Sugar … as Sweetness … as the Lord

This may be one of the most important holistic health coaching sessions you’ll ever have.

What is it, really, that we all seek in life?  Ultimately, isn’t it happiness, joy, bliss … unending.

When we experience moments or events which bring us this happiness, how do we describe them?

Better yet, how do we describe those who are responsible for the joy that is brought into our lives?

Don’t we spontaneously call them, “Honey” or “Sugar” or “Sweetie Pie“?

It is the sweetness in life that actually brings many of us back here for yet another reincarnation of our soul.  We simply haven’t gotten enough of whatever form of life’s sweetness it is that we crave or desire.

For some it may be the simple yearning to experience “Sweet Jesus“.  For others, especially in the the Eastern spiritual traditions, it might be the opportunity to enjoy the mystical and sweet rasalila with Lord Krishna Himself.  In the Sufi tradition, there are the exquisitely sweet poems of Rumi, as well as the sweetness of the sema as experienced by the whirling dervishes, which enrapture the soul. The following rendition of Khwaja Mere Khwaja is a wonderfully sweet fusion of poetry and song, dance and music which reflects these sentiments in a truly transcendental fashion.

Of course what is the very essence of sweetness but love itself, which is why it is so satisfying and alluring.  It is also the very basis of our existence and what all of us crave to the greatest degree.  However, we often mistake the sweetness of our chosen sugar for the sweetness of true (and unalloyed) love.  This is where it behooves us to consult the more ancient wisdom of the East.

In India the science of Ayurveda (literally the knowledge of life) is known as the mother of all healing arts.  According to this highly respected body of wisdom it is understood that sweet – one of the six major tastes – is clearly the predominant one, not only in the great number and diversity of foods that exist around the world, but also the one that ought to be eaten in the greatest proportion by those who seek balance among their doshas*.  So even in our food, an earthly form which the Lord Himself has assumed, we instinctively are drawn to its many sweet varieties. We unconsciously seek the divine in the very food we eat because we know it was created by God, from His very own body – the created universe.

*dosha (per to dictionary.com)

Main Entry: _dosha
Part of Speech: _noun
Definition: _in Ayurvedic medicine, one of the three biological humors or energies (kapha, pitta,vata) which
combine in various proportions to determine individual constitution and mental and physical
disorders
Etymology: _Sanskrit ’fault, disease’

This is where this health coaching session gets very interesting.

You see, wherever we seek sweetness in our life, we are truly seeking the Lord.  The Lord is the sweetest of ALL sweets.  And His many sweet creations are but different manifestations of His pure sweetness.  Though many of these physical sweets may not look, or smell, or taste, or feel like the Lord as you would think, they are no less than the Lord Himself.  After all, they were made from His supreme consciousness and by His supreme energy.  In other words, He not only owns the bakery, supplies the flour and the sugar, as well as the bakers; the Lord is the entire bakery, and all of its delectable baked goods.

What’s the point here?  As we all go through our lives seeking out and yearning for the multifarious forms of sweetness in this earth realm, we are actually in hot pursuit of the Lord Himself.  Inevitably, we will attain this highest spiritual goal and achieve the very purpose of human existence, but only after countless lifetimes of getting sick from too much chocolate cake, or whatever “sweets” we overindulge in.

The real challenge here, after recognizing that it has been the sweetness of the Lord of which our soul has been in avid pursuit, is to re-channel much of the energy we expend in the pursuit of sweets, athletics, career, money, fame, fortune, cars, houses, clothes, artwork, sex, relationships, romance, reading, comfort food, beer, wine, brandy, cigarettes, marijuana, coffee, tea, cappuccino, expresso, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, recreational drugs, pharmaceutical drugs, nutraceutical drugs, TV, computers, wi-fi’s, iPhones/Androids/Blackberries, cellphones, talking, debating, arguing, social networking, conversation, sympathy, attention, notoriety, meat and potatoes, surf and turf, key lime pie, pistachio ice cream, chocolate cake, barbecue ribs, chicken wings, hush puppies, Italian food, Mexican food, Thai food, drumming, piano, violin, flute, guitar, fishing, sailing, motor-boating, beaching, gambling, cards, horse racing, car racing, football, baseball, basketball, soccer, marathon running, tennis, skiing, biking, power walking, working out, surfing, mountain climbing, skydiving ….

True skydiving is supposed to be head first, except when you land!

Did you know that it is actually the concentrated sugars (sweetness) in liquor which is craved by one who is addicted to alcohol?  When one gives up alcoholic beverages for good, he/she often segues over to a variety of very sweet foods to fill the very same void. Truly, it is the hunger for God that is wanting to be satisfied. All appetites lead to the Godhead when traced back to their ultimate source, and followed to their final destination.

By the way, it is very important to point out that there is nothing inherently “wrong” with any of the aforementioned endeavors or objects of desire.  They are all a part of God’s creation.  All of them have their rightful place in life and society, and may be perfectly appropriate for an individual given the worldly pursuits that makes him or her happy. Destiny also brings what destiny will bring, all for the unfoldment of the soul’s desires which ultimately do bring us closer and closer to God.

However, it’s all about moderation, and temperance, and balance, and sobriety.

Especially in these times, our chosen sugar or sweetness in life often becomes the instantaneous comfort which quickly takes the sting out of life’s pain and suffering.  However, if we can only remember that, just like pharmaceutical medications, most forms of sweetness taken in excess only serve to medicate, desensitize, distract, palliate, anesthetize, disguise, numb, or mask the true source of our pain*.

