Paradox


Just in case there are those who refuse to be caught forever by ugliness and seek some alternative, the evil of cruelty makes its claims. Cruelty is something we recognize so easily as a physical activity, yet find so hard to identify in its finer but no less dangerous forms. It is essentially an intentional misuse of power by a strong entity toward a weaker one on the same plant’ of action. For instance, a helpless cripple could scarcely be physically cruel to a strong and healthy person, yet could very well be diabolically cruel mentally to the same person if he were intellectually vulnerable. Cruelty is only possible as a calculated discharge of destructive energy directed at feebler creature unlikely to retaliate effectively. Thus cruelty automatically implies cowardice as well.The motivation of cruelty is commonly again the artificial ego-enlargement resultant from its practice. It makes the little boy feel bigger when he kicks his baby brother. If we can make others frightened of us we seem larger by comparison to their shrinking. That is the secret of cruelty. A false sense of boost because of aggressive action which appears to avoid injurious reprisals. To hurt and kill some helpless and defenseless creature makes cruel people feel enormously powerful by contrast. They may even delude themselves for an instant that they are acting like gods. Taking their pathetic little share of life energy, they are willing to expend this on damaging the lives of weaker beings for the sake of supposing themselves more powerful than they truly are. None cry louder than such cowardly criminals when justified retribution rebounds on them. Nobody hates being hurt more than those who hurt with hate.

We need not always look for evident violence in order to recognize cruelty. It is possible to be extremely cruel in the “nicest and sweetest” ways. Staging little scenes deliberately to humiliate and hurt someone’s feelings while remaining righteously on the side of conventional virtue meanwhile. With the aid of a little intelligence people can contrive all sorts of cruelties yet themselves keep in the clear so far as rule books apply. Attendants in mental hospitals, for instance, have ample opportunity on these lines. So has anyone in charge of children or animals, or whoever is unable to hit back where it hurts most. Let those who think they could not be cruel examine what conscience they have within their own life-frameworks If we are still in human bodies then we are yet capable of cruelty in some degree or another. It is well to see this and convert our energies otherwise as we can.

–William G. Gray (Exorcizing the Tree of Evil)

tree-of-evilmkni2

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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)

“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important”

–Bertrand Russell

……..

The primary means by which we know the world is of course sense perception: we see and we touch corporeal objects, we hear sound, and we employ our olfactory and gustatory faculties to access two additional dimensions of the sensory universe. The paramount faculty of sensory knowing, however, is doubtless the visual, which is why one speaks of a “world-view” rather than of a “world-hearing” or a “world-touch,” and why the term “perception” is frequently used to refer specifically to sight. The world, then, exists in the first place as something to be seen, something to be perceived visually.

We have noted that knowing—and thus, in particular, visual perception—”is ultimate,” which is to say that it cannot be reduced 😮 the category of “being”: no cosmic process can explain or account for even the simplest such act. On the other hand, physical processes do of course play a necessary role in every form of human knowing, and we are all aware of the fact that cognitive neurophysiology, in particular, has made impressive strides. In the case of visual percep­tion, for instance, the anatomy of the so-called primary visual system has been meticulously investigated, with the result that one now dis­poses over a “wiring diagram,” extending from the retinal ganglion cells (of which there are more than 100 million in each eye) to the hippocampus, which dwarfs in its Gargantuan complexity anything the electrical engineer has ever conceived. But while it is certainly true that this research has enabled us to give at least partial answers to numerous questions relating to visual perception, when it comes to the central issue it has so far only confirmed our ignorance; as Sir Francis Crick has put it: “We can see how the brain takes the picture apart, but we do not yet see how it puts it together.”6 There arc, however, compelling reasons why in fact the brain cannot “put it together,” a question with which I have dealt elsewhere.7 What is more, not only is the brain incapable of “putting the picture together,” but it has been shown on the basis of empirical studies that, contrary to what had long been assumed, visual perception is not in reality a matter of seeing a picture or a visual image at all.8 What one sees in bona fide acts of visual perception are not “pictures,” but corporeal objects, precisely: one sees a mountain or a tree, for example, and not just an image of a mountain or a tree. One can also, or course, see pictures, as happens in an art gallery, for example.

