BE HERE NOW [FATHER-SUN]
The major obstacle at every stage of the path of enlightenment is our own thoughts. Thoughts keep us separate. Even the thought of Unity is far different from Unity. And the thoughts keep coming; each one making its bid for our attention and identification.
Are all thoughts part of the illusion? Yes.
Are some thoughts better than others? Just diving into the water is aided by a spring board, and crossing the great ocean is aided by a raft, so certain thoughts are useful along the way. At the final moment, of course, even these thoughts must be transcended.
What are the steps of the process of calming the mind? Think of a lake in whose depths lies hidden what you seek. You try to see down into the lake, but you can't because the surface is covered with waves going in all directions ... choppy water ... thoughts coming from all directions ... from your senses, from your memory ... habits of thought learned unconsciously, running off mechanically ... the causes of which are too subtle for your analytic mind to grasp.
Now, create an artificial wave ... consciously add a new component ... choose a single thought ... and consciously set about making that thought dominant ... so that a continuous sequence of even waves all coming from one direction overrides all the choppy water, as an ocean wave absorbs all the eddying waters at the shoreline. Now each wave is that same thought over and over again ... no other thought can capture your attention which remains fixed upon the single thought.
Does this mean that other thoughts stop? No. Thoughts continue as a natural process in nature, but you run them through on automatic (base brain) -- the same way most people drive an automobile, that is, without attending to each movement of the accelerator or steering wheel. We function under the fallacy (cogito ergo sum) that we are our thoughts and therefore must attend to them in order for them to be realized.
To break your identification with your own thoughts is to achieve inner freedom.
So you identify with this new thought you have added, until you and that thought become one and all other thoughts are passing just like clouds in the sky.
When you have arrived at the point where that one thought is the dominant one for you at all times ... when going to sleep or waking ... when walking or sitting ... when talking or eating ... then all of your life is on automatic. Then you are free of all but that one thought ... and then ... through deep meditation ... you leave that thought aside too.
Which thoughts are useful to repeat? There are different kinds of mantras (phrases). Different mantras take you to different planes. Some seed (beej) mantras resonate within in such a way as to open one of your chakras (energy centers). There are power mantras to strengthen your will, and other mantras to open your heart in such a way as to deepen your compassion. For example:
"I send a beam of love from my heart to the heart(s) of my brother (sister, brothers and sisters)." -- Herman Rednick
(All evil vanishes from life for him who keeps the sun in his heart.) -- Ramayana
Some mantras are useful to help you accept the Divine Plan without feeling you have to act or do anything about it. For example:
Also helpful in getting you to listen carefully in order to understand the part you play in the sacred dance is the mantra:
Not my but Thy will, O Lord.
Then there are special mantras used at special times of the day or for certain acts: for taking showers, toileting, washing clothes, cooking. The use of such special mantras is to help you see the act you are performing or about to perform in such a way as to prevent your identifying with the do-er of the act. Example:
When taking a shower you place water in your left hand. Then with your right fourth finger you touch the water and then touch in succession your mouth, nose, eyes, ears, forehead, and heart.
The simple mantra is:
and then continue to chant OM during the entire shower. This mantra reminds you that ALL is part of the ONE.
A mantra to be used while going to the toilet:
You can make up other mantras for other daily acts to bring to consciousness your center so that you break the identification with an ego who is performing the act.
And then finally there are general mantras ... mantras which can be used by anyone ... and which move you from whatever stage you are at to the next stage, until you finally arrive at the doorway at which even mantra must go. For example:
Does a mantra have to be invested for it to work? Not in the usual sense ... that is, not necessarily on the physical plane. Investing of a mantra means that it is passed in the Spirit. That is, if I am working with a mantra and the mantra is so deep within me that when I repeat it, it takes me into the Spirit, then I can hand it on to someone else. Whether he will be able to use it will depend upon how much faith he brings to it. If he brings little faith or commitment to it, then he will get little return; if he brings much faith he will get the highest returns. Many teachers who invest mantras will do so only when they know the student to be "ready" to receive the mantra, having sufficient faith to use the mantra profitably. Mantras which are purchased or which come from a source in which the student does not have full trust do not work unless the student is so advanced that he can transmute negative energy.
"The power and the effect of a mantra depend on the spiritual attitude, the knowledge and the responsiveness of the individual. The sabda or sound of the mantra is not a physical sound (though it may be accompanied by such a one) but a spiritual one. It cannot be heard by the ears but only by the heart, and it cannot be uttered by the mouth but only by the mind." -- Lama Govinda
Can I use a mantra that I read in a book? If you feel that the author of the book is pure in his intent in transmitting the information, and if you sense that the book is in the spirit (i.e., it gets you high to read it), then you can find profit in working with the mantra. Get high, and then start working with it. An excellent book is The Way of a Pilgrim (translated from Russian), in which the mantra is "the Jesus prayer" (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.) used by the Greek Orthodox Christian mystics.
Why are we using mantras that are in the Sanskrit language? Wouldn't it be better to use English? No. Sanskrit is the root of the Indo-Aryan languages of which English is a part. It is a language that was evolved consciously, i.e., each sound syllable resonates in a specific chakra. Thus use of a Sanskrit mantra not only affects the user through the rational medium -- the meaning of the mantra -- but through the sound of the mantra as well. Often the investing of a mantra includes the pronunciation as well. However, if a person works with a mantra with sufficient purity to be able to "hear," he will come to hear the mantra outside / inside of himself (in the akash, or ether) and he will come to say the mantra in unison with these voices in which he hears.
What is Japa? Japa is mantra which is the name of God. RAMA is such a mantra. To repeat the name of God over and over brings you closer to Oneness with the Divine.
How do you do mantra? Don't do mantra. Let it happen. For example, if you feel the desire to work with the mantra RAMA:
(1) Consider who RAM was historically. Ram was the Avatar in the Sat Yuga -- the purest period. At that time most of the people in the world were in the Spirit so they recognized and honored the Avatar. The story of the Ramayana tells of the life of Ram. He is pictured as the perfect son, husband, brother, father, king -- that is, a perfect karma yogi. He represents living daily life as an act of worship.
He is a beautiful dark being of great light, love and compassion, wisdom and power -- in perfect harmony. Ram is the essence of who you are when you realize your true Self (the Atman).