*It is said in some Eastern spiritual traditions that all pain reflects, to varying degrees, the most profound and primordial pain of separation from the Lord.  Also, that such pain will cease only when a permanent reunion with our true Beloved is attained through Self- realization.  Likewise, there are those schools of healing which acknowledge that all dis-ease ultimately derives from one’s disconnection from God.  And that the closer we get to the Godhead, the more likely we are to lead a pure and wholesome life; then robust health and lasting wellness come naturally.  

Trials and tribulations, no matter what form they take, always serve our highest good.  Therefore it is best to face them consciously and with maximum sobriety. Anything that treats our symptoms usually, in some way or another, rips off our shakti (spiritual energy according to Ayurveda), and lessens the degree to which we will be present in any given moment. Particularly during those experiences that are meant to be spiritually enlightening or edifying, we do well to “self-medicate” only to the extent that is really necessary.  The practice of such forbearance is in and of itself a great virtue, which will take us even further in our sadhana (Ayurvedic spiritual practice).

Bear in mind that the continuum from spartan stoicism to wanton overindulgence is quite long.  And, that our proper place on this continuum is one which each person must decide for him or herself.  Since this continuum is often changing, our ability to discern becomes critical, as this is where the breakdown usually occurs. Therefore, the virtue of self control ought to be ceaselessly cultivated.

For instance a regular, long daily run during a period of great emotional turmoil can have great therapeutic value, as long as the run serves to discharge the negative emotions in a healthy manner.  When the run becomes so addictive that the endorphin high overrides one’s judgement about when to stop, the therapy can then become counter-productive, and in some cases more destructive than the original dis-ease.

Viveka (the power of discrimination in Ayurveda) is the faculty which reigns supreme during our trek throughout the bakery of this world.  The sharper it cuts through the baked goods of our life, so that we eat (read sacrifice) only what is necessary, the better we will feel, the stronger will be our resolution, and the more likely we will reach the goal of our spiritual journey.

You may have already guessed that the author of this little essay is a recovering sugarholic.  His addiction to sweets (especially all things sugar) inexorably pushed him into his life’s work as holistic health coach/wellness counselor/integrative health consultant.

His lifelong contemplation of this matter inpired him to write and speak on the subject of sugar, and especially on the notion of sweetness as it relates to both physical and spiritual health.  He has suffered greatly from numerous ailments and various conditions directly related to the over-consumption of sugar.  And, it was the pain and suffering associated with these illnesses and general dis-ease that brought him face to face with his Higher Self, which quite fortuitously put him on his long sought after spiritual path.

Nature’s Biogeometry: An Introduction

by Robert Hutchings

The world of biogeometry is truly limitless in its potential for understanding and applying the laws of nature. This article can by no means provide complete understanding of all the examples and applications of biogeometry. What it can do is give you a foundational understanding of Nature’s nature.  Direct connections and applications of biogeometry to many sciences have already been discovered. Once the mainstream sees the true value of this knowledge, it will expand at an exponential rate.  So I invite you to explore with me the bigger picture that biogeometry paints of our world.

As in any discipline we must first build a foundation. The basic rules and tools of biogeometry are simple, yet their full application and implications are available only to a certain type of person. This person is not particularly smarter or more learned than others, but they posses one trait that sets them apart from the masses. A truly open mind to what is. No dogma, no prejudice, just the curiosity of a child tempered with a sober desire for truth.  I ask you to adopt, for the duration of this introduction, this temperament, as only an open vessel can be filled with wonder.

The simplest definition of biogeometry is the word itself, Bio/Life, Geo/Earth, Metry/ measure, the geometric, mathematical analysis of life forms on earth. This field at present is narrowly defined to mostly cellular level biology modeling RNA and DNA protein growth. There is also Dr. Ibrahim Karim from Egypt, who has a system for energy manipulation using geometric forms, color and their placement in space. He has trademarked and registered the term BioGeometry (big “G”).

Saturn's Hexagram

Biogeometry acknowledges that the physical world must derive from some degree of order over chaos. The nature of our universe, being mostly space, requires definite limits to define objects. These limits are inherent in the heirarchical or precept upon precept concept of organized space. These limits are rendered from a continuum of implicit geometric relations creating a preferred frame of reference for all matter formation. Order, or harmonic relations are inherent in all material forms at all scales, even to the photonic and sub-atomic energies levels. This order is well defined and understood by the use of basic math and geometry principals. Examples can be found from common geometric shapes to plant growth patterns. Music, art and architecture also find their roots in the order of biogeometry, as do most things useful and aesthetic.

Don’t let the word geometry turn you off this topic. Yes there is math involved but it is not the math you learned in school. Let us make the first major distinction about the nature of biogeometry. There are two kinds of math, Commercial Math and Cosmic Math. Commercial math concerns itself with quantity and has negative and zero amounts. Cosmic math concerns itself with quality and has only fractional amounts. The natural world does not have negative things or no things, yet the commercial ‘fictional’ math does, as I will illustrate:

An orange farmer takes out a loan on his future crop to cover expenses for the year. That year a frost kills almost all his trees and the harvest is a total loss. The farmer can’t pay the loan, the loss of the trees becomes a negative number in the bank’s books and the interest drives this negative even further. Yet, the trees and fruit are still present. They have not gone into another dimension, they have only changed their physical nature. Now they are dead wood or compost. In fact, the wise farmer harvested the orange wood and composted the rest, sold it at a good profit and turned his negative trees into positive lumber at the bank.