We need to understand that perception, like every other act of knowing, is consummated in a certain union or contact between the subject who knows and the object that is known; as Aristotle has ob­served, “in a certain manner” the two become one. It needs further to be noted that “knowledge is ultimate” precisely because this union is unlike any other: it is a union mi generis by which the act of know­ing is defined. It follows that neither neurophysiology nor any other natural science can comprehend that union. Though the act of human knowing, in any of its modes, does most assuredly involve the physical body—what we have characterized as the intersection of man and cos­mos, their common locus—it is perforce consummated in the Intellect, which exists neither in space nor in time. All that the contemporary cognitive sciences have brought to light—not as conjectures, but as fact—stands in full agreement with this conclusion.

Wolfgang Smith extract from “Cosmology in the Face of Gnosis”, found in Sophia the journal of traditional studies Vol 12, no.2

….

So I am I because you are you; and you are you because I am I –so neither I am I, nor you are you. But I am I because I am I; and you are you because you are you – so I am I and you are you, and we can talk to each other!

–Old Yiddish Proverb (found in the Kabbalah of Envy, by N. Bonder)

What is Gnosticism? Transcendence a

Gnostic Perspective

 

 

“I gained nothing at all from supreme enlightenment

It is for that very reason it is called supreme enlightenment”

 

–The Buddha

 

Once again, exploring what I consider to be a “universal” aspect of Gnosticism. The following is my opinion and my opinion alone. I am not an expert and please do not think I am.

 

As we begin our spiritual life we often describe it, or find it is a journey. When we participate in a journey we “walk” upon a path. Hence one reason why various spiritual practices are called paths. Sufism, Wicca, Zen, Hinduism, Gnosticism…these are paths.

 

Religion is a club hence the beatings
Spirituality is a journey hence the path

–Sister Artemis

When beginning our journey we find that we are reaching new things. Indeed many “paths” (for example of paths: Zen, Hinduism, Wicca, Islam etc.) When we first begin experiencing heightened awareness or new forms of consciousness we gain certain perspectives. Often these new events are seen as something new. I communicated with a host of Angels, I was in the presence of an inner master, I have moved out of my body and astrally projected etc.

 

To many this IS transcendence. To a Gnostic however there is more. Let us examine the classic Thomas 22 logion:

 

Jesus saw infants being suckled.
He said to his disciples,
“These infants being suckled

are like those who enter the kingdom.”
They said to him,

“Shall we then, as children, enter the kingdom?”
Jesus said to them,
“When you make the two one,

and when you make the inside like the outside
and the outside like the inside,

and the above like the below, and when you

make the male and the female one and the same,

so that the male not be male

nor the female female;

and when you fashion eyes in the place of an eye,
and a hand in place of a hand,

and a foot in place of a foot,

and a likeness in place of a likeness;

then will you enter the kingdom.”

 

Jesus saw some infants being suckled by their mother. We are hit initially with the image of childhood. Perhaps this signifies being in a childlike state, being fed by Sophia herself. For we are told it is these that will enter heaven. Jesus goes on to tell us further instructions for entering heaven. We are told we must make the above like the below, the left like the right, the male like the female etc. What does this mean? Well quite obviously it is a combination of opposites. We see this restated of course quite clearly in Philip:

 

“Light and Darkness, life and death, right and left, are brothers of one another. They are inseparable. Because of this neither are the good good, nor evil evil, nor is life life, nor death death. For this reason each one will dissolve into its earliest origin. But those who are exalted above the world are indissoluble, eternal.”

 

Again we see the dichotomy of opposites and how they are false. Life and death, right and left. Good is not Good and evil is not evil. Mary tells us:

“Peter said to him, Since you have explained everything to us, tell us this also: What is the sin of the world?