(2) Consider Ram as a Spiritual Being. He is another statement of Eternal Perfection reflected in the form of a human being. He is pure light, love, energy, compassion, wisdom, power. Like the sun, he emits light and warmth and life force. He is as Real at this moment as you have faith to allow him to be.
(3) Start to pronounce His name silently. It is two syllables: Ra and Ma. However, the "a" of Ma is sounded silently. Listen inside until you can hear the name and then begin to let it come outside, as if you were speaking along with the inside voice which is whispering it. Then keep saying it.
(4) After some time you will notice that though you are still repeating it with your tongue, the mantra is moving, perhaps first to a sub-vocal point and then to your brain. Finally, if you have done the mantra long enough, it will start to sound in your heart.
(5) You should keep doing it consciously until it has become a strong habit. Take a walk and say the mantra all the time you are walking. Notice everything but keep the mantra going. Keep realizing that God is It All ... and therefore everything you look at is part of Ram. Everyone you meet is Ram who has come to teach you something. You are continually meeting and merging into perfection.
(6) Make yourself like Hanuman (the monkey in the Ramayana) -- the perfect servant and lover of Ram.
(7) If you wish to use an external aid to help keep the mantra in your awareness, you might obtain a mala. This is a string of 108 prayer beads plus a guru bead. In the West it is usually called a rosary. These beads you can pass between the thumb and fourth or third finger (the index finger is not used because in India it is used for pointing in accusation) of your right hand, bead by bead, repeating the name of Ram with each bead. In using a mala you proceed up to the guru bead and then turn the beads and go the other way. You do not complete the circle. The beads are moved towards you. After a period of usage your beads will begin to have an investment of the pran or Spiritual Force which your doing of Japa has brought to them.
(8) Get in the habit of coming out of sleep into mantra.
(9) Get in the habit of having every strong emotion -- positive or negative -- serve as a reminder to bring you back to your mantra.
(10) Get in the habit of cutting through your own thought prisons by just dissolving it all back into the mantra.
(11) Do mantra with others who are in the spirit. Do mantra when you are high.
(12) Do not discuss the mantra with anyone who is less into the spirit than you. If you can't make that discrimination, then don't discuss it with anyone. For every time you run your mantra through the head of someone who doubts or is cynical, their doubt or cynicism will resonate with the places in you where your own faith is not enough. That is why mantras are often invested secretly.
(13) Some practices with mantra require that at the outset one work with the mantra only about 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening. If you prefer you may follow this system and then let the mantra expand out into your life as it naturally will. If you "try" to make the mantra work -- or force it as an act of egoic will -- then you will lose it (though it can be regained). So it is good to keep in mind that in truth the mantra is doing you. You are not doing the mantra. Let it pull you towards itself as you are ready. Be a passive instrument in its hands.
"When the mind perceives an object it is transformed into the shape of that object. So the mind which thinks of the Divinity which it worships (Ista-devata) is at length, through continued devotion, transformed into the likeness of that Devata. By allowing the Devata thus to occupy the mind for long it becomes as pure as the Devata. This is the fundamental principle of Tantric Sadhana or religious practice." -- Woodroffe
"World comes into play only when one forgets the Lord. By constant remembrance of God, one while living in the world among friends and relations is yet not of the world." -- Persian Divine
"I do not feel that I am walking at all. I am only aware of the fact that I am saying the prayer. When the bitter cold pierces me, I begin to say my prayer more earnestly and I quickly get warm all over. When hunger begins to overcome me I call more often on the name of Jesus and I forget my wish for food ... I have become a sort of half-conscious person. I have no cares and no interests. The fussy business of the world I would not give a glance to. The one thing I wish for is to be alone, and all by myself to pray, to pray without ceasing: and doing this I am filled with joy." -- Way of a Pilgrim
"After no great lapse of time I had the feeling that the Prayer had, so to speak, by its own action passed from my lips to my heart. Further, there came into my heart a gracious warmth. -- Way of a Pilgrim
"None of these things made me feel at all cast down. It was as though they happened to someone else, and I merely watched them. The prayer brought sweetness into my heart and made me unaware, so to speak, of everything else." -- Way of a Pilgrim
"If the enemy cannot turn us from prayer by means of vain thoughts and sinful ideas, then he brings back into our minds good things we have been taught, and fills us with beautiful ideas, so that one way or another he may lure us away from prayer, which is a thing he cannot bear. It is called 'a theft from the right hand side.'
He taught me therefore not to admit during times of prayer even the most lofty of spiritual thoughts. And if I saw that in the course of the day time had been spent more in improving thought and talk than in actual prayer of the heart then I was to think of it as a loss of the sense of proportion or a sign of spiritual greed." -- Way of a Pilgrim
"Everywhere, wherever you may find yourself, you can set up an altar to God in your mind by means of prayer ..." -- Way of a Pilgrim
"Free from sensual passions and absorbed in devout affection to Rama the soul disports itself like a fish in the ambrosial lake of his beloved name." -- Tulsi Das
"Place the name of Rama as a jewelled lamp at the door of your lips and there will be light, as you will, both inside and out." -- Tulsi Das
"Any wretch who invokes his name is able to cross the vast and boundless ocean of existence, and you are his messengers; have then no fear, but with Rama's image impressed upon your soul, concert your plans." -- Tulsi Das
"Devi, imagine the Sanskrit letters inthese honey-filled foci of awareness, first as letters, then more subtly as sounds, then as most subtle feeling. Then leaving them aside, be free." -- Reps
The entire cosmos, at every plane and in every form, is energy. This energy is known as pran. Your body is a form of pran, so is your thought and feeling, and so is light. These forms of pran differ from one another in terms of the rate and amplitude of their vibrations. Solids are pran in a grosser for; light, in a finer form. The finest form of pran, the tiniest quantum of energy, is the Universe ... the highest plane of form (as opposed to formless), from which all other planes are derived, is the Clear White Light: a homogenous light field which includes everything. Every quantum of energy is interchangeable with every other one, and there is continuous change: continuous transformation of energy from one form to another. Thus everything in the universe is interrelated.
At the level at which there is only pure pran, a number of labels are interchangeable. This plane could also be called pure light or pure consciousness as well as pure pran. The implications of this are far reaching. For it means that the universe is consciousness. It follows that when you have succeeded in fully breaking the identification with your body, senses, and thoughts, then you merge into pure consciousness -- Universal Consciousness. What you thought was "your" consciousness turns out to be only a part of a Consciousness caught in the illusion of separateness. A person who has severed all attachments and has thus become one with Consciousness is said to be in SAT CHIT ANANDA: total existence, total knowledge, total bliss. This is the highest form of samadhi. Short of this state, however, there are many intermediate steps in which you become free of attachments to the grosser forms of pran and function in more rarified planes.