Things are always changing. They don’t stop being, they just dissipate into other things. One of the other differences between cosmic and commercial math is respectively dynamic verses linear movement. Dynamic, cosmic math realizes that nature is a whole set and that all things affect all other things to varying degrees. Commercial math’s linear nature is good for accounting and works well in most systems of mathematics, finding parts of itself in dynamic math as well. Yet even Einstein stated he needed a more powerful form of mathematics to truly express what he knew. What he was really saying is that the universe is a coherent, dynamic system and therefore a coherent dynamic math language is necessary to describe it.

The order of ascendants in organizing empty space, point, line, angle, surface, volume, time, centripetal, feedback, heterodyne, centrifugal.

    So let us start our first lesson. We will be using the above graphic as our guide. Imagine, if you can, endless space filled with limitless potential energy. This energy is uniformly distributed in almost perfect polar balance. In other words, it is a scalar wave consisting of two waves of the same power and vibration, perfectly opposed to each other. With sound waves, this results in silence and is known as sound cancellation technology. When this occurs with electromagnetic waves, there is no observable electromagnetic phenomenon. These waves have a vibratory rate outside of our current ability to perceive them. This is one of the limiting factors of the current scientific model, as it does not account for that which it cannot measure. Now we will see how this undifferentiated potential becomes and sustains all that is or ever was or will be.

To go anywhere or do anything, you must know where you stand. The world’s best map plus your exact destination on that map will be useless if you can’t find your present location (The ‘you are here’ dot on the map at the mall). So, in the endless sea of potential points, you must first define a starting point. This is the zero or decimal point, and in creating it, we’ve accomplished a lot. We now have distinction from all other points in existence and the potential for bias, hot/cold, light/dark, Yin/Yang, duality and so on.  Nature is conservative, simple and efficient; she is also a very good recycler. So the next simplest step is to make another point, creating a direction or vector in space. There are an unlimited number of these potential points as well. By connecting these points, we can grasp the concept of a line.

The next step is, of course, to create another point. From this, we have created the angle and the angular relationship of the three points. We are still very much in the conceptual stages of form or the geometrizing of space. In fact, the Greeks did not consider zero, one, two or three real numbers, as they had no geometric equivalent in the physical world. The point becomes a ball or sphere. The line becomes a rod or cylinder. Both are complex, composite geometric forms well ahead of our present beginnings.

The next point is actually a return to the first point, creating the bounded plane or 2-D, as some may say, ‘flat land’. This, again, is a place of conceptual, ‘fictitious’ realities having no physical counterpart. After all, to be infinitely flat is impossible.

The next point brings us into a whole new world: 3-D and the creation of the tetrahedron and circle. The tetrahedron is a pyramid with an equilateral triangle base and three faces composed of the same triangle. It is the simplest 3-D geometric form having only four faces, four vertices or corners, six edges and is the root form for many structures in nature. We also now have the circle by using a combination of the four points as up, down, right and left.

The next point is a new type of point projecting endlessly into the sea of potential points. It is the movement of time. All of the other points referred to thus far are also movements, the only difference being that they have more of a material definition in space.

The fifth point also allows the formation of the sphere by taking the previous circle and spinning it endlessly on an equatorial line. A dinner plate hung by a string from its edge and spun demonstrates this well. We also have the production of the propagating waveforms or frequency vibrations.

Now we take this spinning, pulsing wave and project it inward toward an infinite point. This creates the centripetal, compressing vortex of point number six. This, too, is a root form seen in everything from spiral galaxies to the hair spiral on the top of your head.

The seventh point is one of the most unique and controversial points in the system. It is the point of intention/ direction or feedback, giving uniqueness to the growing form. Seven is never seen in nature as form. It is observed only as process. To name a few examples: There are seven colors in the rainbow, seven crystal systems, cellular mitosis is a seven step process with the eighth step resulting in two new cells, our head has seven orifices and we are ruled by seven endocrine glands. The reason seven is not found in the geometry of natural form is that you can not evenly divide a circle by seven. As a result, it is unstable in terms of form.

Eight is the infinite heterodyne, giving density to form. The wave folds in on itself becoming self-feeding, changing the higher frequency waves into lower, denser waves of matter. The torus or bagel shape is the best geometric form to visualize the infinite eight. The electron’s non-decaying spin around the nucleus of the atom is a good example of this.

Spindle Torus

Nine is the final point of creation; the nine muses, dressed to the nines, cloud nine or perfection. Nine is also the centrifugal vortex emanating and radiating into our world. It is a known fact that all physical forms radiate energy waves. According to Stephen Hawking, the well-known physicist, even the great vacuums of the universe, black holes, radiate information waves. This revelation was a 180-degree turn for Mr. Hawking. In the past he said that nothing leaves a black hole. It’s comforting to know that the people dictating to us the nature of our universe are so stable in their comprehensions.

The truth is that conventional science is amazingly fickle and changes its idea of ”what is” on a regular basis. On the other hand, the nature of biogeometry is simple and unchanging and has been understood for thousands of years by man.

We have walked through the ascending components of the physical world. Each of these basic forms are the building blocks of even more complex forms and systems. Each form, point or movement incorporates and builds upon the ones before it. In biology this is commonly known and referred to as The Law of Ascendants. This is the nature of biogeometry; that a few basic forms and governing laws create all that is – reality, from the smallest atom to the largest galaxy and beyond each.

