Knowledge holds the Light

See beyond to see within

See beyond to see within

What is in me is what you reflect for me.
What is reflected in you is revealed through me.

Like the glassy surface of a still lake,
You show me who I Am.

We are each one another’s mirrors.
See me, and you will see yourself,
Judge me and you simply judge yourself.

There are those you like, and they are the ones who show you what you accept in yourself.

There are those you dislike, and they are the ones who remind you of what you reject in yourself.

To look within, you have but to look into my eyes and see Me.

Literary Exploration Series: Sadhana, the Realisation of Life – Ch.6

Sadhana cover

CHAPTER 6: Realisation In Action

Link to chapter: click here
Length of chapter reading: 30:37 minutes

This morning, I saw a man at work. This man was very special. I knew that he had agreed, a long time ago, to meet me in this exact place at this exact time to teach me what I was starting to forget. He sat at his desk, the same small space he fills each day, wearing the same uniform I imagined him preparing each evening for the following day. He worked very quickly, his hands very busy making notes and shuffling papers. Each time a patient approached him, he would look up and, from his serious demeanor, he would shed light on the face looking back at him with a warm and patient smile. He knew that he worked in a place where people were afraid to go. He also knew that he had the power to bring them peace, through his eyes, through his smile, and through the integrity with which he dedicated himself to his work. It is through him that I saw God this morning. It is through his nobility and his grace that I was able to remember myself. It is for this that I am grateful today.

 

“As some, under the idea that law is the opposite of joy, mistake intoxication for joy, so there are many in our country who imagine action to be the opposite of freedom. They think that activity, being in the material place, is restriction of the free spirit of the soul, but we must remember that as joy expresses itself in law, so the soul finds its freedom in action. It is because joy cannot find expression in itself alone that it desires the law which is outside. Likewise, it is because the soul cannot find freedom within itself that it wants external action. The soul of man is ever-freeing itself from its own folds by its activity. Had it be otherwise, it could not have done any voluntary work. The more man acts and makes actual what is latent in him, the nearer does he bring the event yet to be. In that actualization, man is ever-making himself more and yet more distinct and seeing himself clearly under newer and newer aspects in the midst of his varied activities, in the state, in society. This vision makes for freedom.”

I read something about myself recently that has had an impact upon the way that I identify my ‘character’ is the roles it plays. Because of a number of things, including tools provided to us through astrology (the date and time of my birth) and numerology (my name and the place of my birth), I read that I am destined to have many different jobs in this life. My first thought was one of isolation – with so many different roles, I’ll have to attempt to enter into many different tribes, some that will accept me, and some that won’t. The isolation comes from my perception of my fleetingness, the transitory nature of my journey, going from one place to another, fulfilling my role, and then moving on to where my purpose takes me next.

I have already started to realize this destiny. I have identified the distinct transitions from one role to another and I have begun to understand how to see the beauty and richness in what sometimes feels like quite lonely work. It is actually quite a magical dynamic because in one sense, it is isolating – you sense that the experience will be temporary, yet much important work needs to be done. But during that short period of intense service, intimate connections are made between souls, there is a recognition of the higher essence amongst the souls who are connected through these acts of service.

Why have I written about this self-realisation? Because it is through action within this physical world that I learn such great lessons and experience thoroughly hopeful moments of connection and divine recognition – through others of my Self.

Our journey is not one of systematic predictability. We are not meant to follow the path discovered by out neighbor because we know where it will lead. Our journeys are of a much greater purpose. By having the courage to follow a path that we create with each choice we make, we learn who we are. We get to know our Selves. We rediscover the consciousness that we were when we were planning this life; the consciousness that we are underneath the physical vehicle; the consciousness that is in each breath we take. Action is the process through which to rediscover our Selves. And when we rediscover the truth about our Selves, there is no more a need for fear. That is where freedom comes in.

 

“…the ideas in our minds are constantly seeking opportunities to take on outward form…”

Action is also the greatest desire of our thoughts, but not in the way that many people think. Thoughts are living beings. We can create thoughts. We feed them into life. When a thought ‘comes into’ your mind, it is literally a foreign entity seeking a source of life. If you choose to invest energy into contemplating the thought, repeatedly going back in your mind and thinking about the thought, expanding on it and playing with what it would look like, it beings to grow. The more you invest in feeding it with energy, the more it acquires a life of its own, until one day, it has the power to physically manifest. This is a very powerful area of esoterica. If you are interested in learning more about it, perhaps you would enjoy The Magus of Strovolos by Kyriacos C. Markides.

