Tendency to Equate Angels With Humans

A couple of years ago I visited a place in India where I’ve met a devote of the Hare Krishna movement. We spent some time talking about spiritual things, and during that conversation a topic of lust came up, that further sparkled a talk about Krishna and his human characteristics, particularly some romances from his life. The devote said how it was normal that Krishna had human characteristics such as erotic playfulness and that he had over 16108 wifes, even though he was a spiritual being of a high caliber. (by the way, if you add that number kabalistically you get number 16).

I noticed over the years that it is not uncommon for people who lean towards spiritual side to have such view about higher beings who once walked the earth. Similar perception is attributed to Jesus, for whom it is said that he was a husband of Mary Magdalene, which interpretation is obtained from the early Christian texts, primarily the Gospel of Philip. If you ask many of the believers of the Christian faith, they will tell you: “despite of all he was also a human.” Continue reading

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Searching Within by Belsebuub – A Book About Starting the Inner Work

Here’s a short post about the Belsebuub’s book on Self-knowledge that was previously available in various formats, such as in the paperback The Peace of the Spirit Within, and later on as an ebook titled Self-knowledge for Awakening. It then went on being unavailable for a while, and now finally it is back and available for purchase. The name of the book is ‘Searching Within’. I did not read this new updated version, but had opportunity to skim through it and briefly go through some parts of it. The material comes from one of his spiritual courses that was related to Self-knowledge, and the course was also named as the current version of the book.

The reason I’m writing about this here is because it is probably one of the best books out there that gives step by step guide on what to do in order to begin a serious spiritual work, the one that bring real inner change and moves us closer to awakening. The simplicity of the language, the depth, the exercises, the sequence etc. is written in a way that is easy to understand and follow.

The author of the book, Mark Pritchard, who writes under his spiritual name Belsebuub, has achieved quite far stage in the process of awakening. Being of the Western culture, he gave opportunity to many Western-minded folks from various walks of life to study from someone they could relate to, and were able to acquire a valuable information on serious spiritual work. Continue reading

Reflection: To Be Given Another Chance

In one of his online talks about spirituality and the inner Work, Mark Pritchard (Belsebuub), mentioned a specific scenario that, I believe, has put many people to thought. The recurring theme was the importance of the inner work in the context of this life that we have on this planet, how valuable such existence is, and how precious is our time here. He mentioned the hypothetical situation of imagining ourselves at the end of our life reflecting back. The following meditation is inspired by what he said.

Imagine that you are 85 years of age, lying on your deathbed. You don’t have much more to go, but enough time to reflect on your life. You see how things went, the ups and downs. You see yourself at one point of your life doing the inner work. Perhaps the memory of happiness and joy overwhelms you, the happiness that you had when you were living a spiritual life and when you were walking towards your Being. You then see yourself getting pressured by life, perhaps by some strong emotions of excitement, of pleasure, of the mundane flow of life that swept away the innocent joy that you have previously found in the Inner work. And little by little, you lost an interest in that which previously uplifted your soul. Continue reading

Exercise of Retrospection – A Powerful Tool That Can Change Your Life

An exercise of retrospection is a powerful tool. With it we gain self-knowledge, insights, and understanding about our behavior and subconscious defects or egos (things such as anger, fear, pride, lust etc.) that have manifested during the day but have gone unnoticed, and as they go unseen they are controlling our lives. As it is said, ‘Life is a series of events’. The flow of the day sets out various events that we go through, most of which bring about egos within us, regardless if we notice them or not. Sometimes we go through difficult or intense situations, a chaotic development of events where it is very hard to be in the present moment and detached from our egos. These types of events can easily pull us in and drag us along, which means that we act unconsciously. Even if the flow of events is ordinary, there are still emotions, thoughts, and/or impulses that manifest within us.

From an outburst of anger, to a subtle surging of envy, in the retrospective exercise we can see all of that and get knowledge about the egotistic state (ego) and how it controls us. This then can change our lives, simply because, in the exercise of retrospection, we are looking at the events from the perspective of the observer, rather than the participant. Continue reading

Heroes, by Rumi

HEROES

Does any artist paint for the sake of the picture itself, without the hope of offering some good?

No, but for the sake of  the viewers and the young who will be drawn by it and freed from cares.

Or does any potter hastily throw a pot or a bowl without any thought of what it will hold?

Does any calligrapher write for the script alone without any regard for the reader?

The external form is for the sake of something unseen, and that took shape for something else unseen.

Just as the moves in a game of chess reveal the results of each move in what follows.

They make one move to conceal another move, and that for something else, and so on and on.

So move on, aware of reasons within reasons, one move after another, to checkmate.

One step is for the sake of another, like the rungs of a ladder, to reach the roof.

The hunger for food produces semen; semen is for procreation, and the light in the parent’s eyes.

Someone with dulled vision sees no further than this: his intelligence has no movement; it vegetates.

Whether a plant is summoned or not, it stays planted within the soil.

Don’t be deceived if the wind bends it.

It’s head says, “We obey the zephyr’s request,” while its feet say, “Leave us alone!”