Input of energy:
Until the final state of Sat Chit Ananda, an individual keeps his separate identity. And this separate "being" is a conduit through which energy passes. This separate entity is able to receive pran at a vibration similar to the plane at which there is still attachment. Thus, if you are attached to your body, you receive pran in the grossest form, that is, through food, water, and air. Some of this pran is expended in gross muscle activity and reproduction, while another part of the pran is transformed into a finer form which is usable as thought, feelings, or, in the highest form, as the experience of the Spirit or pure consciousness. This highest form of pran is called ojas, the lower form is known as bindu.
For a person who has broken his identification on the gross physical plane, pran is available to him at a higher vibration. He is able to transform this pran which can come from thoughts, sights, etc. into finer vibrations as before, or into more gross vibrations. Thus, he is able, as was Theresa Neumann, to feed his body directly with Light, alleviating the necessity for taking in food. Such powers are of course unnecessary in most cases. It is more usual to evolve to the point where one eats what one needs with enjoyment, though without attachment. The sun emits the higher vibrational forms of pran which most of us can only use when it has gone through a vibrational step-down through the medium of plants, etc.
If you have broken your attachments at the physical plane, then you have available to you energy at a vibrational rate of a subtle or astral plane as well as the gross physical energy to which you are accustomed. Therefore, as you proceed with purification, you experience considerably greater energy. Of course, the end of the path is the point at which you become ALL energy. However, even at the early stages of the journey, the additional energy poses certain problems. All of your habits of reaction are based on your usual input of energy. As you feed in more energy, it is like feeding in a 220 current into a home that is wired for 110. Unless the electrical fixtures in the home are suitably adapted, you will burn out all the appliances. You might try to "carry on business as usual" ... only with greater intensity and duration ... physical activity, sexual activity, talking, etc. ... but you soon find that these channels are not adequate.
What you must do is develop a framework of new habits of thought as to (a) who you are, and (b) how to use energy. There are two strategies that you can pursue once you realize this. The first is to avoid the fulfilling of the still-active desires, using the energy instead for specific acts of purification. The second alternative is to use the energy to fulfill the desire once again, but simultaneously to be conscious of the entire process, that is, use the experience to get finished with the desire. This second method, called ban marg, or the left-handed path, is very risky. Most people who attempt to use it are not successful and succeed only in creating more karma. However, it is such a seductive route that most Westerners prefer it and wrap their subsequent failure in layers of rationalization.
What is required is the surrender of the model of a finite ego. But that model dies hard, for it is the model that keeps the dance of nature mechanically proceeding. And the ego would be only too happy to have under its control all this additional energy to gratify its own desires. Such use, however, turns out to be short-lived, for using powers in the service of the ego creates new karma and new attachment which ultimately lead to the loss of the power. That is, one gets re-attached at the grosser plane and loses the new resource of energy.
However, the using of increased amounts of energy to fulfill old desires has another effect. One finally uses up the desire. It's like having a craving for peanut butter and then getting a large amount and eating it directly out of the jar. Finally you arrive at the point where the desire for peanut butter is satiated. If you keep eating it beyond satiation -- because you are still living out the old thought pattern "I desire peanut butter" -- you ultimately arrive at a point where the experience is so negative that you may permanently lose desire for peanut butter.
As this happens with more and more desires, that is, as they fall away, you at first experience loss, emptiness and despair in your life ... a deadened meaninglessness. At that point you may try to resurrect old desires, but it really doesn't work. It's at this point of despair that you are truly ripe to begin to tune in to the next level of consciousness.
Now you can see the pros and cons of using the new energy to fulfill old desires. On the one hand you are satiating and finishing with these desires. On the other hand you are getting more deeply enmeshed because every time you satisfy a desire you strengthen the habits connected with it. And every desire, no matter how perverse it may seem, is an attempt to get to the light. (The Devil knows not for whom he works.)
Here is another way of stating your predicament: you have some activity going on in the first four chakras (centers). Survival, sex, power, and compassionate oneness with other beings all bid as motivators of your perceptions and behaviors. If all of your energy were localized in the second chakra, for example, your life would be relatively simple. You would be primarily motivated and preoccupied with sexual gratification. You would notice and be attracted to possible sexual partners and your actions with these people would all be directed towards sexual gratification. If your energy were all localized in the third chakra, then it would still be simple ... all power. You would see each person only in terms of whether that person could be used to enhance your ego. You would experience fear and hatred of those who held power over you. Your behavior would be subservient or officious or beningnly paternalistic. You would be unable to see another human being as a peer but only as superior or inferior to you in one dimension or another. In those dimensions where you are equal, you would not notice the other person.
If you had crossed the first great barrier (between the third and fourth chakras) so completely that all your energy were localized in the fourth chakra, then you would experience only the compassionate feelings of the brotherhood of the Spirit with all other beings. Whether in a sexual embrace or in a business or social contact, the only feeling towards the other person would be one of "us-ness," of brotherhood. Since you would no longer have any investment in yourself as a separate entity, all of your actions would be in perfect harmony with all the forces acting in the field at that moment. You would be living in the Tao.
But your predicament is that you are simultaneously involved in all of these chakras: So if you try to seduce someone as if the second chakra is what it's all about, you suddenly find your sexual desires fluctuating as you experience waves of compassionate love interspersed with lust. Or if you join with someone in prayer or singing the praises of God, you become aware of sexual desires towards that person or desires to control him. Many of the relationships to spiritual teachers have components of power and sex in them.
At the outset, it is necessary to acknowledge where you are in your development. All of these forces are present. Denial will not help. What will help?
As you come to understand fully that you will be finished with human suffering only when you are living in the fourth chakra (or higher), and you become strongly committed to "getting on with it," then the method is straightforward. Keep converting every relationship into one of compassion. Keep a compassionate model uppermost in your consciousness at all times. Every time you slip back into one of the lower chakras, don't pity yourself or damn yourself. Merely redefine the situation in terms of the fourth chakra ... in terms of compassionate love for all beings. If you find you are in a relationship with someone which is gratifying to him, you because of the power you have over them, consider that you and he are both manifestations of the One ... look him in the eye until you both see clearly where power stops and where love begins. Once you have seen through that veil, then you have transmuted the energy for the third to the fourth chakra. This is the Divine Work: making the profane sacred.