“The Upanishad says, ‘In the midst of activity alone wilt thou desire to live a hundred years‘. It is the saying of those who have amply tasted of the joy of the soul. Those who have fully realized the soul have never talked in mournful accents of the sorrowfulness of life, or of the bondage of action. They are not like weakling flowers who’s stem-hold is so light that it drops away before attaining fruition. They hold onto life with all their might, and say, ‘Never will we let go ’til the fruit is ripe!’ They desire in their joy to express themselves strenuously in their life and in their work. Pain and sorrow dismay them not. They are not bowed down to the dust by the weight of their own heart. With the erect head of the victorious hero, they march through life seeing themselves and showing themselves in increasing resplendence of soul through both joys and sorrows. The joy of their life keeps step with the joy of that energy which is playing at building and breaking throughout the universe.”

Some of us will receive the gift of coming face to face with one of these joyous souls that live each moment so nobly and to such a full extent that we forget maya’s hold on us and realise the true opportunity we have been given in this life. It is so easy, so very easy to dwell in the sorrow, and the pain, and the misfortune, and the unfairness of this world. These are tools that are meant to confuse us and to distract us from our true power and our true purpose.

I don’t have an inspirational story to share with this quote, but rather one of shame. For you see, I have been caught up in the throws of maya lately, forgetting all about the beauty and glory of this life, and dwelling instead on the suffering. I have forgotten, until now, as I listened to Tagore’s reminder, that there are SO MANY souls waiting in line just to be chosen to come into embodiment. “Why?” you may ask. Well, it simple. ‘Up there’, we prepare. We study, and reflect, and we get ready for the moment when we will be able to come back into this, or a similar world and apply our new knowledge so that we can discover a little bit more about your true Selves. It is through experiences that we create together here that we can get closer to our true Selves. Some of us have seemingly charmed lives, and others suffer the pain that only heroes could endure. It is not for us to judge why. It is not for us to even question whether we are worthy, for that has been decided long ago. All that is left for us to do is to make each moment count. There is joy in every moment. Find it and you will remember why you are here.

 

“He who thinks to reach God by running away from the world, when and where does he expect to meet Him? How far can he fly? Can he fly and fly and fly until he flies into nothingness itself? No, the coward who would fly can no where find Him. We must be brave enough to say, “We are reaching Him here, in this very spot, now, at this very moment. We must be able to assure ourselves that, as in our actions we are realizing our Selves, so in our Selves we are realizing him who is the SELF of Self. We must earn the right to say so unhesitatingly by clearing away, with our own effort, all obstruction, all disorder, all discords from our path of activity. We must be able to say, “In my work is my joy, and in that joy does the joy of my joy abide.”

Hahaha! This made me laugh. If I had a nickel for all the times I would have wanted to avoid the physical world and escape into the comforts of the metaphysical, I would certainly get a few free coffees by now! It is very tempting not to want to do ‘the work’ and to call our avoidance an act of purification or, alternatively, a quest for pleasure. I’ve heard both arguments, and they’re both equally colorful!

I don’t think ‘killing time’ is a sin if, by this, you mean spending time doing something that is fun, without stress and brimming with pleasurable. It is, however, a great loss if, by ‘killing time’, you are attempting to numb the pain of a life devoid of inspiration and passion. The work of Sir Ken Robinson is certainly a testament to the power of following your passion. His latest book entitled The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, will help many people awaken to this truth. Makes you wonder, once our work truly becomes a manifestation of our passions, what are we going to do with all our days off?! Haha!

Literary Exploration Series: Sadhana, the Realisation of Life – Ch.5

Sadhana cover

CHAPTER 5: Realisation In Love

Link to chapter: click here
Length of chapter reading: 42:28 minutes

Duality is not an expression of separation. It is an invitation to embody unconditional love and acceptance for all, no matter whether our minds can make sense of it, no matter whether our beliefs are in line with it, no matter whether our desires are fulfilled by it. Duality is the ultimate union of opposites representing the possibility of wholeness disguised in contradiction. When there is little evidence, where we do not believe that there is enough proof, we can ask ourselves what we do have. This is when we open ourselves to the realisation that through free will, we have the power to choose to see things differently.