We can use biogeometry to bring a much deeper and visceral understanding of our world…If…we allow nature’s strength, power and simplistic beauty to truly enhance all levels of our experience. This can only be accomplished with play. Yes, play! Remember: you are a kid. When a kid sets forth to explore new horizons, the work of obtaining the necessary means and ways of exploration is not work at all. For the vision of what lies ahead is the only condition. I promise you, if you will let the truths of biogeometry into your life, you will not be disappointed. “Use the light that is in you to recover your natural clearness of sight”  —  Lao-tzu

Here is another view of biogeometry; we have five senses, touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing. The ‘ancients’ had five elements; air, water, earth, fire, spirit and we ‘moderns’ have five states of matter; gas, liquid, solid, plasma and the very strange Einstein-Bose condensates. So, it appears that the division of five describes the different states of matter and our ability to sense them. This is in line with the basic model we just discussed. Five is the point at which we have time and wave function or vibration/frequencies and these are the base components of all matter along with light or photons.

Some may feel this is a generalization and it is to some degree. This is the nature of biogeometry, to see the big, general picture. Recognition of repeating patterns and associations are at the root of human survival. When we see a basic pattern on many levels ie. Cosmic, social or biological, we have witnessed the power of the pattern and its basic nature or application. If we accept that the laws of nature are the same at all scales, then so we must accept the general concepts created by the laws applied as well. This is why we study nature, geometry and math, for they are very powerful, relevant and basic to all.

On higher levels of the mathematical and geometric functioning of biogeometry there lay very exacting functions and real life applications. As you master the basics, you will even find some of your own discoveries and uses for this science. The door is opening to a new world. If humanity will work together, we can have a revolution in all of our endeavors. If you like, you may choose to resume your previous mind set… that is, if a childlike, truth-seeking attitude doesn’t work for you.

Diagram created by Robert Hutchings
Click on to enlarge.

“What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.” ~  Bertrand Russell

Faith…must be enforced by reason when faith becomes blind it dies.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

“My advice to those who wish to learn the art of scientific prophecy is not to rely on abstract reason, but to decipher the secret language of Nature from Nature’s documents, the facts of experience.” ~ Max Born

I am neither especially clever nor especially gifted. I am only very, very curious. ~ Albert Einstein

The essence of mathematics is not to make simple things complicated, but to make complicated things simple.  ~ S. Gudder

Mathematics are well and good but nature keeps dragging us around by the nose.  ~ Albert Einstein

If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realize how complicated life is.  ~ John Louis von Neumann

“Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.” ~ Albert Einstein

“Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.”  ~ Albert Einstein

“Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems.” ~ Rene Descartes

“Nature’s great book is written in mathematics.”  ~ Galileo

“I never got a pass mark in math …  Just imagine mathematicians now use my prints to illustrate their books.”  ~ M.C. Escher

There is a geometry of art as there is a geometry of life, and, as the Greeks guessed, they happen to be the same. ~ Matila Ghyka

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction. ~ Albert Einstein

"A 780 ft (240 m) crop circle in the form of a double (six-sided) triskelion composed of 409 circles. Milk Hill, England, 2001" (Per Wikipedia)

There Is Much Joy In Self Restraint

Daily Devotional

Self-Control in All Things

By Brent Barnett
This week’s topic: The Fruit Of The Spirit

In ancient Greece, every year before and after the Olympic games were held, the Isthmian games took place in the city of Corinth. Those who won would receive a wreath made out of pine. No doubt those who participated in these games trained rigidly as the athletes of our day do for the Olympics. It takes strict discipline, sound eating habits, rigid training programs, a burning desire to win, and a persevering commitment to the task to prepare for an athletic event of this caliber. Those who compete at this level run to win, and in order to win, they must discipline their bodies. Self-control is a key component for victory.

In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Paul alludes to these athletic competitions when he says,

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

Paul says that it makes no sense for a boxer to punch the air. His goal is to train so that he can land his punches, knock down his opponent, and win the match. In the same way, it makes no sense for a runner to deviate from the course and go for a stroll through the country. His mission is to stay on track within the boundaries and cross the finish line before everyone else. Winning will require self-control in all things, from the training and preparation to execution and performance on race day. Spiritually it makes no sense to view life as haphazard or to approach it carelessly. God has called us all to run a race, and we are in it to win it, or at least we should be. Paul viewed his commission to share the gospel as even more intense and serious than the training of a world-class athlete. He knew that a race has only one winner, and he lived the Christian life as if he wanted to get the most rewards possible for the sake of Christ.

What helps makes an athlete successful is the same thing that contributed to Paul’s spiritual discipline- self-control. Paul speaks of disciplining his body to the point of making it his slave. The Greek word from which we translate the word self-control implies mastering fleshly passions and sensuous lusts. Just as an athlete has to discipline his mind, will, emotions, and body in order to perform at the highest level, a Christian must discipline his thoughts, behaviors, attitudes, and actions in order to bear abundant spiritual fruit. Self-control means that we don’t make any provision for the flesh and its lusts (Romans 13:14). We don’t do anything to aid and abet self. Rather, we yield to God by faith Who by His Spirit will enable us to live as new creations in Christ rather than as those who are enslaved to sin. We have been set free from being slaves to sin (Romans 6:6), and self-control is thus the process of continuing to reckon by faith that we are indeed free. This freedom will enable us to live out the fruit of self-control, which is discipline. A Christian who runs to win will thus be committed to studying God’s Word, to meditating upon it, to praying, to serving, and to doing all that Christ has commanded us.

