January 22, 2014

Service Work

In our service work, we can embody various aspects of the to ideas that are currently in need of distribution: “light upon our way and practical goodwill.”

 

A “light upon our way” is accomplished by showing a path of right action leading to desirous outcomes, based on principles, love, harmlessness and right speech.

 

“Practical goodwill” is exhibited by showing the mutually beneficial outcomes of symbiotic relationships in the daily life of business, personal interaction and spiritual work.

 

As we are receptive to the work of others, we note the effectiveness of others within the new group of world servers, and are able to cast a light also upon their achievements so that others might more readily see their contributions to the whole.  In this way, we also exercise the virtue of showing gratitude to others, which will help to strengthen the hands of our fellow servers.

January 21, 2014

The divine quality of Will

The quality of Will is said to be the highest expression of the Divine.  As it says in the Bible, “God’s will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven,” and many other religions have a similar idea of what should be.

The Will can only control with the cooperation of the physical body.  For example, if you’re lying in bed in the morning and decide to get up to meditate at sunrise, you not only have to decide to get up and meditate, you actually have to throw your legs over the side of the bed and physically get up.

If your will is not strong enough to overcome the desire of the lower physical body to stay under the warm covers and go back to sleep, no manner of urging will be able to get your body up.

The same goes for any action that is desired by the Will.  If the brain is not trained to obey these higher messages, the body will never be under the control of the Divine.

Without this Divine responsiveness, the person is rendered a less effective instrument for service.

It is the duty of all spiritually minded people to train themselves to be responsive to the Will so that they fit themselves to assist in helping God’s will be “done on Earth.”  If He could do it himself, it would have been done already.  It’s up to us to render ourselves responsive and obedient to carrying out the orders as we perceive them with loving harmlessness, kindness, and right speech.

In Love and Light,

AW

August 26, 2013

What leads to Joy?

What can lead to a life of Joy? 

 

So often we think of Joy as a synonym for happiness, but it’s not.  It’s so much more.

 

Joy (with a capital “J”) is something far greater than mere happiness.

 

Happiness is rooted in duality and has it’s opposite – sadness.

 

Joy doesn’t really have an opposite.  It falls beyond duality in a state of unity.

 

Joy is the state of being inherently connected to our divine higher self – the Self with the capital “S”.

 

Unless we take steps to connect with this higher part, finding Joy is a matter of luck and chance.

 

If we prefer, we can quicken our progress toward Joy and train ourselves to be receptive to this higher self.

 

Through meditation, prayer, concentration – that is how we develop Joy.

August 14, 2013

Maya Is Junk

Maya Is Junk

 

I collect all these things and they tie me down.  They become a weight around my neck and in my arms, preventing me from holding the ones I love.  Keeping me from doing my work.

 

This is called maya in some traditions, this clutter. 

 

Why maya? 

 

In some traditions, maya means illusion

 

In other traditions, Maya is the name for the earth mother.

 

The earth is matter, energy at its lowest form. 

 

Energy is measured in Oms.

 

Vibrations create waves and as they become denser, they create what we know as substance.

 

You and I are really nothing more than a pattern and series of vibrations

 

Some of these vibrations we perceive as colors

 

Some of these vibrations we perceive as sounds.

 

Other vibrations we smell… at which point the vibration takes “substance” and we perceive it as physical matter. 

 

We can interact with matter here on the physical plane.

 

That is very easy to observe.  Just pick up an object in your hand.  You perceive it as “real.”  It is a solid object – a thing you have been conditioned since birth to identify, qualify, and categorize into a series of descriptions.

 

For example, “This ball is cold, blue, and smells like rubber.”  That statement names the object (a ball) and describes its state of being in terms of relative temperature, color and aroma.

 

Less obvious to some of us is our ability to interact similarly with our emotions.

 

What are emotions?  They are not “real” to us in the same sense as our bodies or other objects that share our environment.  We cannot describe them by their physical characteristics like we do the ball, however we might metaphorically refer to a “blue” or “cold” mood or feeling.

 

Our emotions, though not “real” in the same sense as our bodies and objects are “real,” can cause perceivable and measurable changes in our physical bodies.

 

For example, when we experience the emotion of fear, our bodies react by increasing adrenaline production, raising our heart rates, sweating, etc.  We can measure these effects with the aid of scientific instruments, and sometimes with the naked eye.