What is the risk? By working with energies associated with the lower chakras you are arousing all the habits which keep you stuck in those chakras. If your will is not strong enough (i.e., your desire to get on with it), you may end up just strengthening the illusion and increasing your karma. The safest strategy is to keep as far away from the fires of the lower chakras as possible. When you have to get near them, then transmute the energy. The riskiest strategy is to seek out stimuli which arouse the lower chakra energies and then attempt to transmute those energies. Keep in mind that most people who attempt this high-risk strategy stay caught in the illusion of separateness for their entire lifetime.
Between these two extremes is the path that most Westerners who are on the path follow. They design their life in such a way as not to be inundated by stimuli connected with the lower chakras. At the same time, they do not avoid such stimuli. When one comes along, they do their best to transmute the energy. They accept their own limitations, feel no guilt about getting caught again, and yet slowly and gently they learn to transmute the energy. This is the middle path: living life joyfully and as consciously as possible.
One of the manifestations of pran, or life force, in the human body is breathing. By working with your breath you are able to tune in to the larger energies of the universe. Furthermore, there is an intimate relationship between thought and breath. When you calm your breath, there is simultaneous calming of the mind. When you succeed either in stopping the breath altogether or in stopping all thought, then you are in a state of samadhi or super-consciousness. The two are so intimately related that to stop one is to stop the other also.
Pranayam is the control of vital force or energy or pran through a series of disciplined breathing exercises. The actual stopping of the breath is only possible for advanced yogis who have done much sadhana. However, there are some beginning exercises which are almost immediately effective in calming you down. In addition, these exercises are preparatory to the more advanced breathing retention exercises by which the kundalini is aroused (energy moving up the spinal column to the head). For the advanced exercises, supervision is important.
In addition to bringing about a calmness and a sense of peacefulness throughout the day, these exercises also alter the constitution of the blood through oxygen exchange, and lead to more shallow breathing throughout the day. You will notice that advanced yogis all have very gentle breath and never get "out of breath."
These breathing exercises can be done anywhere from one to four times in twenty-four hours, depending upon the intensity of your sadhana. They must be done on an empty stomach (at least three hours after taking food and one hour after taking liquid). Most people will find that doing pranayam as part of the early morning purification is ideal. A second suitable time is at sunset before the evening meal.
While it is good to learn deep breathing, these particular exercises limit breath to the thoracic cavity rather than the abdominal cavity. During the remainder of the day you should be using deep breathing, that is, breathing which involves the lower abdominal cavity as well as the upper thoracic cavity.
1. Sit upright. If you can sit in the lotus position do so. On the other hand you can sit in a chair as long as you keep your head, neck, and chest in a straight line.
2. Close the muhlbandh. This means to pull in and up on the anal sphincter and genitals. At first you will find this very difficult to maintain. With a little practice, however, it will become easy to retain this closed position during the entire set of exercises. If you wish you can make a small ball of cloth about the size of a golf ball and sit on it so that it presses up on a spot midway between the anus and the genitals. This will help.
3. Pull in slightly on the udyanabadh. That is, pull in your gut ... slightly contract your abdominal muscles. Keep them that way throughout these exercises. Do not raise your shoulders or tighten your body when doing these exercises.
Exercise 1: SHEETLI (ALSO CALLED SITALI)
Extend the tongue out of the mouth as far as possible. Form it into a "U" shape with the sides high and middle low (like a trough). If you don't think you can do this, look into a mirror and get as close to that position as possible. Then breathe in through the mouth as deeply as is comfortable with the abdominal muscles slightly contracted. Then retract the tongue into the mouth and breathe out through the nose.
During the inhalation, imagine that you are brining into your body pure pran or life force or light or consciousness. Throughout the exercise focus on the point between the eyebrows so that you experience bringing the pran to that point. As you breathe out, imagine breathing out impurities of body and mind.
Initially do five of these the first day. Increase by one each day until you are doing fifty a day. Continue at that rate.
Exercise 2: BHASTRIKA (also called kapalabhati or bellows)
This breathing involves a rhythmic shallow breathing through the nose only. There is no pause between inhalation and exhalation. You start slowly in order to keep the in-breath and out-breath of equal intensity and duration. Once you have equated them, then you can increase the rate and intensity. Ultimately the breath is short and staccato in nature with a definite feeling of impact at the points between the in-breath and the out-breath and in-breath.
During this exercise focus on the inside of the tip of the nose at the point where the air hits the nasal passage during exhalation.
Do this exercise for about thirty seconds. Stop. Rest. Then do it again for about thirty seconds. Later, if you wish, you can increase the number of these thirty second units to three or four at a sitting.
If you are doing it properly, at the end of two to four weeks you will notice that at the end of this exercise you smell a new and pleasantly sweet smell at the tip of your nose at the completion of this exercise.
Exercise 3: NARI SODHANA
Place the right hand so that the third finger is resting between the eyebrows, the thumb is by the right nostril, and the fourth finger is by the left nostril. Close the right nostril with the thumb and inhale slowly and evenly through the left nostril (about 4 seconds). Then hold the nose by closing both nostrils for about 2 seconds. Then remove the thumb and exhale slowly and evenly through the right nostril (about 8 seconds). Then after a second or two, inhale through the right nostril (4 seconds), hold (2 seconds) and exhale through the left nostril (8 seconds). In other words, you change nostrils before each exhalation.
As you take in the breath through your left nostril, imagine a charge of energy going down the ida (a nerve on the left side of your spine). As you then hold the breath for the two seconds, imagine that charge of energy crossing from the left to the right side at the base of your spine. Then as you exhale through the right nostril, imagine that charge of energy coming up the pingala (a nerve on the right side of the spine). As your total purification program proceeds, these imaginings will be replaced by actual sensations in your spinal column.
Start with five of this exercise on the first day and increase to fifty a day and continue at that rate.
If you experience hiccoughs or pain from doing these exercises, stop at once and concentrate on other forms of yoga for a year or two before attempting pranayam again.
