carmelite


If this metaphysical space is to be known,

such knowledge can be attained only by faith and grace,

not by ‘entering’ but by ‘being entered’

-this is so because the greater must reveal itself to the lesser.

Put differently, that which is immanently ‘Spirit’ can only be known receptively,

through its own intellective vision, and not any derivative faculty such as reason,

feeling or sensation. Reason can only discern conceptually,

at best reducing reality to a dualism of subject and object

(as in the case of Descartes) or catagorical postulate

(as in the case of Kant) or dialectic process

(as in the case of Hegel) – its ‘telos’ will tend to be utopian(as in the case of Marx),

fundamentalist( as in the cases of religious, political or secular dogmatism)

or anthropocentrically consencual (as in the case of Rousseau’s social contract);

while sensation or feeling even where elevated to

the level of empirical ‘science,’ can only discern reality as matter or as psyche,

quantitatively, thereby cutting it off from its transcendent

and qualitative roots, leading to an emphasis on hypertrophic subjectivism

(as in the case of Nietzsche), Psychologism(as in the case of Freud),

or reductive positivism(as in the cases of philosophical positivism and of scientism).

That which transcends us cannot be known reductively

but only by that transcendent faculty which is immanent in us-which in

Tradition is termed the ‘Intellect’

or the Self-knowing Spirit. To know is to discern BEING.

We must empty ourselves or our ‘self’ in order to know who we ARE.

We must return to the sacred emptiness of the space that is our

ontological core in order to know that which truly IS.

–M Ali Lakhani (the Distance between us, found in Sacred Web issue 31)

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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.

http://www.sacredweb.com/online_articles/sw6_davies.html
Esoteric Dimensions of Deep Ecology
by Paul Davies

Hermeneutics: The science of interpretation, or interpretation theory.

 

 

 

Soaring upwards
Can be like reaching down

Pushing forward

Can be like pushing back

Going right

Can be like Going left

Within is within

All things begin

And end at the cross roads

–GraalBaum 2013

 

 

This world-mountain was Nizir to the Chaldeans, Olympus to the Greeks, Hara Berezaiti to the Persians of the Avesta, the later Alborz and Elburz; a transfer, as says Mme. Ragozin, of ‘mythical heavenly geography to the earth.’ This mountain—the solar hill of the Egyptians—we shall again refer to in the next two or three chapters. At its apex springs, the heaven tree on which the solar bird is perched. From its roots spring the waters of life—the celestial sea, which, rushing adown the firmament, supplies the ocean which circumscribes the earth or falls directly in rain. At their fountain these springs are guarded by a goddess. In Egypt Nut, the goddess of the oversea, leans from the branches of the heavenly persea and pours forth the celestial water. In the Vedas, Yama, lord of the waters, sits in the highest heaven in the midst of the heavenly ocean under the tree of life, which drops the nectar Soma, and here, on the ‘navel of the waters,’ matter first took form. In the Norse, the central tree Yggdrasil has at its roots the spring of knowledge guarded by the Norns, the northern Fates; two swans the parents of all those of earth, float there. In Chaldea the mighty tree of Eridu, centre of the world, springs by the waters. The Avesta gives a very complete picture—Iran is at the centre of the seven countries of the world; it was the first created, and so beautiful, that were it not that God has implanted in all men a love for their own land, all nations would crowd into this the loveliest land. To the east somewhere, but still at the centre of the world, rises the ‘Lofty Mountain,’ from which all the mountains of the earth have grown, ‘High Haraiti;’ at its

summit is the gathering place of waters, out of which spring the two trees, the heavenly Haoma (Soma), and another tree which bears all the seeds that germinate on earth. This heavenly mountain is called ‘Navel of Waters,’ for the fountain of all waters springs there, guarded by a majestic and beneficent goddess. In Buddhist accounts, the waters issue in four streams like the

Eden from this reservoir, and flow to the cardinal points, each making one complete circuit in its descent. In the Persian Bundahish there are two of these heavenly rivers flowing east and west. To the Hindus the Ganges is such a heavenly stream. ‘The stream of heaven was called by the Greeks Achelous.’ The Nile in Egypt, the Hoang-Ho in China, and the Jordan to the Jews, seem to have been celestial rivers. This mountain of heaven is often figured in Christian art with the four rivers issuing from under the Throne of God.

