August 6, 2013
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The same problem besets conventional science. ‘The intellectual effort to solve the mystery of the physical universe is in vain since the scientist is trying to separate himself from the universe. It is a single unit. Nature and man are not two different things.’ Thinking that they are is what transmits a misperception: the post-Cartesian world-frame that dictates duality as a model for vision. Deep ecology presages on the other hand the obsolescence of western humanism’s dominant metaphor for perception, and this is its special use as a hermeneutical tool.
We could press the point further and say that deep ecology takes us beyond any separatist dichotomies which traditionally try to distance metaphysics from practical concerns. That separatizing habit is a frequent influence on cultural judgement, by which, for instance, mystical has become synonymous with otherworldly, impractical, even inane; and down-to-earth a commendatory for what could equally be called blinkered or unimaginative. Since a rich symbol-system is essential to the imaginative life of humanity, we are reminded just how severe are the limitations of this type of dismissive judgement of the metaphysical realm. That dismissal could be likened to the global capitalist monoculture derived from the alienating perspectives of the Cartesian dichotomy, or Kantian imperative, that suggests beings other than man are simply means to be used to man’s ends. We are realizing the contrary. Human operations of destruction and appropriation evident on the level of natural ecosystems are accurately reflected in the cultural operations of judgement by which the utilitarian ethic is used to delimit the activities of the psyche and imagination. But our cultural perspective could change and develop a ‘sustainable mind-field’ to partner and revive the biophilia hypothesis, which proposed that the completeness and meaning of human being in the world depends on humans’ conviction of actual affiliation with the remainder of life (as opposed to neutral detachment or isolation, from it). Such an inclusive imaginative mind-field has in fact been the province and occupation of poetics, myth and mysticism for much longer than humanism’s recent, if persistent, denial or degrading of imagination.
Esoteric Dimensions of Deep Ecology
by Paul Davies
Hermeneutics: The science of interpretation, or interpretation theory.
May 30, 2013
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It is precisely the challenge involved
in using inadequate words
that drives the mind
beyond all words…
At the borders of speech
we open ourselves
to the positive value of silence….
through its complexity, its music,
its suggestiveness, points to a fuller realm of being.
–Edward k Kaplan (citing Abraham Joshua Heschel)
May 27, 2011
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I praise the Lord, Prince of the realm and King!
His rule extends across the whole wide world.
Gweir was penned beneath the fortress mound,
As tell the tales of Pwyll and Pryderi.
None before him passed into the prison,
With a heavy chain a faithful servant bound.
Bitter before the spoils of Annwn he sang,
And until Doomsday lasts our bardic prayer.
Three companies of warriors we went in —
Seven alone rose up from Elfs-castle.
Song rang out, honoring me with praise
In the four-peaked fortress, four its mighty turnings.
My verses from within the cauldron uttered,
By breath of maidens ninefold they were kindled.
The lord of Annwn’s cauldron: how is it made?
A dark ridge on its border, crusted pearls.
Its fate is not to boil the meat of cowards,
The deadly flashing sword is lifted to it,
And in the hand of the Leaper it was left.
Before the doors of hell the lamps were burning.
When we went in with Arthur, blinding trouble —
Seven alone rose up from Meads-castle.
Song rang out, honoring me with praise
In the four-peaked fortress, isle of the strong door.
Flowing water and shining jet are mingled,
They drink the sparkling wine before their followers.
Three companies of warriors sailed the sea —
Seven alone rose up from Hard-castle.
I do not deserve to be put with poetasters:
Beyond the fort they missed the valor of Arthur.
Six thousand men stood on the glass wall,
Their sentinel was difficult to speak with.
Three companies of warriors went with Arthur —
Seven alone rose up from Guts-castle.
I do not deserve the mean men, slack their shield straps.
They do not know the day of our creation,
Nor what time of day the One was born.
Who made him who strayed far from Defwy meadows?
They do not know the ox, his thick headband,
Full sevenscore links upon his chained collar.
And when we went with Arthur, woeful visit —
Seven alone rose up from Gods-castle.
I do not deserve these men — slack their will.
They do not know which day the chief was sired,
Nor what hour of day the lord was born,
Nor what beasts are kept, their heads of silver.
When we went in with Arthur, sorrowful strife —
Seven alone rose up from Box-castle.
Monks are a pack together — a choir of dogs —
They shrink away from meeting the lords who know:
Is there one course of wind? One course of water?
Is there one spark of fire? Of fierce tumult?
Monks are a pack together, like youngling wolves
They shrink away from meeting the lords who know:
They do not know when night and dawn divide,
Nor wind, what is its course, nor what its onrush,
What place it ravages, nor where it strikes.
The grave of the saint vanishes, grave and ground.
I praise the Lord, great Prince of the whole world,
And so I am not sad, for Christ endows me.
In the center of the Castle of Brahma, our own body, there is a small shrine,
in the form of a Lotus flower, and within can be found a small space.
We should find who dwells there and want to know him….
for the whole universe is in him and he dwells within our heart.
Or, as one might say; In the center of the Castle of the Grail, our own body, there is a shrine,
and within it is to be found the Grail of the Heart.
We should indeed seek to know and understand that inhabitant.
It is the fragment of the divine contained within each one of us- like the sparks of
unfallen creation which the Gnostics saw entrapped within the flesh of the human envelope.
This light shines within each one, and the true quest of the Grail consists in
bringing that light to the surface, nourishing and feeding it until its radiance suffuses the world.