"Human endeavor must always remain short of perfection; besides no one will ever weed out the tendencies innate in his particular nature; the point is to change their force into life power." -- Ouspensky
"Just as hunger, not greed, has a legitimate purpose ... so the sexual instinct has been implanted by nature solely for the propagation of the species, not for the kindling of insatiable longings. Destroy wrong desires now; otherwise they will remain with you after the astral body has been separated from its physical casing. Even when the flesh is weak, the mind should be constantly resistant. If temptation assails you with cruel force, overcome it by impersonal analysis and indomitable will. Every natural passion can be mastered." -- Sri Yukteswar
"Fire animates man; a sexual fire reproduces him. These two fires are one at their source. Man can either drain this fire for his pleasure, or he can sublimate it into a divine force ..." de Lubiz
There are seven focal points of psychic energy in the body. These points are called chakras. Each center is associated with a different vibrational expression of the energy -- from the first chakra which works with the grossest form of this energy to the seventh chakra which works with the energy in its finest form. Just as a personality profile can describe an individual's dominant personality characteristics, so a person can be described in terms of the chakras in which his energy is received and dissipated.
There are certain labels which can be affixed to these chakras to define the dominant concern of an individual whose primary energy expression is fixed at that particular level. Thus the first chakra is associated with survival, a jungle or animal mentality. The second chakra is associated with reproduction and sexual gratification. The third chakra concerns power and mastery. These three chaktras are the focal points for most of the energy presently used by man in his worldly endeavors. These three chakras are primarily concerned with the use of energy for the maintenance and enhancement of the ego.
It is only when we arrive at the fourth chakra, the heart chakra, that we enter into a realm which starts to transcend the ego. This fourth chakra is primarily concerned with compassion. The fifth is concerned with the seeking of God. The sixth located between the eyebrows) is concerned with wisdom (the third eye); and the seventh, with full enlightenment or union.
The spiritual path can be conceived, from an energy point of view, as the path up the spine ... that is, the movement and transformation of energy from the lower to the higher chakras ... the purification of energy. With this definition in mind, it is apparent that any use of energy which further strengthens the hold, or intensity of the lower chakras interferes with the spiritual progress.
The experience and habits associated with lust are the domain of the second chakra. Freud was the master spokesman of the person who is fixated in the second chakra, just as Adler was the spokesman for the third chakra, and perhaps Jung the spokesman of the fourth.
In our Western culture there has been such an investment in the models of man associated with the second and third chakra (sex and power) that we have developed strong and deeply held habits of perceiving the inner and outer universe in these terms. Though we may realize intellectually that the spiritual journey requires the transformation of energy from these preoccupations to higher centers, we find it difficult to override these strong habits which seem to be reinforced by the vibration of the culture in which we live.
Thus it seems "normal" to have certain ego needs with regard to sex and power. It is difficult for us to comprehend that what is normal for a second-chakra preoccupied person is hardly normal for a fourth-chakra person.
A second-chakra person, as so well described by Freud, thinks of everything as sexual in nature ... a pencil is phallic, political power is sexual potency, etc. Freud describes religion as sublimated sexuality. A third-chakra person sees it all in terms of power or mastery. Even his sexual activity is seen in that light.
All "takes" of the Universe in terms of the first, second and third chakra are profane. That is, they maintain and enhance man's illusion of separateness. Every time you live out an act in terms (habits of thought) of a lower chakra, you strengthen the hold of that chakra.
There are two strategies with regard to the very powerful energies localized at the level of the second or sexual chakra in human beings. You can avoid arousing these energies and simultaneously work from within to transmute these latent forces into spiritual energy. This requires sexual continence and is called brahmacharya. The alternative is to continue to arouse the second chakra energies and to attempt to direct these now manifest energies into spiritual realms. This technique is known as sexual tantra.
Brahmacharya -- sexual continence -- is a specific process of taking energy you might otherwise use in second chakra acts and moving the energy up the spine into the higher chakras. The purpose is to generate or collect energy which you can use in the service of becoming enlightened. Most brahamacharyas are converting and moving the energy up to the higher centers so effectively that they experience little of the sexual frustration that someone who is "celibate" in the usual sense might. They experience higher energy of the specific nature that is useful in breaking through in meditation into the state of Sat Chit Ananda. The techniques involved include primarily pranayam, mantra, diet, and the avoidance of second chakra stimuli.
From a habitual Western vantage point it looks as if such a person is giving up something and must be suffering. But the true brahmacharya is not only not suffering, but is often experiencing far higher and more permanent stages of bliss than can be experienced through the lower chakras.
In bhakti yoga -- the yoga of devotion -- the highest form of the method (as reflected in the story of Krishna and the Gopis) is the relation of devotee to God as lover to beloved. The gopis (milkmaids) are in love with Krishna -- the young handsome boy with the flute. On autumn evenings by the full moon he would play his flute by the river bank and call the gopis to him. And there he would manifest himself in 16,000 forms -- one for each gopi -- and proceed to make love to each in the way most desired by her. This brought all the energy contained in the desire for merging that exists between a lover and the beloved (as two, i.e., dualism) into the service of union in total love with God.
Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, "Do what you do but dedicate the fruits of your acts to me" -- all acts, and the act of sex is no exception.
To practice sexual tantra, total truth and total trust are required. You and your partner must both consciously understand that you are working together as an act of purification to burn away all impurities so that you may become ONE. You have agreed to share karma. This has nothing to do with any specific acts either now or later, it only implies that there is no holding back or unwillingness to accept how it is at this moment.
It is totally Here and Now. All fantasies are shared and brought to the Here and Now. Thoughts must be openly, fully openly, shared until the paranoia attendant to lust has been replaced by the luxurious warmth of love.
The practice starts with meditation together and after perhaps the sharing of a cardamom seed. Slowly the dance evolves ... the dance in which every breath ... touch ... movement ... even thought ... is totally savoured (compassionately understood)_ by the one consciousness that you are sharing. You are both man and you are both woman ... and there is an act in which two bodies are involved, but the act (like two hands clapping) is a unity experienced by a single consciousness.
The body of the partner becomes the body of Ram or the Divine Mother. Each touch or kiss is an act of devotion to that sacred being. The entire experience is the act of worship and the orgasm itself ceases to be of paramount importance.
The difficulty with this method, of course, is the tendency to get lost in the personal sensual gratification which draws you and your partner apart and casts you back into a second chakra dance which merely once again perpetuates the illusion of separateness. There are numerous specific techniques which reduce the risk of losing your center. An example is the mathuna position in which the woman sits astride the man. This position slows down the arousal process and the orgasm, thus allowing the partners to remain conscious throughout the entire practice.
