Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Basic metaphysical terms defined...

After a considerable break since the last post, I now wish to start offering a series of posts on a number of metaphysical and spiritual topics. In my experience all spiritual teachers possessing an authentic measure of enlightened consciousness are basically teaching the same core principles.

The angle of approach each takes, along with the words and metaphors used will of course vary. Enlightened teachers give answers appropriate to the needs and questions of their audience at the moment they speak. How they answer a question in one instance may be wholly contradicted by an answer in a different context asked by a different person. They give the answer each student or disciple needs to hear at a particular moment in time.

This is one reason you can find scriptures in all religious texts that support any point of view and virtually any course of action. Such is the phenomenal world of relativity. Our goal is to integrate in consciousness a harmonizing element that allows differences to co-exist without creating a loss of serenity or peace of mind; a state where each value or quality of consciousness (intelligence, creativity, vision, patience, compassion, grace, justice, courage, intuition, wisdom, etc) that may be required in a given situation can be expressed to meet a need, without the loss of inner equanimity. Such expressions and associated actions when generated by intuition will serve the greater good and a larger Divine Plan. More on this later.

It must be apparent to most of us that we are required to spiritually or intuitively discern how teachings frequently presented in another age and cultural context apply today. This we can all do with training and practice.

Most students wishing to explore more refined layers of their being, and learn as well the art of living graciously in a material world largely incapable of bestowing meaningful security and serenity of spirit, frequently look to some form of deity for salvation or protection, or a past or present master, teaching or tradition for guidance.

Nothing wrong with this of course. Not every student wishing to grow and evolve will need a tradition to join or teacher to follow, but the majority I believe will benefit from the insights of certain wise soul’s that have gone before and shared their discoveries.

So whether one is imbibing wisdom by reading the writings of trusted teachers or simply following one’s instincts and reading the ever available “Book of Nature”, the perennial wisdom tradition invites all so engaged to use intuitive discernment to sense the message and guidance appropriate now, and the course of action best suited to the circumstances in the present moment.

And then act. Taking action required to meet duties and responsibilities life has given us is also essential. Inaction when a need for action is evident is according to metaphysics a violation of natural law; equally, gross action when silence or stillness is the call of circumstances is also a violation of the natural order.

Finally, the author wishes to state for the record that I’ll do my best to pass on the insights I’ve been privileged to learn, acknowledging straight away they aren’t mine but come from a state of consciousness far beyond my current level of awareness. I am without question far from enlightened and like most in the audience a perennial student.

As such in all of my posts I claim no originality or credit for principles, concepts or teachings conveyed. The credit if deserved goes to those enlightened souls that have shared in one form or another their wisdom and from whom I’ve had the privilege of learning something meaningful, often times something I firmly believe is profound. Any errors or misinterpretations of the teachings of the wisdom traditions posted here are mine of course.

Let’s start now by defining a few basic terms. These definitions are “working definitions” and are not fixed or set in stone. Words can never truly describe or convey the deeper secrets of existence, let alone absolute truth.

But to educate ourselves we have to use words and metaphors that help us understand abstract realities and why pursuing and living various metaphysical disciplines are worth the effort. Our goal is the conscious inner experience of deeper realities, not just learning descriptions or images of them, or beliefs about them.

Therefore no claim is made that any definition, principle or teaching presented is “absolute truth”, though I give them with the firm conviction based on my experiences that they have the potential to point any sincere and earnest student in the direction that will lead inevitably to the experience of their own true and absolute nature. Or more accurately to the inevitable dawning within of a new order of reality which makes the experience of the absolute possible.

Ultimately, all will learn that nothing is more important than Faith in this process, and we will discuss the role of faith more fully in later posts.

Truth: absolute truth is indefinable; one cannot “know” truth, yet one can ultimately become It. A working definition of truth is: “that which never changes”. In the relative sphere of existence where by definition change is the only constant, there can only be “relative truth”. The truth all humans “know” is relative; absolute truth can only be “known” on its own level, when the absolute possesses us.

Meditation: an effortless process to experience the infinite, or ever changing (vibration) within the never changing (silence). There are many forms; each student will practice the form they value or are naturally drawn to. Meditation can be said to include both contemplation and experience of divine realities. It can be practiced in some form at every moment. Key point: rightly understood it should not involve effort.

Realization: the simultaneous understanding and acceptance of the rightness of the universe as it is; that all things are infused with spirit and serve a divine purpose. Realization is not an intellectual state or mental concept, it is not simply the belief that all is well and wisely placed and as it inevitably must be (though paradoxically these statements are true on their own level); but more deeply it is a mystical, intuitive knowing; a conscious participation in the breath of a living energy that informs creation and forever sings the song of Space.

Discipline: an effortless directing of personal thought and action which leads to an inward realization of right and a transmutation of one’s whole nature into a state of self-mastery. Ultimately discipline leads to illumination.

Illumination: an indescribable experience that comes upon elevation of our human nature to the realization of the Divine Plan. It starts with the dawning in consciousness of a greater spiritual light. It involves an endless process of awakening and a series of spiritual discoveries within ourselves. When fully illumined we have awakened to the innumerable aspects of Realization, we are enlightened….we stand before the face of Truth. We are worthy of merging with that state that makes all states possible. When this final merging with Truth will occur no man or woman knows. The sages say metaphorically that ultimately the absolute chooses us, we don’t choose it. A mystery of union.

Faith: a conviction or intuitive knowing that a guiding, benevolent and protecting principle or spirit infuses space and causes all things to ultimately work together for what is necessary, right and good. Faith at some point inevitably involves the fusing of courage with conviction. The difference between a mere belief in a God or Goddess and actual faith (which is a form of living energy) in these principles is the difference between night and day. Faith and faith alone sees us through the great tests of life.

Divine Plan: no human can define or know fully what the Divine Plan is, but the wise of every age convey that everyone has the capacity to sense that we are participants in a miracle of creation. And further each through practice of meditation and disciplines of realization can in time intuit more fully our place in a cosmic process involving the limitless unfoldment, expression and expansion of an infinite consciousness.

We are invited to thoughtfully give allegiance to those beliefs that demonstrably create a feeling of truth, integrity and value to the life we are currently living. And authentic faith should lead to transformative experiences that lessen worry, fear and doubt; and strengthen serenity of spirit, resulting in ever unfolding experiences of Realization.

Happiness, tranquility, security and eternal life – and liberation from all that is false, sorrowful and unnecessary – ultimately come from serving and cooperating with the plan, living with integrity and compassion, and in general living in harmony with the inevitable laws and rhythms of nature herself.

In sum The Divine Plan seems to be an Entity that is some type of primordial awareness that expresses through triads of energy, intelligence and form. It is a great unity and functions per a pattern of laws imbued with love, and we are all in essence one with It.

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