We sometimes forget we are an integral part of the biosphere and share a common molecule of DNA with all life on this planet. We have more in common at our deepest genetic level with a leaf than we do with any iPad we can ever own or create. If we learn to resonate at the different frequencies all life communicate at – from photons to the biosphere as a whole wrapped around the mother Gaia, then perhaps we may find our way back to harmony and peace away from this feeling of being alone and meaningless all the time. We need to return to the mother in our understanding and our intuition.
Mankind has always been fascinated by 7, 8 and 9. Possibly due to the 7 visible figures moving across the sky in front of the apparently permanently stationed Stars. Man has projected this number on to most numbers at the human level – think 7 days of the week, 28 day lunar cycles etc. The number 9 has always symbolized the sacred mother, or the womb on enters after one passes through the 8th gate. 8 was always a number of Judgment, the end of human consciousness and the beginning of divine consciousness.
In Buddhism, there are eight consciousnesses. Five of the senses, three of mind. The sixth perception. The seventh is judgment. The eighth is the storehouse of thoughts. In normal life the action between the 6th 7th and 8th happen very quickly.
In Platonic cosmology the Seven Spheres were the motions of the 7 visible planets against the backdrop of the permanent stars or ancient Gods. These 7 spheres were the abodes of different gods and corresponded with the microcosm inside man’s anatomy as well. Beyond the Seven spheres was the great gateway to the realm of the Gods.
In Judaism and Islam there are seven heavens (again tied to the seven visible moving planets) where not only the planets and the Moon and Sun live but Angels, souls of the Prophets, spiritual beings (the ELohim) and where both Paradise and Hell are as well. Beyond that is the Eighth gate of Judgement. Jupiter is considered the last planet and largest and is connected with Jehovah and then beyond that is the beatific vision for all space and time cease to exist and one stares in awe. Same in Islam.
In Christianity, Jesus makes Seven utterances on the Cross which correspond nicely to the journey through the Seven Spheres.
1. “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
2. “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).
3. “Woman, behold thy son! … Behold thy mother!” (John 19:26).
4. “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34)
5. “I thirst” (John 19:28).
6. “It is finished” (John 19:30).
7. “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (see on Luke 23:46).
The Book of Revelation makes references to seven angels, seven golden candlesticks, seven churches, seven stars, seven lamps, seven seals, seven thunders, seven last plagues, seven vials, seven mountains, seven kings, etc.
In Yoga, the ancient Indians tuned this inwards and defined seven planes of consciousness that one rises through the chakras along the spine. Kundalini, a coiled up energy remaining dormant in the base of the spine, rises through these seven spiritual centers before breaking through after the 7th in the 8th plane into the Tarija or Ananda or Bliss state. The 7th state is called Samadhi and then you rise through subtler levels.
The concept of the veil in the 8th level comes from Sri Aurobindo who said that the realm of the Super mind is divided away from the maximum state of human consciousness by a thin veil that once pierced sends the quester in to even more amazing realms. It is in this realm he said that the divine descends as Grace to lift the seeker up to the highest realms and also agrees to come down to the Earth plane through that traveller. Quite a quest.
I highly recommend everyone read ” A History of God” by Karen Armstrong (an ex-nun who became an authority on comparative religion) that looks at the evolution of the concept of the Judeo-Christian God from El who came to Abraham, to Yaweh who came to Moses in the I am that I am and through Jesus and his Father through Allah of ISlam and on to the modern ideas of God in the West. A good read. Both Moses and Jesus were radicals who completely transformed the religions that they came into – Moses into the the religions of Abraham, Egypt and Bal and gave the world Judaism and Jesus integrated the ideas of the Essenes, eastern ideas and other radical sects on a personal connection with God and gave us Christianity. Quite amazing men. As for Mary – Jesus was a throughly modern man and would today be considered a free-love hippy as he preached equal roles for men and women, the formation of communes and collectives, the practice of direct connection with God and the dissolution of traditional family structures to live amongst spiritual companions, friends and lovers. He was a comprehensively New Age Rabbii.
In my 6 years of living back in India and meeting so many saints, gurus, swamis and teachers, I am amazed at how much energy is devoted to business, building institutions, acquiring land and donations, influencing politicians and handling money. I always imagined that one could go to a teacher to find real knowledge about meditation, Yoga, vedanta, kriyas, mantra initiation and more but now I find that most swamis thread connection to their devotees is through their bank accounts. Guru culture is such big business India that on rough estimate I would imagine it is worth a few thousand crores each year. If they are run as such good business then perhaps the Government should tax them and also force them to decalre their incomes publicly like everyone else. Also we should have the right to issue RTI’s against them to see where donated monies are being spent. I am still searching for real teachers and once ina while I do meet one and then I feel comforted but the cult of swamis and gurus has really gone too far in our culture and it is time for us to wake up and question their integrity, positioning and role in society.