Too many Christians, either out of ignorance or a lack of faith, continue to live as if they are slaves to self. Their lives become mired with self-gratification, self-seeking, self-absorption, and self-righteousness. They might be able to control some behaviors, but they are themselves controlled by others. The beauty of self-control is that it is the absolute opposite of selfishness. It is the ability to, no matter what the circumstances, stand firm in righteousness, remaining strong in faith.

Life will riddle us with encumbrances, and Satan will fire temptations at us more often than we like. Self-indulgence gives into a little sin here and there, and self-righteousness abstains from sin for the purpose of glorifying self. Self-control, on the other hand, makes self a non-issue and serves Christ as Master over all areas of life. When this fruit of the Spirit is manifested in the lives of believers, they will be able to resist temptation, persevere under fire, and finish the race strongly. This requires discipline by the power of the Spirit so that we don’t become disqualified in our Christian race due to sin. Sin saps the power of God working in and through us. If we want to win the crown of life, which is much greater and longer-lasting than the pine wreaths given to the Isthmian winners, we must have self-control.

We may never be professional athletes, but we can be world-class Christians if we have self-control in all things. Let us run to win, exercising the discipline characteristic of a champion.

Scripture Of The Day: “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” - Romans 13:14

Brenton M. Barnett is the founder of the free Bible teaching ministry, Relevant Bible Teaching, found on the web at http://www.relevantbibleteaching.com. He is also the author of Catch Fire: A Call to Spiritual Awakening. Brent’s greatest joys in life are his wife, Sarah, and daughter, Anneke.…
*
*
*
Atma-vinigraha –> Self restraint

“Together with the insistence on the necessity of a Guru in the imparting of knowledge, the Upanishads are also never tired of hammering upon another qualification of the student of this knowledge—brahmacharya. In many places it appears that brahmacharya and Brahman are almost identified. Wherever there is brahmacharya, there is also Brahman-knowledge. Very significant is this word—brahmacharya. It is the conduct of Brahman that is actually called brahmacharya. Charya is conduct, behaviour, attitude, disposition, demeanour, and brahma is the Truth. The conduct of reality is brahmacharya. So, when you conduct yourself in a manner not in contradiction to the nature of Truth, you are supposed to be observing brahmacharya. And what is the nature of Truth which you should not contradict in your day-to-day conduct and which is supposed to be brahmacharya? The nature of Truth is non-sensory existence. Truth is not a sensible object. It is not seen, it is not heard, it is not tasted, it is not touched, it is not contacted by any of the senses of our individual personality. Therefore, to desire for the objects of sense would be a contradiction of the nature of Truth. Brahmacharya is sensory non-indulgence. The opposite of sensory indulgence is the attitude of brahmacharya. Our present-day activities are mostly a refutation of the principles of brahmacharya, and so we are weak in every respect. We are unable to see, unable to hear, unable to touch, unable to walk, unable to speak, unable to digest our daily meal. Everything has been weakened, because our senses refute the existence of God. When you see an object you deny God, because the denial of God and the perception of an object are one and the same thing. When you hear a sound, you deny God. When you taste, when you touch, when you have any kind of sensory activity, there is an unconscious refutation of the indivisibility of the existence of God. Brahmacharya has thus been, by an extension of its meaning, regarded as sense-control. But sense-control is not the whole meaning of brahmacharya. It is a spiritual attitude to things that is called brahmacharya, which implies, of course, automatically, sense-control.”
– The Secret of the Katha Upanishad (Discourse No. 3)
by Swami Krishnananda
*
*
*

Sawm or Fasting:

“Every year in the month of Ramada-n, all Muslims fast from dawn until sundown–abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations with their spouses.

Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are menstruating, pregnant or nursing, are permitted to break the fast and make up an equal number of days later in the year if they are healthy and able. Children begin to fast (and to observe prayers) from puberty, although many start earlier.

Although fasting is beneficial to health, it is mainly a method of self-purification and self-restraint. By cutting oneself from worldly comforts, even for a short time, a fasting person focuses on his or her purpose in life by constantly being aware of the presence of God. God states in the Qur’an: ‘O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed to those before you that you may learn self-restraint.’ (Qur’an 2:183)”

Per  http://www.pre-renaissance.com/islam/pillars.html#

Titiksha – Forbearance

SADHANA CHATUSHTAYA BY SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA (MESSAGE 6)

From: “swamisuryadevananda” <swamisuryadevananda@yahoo.com>

Section 4, `Titiksha’ now continues.

“This is true Titiksha based on knowledge. The practitioner can endure any kind of difficulty or catastrophe. He is not shaken even by shocking news of heavy sorrow. He is superior to physical Titikshus who have trained themselves by physical torture, because the latter ones will show signs of failure when confronted by serious disasters. A Titikshu who has developed his Titiksha through knowledge is the King of all Titikshus.

Endurance is the state of enduring or bearing. It is suffering patiently without sinking or yielding to the pressure, without resistance.

Endurance is the capacity or power to endure without opposition. It is ability to suffer pain, distress, hardship, or any very prolonged stress without succumbing or murmuring or complaining, lamenting or repining. It is patient fortitude. It is the ability to bear and continue in spite of destructive forces.

To endure is to bear, with strain and resistance, with conscious power. To brook is quietly to put up with provocation or insult.

He who endures conquers. Through endurance, willpower and patience are developed. Through endurance, evils and difficulties are overcome.

Your strength often increases in proportion to the obstacles imposed upon you. Endure them bravely.