Sir John Maundeville gives an account of the earthly Paradise quite perfect in its detailed scheme. It is the highest place on earth, nearly reaching to the circle of the moon (as in Dante), and the flood did not reach it. ‘And in the highest place, exactly in the middle, is a well that casts out the four streams’—Ganges, Nile, Tigris, and Euphrates. ‘And men there beyond say that all the sweet waters of the world above and beneath take their beginning from the well of Paradise, and out of that well all water come and go.

 

http://www.sacred-texts.com/earth/amm/amm07.htm

 

http://chasinghermes.com/2009/04/24/08-axis-mundi.aspx

 

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….

Literary reading,

through its complexity, its music,

its suggestiveness, points to a fuller realm of being.

–Edward k Kaplan (citing Abraham Joshua Heschel)

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.

further:

http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/annwn.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preiddeu_Annwfn

http://igerne.tripod.com/annwn.htm

http://www.celtic-twilight.com/camelot/poetry/taliesin/spoils_annwfn.htm

 

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.

–Chandoga Upanishad

 

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)

 

 

The

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.

 

The

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

years.

 

Kabbalah

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

completion.

 

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.

 

According

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.]

 

Human

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.

 

The

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.

 

 

Thus

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

creation.

–David A Cooper (God Is a Verb: Kabbalah and the Practice of Mystical Judaism)

Who is the giver?

What is given, and to whom?

and the receiver, who is that?

and what is gotten?

 

Who is the teacher?

What is taught, and to whom?

Who is the knower of That?

and what is known?

 

Upon knowing, upon realization

what will that one say?

or having said that –

of what value is it?

 

What can that one hope to gain –

What does that one have to give?

Is there any value in what such a one

would offer us?

 

What has been gained?

What great jewel has that one found?

Of what use is his tapasya?

Of what use his penance?

 

At the end, in the desire to give

in the hope that what will be given

be of value and worth, lies a quandry.

 

The evidence of the value of what would be given,

does not yet shine in the life of that one having arrived.

There is no evidence, “but the giving itself.”

 

After the giving, after the sowing

the crop bares fruit, not otherwise.

Yet the Sadhu would give only what has value.

But who is the knower of that value?

 

To the one desiring to give

arises the desire that what would be given,

be of value to the receiver.

That one desiring so, cannot see the worth

until after the fruit is eaten.

 

The taste of truth is not given by the giver

nor does it exist in the sweet words uttered;

“That” lies only in the arising of love

in the receiver.

 

Giving belongs to God, to the consciousness,

never to the Sadhu.

and it is also the consciousness

that is the receiver of the gifts.

 

Yet the Sadhu mutters, “I will not give

a thing which has no value”.

He does not realize that wealth

has no value unless used for the good of all!

 

Selfishness has no part in truth

nor any part in Love. Love that is selfish

is just that; “Selfish”

It is that which excludes and disqualifies

us from realization due to selfhood;

Due to I-Ness and Me-ness.

 

Due to ownership, an I exists!

Due to the mere desire to give

there is a giver, an “I”!

 

True Wisdom is not great knowledge

nor the ownership of understanding;

Wisdom is the realization of charity.

Thus what can be given with wisdom

can only be what is loving to all.

 

Which knowledge is that, and who is the knower of it?

Which knowledge is for the good of all

and who could be the giver of that?

The knowledge can only be knowledge of the One Self

And the giver of such as that,

can only be one who has realized that self.

 

Who is the receiver of great wisdom, of great love?

and who the giver? It is certainly not the one

crying from the mountain-top;

Nor is it the one who seeks value in giving;

 

It is not the one who seeks to be paid homage

neither is it the one seeking absolution.

The receiver and the giver are but one.

 

There can be thus no gain, nor any loss

for in the acceptance of the receiver –

the giver is also the receiver.

 

Wisdom is charity, nothing more.

While it is Love that is the hidden force

of consciousness and the knower of the known.

 

Having known everything, it is time to give.

At this time what can be received?

Nothing what-so-ever,

but the knowledge of “The Love of The One Self”

What can be given?

Nothing what-so-ever, but “The Love of The One Self”.

 

In this way, the one having arrived nowhere

comes home……….. Home to the heart!

Home to Love……. The light then shines.

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.

–Thomas Merton

……….

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

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