–John Matthews (“Temples of the Grail” found in At The Table of the Grail: No One Who Sets Forth on the Grail Quest Remains Unchanged )
The Grail Mystery Returned underground, wrapped itself again in its esotericism
and waited for another time toi unfold its inner revelation. Such a point was reached
after the Reformation, when the inner Grail mystery…surfaced again in the Rosicruccian
movement of the early seventeenth century. At this time…the Rosicrucians tried to incarnate
an Esoteric Christianity within the Protestant movement…in order to provide a much needed
resolution of the polarities of Protestantism. Thus we should see the Rosicrucian
movement as being inwardly related to the Grail mystery. The spiritual alchemy that
was the esoteric foundation of Rosicrucianism can be seen as a development of the Grail impulse.
–Adam Maclean (“Alchemical transmutation in history and symbolism” , found in At the Table of the Grail 1982)
intrinsic definition of Limitlessness is that It lacks nothing and can
receive nothing, for It is everything. As It is everything,
theoretictically It is the potential to be an infinite source of giving.
question arises, however, that there is nothing for It to give to
because It is everything. It would have to give to Itself. This has been
a major creation. conundrum in philosophy and theology for thousands of
suggests one way of dealing with this issue. It says that as long as
the infinite source of giving has no “will” to give, nothing happens.
However, the instant It has the will to give, this will initiates a
“thought.” Kabbalah says, “Will, which is [primordial] thought, is the
beginning of all things, and the expression [of this thought] is the
That is, the entire creation is nothing more than a thought in the “mind” ofEin Sof, so
to speak. Another way to express this idea is that the will to u give
instantly creates a will to receive. The idea that an infinite giver can
create receptivity in Itself is what Kabbalists call tzimtzum (contraction). It has to make an opening within Itself for receiving.
That which is given is called light. That which receives is called vessel. Light
and vessel are always in balance, because light comes from an infinite
source and thus will fill a vessel to its capacity. If we put a bucket
under Niagara Falls, it instantly fills. If we put a freight train
there, it also instantly fills. Imagine that the entire universe rests
under a Niagara Falls of light, continuously being filled.
to Kabbalah, the interaction between vessel and light is what makes the
world go around. Everything in the universe is a vessel that “wills” to
receive the light of theinfinite bestower. Each molecule, plant,
animal, rock, and human is a vessel; each has the “will” to be exactly
what it is.]
consciousness is unique in that it has the quality of being “in and the
universe. If we the image of God.” This quality is expressed by what we
call free will, and free will at its core is nothing more than the
ability to bestow light. That is to say, human consciousness has an
inherent will to give. This human capability of acting like God in being a bestower is the fulcrum upon which the entire universe is balanced.
reason this is so important is that if there were a will only to
receive, as described above, the universe would be completely
predictable. Everything would be predetermined, all receptivity would
find shape in its implicit design, and every aspect of the unfolding of
creation could be anticipated. The wild card introduced here is the
premise that human consciousness is informed by a soul force that gives
it the capacity to emulate the infinite Bestower.
human beings have an extraordinary capacity to influence the direction
of creation. Each time we make use of our free will by giving, we are in
copartnership with the infinite Bestower. When this is accomplished,
with clear awareness of what we are doing, we raise the consciousness of
–David A Cooper (God Is a Verb: Kabbalah and the Practice of Mystical Judaism)
May 21, 2008
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It is in deep solitude that I find the gentleness with which I can truly love my brothers. The more solitary I am the more affection I have for them…. Solitude and silence teach me to love my brothers for what they are, not for what they say.
Anyone can meditate in a silent place. Where it is calm, restful and relaxing, often people seek meditation. This is however a falsehood. Like taking a special place outside the world, when really outside the world is still the world. In Gnosticism we embrace this idea wholly. Often many seek to “escape” or remove themselves from the world. No matter where you turn to you are in the world. This is a Gnostic truth.
Many see Gnosticism as a spiritual “escape hood”. The same could largely be said for Buddhism. However as opposed to escaping the world, Gnosticism in its “escape” actually embraces. For example in some forms of Gnosticism there are 7 false “heavens” run by “evil” forces called Archons. Archons can be thought of in many ways. One simple way is the inner forces in a person that holds us back; anger, greed, sloth, envy, lust… These “forces” are seen in Gnosticism to hold the individual and the universe “down” or “keep everyone asleep.” This battle or inner struggle is often seen as the greatest battle a seeker must face.
Often we are tempted to speak up, for others, for ourselves, our voices need to be heard:
“First they came for the Jews. I was silent. I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists. I was silent. I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists. I was silent. I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me. There was no one left to speak for me.”
— Martin Niemöller
Speaking up is often thought to be the best way to approach life. It is for a seeker just the reverse. The more we speak, the less we say. In Gnosticism we know that the more silent we are, the closer to the “mark” we are. This silence is beyond simply speaking or not speaking, it is a silence of transcendence, when two become one and they reach beyond the sum of their parts. Thus this silence as Merton mentions is a special one…Often this is mentioned in spiritual texts as having “left” or “escaped” the world. If we penetrate below the surface though we find it is not escaping at all, it is embracing the world at a heightened state.
So where as often people seek calm and silence to meditate , true silence is not found in silence at all; as I hope I have explained, this is a false silence, one that really does not exist, as there is no escaping the world. Thus to truly find silence, one seeks noise. When one can find silence in a cacophony, in an argument, in a turmoil, in LIFE!, then one is truly on the road. Thus a seeker seeks no the easy road of calmness, but seeks the hurricane, and seeks to be calm within the eye of the storm, knowing the loudest sounds are also the quietest. Just some thoughts…
The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.
–Rachel Naomi Remen