Since he does not know how to move, he advances on trust like the blind.

Consider what acting on trust means in a war: it’s like a gambler trusting the throw of the dice.

But if someone’s insight is unfrozen, it penetrates the veil.

He sees with his own eyes in the present what will come to pass in ten year’s time.

In the same way, everyone perceives the invisible future, whether good or bad, according to the measure of his insight.

When barriers in front and behind are removed, the eye penetrates and reads the Tablet of the Unseen.

When he looks back to the origin of existence, the beginning and all the past display themselves, including the argument between the angels of earth and Divine Majesty, their resistance to recognizing our Father Adam as God’s steward.

And when he casts his eye forward, he sees all that will come to pass until the Gathering.

Therefore he sees back to the root of the root, and forward to the Day of Decision.

Anyone, to the degree of his enlightenment, sees as much as he has polished of himself.

The more he polishes, the more he sees, the more visible do the forms become.

If you say purity is by the grace of God, this success in polishing is also through that Generosity.

That work and prayer is in proportion to the yearning: People have nothing but what they have striven for.

God alone is the giver of aspiration: no rough brute aspires to kingliness, nor does God’s gift of good fortune preclude one’s own consent and will and choice.

But when He brings trouble upon some ill-fated person, he ungratefully packs off in flight.

Whereas when God brings trouble upon a blessed man, he just draws nearer to God.

In battle the cowardly, from fear of their lives, have chosen their means of escape.

But heroes are borne forward by their fear and pain.

From fear, too, the weak soul dies within itself.

Tribulation and fear for one’s life are touchstones to distinguish the cowardly from the brave.

– Rumi

(translated by Kabir Helminski)

The Water We Seek

Not long ago I found one of poem by Rumi which I found to be inspiring and insightful.  It’s called The Water We Seek

The eye or the spirit that focuses on the transient
falls on its face wherever it goes.
Someone who focuses on the distance,
without knowledge, may see far,
but just as we do in a dream.

Asleep on the bank of a river, lips parched,
you dream you are running toward water.
In the distance you see the water of your desire
and, caught by your seeing, you run toward it.

In the dream you boast,
“I am the one whose heart can see through the veils.”
Yet every step carries you further away
toward the perilous mirage.

From the moment you dreamed you set out
you created the distance
from that which had been near to you.
Many set out on a journey
that leads them farther away from their goal.

The intuitive claims of the sleeper are a fantasy.
You, too, are sleepy; But for God’s sake,
if you must sleep, sleep on the Way of God,
and maybe some other seeker on the Way
will awaken you from your fantasies and slumber.

No matter how subtle the sleeper’s thought becomes,
his dreams will not guide him Home.
Whether the sleeper’s thought is twofold or threefold,
it is error multiplying error.

While he dreams of running through the wilderness,

the waves are lapping so near.

While he dreams of the pangs of thirst,

the water is nearer than his jugular vein.

Gnosis means knowledge

Gnosis means knowledge in Greek. I will say something about my understanding of Gnosis in the way I came to know this concept in the last several years.

“Know thyself and you will know the Universe and the gods.”

This is written on the entrance of the temple of Apollo in Delhi, Greece. This phrase in short says what Gnosis is about. It’s about attaining the knowledge of the Universe through the knowledge of oneself. It is not a type of knowledge that we can get by reading it in a book – that is not knowledge, it is information we read. Rather, knowledge is something we directly experience.

Self-knowledge is a knowledge we get by observing our inner world of thoughts, emotions, drives, impulses and all other subconscious elements that we can perceive. This is done by self-observation, a technique taught in Gnostic teachings. With it we start seeing things that are happening within us, things that are driving our actions and which we are not even aware of. We start seeing dark elements of subconscious, such as anger, jealousy, negativity, fear, greed, pride etc. Usually those aspects are thought of as being a part of human nature, something that we just happen to have and need to learn how to live with it. However, that is not so. These elements are not permanent part of who we are. The core of who we are is the consciousness, a spiritual spark.

When we are aware of the present moment, being free from thoughts and emotions, without any worry or concern, just being here and now and simply existing, then we get a glimpse on who we are. It is that awareness that is us.

So the emotions and thoughts are just things stuck to our psyche, and they are things that we can change. We can change the nature of our psyche by transforming those negative aspects of ourselves. Within them are parts of our consciousness, and by eliminating the negative aspects we set those parts of consciousness free and in this way the consciousness grows. That changes everything. The way we perceive world is different, our understanding increases, we see deeper into things, we see more, we get more power to detach from negative states when they manifest, we start seeing that same divine spark in others, we start feeling more compassion and love for others etc.

In this way then, by applying techniques such as self-observation and elimination of the negative inner states (and later on alchemy), we start getting self-knowledge. We start to know about the enslaving negative forces within us, and we also gradually know the core of who we are. And then, according to esoteric teachings,  we start to know “the Universe and the gods”, because all life in its core is of the same substance. But to truly know who we are is a great quest, and it takes a long time of dedicated effort to attain this great knowledge.