 

What we perceive when we observe someone changing their physical environment due to reactions related to the experiencing of an emotion is the line between two planes of existence: the physical plane and the emotional plane.

 

When we clutter up the physical space around ourselves, we are creating maya within our environments. 

 

Maya are objects that interfere with our ability to see things clearly.

 

Oddly enough, when we throw away things that we don’t really need, it clears the air and opens new pathways of movement in the areas where the unnecessary things once stood as a physical blockage.

 

Why have a bunch of things you don’t need lying around? 

 

This begs the question, what do we really need?

 

It forces us to focus on what is important and not what is available.

 

When we choose what things take up our space; physically, emotionally and mentally, we take control of our environments, and set our course for beautiful things to come, instead of merely accepting what is forced upon us or is being accepted simply out of a condition of habit and inertia.

 

April 30, 2013

Ceremony and Ritual in the Daily Routine

Ceremonial and Ritual in the Daily Routine Talk

Prepared for Arcane School Conference NYC April 27, 2013

I'm the red one.

I’m the red one.

The following is a talk I gave at the recent Arcane School Conference in NYC – here’s a link to see the video of the event including some great talks by some amazing world servers who converged this past weekend.

In thinking about ceremony and ritual, we are apt to imagine the elaborate undertakings of the Catholic Church or of Masonic practice, and indeed those are ceremonies and rituals.  However, when we shift our focus to consider ceremony and ritual in the daily routine, we find a much more simple application of the same idea.

In Esoteric Psychology I, we are told that “No one on earth can evade ritual or ceremonial, for the rising and the setting the sun imposes a ritual, the cyclic passing of the years, the potent movements of the great centers of population, etc… all of these impose a rhythm upon humanity.” P. 365.

These daily rituals observed in the movements of the heavens are the essence of what ceremony really is – the establishing of rhythm in our lives.

Rhythm – now there’s a fascinating subject.  It is said that the original drummers were women.  Indeed the very word “meter” is derived from the word “mater,” related to “mother.”  Why?  The ancients noted the obvious effects the cycle of the moon manifested on the female body in the form of the monthly menses.  Only right and natural that women should be appointed the keepers of time as drummers.

This whole theme of ceremony and ritual can be easily applied to music in many ways.  For one, rhythm is an inherent part of both music and ceremony.  It has been said that music is nothing more than making order of time.  When you consider the progression of one note to the next in sequential order, melody applied to a specific rhythm, it is easy to see how this can be seen as true.

Also in Esoteric Psychology I is the statement on page 331 that the “development of sattva or rhythm within the human kingdom…. Is really harmonious response to vibration, and leads to the integration of the unity in the whole and to the production of that “understanding” which will enable the man to eliminate all barriers in his consciousness.”

Wow.  That’s a heavy statement.  So, when we impose rhythm upon our daily lives, we are actually bringing ourselves into harmony.  With what?  With this impressing vibration – whether is that of the Soul, of the group, the Monad, etc.

The whole notion of being in harmony with something implies a group consciousness.  Going back to the music analogy, when something is in harmony, by definition there must be more than one thing happening.  Sometimes in a spiritual context, one is tempted to think of “being in harmony” as a state of being balanced within ones self, and it is good and desirable state, indeed.  However, is it not also possible, given the musical analogy at hand, that something more and greater is implied by this harmonizing action.  In music, one note alone has nothing with which to harmonize.  As soon as we add another note to the mix, we’ve got the possibility for harmony (or discord – but we’re talking about harmony here).  One note alone can’t do any of that.  It sits there and contemplates its aloneness and is contented to be a singular expression of tone.  There can be no melody, no movement, no rhythm, nothing but note.

Now, when we add another note to the mix, then we’ve got something.  Suddenly, we have melody, movement, action.  We have relationship, rhythm, and tonality – the experience of how the notes work together.  When the two or more notes are sounded in unison, then we have harmony – this thing to which the passage refers, this “harmonious response to vibration that leads to integration.”

Integration with what?

We have just discussed the fourth ray and its particular influence on the human fabric.  Though artists and musicians fall on every ray, the 4th ray is often seen as the ray of the artist because of the keynote of conflict inherent in its manifestation.

There are many reasons for this – and many correspondences that can be explored, namely, for the purpose of our discussion, the imposition of conflict – harmony through conflict to be specific upon the environment.