None of us who are collaborating in the preparation of this manuscript are sufficiently evolved in the use of this method to present this section in a more definitive fashion as this time.
A woman once came to Mahatma Gandhi with her little boy. She asked, "Mahatma-ji, tell my little boy to stop eating sugar."
"Come back in three days," said Gandhi.
In three days the woman and the little boy returned and Mahatma Gandhi said to the little boy, "Stop eating sugar."
The woman asked, "Why was it necessary for us to return only after three days for you to tell my little boy that?"
The Mahatma replied: "Three days ago I had not stopped eating sugar."
"And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightaway Jesus spake unto them saying, Be of good cheer; It is I; be not afraid.
And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.
But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried, Lord, save me.
And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O, thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased." -- Matthew
Levitation? Astral travel? Mind-reading? Parting the Red Sea? Withering the fig tree? Moving mountains?
What role do powers play in the spiritual journey?
As one purifies one's mind and body, i.e., increases the one-pointedness of mind, one gains more and more powers (siddhis). At each stage there is the option to use or not to use a newly gained power.
If you are interested in powers, you'll get them. That's the trouble! Along with each step of purification, i.e., with increasing ability to bring the mind to one-pointedness, all of the powers you've either read about or thought about become available to you. These are like the lions at the gates of each successive inner temple. The lions become more and more ferocious.
If you have a desire other than the desire for enlightenment, at each stage of your work you become increasingly capable of gratifying that desire. If you want wealth, wealth will be yours. If you want a beautiful lover, why, a beautiful lover will be yours. The problem of course is that everytime you direct your attention to the gratification of a specific desire, you create more thoughts about that desire and thus strengthen its hold over you. Thus, you slow down your own journey into the light. Since you already realize that the gratification of that desire is going to be finite and ultimately not enough, the new power has in fact sucked you into another cul-de-sac. And so it goes for most people until they truly see each new power as one more seductive enticement of maya.
Some people when they become aware of having gained a new power justify their use of the power in terms of social good, i.e., the welfare of their fellow man. However, to the extent that they are attached to doing good, their desires affect their perception and they, in fact, cannot truly see what is best for the welfare of their fellow man. Often, in their zeal to do good, they only increase man's illusion and make perception of the truth more difficult.
These days most people put their faith in man's intellect and his power of reason. Consequently, those few who have powers which transcend the rational mind are in an unusual and extraordinary position. It becomes tempting for them to want to experiment. There are many stories in India of yogis who in the course of very intense sadhana have developed certain powers which they use either for fame or wealth or more subtle forms of ego enhancement. They read minds, change their physiological processes such as heart beat, body heat, reaction to cold, etc. As an example of a misuse of power, one sadhu lifts a 100 pound bag of sand with his penis.
The simple rule of the game, repeated in the most profound mystical texts, reminds us that it is not my but THY will, O Lord ... not my trip but THY Trip. Quite simply, if you are wondering whether to use a power ... don't! If, on the other hand, in the unfolding of your karma, some power is required, it will appear and serve. The only thing that will hold back your evolvement is the use of power in the service of the ego.
With each new level of surrender and purification, and of faith to give up your present control and power, you achieve new powers. Finally, when you have given up all of your position and power, you end up having all powers. When Jesus said, "Had ye faith ye could move mountains," he was speaking literal truth. The cosmic humor is that if you desire to move mountains and you continue to purify yourself, ultimately you will arrive at the place where you are able to move mountains. But in order to arrive at this position of power you will have had to give up being he-who-wanted-to-move-mountains so that you can be he-who-put-the-mountain-there-in-the-first-place. The humor is that finally when you have the power to move the mountain, you are the person who placed it there -- so there the mountain stays.
One can only stand in total awe of such a divine plan, and experience much compassion about the poignancy of one's petty concerns about power.
Ramakrishna points out that when a tree is very small we protect it by surrounding it with a fence so that animals do not step on it. Later when the tree is bigger it no longer needs the fence. Then it can give shelter to many.
So it is with the spiritual growth. At the outset, just after we have begun to awaken to the possibility of living in the Spirit, we are vulnerable, for our faith is shaky. At this stage in our development it is important that we surround ourselves with other beings who share our faith in the Spirit. This is called satsang, or sangha -- the community of monks on the path. And it is for this reason that there are such things as monasteries or ashrams. During this stage it is well to be with people who wish to discuss only ways and means of realizing enlightenment.
This progression is quite inevitable. After some time on the path of awakening, the type of associates you share time with changes. Finally you realize that except for existing karmic commitments -- such as familial or societal commitments -- there is no reason to spend time with anyone except as an aid to one's sadhana. So all new relationships, be they friendships, roommates, marriages, business partnerships, take on implicitly, and finally explicitly, this contractual basis.
When your center is firm, when your faith is strong and unwavering, then it will not matter what company you keep. Then you will see that all beings are on the evolutionary journey of consciousness. They differ only to the degree that the veil of illusion clouds their vision. But for you ... you will see behind the veil to the place where we are all ONE.
"Our friends found us becoming dull. Gurdjieff said, "There is worse to come ... he is an interesting man who lies [sic] well ... you have already begun to die. It is a long way yet to complete death but still a certain amount of silliness is going out of you. You can no longer deceive yourselves as sincerely as you did before. You have now got the taste of truth.'" -- Ouspensky
"Bad company is loss, and good company is gain; ... In company with the wind the dust flies heavenwards; if it joins water, it becomes mud and sinks." -- Tulsi Das
"When going through spiritual exercises (sadhana) do not associate with those who never concern themselves with matters spiritual. Such people scoff at those who worship God and meditate upon Him and they ridicule piety and the pious. Keep yourself far aloof from them." -- Ramakrishna
"I must now whisper very unceasingly I was not born separate from you." / Gv
Your understanding of what the universe is all about changes as you proceed further along the path towards enlightenment. As your vantage point or perspective changes, you begin to understand more and more of "how it is." With this greater understanding comes greater compassion ... an acceptance of "how it is" ... an ability to see the divine plan in everything ... even in your failings and the failings of others.
In the course of your journey it is most likely that your day-to-day companions or friends may change. Some may fall away as your interest in the Spirit pulls you from the worldly interest which brought or kept you together, but new friends who share your current interests will appear. Of course, some of your existing relationships will move easily into this new domain and the relationship will become deeper and calmer ... coming to exist in the eternal present.
