Free Will in a Spiritual School

“No teacher of the spiritual life wishes to establish a mastery over other persons … He would not tamper with anyone’s independence. Indeed, none respect and cherish human independence mote than the spiritually experienced. … Whenever the initiate leaves his enclosed spiritual sphere and steps forth before the world, he must immediately take a third law into account. It is this: Adapt each one of your actions, and frame each one of your words in such a way that you infringe upon no one’s free-will.

“The recognition that all true teachers of the spiritual life are permeated through and through with this principle will convince all who follow the practical rules proffered to them that they need sacrifice none of their independence. … Originally all rules and teachings of spiritual science were expressed in a symbolic sign-language, some understanding of which must be acquired before its whole meaning and scope can be realized. This understanding is dependent on the first steps toward higher knowledge, and these steps result from the exact observation of such rules as they are given.” ~Rudolf Steiner

SpiritTeachThis is one way you can tell the true spiritual teacher from the phony, the cult leader. The true spiritual teacher tells you what you need to know to grow spiritually (note that it is not necessarily the same for each individual), but makes no effort to force you to follow that path. She may recommend that you eat certain foods and avoid others, but will not criticize or ostracize you for eating something you were advised to avoid. A real spiritual teacher may recommend that you dress in certain colors, for example, if you are a very materialistic type, he may advise that you avoid wearing red or orange and instead wear green, blue and purple. He will not, however, kick you out of the school because you show up in an orange jacket. Continue reading “Free Will in a Spiritual School”

Share

Truth in Mysticism

“In mysticism that love of truth which we saw as the beginning of all philosophy leaves the merely intellectual sphere, and takes on the assured aspect of a personal passion. Where the philosopher guesses and argues, the mystic lives and looks; and speaks, consequently, the disconcerting language of first-hand experience, not the neat dialectic of the schools. Hence, while the Absolute of the metaphysicians remains a diagram—impersonal and unattainable—the Absolute of the mystics is lovable, attainable, alive.

“’Oh, taste and see!’ they cry, in accents of astounding certainty and joy. ‘Ours is an experimental science. We can but communicate our system, never its result. We come to you not as thinkers, but as doers. Leave your deep and absurd trust in the senses … we have slipped the knot and are free of those grazing grounds.’” ~Evelyn Underhill

ConsciousnessExpanded2JOur current time is often referred to as “the information age”. I think that is an inaccurate claim. It is the age of data, not information. The difference being that data is very often just opinion, even though it is not usually stated as such. Have you had friends on Facebook or Twitter post something like, “That was the best movie ever!!!!!!!”, or “He’s the cutest actor alive!”? I bet you have. Notice that they almost never say, “In my opinion” even though they are expressing an opinion rather than a proven fact. But they can be forgiven because we understand that when individuals say something like this they are expressing their opinion, even though they state it as a proven fact. It is not so understandable when someone considered an authority on a subject does the same thing. Continue reading “Truth in Mysticism”

Share

Solar Myths and Cultures

“No more remarkable is the discovery of a like resemblance between the Oriental myths and ancient Russian tales and traditions. … But when we discover an almost perfect identity between … popular Russian tales, and similar characters in the Mexican legends—extending to the minutest details—we may well pause and ask ourselves whether there be not here more than a simple coincidence. This tradition of the Dragon and the Sun—occasionally replaced by the moon—has awakened echoes in the remotest parts of the world. It may be accounted for with perfect readiness by the once universal heliolatrous [sic] religion. There was a time when Asia, Europe, Africa and America were covered with the temples sacred to the sun and the dragons. … The origin of this universal symbolical worship being concealed in the night of time, we would have far more chance to arrive at the truth by tracing these traditions to their very source.” ~H. P. Blavatsky

SpiritMan2JThis great coincidence in spiritual teachings all over the world are generally shrugged off by saying that it is only natural that men who needed to farm would worship the sun as the bringer of spring and the warm weather that helped the crops grow. But this doesn’t explain why so many different peoples symbolized this solar Deity with similar images, or worshiped in similar ways. Continue reading “Solar Myths and Cultures”

Share

Mystics, Mysticism and Reality

“Mysticism is the art of union with Reality. The mystic is a person who has attained that union in a greater or lesser degree; or who aims at and believes in such attainment.”

“It is not expected that the inquirer will find great comfort in this sentence when first it meets his eye. The ultimate question, ‘What is reality?’—a question, perhaps, which never occurred to him before—is always forming in his mind; and he knows that it will cause him infinite-distress. Only a mystic can answer it: and he, in terms which other mystics alone will understand. Therefore, for the time being, the practical man may put it on one side. All that he is asked to consider now is this: that the word ‘union’ represents not so much a rare and unimaginable operation, as something which he is doing, in a vague, imperfect fashion, at every moment of his conscious life; …” ~Evelyn Underhill

MysticismPyramidI think that very short definition of mysticism is such a great one, as is the definition of a mystic that follows it. We can find rather complicated definitions elsewhere that are open to interpretation. It is often defined as “union with the Deity” but what Deity? Different people have different ideas of God, different beliefs of how God behaves, and different ideas of how to become one with this Deity. In some cases, the one they believe to be The Deity is actually just a fallen angel or demon pretending to be the true God. In short, most of us have some ideas or what God, or The Deity is, and in almost all cases that belief is not totally accurate. So if we seek union with The Deity, but it is really a false god we are thinking about, such a union might be achieved, but would not truly be a mystical union for it is not the real God, it is not reality, that we have joined.

So instead of seeking to become one with the god, or gods, of one particular faith or another, if we seek union with ultimate truth and reality, our union will be one with the real God, even though he may not be what we expect. Continue reading “Mystics, Mysticism and Reality”

Share