Music is all about tension and resolution.  Without it, the music is static and non-dynamic.  Tension is the musical equivalent of conflict – to be exact, the interlude between dissonance  and resolution– between harmony and discord – and here in music we see harmony through conflict practically applied.

The fourth ray is also a clearing house – the half way point in the rays, the equivalent function the solar plexus plays in dividing the centers in the body between the lower triangle and the upper correspondences.

Fourth ray individuals, a great many of them artists of various disciplines, serve as the clearing house for humanity – displaying their working through of conflict and the resulting harmony when consonance is achieved to their fellow man.

What is the goal of all this?  What is the purpose our daily lives achieve?  It has been said that the goal before us on the spiritual path is to reconcile the pairs of opposites so that the underlying unity can be discovered.

When we consider the ceremony and rituals present in our daily routine, be they complex as in the organized pageantry our military displays or simple as the rhythm of our own heartbeats, we become aware of the cyclic nature of our environment.  In this act of paying attention, of presence, of mindfulness we recognize the sacred element of all the phenomenal appearances we encounter, and the act of consciously recognizing the divine in all we encounter brings an added element to our journey.

When we think about this concept applied to the topic at hand “ceremony and ritual in the daily routine” we see the significance that rhythm plays in all of this.

For many of us on the Path, the establishing of a daily routine is a chore.  It is in this conflict that we truly get to the bottom of the thread that connects this whole topic.

As aspirants, we subject ourselves to a series of integrations followed by a harmonizing with the overriding influence of the Soul.   It is dealing with the resulting, for some of us frequent, bouts of rebellion waged by the personality which causes us to feel imposed upon by this tyrant of a thing – the Soul.  Yet, we subject ourselves, willingly of course, to the reality of this conflict between our desire to achieve integration and synthesis with the Soul and Higher correspondences while our selfish little personalities whine and moan and resist falling into line – coming into rhythm – abandoning the world of duality for a realization of unity.

Nothing causes such an outcry of indignation in the neophyte (especially those of an artistic disposition ) than the notion that one ought to have a daily routine.

We want routine, we desire it – and we know that a daily routine would be best for everyone involved.  But oh the pain!  Oh the conflict – the constant internal (and at times external) complaints of the stubborn, prideful, matter laden personality and its burdensome physical – emotional –mental triplicty to drag around!

But what is daily routine really getting at?  Maybe by looking closely at the underlying significance of such a thing, can we as aspirants on or approaching the path of discipleship, find the will, in addition to the desire (which is already present) to accomplish this miraculous feat of self discipline.

Discipline – disciple.

The daily routine speaks of rhythm.  Arcane School students are all mindful of this need to make our meditations regular – preferably at the time of the sunrise.  There are scientific reasons for this guideline – namely the natural facility of balanced and equally opened nadises at that early hour, but there are other reasons for the aspirant to adopt a regular routine of meditation and waking activity.

For one, as we just described, order is the natural expression of the divine will.  Chaos is the opposite of order, which is why the ancients viewed Chaos as evil.  So, any implementation of order we can affect upon ourselves is all the better for achieving our group purpose of fitting ourselves for service.

Remember – rhythm has in it the seeds of harmony.  So in essence, imposing rhythm on ones own life (through this act of will and sacrifice – at least as the personality sees it) is bringing oneself into harmony.  And how can we be in harmony as a single human expression?  We can’t!  Not without realizing that we are but a brightly colored spoke in the great wheel of humanity.  We must recognize our place within the whole, and realize that we are indeed all One.

As we prepare to break into groups, we should recognize that each of us plays a vital role in the fabric of humanity, and through our group consciousness, we can entrain ourselves to work in unison for the greater good of the whole.

Recognizing the sacred all around us, being mindful of the cycles and rhythms in our environment, and celebrating these in the form of ceremony and ritual is really a celebration of each of us – of our unity through diversity, and of our common source and destination as pilgrims on the path of discipleship.

November 15, 2012

Powering through

Some days it is easier to live.  Such an odd statement, but one so true.  We as spiritual beings are often confronted with proof of our limitations within the form life.  We strive ever to the higher, and are constantly reminded of our age old battle with gravity, that inescapable force that drags us down…
But it keeps us grounded so that we can do our work here.  And it keeps us weighted so that we don’t float away in useless ponder-y.