This transition in traveling companions is a delicate and troubling matter. To find that someone whom you assumed shared all your values and interests over many years has no interest shat-so-ever in enlightenment or in becoming more conscious or coming into the Spirit is a shock. You want to share this "trip" with him in the same way as you shared others in the past. That desire to proselytize, to turn him on, to show him, to bring him to the light ... is a reflection of your lack of wisdom. For only some people can hear. Only some can awaken in this lifetime. It's a little like seeing a friend drowning and being unable to catch his hand. You want so badly to DO something. But in truth you can only BE ... be as straight and as open and as HERE as you can be ... and if your friend can hear, he will hear. And if he cannot hear, he will turn away from you. No blame.
What is important is that you get your house in order at each stage of the journey so that you can proceed.
"If some day it be given to you to pass into the inner temple, you must leave no enemies behind." -- de Lubicz
For example, if you never got on well with one of your parents and you have left that parent behind on your journey in such a way that the thought of that parent arouses anger or frustration or self-pity or any emotion ... you are still attached. You are still stuck. And you must get that relationship straight before you can finish your work. And what, specifically, does "getting it straight" mean? Well, it means re-perceiving that parent, or whoever it may be, with total compassion ... seeing him as a being of the spirit, just like you, who happens to be your parent ... and who happens to have this or that characteristic, and who happens to be at a certain stage of his evolutionary journey. You must see that all beings are just beings ... and that all the wrappings of personality and role and body are the coverings. Your attachments are only to the coverings, and as long as you are attached to someone else's covering you are stuck, and you keep them stuck, in that attachment. Only when you can see the essence, can see God, in each human being do you free yourself and those about you. It's hard work when you have spent years building a fixed model of who someone else is to abandon it, but until that model is superceded by a compassionate model, you are still stuck.
In India they say that in order to proceed with one's work one needs one's parents' blessings. Even if the parent has died, you must in your heart and mind, re-perceive that relationship until it becomes, like every one of your current relationships, one of light. If the person is still alive you may, when you have proceeded far enough, revisit and bring the relationship into the present. For, if you can keep the visit totally in the present, you will be free and finished. The parent may or may not be ... but that is his karmic predicament. And if you have been truly in the present, and if you find a place in which you can share even a brief eternal moment ... this is all it takes to get the blessing of your parent! It obviously doesn't demand that the parent say, "I bless you." Rather it means that he hears you as a fellow being, and honors the divine spark within you. And even a moment in the Here and Now ... a single second shared in the eternal present ... in love ... is all that is required to free you both, if you are ready to be freed. From then on, it's your own individual karma that determines how long you can maintain that high moment.
This getting straight not only applies to people but to things as well, such as favorite music, disliked foods, special treats, avoided places, all your toys, etc. Everything must be rerun through your compassion machine. You must revisit, at least in meditation, all your old attachments and re-see them in the light of the Spirit. As you do, they fall away ... unless, of course, the attachment to them is so strong that you are not able yet to re-see them with pure compassion. To stumble in that way on the path merely indicates the work yet to be done. Thus it gives direction to your sadhana ... which is work on those desires that cause you to stumble, by bringing them into the light of mantra or the witness until they fall away of their own.
Truth gets you high. There is no doubt about it. Lies bring you down. To lie to another person you have to see them as "him" or "her" or "them," i.e., as an object. Such distance that the act of lying creates turns out in the long run to cost more than the lie gained for you in the first place. Once you understand the workings of karma you see that there is no escape from the effects, both short and long terms, of your acts, i.e., acts done in the service of the ego.
Reflect upon each of the following quotes. Then reflect upon some lie or half truth you have attempted to perpetuate with regard to yourself or with others. Notice the corrosive side effects of the lie. Now consider how your life would be changed were the truth "known." It is useful here to remember that your guru, even though you may not have met him in his manifest form ... KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU ... EVERYTHING ... And he understands why you do what you do and he has compassion for your predicament. And you look him directly in the eye ... and you suddenly know that it is all right to live in truth. For where it counts ... in the matters of the spirit ... you are not vulnerable at all. So how can truth hurt? This may take a great deal of reflection.
"Moreover, Son of Pandu! wert thou worst of all wrong-doers, this fair ship of Truth should bear thee safe and dry across the sea of thy transgressions." -- Bhagavad Gita
"Indeed we are running away all the time to avoid coming face to face with our real selves, and we barter the truth for trifles." -- Way of a Pilgrim
"Our sins are created in secrecy. The moment we realize that God witnesses even our thoughts we shall be free." -- Wisdom of the Ages, from Sat Sandesh
"What makes a man unworthy of the Temple is the cowardice which prompts him to avoid the experience of shame, for this avoidance breeds oblivion. For shame accepted is the greatest treasure. The Door will open before your eyes when you have understood this: the only thing that is humiliating is helplessness. The cause of such helplessness lies in ignorance of your errors; awareness thereof, on the contrary, attracts you to the power of your God.
If you deny the existence of your fault or error, it will strengthen its hold over you. If you recognize it, your awareness will destroy it. He who rejects this will never know the entrance to the Temple." -- de Lubicz
"Illusions are like mistresses. We can have many of them without tying ourselves down to responsibility. But truth insists on marriage. Once a person embraces truth, he is in its ruthless, but gentle, grasp." -- Rabazar Tarzs
"... When she caught me stealing jelly beans in the kitchen one day, she grabbed my closed fist in her palm and held it up to the light.
'Open up your hand, child,' she said, 'and don't be so prideful. It ain't nothing but stuff you got hiding there.'" -- a novel
Can you undertake sadhana without defaulting in your social responsibilities?
If you could stand back for but a moment you could see that if man were more conscious from moment to moment he could transcend most of the difficulties he now faces: poverty, war, pollution, neurosis, disease.
Where does such consciousness come from? From you!
"Can he rectify false weight whose own scales are uncertain? Can you enlighten your neighbor while you yourself have no light? -- Ramakrishna
Man is presently caught in a plane of consciousness which is nourished by the workings of his rational mind. That is, the plane of polarities ... of good and evil ... and left and right ... of old and young ... of us and them ... and of man and woman.
To be "not caught" means to be unattached. To be unattached does not mean to be uninvolved, it means to be involved "without attachment."
A conscious being is capable of making as many discriminations among components of the Universe as anyone else (perhaps even more). However, he is not caught in them. Just because you are seeing divine light, experiencing waves of bliss, or conversing with Gods and Goddesses is no reason to not know your zip code. Keeping it together means keeping conscious at all levels -- all planes -- with no attachment to any of them.