“I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as a plant and rose to animal,
I died as an animal and I was Man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?”
First every boson, photon, quantum particle, atom, molecule or DNA strand in me was and is stardust and has been here since the beginning of time and have come together in so many wonderful ways. Subtle levels of quantum consciousness keep them moving through the universes and my body is just one stop along the way.
Then there is the human and other earthbound reincarnation where we continue to live through our DNA and reproduce ourselves leaving our memory of prior genetic existence in our genomes and codes. The so- called Junk DNA probably stores information about every form I have ever taken in this journey on earth.
Then the third is human consciousness or mind – are we all part of a collective consciousness or noosphere that somehow comes into a new born cilld on the 49th day of gestation and downloads information of previous consciousnesses in some way.
Finally the fourth and most difficult to fully fathom is the soul. Is there an immortal being of light that has also been here since creation began that co-exists in my body and is here for a purpose – to learn life after life and evolve towards a return to the source from which it came? If that is the case then there seems to be a gathering (the quickening) of many souls now on earth to witness something spectacular – either the death of a species by its own hand or a spectacular cosmic event or the awakening of a universal awareness that will allow us all to ascend and become spiritual beings that can travel the cosmos and then return to the source after great learning and adventure.
I can live with one or all four ways to reincarnate. When I know I am immortal how can I fear anything? So yes, reincarnation in one or all of these ways is a viable concept.
The rude doorman who still expects a tip. The old lady with the attitude on the bus. The subway speaker voice only an alien can understand. The hyper fit women at the gym who look like they might just crush you and eat you for lunch. The diner breakfast served by my mexican fried Juan. The Bangladeshi cab driver who is perpetually tuned into his wireless Bengali network. The overweight and shorter than US average cop. The woman in Chinatown shouting “five dollah! five dollah!” The filth and dirt of the E Train. The truck towing away my rental. The Italian plumber who makes more than me and lives on the NJ shore. The Puerto Rican kids in the park that scare the hell out of me. The earnest organic farmers at Union Square. The Russian physios straight out of late night seedy TV. The Robin “what’s her name” show at midnight. Shawarmas in the Village. 5 hot models sharing a junior 2 in Soho. The cool kids in Dumbo seeking love and meaning in the age of 140 letter relationships. The fireman who is willing to die for you. What’s there not to love…..New York New York….
When Felix Baumgartner jumped from his near-Space platform yesterday -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHtvDA0W34I - he was watched by over 7 million viewers on YouTube (including yours truly) and for a brief moment we all felt we were with him as he plunged from space towards the earth. As our technologies bring us closer together and appear to be an extension of our own neural network, I wonder if we can fulfill the promise of the Noosphere conceived by De Chardin - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noosphere - where we become more and more aware of the collective nature of our human consciousness. We seem to be evolving ourselves through our technologies towards broader and broader Holons -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holons - until eventually we could trigger a more universal consciousness in each spiritual seeker with the help of the new digital media. I wonder?
Swami Vivekananda was devoted to Sri Ramakrishna who initiated him into the deepest mysteries of Vedanta and Tantra. But there was another dimension to his life which made his appeal in the West partially the reason for his radical success:
- He was brought up on the Universalist principles of the Brahmo Samaj and later was strongly influenced by Keshub Chander Sen’s New Dispensation (Novo Vidhan) – Keshub brought Ramakrishna into Calcutta society. Sen was also strongly connected with American Unitarians who were Vivekananda’s first hosts and disciples in America.
- He was not a Brahmin but a warrior caste Kayastha just like Janaka
- He had studied Hume, Darwin, Kant, Hegel, Shoppenhauer, Yeats, Blake and was most strongly influenced by Spencer’s theories on evolution.
- He had become a Freemason in Calcutta as encouraged by his Law firm mentors and this helped him later make contacts with Maharajas and he was also examined by the Freemasons in America – hence Brothers and Universalist Brotherhood themes in his thinking.
- He was not completely broke when he went to America but had Rs 3,000 on him (equivalent to £300 at the time) – his main mission was to spread Vedanta and to raise $1 million to bring home for the poor and his mission in India.
- He spoke with a slight Scottish Baritone accent that many described as an “Irish Brogue” – this was due to the influence of his teacher Hastie on his education. Apparently his voice, helped by his passion for hubble bubble smoking was baritone and operatic and could awe any audience….
- In America his experience was generally very warm and enlightened and rarely was he attacked or threatened. He did carry curry powders in his pockets so he could spice up the bland food he encountered. And yes, he was a non-vegetarian as well…
Through the Wormhole explores the theories in science of the pre-Big Bang reality….