26) The Savior said There is no sin, but it is you who make sin when you do the things that are like the nature of adultery, which is called sin.

27) That is why the Good came into your midst, to the essence of every nature in order to restore it to its root.

28) Then He continued and said, That is why you become sick and die, for you are deprived of the one who can heal you.”

 

There is no SIN but it is you who MAKE sin. Of course this does not mean we should stick pencils in our nose and proclaim we are the queen of Sweden, as we have discernment. But what Yeshu is telling us in Mary, Philip and Thomas is that opposites and sin only exist if we allow them to. To gain Gnosis, to enter heaven we must transcend. We must leave our mundain conciousness and move elsewhere. To see in a new way. This is transcendence.

 

“When my Beloved appears,With what eye do I see Him?

With His eye, not with mine,

For none sees Him except Himself.”

–Ibn Arabi

 

The trap that most fall into at this stage is thinking something is new. From a Gnostic perspective, escape or leaving the illusion or incorrect reality of opposites and sin (the realm of the demi urge and the archons)is seen as literal escape. A classic example found in many paths is climbing up a mountain. Our “journey” is seen as walking up a mountain and when we have reached the summit we will be in a different place.

”There was a big pond, and in it there were three fishes. The fist fish was One-Thought, the second fish was Hundred-Thoughts, and the third fish was Thousand-Thoughts. At some time a fisherman came and cast his net. He caught those two fishes of many thoughts; but he did not catch the fish One-Thought.”

–Manichaean Parable (Turtan fragment M127)

Mani tells us here that only the fish with One thought was saved. The fishes with many thoughts were not saved. Similarly we are told in the Seven Sermons to the dead that everything is the Pleroma. Everything IS the Pleroma… EVERYTHINGS IS THE PLEROMA….

So by climbing the mountain we are not reaching the top, we are reaching the bottom. Wherever we go, there we are. So from a Gnostic perspective, we are already IN heaven. We are ALREADY God….we are already the way (Tao)…

“There is no path that leads to Zen.

How can you follow a path to where you are right now?”

–Robert Allen

There is no path to Gnosis, to knowing. As you already KNOW. Philip tells us to know something we must BECOME it. We already ARE “it”, we but simply have to learn this.

Thus to truly transcend

We must not transcend.

To be we must not be

To see we must be blind

To speak we must be silent

This “aspect” of Gnosticism is of course found in a great many other “paths” (as I have hinted). Thus we should not pretend that Gnosticism or whatever our path is the “only way”, as this is just plain silly.

 

“The essence of divinity is found in every single thing – nothing but it exists. Since it causes every thing to be, no thing can live by anything else. It enlivens them, its existence exists in each existent.

Do not attribute duality to God. Let God be solely God. If you suppose that Ain Sof emanates until a certain point, and that from that point on is outside of it, you have dualized. God forbid! Do not say, ‘This is a stone and not God.’ God forbid! Rather, all existence is God, and the stone is a thing pervaded by divinity.”

– Moses Cordovero (Shiur Komah)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God is ineffablethe more you speak, the less you saybutall concepts by their very nature are falsewhich is a concept in itself…………Everyone is wrong including myselfWhich means everyone is right including myselfWhich means everyone is wrong, including myself………..questions lead to answersanswers lead to questions………….It is my firm beliefthat it is dangerous to hold firm beliefs……..The tao that can be spoken of is not the the taoButEven that is not the tao………….The snake swallows its tail…………………..Pass the Wendslydale Grommit………above, below and around you, all is spontaneously existing, for there is nowhere which is outside Buddha Mind–Huang Po

God is ineffable

as soon as you say what God is…
You have not said what God is.

The more you speak, the less you say.

Amen

…………………………..

