spiritual purity, personal redemption, spiritual quest, spiritual nature, spiritual character

Spiritual Character and Good Habits

“Character is largely a matter of the establishment of Habits. ‘And what is the best way to establish habits?’ Becomes our next question. The answer of the Yogi is: ‘Establish a mental image, and then build your Habit around it.’ And in that sentence he has condensed a whole system.
“Everything we see having a form is built around a mental image—either the mental image of some man, some animal, or of the Absolute. This is the rule of the universe, and in the matter of character building we but follow a well established rule. When we wish to build a house, we first think of ‘house’ in a general way. … Then we go into details. Then we consult an architect, and he makes us a plan, which is his mental image, suggested by our mental image. … Make your picture clear and distinct, and fasten it in your mind. Then began to build around it.” ~William Walker Atkinson

Character and Habits

I’m not sure we can say that character building is simply a matter of establishing habits. Perhaps we can say that character building is a matter of intentionally forming good habits, but not habits in general.

Some people form good habits, but without intending to do so. It may have been pushed on them by their parents, teachers, or community. While this does create a person of good character, it is probably not strong character. By that, I mean that a person who has good habits that were forced upon him, rather than by his choice, is often easily convinced to change those habits.

Other people form habits, both intentional and unintentional, that are not good at all. An infant, not understanding the concept of life, will often catch and kill insects. Adults generally allow this. Later, when the child starts killing small animals, the parents may wish to stop it, but it may be too late. The habit has been established. Other may not develop such bad habits until they are somewhat older. In a sense, this is still development of character. Rotten character, which is not what is intended. Like a spoiled brat dictator and a spoiled brat president calling each other names like small children. In public! And thinking such behavior is acceptable! Character, yes, but rotten character. More characters than character.

So I think when Atkinson talks about developing character by developing habits, we can reword that by saying “developing character by the intentional development of good habits.” And there is also a difference between good character on the physical level, and having good spiritual character. Continue reading “Spiritual Character and Good Habits”

Visions, Reason, Knowledge and Spiritual sight

Higher Self and Lower Self of Man

“There belongs to every human being a higher self and a lower self—a self or mind of the spirit which has been growing for ages, and a self of the body, which is but a thing of yesterday. The higher self is full of prompting idea, suggestion, and aspiration. This it receives of the supreme power. All this the lower or animal self regards as wild and visionary. The higher self argue possibilities … The lower self says we can only live and exist as men and women have lived and existed before us. The higher self craves freedom from the cumbrousness, the limitations … of the body. The lower self says that we are born to them. …
“You have, in a sense two minds—the mind of the body and the mind of the spirit.” ~Prentice Mulford

Higher and Lower Self

I had never read any of Prentice Mulford’s books until I found this one in a volume of Human Science Classics on Amazon Kindle. I was beginning to feel I had wasted my money on the book, for the first few classics in it, while possibly good for their purpose, were not spiritual or esoteric at all. Then I reached Mulford’s book “Thoughts are Things,” and found the quote above on the first page! I think it’s going to be a good read.

The idea of a higher and lower self is certainly not a new one. There is some disagreement about which is which. Some think the lower self is merely the body and the instinct, but the intellect is the higher self. Mr. Mulford has it correct.

Lower Self

The physical body is certainly part of the lower self. I’ve never heard of anyone disagreeing with that. But the mind of the lower self is more than just the most primitive parts of the brain where instinctive and automatic behavior occurs. That is the only brain found in simple animals like frogs and lizards. The higher brain functions found in more complex animals, and man, are also part of the lower self. That is because the lower mind cannot truly know and understand the spiritual. It can speculates about them as an interesting fantasy, but not much more. This brain-mind is very useful in the physical words, not useful in the spiritual realms. It can turn light waves coming into the eyes into images of the things around us. It can guide us through the material world with hearing, scent and touch as well. But it cannot go beyond the lower dimensions, so is part of the lower self. Continue reading “Higher Self and Lower Self of Man”

authentic man, incomprehensible light, spiritual energy, permanent spirit, Angelic Communication, Something Beyond matter

Permanent Spirit and the Creation

“God is the creator from all eternity, and He creates when He wills, in His infinite goodness, through His co-essential Logos and Spirit. Do not raise the objection: ‘Why did he create at a particular moment since He is good from all eternity?’ For I reply that the unsearchable wisdom of the infinite essence does not come with the compass of human knowledge. …
“Try to learn why God created, for that is true knowledge. But do not try to learn how He created, or why he did so comparatively recently; for that does not come with the compass of your intellect. Of divine realities some may be apprehended by men and others may not.” ~St. Maximos in the Philokalia

God Creator

By definition, God is the one true Creator and the one true creator is that which most of us call God. Where things get confusing to many is in understanding that God didn’t create everything. From what he has written in the Philokalia, I have to say that St. Maximos seems to be one who is confused on the matter. On some of the things he says, he is totally correct. On others, however, he is way off. This seems to be caused by a belief that God created both the spiritual reals and the material.

