In a recent poll, nearly half of college students said they would like “In God We Trust” taken off of our currency. This, to me, screams out one thing more than any other: The popular understanding of “God” from the past no longer works for the current mentality.
A couple hundred years ago, for most people, spirituality and religion were all about faith. In today’s world, “faith” implies “blind faith.” Today, things need to be based upon logic. If something does not make sense, if something cannot be justified rationally and scientifically, then it is rejected.
With the advent of modern physics, we can make sense of spirituality: There is a unified field—one thing out of which all things emerged—one thing that is the essence of everything. Vedic Knowledge goes deeply into not only the subjective, but also that objective, understanding of spirituality. That is why so many modern physicists (Oppenheimer, Einstein, Heisenberg, Schrodinger, etc.) all honored and studied Vedic science.
In my classes and writings, I include the rational basis of spirituality. It is not a refutation of devotion and heartfelt Bhakti, but rather (particularly in the world today) an essential component of Bhakti. If we want our youth to honor “In God We Trust”, then we need to offer the rational understanding first. Only then will they have a spiritual foundation they can accept.
Of course, the rational component also deepens our understanding and purges spirituality of much superstition and confusion. Spirituality must have two feet to stand upon—Bhakti and Gyan (heart and mind). Each supports, deepens, and moves the other forward.
If college youths compel us to bring out rational spiritual knowledge more clearly and fully, then in the end, they will have done spirituality and the motto “In God We Trust” a great service.
Thanks to Mary for submitting the following link in response to the Toothpaste, Diatoms, and World Peace blog. Evidently, a bacterium that consumes plastics in the ocean is already in the works! Next will be mercury and air pollution. Rather ironic, isn’t it, that bacteria and viruses may go a long way in the healing of our planet.
With all the mountain rain run-off and underground mountain streams, I had to put a water retention pond in my backyard. This year, I decided to clear up the algae in the pond water. I learned (and am continuing to learn) a lot. Bottom line: A pond is a delicate multivariable ecosystem world. To be healthy, it must be cultured as such.
Twenty percent of our world’s oxygen comes from diatoms, which are a particular type of algae with a clear, silica, glass-like cell wall. When the pond is considered as a whole and is balanced, healthy diatoms outcompete unhealthy algae. The water becomes clear and healthy. A minuscule amount of a balancing and culturing approach can quickly transform unhealthy into healthy.
Revitin is a new toothpaste that all but eliminates tarter by introducing a balanced ecosystem in the mouth. Simple, with dramatic results!
Similarly, a healthy world is a delicate balance of limitless variables. For health, for world peace, the wholeness value of the ecosystem must be addressed as the central theme. The whole is more than the sum of the parts. The world will not be healed by isolating parts without focus on the wholeness value.
As with diatoms and a backyard pond, with a proper approach, pollution of the planet and hearts and minds of its people can be transformed, as if magically. Diatom-like substances will then be developed that will, in minuscule amounts, clear the sky of pollution and clear the oceans of plastics and mercury. When done wisely, a seemingly minuscule introduction of a balancing influence can transform a turbulent world into a world of peace and harmony. However, the health is rooted in the source of wholeness, the Transcendent, Ishwara. Mount Soma is dedicated to the introduction of that culturing and balancing influence as prescribed through Vedic technology.
An interesting point: In the transformation process of a pond, the period of time can occur when the pond’s appearance becomes worse—cloudier. Similarly, when a whole-istic healing influence is introduced in the world, it can trigger confusion, anger, and resistance in the hearts and minds of people. Everything maps. We can learn a lot about the attainment of world peace from diatoms and toothpaste.
It is said that humans think only one thought at a time (though admittedly, often jumping from one to the next in rapid succession), while God thinks a limitless number of thoughts all at the same time.
Initially, that might not seem so easy to even begin to comprehend… at least it wasn’t for me. But think about it.
We (billions of us, not to mention birds, all animals, and even plants in their own way) are all one with God.
We all have our own thoughts (even contradictory thoughts… billions of us, as well as cats, dogs, birds, all animals, and even plants in their own way) all the time.
Limitless thoughts, all the time, and all unified… each finding its source in the Divine Breath of The One (Prana) which then interacts with relative existence (Karma) to create individual ‘minds’. Prana plus Karma equals mind. All our infinite number of simultaneous thoughts originate with the Divine—with God, and are then modulated by our Karma, to create our individual minds.