Powering through.  Some days are easier than others.

November 13, 2012

Matters of the soul

Build the gossamer threads between soul and body as an escape ramp for the consciousness for when the time is right to leave.  Socrates was talking about the philosopher being closer to death because of focusing on the state most similar to bodiless – focus on the soul and not on that which relates to the body and its lower desires.  Focus instead on matters of the soul.

October 31, 2012

Building the antahkarana

Building the antahkarana seems like such an abstract task to undertake.  We are told to visualize the link between Soul infused personality and the Spiritual Triad, and are given a series of linking points within the lower bodies and their higher correspondences.

Yet, at this stage, I feel a bit helpless in this process.  Not a helplessness of not being able to help myself, and feeling frustrated, but a knowing that no one can help me with this process but myself.

The aim is to bridge the gap in the mental matter using the creative imagination.  If this is so, that means that the whole building process is actually a primer lesson in manifesting “energy follows thought” in a manner that forms substance in one of the higher planes.

The purpose for this is to link the Triad and Soul infused personality to allow greater service capability in the vessel operating on the physical plane.

So often, spiritually minded individuals fail to understand the importance of the happenings on the physical plane.  In order to teach others what we apprehend in the higher spheres, it is necessary to manifest that knowledge in our daily lives by acting according to what we know, here on earth.

Only by example can we truly spread the message of Light and Love it is our duty to share.

October 30, 2012

Warrior Archetype

The full moon of Scorpio is a time to reflect on the warrior archetype.
What are some qualities of the spiritual warrior?  We must, as in every calling, observe the principles of the Path: harmlessness, right action, right speech.
How can we be both harmless and a warrior?

The confusion comes from misunderstanding the word “harmless”.  When one observes harmlessness it does not signify a passive acceptance of all that is thrown one’s way.

Harmlessness springs from a “true understanding and control of the personality by the soul.” (Ponder on This).

When we operate with harmlessness, all thought of the separated self disappears, and we are able to act with the wise discrimination of one who is being practical in the art of patience and wisdom.
Harmfulness is based on selfishness, self centered action, and an ego-centric attitude. (ibid)

The slings and arrows flung upon the spiritual warrior by others are recognized as the futile striving of a spoiled child who needs only to see a living example of integrity and virtue after which to mold himself.

Punishment cannot coerce one to walk the Path of enlightenment.  Only the stirrings of responsibility within one’s own soul can bring one from idleness to active service of the Plan.

Spiritual warriors are greatly needed at this time, not to take up arms against our brothers and sisters upon the darkened path, but to take them within our arms in a loving embrace that will dispel all fear and doubt that prevents them from moving forward as part of the group of true servers.

October 24, 2012

Glamour of the Family Desire Life

There are many glamours that confront us in our daily lives.  Today, I have been studying the glamour of the family desire life.

 

Glamour is the failure to perceive things as they truly are -  a tendency of looking through “rose colored glasses” that distort our perception.

 

This glamour of family desire life affects us both from past conditioning, and from present circumstances and situations.

 

There is even a whole field of psychology dedicated to studying the familial environmental conditioning and heredity.

 

If a human being seeks to discipline himself to be fit for the path of discipleship, he has to face the reality of his condition – the condition of his physical, emotional, and mental equipment, to be able to move forward and progress along the “straight and narrow” way.

 

If he becomes distracted, pointing out the causes for his own shortcomings and failures, assigning blame and feeling anger toward family who have wronged him, or failed to condition him properly, he has succumbed to the glamour of family desire life.

 

His desire to please, to fit in, to meet expectations is in fact a barrier to realizing his true self worth and natural calling.  If he continues to be pulled from his purpose, he has only himself to blame for failing to achieve his potential as a server in the world of men.

 

Teenagers are especially prone to this type of glamour owning to their financial dependence upon the parental units.  The parents will often say, “Not while you’re living under my roof,” to prevent the young person from participating in certain activities.

 

This is well and good if the activities sought after by the teen are truly detrimental, such as premature sexual relations or smoking, for example, but not when used as a means of controlling the healthy experiences of creativity bursting from those of that formative age group.

 

One is wise to examine her “inherited and demonstrated psychological tendencies” for any sign of impaired discrimination based on the bias of his family desire life.

 

Thus, the first step in eliminating any glamour is in self-examination.

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