“When an individual goes through a traumatic experience and reacts as if nothing has occurred, then the experience has most likely not yet sunk in. The data is in the intermediate period between the gathering of the information and the time when it becomes fully processed and absorbed. The information is still lingering on in the passageway and has not yet trickled down into the heart. This occurs with all types of information. There is always a lapse between receiving information and the emotional absorption of that information. The only variable is how long this takes. Some information is processed immediately, while other data takes more time to absorb and to be registered emotionally. At times we smile walking down the street because of something we heard hours earlier, and it is only then that we feel its impact.

 

There are times when this connection is impaired, or severed, so that one’s ability to feel what one thinks is all but absent. This occurs when the passageway is cluttered, and it is a no go between the mind and heart. On a physical level, within the neck of a human being there exists two passages, the esophagus, which is the food pipe, and the trachea, which is the windpipe. In the spiritual domain as well, these two passages can be stuffed and cluttered. Spiritual blockage of the food pipe occurs when one is filled to excess with physical nourishment, when one is so overly engrossed in consuming and absorbing physical pleasures that one neglects the spiritual. The windpipe, on the other hand, represents air and ambiance. When this pipe is clogged, it means that one is not in an appropriate environment conducive to the arousal of noble emotions. When these connecting pipes are congested, the intellect has no avenue to penetrate the heart. The thoughts cannot evolve into emotions, and so they remain in the mind.

 

In Kabbalistic terminology this phenomenon is called Timturn halev, dullness of the heart. This is when one suffers from the inability to be responsive and to feel emotions. One may perceive with one’s intellect how one should love, yet one’s emotions remain silent. One is incapable of feeling or being spiritual moved. This spiritual numbness arises from and is a manifestation of one’s ego, where all that one feels is one’s own existence and need for survival. The preoccupation with coarse bodily experiences does not allow for genuine sensitivity to spirituality. In this state of spiritual numbness the ego does not allow the light of comprehension to illuminate the emotions.”

– DovBer Pinson (Meditation and Judaism)

………………………………

Children, you belong to God, and you have defeated these enemies. God’s Spirit is in you and is more powerful than the one that is in the world. These enemies belong to this world, and the world listens to them, because they speak its language. We belong to God, and everyone who knows God will listen to us. But the people who don’t know God won’t listen to us. That is how we can tell the Spirit that speaks the truth from the one that tells lies. My dear friends, we must love each other. Love comes from God, and when we love each other, it shows that we have been given new life. We are now God’s children, and we know him. God is love, and anyone who doesn’t love others has never known him. God showed his love for us when he sent his only Son into the world to give us life. Real love isn’t our love for God, but his love for us. God sent his Son to be the sacrifice by which our sins are forgiven. Dear friends, since God loved us this much, we must love each other.


–1 John 4-10

………………………………

 

the words flow, decisions made
idea’s mine, but the inspiration not
dreams of hangers on, dreams of getting well
spells of ezmerelda, emeralds foretold
splinters in the eye sentiments remain
bones that never rest where we going to
it was never up to me and yet i pushed until it broke

I love the open road and all that it suggests
wheel wagon dust weeds and infidelities and
always for a love never question why
in a wooden house immoveable and silent and
drinking strawberry wine forever lost in town
and thru the sleeping streets night bound and heavy
wheels in the spoke still spoken for himself

now my gates are high, my friends even higher
forgotten in my mind, yet the sky still linger and
cloud the blue skies, i’m jealous of you birds
was the only truth in a world full of words?
hear the prairie sound in a friend called near
the heart is pointed down but my spirit pointed up
his voice for siren of greek mythology

i pause with my pen i begin to defend
every action taken, every moment sealed
when i was quick it coursed through open veins
the will to live the urgency to move
behind a panel door sealing cherry stain
i play my guitar and live those lonesome notes

like a dog that’s down
in a corner just a sigh
waiting to be called
waiting to be yours
ghosts of all my shame
without purpose or will

i often speak of you but the you is always me
cause when i speak of me it’s me i ask of you
so let there be no truth just trickery in rhymes
time the only thing waiting still as death

i hope for resolution pray one defining moment
pause without restrain barren without child
a child is who i was a child is who I’ll die
soot in my hair
and stars in my hands
soot in my hair
and stars in my hands
soot in my hair
and stars in my hands

–soot and stars (smashing pumpkins)

 

“True will is participation in Divine Will. True awareness is participation in Divine Mind. True life is actually participation in Divine Life. We don’t own them, we only participate.