Around the full moon in July this summer (Guru Purnima), I taught Phase 3, the last phase of the Advanced Technique Course series. Participants gave some wonderful feedback on their experiences, including profound shifts both in their meditation and in their being (see below photo).
This led me to reflect on the experience of going through the door to what lies within, and the many new experiences that unfold from there, forever. What can one really say about that? How can one explain it?
Within” is so distinctly different or seemingly separate from the
world of daily hustle and bustle that consumes people. As the inner cobwebs
clear, everything is different. But what to do with it is, at first, not
fathomed. Certainly not fully understood,
as life continues to fly by, with all the distractions, mindsets, wantings,
longings, passions, and emotions that dominate people. It takes time to
assimilate and integrate all the levels of life, ranging from the
transcendental depth to the surface. That assimilation and integration is
“the hero’s journey”.
Yet, in quiet moments, inner knowledge is all available, all right there: “The Kingdom of Heaven Dwells Within”.
What Participants are Saying:
“… I am experiencing corners of the universe and of my own physiology that I was not aware of. Magnificent!”
“I have been opened up in the most natural way to allow the experience of all the Advanced Techniques, culminating with the Phase 3 techniques. The Phase 3 Techniques create a phase transition in thinking and experiencing and I liken them to the grand finale of what was built for us in the prior phases. Inside myself there is more space, more clarity, more freedom. It’s an incredible and priceless gift…”
“Phase 3 is really different from Phase 1 and Phase 2. Phase 1 and Phase 2 were like building blocks on which Phase 3 was added. It feels like there are some major transformations taking place.”
“The Phase 3 Advanced Technique Course is amazing. Phase 1 and 2 laid the groundwork, culminating in a whole new experience of meditation in Phase 3. I suspect a whole new set of results will ensue over the coming days and feel a quantum leap forward is imminent.”
Adi Shankara said it so beautifully when he said that the spiritual path is the path of discernment. So much contained in so few words! The words “spirituality” and “discernment” both have a limitless array of essential aspects. In particular, let’s take a look at “discernment” as it applies to our relationship with what we do not know.
The discerning want to know what they do not know. Otherwise, the door is closed. Inquiry is halted. Learning stops. The path is no longer a path, but is rather a fixed and stagnant point. This does not mean that we do not have beliefs, perspectives, and opinions. Life is made up of such things. However, the discerning are open to new insights, revelations, perspectives, paradigms, information and understandings. Of course, most everyone believes that they want to learn more. However, the true art of discernment slips through the fingers of most people.
Here, it is important to note that spirituality is not one small facet of life. Rather, spirituality is the vessel that holds all aspects of life. Spirituality (the path of discernment), then, entails a discerning mindset in all aspects of our lives: our relationships with friends and family, our relationship with our community, our relationship with politics, health, religion, philosophy, and anything else we can imagine.
It has been said that the most dangerous person in the room is the person who doesn’t know what they do not know. I can understand and appreciate that, but I would suggest that the most dangerous person is the person who doesn’t want to know what they do not know.
Not only is that dangerous, but it is also epidemic. It permeates all levels of life. People thereby form their opinions and relationships with every person, every situation, their religion, philosophy, and every aspect of life. That is called “dogmatic” or “small minded”, the antithesis of wisdom. Discernment is thereby lost, be it in the form of religious fanaticism, judgement, bias, limited thinking, narrow vision, paradigm identity, etc.
Granted, we cannot know everything about everything. However, discernment entails the quest to know what matters and not burying our heads in the sand to what we don’t know. Discernment is wisdom.
Duality breeds duality. Or, as the ancient Chinese put it, “yin creates yang.” Duality is the mentality of humanity. It permeates all our thinking. Our politics are all about which perspective is good and which is bad. Our legal system is all about who is right and who is wrong. Humanity even took the concept of Oneness in God to the dualistic perspective of God and devil—good and evil. For goodness sake, even our computers are based upon the binary system, the x’s and o’s of ‘yes’ and ’no.’
We all say we want peace. We all want love and harmony. But the very foundation of how we have been trained to think propagates separation, the polarization called duality. Along the lines of what Victor Davis Hanson said, we instinctively define people, countries, etc. not in terms of their majority of positive traits, but rather in terms of whatever shortcomings may exist in their history. If anybody or anything has to be perfect in order to be good, or if a country’s history has to be perfect for the country to be good, then nothing, nobody, and no country is good.