Difficulties and troubles, adversities and calamities have often built the character of men.

The palm-tree grows best beneath a ponderous weight, and even so the character of man.

The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skilful pilots become famous from storms and tempests.

Through endurance, you exhibit your divine grandeur and make alliance with God.

This body is your instrument but is not your Self. Titiksha (forbearance) develops your will-power. It is one of the qualifications of an aspirant in the path of Jnana. It brings happiness herein and hereafter. But it has one defect. People misconstrue those who practise forbearance for impotent, effeminate men.

Bear with joy whatever amount of pain or trouble men may give you.

Samaduhkhasukham dheeram sah amritatvaya kalpate.

He who has the power of endurance, who is balanced in pleasure and pain, steadfast, is fit for immortality. (Gita, II-15).

Mowni Baba is a great Titikshu. He is a Vairagi. He lives in a forest two miles from Chitrakut. He stands in the terribly hot sun in summer from 8 o’clock in the morning till sunset. Whit a wonderful power of endurance the saint has! Remarkable, indeed!

Occasionally walk bare-footed in the compound of your house. Train the body for physical labour. You should not be entirely dependent upon the servants. Wash all your clothes and understand the dignity of labour. Take medicine only when there is absolute necessary. Gradually develop your power of endurance.

Increase by all means your power of endurance—bearing heat and cold, pain, hunger, etc.

Power of endurance is a virtue to be possessed by a Yogi, a Jnani and a Bhakta. Many hardships and privations have to be faced by the students in the successful performance of Yoga. Titiksha develops will-power.

The weak man emerges as a strong and sublime man from terrible trials and adversities. Trial is a crucible into which nature throws a man whenever she wishes to mould him into a superman. Therefore do not be afraid of troubles and adversities. They are blessings in disguise.

Titiksha is a condition of wisdom. It is a means for acquiring knowledge. Some saints make Titiksha as the goal of life. Till the end of life they stand on one leg in cold water in winter and in the hot sun in summer. Titiksha by itself may not be able to secure the highest human end.

Titiksha is a means to an end. Some devote their whole life – in standing in the sun and cold, giving up blankets, etc. They forget and miss the goal. The goal is Jnana. A man of strong will-power need not practise any kind of Titiksha at all. He can at once do any kind of rigid Tapas at his will. Don’t spoil your health in the name of Tapas. Use your common sense. Lead a simple and natural life.

Be calm, serene and poised always. Practise this. Never get excited or nervous. Stand as firm as a rock. Be composed and unruffled. Never become impatient. When you are calm, you can get help and strength from within. The divine energy will flow unto you. When you are calm and tranquil, you can hear the still inner voice.

Study the psychology of men. Analyse human nature. When you move with different minds, adjust yourself well. Have perfect adaptability. Develop tolerance. Then only you can be happy.

Wherever you go, you carry your own mind, Vasanas and Samskaras with you. Raga-Dwesha is everywhere, even in the caves of the Himalayas. Create your own world and environments from within. Then alone you can be happy anywhere and under any circumstances.

The best of all virtues is even-mindedness. Therefore develop this virtue with patience and perseverance. Other virtues will cling to you by themselves.

Adjust yourself to the temperaments and mentality of others with whom you mix. This is the secret of happiness. Bear difficulties patiently. Adjust the mind to all circumstances and places. Then only you can be really strong.

That Yogic student who tries to evolve amidst trying conditions, temptations, and unfavourable circumstances will become adamantine. He will become very powerful. Mother Prakriti knows fully well how to train and mould her children. Therefore, don’t murmur. Don’t grumble. Keep your mind cool at all times under all conditions.

If you are impartial, if you are master of your senses, if your mind is unruffled, in the midst of unending troubles, difficulties, sickness, and festivities, if you neither desire nor renounce any object, you are in possession of tranquillity. Truth will dawn by itself in the tranquil mind only. Therefore, cultivate this virtue by all means.

Failure is only the pillar of success. Do not be discouraged by failure. Gird up the loins. Stand up. Be bold. Face difficulties. Overcome them one by one.

Do not become despondent on any account. Walk like a spiritual lion. Overcome difficulties one by one. Be not afraid of public criticism. People are still abusing Lord Mahadeva, Sri Sankaracharya, Lord Krishna and Lord Rama. They will continue to do so from eternity to eternity. The world abounds with Tamasic people. Sattwic people are very rare. Discipline your mind. Stand adamantine under all conditions and at all times. Keep a cool balanced mind. This is the highest Jnana. Now stand up. Gird up the loins and fight with the Indriyas and mind. Serve the world with redoubled force and energy. May you prosper gloriously. May you attain the state of Kaivalya.

Are you Atma or mind or body? Even though you have read my writings 100 times, you identify yourself with mind and body and lose the balance of mind when a trifling criticism is made. So strong is your egoism. People can criticise your body and mind. You yourself dislike your body and mind. Those who criticise your body and mind become your friends. Then why do you get agitated, my dear Krishna? You are still weak. You have not grown spiritually. Ignore criticism. Why do you brood over past events? This is a very bad habit. You can’t have peace of mind. Rise above criticisms and petty remarks. Stand firm like that yonder rock. Become adamantine. Do good to those men who attempt to poison or hurt you. Put this in practice.

You should try to love all, even your worst enemy who wants to destroy you, who is planning to poison you, who is dragging the sword to chop off your head. This is of course, difficult, but you will have to practice this if you really want spiritual growth and salvation. This is real Sannyasa. Real Sannyasi is one who feels that he has no body. You should live, work and meditate amidst people who are aiming at your destruction and amidst worst unfavourable surroundings. Then only you can grow spiritually. Then only you can have the unruffled mind of a sage. This method is doubtless difficult but it will make one really adamantine.