If I am not the owner of will and consciousness, only a participant, then who am I?

The truth is that the self is the most elusive, most difficult to cognize. Why is this so? Because the self is that which is seeing. The eyes cannot see themselves.”

– David Aaron (Seeing God: Ten Life-Changing Lessons of the Kabbalah)

………………………………………..

The right approach to life is like water.

Water is everywhere and exists in all places.

It flows even in places that men reject.

That is why the sage approximates Tao.

He dwells in the right place. His heart is as deep as an abyss. His love is perfect. He abides in the truth and he does the truth. Destined to govern, he maintains order. He performs his actions well, and acts at the right time.

Since he does not quarrel or contend with others, there is no guilt in him.

–Tao Te Ching (chapter 8, Rijckenborgh and Petri,)

One can see why chapter eight of the Tao Te Ching compares the way of life to be followed by the liberation seeking personality with water. Water is a sublime, universal symbol of the power-radiations of the new life. Just as the ordinary human being lives and moves in the electro- magnetic radiation-field of dialectics, so the pupil who, through the sacrifice of the self, has established a liberating link with the spirit of the valley, the God in him, will enter and live in the new electromagnetic radiation-field.

This is the true, living water, which is poured out over him , and fills every corner of his existence. In this stream of new power he becomes a new creation, a new creature. He under-

goes a new Genesis, a new beginning. This process can be compared with the first Genesis, when the spirit of God moved over the face of the waters and created a firmament in their midst, for when the living water is poured out over the he, too, gains a new firmament. It is the new lipika, a new magnetic system which imparts to him a quite new and different personality-consciousness. He is again ensouled by his only God, who works for his salvation.

If we shift our attention from the individual, microcosmic level to the level of the cosmos and macrocosm, we can see that the same concepts must apply there, too. For obviously, the God in us, the true, divine human being, the source of true life in the heart sanctuary, does not live in isolation from other human Gods. Just as the earthly human being experiences and is conscious in the nature of death, so, by the law of analogy, the divine human being must exist in a nature of life, a quite different, divine universe. The life-substance, the radiation substance of that divine universe is living water, the pure, primordial substance.

This divine universe, this divine primordial substance, is not separated from us by time or distance; it is here and now, interpenetrating everything, nearer than hands and feet. The water is everywhere, and there is no place where it is not. It is even in places scorned by man. The sage knows this, and that is what makes him say, in the words of Psalm 139:

If I ascend to heaven, thou art there!

If I descend into the realm of the dead, thou art there!

If I take the wings of the morning and go and dwell in the thirst. That thirst is yearn uttermost parts of the sea, even there thy hand shall lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

If I say: ‘Let darkness cover me’, the night shall be a light about me even the darkness is not dark to thee. The night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with thee.

The Chinese Gnosis (Rijckenborgh and Petri, a Gnostic Rosicrucian commentary on the Tao Te Ching)

……………………………………………….

The highest good is like water;

Water is good at benefiting the ten thousand things

and yet It does not

 

compete with them.

It dwells in places the masses of people detest,

Therefore it is close to the Way.

In dwelling, the good thing is the land;

In the mind, the good thing is depth;

In giving, the good thing is being like Heaven;

In speaking, the good thing is sincerity;

 

In governing, the good thing is order;

 

In affairs, the good thing is ability;

 

In activity, the good thing is timeliness.

It is only because it does not compete, that therefore it

is without fault.

Tao Te Ching (chap 8, trans. By Robert G Henricks)

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