Yet, the dualistic mentality is not so easy to get past. Even what has been said here sets up the polarization of duality versus unity. This world is the world of duality (relativity). However, the root, the essence, the foundation is unity. Not just theologians, but also modern physicists tell us that. Unity can be experienced from deep within our being; not as a concept or emotional longing for love and light, but as a physiological reality.
For thousands of years, it has been called “enlightenment.” However, the dualistic hype around the word has rendered it more meaningless than meaningful, more misleading that enlightening. Suffice it to say that unity at the very depth of our being is not so easily lived day to day, moment to moment. Being in the world of duality but not of it is not understood or even perceived from the perspective of duality.
Our holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving, and those of religion in general) are meant to enliven our sense of unity. Every Sunday, in fact, is about Sun-day—the Sun being the One, central, unifying core that the world of duality revolves around.
Family, community, patriotism, team spirit, etc. are all principles that revive the unification, the glue thatupholds, feeds, harmonizes and strengthens all of life. Without unity, there is no peace and no love. After all, it is our sense of oneness with another that is called “love.”
The 4th of July is meant to feed the harmonizing unity of patriotism. Have a happy and harmonizing holiday everyone!
Relative existence is born of and constructed in perspective. For each soul, each Atman, there is a unique perspective: a unique relationship with all that is.
Life can be viewed as the pursuit of Truth. The Cosmic Joke can be then stated as: There is no Truth in the relative. The relative is the field of imperfection.
Yet, reaching for the perspective that is Truth is the way of the world. Clinging to one’s current perspective as truth is the theme that attempts to navigate the waters of life.
To understand is to see beyond the field of perspectives. To understand is to transcend relativity. Live in the world with perspectives, but not be of it… not be lost to it—not be lost to perspective, not even your own. That is the path of Wisdom. Your true Self is the Transcendental depth of your being, freed from perspective.
The Law of Karma seems straight forward enough. It is simple cause and effect. For every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction. It’s just elementary, Newtonian physics. We live in a cause and effect world—a world of Karma. However, when we enter the domain of justice, things become quite obscure.
It is interesting to look up the word “justice” in dictionaries. The definitions are rather circular, using words like “righteous,” “moral,” “just,” “divine law,” “moral law,” etc. Merriam Webster suggests moral be described as: “perceptual or psychological rather than tangible or practical in nature or effect.”
I recall a man on the news proclaiming moral justice when a hurricane struck a gay community in south Florida. I recall a woman being mocked on the news when she even suggested that nature delivers moral Karma through acts or events of nature in the physical world. We are all quite aware of ‘justice’ being delivered by the courts in outrageous ‘legal’ ways, from the Salem witch trials to the nightly news.
Is justice really nothing more than, as Miriam Webster suggests, a psychological or perceptual, subjective judgement call? Do facts and reason come in at a distant second place to emotional gut reactions that vary wildly from one generation, one era, one cultural group, one country, and one state to the next? Dare we call that justice?
Can we really say there is Divine justice when we see small children suffer, aircrafts crash with over a hundred on board, and cities demolished by the random assault of a tornado? Can what actually IS be so radically divergent from what we base our lives upon and what we adamantly cling to with our convictions and perspectives?
Is there a direct correlation, a connection, between the physical cause and effect world and the delivery of moral justice? If so, can we even begin to fathom such a principle, and decide for ourselves when justice was served and why?
I dare not presume that I can sway the course of human behavior with my opinion on this matter. Yet, I do believe we can all gain by taking a step back and reflecting on this subject with an ever-broadening vision. As we do so, the mechanics of creation seamlessly merge the complexities of life, both physical and moral, into a very simple, yet profound, principle. Everything is seen to be infinitely integrated, correlated, and coherent. All the pieces of the puzzle do, ultimately, come together.
There is, as theologians and modern physicist alike have claimed, one thing that is the source of everything. All things emerge from and return to that. I liken the principle to water from the ocean becoming rain on the mountain top, and returning via a long tumbling journey down a mountain stream to that ocean. All follow the path of karmic events as we do our best to navigate the waters of life. As our vision broadens, we become ever increasingly free from the clutches that Karma has upon the very nature of our thoughts and emotions.