It is a great loss for you to leave the public service because some jealous persons attempted to vilify and injure you when you would have to face various sorts of bitter experiences. Your spiritual growth will be terribly retarded. You must have moral strength and moral courage to face public criticism, harsh remarks and persecution. Your suffering is nothing when compared with the persecutions underwent by Sri Rama and the five Pandavas. Show your manliness, moral courage and spiritual strength now. The inner strength that you obtained by meditation during these six years is tested now. Had you really done sincere meditation, you ought to have abundant strength now to face these difficulties with a smile. If you have no strength, it shows that there has been some error in meditation. Real meditation gives immense inner strength.

Do not be afraid of insult, disrespect, dishonour, abuse or harsh words. Wear them as ornaments on your body.

Many worry themselves a lot if they hear a little scandal about themselves. Don’t be afraid, these are vain sounds. They are vibrations in the air. These are nothing. What is mocking? What is scandal? Analyse these. Do Vichar. They will dwindle into airy nothing. Allow scandals to enter through one ear and pass immediately through the other ear. You are the immortal Atma where there is no sound (Asabda). Nothing can affect you. You are invulnerable.”

“Nothing Exists That Is Not Consciousness”

“Because there are laws such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going.” 
~ Stephen Hawking

This statement bears repeating, as its ramifications are so profound and far-reaching that we feel it must be addressed in the worldwide forum of philosophical discourse.

“It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going.”

May we respectfully submit that, when any of us use a global platform to present ideas and opinions with such consequential import, it does become incumbent upon us to defend those hypotheses in the court of public debate.  The internet is, after all, a place that is visited by everyone, especially the youth of the world.  They often look to the authorities and experts of the planet to receive wisdom and guidance about the true order of things.  Therefore, we begin this debate by asking the following rather provocative question.

Has common sense, as well as the ability to utilize the human faculty of reason, completely fled from some of those who people the highest echelons of scientific inquiry?

When Stephen Hawking uttered these words during an appearance in an on-line video about his new book — The Grand Design — he made a fatal and obvious error in pleading this extremely tenuous and quite indefensible case.

 Stephen tells us that “… the universe can and will create itself from nothing.”

We have no quarrel that something was created from nothing, except that “the nothing” is perhaps an infinite void of Consciousness, which is actually far, far from nothing.

We are compelled to ask who or what created “the nothing” that is doing the creating?!

Furthermore, we might ask what or who is doing the willing that is quite necessary for the creating from nothing?

Has Stephen now conferred the powers of creation on Creation itself, without the agency of a Creator?  This faulty reasoning represents a much greater collapse in humankind’s capacity to utilize its God-given faculty of reason.  Which is, by the way, also responsible for the ongoing collapse of modern society, as well as the whole of Western Civilization.

Now we do see that Stephen has given us a GREAT teaching moment here.  God often does create little dramas in order to draw in a grand audience who will be duly informed by the global discussion that one of his little creations (that would be Stephen Hawking) has helped co-create.  Thank you, Stephen Hawking!

There are, incidentally, a few layers in this line of inquiry that ought to be properly unpacked if the right conclusions and true order of things are to be revealed.

Stephen makes direct reference to a universe.  Who or What created the universe?

Let’s back up and first ask from where did the agency of creation which created the universe come.

In other words, who, pray tell, created the Creator?

Even the most simple and child-like among us know that there is a Creator.

What most fail to contemplate, however, is who or what created the Creator.

Asked another way, “From where did the ground of being come – the ground upon which the Creator could create and the created could exist?”

Since there are many levels of creative agency going all the way back to the Prime Mover (the CREATOR of  all  Creators)  we can quite safely assume that all and everything in the universe is made of the very same stuff of creation.

Shall we call it Consciousness?

Nothing exists that is not Consciousness.”

Even the hardcore scientists among us now admit that all of Creation flows from a primordial wellspring of cosmic energy (aka consciousness) in the form of so many newly emerging energies and forces, particles and matter performing a veritable “play of consciousness”.

Let’s make this our point of departure, as we collaboratively co-create a comprehensible theory of Cosmogony of Creation — one that even Stephen Hawking can understand.

In the meantime he, and we, can enjoy the visual contemplation known as the E8 Diagram.  This diagram has been represented by some as a mathematical blueprint for the known universe.  Each line, color, angle, etc., taken in the aggregate, portrays every known force and particle in Creation.  The relationships between each force and every other force, between each particle and every other particle, between each force to every particle, and each particle to every force are now quite exquisitely delineated on the worldwide web.

The E8 diagram may just elegantly illustrate the awesome beauty and perfect order and phantasmagoric wonder with which the Creator has imbued His/Her Creation.

E8 Diagram -- Click to enlarge

Surfer dude stuns physicists with theory of everything

The Primordial CREATOR of Creation (aka GOD) has just prompted us to make one more observation before we conclude this blog.

Although we are far from proving our central thesis, one point has been made quite conclusively.  Stephen’s statement that, “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going” will bump up against evidence provided by  many of his peer scientists, which points directly to something way beyond all the forces, and particles, and energies and multifarious forms of matter. Quantum physics itself, as well as the current form of the “Grand Unified Theory”, beg for a true understanding of the very backdrop of the cosmic stage of existence.