Questioning Creation

St. Maximos chastises those who questions why God waiting until relatively recently to create. His answer, the pat answer given by many churches and religious leaders who don’t have an answer, is that we don’t have the wisdom to understand why God did thing when He did. The implication being that we should stop trying to understand the infinite wisdom of God, and just blindly accept it. That is the kind of thinking that has allowed the most fraudulent of Christian preachers to gin great fortunes and political power in our modern world.

The schools of the mystics, or mystery schools, disagree with this approach. They say we should try to learn what we can of the working of God and his spiritual realm. By doing so, they have generally come to a very different conclusion than St. Maximos. Continue reading “Permanent Spirit and the Creation”

thought world, higher cause

Higher Cause, the Unevolved Cause

“The Secret Doctrine is explained in Vishnu Purana as: ‘that which is the unevolved cause, is emphatically called by the most eminent sages Pradhana, which is subtle Prakriti … that which is eternal, …’. Prakriti, however, is an incorrect word, and Alaya would explain it better; for Prakriti is not the ‘unrecognizable Brahma.’

“It is a mistake of those who know nothing of the Universality of the Occult doctrines from the very cradle of the human races. … It is a mistake to teach that the Anima Mundi, the One Life or ‘Universal Soul,’ was made known only by Anaxagoras. … Anaxagoras was not its inventor but only its propagator, as also was Plato. … The principle that according to his views is absolutely separated and free from matter and acts on design was called “Motion, the ONE Life, or Jivatma ages before the year 500 B. C. in India.” H. P. Blavatsky

Unevolved Cause

In our modern world, an unevolved cause doesn’t seem like a good thing. To us, unevolved means primitive, or not developed. In actuality, what is here being called the unevolved cause is a cause that is so great it needs no further development. It might be more accurate to call it the none-evolving cause because it cannot evolve beyond what it already is.

In truth, nothing ever truly evolves unless it has first devolved in the big mistake known as the Great Fall when, in the symbolic tale of Adam and Eve, man was rejected from the Garden of Eden, a spiritual domain, and sent to the much lower level of matter. So evolution is really just heading back towards our original state and form, not something truly new. The original cause, being perfect in the beginning, and having never fallen, has no need to evolve. Still, is is better to call it the Higher Cause to avoid confusion.

Higher Cause

It is often difficult to follow Blavatsky’s meandering style of writing, yet she often has significant things to say. I certainly didn’t help matters by replacing sections of the quoted paragraphs with ellipsis to keep the quote to a reasonable length.

She is trying to tell us that there is a One Cause, a First Cause, a Higher Cause that existed before any other cause. It might be thought of as the first thought of God. All other causes and forces, whether creative or destructive, come from this original cause.

Discovering the Higher Cause

Blavatsky tells us that Anaxagoras did not discover or invent this higher cause. It was known to other mystical and philosophers before him and in other lands. It is actually traceable back to the earliest civilizations for which any records exist, and probably went back to earlier ones of which we have no record. She is correct in that assertion.

While written records may not exist of the most ancients civilizations, evidence of their existence keeps popping up. It is not only reasonable to assume that they were aware of the Higher Cause, and other spiritual truths, but there are indications of it. The Essenes of Jesus’ time, for example, claimed that their spiritual communities and schools had existed in various places, and under various names, for thousands of years.

Terms and Such

Blavatsky sprinkles the quoted paragraph with numerous words in languages most of us don’t speek. I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to define or clarify them.

Pradhana – according to Wikipedia, is the creative principle of nature, or the original root of matter. It may actually mean proto-matter or pre-matter: the substance that is halfway between spirit and matter.

Prakriti – The prime material energy of which all matter is composed. Another definition says it is “The set of eternal, indestructible, and indivisible realities that produce modifications. I would interpret all that as saying it is the force which caused the Great Fall.  That is when the fallen angels turned on God and His Divine Perfection.

Anima Mundi – is defined as the world soul or the link between the worlds of matter and the worlds os spirit. Blavatsky seems to be using it in a different sense. She seems to be using it to mean the Universal Soul, which is something much higher than the soul of the world.