As we come to understand the nature of life more and more fully, our relationship with life becomes wiser: our behavior becomes less arrogant and more innocent; our convictions become more humble; our perspectives become less adamantly adhered to; our gut instincts become more reflective and tempered; and our will, actions, and reactions become more and more aligned with the nature of life. The nature of life is the nature of Mother Nature, is the nature of Oneness, the nature of God. We simply do our best to navigate the waters of the unfathomable flow of life.
Emancipation means freedom from the clutches of narrowness of vision—living in the world of Karma, but not being lost to it— awakening to that which lies just beyond the horizon of the world of Karma. In that place, beyond the horizon, beyond the narrowness of human conviction, beyond the world of cause and effect, all things unify. People sing its praises in church on Sundays. All people long for it. It dwells within us all, yet is hidden behind the curtain of Karma. We need only to see past that curtain.
Through the toils and tribulations of life, we struggle with relativity until the clouds of Karma often can part, and we see beyond relativity—we gain emancipation. Yet, even the emancipated deal with relativity and injustice when they function in this world of Karma, this world of relative justice and injustice.
Even when a divine incarnation enters into this world of imperfection, they are dealing with imperfection. Even when a divine being, Lord Rama as an example, entered the world of relativity, his interactions were in this world of imperfection. In spite of our idealized notions, there is no True Justice in the field of relativity. That is what relativity means. It’s all relative.
Everyone, it seems, loves wise quotes. When we hear wisdom, it touches a place deep within us that is one with the Divine, that is eternally wise. Though that inner wisdom calls to us, so few are able to live wisely. People are behaving foolishly and lashing out everywhere. Let’s consider why this is so.
Though deep inside we are eternally one with the Divine, there are many psychological, intellectual, and emotional distortions on the more superficial levels of our being. When we are calm, settled, and reflective, those more superficial levels are still. So, at those times, the wisdom within shines forth and permeates all levels of our lives. At those times, wise quotes resonate with our depth and well up through our being. To experience this is to experience Bliss, Divinity.
However, when in life we are disturbed, that deeper wisdom level of life is overshadowed. At those times, when we need wisdom most, we are unable to embrace it. We act instead from the superficial distortions. Sadly then, all too often, it is the superficial distortions that determine the course we follow as we navigate the waters of life.
This can be likened to the ocean. In the depth of the ocean, everything is still, quiet, and serene. Nothing is agitated. Yet on the surface of the ocean, storms rage. As we navigate those waters, we take on water, tip, churn, and perhaps even crash upon the rocks off-shore. Yet, when we are anchored to the depth, we weather the storms.
As we meditate, we become more and more fully anchored to the depth, the wisdom within us. Through proper meditation, the spiritual, mental, emotional, energetic, and physical levels of life are purified, as the distortions are healed. We more and more live in harmony with the Divinity and wisdom that eternally dwells at the depth of our being.
But do take note: Living in harmony with the Divine does not look the way we may think it should look! People identify with their distortions, mistake them for the Truth, and thereby judge the wise as unwise or worse. History tells us that quite clearly. After all, they crucified Jesus. Some hated Lord Krishna (by which it is said some attained liberation because all they thought about was the Lord!). But I digress.
Contemplation, inner reflection, is also a valuable tool along the path to living wisely. That has a purifying value. However, it is a highly elusive path. You can justify anything with the intellect, and people do. Often, our reflections can simply be justifications of poor behavior: rationalizations. Few are willing to contemplate their behavior, other than to seek a way to justify it. So, we do well to be humble in our reflections. Humility is the flip side of wisdom. With the loss of humility comes the loss of wisdom.
When the waters on the ocean of life are undisturbed, people generally behave quite honorably, quite wisely. But only the truly wise behave honorably when the daily disturbances of life arise. So, we do well to pick our friends based upon how they behave in troubled times, not how they behave when everything is calm and serene. But, after all, we are all human. As illustrated in the Ramayana, even the wise may behave improperly from time to it. Yet, it is the wise who are able to acknowledge their imperfect behavior to themselves and to others. Only the wise can acknowledge, regain their balance, and move forward wisely. We will all act out from time to time. How we deal with that makes all the difference.
So, please do more than relish wise quotes in your quiet moments. Look beyond the mountains of judgement and negativity that consume you and your world. Look beyond that mountainous horizon to the light of the Sun, to the Divine. Meditate. Reflect and ponder. Strive to live a life of wisdom.