Some existential philosophers refer to Consciousness as the very ground of being.  The theoretical physicists have identified it as the substratum from which the universe has emerged.  The artists among us call it the canvass upon which the mosaic of creation has been painted.  Others, like the ‘weavers’, refers to Consciousness as the underlying fabric of the cosmos into which the tapestry of Creation has been woven.

As we telescope back in time and through space, we find the wisdom of the rishis — the sages and seers of ancient India — to be especially perceptive and descriptive, and as accurate as words can possibly be.  They call it Brahman, the Absolute, and consider Consciousness to be the Ultimate Reality.

“He is the Supreme Brahman, the Self of all, the chief foundation of this
world, subtler than the subtle, eternal. That thou art; thou art That.”

~ Atharva Veda

In the same spiritual tradition, a great Siddha Master has written these words:

“The Self is called satchidananda – absolute existence, consciousness, and bliss.  
It is the Supreme Truth.”

~ Swami Muktananda

By the way, we often hear that the estimated age of the universe is 13.75 billions years, and that it has been rapidly expanding in all directions since the Big Bang (aka the Primordial Spanda).

Therefore, we think that the ultimate ontological question might be, “What in God’s Good Name is the universe expanding within, if not within Consciousness itself?”

Who among us is not an ARJUNA? … … on the battlefield known as Planet Earth – 2010 and beyond

2010! The year that everyone (actually survivors only) will be walking around at year’s end wearing the classic t-shirt “I Survived 2010 on Planet Earth . . . In One Piece!”  It truly has shaped up to be the year of the GREAT challenge, hasn’t it?  Maybe we ought to take a closer look at what is really going on here.  Perhaps there is a great – really GREAT – opportunity that we don’t want to miss.  Challenges and opportunities always do come in pairs, you know.

Many of us know of the distant battlefield (in both time and space) known as Kurushetra on the plains of India back in the 3000’s BC.  The context revolves around one fierce and mighty warrior known as Arjuna.  He, the most skilled archer in all the land, was ushered into the very middle of the greatest battlefield of all time.  His charioteer – Lord Krishna – had brought him there to view both warring parties arrayed against each other in the final battle that was to determine the fate of humankind.

Dark Night of the Soul

Quite out character, Arjuna has lost his courage, and will, to fight.  However, it was his dharma to fight; his responsibility to uphold the order.  It was his destiny and he could not avoid it.  He was born into the warrior, or ruling, class – the Kshatriya – and therefore to shirk this responsibility would mean that he would forfeit his very soul.  Nevertheless, he faced a great dilemma.  He was directly confronted by the very demons that chased him throughout his life.  They had him cornered at his “weakest” moment.  And Lord Krishna himself had come to his aid to see him through this very dark night of the soul.

Very interesting story, isn’t it?!  Especially when the two sides of the battle are represented by your very own family – one a family of virtues; the other a family of vices.  Wait, the plot thickens.

So, Arjuna is in quite a quandary, which only he can resolve by facing his fears, and by praying for the divine grace that will dissolve his doubts and allay his very serious and legitimate concerns about the future of the world.

Sound familiar?  It sure does to most of the people in our talking circles.  You know, like ALL of our friends, family, distant relatives, neighbors, business associates, long lost acquaintances, and so on and so on.  Did we leave anyone out?

What in God’s Great Name is going on in 2010.  May we call it the Year of the Earthquake(s)?!  Whether they be on the physical, mental, emotional or spiritual levels.  Quite unsettling, hasn’t it been?  Like the very foundation is being rocked and rolled by a 10.0 on the Richter Scale.

Let’s revisit our very instructive tale about Arjuna – the archetypal warrior who faces up to, and who ultimately overcomes.  But, wait, how did he get to a point of resolution so quickly in the frenzied environment of the start of a mega-war?  Only by reviewing the sage counsel that was provided quite compassionately by the Lord, may we come to truly understand what amounted to the most consequential and greatest turnaround in world history.

“Who Am I?’

The more profound and fundamental existential question here is, “Who are we?”  Arjuna had already spent a lifetime contemplating this classic challenge of self-inquiry, and was therefore ripe during his counseling session with the Lord, even if it was on the middle of the greatest battlefield of all time.

Surely many of us can relate to this predicament.  Most of us reading this are currently situated on the most challenging battlefields of our lives.  2010 has exempted no one that we know.

Likewise, most us have been examining life’s deeper questions – “Who Am I?” – for many years, if not decades.

Of course, the key and indispensable ingredient here is our relationship with the Lord.  Quite fortuitously, many of us have had the great good fortune to have crossed paths directly with the Lord in this very lifetime.  Our worthiness and yearning drew him into our lives for this very moment in time.  Did we hear that?  Er … Um … for this very moment in time.

The Bhagavad Gita

Perhaps the greatest scripture of all time is the Bhagavad Gita.  Each letter of this sublime and rarefied divine revelation is pregnant with meaning so profound and relevant to this moment in time that we could easily end this essay right here and simply defer to its awesome text by suggesting a thorough reading.  It’s not very long and really quite pithy.  Each of its many spiritual distillations have come to be known as the most powerful transformative teachings of the era – the Kali Yuga, where we now find ourselves.

The entire Bhagavad Gita is actually spoken to Arjuna by Lord Krishna in the form of a Socratic dialogue.  How does a chariot-bound discourse on the battlefield of Kurukshetra contain the most relevant and timeless wisdom for the here and now?

To be continued …

A Health & Wellness Information Portal

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.