 

“In learning a language, when from mere words we reach the laws of words, we have gained a great deal. But if we stop at that point and concern ourselves only with the marvels of the formation of a language, seeking the hidden reason of all its apparent caprices, we do not reach that end, for grammar is not literature; prosity is not a poem. When we come to literature, we find that, though it conforms to the rules of grammar, it is yet a thing of joy; it is freedom itself. The beauty of a poem is bound by strict laws, yet it transcends them. The laws are its wings. They do not keep it weighed down. They carry it to freedom. Its form is in law, but its spirit is in beauty. Law is the first step toward freedom, and beauty is the complete liberation which stands on the pedestal of law. Beauty harmonises in itself the limit and the beyond – the law and the liberty.”

Why is it that so often, we reach ‘a’ point and conclude that we have reached the final step in our journey?

“I have found love! My search is over.”
“I have completed a degree. I no longer have to be a student.”

As with the learning of a language, there are many facets to our understanding. We eventually discover that the more we know, the less we understand. The complexity of the universal truth is so intricate and vast that we can easily become entangled in its details. The human mind was not made to grasp all the facts, calculate all the figures and make sense of all the outcomes. It is in the simplicity where we can truly make sense of all in our lives. It is in the silence where we can truly find clarity. If we relate this to the learning of a language, it is when we transcend the words of a poem and feel the essence of the poet that we have come to a point of greater understanding.

 

“If we happen to be awake then, we question him.”

If we happen to be awake…

 

“The question is, in what manner do we accept this world, which is a perfect gift of joy? Have we been able to receive it in our heart, where we keep enshrined things that are of deathless value to us? We are frantically busy making use of the forces of the Universe to gain more and more power. We feed and we cloth ourselves from its stores. We scramble for its riches and it becomes for us a field of fierce competition. But were we born for this?
To extend our proprietary rights over this world and make of it a marketable commodity? When our whole mind is spent only upon making use of this world, it looses for us its true value. We make is cheap by our sordid desires, and thus, to the end of our days, we only try to feed upon it, and miss its truth. Just like the greedy child who tears the leaves from a precious book and tries to swallow them.”

Where do you see yourself fitting in the picture Tagore paints in the words above? I used to be one of the frantic. There was a time when I was watching others trying to swallow the leaves and wondering if I should join in. But for some reason, I don’t see a place to fit in anymore. I am disconnected from the traffic, unplugged from much of the noise, and find myself wondering…where do I fit in? Do I try to change the world? Do I try to remind people what they seem to have forgotten? Or do I disconnect even further and ignore the pain and the chaos?

I don’t mean to sound self-righteous at all here. I am sorry if I appear to be. In truth, I feel like an alien, living amongst a people with whom I don’t know how to relate. When I am in the company of others, I often seem to say things that silence the room, but I don’t know what that means. When I am physically alone, I find myself able to reach such heights of mental expansion and seem to be able to best translate and share those moments through technology. I heard somewhere recently that the longer we spend disassociated with the rest, the more others seem unrecognisable. Is my experience a product of the times or a consequence of something else?

 

“…we can never have a true view of man unless we have a love for him… Man foolishly tries to prove his superiority by imagining his radical separateness from what he calls his physical world, which in his blind fanaticism, he sometimes goes to the extent of ignoring all together, holding it as his direst enemy. Yet the more his knowledge progresses, the more it becomes difficult for man to establish this separateness and all the imaginary boundaries he had setup around himself vanish, one after the other. Every time we loose some of our badges of absolute distinction by which we conferred upon humanity the right to hold itself apart from its surroundings, it gives us a shock of humiliation. But we have to submit to this if we setup our pride on the path of self-realisation to create divisions and disunion, then it must sooner or later come under the wheels of truth and be ground to dust.”

But what if I understand a tree better then I understand man? Or perhaps I should ask why I feel more comfortable with it. And then I’m reminded that when we ask ‘why’, we do not truly see the picture in front of us. So I try to step back to see a bit more of this picture, and then I meet the hermit that resides within. The part of me that identifies more with that which is unseen, with that which is unspoken by most.

In all my wondering and trying to relate, I have realised that this physical world inevitably requires action. Building up the courage to act is a process of facing ones fears, seeing them for the self-imposed illusions that they are, and detaching from that which sells the sense of separateness. “…we can never have a true view of man unless we have a love for him…” And here I am drawn back to myself. Do I love myself? How can I realise the true view of man if I do not see it in myself first?