Let us consider an example of the relation of a group called "hippies" and a group called "police." If a "confrontation" occurs during a protest, what is the result? .. If the hippies see the police only as "them" and the police see the hippies only as "them" ... then the result is an increase in polarization and distance between the two groups. Each returns to its headquarters and plans an increase in its own strength to overcome "them."
Why does the distance increase? Because nobody wants to be "them." Everyone wants to be "us." And if you meet someone who sees you as "him" or "one of them," that meeting arouses in you all your paranoia and you, in turn, see the other person as "him" or "one of them."
Such cycles get worse and worse until there is violent confrontation. What is the conscious alternative? It is not to avoid protest or confrontation. Rather it is for the participants to become more "conscious." And what does that mean? It means that though you may be protesting against someone or some group, you realize that behind the ways in which you differ, you are the same. That is, you understand protest as a form of social communication among US ... and that "where it counts" there is only US. US includes: black and white, young and old, man and woman, American and Russian, rich and poor, saint and rogue.
So the simple rule of conscious participation is:
YOU MAY PROTEST IF YOU CAN LOVE THE PERSON YOU ARE PROTESTING AGAINST AS MUCH AS YOU LOVE YOURSELF.
You may disagree with all his values, but behind all of them ... HERE WE ARE ... all manifestations of the Spirit.
The effect of "conscious" protest is that it reduces the polarization and the paranoia and thus allows each side to hear the other's concern more clearly because there is less fear and anxiety. It's all so simple (and so difficult). There can be conscious revolution.
Thus, the rule of the game that everyone work on himself in order to find the center where "we all are" -- within himself -- in order that he can meet with other human beings in that place ... is the sine qua non (without which nothing) of social responsibility.
What about helping suffering people -- starving Biafrans and such? Sure. Do it. It's karma yoga. But do it without attachment. To be attached means that you identify with your role as the GIVER of help. This in turn casts the other person in the role of the RECEIVER of help. Such identification with roles may fill bellies, but it increases human distance. A conscious being knows that there is neither giver nor receiver ... there are only empty bellies, storehouses of wheat ... and effort required to move the wheat from the storehouses to the belly. It is OUR wheat, OUR belly, OUR effort. And when all this energy has been transferred, a conscious being realizes that nothing has happened. Thanks are absurd ... does your left hand thank your right hand?
To think that working on oneself requires "dropping-out" of society is to miss the point. Certainly you must drop out ... but the drop-out is internal, not external. One drops out of one's attachments; one drops out of one's identification with the illusion of separateness.
Those who think the drop-out from one or another social institution is truly dropping out are naive. It is merely more of the illusion, for we can see that the dropouts almost immediately form new social institutions ... new religions and priesthoods ... new traps for keeping themselves in the illusion.
"As long as you think there is a 'do-er' you are still caught in the wheel of birth and death."
Does that mean that you should sit in bed and not do anything? Well, that's doing something. In fact, as long as you are in your body you must do things. So that couldn't be what Buddha meant. No, he meant something much "farther out." He meant that you do what you do, but you do not identify with the doing of it. All "doing" is happening as part of the dance of nature ... and though your body and mind speed about their business, you remain in your calm center ... HERE ... "where we all are."
"A man bound hand and foot in the endless chain of cause and effect cannot free another." -- Ramakrishna
"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eyes, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." -- Jesus
"He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts." -- Samuel Johnson
"The higher one climbs on the spiritual ladder, the more will he grant others their own freedom and give less interference to another's state of consciousness." -- Twitchell
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling symbol. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth: but whither there be prophecies, they shall fail; whither there be tongues, they shall cease; whither there be knowledge it shall vanish away.
For we know in part, and we prophecy in part.
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass darkly; but then, face to face; now I know in part: but thenn shall I know even as also I am known.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity." -- Paul of Tarsus
(Brunton to Ramana Maharshi): "Will Maharaj-ji express an opinion about the future of the world, as we are living in critical times? M: Why should you trouble yourself about the future? You do not even properly know about the present. Take care of the present, the future will take care of itself." -- Osborne
"Since the world points up beauty as such; There is ugliness too; If goodness is taken as goodness; Wickedness enters as well." -- Tao Te Ching
"By passion for the 'pairs of opposites'; By those twin snares of Like and Dislike, Prince; All creatures live bewildered, save some few; Who, quit of sins, holy in act, informed; Freed from the 'opposites' and fixed in faith; Cleave Unto Me." -- Bhagavad Gita
"If you call it a stick, you affirm. If you call it not a stick, you negate. Beyond affirmation and negation, what would you call it?" -- Tai-hui
"Thus saith He who formulateth in darkness; I am Lord, not of light alone; But of darkness also; For I the One am all-pervading." -- Book of Tokens
"I, the Lord, destroy with darkness; But with darkness do I also create; The wise discern this; Fools, deluded by outward appearance; Create a demon out of the web of their folly." -- Book of Tokens
"Take this word: 'grok'. Its literal meaning, one which I suspect goes back to the origin of the Martian race as thinking creatures -- and which throws light on their whole 'map' -- is easy, 'Grok' means 'to drink' ... But a Martian would use 'Grok' even if I had named a hundred other English words, words which we think of as different concepts, even antithetical concepts. "Grok' means all of these. It means 'fear,' it means 'love,' it means 'hate' -- proper hate, for by the Martian 'map' you cannot hate anything unless you grok it, understand it so thoroughly you merge with it and it merges with you -- then you can hate. By hating yourself. But this implies that you love it, too, and cherish it and would not have it otherwise. Then you can hate -- and (I think) Martian hate is an emotion so black that the nearest human equivalent could only be called mild distaste ...
'Grok' means 'identically equal.' The human cliche 'This hurts me worse than it does you' has a Martian flavor. The Martians seem to know instinctively what we learned painfully from modern physics, that observer interacts with observed through the process of observation. 'Grok' means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed -- to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. It means almost everything we mean by religion, philosophy and science -- and it means as little to us as color means to a blind man ... If I chopped you up and made a stew, you and the stew, whatever was in it, would 'grok' -- and when I ate you, we would 'grok' together and nothing would be lost and it would not matter which one of us did the eating." -- Heinlein
"In the presence of a man perfect in ahimsa (nonviolence), enmity (in any creature) does not arise." -- Patanjali