by Saint John. 

He who was seated on the throne said,
'I am making everything new!'

Revelation 21:5